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Russia Shuts Down US Intelligence Drone Over Crimea

Wing of the reaper drone before being brought down.
Wing of the reaper drone before being brought down.

If we are in the era of “War by Drone,” the U.S. is already in trouble. According to the Russians, last week, the U.S. was flying an intelligence drone over Crimea, but it isn’t flying now.

Russia claimed Friday that it brought down the drone as it flew over Crimea, according to Rostec, a Russian state-owned corporation.

The Russians didn’t shoot it down with military hardware. They used electronic means.

According to debka file, the Rostec website noted “The drone was flying at about 4,000 meters (12,000 feet) [over the Crimean Peninsula] and was virtually invisible from the ground. It was possible to break the link with US operators with complex radio-electronic technology”

Wing of the reaper drone before being brought down.

The drone fell “almost intact” into the hands of “self-defense forces.”

Although Crimea is a sovereign part of Ukraine, Russia has recently taken full control. Crimea’s government claimed they held a free and fair referendum last Sunday to decide whether to remain part of the Ukraine or join Russia. The suspected result last week was that they would overwhelmingly vote to split from Ukraine and reunite with Russia, because 58% of the population are ethnic Russians. We now know that was the result – or at least what they said was the result.

Not only did Rostec announce the downing of the drone, they claimed the company, not Russia was responsible for it. No details were provided as to whom or what was operating the aircraft.

A message on the Rostec website said “Judging by its identification number, UAV MQ-5B belonged to the 66th American Reconnaissance Brigade, based in Bavaria.” A photo of the drone, that could not be verified, was included.

The same day as the drone was allegedly downed, Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in London.

The stated reason was an attempt to end the Russian occupation of Crimea, but as we know, that attempt failed.

If the story of downing this drone is true, it will be compared to the time in 1960, when the Russian downed a U-2 spy plane over Russia and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

Although this is an embarrassment, at least this time there was no human pilot to capture.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, “Redistribution of Common Sense – Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014,” was published in July, 2014. “The Game Changer – America’s Most Stunning Presidential Election in History,” was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.


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