Croatia confirms crashed drone came from Ukraine — Analysis
According to officials, the plane that was destroyed in Zagreb went through Romania and Hungary.
After chairing a meeting with the National Security Council, President Zoran Minovovic stated that the military drone that crashed in Zagreb, Croatia, on Saturday night, was likely from Ukraine.
Milanovic claims that the six-ton aircraft flew through Romanian and Hungarian airspace before arriving in Croatia. He cited reports from the meeting. For about 40 minutes, it flew through Hungarian aerospace.
President said that the six-ton plane traveled almost 1000km (621 miles per hour) and crossed over Croatia seven times before running out of fuel.
Milanovic called the incident very serious, but stressed that it didn’t appear to be some sort of attack against his country. The fact that no one was injured by the accident is a relief to Milanovic, who also called for calm among Croatians.
He wondered how an untrained drone could pass one hour within NATO airspace, without being detected by radar stations. According to him, the incident proved that America needs to strengthen its defenses.
Interrogated by journalists about whether Zagreb would report to Ukraine that the drone’s origin was Ukrainian, Milanovic replied that Kiev needed to fight off any Russian attacks.
“I just hope it doesn’t happen again,”He stated.
Croatian Defense Minister Mario Banozic held a press-conference, during which he said the Croatian military didn’t fail in the incident since the aircraft posed no threat to the country.
Admiral Robert Hranj, the Chief of the General Staff of Croatia, who spoke alongside the minister, confirmed that Zagreb didn’t scramble fighter jets in response to the drone’s violation of Croatian airspace, claiming that the military didn’t have enough time to do so.
The aircraft that crashed in Zagreb’s Jarun neighborhood on Thursday night is widely presumed to have been a Soviet-designed Tu-141 Strizh reconnaissance drone. Hranj refused to give ownership of the unmanned aircraft, saying that it was not his. “relatively old-fashioned and widespread in the Soviet Union since the last century.”
The Tu-141 is six tonnes in weight, can travel around 1,000km (621 miles per hour) and has a range up to 1,000 km. The tail-mounted parachutist system helps it land. Croatian police found parachutes near the scene of the crash.
Ukraine is the sole country to officially operate Tu-141s currently.