Video shows Russian Su-27 fighter jet approaching MQ-9 Reaper

The US European Command showed video footage from an MQ-9 Reaper drone that crashed on March 14 after approaching a Russian Su-27 fighter aircraft.

"Two Russian Su-27 aircraft conducted an unsafe and unprofessional intercept with the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle of the US Air Force operating in international space over the Black Sea,” the report says.

The Russian Ministry of Defence stated that the US drone was flying "with transponders turned off, violating the borders of the area of the temporary regime for the use of airspace established for the purpose of conducting the special military operation.” All users of international airspace have been notified of those boundaries, the department said.

The Su-27, the Ministry of Defense said, did not use weapons nor did it come into contact with the drone. The drone made a sharp manoeuvre, "went into uncontrolled flight with a loss of altitude and collided with the water surface,” the Russian side described the situation.

After the incident, Washington and Moscow held several discussions between military officials. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, in a conversation with his American counterpart Lloyd Austin, stressed that US drone flights near Crimea were "provocative” to create preconditions for an escalation of the situation in the Black Sea region. Austin stated that the US would continue to fly and operate its aircraft wherever international law allows.

The presidents of both Russia and the USA were briefed about the incident, but there was no contact between them on this issue. In addition to contacts between the military departments, diplomatic channels were also involved, the Kremlin specified.

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Author`s name Petr Ernilin
Editor Dmitry Sudakov