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Latest Interviews from the Balkans


Sarajevo Siege Novel Celebrates Decency Under Fire

Wartime Sarajevo-based correspondent Kevin Sullivan’s new novel The Longest Winter tries to reflect the humanity and courage of people living in the Bosnian capital during the 1992-95 siege.


Lavrov Puts Russia-Serbia Relations Into Sharp Focus

Russia’s Foreign Minister will be seeking to clarify Moscow’s increasingly complex relations with Serbia on his upcoming visit to Belgrade, explains Bosko Jaksic, a Belgrade-based foreign policy expert.


Puhalo: Bosnian Salafists’ Terror Tag is ‘Malicious’

After spending two months with members of the Salafi movement in Bosnia, social psychologist Srdjan Puhalo says it is time to stop demonizing the community as terrorists.


Bosnian War Childhood Museum Edges Closer to Opening

Despite funding setbacks and broken promises of support, the War Childhood Museum will open in Sarajevo in December to exhibit people’s personal mementoes of growing up during the conflict, its director says.


America’s Eisenhower Inspires Albania’s First Woman General

Manushaqe Shehu, the first woman in the Balkans to become a General, says she owes her success to her family’s support - while also leaning on a motto of America’s wartime hero.


Schwendiman: New Kosovo War Court ‘Not Anti-Albanian’

In his first interview since being appointed chief prosecutor of the new Kosovo special court, David Schwendiman told BIRN that suspected criminals are his target, not the Kosovo Liberation Army itself.


Designers of Handcrafted Shoes Find Their Feet in Serbia

Custom-made shoes crafted from crocodile leather may be far beyond the wallets of most Serbs – but a handful of designers in Serbia say the market for it is growing.


Kosovo Director Focuses Lens on Post-War Trauma

When director Gazmend Bajri met the subject of his latest film, he found an outlet for his feelings about how he himself suffered during the Kosovo war - and how he dealt with the trauma afterwards.


New Yorker Finds Belgrade a Dream Come True

While many Serbs fantasize about a new life in America, ex-Manhattanite Catherine Ferrary Simons has realized her goals by journeying in the opposite direction.


Syria Returnee Wants to Help Kosovo’s Would-be Warriors

Albert Berisha, who returned to Kosovo after briefly joining fighters in Syria, has set up an NGO to help other returnees - and those mulling following the path that he once took.


Croatia’s Oscar Contender, A Tale of Love and War

A phone call from a war criminal changes two people’s lives in a film about the continuing impact of the 1990s conflict on relationships by Croatian director Zrinko Ogresta.


Markovic: Montenegro Opposition Faces ‘Imminent Defeat’

The vice-president of the ruling party, Dusko Markovic, tells BIRN that the DPS will romp home again in ‘absolutely fair and free’ elections on Sunday.


Garrett: Postponing Elections Would 'Damage' Macedonia

The key to a lasting solution to the crisis in Macedonia lies partly in determining the truth about the wiretap allegations – but going ahead with the early elections is also an important step, British Ambassador Charles Garrett says.


Serbian Peace Women Mark 25 Years of Defiance

Belgrade-based peace group Women in Black is marking 25 years of staging peaceful demonstrations against militarism and standing up against threats of violence from Serbian nationalists.


EU’s Crisis Will Slow Balkan Accession, Expert Says

Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, says the EU is likely to slow accession talks with the Balkan countries in the context of ‘huge resistance’ to enlargement.