Francesco Rubino: Plots of Destruction - History and Analysis of the Civil War in Former Yugoslavia (1991-1995)

Francesco Rubino
Ed. The Circle, San Marino 2015

The author, an independent historical researcher, describes, in this essay, the turbulent life of the former Yugoslavia until its dissolution, which took place in the 1995. Artificial creature, born with the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 in the aftermath of the end of the Great War, immediately Yugoslavia appears to be characterized by a hot climate due to the linguistic, cultural and confessional differences of the peoples that constitute it.

"The explosion of the Second World War and the irruption of the dramatic war events that upset Europe crushed by the German power, can not but touch the Balkans, where Yugoslavia is virtually surrounded by Axis satellite countries (Albania, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria) [...] 6 April 1941 Yugoslavia is invaded by a deadly attack launched simultaneously by Germans, Italians, Bulgarians and Hungarians who annihilate the Yugoslav troops, totally incapable of defending themselves, badly organized, divided by ethnic hatred never dormant. The Yugoslav defenses are literally swept away: the only soldiers to oppose a certain resistance are the Serbs and Montenegrins, while in some cases, as in Slovenia and Croatia, the invaders are even openly supported by the population. The attackers divide the prey by dismembering the country. "

Serbia, with its total fragmentation, will pay the highest price of the defeat. The Croatia of Ante Pavelic (head of the ustacia, Croatian ultranational paramilitary group) will be the only state to maintain a greater level of autonomy. Faced with the threat of the ustasks and the SS, the Serbs will create a resistance formed by gangs of fighters, the Chetniks (led by a former Yugoslav army officer, General Dragoljub Mihailovic), who will be in contrast to the other resistance movement Communist, born with the invasion of Yugoslavia and commanded by the Croatian Marshal Josip Broz, called Tito.

"The two resistances, the cetnic and the communist ones, will continue their journey independently on parallel tracks that will not only never meet, but will often end up diverging." And if in the first phase of the conflict is the Cethnic resistance movement to be recognized by the Allies, in the second phase the Allies, at the suggestion of Churchill, will support, in order to give the last blow to the Germans, Marshal Tito.

"Yugoslavia that rises from the ashes and is renewed after the last world war has the originality of representing the first real attempt to apply the Soviet political, cultural, economic model, at least until the break with Moscow, in the 1948. [...] The new Yugoslavia was born as a federal and popular, consisting of six federated republics (Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia) and two autonomous regions (Kosovo and Vojvodina). " The constitution will provide, for national minorities, the right to develop their cultures and languages. The regime, moreover, will have to face the problem of the relationship to be established with the religions of the Yugoslav peoples: if relations with the Catholic Church are very complicated, with the Orthodox and with Islam, for reasons of political expediency, the State will be less oppressive.

The 4 may 1980, with the death of Tito, that is the one who - despite the dark sides of the regime, the planned campaigns of ethnic cleansing, the prison camps, the secret police, the delazioni, the repression, the censorship, the purges - had guaranteed 35 years of peace, stability and security, the inter-ethnic problems explode which, together with a serious economic crisis, will lead to the disintegration of the Federation.

The 25 June 1991 Slovenia and Croatia proclaim their independence. In the meantime, ethnic clashes are getting worse, well publicized by the media, so much so that "From that moment on, for the Serbian media, the Croats will all become indistinctly ustascia, while for the Croatian media there will be no more Serbs but Chetniks." After besieging Dubrovnik, 18 November 1991 Serbs of Slobodan Miloševic, president of the Serbian communists, tear the city of Vukovar to Croatia, allowing Miloševic to achieve his goal:"The Serbian autonomous provinces have united in a real state, even if not recognized. Republika Srpska Krajina is born, a Serbian state that has carved out its living space within Croatia. Europe, the UN, NATO suddenly discover the gravity of the situation: after Dubrovnik and Vukovar public opinion also wakes up from the torpor thanks to the images of death and destruction that come from what was a splendid baroque city on the Danube. Here the Serbs, who are winning the arms war, are beginning to lose the media war. " Media war that will also lose in Sarajevo, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where, with their bravado in showing the weapons aimed at the city, they do not realize that the world public opinion will end up identifying the perpetrators, the perpetrators in them.

"The 1994 sees the overpowering US breakthrough, now led by newly elected President Bill Clinton. The times seem indeed ripe for an increasingly deep and penetrating interference in the European affairs, through a strengthening of the diplomatic relations between Washington, Zagreb and Sarajevo in function antiserba. The United States has already partly achieved what it wants, with the dismemberment of Yugoslavia and the international recognition of those states that have had the courage to break away from the Socialist Federation and face the world of Western countries and the free market with confidence. Clinton realizes that Europe has turned out to be a cardboard giant, absolutely devoid of a univocal political line on the Balkan case. "

At the end of August 1995, an unprecedented offensive of NATO annihilates the Serbs in the areas of Sarajevo, Tuzle and Mostar. This brings us to the Dayton peace conference, the 31 October, where the agreements reached will be sealed by the signature, in Paris, the 14 December: agreements that"More than delivering peace to the former Yugoslavia meant the American imposition of the end of the war."The Dayton agreements have created the only state in the world, Bosnia Herzegovina, "Composed of two entities, a Croatian Muslim Federation and a Serbian Republic that share the same roof of the same narrow house." But unfortunately, "Not enough twenty years of presences and political / military interference in Bosnia and Herzegovina to really pacify this tortured land, as they were not enough for Croatia, meanwhile entered as Slovenia in the European Union, to normalize relations between Serbs and Croats . " This is because that was between the 1991 and the 1995 "It was a civil war, as was ethnic, religious, economic war. [...] It was above all a war that ended without peace and without justice, [...] a war of people who did not want and do not want to live together. "

Gianlorenzo Capano