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USS Ross arrives in Ukraine after simulated Russian attack at sea

Ahead of arriving in Odessa, two Russian Su-24 bombers, with Su-27 fighter jets, simulated a missile attack on the vessel while it transited the Black Sea on Dec. 23.

By Stephen Feller
USS Ross arrives in Ukraine after simulated Russian attack at sea
Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross heave in line during a sea and anchor evolution on Dec. 24. Ross, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is currently on its ninth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrea Rumple/U.S. Navy

Dec. 26 (UPI) -- The USS Ross this week arrived in Odessa, Ukraine, for a scheduled port visit, a day after being targeted by Russian aircraft -- and weeks after being trailed by a Russian warship -- according to reports.

The Navy announced Thursday the guided-missile destroyer USS Ross made a port visit in Odessa on Christmas Eve, part of its mission in the Black Sea. The Ross is the first U.S. vessel to stop in Odessa since the USS Porter made a port call there in October.

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Ahead of arriving in Odessa, two Russian Su-24 bombers, with Su-27 fighter jets, simulated a missile attack on the Ross while it transited the Black Sea on Dec. 23, according to a Ukraine military statement.

"The aircraft have held the maneuver typical of an aerial strike by cruise missiles and returned to the airfield," the statement said.

Earlier this month, the Ross entered the Black Sea while being tailed by the Russian corvette Vyshny Volochyok, a Buyan-M-class missile ship, as it steamed toward port in Constanta, Romania.

"Team Ross has been looking forward to visiting Odessa for a long time," Cmdr. Scott Jones, executive officer of the USS Ross, said in a statement. "Especially during the holiday season, we can't wait to explore this beautiful city and meet the wonderful people who make it great."

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The USS Ross is currently homeported in Rota, Spain, and is scheduled to cycle out of Naval Station Rota at some point between 2020 and 2022.

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