Possibly Russian Tupolev: the mystery of the drone crash in Zagreb

Possibly Russian Tupolev: the mystery of the drone crash in Zagreb

Status: 03/11/2022 5:34 PM

An unmanned drone has crashed in Croatia. It is called the “military object of Russian design.” It is not clear where the drone came from and how it was able to cross the airspace of several NATO countries without a hitch.

By Srijan Govedarika, ARD Studio Vienna

Zagreb last night. At around 11 pm, there was a loud explosion in a park in Zarun district. Residents are fleeing their homes, some spending the night outside. There were no casualties, some parked cars were seriously damaged. What is left is a crater three meters wide and one meter deep and debris scattered widely. Pictures also showed two parachutes stuck in trees near the blast site.

Srijan Govedarika
ARD studio Vienna

A student was an eyewitness: “We were walking to our house and then saw a red light and heard a hiss. Then all of a sudden there was an explosion. We saw people running away – and there’s a hole with a lot of metal in it.” “

crash site investigation

Weapons experts were already speaking in the morning, conceding that an unmanned drone used in Ukraine may have crashed. Experts from the Ministry of the Interior and the Military Police are conducting investigations at the crash site, and the National Security Council is meeting in Zagreb.

Prime Minister Lady Plenkovic confirmed the incident. It was an unmanned military object of Russian design: “At the moment I do not know for certain whether it was owned by the Russian or Ukrainian military. It came to Croatia from Hungary,” says Plankovic. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said it had come to Hungary from Romania. “Why this happened, whether it was a mistake or a loss of control, we cannot say for sure at the moment,” Plenkovic continued.

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Milanovic: “Serious Incident”

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic does not believe in the targeted attack on Croatia, but talks of a serious incident. “It is currently the subject of serious investigation, especially in countries where the aircraft was in the air for a long time. In Croatia it was much smaller and it is questionable whether we could have done anything with our equipment.”

Now there are increasing indications that the flying object may be the Tupolev m141 reconnaissance drone. The six-tonne device has a range of 1000 km and lands on the ground with the help of a parachute. According to the Croatian Ministry of Defense, drones were produced from the 1960s to about the 1990s and are still used today in the former Soviet Union.

According to Croatian media, the Ukrainian embassy in Zagreb has not commented on the incident. Markijn Lubkivski speaks on Croatian television. He was once the Ukrainian ambassador to Croatia and is now an adviser to the Ukrainian defense minister: “The plane crashed in Zagreb does not belong to Ukraine. Ukrainian planes have different markings. We will ask our Croatian partners to launch an investigation to find out the truth.” can be established.”

Has NATO’s air defense system failed?

The question remains how such a drone could cross the airspace of several NATO countries without countermeasures and whether NATO’s centrally controlled air defense system has failed.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Cizzarto wrote on his Facebook page that the Hungarian authorities were investigating the incident. Hungary is in close contact with NATO and Croatia in this regard. The Romanian Defense Ministry also confirmed that a “small flying object” remained in national airspace for approximately three minutes. Due to the short time, high speed and low altitude, it was not possible to identify the flying object.

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Aerial surveillance apparently not warned

Croatian Army Chief of Staff Admiral Robert Haranj said Croatian aerial surveillance had not been warned, but had seen the drone during its approximately seven-minute stay in Croatian airspace.

He explains why there was no defense response: “As you know, Croatia has an air defense system. But it has some limitations. Therefore a deep modernization of the air defense system is being planned.”

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