The Kremlin trolled the US Friday by handing out state awards to the Russian fighter pilots who introduced down an American surveillance drone over the Black Seat this week.
Russian Protection Minister Sergei Shoigu introduced awards to the pilots of two Su-27 warplanes that intercepted the unmanned MQ-9 Reaper drone, clipped its propeller, and dumped gas on it earlier than it went down Tuesday, in line with the US narrative.
The incident marked the primary recognized direct army encounter between Russia and the US for the reason that begin of the Ukraine battle.
Saying the honors, Shoigu’s ministry repeated Russia’s official model of occasions – strongly disputed by Washington — that the planes didn’t make any bodily contact with the drone.
“On account of sharp maneuvering… the MQ-9 unmanned aerial car went into uncontrolled flight with a lack of altitude and collided with the water floor,” a press launch shared on the ministry’s Telegram channel said.
“The Russian fighters didn’t use airborne weapons, didn’t come into contact with the unmanned aerial car, and returned safely to their base airfield,” the assertion continued.
Based on the ministry, the drone had been flying with its transponders turned off and violating airspace restrictions that Russia had made public in reference to the battle in Ukraine.
The Pentagon had stated the Russian fighter planes sided as much as its MQ-9 Reaper throughout a reconnaissance mission over the Black Sea in worldwide airspace.
It stated the fighters harassed the drone and made contact with it, inflicting it to crash.
The DoD on Thursday launched a dramatic 40-second edited video displaying a Russian fighter jet coming near the drone, gas being jettisoned close to it, and a broken propeller within the aftermath.