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How Russia’s downing of a drone in the Black Sea contrasts with its deadliest exchanges with the Americans

The downing of a Russian drone by a US Navy warship in the Black Sea in April 2021 is the latest in a series of incidents that have highlighted the increasingly tense relationship between the United States and Russia. While this incident does not compare to some of the more serious confrontations between the two countries, it is a reminder of how quickly tensions can escalate.

The most serious confrontation between the US and Russia in recent history was the 2014 crisis in Ukraine, when Russia annexed Crimea and supported a separatist insurgency in the Donbas region. This led to economic sanctions being imposed on Russia by the US and its allies, as well as the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the United States.

The US and Russia have also clashed in Syria, where Russian forces have supported the government of President Bashar al-Assad, while the US has backed opposition forces. This has resulted in the US and Russia backing opposing sides in the Syrian civil war, with both countries conducting airstrikes against their opponents.

In addition, both countries have accused each other of interfering in the 2016 US presidential election, and the US has imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and businesses.