Following the now widely reported incident between Russian Su-27s and an American MQ-9 earlier today, the United States and the Russian Federation quickly established their Information Operations campaigns. The U.S. summoned Russian Ambassador Antonov to the State Department and the U.S. Air Force claimed that there was “deliberate intent to interfere” with US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone over Black Sea, they added the collision “seems to be simple incompetence”.
However, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that the U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone was flying in direction of Russian border over Black Sea and crashed into water due to uncontrolled flight and loss of altitude. Russian state-owned media doubled down with: “The means of control of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the morning recorded the flight of an American MQ-9 drone in the direction of the state border of the Russian Federation, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Fighters from the air defense forces on duty were raised into the air to identify the intruder over the Black Sea. Russian fighters did not use airborne weapons and did not come into contact with the American drone.”
U.S. Department of Defense officials also claimed that the Russian fighters trailed the MQ-9 for 30 minutes before initiating the collision and they are working quickly to declassify the footage from the MQ-9 that shows the collision. Once that footage becomes available we will update.