WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Pentagon released video Thursday of an alleged Russian attack on an unmanned U.S. drone.
A Russian fighter jet had collied with the surveillance drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday. U.S. officials say it illustrates Russia’s continued aggression.
The 42-second clip shows two back-to-back interactions. First, the Russian jet swoops past the U.S. drone while dumping fuel. Moments later the jet returns, allegedly striking the drone’s propeller. After temporarily losing signal, video shows the damage.
Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the press secretary for the Pentagon, said it was “reckless and dangerous behavior.”
“We felt that it was important to provide this imagery,” Ryder said.
The Pentagon says it released the video to prove the attack occurred, after Russia denied it.
“Our words and our actions speak for themselves and similarly Russia’s inaccurate information,” Ryder said. “Grasping at straws, changing narratives, also speaks for itself.”
The strike marks the first direct military encounter between the U.S. and Russia since the start of the war in Ukraine, further complicating their relationship.
Russia has accused the U.S. of escalating violence by supporting Ukraine with weapons. Now, Russia says the U.S. is provoking new tensions by ignoring Russia’s flight restrictions.
But Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has denied the U.S. was flying unlawfully.
“Make no mistake, the United States will continue to fly and to operate wherever international law allows,” Austin said.
The military said before ultimately crashing into the Black Sea, all sensitive information was erased from the drone.