The Russian Defense Ministry revealed Friday that two pilots who were responsible for the shooting down of an American drone over the Black Sea earlier in the week had been given recognition by the government.
The US MQ-9 Reaper, an unmanned spy drone worth $32 million, was disrupted in its flight by Russian pilots who emptied their fuel tanks on it before one of the fighter jets collided with the drone's propeller, forcing US forces to bring it down in international waters. To commemorate this event, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu praised the pilots' actions, claiming that they had thwarted the drone from entering airspace that Russia had claimed. The Associated Press released this news.
American authorities disclosed video of the occurrence on Thursday demonstrating a Russian Su-27 flying proximate to the American drone. The video also exposed harm to the drone's propeller after the Russian aircrafts flew beside it.
The US army has released a video showing the drone incident with Russia in the Black Sea. #BREAKING
Guy Elster tweeted on March 16th, 2023.
U.S. European Command publicly declared that, on March 14, 2023, two Russian Su-27 planes performed an improper and unprofessional interception of an American MQ-9 Air Force reconnaissance drone flying within international airspace above the Black Sea. The Su-27s discharged fuel and impacted the propeller of the MQ-9, thus requiring the U.S. to bring the drone down into international waters.
Russian authorities have accused the U.S. of employing surveillance flights to assist the Ukrainians in attacking Russian objectives, according to the AP. Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council, asserted that the actions of the American surveillance drone this week demonstrate the more and more aggressive steps the U.S. has taken against Russia since the war between Moscow and Ukraine started.
At a press conference, Patrushev asserted that the Americans were continuously denying involvement in the hostilities, but that this was simply further evidence that they were actually engaged in the war.
The White House labelled Russia's behaviour as "reckless" but it has not made a conclusion if the Russian airmen deliberately shot down the US drone.
Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declared, "Accidents occur. We are certainly not aiming for armed conflict with Russia, so it is best that we look into this episode and go from there."
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This report was assisted by Ryan Saavedra.