Kirby on Russia giving award for hitting US drone: pilot was ‘at greatest, simply an fool’

White Home nationwide safety spokesman John Kirby stated Russia awarding the 2 pilots who downed a U.S. drone earlier this month was “insulting” and that the Kremlin should have a “completely different definition” of bravery.

Russian Protection Minister Sergei Shoigu gave the ‘Orders of Braveness’ award earlier on Wednesday to the fighter pilots who had been concerned within the downing. U.S. officers have stated {that a} Russian fighter jet struck the U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone final week, damaging its propeller and forcing it to splash down within the Black Sea.

“I don’t know of one other navy on the earth, one other Air Drive on the earth, that will award a pilot for smashing right into a drone. If that’s bravery, then I suppose they’ve obtained a unique definition of it. Its ludicrous, its insulting,” Kirby stated on Wednesday.

“Within the Navy I grew up in, you don’t need to hit something. Hitting something’s unhealthy for you. I’m sorry, I’ve obtained to throw the flag on this one. I’ve no clue why they’d give a bravery award to a pilot who was at worst, maliciously placing himself and U.S. property at nice danger, and at greatest, simply an fool,” Kirby, an admiral within the Navy, added.

Shoigu lauded the pilots on Friday, when the award was introduced, and stated they stopped the drone from flying into an airspace claimed by Russia.

The award got here after a video clip launched by the Pentagon confirmed the Russian fighter approached the drone and launched gasoline because it handed, which U.S. officers have stated was supposed to blind the drone and drive it out of the realm.

Kirby on the time stated that whereas the U.S. could by no means know what the intent of the Russian pilot was, the incident was “intentional harassment” and “deliberately aggressive.”

“Now we don’t know whether or not that pilot was attempting to deliberately ram that drone or not, however he did, video proof was fairly conclusive,” Kirby stated on Wednesday.

The U.S. has maintained that its drone was flying over worldwide waters and in worldwide airspace through the incident final week.

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