Putin says Russian navy can carry out ‘unpreventable strike’ if needed
The Russian navy can detect any enemy and launch an “unpreventable strike” if needed, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday, weeks after a UK warship angered Moscow by passing the Crimea peninsula.
“We are capable of detecting any underwater, above-water, airborne enemy and, if required, carry out an unpreventable strike against it,” Putin said speaking at a navy day parade in St Petersburg.
Putin’s words follow an incident in the Black Sea in June when Russia said it had fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of a British warship to chase it out of Crimea waters.
British officials sent the HMS Defender to the waters off the coast of the Russia-occupied Crimean peninsula as a show of support for Ukraine.
Russia claimed on June 23 that it fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of a British warship to chase it out of Black Sea waters off the coast of Crimea.
Britain’s Defense Ministry denied the HMS Defender had been fired upon, saying that Russia was carrying out a previously announced “gunnery exercise” in the area. Britain said it was practising freedom of navigation in Ukrainian and international waters.
In response to the incident, Moscow “warned” that it was prepared to fire on warships entering territorial waters it claims around Crimea.
A week later, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that even if Russian forces sank the British destroyer, it would not have started a new world war because the “Western powers know they could not win such a war.”
Russia had occupied Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 after sending in troops and staging a sham referendum dismissed as illegal by at least 100 countries. Moscow is also backing separatists in a war in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 13,000 people since April 2014.