After a Su-27 Flanker ‘downed’ an American MQ-9 Reaper drone in a high-voltage drama that unfolded earlier this week, Russians have come up with a stamp to celebrate the incident.
Foxy Flanker! How Russian Su-27 ‘Reaper Killer’ Jet Outclassed USAF F-15 Fighter & Snatched Back Key World Records
However, there is a twist. Soon after Russia released the stamp, local Ukrainian media reported that the country had copied the meme the Ukrainians made after they sunk Russia’s flagship Moskva in the summer of 2022.
Russia was so taken aback by how Ukraine turned its sinking of Russia’s Moskva flagship into a meme that they copied it to get support at home, Ukraine Pravda said in its report.
According to the report, the famous sketch by Ukrainian artist Borys Hrokh shows a Ukrainian soldier in front of the Russian Black Sea flagship Moskva and shouting the now-iconic phrase “Russian warship, go f**k yourself.”
Unlike the Ukrainian version, the Russian stamp shows a Russian soldier standing on the ground with the same gesture as the Ukrainian soldier. The only difference between the two versions is that the Russians have replaced the Moskva flagship with the MQ-9 Reaper drone.
A Russian fighter pilot flying the Su-27 Flanker sprayed fuel on the American drone and possibly collided with it, forcing it to crash.
Ukrainian netizens and media mocked the Russian stamp makers for what they described as “making a cheap copy” of Ukrainian art.
The local media mocked the Russians by saying Russian stamp designers contend that destroying an unarmed drone with two jets from land is comparable to sinking a Black Sea flagship with hundreds of enemy soldiers aboard and necessary military hardware.
WE ARE LIVE: Just crossed the Border into Ukrainehttps://t.co/WtzHLkPpsS pic.twitter.com/EGwMqMk35n
— Dylan Burns 🇺🇦🏳️🌈 (@DylanBurns1776) March 17, 2023
The report further added that it is easily forgotten how the phrase on the Ukrainian stamp came to be known worldwide. Notably, the statement also became the war cry of resistance at the time, which came in response to the Moskva flagship ordering that Ukrainian defenses disarm and surrender.
The Moskva, an 11,490-ton SLAVA Class cruiser from the Soviet era, went down on April 13, 2022, just moments after being severely damaged by two Neptune coastal anti-ship cruise missiles built in Ukraine. The event marked a significant breakthrough for the beleaguered Ukrainian forces.
In contrast, on March 14, the US Air Force announced that a Russian Su-27 fighter jet collided with the rear propeller of its MQ-9 Reaper drone, forcing the US to bring the drone down into the Black Sea.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry published a statement that there was no impact between the two aircraft and that the US Air Force MQ-9 maneuvered abruptly before reportedly experiencing uncontrolled flight and plummeting into the Black Sea.
On its part, Ukraine has neither received nor does it operate the MQ-9 Reaper drone. Consequentially, this was not a Russian combat win against Ukraine in the ongoing war compared to the sinking of the Moskva.
China Blames The US For Drone-Based Spying
An opinion piece published in Chinese state-owned media Global Times noted that the United States is using its military hardware and causing incidents to exacerbate the situation in and surrounding countries it views as adversaries.
The article’s author cites the crash of the American MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea as an example of such a provocation.
“The attitude of the US side is not too drastic. It is worth noting that the Reaper drone has repeatedly performed surveillance and precision strike missions in US military operations. Regarding the drone that crashed in the Black Sea airspace this time, US officials were not willing to disclose whether it was armed”, read the article.
It further laments that similar episodes of military aircraft collisions, sporadic air accidents, and even aircraft downing have happened often since the conclusion of the Cold War.
Some of these incidents substantially aggravated regional tensions, most of which were linked to the US military. And the targets were frequently nations that Washington regarded to be fictitious enemies.
The Chinese rhetoric comes when hostilities run high between Beijing and Washington. The tensions peaked last month after the US Air Force shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon flying over the continental United States and allegedly spying over Washington’s military installations.
As the US and its allies continue undertaking reconnaissance flights over the contested South China Sea, China seems incentivized to corner the United States on its alleged spying attempts.
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