The US and Russia have completely different accounts of what triggered an American drone to crash into the Black Sea on Tuesday.
It is the primary time the 2 powers have come into direct contact because the Ukraine battle began final 12 months.
‘Something clearly went mistaken’; comply with Ukraine newest
American officers say two Russian fighter jets intentionally intercepted the ‘unmanned aerial car’, whereas Moscow claims the US was flying too near its territory.
Here Sky News appears at what we all know up to now.
The US repeatedly makes use of spy drones to collect intelligence round Ukraine, together with the MQ-9 Reaper.
Reapers might be flown remotely as much as 50,000ft. They are used primarily for surveillance however might be geared up with missiles for assault missions.
Defence analyst Professor Michael Clarke tells Sky News: “The Americans had a surveillance drone going spherical in circles over the Black Sea.
“It was almost certainly just surveying, picking up intelligence from on the ground. The Russians always try to put them off and buzz them with their aircraft.”
On this event, two Russian Su-27 fighter jets tried to intercept the drone by flying in entrance and dumping gasoline on high of it in an effort to blind or harm it, US officers say.
This went on for 30 or 40 minutes on Tuesday morning earlier than one of many Su-27s clipped the rear propeller of the Reaper someplace between Crimea and Odesa.
Due to the harm, the Americans had been compelled to crash it into the water.
What has the US stated?
The US Department of Defense has stated the fighter jet’s contact with the drone compelled it to crash land.
“Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on, and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner,” US Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa commander James B. Hecker stated.
The US says it was conducting routine operations in worldwide airspace and that the Russian interception was “unsafe and unprofessional” and “demonstrates a lack of competence”.
Its European command additionally insists that whereas Reapers can carry weapons for assault missions, the one concerned on Tuesday was just for intelligence.
What does Russia say?
The Kremlin says the American drone was flying too near Crimea, which it annexed in 2014 and claims as its personal territory.
Russia has additionally falsely declared the world a no-fly zone – describing the incident as a “provocation”.
Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, stated: “The unacceptable actions of the United States military in the close proximity to our borders are cause for concern.
“If, for instance, a Russian strike drone appeared close to New York or San Francisco, how would the US Air Force and Navy react?”
Although the Su-27 carries a 30mm gun, Moscow says it “did not use airborne weapons” on this event.
It additionally claims its jet “did not come into contact” with the Reaper and the crash was a results of “sharp manoeuvring”.
Professor Clarke added: “In my mind, something clearly went wrong.
“Any pilot of a jet who might intentionally fly right into a propeller of a drone that goes so slowly is an entire fool.
“It’s much more likely that it was an accident and the pilot hit the propeller.”
What occurs now?
While the Soviet-era jet managed to return again to base safely, the US drone has not been recovered.
According to Sky News safety and defence editor Deborah Haynes: “The Americans will have done all they can to make sure that anything secret is not accessible, deleted, destroyed.”
Russian ambassador Mr Antonov was summoned to the US on Tuesday when he stated Russia doesn’t need any direct confrontation with Washington.
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Professor Clarke says the “back and forth” between the 2 sides is more likely to proceed within the coming days.
“The US is gathering information all the time and you wouldn’t expect the Russians to like what’s going on and not try and disrupt it.
“That recreation has been happening for a few months now.
“But now instead of it just between a competition between US intelligence and Russian aircraft, it’s become an international incident.”