John Kirby, the US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, reacted to the awarding of the Su-27 fighter pilot in Russia who attacked the American reconnaissance-strike UAV MQ-9 Reaper, as a result of which the drone had to be downed.
Source: Ukrinform news agency
Kirby Quote: "I have no idea why they awarded a bravery award to a pilot who maliciously put himself and US property at risk, and at best was just an idiot."
Details: Kirby called such an award ridiculous. He reminded that in the USA, pilots are not encouraged to crash into any obstacles.
"I don’t know of another military in the world, another Air Force in the world, that would award a pilot for smashing into a drone. If that’s bravery, then I guess they’ve got a different definition of it," he added.
Earlier: On 22 March, Sergey Shoigu, Russian Minister of Defence, awarded Orders of Courage to the pilots of the Su-27 fighters who launched an attack on the American reconnaissance drone MQ-9 Reaper over the Black Sea.
The US Air Force issued a statement on 14 March, in which it was reported that a Russian Su-27 fighter jet damaged an American MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance and strike UAV over the Black Sea during an interception, as a result of which the drone had to be sunk.
The US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, John Kirby, noted that while Russian intercepts of US aircraft over the Black Sea are not uncommon, that particular episode was unique regarding how "dangerous, unprofessional and reckless" Russia’s actions were.
The Russian Defence Ministry stated on the evening of Tuesday that their Su-27 fighter jets had nothing to do with the crash of the MQ-9 Reaper American UAV in the Black Sea. In addition, they said it approached annexed Crimea and was flying in violation.
The US Department of Defence, in turn, said it was working to declassify visual information related to the incident in the international airspace over the Black Sea. The US military published a video of a Russian Su-27 fighter jet attacking the MQ-9 Reaper over the Black Sea.
The US is conducting an assessment of its drone operations in the Black Sea area following the incident. It is "taking a close look" at the drone’s routes and assessing how to better deconflict with Russian forces.
Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, said that the attack on the American drone was carried out over part of Russian territory, and the Americans were completely impudent, so there is no need to "stand on ceremony" with them.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu decorated the Su-27 pilots who shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea.