The US drone, irrespective of whether it was armed and/or in international airspace, was obviously conducting reconnaissance on Crimea in preparation of Kiev attempting yet another attack there. Russia thus employed its UN-enshrined right to preeminently defend itself from this imminent US-facilitated strike by directing that hostile object away from the peninsula in order to avert this scenario.
The over year-long NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine just saw its first semi-kinetic engagement between those two on Tuesday after Moscow directed an allegedly armed US drone away from Crimea. Washington claims that its opponent’s jets dumped fuel on its drone that was supposedly in international waters prior to somehow or another damaging its propeller in order to force it into the Black Sea. The Kremlin, however, claims that the drone was in restricted airspace and denies hitting it.
Regardless of whatever the truth might be, Russia had every right to intercept that hostile object. The US drone, irrespective of whether or not it was armed, was obviously conducting reconnaissance on the peninsula that this Eurasian Great Power reunified with nine years ago in preparation of Kiev attempting yet another attack against it. US-Ukrainian intelligence cooperation is well-known and the former regularly helps the latter calibrate its strikes against Russian forces.
Even in the unlikely event that the US is telling the truth about its drone supposedly being in international waters, this doesn’t change the abovementioned military calculation related to Russia directing that hostile object away from Crimea in order to preempt forthcoming attacks from Kiev. All countries have the UN-enshrined right to self-defense, which is what Russia would have been applying in that scenario, even if it did allegedly dump fuel on that drone and subsequently damage its propeller.
About those last two claims, they’d actually show that Russia was behaving responsibly if they did indeed transpire despite its denial, unlike the US’ description of them as irresponsible. There’s no doubt that Russia could have simply shot down that drone if it really wanted to, but that could have dramatized its right to self-defense, thus inadvertently running the risk of a serious crisis that could easily be exploited by Washington’s warmongers.
Instead, it either directed the US drone away from Crimea or damaged its propeller in some uncertain way, either version of which resulted in that hostile object plummeting into the Black Sea. The indisputable outcome is that this mission didn’t succeed in helping Kiev calibrate whatever forthcoming strike it was planning against Crimea, thus saving lives at the expense of an unmanned aerial vehicle. It also sent the message that Russia isn’t weak and will defend its military red lines against anyone.
The average Westerner was under the false information warfare-driven perception that the entirety of Russia’s armed forces are in crisis as a result of the special operation, though the truth is that they’re still extremely strong and have only been holding back in that campaign for political reasons. President Putin only authorized a special operation and not an official “war”, hence why he ordered the former to be fought with comparative restraint, at least for the time being.
Even so, Kiev is still losing and its forces are actually at serious risk of collapse according to the Washington Post’s surprisingly truthful report about that crumbling former Soviet Republic’s true state of military affairs that was published earlier this week. This places the drone incident in context since it suggests that the US wanted to help Kiev score a symbolic success through a forthcoming strike against Crimea in order to distract from this “politically inconvenient” reality.
Segueing back to the direct subject of this analysis, it should now therefore be completely understandable to all observers why Russia either directed the US drone away from Crimea after it trespassed in restricted airspace or employed semi-kinetic means to down it in international waters. No matter the version of events that one ascribes to, the fact of the matter is that Russia had the UN-enshrined right to preemptively defend itself from Kiev’s US-facilitated imminent attack.
Source: the author’s blog