He US Army European Command. published this Thursday declassified images of the incident between a Russian fighter “Su-27” and one drone American above the waters of the Black Sea and this ended up causing the unmanned ship to crash.
As the US command reported in a statement, the footage shows the moment “a Russian aircraft carried out a dangerous and unprofessional interception of a drone”.MQ-9′ of the United States Air Force in international airspace over the Black Sea on March 14.
The US command also provides a scenario of how this incident happened in the Black Sea, in which there was another Russian fighterwhich has increased tension between Washington and Moscow and against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.
According to the scenario of this video, the event begins when a Russian aircraft approaches the rear of the American “MQ-9”. Shortly after the Kremlin airship began to release fuel in its path and, in doing so, fly above the drone. The U.S. military said the move was an apparent attempt to blind optical instruments of the drone and eject it from the area.
In just a few minutes, the Russian “Su-27” begins a second approach to the “MQ-9”, again releases fuel and passes even closer to the drone.
A little after, the Russian plane collides with the drone and the “MQ-9” camera image is lost for about 60 seconds, the US command says. When the camera picks up the transmission, you can see that the propeller and one of the uprights of the drone are damaged.
The published fragment does not show events before or after the apparent confrontation over the fuel spill.
After the incident, the United States government claimed that it was forced to crash the drone in the waters of the Black Sea and held Moscow responsible for the incident, which he said was deliberate.
Instead, the Russian Defense Ministry denied any contact between its fighters and the drone, which, according to the Kremlin version, took a sudden and uncontrolled flight and collided with the sea after suddenly losing height.
After the episode, the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austinand the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Marc Milleythey spoke with their Russian counterparts.
Wednesday’s calls with Russia’s Defense Minister, Sergei Shoiguand the Chief of the Russian General Staff, General Valery GerasimovThey were the first since October.
Although interception attempts are not uncommon, the incident in the middle of the war in Ukraine raised worry because of the possibility that it would bring the United States and Russia closer to a direct conflict.
The fact that senior military and defense officials from both countries met so soon after the Black Sea meeting underscores their gravity.
The Russian Ministry of Defense stated in its report on the call with Austin that Shoigu accused the United States to cause the incident by ignoring flight restrictions imposed by the Kremlin due to its military operations in Ukraine.
Russia also blamed “the intensification of intelligence activities against the interests of the Russian Federation”.
Such U.S. actions “carry a escalation of the situation in the Black Sea regionthe defense ministry said, warning that Russia would “respond in kind to all provocations”.
The incident occurred near the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimeawhere Moscow disapproves of NATO’s presence, be it warships or reconnaissance and surveillance devices.
(With information from EFE and AP)