The Russian Ministry of Defense says it deployed two fighter jets to intercept a United States Air Force MQ-9 "Reaper" and RQ-4 "Global Hawk" unmanned aerial vehicles near the Crimean peninsula.
The drones were detected by Russian forces that were monitoring equipment flying over the southwestern part of the Black Sea, the Russian defense ministry said on Telegram.
Two Russian fighter jets were deployed to avert a “possible violation of the state border” and to “counter any radio-technical reconnaissance,” the defense ministry said.
“As a result of the actions of on-duty air defense forces, the United States Air Force reconnaissance UAVs changed their flight path and left the areas where air reconnaissance was being conducted,” the defense ministry said.
Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Garron Garn told CNN the US "will continue to fly routine missions over the Black Sea as permitted by international law to ensure freedom of navigation and maneuver in the region."