The US Navy said a Russian destroyer almost collided with one of its warships early Friday morning in the Philippine Sea and denounced the incident as "unsafe and unprofessional" according to Reuters.
"While operating in the Philippine Sea, a Russian Destroyer Udaloy IDD 572 made an unsafe maneuver against USS Chancellorsville," US Seventh Fleet spokesman Commander Clayton Doss said Friday morning.
The Navy said the incident occurred in the Philippine Sea while the Russians said it was in the East China Sea. The boundary between the two bodies of water is the Senakaku Islands, which are a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, located approximately due east of Mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island.
Subsequent to the incident, the Navy decalassified the following two stunning videos of the incident.
BREAKING: #USNavy has released video of #USSChancellorsville being forced to maneuver to avoid collision, after #Russian destroyer Udaloy I made an unsafe and unprofessional approach in the Phillippine Sea, June 7th. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/HpmAMtYraS— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) June 7, 2019
BREAKING: #USNavy has released video of #USSChancellorsville being forced to maneuver to avoid collision, after #Russian destroyer Udaloy I made an unsafe and unprofessional approach in the Phillippine Sea, June 7th. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/bM9ZHuYSUM— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) June 7, 2019
We reported last November that the Senakaku Islands could be a "flashpoint for war."
However, the Russian Navy has a different description of what happened: they said the USS Chancellorsville, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, radically changed course and came within just 50 meters of the Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov. It added in a statement that a collision was averted by emergency maneuvers.
And it's hard not to believe them when you note the couple sunbathing on the deck...
Something tells me this Russian destroyer wasn’t exactly on an attack run over there in the Philippine Sea pic.twitter.com/sYL206Kslz— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) June 7, 2019
The statement from Russia's Pacific Fleet said the "actions of the American ship are unacceptable."
The near collision comes just three days after a Russian Sukhoi Su-35 unsafely intercepted a US Navy warplane over the Mediterranean.
Tensions between Beijing and Washington have been elevated in the South China Sea. American warships using Freedom of Navigation Operations have been recently sailing within 12 nautical miles of Chinese militarized islands, which has deeply angered Beijing.
This comes at a time when the US has been lured into Thucydides's trap: the rising power (China/Russia) challenge the status quo (the US) and - at least according to the theory - has put the world on a collision course for war. One possible way the next
trade currency shooting war might start, well, it could very well be a collision of warships near the Senakaku Islands or somewhere in the South China Sea.