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Moscow issues warning over US spy drones

Washington and NATO as a whole are increasingly involved in the Ukraine conflict, the Russian military has said

Russian Defense Minister Andrey Belousov has ordered the military to present plans on how to “react to provocations” concerning NATO’s increasing involvement in the Ukraine conflict, the ministry said on Friday.

A brief statement noted the “increased number of US strategic drone missions flown over the Black Sea.” The aircraft “conduct reconnaissance and provide targeting data for weapons, which Western nations supply to conduct strikes on Russian objects.”

“Such flights increase the probability that incidents may happen in airspace involving Russian military aircraft and the risk of a direct confrontation of the alliance with the Russian Federation,” the message warned.

NATO members will be held responsible in the event of any such incident, the ministry added.

Moscow has accused Washington of sharing responsibility with Kiev for a deadly strike on a beach in Sevastopol last week. Four civilians, including two children, were killed and over 150 injured, after a US-donated ATACMS missile deployed its cluster munition payload, according to Russian officials.

READ MORE: Reaper drone came ‘dangerously close’ to Russian Su-34 warplane – Moscow

The US was to blame because it helps Kiev deploy the weapons, Moscow said, alleging that American military specialists are directly involved in programming missiles before they are fired.

Washington has distanced itself from the attack, claiming that Ukraine unilaterally decides what to do with Western-supplied arms. Mikhail Podoliak, a senior aide to Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky, called the victims “civilian occupiers” who purportedly were in an active war zone.

Officials in Kiev previously claimed that people in Crimea were living under Russian occupation and needed to be liberated.

June 28, 2024 at 02:59PM

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