The Russian Ministry of Defense declared no militant involvement in the incident with the American drone over the Black Sea

Russian fighters did not attack or touch The US MQ-9 Reaper drone drowned “as a result of a sharp maneuver”, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The incident took place in the Crimea. Su-27 fighters were lifted into the air because the drone was flying with “transponders turned off” and “violated the limits of the temporary airspace use regime”, but did not come into contact with it, the agency said. “As a result of violent maneuvering, the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle entered an uncontrolled flight with loss of altitude and crashed into the water surface. The Russian fighters did not use air weapons, did not come into contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle and safely returned to their home airfield,” the report reads.

Earlier, the US European command reported that two Su-27 aircraft made a “dangerous and unprofessional interception” of the MQ-9 Reaper: several times before the collision, the fighter jets poured fuel on the drone, then damaged its propeller andbecause of which the camera had to be flooded in the neutral waters of the Black Sea.

The American side called the actions of the Russian armed forces “reckless”, “incompetent” and “harmful to the environment.” Commander of the U.S. Air Forces Europe and Africa, James Hecker, noted that the MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance drone performed “normal operations” in international airspace, and “dangerous and unprofessional actions” by Russian pilots “almost led to the downfall” of both fighters.

President Joe Biden was briefed on the incident. The US will continue to fly over the Black Sea despite the US drone incident, said John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the White House National Security Council. “If they want to scare us away or dissuade us from flying and operating in international airspace, then this signal will fail because it won’t. The Black Sea does not belong to any country. And we will continue to do what is necessary to safeguard our national security interests in this part of the world,” Kirby said.


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