Black Sea: Moscow wants to recover the American drone, Washington investigates | War in Ukraine

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Black Sea: Moscow wants to recover the American drone, Washington is investigating | War in Ukraine

For Russia, this incident proves the “direct” involvement of the United States in the conflict in Ukraine.

Moscow has asked Washington not to approach its airspace in the aftermath of an incident in the Black Sea that involved a US surveillance drone and a Russian fighter jet.

Russia said on Wednesday it wanted to fish out the American drone it is accused of crashing in the Black Sea and which it believes proves the x27; US involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. For its part, Washington has announced that it is investigating Moscow's motives in this incident.

The Reaper MQ-9 fell in international waters after being hit, according to Washington, by a Russian fighter. Moscow admits the interception of the aircraft by its fighter jets but denies any contact that would have led to the crash. Russia argues that the drone had entered, off the Crimean peninsula annexed in 2014, a no-fly zone that it itself decreed for its operation in Ukraine.

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“I can't speak at this stage of a motive or an intention [on the part of the Russians], but what I can say very clearly is that it is #x27;was a reckless and dangerous action.

— Anthony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State

Kyiv accused Russian forces of deliberately bringing down the Reaper to send a message to Washington , as they struggle to gain ground in Ukraine.

In the east of the country, Russian forces are still storming the small town of Bakhmout, which the Ukrainians have been defending fiercely for months, the Ukrainian army said in its daily report . Our defenders repelled enemy attacks near the villages of Orikhovo-Vasylivka and Bogdanivka, she added.

It was a Russian SU-27 fighter jet like the one on the right in the foreground that rammed the US drone over the Black Sea.

More in the south, due to their helplessness, the occupiers are terrorizing civilians in the Kherson region, according to the same source.

In this context and as the deliveries of Western heavy tanks to the Ukrainians have begun, the neutralization of the Reaper drone is a signal from Putin that he is ready to expand the conflict zone and involve people there. other parties, Ukrainian Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said on Twitter. United will continue to fly where permitted by international law.

It is Russia's responsibility to fly its military aircraft in a professional and safe manner, Mr. Austin added at a press conference after a telephone interview with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.

France, whose forces are notably present in Romania with NATO, agreed with this. Freedom of navigation in international airspace must be respected and actions of intimidation are not acceptable, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France. We call on Russia to comply with international law on this subject, as on all of those from which it has deviated.

Russia, for its part, has announced that it will endeavor to find the device and recover it to analyze the highly sophisticated observation equipment.

I don't know if we can reach it or not, but we have to try. We will necessarily take care of it and I hope, of course, with success, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev told Russian television. He said he believes that this incident proves that the United States is directly involved […] in the war.

It is an American MQ-9 drone, also called Reaper, which was “intercepted and hit” by a fighter plane over the Black Sea on Tuesday.

White House spokesman John Kirby previously told CNN that the United States had taken steps to ensure that the drone or its equipment cannot fall into enemy hands.

Russia held the United States responsible for the incident and the tensions it sparked, calling on Washington to stop hostile drone flights.

“Any incident causing tension between the two major nuclear powers is fraught with very serious risks to global security.

—Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister

The Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, summoned by the American State Department, had already indicated that Moscow considered the presence of American drones in the area as a threat, urging American forces to cease their flights near the Russian borders.

This is the first time since the start of the Russian assault on Ukraine that a country in the #x27;NATO acknowledges having lost equipment used by itself in this highly flammable region.

The Reaper drone is a 20-meter wingspan remotely piloted aircraft. It is equipped with onboard sensors for surveillance as well as weaponry. Flying at a cruising speed of 335 km/h, it enjoys a range of more than 24 hours.

The skies of the Black Sea are the scene of very regular interactions between drones and aircraft of NATO countries and the Russian armed forces, especially since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

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