The US conducts active reconnaissance in the Black Sea, using various technological means, the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service said on Wednesday.
“They are very actively using all means of space, visual intelligence, radio intelligence. We know and understand in detail what the Americans’ goals are in connection with intelligence activities and the use of technical means, and we try to identify those objects and territories that are of the greatest interest to them,” Sergey Naryshkin said in an interview with Russia’s Rossiya 24 TV channel.
In a separate statement, the head of the Russian Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, said the situation with the drone shows the US’ direct involvement in the conflict in Ukraine.
“Americans say all the time that they are not involved in military operations. This is another confirmation that they are directly involved in these events,” he stressed.
The comment came after the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that an unidentified flying object was detected over the Black Sea on Tuesday, which was moving with turned off transponders.
To identify the violator, fighter jets from Russia’s air defense forces on duty were taken into the air, the US drone then started sharp maneuvering, which led to an uncontrolled flight, loss of altitude, and collision with the water surface, the ministry added.
Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov claimed on Wednesday that a US unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) gathered reconnaissance information to convey it to Ukraine for the strikes on Russia.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon claimed that a Russian SU-27 fighter jet crashed into a US UAV in international airspace above the Black Sea, downing the American aircraft.
The US European Command also claimed that the incident occurred after a Russian jet and another SU-27 “conducted an unsafe and unprofessional intercept” of the US MQ-9 Reaper, including dumping fuel on the drone and flying in front of it “in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner.”