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Flashpoint on the high-seas as Russia ‘threatens to ram’ US Navy destroyer John McCain

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Flashpoint on the high-seas as Russia ‘threatens to ram’ US Navy destroyer John McCain for ‘trespassing’ into its territorial waters in the Sea of Japan

  • Russian naval commanders claimed the American destroyer had ‘trespassed’
  • The Admiral Vinogradov threatened to ram the US warship to force it to leave
  • Russians have warned other incidents could lead to full-scale conflicts

By Will Stewart for MailOnline

Published: | Updated:

This is the dramatic moment a Russian warship threatened to ram the US Navy’s destroyer John S McCain.

The footage, taken from the anti submarine vessel Admiral Vinogradov, came during a high-tension flashpoint in the Sea of Japan.

It triggered warnings in Russia that such incidents could lead to full-scale conflict between the two Cold War superpowers.

A Russian warship threatened to ram the US Navy’s destroyer John S McCain in the Sea of Japan

Russian naval commanders claimed the American destroyer ‘trespassed’ two kilometres, one and a quarter miles, in a ‘brazen’ incursion inside its territorial waters.

The Russian Defence Ministry said the Admiral Vinogradov warned the US warship of the ‘unacceptability’ of its position, a claim strongly rejected by the American navy.

The Russians threatened a ‘ramming manoeuvre to force the trespasser to leave territorial waters’.

The footage was taken from the anti submarine vessel Admiral Vinogradov, came during a high-tension flashpoint

Russian naval commanders claimed the American destroyer ‘trespassed’ one and a quarter miles

The Admiral Vinogradov then turned towards the John S McCain, according to the Russian account.

‘The US ship immediately left for neutral waters,’ said the ministry.

The destroyer ‘did not attempt to re-enter (Russian territorial waters).’

The video was shot from the Russian vessel and shows the USS John C McCain.

America denied that its vessel had entered Russian waters in Peter the Great Bay, which includes the country’s Pacific capital Vladivostok and stretches to the country’s frontier with North Korea.

The Russian Defence Ministry said the Admiral Vinogradov (pictured) warned the US warship of the ‘unacceptability’ of its position

The US 7th Fleet, based in Japan, said in a statement that its warship had ‘asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Japan.

‘This freedom of navigation operation) upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognised in international law by challenging Russia’s excessive maritime claims.’

But the former chief of staff of the Russian Navy, Retired Adm. Viktor Kravchenko warned: ‘The Americans have become absolutely brazen.

The former chief of staff of the Russian Navy, Retired Adm. Viktor Kravchenko warned the Americans have become ‘brazen’

‘I think the actions of the Russian crew were correct and adequate in the situation.

‘The reaction in such cases should be tough. This is a disgrace.’

He said: ‘This is an obvious violation. Apparently, the U.S. destroyer was conducting reconnaissance. When a foreign ship enters our territorial waters, all our radars are activated.’

Military scientist Dr Konstantin Sivkov warned of an armed conflict between the US and Russia.

The US had committed ‘an act of military aggression’ and the destroyer should have been ‘arrested’, he claimed.

Military scientist Dr Konstantin Sivkov (pictured) warned of an armed conflict between the US and Russia

In future, Russia should take more decisive measures to prevent this, up to the destruction of the intruding ship, he told 360TV.

The US claimed it had ‘demonstrated that these waters are not Russia’s territorial sea’.

The American government ‘does not acquiesce to Russia’s claim that Peter the Great is an ‘historic bay’ under international law’, as claimed by the USSR in 1984.

The statement went on: ‘All of our operations are designed to be conducted in accordance with international law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows – regardless of the location of excessive maritime claims and regardless of current events.’

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