The U.S. Reaper drone that crashed in the Black Sea Tuesday will be recovered and studied, a Russian spy chief claims, as the two countries tousle over how exactly the unmanned aircraft was brought down.
An MQ-9 Reaper attack-reconnaissance drone crashed into the Black Sea on Tuesday morning, prompting the United States Air Force (USAF) to accuse Russia of having acted in an “environmentally unsound” manner by dumping aviation fuel onto the drone before striking its propeller, causing it to lose power and crash. Russia for their part denied having come into contact with the drone, stating it crashed by itself without their help.
Now Russia says it will attempt to recover the drone from the deep international waters of the Black Sea, near Russia-occupied Crimea, to study the USAF drone. The director of Russia’s foreign intelligence agency Sergey Naryshkin made the comments, according to Russian state wire service TASS, when he said of the ability of Russia to retrieve the wreckage: “The way I see it, there are such technical capabilities”.
Speaking on Russian television on Wednesday, Naryshkin said of the United States operating in international airspace: “They have been very actively using all means of space surveillance, visual and radio reconnaissance… We know and understand in detail what goals the Americans have been pursuing with their recon activities and use of technical means as we try to identify the facilities and territories that are of the greatest interest to them.”