Russia Claims It Scrambled A Fighter Jet To Thwart A U.S. Drone

( – The Russian government is claiming that it successfully thwarted a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance drone attempting to cross over into Russian airspace while flying over the Black Sea.

The Russian defense ministry said that the U.S. drone made a U-turn away from the Russian border as soon as a Russian fighter jet got close to it.

This, however, is not the first instance between U.S. drones and Russian air forces. On March 14, the Washington Post reported that Russian aircraft had intentionally collided with and dumped fuel on a surveillance drone. The collision is said to have marked the first clash between U.S. and Russian military forces.

The Pentagon has said that such a move marks a dangerous trend in Russian military actions by Russian pilots when interacting with U.S. and other European military aircraft. The Pentagon also warned Russia that such conduct could lead to unintentional escalation and even full-fledged conflict between the two countries.

Russia refused to take responsibility for the incident, and instead blamed the U.S. for breaching what it called a “temporary boundary.” Such encounters between U.S. and Russian aircraft highlight the true risk of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. While the U.S. and the rest of the NATO alliance are not officially involved, the repeated financial and military aid of Ukraine by Western countries, along with added military presence, could spark a direct conflict between the U.S. and Russia should a miscalculation be made.

The news comes as the British Ministry of Defense’s latest intelligence report shows tensions in the Black Sea remain high, with Ukrainian and Russian forces engaging in attacks and skirmishes between sea and air forces.

Russia and Ukraine have also been fighting for control of oil and gas platforms in the Crimean peninsula and Odesa, which can serve as a strategic advantage for either side, serving as missile launch sites or helicopter landing pads.

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