Russia will attempt to recover and examine the wreckage of a US MQ-9 drone that crashed into the Black Sea after being harassed by Russian warplanes.
Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, told Rossiya-1 television on Wednesday that he was unsure about the drone’s expulsion.
“Of course, I hope to win,” he said. “The Americans continue to say they are not participating in hostilities. In these cases, this confirms that they are directly involved in the war.”
Two Russian SU-27 fighter jets intercepted the drone on Tuesday, doused it with fuel and flew in front of it, proving it was “incompetent,” according to a statement from the US European Command. One of the fighters clipped the drone’s propeller, forcing the American operators to bring it into international waters, US officials said.
The Russian Defense Ministry said its warplanes were trying to identify the “infiltrator” when the drone’s sudden maneuver caused it to crash.
Fighter Jet Hits Drone:A Russian warplane collided with a US Air Force drone over the Black Sea
►Polish intelligence services have detained six people and busted a spy network working for Russia, Radio RMF in Warsaw reported. A security alert has been issued for railways and national infrastructure.
British and German fighter jets scrambled to intercept a Russian jet flying close to Estonian airspace, the UK Ministry of Defense said. The Russian plane did not enter the airspace of Estonia, a NATO member.
►Ukraine’s 93rd Separate Mechanized Regiment shot down a Russian Su-24 supersonic tactical bomber near Pakmut in the Donetsk region, Irina Rypakova, spokeswoman for the regiment, said on Wednesday.
Poland backs fighter jets to Ukraine:Poland is ready to deliver MiG-29s to Ukraine in 4 to 6 weeks. Live notifications
Austin blasts Russia, Reagan says flights will continue
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday chided Russia for downing a US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea a day earlier, vowing that such surveillance flights would continue. Austin, speaking before discussing aid to Ukraine in its war with Russia, branded the fighter pilots’ actions “dangerous, reckless and unprofessional.”
The Pentagon shares intelligence it gathers with Ukrainian forces. Russia operates warships in the Black Sea and launches missiles from it. Tuesday’s meeting was the first physical confrontation between Russia and the United States, raising concerns about tensions and escalation.
– Tom Vanden Brook
Poland says several countries are ready to supply fighter jets to Ukraine
Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller said on Wednesday that Poland had received “clear declarations” from several countries willing to supply MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. Hosted by Bloomberg and the Government of Russia TossSpeaking at a news conference in Warsaw, Mueller did not name specific countries.
“We will announce the details in due course. These decisions are taken by a multi-country committee,” he said. “Although we have clear declarations as to which countries they will be, we have agreed that they will announce their decisions according to their procedures.”
On Tuesday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Warsaw could transfer a “limited number” of Soviet-era jets to Ukraine within four to six weeks if the alliance accepts conditions. Slovakia’s Defense Minister Jaroslav Knott has expressed his support for a joint supply of MiG-29s with Poland. President Joe Biden has refused to provide the fighter jets, amid concerns it would widen the war.
Russian ambassador dismisses US concerns over drone incident
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov, who was summoned by the State Department after the drone incident on Tuesday, said he had a 30-minute conversation with Under Secretary of State Karen Danfried. He said they spent half the time discussing drones and the other half Russian concerns about U.S. actions. Antonov told Rossiya-1 TV that his country “will not allow anyone to penetrate its waters”.
Contributed by: Associated Press