The Soviet-era military drone that crashed last week in Zagreb had a bomb on board, Croatian Defense Minister Mario Banožić said.
The old Russian-made rig was launched from Ukraine and undetected crossed the skies of several NATO member states before crashing into the Croatian capital. Banožić laments the “deficiencies” in the response of some of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies. However, the incident will already be discussed within NATO.
The meter-long drone of more than 6,000 kilograms, which flew at an altitude of 1,300 meters, crashed a few minutes after entering Croatian airspace late Thursday evening at Lake Jarun. The authorities assume that the fuel has run out.
There were no casualties, but a huge crater formed near Zagreb, and there was a lot of damage. Dozens of parked vehicles were damaged. The drone flew through Romania and Hungary. The Ukrainian defence minister believes that the NATO countries did not react in time; as a result, the drone was not intercepted and regretted that. Nevertheless, he spoke of a very serious incident and announced a thorough investigation.
At first, it was thought to be a reconnaissance aircraft, but it soon became clear that the unmanned, remotely controlled aircraft was carrying a bomb previously used for aircraft from the Soviet Union. It is not yet clear whether the bomb exploded. It is a Soviet-era Tu-141 Strizh, a type used by Ukraine, with a range of about 1,000 kilometres.
Both the Ukrainian and Russian military have denied having anything to do with the incident.