“We are not sure if the Russian pilot intentionally hit the US drone”

Milley held a joint press conference with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin after the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting.

While 2 Russian Su-27 fighter jets were intercepting the US MQ-9 reconnaissance and intelligence UAV over the Black Sea, the discussions about one of the planes crashing the UAV came to the agenda at the press conference.

When asked whether Russia’s downing of the U.S. drone was intentional, Milley said the interception and highly aggressive behavior towards the UAV was deliberate, unprofessional, and dangerous.

“We have video evidence,” the US general said. There is no doubt about the intent here, but I am not sure whether the physical contact of the aircraft was intentional. We will try to detect it. There is nothing definite at this point,” he said.

Milley stated that it will be evaluated whether the wreckage of the UAV will be removed, and that the United States does not have a ship in the region, but has allies in the region.

Stating that they evaluated that the UAV may have descended 500 feet or more, Milley said, “It will be very difficult to remove a wreck from this depth.” he said.

Meeting with Milley Gerasimov

In a written statement made by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff shortly after the meeting, it was reported that Milley had a telephone conversation with the Chief of General Staff of Russia, General Valery Gerasimov.

Information on the content of the meeting was not provided.

Minister Austin said that they spoke with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and conveyed his concerns about the downing of the UAV to his Russian counterpart.

“It is very useful to have open communication channels to prevent miscalculations,” Austin said.

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