EU permanent representatives agreed on sectoral sanctions against Belarus

Permanent representatives of the EU countries have agreed on sectoral sanctions against Belarus. They can be accepted this week

 EU permanent representatives agreed on sectoral sanctions against Belarus

The Committee of Permanent Representatives of the European Union has agreed on a package of sectoral sanctions against Belarus, sources told TASS and RIA Novosti. The information was also confirmed by a source of RBC.

It is expected that the sanctions list will be published in the official journal of the EU after the final approval by the EU leaders at the summit in Brussels, which will be held on June 24 & ndash;25.

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On June 21, the package of sectoral sanctions against Belarus was agreed by the foreign ministers of the EU countries. According to the head of the Luxembourg Foreign Ministry, Jean Asselborn, the restrictions will also affect the export of potash and petrochemical products to the European Union, as well as the financial sector of Belarus, writes DPA.

Earlier this week, the European Union imposed new sanctions against Belarus. 78 people fell under the restrictions, including the son of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Dmitry, the daughter-in-law of the Belarusian leader (Lilia Lukashenko, the wife of the eldest son of President Viktor), the head of the Ministry of Transport of Belarus Alexey Avramenko and the director of the aviation Department Artem Sikorsky, Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin, as well as Russian businessman Mikhail Gutseriev.

The EU has also imposed sanctions against eight organizations. Among them are the automakers MAZ and BelAZ, the New Oil Company and Belaeronavigation. Following the EU, the United States, Great Britain and Canada also imposed sanctions against a number of Belarusian citizens and organizations. Belarus has promised that Western sanctions will not remain unanswered.

The European Union has imposed new sanctions against Belarus “in connection with the escalation of serious human rights violations in Belarus and the violent suppression of civil society, the democratic opposition and journalists”. Among other things, we are talking about the suppression of protests in the republic, which began after the presidential elections. Most Western countries did not recognize the victory of Alexander Lukashenko and condemned the violence during the dispersal of demonstrators. The President of Belarus himself called the elections legitimate. In his opinion, the protests in the country are led from abroad.

In addition, the EU considers the landing of a Ryanair passenger plane in Minsk on May 23 to be “forced and illegal”. The airliner was en route from Athens to Vilnius, but after the bomb was reported, it landed urgently in Belarus. The information about mining was not confirmed. While the plane was in Minsk, two passengers were removed from it-Roman Protasevich, the former editor-in-chief of the opposition Telegram channel Nexta, and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega. They were later arrested.

In turn, the Belarusian authorities insist that the crew of the Ryanair plane independently decided to urgently land in Minsk in accordance with international aviation safety rules. According to the President of the Republic Alexander Lukashenko, Western countries are using the incident with the Ryanair liner to “rock the situation to the level of August last year”, when protests began in Belarus after the presidential elections.

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Aksenov called Crimea an “impregnable fortress” after the incident with the destroyer

The Russian military, who opened a warning fire on the course of the destroyer Defender, made it clear that “Crimea is a fortress, and the borders of Russia are locked,” Aksenov said. The British Ministry of Defense denied firing towards the ship

 Aksenov called the Crimea

Sergey Aksenov

The head of the Crimea, Sergey Aksenov, called the incident with the British destroyer Defender in the Black Sea a provocation and said that “Russia should not be tested for strength”. He wrote about this on his page in the social network in “VKontakte”.

According to Aksenov, the Russian military “promptly and effectively” responded to the incident.

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“They fired warning shots, made it clear that Crimea is a fortress, and the borders of Russia are locked,” he said.

For those who “had the stupidity to try Russia for strength”, “it always ended badly”, the head of the republic added.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, on June 23, the British destroyer Defender sailed 3 km beyond the Russian border in the Black Sea near Cape Fiolent in the Crimea. According to the ministry, after Defender did not respond to preliminary warnings about the violation of the state border, the Russian patrol ship opened warning fire on the course of the destroyer, and the Su-24M aircraft dropped four high-explosive fragmentation bombs in front of it. After that, the Defender left the Russian territorial waters.

