A video of the fall of the American MQ9 drone over the Black Sea following its engagement with two Russian Su-27 fighters was released by the European Command of the USA , claiming that it captures the moment of the collision, when one of the two Su -27 hit the propeller of the UAV.
The video lasts 42 seconds and shows the maneuvers of the Russian fighters , which approach the drone at a very close distance before the image is lost, however it is not clear if there is indeed, as the American side claims, some kind of conflict.
Russia has rejected the US accusations, speaking outfor provocation , claiming that Russian warplanes never fired weapons or collided with the drone.
In any case, this is the first “conflict” between the US and Russia that has sparked many reactions, with some arguing that it brings closer the inevitable scenario of a direct conflict between the two nuclear superpowers and therefore detente steps must be taken and others pointing out that any retreat now will lead to greater confrontations in the future.
What the US says
As the British newspaper The Guardian points out, the video was released with the following text:
“Two Russian Su-27 jets conducted an unsafe and unprofessional interception of a US MQ-9 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance drone that was operating within international airspace over the Black Sea on March 14, 2023.
Russian Su-27s dropped fuel and hit the MQ-9’s propeller, forcing US forces to shoot the MQ-9 down in international waters,” it said. in the text accompanying the video.
In addition, it is noted that the video is accompanied by the note that “this declassified video has been edited for a long time, however, the events are depicted in a sequential order.”
Contact Austin – Shoigu
With the US talking about aggressive behavior on the part of Russia and with Moscow responding that Washington is escalating the tension over the Black Sea, implying that it was a spying move in Crimea, the US defense ministers , Lloyd Austin and Russia’s Sergei Shoigu as well as the heads of the two armies reportedly had phone conversations about the drone incident.
US General Mark Milley spoke of behavior that shows Russia is taking increasingly aggressive actions while Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reportedly told his US counterpart that drone flights near the coast of Crimea are provocative and could lead to an escalation in the Black Sea.
In fact, Russia pointed out that it has no intention of escalating the tension, although he recommended that both countries should operate with the maximum possible restraint, while for his part the American Secretary of Defense did not want to give any information about what exactly what was said with Shoigu.
However, Austin emphasized thatthe US will continue to fly and operate where international law allows with Moscow arguing that this event showed US direct involvement in the Ukraine war.
Russia: If the military deems it appropriate, it will withdraw from the bottom of the American drone
If the Russian army deems it appropriate, it will retrieve the American drone from the bottom of the Black Sea, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed.
“It is a matter of the army.
If they consider it necessary for our interests and our security to do it, they will do it,” Peskov stressed, answering the question of whether Russia will attempt to retrieve the American MQ9 drone to study and analyze it.
However, Peskov emphasized that he does not know what the intentions of the Russian army are and for this he referred the journalists to contact the Russian Ministry of Defense.
It is recalled that last Tuesday, 14/3, an American MQ9 drone flying over the Black Sea near the Crimean peninsula in the direction of Russia was shot down.
The US has accused Russia of shooting it down, a charge Moscow has vehemently denied.
The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that the drone, which was flying with its transponders turned off, violated a temporary limit set for Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine – which had been mobilized to all users of international airspace and published according to international standards – fell as a result of sharp maneuvers.
Russia maintains that the Russian fighters had not used airborne weapons, nor had they come into contact with the drone and returned safely to their country’s airport.
Russia-US relations are in a sad state, and possibly at the worst point in their history.
It is indicative that an American senator proposed the shooting down of Russian fighter jets that would approach American in international airspace.
This statement by Senator Lindsey Graham provoked a strong reaction from the Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, who argued that if such a thing were to happen, then it would be an open declaration of war.
Do you want nuclear war? – Reply
“A deliberate attack on a Russian aircraft in neutral airspace is not just a crime under international law, but an open declaration of war against the largest nuclear power.
An armed conflict between Russia and the United States would be radically different from the “proxy” war the US is waging against us in Ukraine.
Is Capitol Hill willing to put American citizens and the international community at risk of full-scale nuclear war?
Give us an answer, honorable senator!” emphasized Antonov, who argued that Russia does not want a conflict with a nuclear power.