Moscow will try to retrieve U.S. drone wreckage in Black Sea after Pentagon blames Russian jet for crash

Moscow will work to recover the wreckage of the US drone. Crashed into the Black Sea. When Washington said a Russian fighter jet hit it, a top official said Wednesday.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Petroshev said in televised remarks that “I don’t know if we will be able to regain it, but it has to happen. And we will certainly work on it.”

“I’m certainly hoping for success.”

Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia’s SVR intelligence service, said the country had the “technical” capabilities to recover the drones.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby has said that the US is trying to prevent downed drones from falling into the wrong hands.

“We have taken steps to protect our equity with respect to this particular drone – this particular aircraft,” Kirby told CNN.

But he also said the drone crashed in “very, very deep water.”

“We’re still evaluating whether there might be a recovery attempt. It might not happen,” Kirby said.

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called on Moscow to operate its aircraft in a safe and professional manner, saying the collision was part of a pattern of “dangerous” actions. And Moscow warned against “hostile” US flights as tensions between the two countries escalated.

“This dangerous incident is part of a pattern of aggressive, dangerous and unsafe actions by Russian pilots in international airspace,” Austin said at the start of a meeting of countries supporting Ukraine’s fight against Russian forces attacking it. said

“Make no mistake, the United States will continue to fly and operate wherever international law allows. And it is incumbent upon Russia to operate its military aircraft in a safe and professional manner,” he added. “

Although Russia has denied that its Su-27 aircraft clipped the unmanned drone’s propeller, Kiev said the incident in international waters was part of the Kremlin’s attempt to escalate the conflict in Ukraine. There is an effort.

Tuesday’s crash added to fresh tensions between Moscow and its Western allies.

Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to Washington, said on Wednesday that “we assume that the United States will refrain from further speculation in the media and stop flights near Russian borders.”

“We consider any action with the use of American weapons as open hostility,” he wrote on the social media channel Telegram.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday it shot down fighter jets after detecting a US drone over the Black Sea and denied it was the cause of the crash.

The Pentagon said its drone was on a routine mission when it was intercepted “in a reckless, environmentally inappropriate and unprofessional manner”, while Russia said the plane was out of control and said its jets had no contact with him.

“Obviously, we deny the Russians’ denials,” Kirby said.

The incident occurred about 75 miles southwest of the Crimean peninsula, a part of Ukraine annexed by Russia, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.

Over the course of more than half an hour on Tuesday morning, two Russian jets made a total of 19 passes at the drone, coming in front of it, blasting it with their jet exhaust and trying to drench it with their fuel.

One of the jets approached from behind, and US officials believe the pilot intended to get in front of the drone so it would fly into a cloud of fuel – but pulled up too quickly and clipped the drone’s propeller, which Located in the back. , reports Martin.

According to Martin, one official said, “Just bad piloting.

Kirby said in Washington that the Russian intervention in the Black Sea was commonplace, but it was “remarkable because of how unsafe and unprofessional it was, indeed reckless.”

For Ukraine, however, the incident was proof that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to escalate the years-long conflict in Ukraine and draw Washington in.

Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said, “The incident with the US MQ-9 Reaper UAV, instigated by Russia in the Black Sea, is Putin’s involvement with other parties to the conflict.” There is an indication of willingness to expand the area.” said on Twitter.

“The goal of this all-out strategy is always to raise the stakes,” he added.

An MQ-9 Reaper drone flies during a training mission at Creech Air Force Base on November 17, 2015 in Indian Springs, Nevada.
An MQ-9 Reaper drone flies during a training mission at Creech Air Force Base on November 17, 2015 in Indian Springs, Nevada.

Isaac Bracken/Getty Images

NATO diplomats in Brussels confirmed the incident, but said they did not expect it to escalate into a further confrontation immediately.

A Western military source, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said diplomatic channels between Russia and the US could help limit any fallout.

“I think diplomatic channels will cut it,” the source said.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has raised fears of a direct confrontation between Moscow and the NATO alliance, which is arming Kiev to defend itself.

Reports of a missile strike in eastern Poland in November briefly raised alarm, before Western military sources concluded it was a Ukrainian air defense missile, not Russian.

During a press conference Tuesday at the Pentagon, Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder would not say whether the drone was armed and called the unmanned aircraft an MQ-9, but not the Reaper. The US uses MQ-9 Reapers for both surveillance and strikes and has operated the drones in a number of locations, including in the Middle East and Africa.

“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and targeted by a Russian aircraft, causing the MQ-9 to crash,” US Air Force Commander Air Force Gen. James Hacker said. came and it was completely damaged. Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa.

In fact, the unsafe and unprofessional actions of the Russians almost caused both planes to crash, he said.

The drone was “unflyable and uncontrollable so we brought it down,” Ryder said, adding that the collision also damaged the Russian plane, which he said was able to land after the incident.

A number of American rappers have lost their lives in recent years, including to feuding fires.

US Central Command said at the time that one was shot down in 2019 by a surface-to-air missile fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

According to the Air Force, the Reapers can be armed with Hellfire missiles as well as laser-guided bombs and can fly more than 1,100 miles at an altitude of 50,000 feet.

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