A military drone crashed near a student dormitory, restaurants, bars, and apartment buildings in Zagreb, Source: Government of the Republic of Croatia

Croatian authorities find traces of explosives at drone crash site in Zagreb

Croatian authorities find traces of explosives at drone crash site in Zagreb

It is still unclear whether the incident was intentional or accidental

On 13 March, the Croatian government reported that investigators discovered parts of an air bomb and traces of explosives at the crash site where a military drone fell in Zagreb last week. Initially, the aircraft was believed to be a medium-range military renaissance drone manufactured in the former Soviet Union. 

Visiting the crash site in Zagreb today, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković disclosed that although investigations have revealed that the drone was launched on the territory of Ukraine, it is still unclear whether the incident was an accident, mistake, or intentional attack.

What is more, both the Ukrainian and Russian authorities have reportedly claimed that they are not responsible for the crash.

The crash site in Zagreb (Source: Government of the Republic of Croatia)

Criticising NATO's lack of communication

The military drone, which measures 14 metres and weighs 6 tons, fell in Croatia’s capital city after flying over both Hungary and Romania. More specifically, it flew for about 7 minutes after entering Croatia and spent a much longer time flying over Hungary. 

Plenković commented on this, sharing that the incident was “a very clean and clear threat” which called for a serious response. Instead, there was no reaction, no recognition of danger, and no communication between the NATO member countries. 

Expanding on this, he revealed Croatia's dissatisfaction with the reactions of Hungary and Romania, which should have spotted the drone earlier and helped prevent the incident. As such, Plenković noted that the crash indicates the need for closer cooperation within NATO.

Further emphasising the gravity of the incident, the PM explained that the drone crashed in the proximity of student housing, restaurants, bars, apartment buildings, and a bridge. Considering this location, the PM noted, it is thanks to good luck that there were no casualties and that only 40 cars were damaged.

Despite his criticism, Plenković stated that he still believes NATO can and will protect Croatian airspace, noting that this event was an exception: "This is a situation that happened at one point and in a way that was obviously, as they say, unforeseen and something did not work well, but now I think that after this everyone's vigilance will be much higher.”



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU