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Scoop of the day: Russia buzzes UK warship near Crimea; Ukraine goes to Euro-2020 knockout phase

Scoop of the day: Russia buzzes UK warship near Crimea; Ukraine goes to Euro-2020 knockout phase

Euro 2020

The Ukraine national team has for the first time in its history edged into 1/8 of the European Football Championship after it ended up among the top four teams which finished third in their groups.

UK-Russia confrontation near Crimea

The Russian Defence Ministry said a patrol ship fired warning shots and a jet dropped bombs in the path of HMS Defender as it sailed some 12 miles (19km) off Crimea's coast on its way to Georgia.

However, the UK government rejected Russia's account of the incident and denied that any warning shots had been fired.

BBC correspondent Jonathan Beale, who was on the warship, said it was harassed by Russia's military.

"Two Russian coastguard ships that were shadowing the Royal Navy warship, tried to force it to alter its course. At one stage, one of the Russian vessels closed in to about 100m," he said in his account of the incident published on the BBC website. "Increasingly hostile warnings were issued over the radio - including one that said "if you don't change course I'll fire". We did hear some firing in the distance but they were believed to be well out of range."

Ukraine's reaction to the incident

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was quick to condemn Russia's aggressive actions.

"A clear proof of Ukraine’s position: Russia’s aggressive and provocative actions in the Black and Azov seas, its occupation & militarization of Crimea pose a lasting threat to Ukraine and allies. We need a new quality of cooperation between Ukraine & NATO allies in the Black Sea," he tweeted.

Coronavirus

The first two cases of the Indian variant of the coronavirus were registered in Ukraine, the Health Ministry has confirmed. Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers has changed entry rules for foreigners arriving in Ukraine. As of 25 June, citizens arriving from India, the UK, Russia, Portugal or those who have spent there at least seven days will not be able to enter Ukraine without producing a negative express test made directly at a checkpoint.

On the morning of 23 June, Ukraine reported 419 new Covid-19 cases and 70 fatalities.

Georgia

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky met his Georgian counterpart Salome Zourabichvili in Kyiv for negotiations.

"Political dialogue between Kyiv and Tbilisi is gaining momentum. Our common task is to fill the format of the strategic partnership between Ukraine and Georgia with real content and concrete projects based on mutual support and a high level of trust between us," Zelensky said.

According to Zourabichvili, the common goals of Ukraine and Georgia are the de-occupation of territories, the Euro-Atlantic path and the growth of cooperation.

Sea Breeze 2021

Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Ruslan Khomchak said this year's Sea Breeze international military exercises, which Ukraine will be co-hosting together with the USA on 28 June-10 July, will be the largest in scale. Ukraine will be represented by 24 ships and boats, 17 planes, dozens of military hardware items. A total of 31 countries will take part in the exercises.

Mriya

The An-225 Mriya, a strategic airlift cargo aircraft designed by the Antonov Design Bureau, has resumed commercial operation after 10-month maintenance, Ukroboronprom has reported.

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