US releases video of Russian plane dumping fuel on drone

US releases video of Russian plane dumping fuel on drone

The Pentagon has released footage of what it says is a Russian plane making an unsafe interception of a US Air Force surveillance drone in international airspace over the Black Sea.

The 42-second video, released Thursday, shows a Russian Su-27 approaching the rear of the MQ-9 drone and beginning to release fuel as it passes, the Pentagon said.

The US military said it abandoned the MQ-9 Reaper at sea on Tuesday after the Russian fighter jet dumped fuel on the UAV, in an apparent attempt to blind its optical instruments and drive it out of the area, and then struck his propeller.

The published excerpt shows no events before or after the apparent confrontation over the fuel spill.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley spoke to their Russian counterparts about the destruction of the US drone after the encounter with Russian fighter jets.

The calls with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russian General Staff Chief General Valery Gerasimov on Wednesday were the first since October.

While interception attempts are not uncommon, the mid-war incident in Ukraine has raised concerns that it could bring the United States and Russia closer to direct conflict.

That the top military and defense leaders of the two countries were speaking so soon after the Black Sea meeting underscored their seriousness.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in its report on the call with Austin that Shoigu accused the United States of provoking the incident by ignoring flight restrictions the Kremlin had imposed due to its military operations in Ukraine.

Russia also blamed “the intensification of intelligence activities against the interests of the Russian Federation.”

Such US actions “are fraught with an escalation of the situation in the Black Sea area,” the Defense Ministry said, warning that Russia “will respond in kind to all provocations.”

[Con información de The Associated Press]

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Written by Editor TLN

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