Day 385: Russian Ambassador to US Summoned Over Black Sea Drone Crash

    Photo: US Air Force [via Popular Science]

    The Facts

    • Russia's ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, was summoned to a meeting with the State Dept. on Tuesday after a US surveillance drone crashed into the waters of the Black Sea, near the Crimean peninsula which Russia annexed in 2014

    • In a statement, the US European Command said two Russian Su-27 fighter jets intercepted the MQ-9 Reaper drone while it was operating within international airspace. It added that the Russian jets dumped fuel on the drone and and flew in front of it several times in "a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner," before one of the jets struck the propeller of the drone, causing it to go down in international waters.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The US drone was conducting routine operations in international waters. The actions of Russian pilots were unsafe, unprofessional and a brazen violation of international law. This incident could have led to a dangerous escalation between two nuclear-armed superpowers.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    The US drone strayed into a restricted zone with its transponders turned off. It did this to gather intelligence which would be used in Ukrainian attacks on Russia and its armed forces. This was a hostile act and Russia responded to the threat appropriately.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 3% chance that Russia will be removed from the UN Security Council by 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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