The Russian Defense Ministry demanded that Britain investigate the incident and summoned the British military attache. In turn, the British Defense Ministry said that there were no warning shots in the direction of the destroyer and no bombs were dropped in front of it. The ministry suggested that it was a training shooting of the Russian military, and added that the ship was making a peaceful “routine” crossing through the territorial waters of Ukraine.

Later, the BBC correspondent Jonathan Beale, who was on board the Defender ship, reported that the Defender was deliberately going to go 19 km deep into the territorial waters of the Crimea. “The captain insisted that this was the only possible safe passage in the area,” the journalist said. According to him, the ship’s crew was alerted, and the weapons were put on alert.

After the journalist’s report, the Russian Foreign Ministry called the reports of the British Ministry of Defense about the incident a lie. “Who is lying: the British Ministry of Defense, a British journalist of the BBC TV channel or the British embassy in Moscow? The answer is there. This time & mdash; the British Ministry of Defense and the British Embassy. Well, it’s not all right for the British special services to substitute the BBC, ” said the official representative of the department, Maria Zakharova.

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A BBC journalist announced the Defender’s deliberate entry into Russian waters

According to a reporter on board, the captain of the British destroyer claimed that this was the safest way. The ship’s crew was alerted, and the weapons were put on alert, he claims

 A BBC journalist announced the Defender's deliberate entry into Russian waters

Destroyer HMS Defender

The BBC correspondent Jonathan Beale, who was on board the Defender ship, reported details of the incident with the British destroyer off the coast of Crimea.

The material of the Bill claims that when the British warship approached the territorial waters of the Crimea, its crew was alerted, and the weapons were put on alert. “Defender was deliberately going to go deeper into the 12-mile zone of the territorial waters of the Crimea. The captain insisted that this is the only possible safe passage in the area, ” the BBC journalist quotes.

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He claims that two Russian coast guard ships tried to block the path of the British destroyer, one of which approached the Defender at a distance of 100m. Beale says that the destroyer received “increasingly threatening warnings”, one of which spoke about the possible opening of fire if the Defender did not change course. “We heard some shots in the distance, but we thought they were out of reach,” Beal said.

According to the journalist, the destroyer was accompanied by about 20 Russian military aircraft.

As previously reported in the Russian Defense Ministry, on June 23, a British destroyer violated the Russian border in the Black Sea near Cape Fiolent in the Crimea and did not respond to preliminary warnings, then a Russian patrol ship was forced to open a warning fire, and a Su-24M bomber dropped four high-explosive fragmentation bombs in front of the intruder ship. After that, Defender left the Russian territorial waters.

The British military department claims that there were no warning shots in the direction of the destroyer and no bombs were dropped in front of it. They suggested that it was a training shooting of the Russian military. The ministry said that the ship was making a peaceful passage through the territorial waters of Ukraine.

The destroyer Defender entered the Black Sea on June 14 together with the Dutch air defense frigate Evertsen, after which the Black Sea Fleet began tracking their actions. Before reaching the coast of Crimea, Defender visited the port of Odessa.

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The FT learned about the EU’s plans to hold the first summit with Russia in seven years

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a proposal to resume meetings with the Russian president. Russia — EU summits have not been held since January 2014

 FT learned about the EU's plans to hold the first summit with Russia in seven years

Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has offered to arrange a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with the leaders of the European Union, the Financial Times newspaper reports, citing diplomatic sources. According to the publication, this initiative was supported by French President Emmanuel Macron.

According to the FT’s interlocutors, the German and French ambassadors have already started discussing a possible Russia-EU summit with representatives of other European countries. We are talking about the preparation of new proposals that could somehow change relations with Moscow.

According to Berlin, Putin’s meeting with American President Joe Biden in Geneva is a good reason to revive relations with Russia. At the same time, France and Germany insist that the EU has common points of contact with Moscow. Among them are the climate, the situation in the Arctic region, cross-border cooperation, healthcare, space exploration, the fight against terrorism, relations with Syria and Iran.

