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Latest Interviews from the Balkans


Turmoils in EU, US Boost Russia Influence in Balkans

The Balkans may not be a priority for the new US administration but Washington wants to keep an eye on a region where Russian influence is growing, Damon Wilson, from the Atlantic Council, told BIRN.


Serbian Youth Initiative Chief Blames State for Attacks

The director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Anita Mitic, accused the Serbian state of being complicit in the series of recent attacks on the rights organisation.


Capturing the Image of Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia

Photojournalist Ron Haviv’s shocking image of a Serbian paramilitary kicking a woman’s corpse during the Bosnian war is one of the subjects of a forthcoming documentary about his most significant pictures.


Macedonia’s Albanians Urged to Reject Gruevski Coalition

With official talks on a new Macedonian government set to start within days, former MP Ismet Ramadani warned Albanian political parties against an alliance with embattled former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.


Balkan States ‘Could Emulate Slovenian Law Curbing Refugees’

Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, warns that Slovenia’s proposed new Aliens Act will likely cause an unwelcome 'domino effect' along the Balkan refugee route.


Balkan Schoolbooks Offer Conflicting Versions of Kosovo’s History

Shkelzen Gashi tells BIRN that his new report reveals how differently the history of Kosovo is taught all over the Western Balkans - with worrying implications for relations between neighbouring countries.


Iraqi Star Writer Recalls Balkan Refugee Ordeal

Award-winning writer Hassan Blasim has personal experience of the horrors of life on the Balkan refugee route, but - on a trip back to Sofia - he tells BIRN that he has never lost hope. 


Serbian Rightist Readies For ‘Rigged’ Presidential Race

Dveri leader Bosko Obradovic says the governing parties will stitch up the April 2017 presidential elections but that, if he wins, he will unite all Serbs in one state.


EU Integration Won’t Stop Authoritarianism in Balkans

European integration will not stop Balkan governments from cracking down on independent voices unless societies have built up strong means of resistance, Kiril Koroteev, of the Moscow-based human rights centre Memorial told BIRN.


Viktor Ivancic: Journalism is On the Road To Suicide

Iconoclastic former editor of ‘Feral’ says old-style journalism is dead, Croatia’s Social Democrats should be smashed to pieces and calls Prime Minister Plenkovic a human ‘slot machine’.


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.