(FiveNation.com)- Within hours of the US drone crashing into the Black Sea last Tuesday, Russian ships were reportedly spotted in the area searching for the wreckage. But according to the Pentagon, it is “very unlikely” that the Russians will be able to recover anything useful, ABC News reported.
During a press briefing last Thursday, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder didn’t give an update on the Russian efforts to recover the Reaper drone that was brought down in the Black Sea last Tuesday, but said it is “very unlikely” that anything useful would be recovered.
Without going into details, Ryder explained that the drone went into “extremely deep waters” and steps were taken to protect the information aboard the drone.
When asked if the US would ask Russia to return any of the salvaged pieces or if there had been any talks about requesting compensation, Ryder said he didn’t know.
Another reporter asked if declassifying and releasing the drone footage would risk helping Moscow frame the Ukraine war as a larger conflict between Russia and the West. Ryder noted that it is common for the Pentagon to release footage showing “unsafe, unprofessional incidents.” He said releasing the drone footage would publicly demonstrate the kind of action Russia has taken.
The drone footage, which was released on Thursday, shows a Russian Su-27 fighter jet approaching the drone at high speed and attempting to dump fuel on the drone. During its second pass, the Su-27 strikes the drone. According to the Pentagon, the collision damaged the rear propeller.
Moscow previously denied that the jet collided with the drone.
When asked why the US had not expressly condemned Russia’s actions, Ryder said the US has been clear that the conduct of the Russian pilots was “unsafe,” “unprofessional,” “reckless,” and “dangerous.” He said if reporters are “looking for hyperbole,” he would leave that up to them.
Ryder added that the US has seen an “uptick” in this kind of “aggressive behavior” from Russia but said whether this is part of a “coordinated effort” on the part of Moscow is not clear.