Russian jets power down U.S. drone over Black Sea


Russian fighter jets intercepted and compelled down an American surveillance drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday, U.S. officers mentioned, with one of many warplanes colliding with the unmanned plane’s propeller after each jets dumped gasoline on it.

The incident, occurring round 7 a.m. native time, prompted Air Power personnel remotely working the MQ-9 Reaper to deliver it down in worldwide waters. U.S. officers characterised the encounter as being a part of a “sample of harmful actions by Russian pilots” whereas interacting with American and allied plane in worldwide airspace. The high-risk maneuvers, carried about by Russian Su-27s, had been “reckless and environmentally unsound,” the officers mentioned, warning that such provocations might result in “miscalculation and unintended escalation” between the 2 powers.

“Our MQ-9 plane was conducting routine operations in worldwide airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian plane, leading to a crash and full lack of the MQ-9,” mentioned Gen. James B. Hecker, a senior navy official overseeing Air Power operations within the area. “Actually, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians almost brought on each plane to crash.”

The Russian Embassy in Washington didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

A State Division spokesman, Ned Worth, informed reporters that senior U.S. officers would keep in touch with their Russian counterparts to speak “our robust objections.”

“We’re summoning the Russian ambassador to the division the place we’ll convey this message,” Worth mentioned, including that, in Moscow, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Lynne M. Tracy, had relayed the Biden administration’s dissatisfaction to the Ministry of Overseas Affairs.

Major operate: Intelligence assortment

in help of strike, coordination

and reconnaissance missions.

Crew (distant): Two (pilot and sensor operator)

Ceiling: As much as 50,000 toes

Word: Knowledge present as of March 2021

Major operate: Intelligence assortment in help of strike, coordination

and reconnaissance missions.

Ceiling: As much as 50,000 toes

Crew (distant): Two (pilot and sensor operator)

Word: Knowledge present as of March 2021

It was not instantly clear the place over the Black Sea the incident occurred or what mission the drone was conducting. U.S. navy officers additionally didn’t instantly specify what different current actions by Russian pilots match into the sample of harmful exercise that they described.

White Home spokesman John Kirby mentioned that President Biden was briefed concerning the incident on Tuesday morning by nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan. Whereas intercepts of plane occur with some frequency, Kirby mentioned, “this one, clearly, is noteworthy due to how unsafe [and] certainly reckless” the Su-27s had been “in inflicting the downing of one in every of our plane.”

U.S. and Russian militaries arrange years in the past a cellphone line for the “deconfliction” of air operations to keep away from collisions and different incidents that might doubtlessly immediate a disaster. Kirby mentioned the Black Sea is “an unlimited physique of water,” and U.S. plane have been flying in worldwide airspace there “constantly” for a yr.

“We’re going to proceed to try this,” Kirby mentioned. “And we don’t must have some form of check-in with the Russians earlier than we fly in worldwide airspace.”

One yr of Russia’s battle in Ukraine

Portraits of Ukraine: Each Ukrainian’s life has modified since Russia launched its full-scale invasion one yr in the past — in methods each huge and small. They’ve realized to outlive and help one another beneath excessive circumstances, in bomb shelters and hospitals, destroyed house complexes and ruined marketplaces. Scroll by portraits of Ukrainians reflecting on a yr of loss, resilience and worry.

Battle of attrition: Over the previous yr, the battle has morphed from a multi-front invasion that included Kyiv within the north to a battle of attrition largely concentrated alongside an expanse of territory within the east and south. Observe the 600-mile entrance line between Ukrainian and Russian forces and try the place the combating has been concentrated.

A yr of residing aside: Russia’s invasion, coupled with Ukraine’s martial legislation stopping fighting-age males from leaving the nation, has pressured agonizing choices for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian households about the right way to stability security, obligation and love, with once-intertwined lives having grow to be unrecognizable. Right here’s what a practice station filled with goodbyes appeared like final yr.

Deepening international divides: President Biden has trumpeted the reinvigorated Western alliance cast in the course of the battle as a “international coalition,” however a more in-depth look suggests the world is way from united on points raised by the Ukraine battle. Proof abounds that the trouble to isolate Putin has failed and that sanctions haven’t stopped Russia, due to its oil and gasoline exports.

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