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Russia Says Warning Shots Deter UK Warship; London Denies It

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FILE - This March 20, 2020 file photo shows HMS Defender in Portsmouth, England. The Russian military says its warship has fired warning shots and a warplane dropped bombs to force the British destroyer from Russia's waters near Crimea in the Black Sea. The incident on Wednesday June 23, 2021, marks the first time since the Cold War era when Moscow used live ammunition to deter a NATO warship, reflecting soaring Russia-West tensions. (Ben Mitchell/PA via AP, File)

(AP) — The Russian military says one of its warships in the Black Sea fired warning shots and a warplane dropped bombs to force a British destroyer away from Russia’s waters near Crimea.

Britain denies that account and insisted its ship wasn’t fired upon. Wednesday’s incident marks the first time since the Cold War that Moscow acknowledged using live ammunition to deter a NATO warship, reflecting soaring Russia-West tensions.

The Russian Defense Ministry said a patrol ship fired warning shots after the British destroyer HMS Defender and a Russian Su-24 bomber dropped four bombs ahead of the British ship to force it to leave Russian waters. Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, a move not recognized by most countries.

 

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