A Russian fighter jet struck the propeller of a U.S. surveillance drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday in a “brazen violation of international law,” causing American forces to bring down the unmanned aerial vehicle, the U.S. said.
Moscow said the U.S. drone maneuvered sharply and crashed into water following an encounter with Russian fighter jets scrambled to intercept it near Crimea, but insisted its warplanes didn’t fire their weapons or hit the drone.
The incident, which raised tensions over Moscow’s war in Ukraine, appeared to mark the first time since the height of the Cold War that a U.S. aircraft was brought down after being hit by a Russian warplane.
U.S. President Joe Biden was briefed on the incident by national security adviser Jake Sullivan, according to White House National Security spokesman John Kirby. He added that U.S. State Department officials would be speaking directly with their Russian counterparts and “expressing our concerns over this unsafe and unprofessional intercept.”
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