Russian forces fire warning shots at Portsmouth-based Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender

RUSSIAN forces fired warning shots at a Royal Navy destroyer after it entered the country’s territorial waters in the Black Sea, the Russian Defence Ministry has said.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 12:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 1:17 pm

A border patrol boat fired warning shots at Portsmouth-based HMS Defender and a Su-24M warplane dropped four bombs, the defence ministry said in a statement reported by the Russian Interfax news agency.

But the Ministry of Defence in Britain has said this want not true – but the crew had been warned in the event of a border violation.

The disputed Russian statement said: ‘The destroyer was warned in advance that weapons would be fired in case of a violation of the Russian state border. It disregarded the warning.

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The Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Defender. LA(Phot) Chris Mumby

‘As a result of joint actions of the Black Sea Fleet and the Border Service of the Russian Federal Security Service, HMS Defender left the territorial sea of the Russian Federation.’

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HMS Defender – a Type 45 destroyer – is part of the UK Carrier Strike Group currently heading to the Indo-Pacific region.

However, it was announced earlier this month that it would be temporarily breaking away from the group to carry out its ‘own set of missions’ in the Black Sea.

The Ministry of Defence said: ‘No warning shots have been fired at HMS Defender.

‘The Royal Navy ship is conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law.

‘The destroyer was warned in advance that weapons would be fired in case of a violation of the Russian state border. It disregarded the warning,’ the statement said.

‘As a result of joint actions of the Black Sea Fleet and the Border Service of the Russian Federal Security Service, HMS Defender left the territorial sea of the Russian Federation.’

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