On the edge of war: headlines
British destroyer violates Russia’s border in Black Sea, Russian ship & fighter jet respond with warning shots – Defense Ministry
According to Russia’s Ministry of Defense, the British naval ship entered the country’s territorial waters at 11:52am local time and traveled 3km inside the frontier, near Cape Fiolent, in Crimea. The peninsula is not recognized by the United Kingdom as Russian land and London believes it to be illegally occupied Ukrainian territory.
“At 12:06 and 12:08, a border patrol ship fired warning shots,” the Defense Ministry said. “(And) at 12:19, a Su-24m aircraft performed a warning bombing (4 OFAB-250) ahead of the course of the USS Defender.”
Four minutes later, at 12:23, the destroyer left Russian territory.
Russia demands US scrap ‘aggressive’ Black Sea naval war-games, warning drills fuel tensions & increase risk of deadly incidentsShortly before the Defense Ministry publicised the incident, Russia’s top army chief Valery Gerasimov told a Moscow security conference that NATO naval activity near the Russia’s borders had “significantly increased”.
“Ships equipped with high-precision long-range missile weapons operate almost on a permanent basis in the Black and Baltic Seas,” he said, calling the actions “clearly provocative.”
Russian Senator Sergei Tsekov, in comments to RIA Novosti, decried the warship’s movements as a “flagrant violation of international norms,” noting that the actions could “provoke a serious conflict.”
The HMS Defender is an air-defence destroyer, launched in 2009. Designed primarily for anti-aircraft and anti-missile warfare, it is currently conducting missions in the Black Sea. Before the recent incident, the ship was docked in the Ukrainian port of Odessa, where it played host to a signing ceremony, attended by British Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin and Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Alexander Mironyuk. London and Kiev agreed a deal for the UK to supply warships to Ukraine, and with the British also pledging to help the country construct Black Sea naval bases.
Following the incident, Britain’s Ministry of Defence denied that any warning shots were fired at the HMS Defender, claiming that the vessel is conducting “innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law,” and the Russian shots were part of a pre-planned gunnery exercise.
“No shots were directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognise the claim that bombs were dropped in her path,” the statement said.
BBC journalist on British ship HMS Defender says vessel made ‘deliberate’ move in passing through Russian waters ‘to make a point’
The state broadcaster’s defense correspondent, Jonathan Beale, also noted that the ship’s crew heard shots, but they were believed to be “out of range.”
In an audio report, Beale revealed that the ship purposely moved into the waters near Crimea, within 12 miles (19km) of the coast, through what the British called a “recognised international shipping lane.” The transit through Russian waters took over an hour, the correspondent said.
“[The Russian Coast Guard] have warned the ship not to go into Crimean territorial waters, claiming that they are Russian waters,” Beale said, noting that Britain does not recognise the peninsula as Russian, but Ukrainian.
“This would be a deliberate move to make a point to Russia,” Beale said.
According to the journalist, “increasingly hostile warnings were issued over the radio” by the coast guard, including one that said, “If you don’t change course, I’ll fire.”
As the HMS Defender left Russian waters, it was followed by two coast guard ships and around 20 planes, Beale said.
Earlier in the day, Russia’s Ministry of Defense claimed that the country’s navy fired warning shots at the at the British naval ship as it ignored warnings from the coast guard.
“At 12:06 and 12:08, a border patrol ship fired warning shots,” the Russian defense ministry said. “(And) at 12:19, a Su-24m aircraft performed a warning bombing (4 OFAB-250) ahead of the course of the USS Defender.”
The British maneuver was later blasted by the defense ministry as a “blatant violation of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.”
Moscow’s view of the incident was soon contradicted by London, which instead claimed that “no warning shots have been fired at HMS Defender,” and the ship was simply “conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law.”
This would appear to directly contradict Beale’s statement that the Royal Navy opted to make a “deliberate move to make a point to Russia.”
Ukraine And UK To Build Warships, Establish Naval Bases Together
Ukraine and Great Britain have agreed on the joint construction of warships and bases for the domestic Navy, the press service of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine announced.
On June 21 in Odesa aboard the HMS DEFENDER missile destroyer of the Royal Navy, Defence Procurement Minister of Great Britain Jeremy Quin and Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Oleksandr Myroniuk signed “a memorandum on maritime partnership projects between the UK industry consortium and the Ukrainian Navy,” the ministry said.
