The United States has experienced yet another embarrassing international incident. Russia claimed Friday that it brought down a US intelligence drone over Crimea, Ukraine according to Rostec, a Russian state-owned corporation.
Apparently the downing was done electronically.
Rostec reported, "The drone was flying at about 4,000 metres and was virtually invisible from the ground. It was possible to break the link with US operators with complex radio-electronic."
Although Crimea is a sovereign part of Ukraine, Russia has recently taken full control. Its population is holding a supposedly free referendum this Sunday to decide whether to remain part of the Crimea or join Russia since over 58% of the population is ethnic Russians.
Sunday update: Russia triumphed in the "election" with 90 percent of the vote.
Rostec announced the downing of the drone claiming it was the company, not Russia who is responsible. No details were provided as to whom or what was operating the aircraft.
"Judging by its identification number, UAV MQ-5B belonged to the 66th American Reconnaissance Brigade, based in Bavaria," Rostec said on its website. A photo of the drone, that could not be verified, was included.
Meanwhile the same day as the drone was allegedly downed, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in London to attempt one more time to end the Russian occupation of Crimea.
Nothing was accomplished.
If the drone story is verified, it will be one of the most embarrassing Russia vs. USA stories since President Eisenhower was caught flat-footed in 1960 with the Russian downing of a U-2 spy plane over Russia and the subsequent capture of its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
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