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Russian forces fire warning shots at British destroyer HMS Defender due to territorial encroachment

 Russian forces fire warning shots at British destroyer HMS Defender due to territorial encroachment in Black Sea


A Russian patrol vessel fired a warning shot at the British destroyer HMS Defender off the coast of Crimea on Wednesday. This fire was followed by the dropping of OFAB-250s cluster bombs with high explosive power on the trajectory of the British ship.


According to the Russian Defense Ministry (MoD), HMS Defender made a 3-kilometer incursion into Russian territorial waters off Cape Fiolent in southern Crimea. Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula, was annexed by Russia in March 2014, following a far-right US-backed coup in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.


The incident began with a major military and political provocation on the part of the United Kingdom. HMS Defender had just left Odessa in southern Ukraine and was conducting exercises with a Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS Evertsen. According to Wednesday's Financial Times , “British and Ukrainian officials met aboard the destroyer on Tuesday to agree a defense deal in which the UK will help bolster Kiev's naval capabilities. The cooperation will include the training of Ukrainian navy personnel, the establishment of new naval bases and the purchase of two Sandown class mine hunters ”.


A Russian patrol vessel fired a warning shot at the British destroyer HMS Defender off the coast of Crimea on Wednesday. This fire was followed by the dropping of OFAB-250s cluster bombs with high explosive power on the trajectory of the British ship. According to the Russian Defense Ministry (MoD), HMS Defender made a 3-kilometer incursion into Russian territorial waters off Cape Fiolent in southern Crimea. Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula, was annexed by Russia in March 2014, following a far-right US-backed coup in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The incident began with a major military and political provocation on the part of the United Kingdom. HMS Defender had just left Odessa in southern Ukraine and was conducting exercises with a Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS Evertsen. According to Wednesday's Financial Times , “British and Ukrainian officials met aboard the destroyer on Tuesday to agree a defense deal in which the UK will help bolster Kiev's naval capabilities. The cooperation will include the training of Ukrainian navy personnel, the establishment of new naval bases and the purchase of two Sandown class mine hunters ”.  A statement from Russian Ministry TV station Zvezda said of the incident: “The Black Sea Fleet and the FSB (Security Service) have put an end to a violation of the Russian border by a British destroyer, HMS Defender ”. “Today at 11:52 am, the Defender crossed the border from Russia into the northwestern part of the Black Sea. It entered the territorial waters for a distance of three kilometers, in the area of ​​Cap Fiolent… ” “At 12:06 pm and 12:08 pm, a Russian border patrol vessel fired a warning shot. At 12:19 pm, the Su-24M aircraft of the Black Sea Fleet carried out a warning bombardment, dropping 4 OFAB-250 bombs in the path of the destroyer. ” “At 12:23 pm, the British destroyer left the territorial sea borders of Russia”. Obviously taken by surprise by Russia's swift and aggressive response, the British Defense Ministry said: “The Royal Navy ship is making an innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters, in accordance with international law. We believe the Russians were carrying out a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and warned the maritime community of their activity. No fire was directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognize the claim that bombs were dropped in its path ”. This denial was rebutted by Jonathan Beale, BBC Defense Correspondent, aboard HMS Defender, in a statement uploaded to the BBC news site as an audio file, and in comments included in a newsletter. Beale wrote: “Two Russian Coast Guard ships following the Royal Navy warship [HMS Defender] tried to force it to change course. At one point, one of the Russian ships approached about 100 m ”. "Increasingly hostile warnings were issued over the radio, including one that said 'if you don't change course I'll shoot' ..." While this is a recording of just 99 seconds, the roar of the engines of a Russian Air Force jet can be heard at the 23rd second, for more than 10 seconds, this which forces Beale to exclaim, "It's another Russian plane flying over the warship, yes, in the Black Sea." At one point there were more than 20 aircraft above the warship. The Russian Coast Guard ships sounded the alarm and we did hear gunshots. We think they were out of reach ”. A section of Beale's report, which was removed minutes after its publication on the BBC website reveals how tense the situation was: “At one point they [the sailors on board HMS Defender] put flash masks to protect their face in anticipation of a firefight… They didn't think that would happen and it didn't. But the Russian jets took an interest in it and warned the ship not to enter Crimean territorial waters, claiming that they are Russian waters ”. It is no coincidence that events followed this course, given the UK's provocative mission to the region. As Beale notes in his report, “The crew were already in action positions when they approached the southern tip of Russian-occupied Crimea. The weapons systems aboard the Royal Navy destroyer had already been loaded. It would be a deliberate maneuver to send a message to Russia ”. The HMS Defender incident must be seen against the background of intensifying militarism by British imperialism and its NATO partners, with Moscow and China in their sights. A Type 45 destroyer designed primarily for anti-aircraft and missile warfare, HMS Defender is one of many warships - alongside British and American warplanes, submarines, soldiers and sailors - that form a "ring of steel" around one of the two new British aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is making its first operational deployment.    Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) left the UK last month for a six-month trip to the Indo-Pacific region. The CSG21 was described by the Department of Defense (MoD) on Tuesday, just 24 hours before the Black Sea incident, as "the greatest concentration of sea and air power to leave the UK in a generation ..." Eighteen warplanes, including British and American F35B jets, "flew operational sorties for the first time from HMS Queen Elizabeth in support of Operation Shader and US Operation Inherent Resolve." The bellicose statement continues: “For the task group, which has spent the previous weeks in the Mediterranean working with NATO allies and partners, this marks a shift in focus. Since the exercises and the international engagements, the CSG21 now delivers all its naval and air power… ” Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Shader are code names for the military interventions of the United States and Britain, put in place in 2014 apparently to target the Islamic State. They consist mainly of constant airstrikes and hostile surveillance missions in a host of countries, including Iraq, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and Lebanon. The MoD statement quotes Captain James Blackmore, commander of the aircraft carrier's air force, who stressed the importance of the bombing operations carried out by the Royal Navy: "This time" the British warplanes "were flying from a aircraft carrier at sea, which marks the return of the Royal Navy to maritime strike operations for the first time since the Libyan campaign ten years ago ”. The provocation in the Black Sea, like all CSG21 operations, could not take place without the approval of the United States. Blackmore underlined the integral role of American forces in military strikes: “This is also the first combat mission carried out by American planes from a foreign aircraft carrier since HMS Victorious in the South Pacific in 1943. . The level of integration between the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the US Marine Corps is truly transparent and testifies to the closeness that we have acquired since we embarked together for the first time last October ”. The FT report on the Black Sea incident quotes Mark Galeotti, senior associate researcher at the Royal United Services Institute: "Moscow 'was trying to show that it was not going to let itself be'" with "provocative" actions such as the voyage of HMS Defender. “The British often play this role by proxy - they [the Russians] don't want to be too aggressive towards the Americans […], so it feels like they can do it against the British because it doesn't 'is not as dangerous, ”he said. The MoD announced in May that CSG21 "will participate in NATO exercises such as Exercise Steadfast Defender and provide support to NATO's Operation Sea Guardian and maritime security operations in the Black Sea." . Shortly before CSG21 left the UK, Ministry of Defense sources revealed that HMS Defender would separate from the main force in the Mediterranean and pass through the Bosporus "to carry out its own series of missions at sea. Black". On June 10, the Royal Navy declared that HMS Defender would be "heading for the Black Sea after a stopover in Istanbul". For several weeks, he had followed "intensive training and worked on Operation Sea Guardian, NATO's mission in the Mediterranean to deter and counter terrorism". NATO's anti-Russian operations will intensify in the coming days, with its annual Sea Breeze military exercises taking place in the Black Sea region from June 28 to July 10. Announcing the operation, the US Embassy in Ukraine said, “This year's iteration involves the most participating nations in the history of the exercise: there will be 32 countries from six continents, 5,000 soldiers, 32 ships, 40 planes and 18 special operations and diving teams. ” The exercise will be "focused on multiple areas of warfare, including amphibious warfare, land maneuver warfare, diving operations, maritime interdiction operations, air defense, special operations integration, anti-warfare. -submarine and search and rescue operations ”. Wednesday's Black Sea incident is a striking indication of how the conflict between Ukraine and Russia as well as the interests of competing imperialist powers have turned the entire region into a powder keg that could spark a global conflagration. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter that the Russian fire on the British warship was "clear proof of the validity of Ukraine's position: Russia's aggressive and provocative actions in the Black and Azov Seas, its occupation and militarization of Crimea pose a continuing threat to Ukraine and its allies. We need a new quality of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO allies in the Black Sea ”.
The HMS Defender Type 45 destroyer leaves the Portsmouth naval base for exercises in Scotland, before deploying to the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and, finally, to the Indo-Pacific region as part of the UK Carrier Strike Group 21. May 1, 2021 (Photo: WSWS media)


