Russia gives awards to fighter pilots involved in US drone crash | Drone Strikes News

US officials say surveillance flights over the Black Sea have resumed despite Russia’s downing of an MQ-9 Reaper drone.

Russia has awarded state awards to two fighter pilots who took part in the shooting down of a US spy drone that crashed into the Black Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry said, while the Russian Defense Ministry said. US officials announced that their reconnaissance flights over the area have resumed.

Awarding next Friday Su-27 . fighter pilotsRussian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu praised their achievement in preventing drones from flying into an area near Crimea that Moscow has banned.

“The drone flew with the transponder turned off, violating the boundary of the temporary airspace use mode area established for special military operations. [and] is in contact with all users of international airspace,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, according to The Moscow Times.

Pro-Kremlin political analyst Sergei Markov said the rewards for the pilots were “a clear sign that Russia will continue to shoot down” US drones.

“This decision will receive strong support from Russian society that wants the government to tighten its policies,” Markov wrote in a commentary.

The Russian award ceremony took place the day after the award ceremony. US military released a declassified 42-second video shows Russian Su-27 fighters intercepting drones and flying close while refueling in an attempt to damage its optical and other high-tech equipment. Unmanned aircraft.

The US military says it was forced to abandon its MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea after one of the Russian jets collided with the drone’s propeller while it was flying in international airspace. economic. Russia has denied that its jets caused any physical damage to the US drone, alleging that it crashed while performing a sharp maneuver.

US officials say recovering what’s left of what’s done will be difficult due to the deep water in the Black Sea. But Russian state media reported that the Russian navy had discovered the wreckage of the drone about 60km from the Crimean port city of Sevastopol at a depth of 850-900 meters (2,788-2,952 feet). , according to The Moscow Times.

Although Moscow and Washington initially had harsh words about the drone incident, the US seemed intent on de-escalating tensions by saying it didn’t know if the Russian pilot crashed the drone on purpose. drone or not.

Russian officials also stressed the need to maintain a line of communication with Washington after the incident, and harshly condemned the US’s operation of surveillance flights over its borders and sharing of sensitive information. Military intelligence with Ukraine will be used to attack Russian forces.

US officials said on Friday that their surveillance drone flights over the Black Sea have resumed.

An RQ-4 Global Hawk flew on a mission to the region on Friday, two officials told Reuters news agency, with one adding that it was the first such unmanned flight since the aircraft. The drone was shot down on Tuesday.

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