Washington-Kyiv, March 15 – For the first such direct contact between the two countries since Russia attacked Ukraine more than a year ago, the U.S. military claimed a Russian jet fighter damaged the propeller on one of its spy drones, causing it to crash into the Black Sea. Moscow disputes US claims that Russian jet caused Black Sea Spy Drone crash.
Russia’s military ministry presented a different account of Tuesday’s event and its envoy to the United States said his country considered the encounter between a U.S. MQ-9 drone as well as a Russian Su-27 fighter plane as a “provocation”.
Although it has not intervened directly in the conflict, the United States regularly conducts intelligence flights over the area and has provided Ukraine with military assistance worth tens of billions of dollars.
The Ukrainian military reported on Wednesday that Russia had shelled numerous communities along the eastern front in the previous 24 hours, including a missile attack on a civic infrastructure in the Kherson area that resulted in civilian casualties.
Russia denies hitting civilians, and the battlefield allegations could not be independently corroborated.
According to Tuesday night’s remarks by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, military leaders were unanimously in favor of defending the eastern front line, which included the destroyed city of Bakhmut that has been under Russian siege for months.
In his night video address, Zelenskiy stated that Bakhmut was the main emphasis. The entire command had a very clear position: “Strengthen this sector and kill as many occupiers as possible.”
Luhansk in the east, Odesa just on the Black Sea in the south, as well as Khmelnytskyi in the west all had their governors removed by Zelenskiy. The administration’s parliamentary representative made the announcement without providing any justification.
Hanna Malyar, the deputy minister of defense for Ukraine, claimed that fighting was raging at Kreminna and other towns north of Bakhmut and that Russia was “on the offensive” throughout the whole front in the eastern Donetsk region.
According to her, protecting Bakhmut was crucial because “a great deal of enemy equipment is being destroyed. A great number of soldiers are being killed and at the moment, the enemy’s potential to advance is being weakened.” She made the remarks to Ukrainian tv.
Russian MPs recommended changes to the citizenship statute to allow for the removal of obtained citizenship for treason and to discredit what the Kremlin refers to as its “special military campaign” in Ukraine as the number of victims grew.
The UN and Turkey reported that negotiations to extend an arrangement allowing grain imports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which was set to expire this week, were still ongoing. The 60-day extension, which would have been half as long as the previous renewal, was declined by Ukraine.
DRONE CRASH INCIDENT
The US spy drone was intercepted by two Russian Su-27 aircraft in what the US military called a careless maneuver in international airspace. According to the report, the Russian fighter jets went dangerously close to the MQ-9 and spilled fuel on it, possibly in an effort to blind or harm it.
The drone crashed at 7:03 a.m. (0603 GMT) after almost 30 to 40 minutes when one of the jets made contact with it, according to the U.S. military.
According to the Pentagon, Russia has not retrieved the drone, and the jet was probably damaged.
In actuality, the Russians’ reckless and careless action almost resulted in the crash of both aircraft, according to U.S. Air Force Gen. James Hecker, who supervises the United States Air Force in the area.
The unmanned aircraft was reported to have crashed after “sharp maneuvering,” according to the Russian defense ministry, which denied that any of its aircraft had made contact with it. It stated the drone had been discovered adjacent to the Crimea peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine around 2014.
The United States State Department called up Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov to talk about the incident, spokesperson Ned Price stated.
According to comments made by Antonov and posted on the embassy website early Wednesday, the American plane “intentionally and provocatively” decided to move towards Russian territory while having its transponders off.
“The inexcusable exercise of the United States military in the close vicinity to our border lines is a reason for concern,” Antonov said. They are gathering information that the Kyiv regime then uses to attack our military forces and jurisdiction. Moscow disputes US claims that Russian jet caused Black Sea Spy Drone crash
The reports of the occurrence over the Black Sea which is bordered by Ukraine and Russia amongst many other countries couldn’t have been independently confirmed.
It is a “very sensitive stage in this dispute because it is really the first real interaction that the public is aware of between Russia and The west,” according to Elisabeth Braw who is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.
Russian President Vladimir Putin asserts he penetrated Ukraine to protect Russia from an adversarial West bent on growing into historically Russian provinces.
Ukraine as well as its Western allies have said Russia is waging an unjustified military campaign that has devastated Ukrainian cities, killed a lot of people as well as forced millions still to flee for their lives.