The US drone that Washington was forced to shoot down on Tuesday in the Black Sea after suffering an incident with a Russian fighter has already been replaced by another device, said Wednesday the spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Colonel Yuriy Ignat.

“American aviation in the Black Sea is permanent. The Black Sea is not an internal Russian sea,” Ignat said in statements to the joint news broadcast by Ukrainian television and reproduced by the Ukrainska Pravda medium.

The military spokesman added that the United States “will evaluate the incident” involving the MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance drone, which also has combat capability, and the Russian Su-27 fighter, but indicates that “another drone is already operating in the place of the downed explorer”.

The United States had to shoot down one of its drones in the Black Sea on Tuesday after registering an incident with a Russian fighter in mid-flight, which Washington considered a deliberate act and which Moscow denies.

“The Black Sea is exploited by many countries, including NATO members such as Turkey and Romania. There is international airspace in which planes can fly freely, including scouts,” the Ukrainian spokesman stressed.

In his opinion, “it is clear what the (Russian) terrorist state is doing and with what inclinations… The United States will analyze the incident first and, obviously, draw the appropriate conclusions. But the reaction of the United States was instantaneous : another UAV (drone) flew in its place and continues its work.”

In his statements, Ignat clarified that the incident took place in international airspace, southeast of Zmiiny Island, in the Black Sea.

And he recalled that the Russians have repeatedly publicly emphasized that they are upset with what they call the presence of American spies in the Black Sea and in Ukrainian airspace.

Ignat also explained that during the “hybrid aggression” that Russia had with Ukraine, long before the “large-scale invasion” that began more than a year ago, US drones were already monitoring the waters of the Black Sea and the demarcation line. with ORDLO (in the Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, in the east of the country).

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