• A British destroyer passed through Crimean waters June 18, angering Russia
  • Most countries recognize the Crimean peninsula as Ukrainian territory
  • Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014
  • Russia has developed hypersonic missiles, which are hard to intercept

The Russian navy has the resources to launch an “unpreventable strike” if necessary should it detect “enemy” activity, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned.

The Russian president issued the warning during the annual Navy Day parade in St. Petersburg on Sunday, adding that the Russian navy can detect enemy movements whether on land, sea, or in the air, Reuters reported.

Russia has some "superweapons" in its armory, including hypersonic missiles that can fly five to six times the speed of sound, are practically invisible to radar and currently impossible to intercept. Even if a ship were to detect the missile from 100 miles away, it would have only about a minute to take action. Even then, the interceptor missiles won't be flying fast enough.

"The Russian navy today has everything it needs to guarantee the protection of our country and our national interests," Putin said, adding: "We are capable of detecting any underwater, above-water, airborne enemy and, if required, carry out an unpreventable strike against it." Putin also said the Russian navy will get 40 new vessels this year.

Putin’s comments were made roughly a month after a British warship passed by the Crimea peninsula in what Russia called a “provocation.” Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.

The HMS Defender sailed inside the 12 nautical-mile limit of Crimea’s territorial sea on June 18, through a recognized maritime corridor about 5 miles off the coast. The Royal Navy claimed it to be an "innocent passage " in "accordance with international law" but the ship was trailed by Russian patrol boats and buzzed by fighters.

The Russian government claimed that it fired warning shots at the British warship and that a warplane dropped a bomb in its path. Britain, however, denied the claims, saying any shots fired were part of a Russian “gunnery exercise,” and that no bombs were dropped.

At that time, Putin accused the Type 45 Destroyer of cooperating with an American reconnaissance plane to monitor how Russia will respond to its activity, Sky News reported.

Putin had said at that time that “even if we had sunk the British destroyer near Crimea,” it would not have triggered World War Three.

Earlier this year, ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) countries denounced what they referred to as “Russia’s temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.” The ministers reiterated they will not recognize Russian attempts to make its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine legal.

The G7, which is made up of the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Italy, Germany, Canada and France, urged international action in monitoring Crimea due to alleged human rights violations carried out by Russia. The G7 was originally the Group of Eight, which included Russia. In the same year that it annexed Crimea, Russia was suspended from the G8, which then became the G7.

Putin wrote in an article posted on the Kremlin’s official website late last month that Russians and Ukrainians are “one people.” He added that Ukraine will only achieve “true sovereignty” if it maintains peaceful connections with Russia.

Map of Crimea and the Black Sea
Map of Crimea and the Black Sea AFP / STF