Russia denies causing crash of US drone over Black Sea

FILE PHOTO: Visitors look at engines of a MIG 29 MiG-29 fighter jet at the Army-2022 International Military-Technical Forum at the Russian Armed Forces’ Patriot Park in Kubinka, outside Moscow, on 16 August 2022. (Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP)

Russia’s defense ministry said Tuesday it scrambled fighter jets following the detection of a US drone over the Black Sea but denied causing it to crash despite accusations from Washington.

The US military said a Russian fighter jet on Tuesday dumped fuel on an American drone and then collided with it, causing the drone to crash.

The defense ministry in Moscow said it detected an American MQ-9 drone “over the waters of the Black Sea in the area of the Crimean peninsula” flying “towards the Russian state border”.

It added that the drone was flying with its “transponders turned off” and fighter jets were scrambled “to identify” it.

“As a result of sharp maneuvering at around 0930 MSK (0630 GMT) the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle entered an uncontrolled flight with loss of altitude and collided with the surface of the water,” the ministry said.

“The Russian fighters did not use their on-board weapons, made no contact with the UAV, and safely returned to their home airfield,” the ministry said.

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