Russia should not hesitate to shoot down US drones over special military operation zone

Down with the Reaper! Long live Su-27!

Russia should not hesitate to shoot down US UAVs over the zone of the special military operation, since they were designed to push back the threshold for the declaration of war.

The Russian Defence Ministry did not admit that it was a Su-27 fighter that caused the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle to crash into the Black Sea. According to the department, the drone crashed due to errors committed by the UAV operator.

"The flight of the unmanned aerial vehicle was carried out with transponders turned off in violation of the boundaries of the area of the temporary regime for the use of airspace, established for the purpose of conducting the special military operation, communicated to all users of international airspace and published in accordance with international standards," the Ministry of Defence said in a statement that was published on its website.

Russian fighters only escorted the drone, and it "fell," the ministry stated. However, Reapers should be shot down as they pose a threat to Russia and its armed forces. Iran shot down a Q-4 Global Hawk strategic reconnaissance drone worth $200-million near the Strait of Hormuz in June 2019.

It took the Russian leadership a year to morally decide to repeat the precedent and disorientate the American drone to cause it to crash. lf it was not for American intelligence, the special military operation in Ukraine would have ended with Russia's victory.

UAVs designed to lower war declaration threshold

The whole point of the UAV per se is to reduce the risk of a serious escalation in a conflict. Last year, the Congressional Research Service quoted US expert Michael Horowitz who said that states differentiate between manned and unmanned systems assuming that the latter are "below the threshold of war."

This makes any US retaliation measures against Russia unlikely.

In the United States, there are three vectors of discussion in relation to the MQ-9 incident. Republican leaders Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have recently spoken about the need to cut aid to Ukraine and stop the war will receive even more support. It is believed that such statements will gain even more support after the incident with the drone.

"The apparent downing of a US drone by a Russian fighter jet over the Black Sea was a step closer to the scenario that everyone has dreaded since the war erupted a year ago — a direct clash between US and Russian forces," CNN said. "And Biden's vow to stick with Zelensky "for as long as it takes” could have an expiration date of January 20, 2025 — the next presidential inauguration," the article also said.

There is also another opinion: the downing of the US drone proves that Moscow is Washington's enemy. Therefore, Republican presidential candidates are required to change their stance on Ukraine.

Well, the more polarised the American society is, the better.

Interestingly, some others decided to sweep the incident under the rug. wrote, for example, that the incident occurred due to unprofessional piloting of the Su-27 fighter jet. Providing Ukraine even wider access to intelligence data is the only thing that Washington will do in response.

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Author`s name Lyuba Lulko
Editor Dmitry Sudakov