Su-27 Fighter Pilots That ‘Downed’ US MQ-9 Reaper Drone Nominated For State Awards: Moscow

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has nominated pilots of the Su-27 fighters for state awards who “prevented” a border violation by a US MQ-9 Reaper drone, the ministry said on Friday.

“Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, presented for state awards the pilots of the Su-27 aircraft, who prevented the violation of the borders of the area of the temporary regime for the use of airspace, established for the purpose of conducting a special military operation, by the US unmanned aerial vehicle MQ-9,” the ministry said in a statement.

File Image: Su-27

The ministry specified that the borders of this area had been communicated to all the parties using international airspace and published in accordance with international rules.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said a US MQ-9 Reaper drone descended into the Black Sea after engaging in sharp maneuvering, noting that Russian fighter jets sent to intercept it did not come into contact with it nor used weapons against it.

The ministry said the air control of the Russian Aerospace Forces recorded the flight of the drone in the region of the Crimean peninsula in the direction of the Russian border.

The US European Command, in turn, said that the incident that resulted in the complete loss of the drone involved a Russian Su-27 aircraft, which allegedly struck the drone’s propeller during an “unsafe and unprofessional intercept” over the Black Sea.

The US blamed Russian Su-27 fighters for intercepting the MQ-9 drone over the Black Sea and releasing jet fuel on it several times. It said one of the jets struck the drone’s propeller, causing it to crash.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the supply of MiG-29 fighter jets by Poland and Slovakia to Ukraine will not have any effect on Russia’s special operation.

On Thursday, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that the country will hand over the first four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in the coming days.

On Friday, incumbent Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger said that the government approved the transfer of MiG-29 fighters and Kup air defense systems to Ukraine.

“No, absolutely not, I think you do not even have to be a military expert to say that it cannot have any effect. It seems that these countries are simply engaged in the disposal of old, unnecessary equipment in this way,” Peskov told a briefing, commenting on whether such supplies can affect Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.

  • Via: ET Desk
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