Anorak News | Russia fires on British ship for first time since 1919

Russia fires on British ship for first time since 1919

by | 24th, June 2021

Newspapers lead with the British warship HMS Defender, which was shadowed by Russian aircraft and ships as it sailed near Crimea, and fired on. Russia also dropped bombs in its way. Russia is on the “warpath” says an excited Daily Express.

The last time Russia fired on a British warship was in 1919, when a Bolshevik submarine torpedoed a destroyer in the Gulf of Finland

Russia says that the British warship crossed two miles into its territorial waters off Crimea, near Cape Fiolent. But when the Soviet Union broke up, Crimea became part of Ukraine. Russia occupied and annexed it in 2014. So whose water is it?

“British destroyer violates Russia’s border in Black Sea, Russian ship & fighter jet respond with warning shots – Defense Ministry,” says Russian government mouthpiece Russia Today. Russia’s top army chief Valery Gerasimov says NATO naval activity near the Russia’s borders has “significantly increased… Ships equipped with high-precision long-range missile weapons operate almost on a permanent basis in the Black and Baltic Seas.” It’s “clearly provocative”.

Russian Senator Sergei Tsekov, in comments to RIA Novosti, decried the warship’s movements as a “flagrant violation of international norms,” noting that the actions could “provoke a serious conflict.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace tells the no less tame Times that the Navy “will always uphold the international law of the sea and will not be impeded on innocent passage”. The paper also quotes a defence source as saying: “We chose that route and are free to choose it again.”

A Daily Mail journalists was on board. Why? No matter. He saw “bursts of cannon fire rang out” as Russian jets “menaced the UK destroyer”. Sailors frantically pulled on flame retardant suits and body armour. It was the “most alarming escalation” of UK-Russian tensions since the Salisbury poisonings.

So Russia is the enemy, right? The FT, sys it might. not be, well, not if you’re in the EU, which the UK isn’t. The Financial Times says Germany and France have called for the EU to engage more closely with Russia. They could invite President Vladimir Putin to an EU summit. Mr Putin has not attended a summit since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. “We must keep the channels of communication open,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

But you’ll have to shout to make yourselves heard over the sound of gunfire.

Posted: 24th, June 2021 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink