Russia has accused Britain of being “involved” in an attempted drone strike in Crimea.
The Russian Defense Ministry said “experts” from the UK helped “train” and “supervise” the failed attack in Ukraine.
“The Kyiv regime carried out terrorist attacks on Black Sea Fleet ships and civilian vessels on the roads inside and outside the Sevastopol base. The attack involved nine drones and seven autonomous maritime drones,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement Say.
“The preparations for this terrorist operation and the training of military personnel of the 73rd Marine Corps Special Operations Centre were carried out under the supervision of British experts,” it said.
Britain has yet to respond to the allegations.
Russia also claims that representatives of the British navy were involved in planning and organizing the September 26 attack in the Baltic Sea that blew up the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.
Sevastopol, in Moscow’s annexed Crimea, has been targeted several times in recent months as the headquarters of the fleet and a logistical hub for operations in Ukraine.
Russian forces claimed to have “destroyed” nine aerial drones and seven maritime drones in an attack at the port early Saturday.
Moscow’s military said ships targeting its Crimea base were involved in a UN-brokered deal to allow Ukrainian grain exports.
Russia has recently criticized the deal, saying its own grain exports have been affected by Western sanctions.
Ukraine says Russia is making excuses to harm the food corridor.
“We have already warned Russia of plans to undermine the Black Sea Grains Initiative. Now Moscow is using false pretenses to block the food corridors that ensure food security for millions of people. I call on all countries to demand that Russia stop its Hunger Games and recommit to its obligations,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dessert Mitro Kuleba tweeted.
We have already warned that Russia plans to undermine the Black Sea Grains Initiative. Now, under false pretenses, Moscow has blocked the food corridors that ensure food security for millions of people. I call on all countries to demand that Russia stop its Hunger Games and resume its obligations.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) October 29, 2022
Russia later today suspended its participation in a landmark deal allowing vital food exports from Ukraine, blaming drone strikes in Crimea.
Mikhail Razvozaev, the Moscow-appointed governor of Sevastopol, said Saturday’s drone strike was the “largest” attack the peninsula had ever seen, AFP news agency reported.
Attacks in Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, have increased in recent weeks as Kyiv launched a counteroffensive in the south to retake the land that Moscow has held for months.
Moscow authorities in Kherson, in northern Crimea, have vowed to turn the city into a fortress in preparation for an inevitable attack.
In early October, Moscow’s bridge linking Crimea and mainland Russia — unveiled by President Vladimir Putin himself in 2018 — was damaged by an explosion that Putin blamed Ukraine for.
In August, the Russian fleet stationed in the port was also attacked by drones.
Input from AFP