TheoRetiKule Posted April 21, 2008 Share Posted April 21, 2008 Hmm... stranger than fiction? Well, almost... From today's Independent (UK newspaper): http://www.independent.co.uk/news/europe/g...one-813039.html Georgia says Russian jet shot down its drone By Margarita Antidze, Reuters Monday, 21 April 2008 Georgia today accused a Russian air force jet of trespassing into its airspace and shooting down an unmanned Georgian reconnaissance plane, but Moscow said the allegation was nonsense. The Georgian air force released video footage it said came from the drone's on-board camera and which it said showed a Russian military MiG-29 jet launching a missile at the Georgian plane as it flew over the breakaway Abkhazia region. The allegation is likely to further aggravate tensions between Moscow and Tbilisi, which are locked in a standoff over Georgia's ambitions to join NATO and Moscow's support for separatist regions of Georgia. "On April 20 a Russian MiG-29 fighter jet shot down an unarmed, unmanned air vehicle which was performing basic reconnaissance over Georgian territory," Colonel David Nairashvili, commander of Georgia's air force, told Reuters. "It's absolutely illegal for a Russian MiG-29 to be there," he said. A spokesman for Russia's air force, when asked about the Georgian allegation, said: "Nonsense. What would a Russian jet fighter be doing over Georgian territory?" Abkhazia is internationally recognised as part of Georgia but has been controlled by a Moscow-backed separatist administration since a war in the early 1990s. Russia has peacekeeping forces in the region. Abkhazia's separatist administration said on Sunday its own forces had shot down the drone because it was violating Abkhaz air space. Georgia's pro-Western government is sensitive about any Russian involvement in the region. Tbilisi last week accused Moscow of a de facto annexation of Abkhazia, and a second breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his government to establish closer ties with the separatists. The video footage supplied to Reuters by Georgia's air force showed a jet aircraft firing a missile in the direction of a drone. A few seconds later the screen goes blank. No identification markings are visible on the aircraft that fired the missile. Nairashvili said the aircraft type meant it could only be a Russian air force jet. "The MiG-29 has a distinctive twin-tail marking. It's a Russian aircraft. Georgia does not possess it, nor do Abkhaz separatists," he said. Radar records showed the aircraft took off from a base in Abkhazia, on the Black Sea coast, and then crossed into neighbouring Russia after the attack, Nairashvili said. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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