In an unprecedented move, the Pentagon released a video Thursday Russia intercepts a US military surveillance drone shot down over the Black Sea two days before.
It was the first direct confrontation between the United States and Russia since the war in Ukraine began, exacerbating already-fragile ties between Washington and Moscow.
According to US sources the Russian Su-27 fighter appeared to try to damage the US MQ-9 drone as it flew over the Black Seaflying very close and dumping fuel nearby.
As a result of the Russian fighter’s collision with the drone, according to the Pentagon, the video signal was lost after another Russian maneuver nearby. The video closes with footage of the drone’s shattered propeller, which the armed forces say was caused by the crash and rendered the plane inoperable.
The video, which is about 40 seconds long, has been edited by the US military to make it longer, but continues to show events in chronological order, the Pentagon said.
Russia has refuted US claims the planes were inattentive during Tuesday’s incident over the Black Sea and has instead attributed the crash to a “sharp maneuver” by the drone, insisting their plane did not come into contact.
Warn them of the danger of direct conflict
The collision over international waters was a reminder of the potential for direct conflict between the United States and Russia over Ukraine.which Putin invaded more than a year ago and who has supported the West with intelligence and military aid.
The footage was made public on Wednesday after talks between US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, and senior US general Mark Milley and his Russian counterpart, Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Milley said it was clear that the interception and harassment of the drone by Russian aircraft was done on purpose.but that it was not clear whether the Russian pilots intended to ram the drone with their aircraft, which could have endangered their own aircraft.