Russian Federation says warning shots deter United Kingdom warship; London denies it

Russia Fires 'Warning' Shots at British Warship Near Crimea

But now the MoD has refuted this - saying the Russians were conducting a "gunnery exercise" and prewarned mariners of their activity. "No shots were directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognise the claim that bombs were dropped in her path", they said. The shots were not fired at HMS Defender.

"The Royal Navy ship is conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with worldwide war", the ministry tweeted.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it viewed the British warship's actions as a "gross provocation" and also summoned the attache on defence matters from the British Embassy in Moscow to voice their concern with the incident.

The MOD insisting HMS Defender was in Ukranian water may be seen as a tacit denial they ever entered Russian waters, as Moscow claimed.

The Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement, reported by the Russian Interfax news agency, that a border patrol boat fired warning shots at HMS Defender and a Su-24M warplane dropped four bombs close to the ship. It disregarded the warning...

It's unclear why the countries have issued such differing descriptions of the incident.

Earlier this year, Russian Federation also bolstered its troops near the border with Ukraine and warned Kyiv against using force to reclaim control of the country's eastern industrial heartland, where a conflict with Russia-backed separatists has killed more than 14,000 people in seven years. HMS Defender is in the Black Sea, but whether it has entered Russian waters is unclear.

"Moscow likewise reacted politically (in its own way), first spoofing Global Positioning System signals to try and present Defender and a Dutch frigate as aggressively heading straight for the Russian Black Sea Fleet base at Sevastopol. and now claiming - as they have in the past - to have "driven" the Royal Navy away by aggressive operations", he added.

Just before Wednesday's incident, Defender stopped in the Ukrainian port of Odessa, where Ukrainian and British officials and industry representatives signed an agreement to collaborate on boosting Ukraine's naval capabilities. The exchange may have taken place near the coast of Crimea.

"Positioning two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation warships at the entrance of a major Russian naval base would be widely seen as a provocative action, based on conflicting claims of sovereignty", USNI News wrote. It will also sell Ukraine a new sea and air missile system, which may be of the CAMM / Sea Ceptor type, and build eight new fast attack craft, at least two of which will be built in the United Kingdom.

The U.S. Naval Institute's news website had reported Monday that HMS Defender's and another North Atlantic Treaty Organisation warship's open-source intelligence data was faked to make it appear as if they sailed directly to the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

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