Russian fighter jet opens fire on British destroyer in Black Sea

A Russian Su-24M fighter jet opened fire at the British destroyer HMS Defender in the Black Sea, reports Interfax, citing a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry.

The "warning shelling" was carried out to stop the British ship from violating the Russian border, the Russian military said.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the incident occurred around noon near Cape Fiolent. The destroyer entered 3 km into Russian waters and did not respond to warnings.

At 12.06 and 12.08 the Russian border guard ship fired warning shots.

And at 12.19 a.m., a Russian Su-24M aircraft carried out a "warning bombardment" in the direction of the destroyer’s route, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

A 250 kg high-explosive fragmentation bomb (OFAB-250) was used for this purpose.

At 12.23 the destroyer left the Russian waters.

Satellite data show that the British ship passed at a distance of 10 nautical miles from the Crimean coast, while the territorial waters are up to 12 miles, Conflict News reports.

Thus, the destroyer could have indeed crossed 2 miles into the Russian waters, or 3.7 kilometers into the waters off the coast of Crimea, which Russia considers its own.

The British military attaché was summoned to the Russian Defense Ministry after the border incident, RIA Novosti reports.

Defender entered the Black Sea last week along with the Dutch frigate HNLMS Evertsen and the American destroyer USS Laboon armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, responded by announcing "increased combat readiness" of the Russian Black Sea fleet and "constant tracking of these ships."

"They come too often to the Black Sea. This is too much with this constant presence," Komoyedov said.

  Russia, UK, Black Sea