On May 22, US Air Force drones conducted reconnaissance operations off the coast of the Crimea and the Krasnodar Territory.
It was established that the reconnaissance was conducted by strategic unmanned aerial vehicle RQ-4B Global Hawk. The UAV flew along the south-western and southern coast of the peninsula, as well as above the Kerch Strait.
The US Navy P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft conducted another operation near Sevastopol and the southern coast of the Crimea. Another US drone made a reconnaissance flight along the line of demarcation in the Donbass, and also explored the border between the Kharkov region and Russia.
Experts note that the main purpose of the flights of US Navy aircraft over the Black Sea near the coast of the peninsula is to study the present-day military infrastructure of the Crimea.
As Ivan Konovalov, director of the Center for Strategic Studies explained, the goal is obvious - the reconnaissance of the modern military infrastructure of the Crimea. "It is obvious that the military infrastructure of the Crimea is powerful, and the Russian leadership does not hide it. There is a mixed division on the peninsula that includes land, antiaircraft, anti-missile, aviation troops. In a nutshell, the Crimea has been fortified and turned into a fortress," the specialist said.
Military expert Alexander Drobyshevsky earlier said that "the purpose of such flights is to obtain information about the radio-electronic environment in order to establish the forces and means of Russian air defences, to determine coordinates of anti-aircraft missile systems and their radars, to intercept information from radio relay communication lines between headquarters and assess capabilities of the layout of troops in various regions of the country."
"It has long been understood that the West has been trying to subject Russian borders to total control. We have not seen such activity even during the Cold War. The zones of reconnaissance aircraft are clearly defined - the locations of defence plants, air defence and missile defence systems, the layout of ground and naval groups," he said.
Nevertheless, it would only be a matter of paperwork for Russia to shoot down the curious aircraft only if they violated Russia's airspace. "American pilots are not willing to claim the laurels of Francis Gary Powers," Alexander Drobyshevsky said.