In particular, the memorandum provides for the joint design and construction of warships in Ukraine and Great Britain, the reconstruction of Ukrainian shipbuilding enterprises and the construction of two bases of the Ukrainian Naval Forces.
The signing ceremony took place aboard one of the most modern ships of the Royal Navy, HMS Defender, and was witnessed by the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov, the First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin and the British Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons.
They also observed joint training activity of Ukrainian, UK and US Special forces.
HMS Defender arrived in Odesa on Friday. This magnificent warship is the second Royal Navy ship to visit Odesa in the last couple of weeks after HMS TRENT.
Joint naval projects and regular warships visits are important examples of the close ties between the UK and Ukraine, as partners and friendly nations.
The HMS DEFENDER destroyer arrived in Odesa last Friday, June 18. This is the second Royal Navy warship to visit Odesa in the last few weeks, after HMS TRENT.
“This is another step in the development of bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and the UK, which is aimed at strengthening the Ukrainian fleet as it continues to face danger in the Black and Azov seas,” the Ukrainian defense ministry said.
The UK will help Ukraine revive its shipbuilding industry, the Ukrainian defense ministry said. The two countries will design and build warships in Ukraine and in the UK and set up two bases for the Ukrainian navy.
Russia ‘sinks AIRCRAFT CARRIER’ near Hawaii as US Navy strike group heads to region and fighter jets on standby
US forces are on high alert after Russian destroyers and fighter jets ventured within 35 miles of Hawaii in Moscow’s biggest war games since the end of the Cold War.
Around 20 Russian warships, submarines, support vessels and 20 fighter jets took part in the military exercise.
Russia’s defence ministry said the drills took place some 300 miles off the coast of Hawaii, however unconfirmed satellite images from June 19 appear to show them blowing up an aircraft carrier 35 nautical miles away from the US state.
This is the second time in a month the US has scrambled F-22 fighter jets over Hawaii in response to Russian military activities in the Pacific.
In both instances, the aircraft never entered the U.S. Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
On June 17, the Navy confirmed that USS Carl Vinson and USS Dewey along with strike forces were deployed near Hawaii to participate in “integrated ops with the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, training to a variety of missions, from long range strikes to anti-submarine warfare”.
Moscow has released a video of the its latest show of force in the Pacific.
The clips shows an unnamed Russian Navy submarine and a pair of Tu-142MZ Bear-F Mod, 4 long-range anti-submarine aircraft operating from Yelizovo Air Base on the Kamchatka peninsula, which were escorted by MiG-31BM Foxhound interceptors, The Drive reported.
It also showcased planes taking off and refueling in mid air.
The two units “worked out the tasks of detecting, countering and delivering missile strikes against an aircraft carrier strike group of a mock enemy,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said.
The fleet practised anti-shipping strikes and drilled for anti-aircraft and anti-submarine missions, the ministry added.
The Pentagon is keeping a close eye on the manoeuvres.
“U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is monitoring the Russian vessels operating in international waters in the Western Pacific,” U.S. Indo-Pacific Command spokesman Captain Mike Kafka told CBS News.
“We operate in accordance with international law of the sea and in the air to ensure that all nations can do the same without fear or contest and in order to secure a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
“As Russia operates within the region, it is expected to do so in accordance with international law,” he added.
During the drills, Russian Navy Tu-142 aircraft spent more than 14 hours in the air, covering around 6,200 miles.
They were overseen by a Russian Aerospace Forces Il-78 Midas aerial refueling aircraft.
Former chief of the General Staff of the Russian Navy, Admiral Viktor Kravchenko, said “no comparable” exercises involving Russian military has taken place since 1991.
Earlier this month, US forces dispatched a number USAF F-22s to meet Russian jets in a military exercise not far off Hawaii.
It comes after Russia released footage of its “Dagger” rocket and air defense missile system being unleashed from a nuclear-powered missile cruiser in the Barents Sea.
Putin has this year ordered a succession of military exercises across Russia’s eleven time zones amid the highest tension between East and West since the collapse of the Soviet Union three decades ago.
The Russian military is also set to stage a new test of its deadly new Zircon hypersonic missiles.
The Zircon – or Tsirkon – is a 6,100mph “unstoppable” cruise missile that is on track to be used by the Russian military next year.
This comes less than a week after US President Joe Biden met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva for crunch talks.
Putin and Biden discussed recent cyber attacks carried out on US soil by Russia-based hackers, Russian saber-rattling on the Ukrainian border, the imprisonment of Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny, and Putin’s support for Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko.
