We have reached a terrifying new precipice in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as fears of the conflict transforming into a global proxy war appear to be coming to fruition.
The invasion has been wildly unpopular in a global sense, with Russia’s unrealistic and faulty justifications for the conflict coming under intense scrutiny. But the Kremlin has made international interference an impossibility by consistently threatening to use nuclear weapons against any nation who’d dare to step in.
Vladimir Putin has also railed against the transfer of weapons and war materials to Ukraine from outside sources, but have thus far been helpless to stop it.
Now, however, another grim milestone has been reached and another line crossed, as Russian jets have now taken out a US drone over the Black Sea.
Two Russian Su-27 warplanes intercepted the US Air Force spy drone before one clipped the aircraft’s propeller just after 7am, bringing it down in international waters.
Several times before the collision, the fighter jets dumped fuel on the MQ-9 and flew in front of it in unsafe manoeuvres, the US military said in a statement.
The US response was stern.
‘This incident follows a pattern of dangerous actions by Russian pilots while interacting with US and Allied aircraft over international airspace, including over the Black Sea,’ it continued. ‘These aggressive actions by Russian aircrew are dangerous and could lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation.’
Russia has certainly been fond of harassing US aircraft and warships in the past, but this reckless display of hostility comes at a rather delicate time – particularly for Moscow, whose once-fearsome military has been exposed as incompetent throughout the course of the Ukrainian conflict.