A statement from Russian Ministry TV station Zvezda said of the incident: “The Black Sea Fleet and the FSB (Security Service) have put an end to a violation of the Russian border by a British destroyer, HMS Defender ”.


“Today at 11:52 am, the Defender crossed the border from Russia into the northwestern part of the Black Sea. It entered the territorial waters for a distance of three kilometers, in the area of ​​Cap Fiolent… ”


“At 12:06 pm and 12:08 pm, a Russian border patrol vessel fired a warning shot. At 12:19 pm, the Su-24M aircraft of the Black Sea Fleet carried out a warning bombardment, dropping 4 OFAB-250 bombs in the path of the destroyer. ”


“At 12:23 pm, the British destroyer left the territorial sea borders of Russia”.

Obviously taken by surprise by Russia's swift and aggressive response, the British Defense Ministry said: “The Royal Navy ship is making an innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters, in accordance with international law. We believe the Russians were carrying out a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and warned the maritime community of their activity. No fire was directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognize the claim that bombs were dropped in its path ”.


This denial was rebutted by Jonathan Beale, BBC Defense Correspondent, aboard HMS Defender, in a statement uploaded to the BBC news site as an audio file, and in comments included in a newsletter.


Beale wrote: “Two Russian Coast Guard ships following the Royal Navy warship [HMS Defender] tried to force it to change course. At one point, one of the Russian ships approached about 100 m ”.


"Increasingly hostile warnings were issued over the radio, including one that said 'if you don't change course I'll shoot' ..."

While this is a recording of just 99 seconds, the roar of the engines of a Russian Air Force jet can be heard at the 23rd second, for more than 10 seconds, this which forces Beale to exclaim, "It's another Russian plane flying over the warship, yes, in the Black Sea." At one point there were more than 20 aircraft above the warship. The Russian Coast Guard ships sounded the alarm and we did hear gunshots. We think they were out of reach ”.


A section of Beale's report, which was removed minutes after its publication on the BBC website reveals how tense the situation was: “At one point they [the sailors on board HMS Defender] put flash masks to protect their face in anticipation of a firefight… They didn't think that would happen and it didn't. But the Russian jets took an interest in it and warned the ship not to enter Crimean territorial waters, claiming that they are Russian waters ”.


It is no coincidence that events followed this course, given the UK's provocative mission to the region. As Beale notes in his report, “The crew were already in action positions when they approached the southern tip of Russian-occupied Crimea. The weapons systems aboard the Royal Navy destroyer had already been loaded. It would be a deliberate maneuver to send a message to Russia ”.


The HMS Defender incident must be seen against the background of intensifying militarism by British imperialism and its NATO partners, with Moscow and China in their sights.


