A Su-24 aircraft dropped four bombs in waters near the Royal Navy destroyer H.M.S. Defender and a border patrol ship fired its gun to divert it after the British vessel entered Russia’s territorial waters off Crimea
The brits deny it, adding that the Russians appear to be conducting a gunnery exercise in the area.
Whatcha think, the firehose of falsehoods at work, or typical British understatement?
This is from David Frum wrt to this story:
The 4-step Foreign Office minuet, via “Yes Minister.”
Nothing is happening
Something is happening, but we don’t know what it is
We know what it is, but there’s nothing we can do about it
Maybe there was something we could have done, but it’s too late now.
The latest I heard on GB News was that Russia is now denying it fired on the ship.
Odd world when they claim to have fired then deny what thay claim… probably to deny their denial tomorrow?
Looks like it might be a bit of both.
Looks like McKew deleted the tweet in the OP and has written this:
This is from USNI:
From that article:
I’ve edited the title.
I’m pretty convinced the British had decided to make a point of exercising their freedom of navigation in well accepted shipping lanes. Russia acted as Russia does, without subtlety, and sends out a vast force to try to bully the Brits who serenely sail on (closed up at action stations) most certainly under the strictest orders not to start anything, but ready for anything.
The similarity will be repeated in the South China Sea with the deployment of the RN’s largest ship, HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH specifically to exercise such freedom of navigation rights. The Chinese will react similarly over the top.
A bit more depth in this BBC report.
Seems it was almost entirely a Russian disinformation campaign designed to create headlines like this at this site:
Later rolled back a bit with a British denial:
The disinformation campaign included AIS spoofing to show the British ships within 2 miles from a Russian Naval base. Article is here:
From McKew’s article.
The voyage of Defender is an expression of strength from a NATO ally in advance of Sea Breeze: Russia doesn’t set the terms at will in the Black Sea.
This is totally unacceptable to the Russian narrative. So they preempted it and turned it 180.
By putting out the statement of what seems like a serious, surprising military encounter — claiming to have performed a kinetic action that would be widely denounced as inflammatory and escalatory— the Kremlin made the narrative one of Russian aggression deterring NATO half-measures. They set the narrative, and then conducted just enough kinetic operations to push it to the top of the doomscroll.