The United States on Thursday released proof of how Russian fighter jets collided with its military drone over the Black Sea earlier this week.
The US Army released the footage after Russia accused America of seeking to escalate tensions in the Black Sea region.
An MQ-9 US spy drone was forced to be brought down after two Russian Su-27 jets intercepted it mid-air and one of them even dumped fuel on it.
The footage shows the Russian jet come agonisingly close to the drone while trying to dump fuel on it. One of the jets even collided with the drone, causing it to crash into the sea.
"Two #Russian Su-27s conducted an unsafe & unprofessional intercept w/a @usairforce intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance unmanned MQ-9 operating w/i international airspace over the #BlackSea March 14," the US European Command said.
Moscow said there was no collision and the drone crashed after making "sharp manoeuvres", having "provocatively" flown close to Russian air space.
The incident took place on March 14 over the Black Sea.
US-Russia tensions escalate
The drone incident on Tuesday was the first known direct US-Russia encounter since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, and has laid bare the parlous state of relations between the world's leading nuclear powers.
The U.S. and Russian defence ministers and military chiefs held rare phone conversations on Wednesday over the drone incident, in which the MQ-9 Reaper plunged into the Black Sea while on a reconnaissance mission in international airspace.
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