The pilots of two Su-27 fighter jets that successfully shot down a US drone close to the airspace around Russia’s military operation in Ukraine received awards from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Friday, according to Reuters.
Russian aircraft shot down the drone on Tuesday and landed in the Black Sea. This was the first documented direct military conflict between Russia and the United States since the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
On Tuesday, two Su-27s “dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9,” described as a “reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner,” the US military said.
Simultaneously, the White House condemned Russia for “unsafe” and “reckless” behaviour, which led to the downing of the US over the Black Sea and the loss of the aircraft.
Russia has repeatedly expressed concern about the US intelligence flights over the Black Sea, close to the Crimean Peninsula, which has annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Since the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Black Sea has turned into a battle zone between Moscow and Washington.