Tensions over the crashed surveillance drone highlight the growing risk of direct confrontation between Russia and the US amid the Ukrainian conflict.
Ukraine marine drone strikes Russia’ Black Sea fleet
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Washington has slammed the “reckless” behaviour of Russian fighter jets over an incident which has seen a US surveillance drone downed over the Black Sea. According to US Pentagon officials, the drone was on a routine mission in international airspace when two Russian jets attempted an intercept. Moscow on the other hand has denied any contact between the two countries’ aircraft, and the Russian defence ministry has stated that the MQ-9 Reaper drone crashed due to a sudden manoeuvre while flying with its transponders turned off.
The US military statement read: “Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,”
Russian fighter pilots also repeatedly dumped fuel on the US drone in a “reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner”, the US military added.
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MQ-9 Reaper drone crashed in the Black Sea (Image: Getty)
Ukraine claims Russian snipers raped a mother and abused a child, 4
As part of the many claims of abuse during the more than one-year invasion, Ukraine has accused two Russian troops of sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl and gang-raping her mother in front of her father.
The incidents were part of a string of sex crimes Russian troops from the 15th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade committed in four homes in the Brovary district outside of Kyiv in March 2022, according to Ukrainian prosecution files obtained by Reuters.
Xi planning visit to Russia
Xi Jinping, the leader of China, is reported to be planning to visit Russia in the near future, possibly as early as next week. The visit is expected to signal China’s intention to strengthen its relationship with Russia, which may raise concerns among Western nations. Some worry that China could provide Russia with deadly military aid.
Xi Jinping to visit Russia (Image: Getty)
Good morning from London. I’m Tim McNulty, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.
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