Russian fighter jet colliding with US drone is ‘unacceptable behavior’: Kurt Volker
Former U.S. Amb. to NATO Kurt Volker says the Russian fighter jet collision was ‘intentional’ and requires a ‘firm response’ from the U.S.
The Russian government has awarded the pilots involved in the harassment and crash of a U.S. drone in international airspace.
Russian minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu presented state awards to the fighter jet pilots responsible for downing a U.S. drone over the Black Sea earlier this week.
US VIDEO SHOWS MOMENT RUSSIAN FIGHTER JET COLLIDES WITH US DRONE
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Eternal Flame and the Unknown Soldier’s Grave in Alexander Garden during an event marking Defender of the Fatherland Day in Moscow. (PAVEL BEDNYAKOV/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)
In an official statement, the Ministry of Defense commended the pilots for preventing the drone from “violating the boundaries of the temporary airspace regime established for the special military operation.”
The statement accuses the U.S. drone of flying with its transponders off.
RUSSIA FLYING MORE ARMED AIRCRAFT OVER US BASES IN SYRIA, US CENTCOM COMMANDER SAYS
U.S. European Command on Thursday released video of a Russian Su-27 fighter jet colliding with a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea, March 14. A screenshot shows a jet dumping fuel. (US European Command)
The Russian Ministry of Defense stood by its earlier claims that the aircraft at no point touched the drone, despite U.S. video show a jet clipping its propeller, forcing the drone to crash into the Black Sea.
“The Russian aircraft did not use on-board weapons, did not come into contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle, and returned safely to their home airfield,” the ministry stated.
RUSSIAN SHIPS AT US DRONE CRASH SITE IN BLACK SEA, US OFFICIAL SAYS: ‘THEY WASTED NO TIME’
Video shows a damaged propeller on a U.S. MQ-9 drone that was struck by a Russian Su-17 fighter jet over the Black Sea, March 14, 2023. (US European Command)
U.S. Central Command has seen more “unprofessional” and “unsafe” behavior from Russian pilots in Syria since March 1, a commander said Thursday.
Gen. Michael Kurilla explained the ongoing harassment of U.S. forces in the region at a meeting of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.
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Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend a meeting of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 15, 2023. (VLADIMIR GERDO/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)
The general explained that Russian aircraft have become emboldened to act aggressively toward U.S. bases in a way not typical of an organized military force.
Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at [email protected]