CNN obtained a photo of the incident.
A video of the near-collision also surfaced online:
Russia’s Pacific Fleet said that the U.S.S. Chancellorsville came within 50 meters of the Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov, which was forced to take emergency action to avoid a crash, Reuters reports.
Multiple Russian media reports cited a statement from the Russian Pacific Fleet that said the incident happened after Russian warships were on a course parallel to a U.S. strike group.
“The U.S guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville suddenly changed course and cut across the path of the destroyer Admiral Vinogradov coming within 50 meters of the ship,” the statement said, according to Reuters.
“A protest over the international radio frequency was made to the commanders of the American ship who were warned about the unacceptable nature of such actions,” it said.
The U.S. Navy rejected the story.
“While operating in the Philippine Sea, a Russian Destroyer ... made an unsafe maneuver against USS Chancellorsville,” U.S. Seventh Fleet spokesman Commander Clayton Doss said, according to CNN. “This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision.”
Russia’s Pacific Fleet rejected the U.S. story.3 comments on this story
Context: Russia and the United States commonly blame each other for military incidents at sea and in the air, according to BBC News. For example, the U.S. shared footage of Russia intercepting a plane over the Black Sea last November.
- Carl Schuster, a retired U.S. Navy captain and former director of operations at the U.S. Pacific Command's Joint Intelligence Center, told CNN that the incident happened far away from Russia and in international waters and that this situation is nothing new.
- "The Russians normally harass our ships when they are operating in waters the Russian consider to be within their sphere of Influence (Black Sea, Barents Sea and the waters off Validvostok," he said.