BalkanBlog

Operation Storm – forgotten pogrom

Today 13 years has went since the massive ethnic cleansing of more than 250,000 Serbs from Krajina in Croatia. Thirteen years ago, on August 4 1995, 200,000 Croat army and police troops from Croatia and the Croat Defense Council from Bosnia-Herzegovina, under the command of Franjo Tudjman, attacked the United Nations protected zones (safe havens) with Serbian population in northern Dalmatia, Lika, Kordun and Banija. They were helped on the Bosnian side by the Bosnian Muslim fighters and had the operation backed, coordinated and logistically supported by the leading Western powers.


A day later, on August 5, Croat troops have entered the ethnically cleansed town of Knin which was under the heavy missile barrage earlier where, prior to the “Storm”, more than 90 percent of the population were Serbs.  In a few days, the complete Serbian population from Krajina in Croatia was forced to flee towards Serbia and Republic of Srpska. Columns with over 250,000 expelled Croatia Serbs were under constant assault of Croat artillery and under fire from the fighter jets which followed them on their collective exodus from Croatia.

According to the data of the Documentation-information Center Veritas, in the pogrom by the Croat army close to 2,000 people were killed, while the Croat Helsinki board claims that during the “Operation Storm” 670 Serbian civilians were killed.

After the “Storm” which, according to Croat president, successfully finalized the ethnic cleansing of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, Tudjman cynically described the pogrom of Croatia Serbs at the opening of the Military school Ban Josip Jelacic in Zagreb, on December 14 1998: “We have, therefore, resolved the Serbian question! There will no longer be 12 percent of Serbs, nor 9 percent of Yugoslavs [mostly Serbs who were declaring themselves as “Yugoslavs” during the censuses], as before.

There are many stories about ethnic cleansing in Balkans. The (western) mainstream media has mostly described how Serbs have tried to cleanse their neighbor regions. This one sided picture is regrettable common even today. people are forgetting, that one explanation to brutalities made by Serbs is their response to brutality others made against them. Also one should remember that Serbia has today more refugees than any other country in western Balkans and international community does not have a slightest attempt to help them return back to their original homes.

As source describing Storm background I have used article published in  http://www.byzantinesacredart.com/blog/

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5 thoughts on “Operation Storm – forgotten pogrom

  1. arirusila says:

    1. Biljana Says:
    August 6th, 2008 at 10:00 am e

    Rightly said, forgotten pogrom! However, the question is forgotten by whom? Serbs certainly won’t forget this pogrom while the ordinary people worldwide hardly or never knew anything about it because they were not informed about this tragedy. Pure journalistic failure.

    It is amazing how Western journalists served their politicians while reaching the goals in demonizing Serbs. The one must wonder is there any Western (or any international for that matter) independent media that is actually capable of having an objective and non-biased stand. It is sadly that the journalists (especially Western ones)never bothered to expose the role of their governments in the wars in ex YU, it is sadly to witness such journalistic servile position, biased and one sided approach to the very complex situation.

    Then, you Mr Rusila, cited Tudjaman’s speech given in 1998 where he explicitly emphasize the overcome of Serbian issue in Croatia. The ethnically pure Croatia is finally created. But I must add that this was not Tudjman’s first time where he speaks about ethnically pure Croatia and solving of Serbian issue.

    Prior to the war Tudjman was screaming out loud that “Croatia could avoid war but how else to solve the Serbian question in Croatia if not in war”. He was applaud by the Croats and deemed as the saviour of the nation. Let’s not forget Tudjman’s admiration for the Ustashe and his revival of ustasha’s policy.

    In the eyes of Serbian minority in Croatia this new development of the situation was deemed as a resurrection of NDH (independent state of Croatia) from the WWII. What else Serbs were left to hope for, what kind of future they could have expected in this kind of new freaking creation where the masses of Tudjman’s worshippers have called for new Jasenovac. What else Serbs could have hoped for when Croats were resurrecting the leaders of Ustashas’s regime during NDH, Pavelic, Stepinac, Sakic, Luburic, Majstorovic –Filipovic, etc.

    There was no any hope left for the Serbs in Croatia after calling for new NDH. The then EC leaders turned blind eye when it comes to new moments in Croatia, no one cared to warn or somehow prevent what was about to come. That is why Krajina was created at first place. Krajina was more or less safe place for the Serbs during the war, if nothing else, at least Serbs were saved form ending lives in some new Jasenovac like camps.

    I recommend this news item from b92 about the atrocities committed against the Serbs in Bosnia by regular Croatian Army and joint Muslim-Croat armed forces at the very beginning of the war or hasn’t yet even started. The title of the article is: Bosnia: Mass graves with Serb victims found

    http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region-article.php?yyyy=2008&mm=08&dd=05&nav_id=52470

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