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Latest Profiles from the Balkans

long-running-coup-drama-still-has-montenegro-gripped-10-16-2017-1
16 Oct 17

Long-Running Coup Drama Still Has Montenegro Gripped

A year after the alleged coup attempt, countless media reports, official statements and an ongoing trial have failed to resolve doubts about what happened on October 16 last year in Montenegro.

naser-oric-srebrenica-commander-inspires-love-and-hate-10-02-2017
05 Oct 17

Naser Oric: Srebrenica Commander Inspires Love and Hate

Ahead of his war crimes verdict, Naser Oric, a wartime defender of Srebrenica who once worked as Slobodan Milosevic’s bodyguard, says he is “loved” by Bosniaks - but is also despised by many Serbs.

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04 Oct 17

Marching for Pride, Living for Progress

Human rights and LGBT activist Goran Miletic talks about being openly gay in a homophobic society, and how the prime minister attending this year’s Belgrade Pride was a positive signal.

serbian-paramilitary-commander-captain-dragan-croatia-conviction-profile-09-26-2017
26 Sep 17

Captain Dragan: Notorious Commander Loses Courtroom Battle

After leading rebel fighters in Croatia and starring in his own TV show in Serbia, Dragan Vasiljkovic eventually lost his bitter struggle against extradition from his adopted homeland Australia and was convicted of war crimes.

sergey-samsonenko-macedonia-s-vanished-sporting-hero-08-24-2017
28 Aug 17

Sergey Samsonenko, Macedonia’s Vanished Sporting Hero

The contentious Russian businessman who flourished under the previous regime in Macedonia has terminated his role as the nation’s sporting patron now his allies are out of power.

serbia-s-new-pm-likely-to-stay-in-vucic-s-shadow-06-26-2017
26 Jun 17

Serbia’s New PM Likely to Stay in Vucic’s Shadow

While Ana Brnabic awaits confirmation in parliament as Serbia’s new Prime Minister, experts say the real decisions will continue to be taken by her patron, President Aleksandar Vucic.

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20 Jun 17

Hashim Thaci, Guerrilla Chief Who Became President

Kosovo's president has established himself as a shrewd tactician able to outmanoeuvre his opponents – but who still remains haunted by his past.

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08 Jun 17

Marko Zvrlevski: Macedonia’s ‘Puppet’ Prosecutor Faces Dismissal

With a new government in place, Macedonia’s compromised chief Public Prosecutor Marko Zvrlevski, who was seen as a puppet of the former regime, can't hope to stay in office much longer.

kadri-veseli-kosovo-powerbroker-who-shuns-the-spotlight-06-02-2017
02 Jun 17

Kadri Veseli, Kosovo Powerbroker Who Shuns the Spotlight

The former secret service chief who became head of the Democratic Party of Kosovo is a man who prefers to stay in the shadows.

balkan-rulers-who-just-won-t-say-goodbye-05-07-2017-1
08 May 17

Balkan Rulers Who Just Won’t Say Goodbye

Kings may have departed from the Balkan stage but many of the region’s current leaders weild power in monarchical style - clinging to office for decades. Here is the selection of ten politicans who think it is never the right time to bow out.

ivica-todoric-croatia-s-tycoon-who-wanted-too-much-04-25-2017
27 Apr 17

Ivica Todoric: Croatia's Tycoon Who Wanted Too Much

Ivica Todoric, the man who transformed his flower company into one of the Balkans' biggest business empires, Agrokor, now faces the possibility of seeing the debt-ridden firm go under.

belgrade-s-indestructible-mayor-faces-uncertain-future-03-25-2017
24 Apr 17

Belgrade’s ‘Indestructible’ Mayor Faces Uncertain Future

The political future of Mayor Sinisa Mali remains cloudy as protesters in Belgrade on Tuesday showed they were not about to forget his role in the notorious Savamala affair.

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13 Apr 17

Crusading Journalist Defies Threatening Climate in Kosovo

‘Zeri’ editor Arbana Xharra says she won’t stop probing the dark side of Kosovo life despite the ‘public lynches that have become the new normality’ for investigative journalists in the country.

serbia-s-anti-vucic-protests-key-facts-04-12-2017
12 Apr 17

Serbia’s Anti-Vucic Protests: Key Facts

Thousands of people are hitting the streets nightly across Serbia, protesting against the rule of Serbia’s Prime Minister and President-elect, Aleksandar Vucic. BIRN has prepared a guide containing the main facts about the protest movement.

vetevendosje-from-troublemaker-to-key-player-in-kosovo-04-10-2017
11 Apr 17

Vetevendosje: From Troublemaker to Key Player in Kosovo

Vetevendosje has come a long way from a street movement to potentially key political actor, raising questions about whether it will change its tactics now as it gets closer to power.