Russia awarded a medal to the pilot of the Su-27 fighter jet that brought down the US MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea. Photo/Russian Ministry of Defense/TASS
MOSCOW – Russia on Wednesday awarded the medal and Order of Courage honors to the pilot of the Su-27 fighter jet that intercepted the MQ-9 Reaper spy drone United States of America (USA) until it fell into the Black Sea.
Washington found the award an insult and dubbed the pilot “the most idiotic pilot”.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu awarded the Gold Star medal and awarded the two pilots the Orders of Courage.
“In addition, the Orders of Courage were awarded to the pilots of the Su-27 aircraft who prevented the American MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle from violating the airspace temporarily restricted to flights for the purposes of special military operations,” the ministry said in a statement.
Meanwhile, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby responded cynically to the award.
“I don’t know of any other military in the world, any other Air Force in the world that would give credit to a pilot for crashing a drone. If that’s bravery then I guess they have a different definition. It’s ridiculous. It’s insulting,” he said, as quoted by Al Arabiya, Thursday (23/3/2023).
“I don’t know why they would give a bravery award to a pilot who maliciously put himself and US property at grave risk and was the most idiot,” Kirby continued.
A US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper military spy drone crashed into the Black Sea on March 14 after a confrontation with a Russian Su-27 fighter jet in international airspace near Crimea, territory under Russian control.
The US and Russia offer different versions of events and causes of the crash of the MQ-9 Reaper drone.
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