China Denounces US Navy Warship Transiting Taiwan Strait
China called the U.S. Navy’s latest sail of a warship through the Taiwan Strait the region’s most significant security “risk creator.” The narrow waterway that separates Taiwan from China is a highly contested region.
The U.S. Pacific Fleet said Tuesday the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur “conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit June 22 (local time) through international waters in accordance with international law.”
“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs added.
However, the warship’s transit was not well received by China. The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command said it closely monitored the vessel as it sailed through the strait.
“The U.S. side is intentionally playing the same old tricks and creating trouble and disrupting things in the Taiwan Strait,” said PLA Eastern Theater Command. This “fully shows that the United States is the greatest creator of risks for regional security, and we are resolutely opposed to this.”
China and US seconds from triggering WW3 in South China Sea jet clash – ‘Ready to fight!’
CHINA and the US were moments away from triggering a major military incident in the South China Sea, according to a report on China Central Television (CCTV).
Tensions between the two superpowers have been steadily rising over the past few years, as China seeks to consolidate its control and hegemony over the disputed waters. The US has beefed up its military presence and activities in the region, in an attempt to counter Beijing’s increasingly aggressive posturing. This has involved both more frequent freedom of navigation patrols, along with aerial reconnaissance missions.
Last May, a squadron of SU-30 fighter jets led by ace pilot Lu Geng scrambled to intercept foreign military aircraft that were approaching Chinese airspace.
In radio communications aired in the CCTV report, pilot Lu can be heard issuing stern warnings to the foreign pilots in both English and Chinese.
“This is the PLA Air Force,” he barked.
“You are about to enter Chinese airspace. Leave immediately!”
When the foreign jets refused to turn back, the Chinese pilots began to simulate attack manoeuvres in a bid to intimidate their adversaries.
As the stakes were raised, the foreign pilots wisely decided to deescalate the situation by retreating to safety.
Pilot Lu later told CCTV that he would not have hesitated to shoot the intruders down if the situation had demanded it.
He said: “If [they] had started the fight, I would fight.
“Pilots are ready all the time, and there was nothing to hesitate about.”
Although the CCTV report did not identify the nationality of the intruding planes, experts said that they were most likely American.
According to monitoring carried out by the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI), the US airforce sent at least 35 spy planes to the region last May.
Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times on Sunday that Washington has increased its efforts recently to gather intelligence on the People’s Liberation Army.
He claimed that the US has been sending electronic reconnaissance aircraft and anti-submarine aircraft for close-in reconnaissance operations.
Last week, the US said it needed a “combat-credible” presence in the South China Sea to deter Chinese aggression.
Ely Ratner, the nomineee for US assistant sSecretary of Defence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee last Wednesday that “a combat-credible forward posture” of forces was required to “deter, and if necessary, deny a fait accompli scenario”.
There’s wasn’t an earthquake off Florida’s east coast on Friday, but the United States Geological Survey measured something that hit 3.9 on the Richter scale. Turns out it was the Navy setting off explosions next to its new aircraft carrier.
The USS Gerald R. Ford was parked about 100 miles east-northeast from Ponce Inlet when the boom from a 40,000 pound explosive shook the cameras filming the event, the first of several planned Full Ship Shock Trials took place.
It’s a new aircraft carrier that’s going through the final steps needed before the Navy can sign off on it to be deployed.
“The first-in-class aircraft carrier was designed using advanced computer modeling methods, testing, and analysis to ensure the ship is hardened to withstand battle conditions, and these shock trials provide data used in validating the shock hardness of the ship,” reads a release from the Navy about the trials.
U.S. Air Force Base Says Drag Queen Show Was “Essential For Morale”
Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,
A U.S. Air Force base responded to controversy about a drag queen show hosted by the base by saying the performance was “essential to the morale, cohesion, and readiness of the military.”
Nellis AFB staged its first ever drag queen show on June 17th called ‘Drag-u-Nellis’ – which it said was important in teaching military personnel the “significance of Drag in the LGBT+ Community.”
After some veterans raised concerns about why such an event was being hosted, Nellis hit back with a statement defending the show.
“The event was sponsored by a private organization and provided an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the history and significance of drag performance art within the LGBT+ community,” said the statement, adding that
“Ensuring our ranks reflect and are inclusive of the American people is essential to the morale, cohesion, and readiness of the military. Nellis Air Force Base is committed to providing and championing an environment that is characterized by equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion.”