FT at the same time noted the fact that on the eve of Merkel called Putin in connection with the 80th anniversary of the attack of Nazi Germany on the USSR. “Angela Merkel expressed a sense of empathy in connection with the incalculable troubles and suffering that the war unleashed by the Nazi regime brought. Both sides stressed the importance of preserving the historical memory of the tragic events of those years, ” the Kremlin commented on this call.

According to the British edition, the Franco-German initiative was a surprise for a number of EU countries. According to one of the diplomats, some members of the Union directly indicated that it was not worth doing so. Another FT source said that the European Union is now analyzing Merkel’s proposal.

Russia— EU summits have been held regularly since 1995, either in various Russian cities or in Europe. They discussed issues of respect for human rights in Russia, Moscow’s interference in the affairs of the former Soviet republics, infringement of the rights of the Russian-speaking population in the Baltic countries, the possible introduction of a mutual visa-free regime for tourist trips. The last such summit was held in January 2014 in Brussels. With the annexation of Crimea to Russia and the introduction of sanctions, bilateral summits were frozen.

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The court justified the ban of the FBK with Nazi symbols and hatred of the security officer

Mthe osgorsud, according to documents published on June 23, considered Navalny’s organizations extremist for discrediting the authorities, calling for uncoordinated actions and reposting them by supporters of Nazi symbols and Rammstein clips

 The court justified the ban of the FBK with Nazi symbols and hatred of the security forces

Alexey Navalny

The judge of the Moscow City Court, Vyacheslav Polyga, explained the decision to recognize Alexey Navalny’s organizations as extremist and ban them by saying that their members incited hatred and hostility towards government officials, called for uncoordinated rallies, and also used Nazi symbols and paraphernalia. This is stated in the reasoning part of the decision of the Moscow City Court in the relevant case; its full text was published on June 23 by the association “Team 29”, which represented the interests of Navalny’s organizations in the process.

On June 9, the Moscow City Court, at the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office, banned the activities of the Anti-Corruption Fund, its legal entity, the Foundation for the Protection of Citizens ‘Rights (both organizations are recognized as foreign agents) and the public movement “Navalny’s Headquarters”.

Hatred of the security forces and uncoordinated actions

As stated in the motivational part of the decision of the Moscow City Court, the websites of the FBK, the Foundation for the Protection of Citizens ‘ Rights and Navalny’s headquarters, created for the purpose of promoting extremist activities, have repeatedly posted information of an extremist nature. This includes the video “Let’s remember the crooks and thieves their manifesto-2002”, which the Novosibirsk court recognized in 2013extremist material. This video from 2011 quoted the election promises of “United Russia” nine years ago. Subsequently, according to the Sova Center (recognized by the Ministry of Justice as a foreign agent), at least sixty people were fined for publishing this video, including from Yoshkar-Ola, the Voronezh Region, Vologda, Omsk, Tyumen, Mordovia and other regions.

Another argument of the court is that the leaders and members of the FBK, the FZPG and Navalny’s headquarters systematically conduct public events that are not coordinated with the authorities in the prescribed manner. The court lists the protest actions due to the refusal to register independent candidates for the Moscow City Duma in 2019 and due to the arrest of Alexey Navalny in January 2021, and also notes that Kira Yarmysh, Lyubov Sobol, Georgy Alburov are accused of violating sanitary standards (Article 236 of the Criminal Code) in connection with the latest actions.

Navalny’s associates published posts and videos, “encouraging participation in illegal public events, containing false information, discrediting state authorities, and public calls to incite hatred and enmity against government officials,” the document says. During the massat public events organized by them, there were “calls for extremist and terrorist activities”, “violence was used against law enforcement officers in connection with ensuring the protection of public order”, for which many participants of these actions were convicted or are under investigation.

In their “political and extremist” activities, the FBK, the FZPG and Navalny’s headquarters actively involve minors, as well as incite persons who are not direct participants and members of organizations to crimes, the court claims.

