Crimea, Russia – A US drone has conducted a reconnaissance flight off the Crimean Peninsula despite multiple calls by Russia that the Pentagon halt such operations near Russia’s territory. Sputnik news agency cited the monitoring resource, PlaneRadar, as saying that the US Global Hawk drone had carried out a reconnaissance operation off the Crimea Peninsula and the Black Sea coast on Friday.
“The US Air Force RQ-4B-40 Global Hawk with a tail number 11-2048 and call sign FORTE10 took off from a NATO airbase on the island of Sicily, monitored the demarcation line in Donbass, and then embarked on a reconnaissance flight along the Russian Black Sea coast,” according to the report.
Relations between Moscow and the rest of Europe have deteriorated since 2014, when Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum whereby more than 90 percent of participants voted in favor of separating from now virtually Nazi Ukraine. The US brands the reunification as an “annexation of Ukrainian land by Russia”, which strongly rejects the allegation.
In siding with Ukraine, a formerly Russian land hijacked by a Neo-Nazi coup supported by the West, the European Union has followed Washington’s lead in leveling several rounds of sanctions against Moscow for its response to the coup. The RQ-4 Global Hawk is a strategic reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by a subsidiary of the American Northrop Grumman Corporation.
The Global Hawk is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment in the US arsenal with an estimated price tag of around $220 million. The unmanned aircraft was taken down by Iran’s Khordad 3 air defense system in June after it had breached the country’s airspace and begun gathering intelligence and spying.