Boris Milosevic in Knin - Emotions are still fresh VIDEO / PHOTO
The celebration of Operation Storm in Knin was for the first time attended by a Serb representative, Croatian Deputy Prime Minister from SDSS, Boris MilosevicSource: B92, Tanjug
Boris Milosevic, the SDSS deputy prime minister of Croatia, said after the celebration of Operation "Storm" in Knin that he had heard messages of reconciliation in speeches by Croatian officials and that his arrival in Knin was a pledge for the future.
"We respect all victims, regardless of nationality. We should respect the memories of the victims. Emotions are still fresh. I heard messages of reconciliation, peace and the future, and I consider my arrival as a pledge for the future," Milosevic told reporters in Knin. at the end of the event.
Milosevic added that Croatian society has matured so that everyone can hear and respect each other, regardless of nationality.
"It is important for the society to accept that Serbs in Croatia had their victims and their sufferings, and that we must respect the memories of those victims. And I think that this is only the first step," Milosevic said.
Attacks due to the decision to attend the Storm celebration as a Serb are seen as expected:
"I understand it primarily as it comes from people who have suffered pain and felt injustice," Milosevic said.
His presence at the celebrations in Knin met with a series of negative reactions.
Until recently, Milosevic was the president of the Serbian National Council (SNV), according to which data, the "Storm" operation resulted in over 200.000 Serbs fleeing Croatia and almost 2.000 got killed in the course and after this final operation of ethnic cleansing and the offensive on the territory then known as the Republic of Srpska Krajina.
Milosevic stood in line near Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.
During the presentation of high-ranking Croatian officials, retired General Ante Gotovina was also introduced.
And while others applauded, Milosevic kept his hands folded.
Plenković: We mourn for the Serb victims, we ask for the respect of Serbs for the Croatian victims
In his speech, Plenković stated that it is Croatia's duty to tirelessly continue to search for missing Croatian citizens.
"As a country that won the imposed war, we mourn the deaths of all civilian victims, not only Croats but also Serbs. We remember with sadness the hundreds of thousands of refugees expelled from their homes. We also mourn the victims of war crimes committed by Croatia, as each such an act is a painful, ugly scar on the just face of the Homeland War. We are aware that our victory in the "Storm" operation is traumatic for many Croatian Serbs", he said.
He said that it was important for Croatian Serbs to see not only the exodus in the Storm, but also the end of the war.
"In the end, we should express our reverence towards every innocent victim, be it Croatian or Serbian, including innocent Serbian victims, which does not jeopardize the justice and legitimacy of the Homeland War. We expect the same from the representatives of Serbs in Croatia, who must clearly show respect for Croatian victims", Plenković said.
Milosevic is, by the way, the former president of the Serbian National Council (SNV), according to whose data 200.000 Serbs were expelled from Croatia during this final operation of ethnic cleansing, and almost 2.000 were killed.
The commemoration in Knin will be reduced this year due to epidemic, and with unusually increased security measures.
The central city square is blocked on two sides, and the guests will receive T-shirts before entering the fenced area, which were specially designed by the Ministry of Defense for the occasion.
"While Serbs mourn the victims, they celebrate"
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic says that while tens of thousands of Serbs expelled from Croatia in "Storm" are still mourning their dead and missing, Croatia is celebrating.
"It is hard to imagine how the families of the killed and missing in the Croatian military-police operation "Storm" and all the expelled Serbs from their centuries-old homes feel today. How do those who have been mourning their loved ones for 25 years or those who still don't even know the fate of their loved ones, as well as all those who had to leave everything they gained and barely save their lives to flee their homes in exile. There is no consolation for them, nothing can heal their wounds", Stefanoivić said.
In a press release, he also said that, unfortunately, even after 25 years, Croatia will celebrate a military operation in which more than 1.800 Serbs were killed or disappeared, while about 250.000 were expelled.
"They will celebrate an operation in which the ethnic cleansing of our people was carried out and in which the victims were mostly civilians, mostly old men, women, women and children. This brutal crime in the middle of Europe has remained a crime without punishment. Time has not brought justice to the victims of the "Storm", and that will remain written as a shameful page in the history of Europe", Stefanović pointed out.
He also emphasized that he is proud that "Serbia today is not ashamed, does not keep silent and does not hide the suffering of its own people, making it easier for criminals not to have to face their crimes, as it did during the previous authorities."
"I am proud that today we are marking the Day of Remembrance of the Serbs who died and were expelled in 'Storm', that for the sixth year in a row, thanks to the determination of President Aleksandar Vučić, Serbia is no longer silent, as it used to be, and that it has the strength to say "It was a terrible crime and it does not allow itself to be forgotten. It is the least that as a society we owe to the victims and exiles in the criminal operation 'Storm' ", Stefanovic concluded.