The Pentagon has launched the primary footage from the surveillance drone that crashed over the Black Sea, exhibiting a Russian fighter jet passing near the unmanned plane and dumping gasoline on it.
Within the 42-second color video clip, the fighter jet makes two high-speed passes, each instances spraying gasoline on the drone, which was downed on Tuesday, elevating tensions between Washington and Moscow.
Throughout the second move, the US army mentioned the fighter jet collided with the drone, although that can not be seen on the video. The Pentagon mentioned the collision took the American drone’s digicam feed down for about 60 seconds earlier than it went again on-line. When the video is restored, one of many drone’s propellers seems broken.
Russia has denied downing the drone, saying it misplaced management “on account of a pointy manoeuvre” and crashed into the ocean with out Russian involvement.
The incident prompted a uncommon telephone name on Wednesday between US defence secretary Lloyd Austin and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu. Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Employees Gen Mark Milley additionally spoke along with his Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimov to lift considerations in regards to the episode.
The US State Division additionally summoned the Russian ambassador to the US to denounce the incident, which the Biden administration has described as “unsafe”, “unprofessional” and “reckless”.
The US army mentioned the video was edited for size however confirmed the occasions in sequential order. Army officers have mentioned two Russian fighter jets flew close to the MQ-9 for about 30 to 40 minutes earlier than one of many jets collided with it and triggered it to crash.
Russia’s defence ministry mentioned late on Wednesday that Shoigu advised Austin the incident came about as a result of the US violated Russia’s flight restriction zone off the coast of Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014.
He described drone flights as “provocative” and creating “conditions for escalation”. Russia, he mentioned, was not involved in escalation, however would proceed to “reply proportionately to all provocations”.
Ukrainian nationwide safety chief Oleksiy Danilov mentioned the incident signalled Kremlin’s “readiness to broaden the battle zone”.
Extra reporting by Polina Ivanova in Berlin
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