News 05 Aug 16

Serbia Mourns Victims of Croatia’s Operation Storm

PM Aleksandar Vucic strongly criticised Croatia’s celebration of its victory in 1995’s Operation Storm as Serbian officials commemorated the Serb victims of the military offensive.

Milivoje Pantovic
Officials from Serbia and Republika Srpska at the commemoration. Photo: Beta.

Political leaders from Serbia and Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska commemorated the annual Day of Remembrance of the Suffering and Persecution of Serbs on Thursday evening in the village of Busije, which is largely populated by refugees who fled Croatia because of Operation Storm 21 years ago.

In his speech at the commemoration, Prime Minister-designate Aleksandar Vucic slammed Croatia for its annual celebration of the victory, which saw Zagreb’s forces take back large amounts of territory that was held by rebel Serbs. The fighting caused around 200,000 people to flee the country and left hundreds of Serbs dead.

“People was killed just because they were Serbs. They celebrate victory, but what is their victory? They are rejoicing in our sorrow,” said Vucic.

Vucic insisted that no such thing would be allowed to happen again.

“I want to tell you that there will be no more ‘Storms’. Serbia cannot boast about its own power, but it is strong enough to take care of its people, and no one will allow such pogroms,” he said.


The president of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, said that nationalism was on the rise in Croatia again and war criminals were being celebrated as heroes.

“We had thought that we had resolved our issues with Croatia, at least those from modern times, but again in Croatia there are tirades against Serbs,” said Dodik.

Relations between Croatia and Serbia have deteriorated in recent days amid exchanges of diplomatic protest notes and harsh statements from politicians on both sides.

Tension escalated as Croatia geared up for the annual anniversary celebration of its victory in Operation Storm.

Croatia is commemorating the 21st anniversary of Operation Storm on Friday with an official celebration in the southern town of Knin, marking what is known in the country as Victory Day and Homeland Thanksgiving Day.

Friday evening will see a performance by nationalist Singer Marko Perkovic, alias Thompson, which will be screened by public broadcaster HRT.

Serbia’s public broadcaster RTS has called on people to mark the Day of Remembrance of the Suffering and Persecution of Serbs at 12 noon with one minute’s silence, while church bells are rung and sirens sounded across the country.

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