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Ukraine Crisis: Drone that flew across Hungary contained explosives

Ukraine Crisis

Tupolev TU-141

Image by Maykova Galina / Shutterstock.com

The drone that flew across Hungarian airspace and crashed in Zagreb was equipped with an explosive device, Croatian Defense Minister Mario Banozic said, according to a report by Hungarian news agency MTI.

The minister said that traces of an explosive device had been found among the wreckage of the unmanned TU-141 drone that crashed in Zagreb.

He added that the aircraft was Soviet-made, but that it is still unclear whether it belongs to Russia or Ukraine.

Croatian authorities also found a damaged black box from which they expect to recover flight data. "We will compare this with the investigations that we are carrying out jointly with NATO member states and reconstruct from the radar images exactly where the drone came from," Banozic underlined.

According to the MTI report, the airspace of several NATO member states, including Hungary, was affected by the drone flight. NATO allies are cooperating closely in the investigation.

Opposition blasts inaction

In a joint statement published on Sunday, members of the United for Hungary opposition alliance DK, Jobbik, LMP, Momentum, MSZP, Dialogue for Hungary (PM), as well as the Everybody's Hungary Movement (MMM) asked Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for an answer to the question of how a drone carrying a bomb could have spent 40 minutes in Hungarian airspace.

In a statement sent to MTI on Sunday, the opposition parties said that they expect an immediate and decisive answer from the Prime Minister on whether the Hungarian defense forces are capable of defending Hungary after the TU-141 drone, which according to the Croatian Defence Minister was carrying a bomb, was allowed to fly in Hungarian airspace for 40 minutes on March 10.

Fighter planes took off twice on Friday - Foreign Ministry

Earlier on Sunday, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said that Hungary's Gripen fighter aircraft took off twice on Friday on the basis of suspicious radar signals, but on neither occasion did they find any flying objects.

He said that the Hungarian Defense Forces had detected an object flying over the country's airspace from Ukraine at dawn on Friday, which later turned out to be the same object as the drone that crashed in Zagreb. The fighters also took off in the afternoon but did not find suspicious flying aircraft and returned to the base.

He pointed out that the case involved several NATO member states, including Hungary, Romania, and Croatia, and that the authorities were investigating the incident in close cooperation with NATO allies.

"As there is a war going on in the neighborhood, it is extremely important that the Defense Forces and the Air Force act in a calm and prudent manner in all cases. This was the case now and will be the case in the period ahead," he said.

"We must protect Hungary and the security of the Hungarian people, and we must ensure that Hungary does not get involved in any way in the war in its neighborhood," he added.
 

 

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