A Type 45 destroyer designed primarily for anti-aircraft and missile warfare, HMS Defender is one of many warships - alongside British and American warplanes, submarines, soldiers and sailors - that form a "ring of steel" around one of the two new British aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is making its first operational deployment.


A Russian patrol vessel fired a warning shot at the British destroyer HMS Defender off the coast of Crimea on Wednesday. This fire was followed by the dropping of OFAB-250s cluster bombs with high explosive power on the trajectory of the British ship. According to the Russian Defense Ministry (MoD), HMS Defender made a 3-kilometer incursion into Russian territorial waters off Cape Fiolent in southern Crimea. Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula, was annexed by Russia in March 2014, following a far-right US-backed coup in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The incident began with a major military and political provocation on the part of the United Kingdom. HMS Defender had just left Odessa in southern Ukraine and was conducting exercises with a Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS Evertsen. According to Wednesday's Financial Times , “British and Ukrainian officials met aboard the destroyer on Tuesday to agree a defense deal in which the UK will help bolster Kiev's naval capabilities. The cooperation will include the training of Ukrainian navy personnel, the establishment of new naval bases and the purchase of two Sandown class mine hunters ”.  A statement from Russian Ministry TV station Zvezda said of the incident: “The Black Sea Fleet and the FSB (Security Service) have put an end to a violation of the Russian border by a British destroyer, HMS Defender ”. “Today at 11:52 am, the Defender crossed the border from Russia into the northwestern part of the Black Sea. It entered the territorial waters for a distance of three kilometers, in the area of ​​Cap Fiolent… ” “At 12:06 pm and 12:08 pm, a Russian border patrol vessel fired a warning shot. At 12:19 pm, the Su-24M aircraft of the Black Sea Fleet carried out a warning bombardment, dropping 4 OFAB-250 bombs in the path of the destroyer. ” “At 12:23 pm, the British destroyer left the territorial sea borders of Russia”. Obviously taken by surprise by Russia's swift and aggressive response, the British Defense Ministry said: “The Royal Navy ship is making an innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters, in accordance with international law. We believe the Russians were carrying out a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and warned the maritime community of their activity. No fire was directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognize the claim that bombs were dropped in its path ”. This denial was rebutted by Jonathan Beale, BBC Defense Correspondent, aboard HMS Defender, in a statement uploaded to the BBC news site as an audio file, and in comments included in a newsletter. Beale wrote: “Two Russian Coast Guard ships following the Royal Navy warship [HMS Defender] tried to force it to change course. At one point, one of the Russian ships approached about 100 m ”. "Increasingly hostile warnings were issued over the radio, including one that said 'if you don't change course I'll shoot' ..." While this is a recording of just 99 seconds, the roar of the engines of a Russian Air Force jet can be heard at the 23rd second, for more than 10 seconds, this which forces Beale to exclaim, "It's another Russian plane flying over the warship, yes, in the Black Sea." At one point there were more than 20 aircraft above the warship. The Russian Coast Guard ships sounded the alarm and we did hear gunshots. We think they were out of reach ”. A section of Beale's report, which was removed minutes after its publication on the BBC website reveals how tense the situation was: “At one point they [the sailors on board HMS Defender] put flash masks to protect their face in anticipation of a firefight… They didn't think that would happen and it didn't. But the Russian jets took an interest in it and warned the ship not to enter Crimean territorial waters, claiming that they are Russian waters ”. It is no coincidence that events followed this course, given the UK's provocative mission to the region. As Beale notes in his report, “The crew were already in action positions when they approached the southern tip of Russian-occupied Crimea. The weapons systems aboard the Royal Navy destroyer had already been loaded. It would be a deliberate maneuver to send a message to Russia ”. The HMS Defender incident must be seen against the background of intensifying militarism by British imperialism and its NATO partners, with Moscow and China in their sights. A Type 45 destroyer designed primarily for anti-aircraft and missile warfare, HMS Defender is one of many warships - alongside British and American warplanes, submarines, soldiers and sailors - that form a "ring of steel" around one of the two new British aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is making its first operational deployment.    Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) left the UK last month for a six-month trip to the Indo-Pacific region. The CSG21 was described by the Department of Defense (MoD) on Tuesday, just 24 hours before the Black Sea incident, as "the greatest concentration of sea and air power to leave the UK in a generation ..." Eighteen warplanes, including British and American F35B jets, "flew operational sorties for the first time from HMS Queen Elizabeth in support of Operation Shader and US Operation Inherent Resolve." The bellicose statement continues: “For the task group, which has spent the previous weeks in the Mediterranean working with NATO allies and partners, this marks a shift in focus. Since the exercises and the international engagements, the CSG21 now delivers all its naval and air power… ” Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Shader are code names for the military interventions of the United States and Britain, put in place in 2014 apparently to target the Islamic State. They consist mainly of constant airstrikes and hostile surveillance missions in a host of countries, including Iraq, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and Lebanon. The MoD statement quotes Captain James Blackmore, commander of the aircraft carrier's air force, who stressed the importance of the bombing operations carried out by the Royal Navy: "This time" the British warplanes "were flying from a aircraft carrier at sea, which marks the return of the Royal Navy to maritime strike operations for the first time since the Libyan campaign ten years ago ”. The provocation in the Black Sea, like all CSG21 operations, could not take place without the approval of the United States. Blackmore underlined the integral role of American forces in military strikes: “This is also the first combat mission carried out by American planes from a foreign aircraft carrier since HMS Victorious in the South Pacific in 1943. . The level of integration between the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the US Marine Corps is truly transparent and testifies to the closeness that we have acquired since we embarked together for the first time last October ”. The FT report on the Black Sea incident quotes Mark Galeotti, senior associate researcher at the Royal United Services Institute: "Moscow 'was trying to show that it was not going to let itself be'" with "provocative" actions such as the voyage of HMS Defender. “The British often play this role by proxy - they [the Russians] don't want to be too aggressive towards the Americans […], so it feels like they can do it against the British because it doesn't 'is not as dangerous, ”he said. The MoD announced in May that CSG21 "will participate in NATO exercises such as Exercise Steadfast Defender and provide support to NATO's Operation Sea Guardian and maritime security operations in the Black Sea." . Shortly before CSG21 left the UK, Ministry of Defense sources revealed that HMS Defender would separate from the main force in the Mediterranean and pass through the Bosporus "to carry out its own series of missions at sea. Black". On June 10, the Royal Navy declared that HMS Defender would be "heading for the Black Sea after a stopover in Istanbul". For several weeks, he had followed "intensive training and worked on Operation Sea Guardian, NATO's mission in the Mediterranean to deter and counter terrorism". NATO's anti-Russian operations will intensify in the coming days, with its annual Sea Breeze military exercises taking place in the Black Sea region from June 28 to July 10. Announcing the operation, the US Embassy in Ukraine said, “This year's iteration involves the most participating nations in the history of the exercise: there will be 32 countries from six continents, 5,000 soldiers, 32 ships, 40 planes and 18 special operations and diving teams. ” The exercise will be "focused on multiple areas of warfare, including amphibious warfare, land maneuver warfare, diving operations, maritime interdiction operations, air defense, special operations integration, anti-warfare. -submarine and search and rescue operations ”. Wednesday's Black Sea incident is a striking indication of how the conflict between Ukraine and Russia as well as the interests of competing imperialist powers have turned the entire region into a powder keg that could spark a global conflagration. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter that the Russian fire on the British warship was "clear proof of the validity of Ukraine's position: Russia's aggressive and provocative actions in the Black and Azov Seas, its occupation and militarization of Crimea pose a continuing threat to Ukraine and its allies. We need a new quality of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO allies in the Black Sea ”.
The aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth with seven helicopters visible on board in Portsmouth harbor. May 1, 2021 (Photo: WSWS media)



Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) left the UK last month for a six-month trip to the Indo-Pacific region. The CSG21 was described by the Department of Defense (MoD) on Tuesday, just 24 hours before the Black Sea incident, as "the greatest concentration of sea and air power to leave the UK in a generation ..."


