Russia Warns US

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( – In an apparent warning that Moscow may take forceful action to ward off American reconnaissance aircraft, Russia’s Defense Minister warned officials to prepare a “response” to U.S. drone flights over the Black Sea.

The Russian Defense Ministry pointed out a recent surge in U.S. drone activity over the Black Sea, describing their role in gathering intelligence and guiding precision strikes by Ukrainian forces using Western-supplied weapons against Russian targets.

“It shows an increased involvement of the U.S. and other NATO countries in the conflict in Ukraine on the side of the Kyiv regime,” the ministry said in a statement.

It also emphasized that these flights raise the likelihood of incidents involving Russian military aircraft, which heightens the risk of direct confrontations between NATO and Russia.

“NATO members will bear responsibility for that,” it added.

Moreover, Defense Minister Andrei Belousov has instructed the General Staff to propose “operational response measures to provocations.”

Past encounters over U.S. drones in the Black Sea have sparked tensions between Washington and Moscow.

For instance, a notable 2023 incident included a Russian fighter jet damaged and downed an American MQ-9 Reaper drone, marking the first direct clash between Russian and U.S. forces since the Cold War.

As per the Pentagon and U.S. European Command, during the incident, the Russian Su-27 aircraft allegedly released fuel on the MQ-9, which was conducting routine surveillance in international airspace over the Black Sea,

Furthermore, Russia has designated wide areas near Crimea as no-fly zones. Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, and even before its invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Moscow has accused U.S. surveillance aircraft of approaching its borders despite warnings.

The latest Russian statement comes after a Ukrainian attack on Sevastopol over the weekend using U.S.-made ATACMS missiles, resulting in casualties.

In turn, Russian authorities have accused the U.S. of direct involvement in the attack, including providing intelligence and targeting support and have threatened retaliatory actions.

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