National Security Council spokesman John Kirby slammed Russia Wednesday for awarding a pilot who collided with an Air Force unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
“It’s ludicrous; it’s insulting. Now, we don’t know whether that pilot was trying to intentionally ram that drone or not, but he did. Video evidence was pretty conclusive,” Kirby said. “Either way, I mean … in the Navy I grew up in, you don’t want to hit anything. Hitting anything’s bad for you.”
A Russian Su-27 “Flanker” fighter collided with and dumped fuel on an Air Force MQ-9 Reaper UAV on March 14, leading to the Reaper crashing into the Black Sea. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu awarded the pilot a medal for taking down the drone Friday, Reuters reported.
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“So, like, I’m sorry … I gotta throw the flag on this when I have no clue why they would give a bravery award to a pilot who was at worst maliciously putting himself and U.S. property at great risk, and at best just an idiot,” Kirby continued.
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, launching a massive attack across country.
The United States has sent over $100 billion in aid to Ukraine. It recently announced they would send 31 M1 Abrams main battle tanks and earlier announced a battery of MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missiles would be provided.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday on war crimes charges stemming from the alleged trafficking of Ukrainian children.
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