Shocking photos show Russian destroyer playing a dangerous game of chicken with a US warship

US NavyThe US Navy says its cruiser Chancellorsville, right, was forced to manoeuvre to avoid colliding with the approaching Russian destroyer closing to within 100 feet.
  • The US Navy has released shocking photos it says show a Russian warship confronting a US Navy cruiser in the Philippine Sea.
  • A Russian destroyer and the USS Chancellorsville sailed to within 100 feet of each other on Friday, risking a collision that would have endangered the sailors on board.
  • The US warship slammed on the brakes and changed course to avoid what could’ve been a disaster at sea, the Navy said.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

A Russian destroyer challenged a US warship to an unusual showdown in the Pacific on Friday, forcing it to take sudden evasive action, according to the US Navy.

The US 7th Fleet says the destroyer sailed within 100 feet of the USS Chancellorsville, a Ticonderoga-class cruiser, and risked a collision in what the Navy described as “unsafe and unprofessional” behaviour.

It came just a few days after the US accused a Russian fighter of aggressively buzzing a US Navy aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea.

The Chancellorsville “was recovering its helicopter on a steady course and speed when the Russian ship manoeuvred from behind and to the right of Chancellorsville, accelerated, and closed to an unsafe distance of approximately 50-100 feet,” the 7th Fleet said in a statement.

“This unsafe action forced USS Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to manoeuvre to avoid collision.”

Photos show just how close the two ships came.

Near collision between Russian destroyer and US cruiserUS 7th FleetThe Russian destroyer and the US cruiser appeared to have a close call.

Russia blamed the US for the close encounter. “The US guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville suddenly changed course and cut across the path of the destroyer Admiral Vinogradov coming within 50 meters of the ship,” the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.

“A protest over the international radio frequency was made to the commanders of the American ship who were warned about the unacceptable nature of such actions.”

The latest confrontation comes two days after the US Navy accused the Russians of conducting an “unsafe and unprofessional intercept” in the air.

The Navy said a Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter made a high-speed pass in front of a US Navy P-8A Poseidon surveillance plane.

Read more:
Russian jet put US airmen at risk with an ‘irresponsible’ intercept over the Mediterranean Sea, US Navy says

Friday’s incident is also reminiscent of a situation involving a Chinese destroyer in the South China Sea last September.

Read more:
The Chinese military challenged a US destroyer to a South China Sea showdown

The Chinese destroyer took on the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Decatur during a close approach near Gaven Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands.

The Chinese vessel “conducted a series of increasingly aggressive maneuvers accompanied by warnings” for the US Navy ship to “leave the area,” the Pacific Fleet said in an official statement. The Chinese warship is said to have sailed to within 45 yards of the American ship.

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