The United States has released footage showing the exact moment a Russian warplane collided with a US surveillance drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday.
The clip was released by US European Command on Thursday. It was captured by the US MQ-9 Reaper drone and shows the exact moment it collided with a Russian Su-27 fighter jet. A Pentagon spokesman had previously raised the possibility that the department could release and release footage from the collision.
Both sides have blamed each other for the collision and have given conflicting statements. The Pentagon has said the plane dumped fuel on the drone, which was in international airspace conducting a routine surveillance mission.
Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, said in a statement Wednesday that the drone approached Russian airspace “deliberately and provocatively.”
“Two Russian Su-27 aircraft conducted an unsafe and unprofessional interception of a US Air Force MQ-9 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance unmanned aircraft operating in international airspace over the Black Sea on March 14, 2023,” said the US European Command in a statement accompanying the video.
“Russian Su-27s dumped fuel on the MQ-9’s propeller and hit it, resulting in US forces having to down the MQ-9 in international waters.”
This is an evolving story and will be updated as more information becomes available.