The US Department of Defense had previously accused Russian pilots of reckless flying over the Black Sea
The Pentagon has released a video, which it said was shot from a US MQ-9 Reaper drone during a close encounter with a Russian Su-27 fighter jet, after which the American aircraft plunged into the Black Sea earlier this week.
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The 50-second clip provided to the media shows an interceptor plane approaching the drone from behind and apparently ejecting fuel as it climbs.
The Pentagon claimed that Russian jets made several such maneuvers on Tuesday, including one in which the unmanned aircraft’s tail propeller supposedly got hit and damaged. The footage appears to show two of them, with the camera glitching both times.
The Russian Defense Ministry denied that there was a collision and claimed that the US drone stalled after executing a dangerous maneuver. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said the cause of the incident was the drone’s incursion into a zone, which the Russian military had declared off-limits due to the ongoing special military operation in Ukraine.