Drone likely from Ukraine conflict area crashes in Croatia

Police inspect site of a drone crash in Zagreb, Croatia, Friday
AP/Darko Bandic

A drone that is likely to have been used in the fighting within Ukraine has crashed in Croatia after possibly traveling over multiple NATO countries. 

The drone is predicted by experts to be a Soviet-era Tu-141 “Strizh” reconnaissance drone, with the Croatian government saying it flew through Croatia, Hungary and possibly Romania, The Associated Press reported.

The  “pilotless military aircraft” crashed outside Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb on Thursday after it ran out of fuel, Croatian officials said. 

The drone entered Croatia at a speed of 430 miles per hour and an altitude of 4,300. No one was injured in the crash, which is “amazing” consider how big the aircraft was, Zagreb mayor Tomislav Tomašević said. 

Croatian and Hungarian authorities will be investigating how the drone was able to make it through the airspace above their nations without detection, according to the AP.

Officials said they have sent the information to NATO and expect a full investigation to take place. They will not reveal which country they believe it came from or how they believe it happened, saying it initially looks like an accident. 

“We can’t say at this moment whose it was. Those are relatively old-era flying objects that were used in the Soviet Union,” Chief of Staff Adm. Robert Hranj said. “I can’t even say it flew from Ukraine without detailed analysis.”

Ukraine is the only known country that currently has Tu-141 drones, the AP noted. 

“The serious incident” has to be investigated to figure out  “how a relatively unsophisticated drone flew for over an hour over NATO countries without being detected,” Croatian President Zoran Milanović said.

Tags Croatia Croatia Russia Ukraine Unmanned aerial vehicle

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