By Jacob Pamus
On March 14, a United States drone flying over the Black Sea was downed by a Russian jet, according to the Pentagon. Remains of the drone, which was built Poway by General Atomics, have not yet been recovered.
Russia denied causing the crash, however video released by the Pentagon shows that the Russian jet was flying close to the drone and dumping fuel onto it. The Pentagon believes that the fuel was being dumped in order to damage surveillance technology on the drone, and that the jet accidentally clipped the propeller of the drone, causing it to crash. The video shows that the Russian jet clearly damaged the propeller of the drone.
Anatoly Antonov, a Russian ambassador for the US, stated, “We prefer not to create a situation where we can face unintended clashes or unintended incidents between the Russian Federation and the United States,” CNN reported.
It is common for aircraft in international airspace to be intercepted and escorted, but it is not common for them to be taken down. This is significant because this is the first downing of a U.S. aircraft by Russia since the Cold War, coming amid tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the U.S. supplying weapons to help Ukraine defend against Russia.
It is unknown why the drone was in the Black Sea in the first place.
This is reminiscent of when the U.S military shot down a Chinese spy balloon on February 4, though that balloon had clearly entered U.S. airspace and the Pentagon has said it was part of an international spying program by the Chinese. https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-war-drone-us-intercept-b28e38a7cd046f8685b89a3038973e49
The video shows no such thing