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CNN: Russians reportedly arrive at site of US drone crash in Black Sea

Russian naval crew has arrived at the crash site in the Black Sea where Russians forced down a US drone, sources say. CNN’s Oren Liebermann reports, and White House official John Kirby weighs in.


>> Announcer: This is CNN breaking news. >>> Let’s get straight to the breaking news. Sources now telling CNN that Russian naval craft have arrived at the site of the U.S. Drone downing in the black sea. CNN’s orrin leiberman is working his sources for us over at the Pentagon. Orin, U.S. Officials believe the

Wreckage would be extremely difficult to retrieve, but the Russians appear to be trying. What are you hearing from your sources. >> Reporter: Two U.S. Officials tell us the Russian Navy, essentially Russian assets in the black sea were able to reach the crash site of the m-q9 drone. The Russian Navy has ships based

In crimea so it wouldn’t have been that difficult for them to get their ships to crash site. Of course the crucial question is this is what’s unclear is how much if anything the Russians were able to uncover from the m-q9 drone. Earlier today with press secretary Lloyd Austin and mark

Milly it was Milly who said there probably isn’t all that much wreckage to recover. It was about 4,000 to 5,000 feet deep of water there. But the Russians according to the U.S. Officials were able to get to that site. Earlier today a senior Russian official promised that the Russians would try to recover

What they could from that drone and learn what’s possible. Milly had said the U.S. Had taken steps to mitigate the collection of any sensitive data. We reported earlier today that before that drone, the U.S. Drone that has crashed into the black sea, its operators were able to wipe the sensitive data,

The sensitive software information used in intelligence collection from the drone. Meaning that though there may be some wreckage there, the U.S. Believes there isn’t sensitive top secret data just sitting there on top of the black sea. Meanwhile the Pentagon promising it’ll keep operating over international waters and giving

The sense of how they view the Russian actions here. >> I’ll just reiterate that the United States will fly and operate wherever international law allows. Now, we take any potential for escalation very seriously, and that’s why I believe it’s important to keep the lines of communication open.

>> So was it intentional or not? Don’t know yet. We know that the intercept was intentional. We know the aggressive behavior was intentional. We also know it was very unprofessional and very unsafe. The actual contact of the fixed wing Russian fighter with our uav, the physical contact of those two, not sure yet.

That remain Tuesday be seen, but I can’t — I can tell you with certainty, though, we have absolute evidence of the contact and the intercepts, et cetera. And it’s very aggressive. You’ve heard about the dumping of the fuel and everything else. We have video evidence of all that.

We know where it landed in the black sea. Probably about 4, 5,000 feet of water. Recovery efforts are very difficult at that depth by anyone. It probably broke up and probably not a lot to recover, frankly. As far as the loss of anything sensitive intelligence, et cetera, as normal we would

Take — and we did take mitigating measures. So we are quite confident that whatever was of value is no longer of value. >> In the day and a half or so since this happened there’s been a number of communications both in the diplomatic channel and now in the military channel here.

And what it seems there’s agreement upon there’s no desire from the U.S. Or Russia for escalation around this specific incident. However, the cause of the incident that’s where we have entire disagreements. The U.S. Making their case clear there from both Milly and Austin that it was the Russian fighter

Jets who were acting in a reckless fashion there. Meanwhile, in a call between Austin and his counterpart, the Russian defense minister, the minister essentially tried to lecture Austin about the U.S. Actions here saying the U.S. Flew the drone in a provocative fashion, flying around crimea is itself provocative and Russia

Had essentially declared there was some sort of airspace around its, quote, special military operation the U.S. Should have avoided. Wolf, there’s still certainly disagreement on the cause of this, but at least it seems there’s no desire to escalate from this point. >> We shall see. Orenleiberman at the Pentagon, thank you very much.

Joining us now top white house national security official John Kirby. John, thanks for joining us. I want to begin with our new reporting that the Russians have now reached the site of the drone crash. Is there any cause for concern it Russia eventually recovers this debris from the drone?

