ZAGREB, CROATIA – A Soviet-era military reconnaissance drone has flown from Ukraine through the airspace of several NATO member states and eventually crashed just outside the Croatian capital Zagreb, leaving a big hole in the ground and several damaged parked vehicles, the Croatian government said. There were no casualties.
According to Croatian media the drone – an old Soviet-era Tupolev Tu-141 ‘Strizh’, also operated by Ukraine – was flying just 1,300 meters (4,265 feet) above sea level when it entered Croatian airspace and crashed near Lake Jarun Thursday night. According to Croatian authorities the drone probably ran out of fuel.
It’s still unclear whether the drone belonged to Ukrainian or Russian forces. However, an adviser to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense later said it was not a Ukrainian aircraft.
The medium-range reconnaissance UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) reportedly flew through Romanian and Hungarian airspace.
The Croatian Defense Minister spoke of a very serious incident and announced a thorough investigation.
Head photo: Tupolev Tu-141 ‘Strizh’ (Swift) on a launcher at the Ukrainian Air Force Museum in Vinnitsa (photo: George Chernilevsky, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
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