U.S. Officials Say a Russian Fighter Jet shot down a U.S. Military drone over the Black Sea

According to the United States military, a Russian fighter plane clipped the propeller of an American MQ-9 Reaper drone, causing it to crash into the Black Sea. Russia provided a very different explanation, claiming that the American drone crashed independently.

What is undeniable is the inflammatory nature of the incident, which comes at a time when tensions between the United States and Russia are already high due to the Ukraine conflict.

According to the US military, two Russian Su-27 fighter jets intercepted the American drone, conducting a routine reconnaissance mission in international airspace over the Black Sea.

The Russian jets initially flew several times before the much slower American drone, dumped fuel on it as well. After about 30 minutes of harassing actions, one of the Russian jets clipped the drone’s propeller, causing it to crash, according to the US military.

“Intercepts of aircraft are not uncommon, just to see what’s there,” said Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a spokesman for the Defense Department. “In this particular case, [the Russian jet] collided with the [US] aircraft, damaging the propeller and effectively rendering it unflyable and uncontrollable, so we brought it down.”

Ryder said the drone was “well away” from Ukrainian territory but did not give an exact location. He declined to speak about U.S. efforts to retrieve the aircraft but noted that Russia had not recovered it.

Russia Offers a Different Account

The Russian Defense Ministry stated a completely different perspective on the incident. On Tuesday morning, Russian radar detected an MQ-9 drone heading toward the Russian border, according to the ministry.

U.S. Military drone over the Black Sea

Russia then launched fighter jets “to identify” the aircraft it claimed was flying with its transponders turned off. This would make identification more complex, and Russia claimed it violated notifications it had issued.

The drone lost control and collided with the water “as a result of a sharp manoeuvre,” according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The Russian fighter jets fired no weapons and made no direct contact with the drone. The Russian planes safely returned to their base, according to the statement.

U.S. objects strongly, summons Russian ambassador

According to John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, President Biden was briefed on the collision Tuesday morning.

Russian warplanes intercepting US aircraft over the Black Sea is not uncommon, according to Kirby, who noted a number of such incidents in recent weeks.

But Kirby said this one was noteworthy because of the “unsafe” and “reckless” way the Russian pilots carried it out.

The State Department summoned Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov to Washington to express US concerns. In addition, US Ambassador Lynne Tracy sent a “strong message” to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow.

Antonov told reporters outside the State Department that the Russians did not use any weapons against the drone. He claimed that the Russians had designated a zone for their “special military operation” and that the US drone had no right to be there.

“What will the reaction be in the United States if such a Russian drone is seen very close to, say, San Francisco or New York? What will the United States reaction be? It is obvious to me, “He stated.

Throughout the past year of conflict in Ukraine, Biden has been emphatic that his administration will support Ukraine, which it has done with tens of billions of dollars in military, economic, and humanitarian aid.

However, Biden has stated that the United States has no intention of directly engaging in a military conflict with Russia.

The United States appears certain to continue providing weapons, intelligence, and money to Ukraine, and the Pentagon has stated that reconnaissance flights in international airspace will continue.

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