Putin says US and UK were behind Black Sea ‘provocation’

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says that a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft was operating in concert with a British destroyer on June 23 when the ship sailed through the Black Sea. Putin described the move as a “provocation” to test Moscow’s response. Russia said one of its warships fired warning shots and a warplane dropped bombs in the path of Britain’s HMS Defender to force it from territorial waters near Crimea that Moscow claims as its own. Britain insisted its ship wasn’t fired upon and said it was in Ukrainian waters. The episode was the latest to raise tensions between Russia and the West since Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014. The U.S. Defense Department had no immediate comment.