Forced Russian warplane under A US drone has flown over the Black Sea, the US says, another reminder of the potential escalation risks associated with the Ukraine war.
According to US officials, an MQ-9 drone was conducting “routine” reconnaissance operations at around 7 a.m. local time on Tuesday over international waters, when it was intercepted by Russian aircraft. The plane hit the drone, damaging the propeller, forcing the US to shoot down the drone. “This unsafe and unprofessional action by the Russians nearly caused both planes to crash,” Gen. James P. Hecker, commander of US Air Force Europe, said. he said in a statement Tuesday.
Russia Negates Her plane collided with the drone, saying the US plane crashed because of its own maneuvers.
The United States said it would continue to fly missions in international airspace, and called on Russia to act safely. This incident follows a pattern of dangerous actions by Russian pilots as they interact with US and allied aircraft over international airspace, including over the Black Sea. These aggressive actions by Russian aircrews are dangerous and could lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation.” Read the statement.
When asked for more information about those alleged Russian past actions, Megan A. Crusher, USAF Europe Public Affairs Officer, they are “gathering details” and will be reaching out with additional information.
The United States also summoned the Russian ambassador response to the accident.
The collision, if confirmed, would be the first physical military contact between Russia and the United States since the start of the Ukraine War. It is another sign of the larger geopolitical tensions that have led to this conflict. Russia is still going ahead with its offensive Trying to seize Ukrainian lands. At the same time, the United States and its allies are providing Kiev with economic and security aid that will make it possible for Ukraine to fight the war, possibly deter Russia’s advance and reclaim its territory. Deep Western involvement, and Russia’s relentless focus on advancing its conquest, ultimately put two nuclear superpowers at odds.
So far, Washington seems to be trying to de-escalate the situation, warning Russia of the danger of escalation, while emphasizing the need for professional and safe behavior. Pentagon Press Secretary General Pat Ryder said Tuesday that the US drone was flying over a “crowded international waterway” and that this was not an unusual mission for the United States, especially in the past year.
The White House and the Pentagon also stressed that the interception of Russian aircraft was not uncommon, that is, Russian aircraft only wanted to see what was flying there. (The Russian planes had been flying alongside the US drone for 30 or 40 minutes before the strike.) Ryder emphasized that the vast majority of these interceptions are safe and professional; What is different this time is that the Russian plane collided with an American drone and damaged it.
It is unclear if the Russian plane was also damaged as a result of the collision. Russian Ministry of Defense he said in a statement That the American drone “maneuvered sharply”, and then crashed after a confrontation with Russian aircraft near the Crimea, which Russia considers part of its territory – in general, the incident is completely different.
the The Russian Navy effectively blockaded the Black Seastrangling the ports of Ukraine, and Allowing only limited grain flows as part of a UN-brokered deal. However, US officials insisted that the drone was in international airspace and “completely clear” of Ukraine. (The Russian Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.)
The United States and Russia have had close contact before, Including in Syria, where American and Russian planes had near misses in the air. As a result, Washington and Moscow established a “deconfliction” line in Syria to communicate and avoid other miscalculations. At the beginning of the Ukraine war, Russia and the United States once again maintained such a line of non-conflict To avoid the possibility of similar mistakes that might push the two nuclear powers into a more direct confrontation. As of November, it has only been used once, Based on the reports. Crusher, with USAF Europe, confirmed to Vox that, prior to the Russian collision, “no incoming or outgoing calls were made from the deconfliction line regarding this incident.”
Right now, the United States and Russia are making two different offers, which is a worrying sign at any moment of crisis. More details are likely to emerge in the coming days and weeks that may provide a clearer picture of the incident.
But this is also part of a larger story, about how instability in Ukraine constantly threatens to spill over, either from an apparent mistake or provocation. In November, A.J Wrong missile from a Ukrainian air defense system Fell in Poland, killing two. The collision of this plane once again shows the dangerous balancing act between Moscow and Washington, and how a miscalculation or ill-timed move risks spillover of the conflict beyond Ukraine.