A Russian jet collided with a US drone Monday morning over the Black Sea. According to current reporting, the Russian
A Russian jet collided with a US drone Monday morning over the Black Sea.
According to current reporting, the Russian fighter intercepted the drone while it was conducting a routine flight in international airspace over the Black Sea. The Russian fighter’s aggressive and reckless behavior led it to collide with the drone. Russia has stated its intention to capture the debris and any technical data or intelligence it may contain, while the US has conceded that it may not be able to recover the craft.
US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley has indicated it is still uncertain whether the collision was an intentional provocation. He also stressed that Russia’s interception was part of a larger pattern of reckless behavior by Russian pilots which has risen sharply since the invasion of Ukraine began.
President Biden’s handling of the incident will be particularly prone to scrutiny given that it is only a few weeks after the US shot down a Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean. Biden has faced sharp criticism for not acting sooner, and his political opponents will likely search for a way to frame his response to Russia as showing weakness. This event will likely test the threshold of the Russia-Ukraine conflict’s larger geopolitical impact as it signals an expansion of its geographical boundaries.