Russia has accused the United States of carrying out large-scale espionage with drones in the neighboring areas of Ukraine. The country sees it as a provocation.
The country has announced to give an appropriate response even though it has not yet responded. The Russian defense minister said that Moscow will carry out intelligence gathering operations in the future as much as the United States does espionage retaliate.
The defense ministers and military chiefs of the United States and Russia held a rare telephone conversation on Wednesday following the downing of a US MQ-9 Reaper drone in the Black Sea last Tuesday. There, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said these things to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Washington’s relationship with Moscow is at its lowest point in decades over the Ukraine war. A statement from the Russian Defense Ministry quoted Shoigu as saying that America’s strategic lethal drone flight over Crimea’s coastline was a provocation. This move will create tension in the Black Sea region. However, both sides do not want to escalate the conflict.
Russian and US officials consider it necessary to reduce the growing risk. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters earlier that aviation restrictions were imposed in some areas of the Black Sea. Such an event would increase the dangerous risk of triggering a conflict between the two major nuclear powers.
Meanwhile, at the Pentagon press conference, Austin said that after this incident, both sides were able to keep the door open for negotiations. It is positive. He thinks that keeping the door open for such discussions will help prevent any misunderstandings in the future.
Meanwhile, the United States said it would be difficult to recover the crashed drone in the deep sea. The country also said that Russian ships are now patrolling the area.
US General Mark Milley said that the drone is submerged at least 1,500 meters deep in the Black Sea. On the other hand, the United States has promised to quickly supply Ukraine with the necessary weapons for a spring counteroffensive against Russia. Defense officials from more than 50 countries that support Kiev met last Wednesday.
In the virtual meeting, Austin said allies will step up to meet Ukraine’s needs in the spring and beyond. Poland will send four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in the next few days. The country’s President Andrzej Duda announced on Thursday that other countries are hesitant to provide warplanes to Kiev. The leader of the Russian-backed Donetsk region says he sees no sign of Ukrainian troops leaving Bakhmut.
Ukrainian forces have shot down a Chinese-made armed drone in a forest in eastern Ukraine. The drone named Mugin-5 is a commercial unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by the Chinese company Mugin Limited.
12:52 p.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin warns of “lightning-fast” retaliation if countries intervene in Ukraine. Russia has told the United States to stop sending arms to Ukraine, saying large Western deliveries of weapons are inflaming the conflict. Addressing lawmakers in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, Putin said, “If someone intends to intervene in the ongoing events from the outside, and create strategic threats for Russia that are unacceptable to us, they should know that our retaliatory strikes will be lightning-fast,” according to video of his address supplied by Russian media. “We have all the tools for this, things no one else can boast of having now. And we will not boast — we will use them if necessary. And I want everyone to know that.”
12:36 p.m. In the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, which has been occupied by Russian forces since early in the war, a series of explosions boomed near the television tower late Wednesday and at least temporarily knocked Russian channels off the air, Ukrainian and Russian news organizations report. The Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said missiles and rockets were fired at the city from the direction of the Ukrainian forces to the northwest. Russian channels began broadcasting from Kherson last week.