A Russian warship and fighter jets fired warning shots at a British ship to stop it entering its waters, Russia has claimed. According to a timeline presented by the Russian defence ministry, HMS Defender entered Russian territorial waters shortly before noon on Wednesday. The incident took place near Cape Fiolent, a landmark on the coast of Crimea.
It comes amid growing tensions in the Black Sea region.
A Russian coast guard fired two warning shots about 15 minutes later.
Su-24M fighter jets then reportedly “dropped four high explosive fragmentation bombs” in the British ship’s path.
The ministry said the Defender left Russian waters soon afterwards, but only having ventured as much as three kilometres (two miles) inside.
But a spokesman for the British Ministry of Defence denied any warning shots had been fired and also claimed that HMS Defender was in international waters.
The statement reads: “No warning shots have been fired at HMS Defender.
“The Royal Navy ship is conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law.
“We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior-warning of their activity.
“No shots were directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognise the claim that bombs were dropped in her path.”
As many now fear this episode could escalate tensions between the two countries, incendiary claims made by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, have resurfaced.
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However, the Faroes are by far the most populous.
The islands – which belong to Denmark – are found just 200 miles north west of Scotland.
Mr Zhirinovsky made the provocative comments during a live broadcast on Russian TV channel Russia-1.
The eccentric far-right politician was no stranger to controversy, having released an election video in 2012 showing him riding a sleigh harnessed to a donkey that was widely ridiculed.