VLADIMIR Putin warned the UK would never win a war against Russia days after forces clashed in the Black Sea.
Responding to last week’s incident involving Britain’s HMS Defender near Sevastopol, the Russian leader said anyone provoking his country “know full well that they can’t win in that war”.
“We are on our land. We’re fighting for ourselves and our future,” hy het gesê.
This is Putin’s starkest warning yet to Western government after the HMS Defender came under warning shots from a Russian jets off the coast of Crimea.
Moscow said one of its warships fired warning shots and a warplane dropped bombs in the path of British destroyer Defender on Wednesday to force her out of an area near the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.
Britain denied that account, insisting its ship wasn’t fired upon and said it was sailing in Ukrainian waters.
Putin said a US spy plane operated in sync with the British destroyer during last weeks Black Sea encounter.
Speaking Wednesday during a marathon live call-in show, Putin said the jet was monitoring the Russian military response to the British destroyer.
He added that Moscow was aware of the US intentions and responded accordingly to avoid revealing sensitive data.
Putin went on to say his forces could sink a British warship and get away with it because Western powers knew they wouldn’t win a global conflict.
He also called Ukrainians and Russians “one people” in response to Moscow’s tug-of-war with Kyiv over its eastern territories.
The Russian leader also spent time persuading countrymen to get vaccinated against Covid-19, revealing he too received a Sputnik jab.
“Thank goodness we don’t have the same tragic situation post-vac as we’ve seen after AZ or Pfizer,” hy het gesê.
Russia has struggled to cope with a new surge of infections and deaths.
Daily Covid deaths hit a new daily record on Wednesday, with authorities reporting 669 new deaths.
The country has been registering 20,000 new coronavirus cases and around 600 deaths every day since last Thursday. On Wedneday alone it recorded 21,042 nuwe gevalle.
Die Verenigde Koninkryk, like most of the world, recognises Crimea as part of Ukraine despite the peninsula’s annexation by Russia.
Russia denounced the Defenders move as a provocation and warned that next time it could fire to hit intruding warships if they again try to test Russian military resolve.
This comes as Russian jets harassed a Dutch frigate after it sailed through international waters near the Ukrainian coast.
Fighters armed with air-to-surface missile swooped over the HNLMS Eversten in an incident that lasted five hours last Thursday, the Dutch defence ministry said.
The warship also had its onboard electronic systems jammed.
Dutch defense minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten said the “aggressive act” would “needlessly increase the change of accidents”.
Tensions between the West and Russia have increased over the past few months.
Op Junie 19, a Russian fleet sunk a destroyer and ventured within 35 miles of Hawaii during the biggest war games since the end of the Cold War.
Russia’s defence ministry said the drills took place some 300 miles off the coast of Hawaii, however unconfirmed satellite images appear to show them blowing up an aircraft carrier 35 nautical miles away from the US state.
Moscow also launched a highly-secretive new nuke and tested military jets carrying hypersonic missiles as NATO nations begin war games in the Black Sea.
The mystery ballistic missile took off from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the vast country’s northwest, the TASS news agency reported earlier this morning.
It cited an unnamed defence source from within the Kremlin who claimed the top secret operation took place sometime mid-June.
Reports say the ICBM – named Kedr – was developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology (MITT) and comes in both mobile and silo-based variants.
Mobile systems enjoy several advantages as they are harder to locate, spoor, target and destroy.
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MITT – which is a part of the state space corporation Roscosmos – has already developed Russia’s feared Topol, Topol-M, Yars and Bulava ICBMs.
The Kedr system is tipped to replace the Yars nuke and is said to be the latest milestone in the Kremlin’s hopes for a modernised missile arsenal.
Today’s launch announcement came as military tensions in the Black Sea reached boiling point after Moscow vowed to sink British warships if they sail too close to Crimea.