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IPFS News Link • United Kingdom

British PM Boris Johnson personally ordered warship into Crimean waters...


The British government signed off on a plan to sail a battleship through disputed waters off the coast of Crimea, over the objections of its foreign policy chief, according to bombshell new claims in London's Telegraph newspaper.

In a report released on Thursday night, the outlet – known to be close to Prime Minister Boris Johnson – alleged that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had "raised concerns" about the mission, proposed by defense chiefs, in advance. He was reportedly worried that the move could hand a potential victory to Moscow.

The account of events claims that Johnson was ultimately called in to settle the dispute. The Type-45 destroyer HMS Defender was given its orders on Monday, ahead of a clash with the Russian navy and air force two days later.

Moscow says that the warship crossed into its sovereign waters, and was intercepted by vessels and jets that ordered it to turn around. Officials add that warning shots were fired before the British sailors left the area. London, however, refuses to recognize the Russian claims, insisting that Crimea and the surrounding sea is rightfully Ukrainian territory and that its mission was in accordance with international law.

Reports from journalists aboard the HMS Defender indicated that the face-off with Russian forces was anticipated, and designed to send a message to the Kremlin. According to one reporter, "increasingly hostile warnings were issued over the radio" by the coast guard, including one that cautioned, "If you don't change course, I'll fire."