Eighteen warplanes, including British and American F35B jets, "flew operational sorties for the first time from HMS Queen Elizabeth in support of Operation Shader and US Operation Inherent Resolve."


The bellicose statement continues: “For the task group, which has spent the previous weeks in the Mediterranean working with NATO allies and partners, this marks a shift in focus. Since the exercises and the international engagements, the CSG21 now delivers all its naval and air power… ”


Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Shader are code names for the military interventions of the United States and Britain, put in place in 2014 apparently to target the Islamic State. They consist mainly of constant airstrikes and hostile surveillance missions in a host of countries, including Iraq, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and Lebanon.


The MoD statement quotes Captain James Blackmore, commander of the aircraft carrier's air force, who stressed the importance of the bombing operations carried out by the Royal Navy: "This time" the British warplanes "were flying from a aircraft carrier at sea, which marks the return of the Royal Navy to maritime strike operations for the first time since the Libyan campaign ten years ago ”.


The provocation in the Black Sea, like all CSG21 operations, could not take place without the approval of the United States. Blackmore underlined the integral role of American forces in military strikes: “This is also the first combat mission carried out by American planes from a foreign aircraft carrier since HMS Victorious in the South Pacific in 1943. . The level of integration between the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the US Marine Corps is truly transparent and testifies to the closeness that we have acquired since we embarked together for the first time last October ”.


The FT report on the Black Sea incident quotes Mark Galeotti, senior associate researcher at the Royal United Services Institute: "Moscow 'was trying to show that it was not going to let itself be'" with "provocative" actions such as the voyage of HMS Defender. “The British often play this role by proxy - they [the Russians] don't want to be too aggressive towards the Americans […], so it feels like they can do it against the British because it doesn't 'is not as dangerous, ”he said.


The MoD announced in May that CSG21 "will participate in NATO exercises such as Exercise Steadfast Defender and provide support to NATO's Operation Sea Guardian and maritime security operations in the Black Sea." .


Shortly before CSG21 left the UK, Ministry of Defense sources revealed that HMS Defender would separate from the main force in the Mediterranean and pass through the Bosporus "to carry out its own series of missions at sea. Black".


On June 10, the Royal Navy declared that HMS Defender would be "heading for the Black Sea after a stopover in Istanbul". For several weeks, he had followed "intensive training and worked on Operation Sea Guardian, NATO's mission in the Mediterranean to deter and counter terrorism".


NATO's anti-Russian operations will intensify in the coming days, with its annual Sea Breeze military exercises taking place in the Black Sea region from June 28 to July 10.


Announcing the operation, the US Embassy in Ukraine said, “This year's iteration involves the most participating nations in the history of the exercise: there will be 32 countries from six continents, 5,000 soldiers, 32 ships, 40 planes and 18 special operations and diving teams. ” The exercise will be "focused on multiple areas of warfare, including amphibious warfare, land maneuver warfare, diving operations, maritime interdiction operations, air defense, special operations integration, anti-warfare. -submarine and search and rescue operations ”.


Wednesday's Black Sea incident is a striking indication of how the conflict between Ukraine and Russia as well as the interests of competing imperialist powers have turned the entire region into a powder keg that could spark a global conflagration. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter that the Russian fire on the British warship was "clear proof of the validity of Ukraine's position: Russia's aggressive and provocative actions in the Black and Azov Seas, its occupation and militarization of Crimea pose a continuing threat to Ukraine and its allies. We need a new quality of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO allies in the Black Sea ”.


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watchincalm
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