Russia has unleashed a large-scale war against Ukraine, and it is only the Ukrainian defense forces that are fighting back. Russia’s military bases and military facilities located in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories are a legitimate target for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

In an attempt to promote the narrative that Russia is “at war with NATO” and not with Ukraine, pro-Kremlin media outlets have disseminated yet another “investigation” into who was “really” behind the strikes on the large amphibious assault ship Novocherkassk, destroyed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the night of December 26. Russian media write that Western intelligence services, in particular those of the United Kingdom, are allegedly behind the attack on the occupiers’ ship.

The statement by British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps that Russia’s dominance in the region will be challenged, as well as the words of the Minister for the Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs James Heappey about cooperation with Kyiv in the military sphere, can be interpreted as indirect confirmation of London’s participation in the military conflict,” propaganda assures.

This refers to the elimination of Russian Black Sea Fleet facilities in the temporarily occupied Crimea by the Ukrainian defense forces. Ukraine claimed responsibility for the special operation. On the night of December 26, the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported the destruction of a large Russian landing ship Novocherkassk during an attack in occupied Crimea. Later, the Armed Forces clarified that at about 2:30 a.m. on December 26, tactical aviation of the Ukrainian Air Force attacked a Russian warship that Russia had deployed in the port of temporarily occupied Feodosia with cruise missiles. 

UK intelligence confirmed the complete destruction of the Russian warship. They noted that Russia used Novocherkassk to conduct significant landing operations before the invasion of Ukraine. Therefore, the warship of the Russian occupiers in Crimea became a legitimate target for Ukrainian strikes.

Commenting on Ukraine’s special operation to eliminate Russian warships in the occupied Crimea, British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps emphasized the success and accuracy of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in confronting the Russian army.

This latest destruction of Putin’s navy demonstrates that those who believe there’s a stalemate in the Ukraine war are wrong! They haven’t noticed that over the past 4 months 20% of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has been destroyed. Russia’s dominance in the Black Sea is now challenged and the new UK & Norway led Maritime Capability Coalition is helping to ensure Ukraine will win at sea,” Shapps commented on the Ukrainian strikes on the Russian fleet. 

This quote by Shapps was used by Russian media to spread disinformation, although the head of the UK Ministry of Defense did not make any statements about the involvement of British intelligence services in the attack on December 26, 2023. On the contrary, Shapps emphasized that it is Ukraine that systematically undermines Russia’s dominance in the Black Sea region through its successful operations. 

Regarding the new maritime initiative in support of Ukraine, which was announced on December 11, 2023, the United Kingdom and Norway declared their intention to help strengthen Ukraine’s security along the coastline and at sea. The allies are not carrying out any “anti-Russian provocations in Crimea” and are not going to do so – the operations aimed at de-occupying the Ukrainian peninsula are the responsibility of Ukraine’s defense forces alone. And the Coalition to help Ukraine aims to open trade routes and ensure free passage of civilian vessels through the Black Sea as soon as possible. Read more about the Coalition and Russian fakes on this topic in StopFake’s article Fake: Britain and Norway Are Escalating in Black Sea.

In accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter on the right to self-defense, Ukraine, in repelling Russian aggression, may use any available means to defend itself against Russian occupiers. Ukraine’s allies have also repeatedly emphasized that Ukraine is free to do everything on its sovereign land to de-occupy Ukrainian territories. 

The narrative that NATO is allegedly “at war” with Russia is one of the most widespread Russian fakes that StopFake journalists have repeatedly refuted. It is Ukraine, not the so-called “collective West”, that is confronting Russian aggression. Indeed, NATO countries unconditionally support Ukraine in the Russian war by supplying weapons and providing advisory support to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. However, NATO has repeatedly emphasized that the Alliance is not involved in the Russian war and is not going to send its troops to the territory of Ukraine. 
Read more in StopFake’s materials Fake: NATO Will Invade Russia after War in Ukraine and Fake: Czech General Staff Intend to Send Troops to Ukraine.