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Video of drone encounter shows Russia ‘flat lying’

The Biden administration released dramatic footage of an encounter between Russian fighter jets and an American surveillance drone as the United States tried to show that Russia was lying with claims that its fighter jet never hit the US plane.

The 42-second video, filmed from the bottom of the MQ-9 Reaper, shows a jet aircraft approaching in a clear blue sky, releasing a plume of fuel and then turning away.

The video then cuts to what the US says is a second Russian plane approaching the drone. It dumps its fuel, approaches the drone, and then the video cuts out. When the video returns, it shows the drone flying with a bent propeller.

Russia has continued to insist that its jets did not come into contact with the drone and that the Reaper crashed “as a result of sharp maneuvers”. At the same time, Russian officials said their ships were racing to recover the plane.

The decision to declassify and declassify the footage was intended to refute Russia’s claims. The US says the drone was in international airspace at the time of the encounter and that its pilot crashed it into the Black Sea, where it broke up in 4,000 to 5,000 feet of water.

“It’s not at all unusual for us to release images of these wiretaps,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Thursday. “We’ve done it many times – I think you all know that – to expose and make it clear to the rest of the world how the Russians lied about their accounts.”

The episode heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed adversaries, and Kirby’s comments were only the latest in an escalating exchange of words. The relationship between the two nations has collapsed completely since President Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022, and the recent encounter has raised fears that the US could be drawn directly into fighting and turn the conflict into a larger war .

Many questions remain about the drone, including where exactly it was before the crash and what it was monitoring. The Russian Navy has a fleet in the Black Sea with its headquarters in the city of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Along with weapons, ammunition and training, the US has provided intelligence to Ukraine – including that gleaned from its fleet of surveillance drones such as the MQ-9 Reaper – in an effort to use Russia’s advantage in troop levels, artillery shells and others weaken assets.

On Thursday, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said his country would send four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in the coming days as the nation moves forward with supplies to bolster Kiev’s air power. This move will reflect the fact that Russian jets have no air-to-air challenge in Ukrainian skies.

In a speech at the Pentagon, Defense Department spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder made no secret of why the US released the video.

“Our words and our actions speak for themselves, and similarly, Russia’s inaccurate information, misinformation, obfuscation, grasping at straws and shifting narratives speak for themselves,” Ryder told reporters. “So we’re going to focus on the facts and we’re going to stay focused on our mission.”

US officials have said they intend to continue flying drones in international airspace despite Russia’s aggressive behavior. On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu to defuse tensions over the incident.

In its first statement on the incident on Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said the drone’s transponder had been turned off and it had flown into airspace where Russia had announced a military operation. Moscow will try to retrieve the drone, said Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Kremlin’s Security Council. He told a state TV reporter he wasn’t sure if that was possible, but “it’s definitely true that we have to do it and try.”

Officials have tried to avoid the possibility of a wider conflict, with Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, saying on Wednesday he didn’t know if the Russian jet hit the drone intentionally. Other US officials also refused to dwell on the point.

“As for an act of war – I’m not going there,” Milley said when asked about the possibility by a reporter. “We are not seeking an armed conflict with Russia.”

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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