Deputy head of the Russian Security Council, former President Dmitry Medvedev, on a telegram channel, indirectly threatened US Senator Lindsey Graham in connection with his statements about the possibility of shooting down Russian military aircraft in case of a threat to American facilities.
Medvedev, in his usual manner, commented on the incident with the crash of the American Reaper MQ-9 drone over the Black Sea on March 14. As follows from the video published by the Pentagon, the drone fell as a result of the impact of the Russian Su-27 fighter. U.S. officials have accused the Russian military of being unprofessional and aggressive, while saying the drone was unlikely to have been brought down on purpose.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the crash of the drone, but not the contact of the Russian fighter with it. At the same time, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu presented Su-27 pilots for state awards on Friday, justifying this by the fact that they “prevented the violation of the borders of the special operation area by an American drone.” We are talking about a restricted zone introduced by Russia over a number of areas of the Black Sea in connection with its military campaign against Ukraine.
It follows from Medvedev’s post that he approves of the actions of the Russian pilots. He accused the United States of not complying with the prohibited zones established by Russia over the Black Sea. “In general, speaking in a simple way, the Americans have completely become insolent. And it is wrong to stand on ceremony with them,” Medvedev wrote. After that, he mentioned Graham’s remarks and added: “By the way, such creatures sometimes have aviation accidents,” supplementing the statement with a cross emoji.
After the drone incident, the Republican senator, known for his tough stance towards Russia, called on Fox News to warn Russia: “If you once again approach another US object flying over international waters, your plane will be shot down.” According to him, former US President Ronald Reagan would have given the order to shoot down planes if they threatened US aircraft.
Last spring, attention was drawn to Graham’s statement that “Colonel Stauffenberg” should be in the ranks of the Russian armed forces, which can be interpreted as a call for the physical elimination of Vladimir Putin – by analogy with the failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler.
The US authorities said that American drones will continue to fly over the Black Sea and will not comply with the prohibited zones declared by Russia in international airspace. It is known that a drone of the same model has already flown to the same area after the crash, including to monitor the search for the wreckage of a drone that fell into the sea, which is conducted by the Russian military. Meanwhile, CNN, citing sources, writes that the Pentagon decided to conduct an additional cost-benefit analysis of US drone flights over the Black Sea. The Pentagon plans to analyze the overall costs and benefits of these missions by weighing the potential intelligence value of a particular route against the risk of escalating conflict with Russia.
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