The US European Command has published footage of a collision between an American Reaper drone and a Russian Su-27 over the Black Sea.
“On March 14, 2023, two Russian Su-27 aircraft made an unsafe and unprofessional interception of a US Air Force MQ-9 unmanned reconnaissance, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft that was in international airspace over the Black Sea. Russian Su-27s dumped fuel on the MQ-9 and crashed into its propeller, causing US forces to shoot down [their] MQ-9 in international waters. (US Air Force video) (Editor's note: The length of this declassified video has been edited, but events are shown in sequential order)" on the US European Command website.
The footage shows how one of the propeller blades of the American MQ-9 was actually destroyed, and the other curved in the opposite direction. However, it is difficult to unambiguously judge from the video what exactly caused the breakdown: fuel dumping or direct collision:
Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that Russian fighters did not use airborne weapons and did not come into contact with an American aircraft:
“The flight of the unmanned aerial vehicle was carried out with transponders turned off, in violation of the boundaries of the area of the temporary regime for the use of airspace, established for the purpose of conducting a special military operation, brought to all users of international airspace. <...> Russian fighters did not use airborne weapons, did not come into contact with an unmanned aerial vehicle and returned safely to their home airfield.
When asked to comment on the incident, Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian Defense Ministry's statement published the day before was "comprehensive."
Later, in response to accusations that Russia acted “unenvironmentally” in the situation with the American drone, Peskov said that those who were not supposed to fly near the Russian borders should not have flown: