Russian Jets Collide With US Drone Over Black Sea: All You Need To Know
The incident occurred over the international waters west of Crimea.
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A Russian fighter jet collided with a United States Reaper drone on Tuesday, 14 March, forcing it to crash into the Black Sea.
What happened? A US European Command statement said that the collision occurred when two Russian Su-27 fighter jets flew towards a US MQ-9 Reaper drone over the international waters near Crimea.
“Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner," the US said, according to The Guardian.
"This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional," the statement added.
Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Ryder said that the Russian aircrafts were in close proximity to the drone for around 30 minutes.
What has Russia said? On the other hand, Russia's defence ministry denied reports of any collision and claimed that the drone was brought down due to the pilots' mishandling.
After the incident, there was a race to recover the wreckage, which contains some of the most advanced US technology.
"To my knowledge, at this point in time, the Russians have not recovered that aircraft," Ryder said.
Meanwhile, the European Command said in a statement that "these aggressive actions by Russian aircrew are dangerous and could lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation."
This marks the first collision between a Russian and a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) vessel since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February last year.
US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the incident. Further, the US has also summoned the Russian ambassador, Anatoly Antonov, to "convey our strong objections."
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