Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke by phone Wednesday amid heightened tensions over the disappearance of a US surveillance drone in the Black Sea. US officials said the MQ-9 drone was trying to get down Tuesday morning local time after crashing into a Russian fighter jet that was repeatedly dumping fuel on the aircraft.
“The United States will fly and operate wherever international law allows,” Austin said at a news conference Wednesday. He was flanked by the top US general, Mark Milley, who said it was not yet clear whether the Russian pilot intended to shoot down the drone.
“We know the blocking was intentional. We know the aggressive behavior was intentional,” Milley said. “We also know it was very unprofessional and very unsafe.”
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But her passion has put her in a precarious position, reports Robyn Dixon. A chilling transcript of his private phone conversations was delivered to him — via messages on his YouTube page — in what Korotkov interpreted as a threat from the Kremlin.
Fearing for his safety, Korotkov fled to Russia. “The hardest thing was to finally realize that emigrating was the only solution, and to give up my previous life and start from zero,” he said.
Natalia Abbakumova, Karen DeYoung and Dan Lamothe contributed to this report.