>> Well, I certainly can’t confirm the reports they’re on the site. I’m aware of their comments of trying to get there and trying to recover. But the short answer to your question is no. As general Milly made clear, we made it impossible for them to be able to glean anything of

Intelligence value off the remnants of that drone, whatever remnants there might be on the surface of the water. >> Because as you just point out other U.S. Officials have said they’ve managed to actually erase sensitive software on the drone remotely before it actually crashed into the black sea.

Does this debris have any value for Russia, though, even if just for propaganda? >> It’s really going to be difficult to say, wolf. I would tend towards no. Whatever is left of that that’s floating will probably be flight control surfaces, that kind of thing, probably nothing of real

Intrinsic value to them in terms of re-engineering or anything like that. We’re not overly concerned about whatever they might get their hands on. That said and secretary Austin said this today, it’s our property, and they have no business recovering anything. >> As you know the U.S. Does not currently have any ships the

Black sea. Is the Biden administration considering taking any steps to keep this downed drone out of Russia’s hands? >> I think the Pentagon is still taking a look at whatever recovery options might be available to them. I think you can imagine that they’re fairly limited given we don’t have a naval presence in

The black. I don’t want to get ahead of the defense department and what they might be thinking. >> There are other navies that we partner with and have terrific relationships with in the black sea and I would refer to the defense department I don’t know plans to use ally naval assets to attempt

Recovery. I want to stress, wolf. Again, it’s our property and we certainly don’t want the Russians getting it, but we’re not overly concerned about anything they might glean off of it. Russia is publicly accusing the United States of what it calls violations of what it calls its flight restriction zone in that

Black sea area. Should we expect to see Russia continue to escalate as it tries to establish new rules in the skies? >> We don’t want to see escalation here and there’s no need for that. This m-q9 was flying in international airspace and we’re going to continue to fly and operate where international law

Permits us to. That’s what we did in this case. That’s what we’ll continue to do. We have real national security interests and all that effort is going to continue. >> Secretary Austin and general Milly both spoke with their Russian counter parts today and that was significant. Has the Biden administration

Received any assurances at all from Russia it’ll stop engaging in these kind of aggressive acts against the United States like the downing of this drone, for example? >> We made it very clear. I know the defense department did in their calls, and we made it clear this is unacceptable

And don’t want to see any repeat occurrences of this. We have laid bare our concerns




  1. Why couldn't US retrieve the drone MQ-9 in the black see.?Russians will use available resources to retrieve the drone for their benefits to reverse engineer the hardware and software. US took things too lightly that it was difficult to retrieve the drone.

  2. You would think these expensive drones could have a self destruct feature that can only be armed by the drone pilots. I would think that was 1960’s technology.

  3. Should send a drone to blow the ships out of the water. Then tell them it was an accident and claim our bombs didn’t strike the ships while giving the pilots awards.

  4. It's just that Kiev is Russia. There was one historical miscalculation, which now it's time to correct. There is no freedom in the West for a long time.

  5. I thought that kind of tech would have a self destruct for instances where it could fall into hostile hands. Perhaps even a .25 kiloton yield to ensure total destruction.

  6. Around the world, areas where exercises or fighting are taking place are being fenced off.
    Ukraine is a no-fly zone, and the US has been warned about it. To fly there, it becomes a goal. Especially drones without transponders.
    And there is nothing to be indignant when the obvious happened.

  7. WHAT THE FUNK US IS DOING ON THE BLACK SEA FIRST OF ALL??? HOW WOULD YOU FEEL, IF RUSSIA WOULD FINANCE MEXICO TO GET BACK CALIFORNIA AND HAVE OWNED OF HOLLYWOOD, SILICON VALLEY AS PRIVATE PROPETIES BY RUSSIAN COMPANIES? Lol nothing, I guess most of US citizens would fight for California from the couch or not, lol with their woky-woky bullshits and corruptions. Same thing, you just have to think outside of the box. Think what would happen if, then you will fid SOME SOME SOME truth. Get your arrogance in the basement if you have, because you are in the US are being brainwashed, fed with arrogance and hate that you don't even know, experienced or seen.

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