British warship 'was expelled from Crimean coast by Russia', FSB claim

British warship ‘was expelled from Crimean coast by Putin’s navy and air force after breaking through Russian defences’, FSB claim

  • Russia’s security services detailed the alleged incident from October 2020
  • The FSB said the HMS Dragon was ‘expelled’ from waters off the coast of Crimea
  • Ship had claimed the right of innocent passage but was viewed as ‘unfriendly’
  • Revelation comes amid reports UK will send two more warships to the Black Sea 

A British warship has been ‘expelled’ from the Crimean coast by Russian naval and air forces, Russia’s security service claims. 

The alleged incident took place in October off the coast of Crimea but has only been made public now. It reportedly involved the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Dragon. 

General Vladimir Kulishov, deputy director of Russia’s FSB, claimed that the vessel ignored ‘warnings’ not to enter ‘Russian territorial waters’.

‘The destroyer Dragon of the British Navy crossed the state border of the Russian Federation in the area of Cape Khersones in the Black Sea,’ the counterintelligence chief said.

‘The destroyer’s captain responded with a poor signal to the demand to immediately leave Russian territorial waters.

‘As a result of the joint actions with the Russian Navy and the Russian Aerospace Forces, the warship was expelled into neutral waters,’ Kulishov said.

A British warship has been ‘expelled’ from the Crimean coast by Russian naval and air forces, Russia’s security service claims. The alleged incident took place in October off the coast of Crimea but has only been made public now. It reportedly involved the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Dragon (pictured)

The Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon had claimed the right of innocent passage in waters near the westernmost point of Sevastopol, headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, he said, adding that Russia saw the action as ‘unfriendly’.

Russia is known to have previously deployed submarine Veliky Novogorod to track HMS Dragon.      

It is unclear why the FSB has gone public with the alleged October dispute now but the news comes amid reports that the UK is sending two further warships to the Black Sea. The Ministry of Defence has been contacted for comment. 

HMS Trent is already patrolling in the sea and has been to the Ukrainian port of Odessa, which HMS Dragon visited last year to hold training exercises with the Ukrainian navy.

As the FSB revealed the dispute, Russia staged its latest missile tests in the Black Sea amid continuing tension with neighbouring Ukraine 

Frigate Admiral Grigorovich fired the anti-aircraft missile system Shtil and tested anti-ship missile systems Bal and Utes. 

More than 30 ships were deployed to close a large area of the sea to navigation during the war game.

Reports Ukraine said HMS Trent is remaining in Odessa until 4 June and is ‘preparing the ground’ for the arrival of a Royal Navy destroyer and a frigate.

The crew are training with the Ukrainian navy and asserting the country’s ‘independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty’ amid deeply strained relations with Russia.

The UK and other Western countries do not acknowledge Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.

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