Russia Is Working to Retrieve Downed US Drone

'I am hoping for success, of course,' Russian official said on TV
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2023 11:27 AM CDT
Russia Trying to Get Its Hands on Downed US Drone
An MQ-9 drone is on display during an air show at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018.   (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini, File)

"I am hoping for success, of course." So said Russian Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev in televised remarks in reference to Russia's effort to get its hands on the US drone that was forced down in the Black Sea on Tuesday. "I don't know whether we'll be able to retrieve it or not but it has to be done. And we will certainly work on it," Patrushev said on Russian TV per TASS, with CBS News quoting the head of Russia's SVR intelligence service as saying the country has the "technical" capabilities to do so.

  • On the likelihood of that: White House national security spokesman John Kirby said the drone crashed into "very, very deep water. ... We're still assessing whether there can be any recovery effort mounted. There may not be." Still, "We've taken steps to protect our equities with respect to that particular drone"; NBC News reports the US has erased the drone's software.
  • Not buying Russia's story: Russia has denied one of two Su-27 fighter jets that were in the same airspace as the MQ-9 Reaper drone hit the propeller, instead claiming the US had lost control of the drone. "Obviously, we refute the Russians' denial," Kirby said.

  • Russia's advantage. NBC News reports Russia would be able to reach any debris faster than a US ship could, as it already has ships in the Black Sea. A US ship would need to travel from the Mediterranean Sea through the Bosporus Strait to the Black Sea, and Turkey hasn't been doling out permission for US warships to use the waterway recently.
(More Russia stories.)

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