US and Russian Navy ships almost collided in Asian waters. Russia may have done so to make China happy.
A US warship and a Russian destroyer nearly collided in the Pacific Ocean — and both sides are blaming the other for what could’ve been a deadly catastrophe.
The US Navy says a Russian destroyer came within 50 to 100 feet of USS Chancellorsville, an American cruiser, around 11:45 am local time in the Philippine Sea. “This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision,” Navy spokesperson Cmdr. Clayton Doss said in a statement.
Moscow tells a different story. A spokesperson for Russia’s Pacific Fleet told TASS says that the American ship “suddenly changed direction” and came within 160 feet of the Russian vessel, named the Admiral Vinogradov, forcing the Russian crew to quickly move out of the way.
What’s more, Russia says the event happened in the East China Sea, adjacent to — but different than — the Philippine Sea.
So not only do the US and Russia provide conflicting accounts about who is responsible, they can’t even agree on where it actually happened.
Luckily, the US Navy has video of the incident, released Friday in twoparts. There’s no audio, but you can still see how incredibly close the two ships came to one another:
The videos are remarkable. With the caveat that the US Navy probably wouldn’t willingly release images that would make it look bad, it does seem like the Russian ship takes a pretty direct course to get close to the American vessel.

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