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Russian artillery was able to destroy one of the Spanish ships, but heavy damage to the fort and surrounding regions made it difficult for the Russians to defend a land invasion. The battle turned when the many Russian naval and merchant ships began to get involved. The naval ship Paul was able to destroy an additional Spanish ship, forcing the rest of the fleet to retreat to Monterey. Once word reach Saint Petersburg about the unprovoked Spanish attack, the Russian Empire declared war the Kingdom of Spain, leading to the start of the Russo-Spanish War.