Tensions between the US and Russia continue to escalate after an American MQ-9 Reaper surveillance drone crashed into the Black Sea following an encounter with Russian fighter jets. The US has accused Russia of reckless behavior, claiming that the drone was on a routine mission in international airspace when it was intercepted by two Russian jets.

The incident highlights the increasing risk of direct confrontation between the two superpowers over the Ukraine war. The US has been providing support to Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with pro-Russian separatists, while Russia has been accused of backing the separatists.

Russia, however, has denied any involvement in the incident. According to the Russian defence ministry, the drone crashed after a “sharp manoeuvre” and that the aircraft was flying with its transponders turned off. Transponders are communication devices that allow aircraft to be tracked.

The MQ-9 Reaper drone is a highly advanced surveillance aircraft with a 20m (66ft) wingspan. It is capable of conducting a wide range of missions, including intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The drone is also equipped with advanced sensor systems and can be armed with missiles and other weapons.

The incident in the Black Sea is just the latest in a series of escalating tensions between the US and Russia. The two nations have been engaged in a geopolitical rivalry for decades, with conflicts over issues such as nuclear weapons, cyber security, and human rights. The situation in Ukraine has only added to the tension, with both sides accusing each other of meddling in the country’s internal affairs.

As tensions continue to rise, there is a growing concern that direct confrontation between the US and Russia could lead to a wider conflict. The incident with the MQ-9 Reaper drone serves as a stark reminder of the risks involved, and the need for both sides to exercise caution and restraint.