The supporters of FBK and Navalny have repeatedly been brought to administrative and criminal responsibility “for holding protest actions, pickets, rallies, committing extremist offenses, namely for calls for extremist and terrorist activities, distribution of extremist materials, propaganda and demonstration of Nazi symbols, calls for violent actions against law enforcement officers,” the court notes.

Among Navalny’s supporters brought to justice for such crimes and offenses, the court names the coordinator of the headquarters in Cheboksary, Semyon Kochkin, who was fined for reposting a sketch from an American TV show that mentioned Chechnya and the Islamic State banned in Russia, the coordinator of the headquarters in Vladivostok, Vladimir Dubovsky, who published a song on VKontaktethe right-wing group “Argentina”, and the head of the Kemerovo headquarters, Stanislav Kalinichenko, who was arrested for three days for publishing an image containing a swastika in Odnoklassniki. Ufa activist Rustem Mulyukov was sentenced to two years of probation for calls for “violent change of the foundations of the constitutional system and violence against government representatives,” the court notes.

The accused and convicted persons in their testimonies spoke about ” political hatred and hostility, intolerance towards certain social groups (law enforcement officers, supporters of active political parties)”They were formed under the influence of the videos and texts of FBK and Navalny,” the court decision claims.

The arguments that the actions of all these people lay outside the scope of the activities of the FBK and Navalny’s headquarters, the court called untenable. The court refused to attach a number of the defendants ‘ evidence to the case.

“Some individual people across the country actually demonstrated [Nazi symbols]. We have only one question: what does the FBK have to do with it? The FBK did not demonstrate this symbolism in any way, and the connection of people with the FBK has not been established, and the court did not even try to establish it. That is, the FBK was charged with something to which they have nothing to do, ” Valeria Vetoshkina, a lawyer of Team 29, told RBC.

Among those who were prosecuted for extremism, the court also names the former coordinator of the Arkhangelsk headquarters, Andrey Borovikov, who was sentenced to 2.5 years in a penal colony for reposting a Rammstein clip, while he was charged not with extremism, but with distributing pornography (Article 242 of the Criminal Code). Before that, Borovikov was fined in 2020 for drug propaganda after reposting the clip of Decla “My ligalayz”.

The list cited by the court also includes the head of Navalny’s headquarters, Leonid Volkov, who left Russia; he is being persecuted for involving minors in protests, violating the sanepidnorm and participating in the activities of an organization that encroaches on the identity of citizens.

Consequences of the court’s decision

The court concluded that Navalny’s organizations “propagandize the ideas of undermining public security and state integrity” of Russia and “pose a real threat to the preservation of the foundations of the constitutional system”, are engaged in “inciting social discord”, hinder the activities of government bodies, including election commissions, and use Nazi paraphernalia. The activities of the FBK, the FZPG and Navalny’s headquarters entail “violation of human and civil rights, causing harm to public order and security,” Judge Polyga is sure.

The actions of the FBK listed in the court decision cannot be considered extremist within the meaning of the law, the Team of 29 is sure. “In general, a closed list of what constitutes extremist activity is contained in article 1 of the federal law “On Countering Extremist Activity”. The prosecutor’s office proceeded from the fact that the FBK calls for a change of power, bypassing the procedures provided for by law-elections. That isuncoordinated protest actions, according to the prosecutor’s office, are equal to calls for a change of power in the country. But how can the FBK try to change the power in the country in other ways? It is impossible for the opposition to coordinate a public event; independent candidates are not allowed before the elections. They simply did not have any methods left, and the prosecutor’s office regarded everything that allegedly does not comply with the law as extremism, ” says Vetoshkina.

The defendants are appealing the court’s decision. If it is approved by the second instance and the Ministry of Justice adds the FBK, the FZPG and Navalny’s headquarters to the list of extremist organizations, employees and volunteers of organizations can be brought as defendants under Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code (organization of the activities of an extremist organization), a possible sentence of up to ten years in prison. Criminal liability is threatened for involvement in the activities of organizations, for their financing, and for demonstrating their symbols. Members of organizations will not be able to actively participate in the elections for some time.

The Prosecutor General’s office demanded to ban the FBK and “the Headquarters Bulk” after their founder returned to Russia from Germany after treatment for severe poisoning. Navalny was arrested, the suspended sentence in the case of “Yves Rocher” was replaced with a real one; now he is being held in a colony in the Vladimir region. Navalny’s detention provoked uncoordinated protests in January, in April, the reason for street protests was the refusal of the colony’s management to allow a doctor to see Navalny, who suffered from back pain and went on a hunger strike.

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Kadyrov complained to Putin about the shortage of coronavirus vaccine in Chechnya

In Chechnya, the number of people who want to be vaccinated has increased dramatically. According to official information, the Republic of the outsiders became the leader in the rate of vaccination campaign

 Kadyrov complained to Putin about the shortage of coronavirus vaccine in Chechnya

The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, during a video call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, complained about the shortage of coronavirus vaccine that the region has been experiencing in the last week.

“There are queues at some vaccination points, we have been experiencing a shortage of vaccines for the last week, and I want you to pay attention to this,” Kadyrov said (quoted by TASS).

On June 9, the publication “Chechnya Today” reported that about 21% of the population (that is, a little more than 110 thousand people) were vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine in the republic. According to TASS, to date, 175671 people (31.5%) have been vaccinated with the first component of the vaccine.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova at a meeting with Putin on Wednesday said that Chechnya is now one of the leaders in the rate of vaccination in Russia.

At the same time, in mid-May, the vaccination rate in the republics of the North Caucasus (including Chechnya) did not exceed 5%, according to a study conducted by RBC. The situation was worse only in Dagestan.

On June 23, Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov acknowledged the shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, explaining it as “temporary logistical difficulties”. “I think that in the coming days it will all be compensated and in the required amount, as it was all the previous months, the vaccine will be in civilian circulation,” he said.

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Putin with the phrase “we must go” approved the nomination of Kadyrov for a new term

The World Congress of the Peoples of the Chechen Republic in Grozny also demanded that the head of Chechnya go to the polls

 Putin with the phrase

Ramzan Kadyrov

President Vladimir Putin said that he supports the proposal to nominate Ramzan Kadyrov to the post of head of the Chechen Republic for a new term. The head of state said this at a video conference.

“We must go to them [the elections],” Putin said.

“The region is fully prepared for them [the elections], so as your loyal infantryman, I am waiting for further instructions and ready to carry out any of your orders,” Kadyrov said.

Earlier, the press secretary of the president Dmitry Peskov suggested that Putin and Kadyrov may discuss the issue of the election of the head of the republic on September 19.

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In May, Kadyrov said that he did not rule out his participation in the elections. And he assured that he would refuse this if even a few percent of the population of Chechnya were against it.

The conversation between Kadyrov and Putin took place against the backdrop of the World Congress of the Peoples of the Chechen Republic in Grozny, which was attended by about 5 thousand delegates from 23 countries. According to the newspaper “Chechnya Today”, they adopted a resolution demanding Kadyrov to stand as a candidate for the elections.

“In the name of continuing the political course of the first President of the Chechen Republic, Hero of Russia Akhmat-Haji Kadyrov, whose devoted son you are, you cannot fail to meet our demand,” the text of the resolution says.

Corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Ruslan Khasbulatov and representatives of Chechen diasporas in different countries also spoke in support of Kadyrov. “The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, who cares [for the Chechen people] and helps the Chechen people around the world. It is our duty to protect it. I’m ready to fighteven with his brother, if he opposes Ramzan Kadyrov, ” said Ayhan Ergyuven, a representative of the Chechen diaspora in Turkey.

Kadyrov has been the head of Chechnya since 2007. In 2011, his candidacy was approved by the Parliament of the republic on the proposal of President Dmitry Medvedev. In 2016, Kadyrov won the election with 97.94%.

