Shots fired in the Black Sea

February 1, 2017

With all eyes focused upon the on-going significant and deliberate uptick in death, destruction and violence in eastern Ukraine as touched upon in the previous entry, an unusual yet perhaps predictable incident occurred in Ukrainian Black Sea waters on 1st February.

An unarmed Ukrainian Navy AN-26 aircraft flying in Ukrainian airspace over Ukrainian territorial waters, the Odessa gas field to be precise, was subjected to incoming fire from an anti-submarine ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

The incoming fire was from small arms injuring no Ukrainian crew although it caused damage to the hull of the aircraft.

No details of the small arms used, or the extent of the damage to the aircraft have been released – after all such detail is perhaps not that interesting.  All attention, if there be much attention, will be upon a RFBSF vessel firing upon a Ukrainian Navy aircraft within recognised Ukrainian territorial boundaries.

Those who desire details however, will be interested in what small arms were used and the limitations of those small arms regarding the accuracy and range (effective and maximum), then adding a degree of difficulty in hitting a moving (albeit large unarmed) target will bring about a rough guestimation of the maximum height at which the Navy AN-26 was flying to have been hit but such weaponry – even though such detail (in this case) effectively changes nothing.

Nevertheless, a most unusual (although perhaps inevitable) incident in Odessa waters, and of note with the start of the NATO exercise Sea Shield that unfolds in the Black Sea over the next 10 days.


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