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Russia Denies Downing Georgian Spy Plane
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 21 Apr.'08 / 19:59

Moscow has denied Tbilisi’s allegation that its unmanned spy plane was shot down by the Russian fighter jet on April 20 over breakaway Abkhazia.

“It was Sunday and pilots had a rest. Hence, not a single jet had taken off in that region,” RIA Novosti quoted Drobishevsky as saying on April 21. 

Colonel David Nairashvili, commander of the Georgian air force, told Reuters on April 21 that the drone, which belonged to the Georgian Interior Ministry, was downed by a Russian MIG-29 fighter jet. The video footage transmitted from the downed drone shows a twin-tail jet firing a rocket at the unmanned spy plane.
 
The Abkhaz side reported earlier on April 21 that it had found debris from the downed Georgian spy plane. Gali Kupalba, the breakaway region’s deputy defense minister, said that examination of the debris revealed that it was a medium-sized unmanned aerial vehicle produced by an Israeli company, Elbit Systems, in 2006.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said that it had summoned Russian ambassador, Vyacheslav Kovalenko, to hand over a note of protest over the incident.

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