Europe News Desk!!! Earlier this month, two Russian military pilots struggled to control the US Air Force’s MQ-9 Reaper drone until it crashed into the Black Sea. Both the pilots were awarded the State Decorations during a ceremony on Wednesday. The Russian Defense Ministry did not reveal the identities of Major Vasily Vavilov and Major Sergei Popov, RT reported. Both were presented with the Order of Courage by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at a ceremony where several Russian service members were honored for their achievements. The ministry said the pilots prevented a violation by a US MQ-9 drone of the boundary of an area of temporary regime for (restricted) use of airspace established for special military operations in Ukraine.
Vavilov, in a media interview on the sidelines of Wednesday’s ceremony, described his actions as maneuvers aimed at forcing the drone to abandon its mission. The incident took place last week and resulted in trade accusations on the US and Russia. The Pentagon claimed that Russian pilots engaged in reckless flight in international airspace and that one of them clipped the unmanned aircraft’s propeller, causing it to go down. The US released footage reportedly shot by a drone, which shows a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet buzzing over it and apparently ejecting fuel in the process. The US military reportedly stressed the environmental impact caused by the incident. Russia denied shooting down the drone or using weapons against it, saying the US plane was flying with its transponder on over a no-go zone declared by the Russian military. Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, argued that there was no topic of a potentially armed NATO drone flying near the Russian border.
World News Desk!!