The United States condemned Russia after a fighter jet from the country crashed into a U.S. spy drone Tuesday amidst increasing tensions between Moscow and Washington.
Two Russian Su-27 jets engaged in what the U.S. military characterized as an incautious intercept of the MQ-9 “Reaper” drone, leading to a collision between a jet and the drone at 7:03 a.m. (0603 GT), consequently causing the drone to plummet into the Black Sea.
JUST IN: @US_EUCOM says 2 Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter jets dumped fuel, then collided w a US MQ-9 Reaper drone operating within international airspace over the Black Sea today,causing the drone to crash. pic.twitter.com/tLEiy8YYMJ
— W.J. Hennigan (@wjhenn) March 14, 2023
U.S. military officials reported that the Russian fighter jets attempted to spill fuel on the MQ-9 more than once before the crash, leading them to believe there was an intentional effort to blind or damage it. Russians also allegedly engaged in unsafe air maneuvers to get in front of the drone.
The Pentagon claims it was compelled to fly the drone to sea due to the damage it received after colliding with the Russian jet.
“Because of the damage, we were in a position to have to essentially crash into the Black Sea,” Brigadier General Pat Ryder told reporters, saying the drone was essentially inoperable following the damages.
Ryder claimed that Russia has not secured the crashed drone, but clarified that the U.S. has also failed to do so.
Pentagon Press Secretary Gen. Pat Ryder on the lost Reaper drone: "To my knowledge, at this point in time, the Russians have not recovered that aircraft." pic.twitter.com/Cf7obuJ92L
— Moshe Schwartz (@YWNReporter) March 14, 2023
The U.S. State Department announced it has contacted the Russian ambassador to discuss the incident.
“We have been flying over that airspace consistently now for a year … and we’re going to continue to do that,” proclaimed White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.
This news comes amidst suggestions by people appearing on Russian State TV that the nation’s nuclear-capable super torpedoes should be launched at Western forces.
After hearing a remark by anchor Vladimir Solovyov saying he would like to see the advanced missiles in action, Retired Russian Gen. Yevgeny Buzhinsky answered, “We would like to of course.”
The segment continued, with the two agreeing that the U.S. and the United Kingdom alike would cease to exist should Russia take the action.
“Yes, Great Britain will definitely be no more, I’m talking about the United States,” stated Buzhinsky, to which Solovyov quipped: “If [ Rishi] Sunak is washed away, who will [Emmanuel] Macron have left to kiss.”
Another totally normal evening on Russian state TV as Solovyov and Simonyan join military commentator Yevgeny Buzhinsky in fantasising about the Poseidon underwater drone causing a nuclear tsunami that engulfs Britain pic.twitter.com/kNigUAmMo8
— Francis Scarr (@francis_scarr) March 14, 2023