Russian fighter pilots receive state awards for involvement in U.S. drone crash.

Russian fighter pilots who prevented a U.S. MQ-9 drone from violating Russia’s temporary airspace were awarded state awards by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, signaling Moscow’s intention to adopt a more aggressive stance towards future U.S. surveillance flights. The incident occurred when two Russian fighters released fuel on the US drone and one of them struck its propeller, forcing it to ditch in the Black Sea after flying in international airspace. While Moscow and Washington have called for open communication about such incidents going forward, both sides underscored their positions through public statements following the encounter.

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