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The British Ministry of Defense denied firing in the direction of the destroyer Defender

Bthe British military decided that their Russian colleagues were conducting exercises in the Black Sea, and not trying to stop the ship. The British Defense Minister assured that the Defender was making a peaceful transition along an internationally recognized corridor

 The British Ministry of Defense denied firing in the direction of the destroyer Defender

Destroyer HMS Defender

The British military has denied a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry that a warning fire was opened on the course of the destroyer HMS Defender, which violated the Russian border off the coast of Crimea.

“The British Navy ship made a peaceful passage through the territorial waters of Ukraine in accordance with international law,” the press service of the British Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

The British military department suggested that the Russian military conducted training firing in the Black Sea, while assuring that no warning shots were fired in the direction of the destroyer Defender.

No warning shots were fired at HMS Defender. No shots were fired in the direction of HMS Defender, and we do not recognize the allegations that bombs were dropped in its path, ” says a message posted on the British Defense Ministry’s Twitter page.

On Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that a British destroyer violated the border in the area of Cape Fiolent in Crimea and did not respond to warnings, so the Russian patrol ship was forced to open a warning fire. In addition, the Su-24M bomber dropped several bombs in front of the intruder ship.

The head of the British Ministry of Defense, Ben Wallace, said that the Defender was making a “routine transition” across the Black Sea from Odessa to Georgia, moving along an “internationally recognized corridor”.

“As usual, the Russian ships were monitoring the passage of the Defender, and [the ship] received notification of an exercise nearby,” Wallace said.

HMS Defender is one of six guided missile defense destroyers built for the British Navy. It was commissioned into the British Navy in 2013. The basis of the Defender’s weapons is the PAAMS anti-aircraft missile system, designed to protect ship formations from attacks with missiles, including supersonic ones. In addition, the destroyer is equipped with a 114-mm gun and several anti-aircraft guns. The ship is also capable of carrying a company of Marines on board.

Defender entered the Black Sea in mid-June with the Dutch frigate Evertsen. Before that, the destroyer was in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the air group of the British aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth. On June 21, on board the Defender, which was in Odessa, the Minister for Defense Procurement of the United Kingdom, Jeremy Queen, and the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Alexander Mironyuk, signed a memorandum on the joint construction of warships and bases for the Ukrainian Navy.

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The Ministry of Defense summoned the British attache after the incident with the destroyer Defender

A British diplomat was summoned to the Ministry of Defense after the Russian military opened warning fire on the destroyer Defender, which violated the Russian border off the coast of Crimea. The Ministry of Defense summoned the British attache after the incident with the destroyer Defender

Destroyer HMS Defender

The British military attache in Moscow was summoned to the Russian Defense Ministry after the Russian military opened warning fire on the British destroyer Defender, which violated the border in the Black Sea. This is reported by TASS with reference to the military department.

“In connection with the violation of the state border of the Russian Federation by a British Navy destroyer, the Russian Defense Ministry has summoned the defense attache at the British Embassy in Moscow,” the ministry said.

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On Wednesday, the Ministry of Defense reported that the British destroyer violated the border in the area of Cape Fiolent in Crimea and did not respond to warnings, so the Russian patrol ship was forced to open a warning fire. In addition, the Su-24M bomber dropped several bombs in front of the intruder ship.

Defender entered the Black Sea in mid-June with the Dutch frigate Evertsen. Before that, the destroyer was in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the air group of the British aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth.

The forces and assets of the Black Sea Fleet have begun monitoring the actions of the destroyer URO “Defender” of the British Navy and the frigate URO “Everton” of the Dutch Navy, ” the National Defense Control Center of Russia reported on June 14.

HMS Defender is one of six guided missile defense destroyers built for the British Navy. It was commissioned into the British Navy in 2013. The basis of the Defender’s weapons is the PAAMS anti-aircraft missile system, designed to protect ship formations from attacks with missiles, including supersonic ones. In addition, the destroyer is equipped with a 114-mm gun and several anti-aircraft guns. The ship is also capable of carrying a company of Marines on board.

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