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The Department of Defense has released footage of a Russian jet’s actions before it smacked into a U.S. drone over the Black Sea, a collision Russia’s ambassador to the United States says never happened.
The footage was posted to YouTube by U.S. European Military Command. A news release from EUCOM stated the incident took place about 7 a.m. Tuesday Central European Time (about 2 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time) when two Russian Su-27 aircraft “conducted an unsafe and unprofessional intercept” with an Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance MQ-9 Reaper drone.
“Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner,” the release stated.
The video shows the plane dumping fuel on the drone, and then coming close to the drone from behind. The video then shows the propeller of the drone damaged.
The Russian pilots’ actions downed the aircraft, forcing drone U.S. operators to crash it into international waters. According to CNN, the drone’s software was wiped before it hit the water.
A senior Biden administration official said the footage “absolutely confirms” the collision, but does not show intent. However, CNN reported that its sources said Russia’s Ministry of Defense ordered pilots to harass a drone over the Black Sea.
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said the United States is manufacturing an incident, according to Newsweek.
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