A British warship became embroiled in a confrontation with Russian forces off the coast of the disputed territory of Crimea on Wednesday.
Russia says one of its warplanes dropped bombs and a patrol boat fired warning shots to turn back a British destroyer it claims entered into its territorial waters in the Black Sea.
The UK Defense Ministry denied Moscow’s accusation, saying that the vessel, HMS Defender, was making a legal and innocent passage.
A BBC reporter on the ship said he witnessed Russian warplanes and naval vessels buzzing the destroyer.
Russia said the ship went three kilometers (1.9 miles) inside Russian territory off Cape Fiolent in Crimea just before noon local time on Wednesday. A nation’s territorial waters extend 12 nautical miles (22.2 kilometers) from its coastline. Any foreign warship going past that limit would need permission of the country to do so with a few exceptions.
Shortly after the British ship crossed the territorial boundary, an Su-24M attack jet dropped bombs and a coastal patrol ship fired warning shots in front of the British destroyer, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a report from Russian state media TASS.
British officials pushed back on the Russian allegations.