US says Russian fighter jet hits US drone over Black Sea

A Russian warplane struck the propeller of a US surveillance drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday in a “blatant violation of international law”prompting US forces to shoot down the UAV, the US said.

Moscow said the US drone maneuvered sharply and crashed into the water after an encounter with Russian fighter jets that rushed to intercept it near Crimea, but insisted that their fighter jets did not 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 US plane was shot down after being hit by a Russian fighter jet.

US President Joe Biden was briefed on the incident by national security adviser Jake Sullivan, according to White House Homeland Security spokesman John Kirby. He added that US State Department officials would speak directly to their Russian counterparts and “express our concern about this unprofessional and unsafe interception.”

State Department spokesman Ned Price called it a “blatant violation of international law.” He said that the United States summoned the Russian ambassador to lodge a protest and that the United States ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy, made similar representations in Moscow.

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