International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

BiH Defence Minister-NATO prepared response in case Russia vetoes EUFOR

June 30, 2022
Bosnia’s Defence Minister Sifet Podzic said from Madrid, Spain, that NATO decided to significantly help BiH, and that the country is considered part of a single European security structure. Podzic is the only defence minister from Membership Action Plan (MAP) member states to attend the NATO summit in Madrid. He pointed out that there was some concern in NATO about the EUFOR mission and its mandate and the potential veto, but that NATO had made it clear that they were ready to take a role in BiH if that happened.
“Last night I was very proud and I am glad that the allies are united in supporting and helping Bosnia and Herzegovina. The topic of the dinner was the Western Balkans and NATO, but it turned into BiH and NATO because I was the only non-NATO Defence Minister present,” Podzic said.
Regarding a possible Russian veto in the Security Council concerning the European peacekeeping force (EUFOR) mission in BiH, Podzic stated that the allies have a plan for a strong response.
“The allies are preparing a strong response to this possibility, and that is their obligation under the Dayton Peace Agreement, according to Annexes 1a and 1b, because they are in charge of implementing peace in the Balkans,” Podzic explained.
Podzic explained that Bosnia has already started implementing measures from the new NATO package to help the country.
“NATO decided at an extraordinary summit last month to allocate this aid and equipment package. This was confirmed here yester
ay and it is the most important thing for us. We are practically placed in the full architecture of future European security as if we were NATO member state. This will enable BiH to quickly conduct defence reviews, and modernize the armed forces, but it will also help due to the problems that BiH has with the budget,” Podzic said.
The Minister also said that any objections coming from the Republika Srpska (RS) entity will not prevent the implementation of this plan, as there are already documents that have traced BiH's path towards the Alliance.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bih-defence-minister-nato-prepared-response-in-case-russia-vetoes-eufor/

RTS and Radio Belgrade receive bomb threats

June 24, 2022
Serbian state TV (RTS) received Friday an email with a bomb threat, which said that bombs have been planted in all RTS buildings, reported the RTS.
All locations were searched by Interior Ministry bomb squads, said the RTS on its website.
The agency FoNet was told in the Interior Ministry that Radio Belgrade also received a bomb threat but that it was a hoax.
For over a month now bomb threats are being sent to schools, court buildings, railway stations, media outlets and other institutions and locations in Belgrade and all over Serbia.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/rts-and-radio-belgrade-receive-bomb-threats/

Shooting near migrant reception center in Sombor

June 23, 2022

A shooting took place in the early afternoon hours on Thursday in Sombor near a reception center for migrants and one person was injured, the Sombor police department confirmed for N1.

The police told N1 that migrants got into a physical fight, following which firearms were used.

N1 was given footage showing a group of several dozen migrants in the vicinity of the reception center in the settlement of Sikara, on the outskirts of Sombor. Four shots from firearms can be heard in the footage.

According to unofficial information, this was a showdown between migrant groups that escalated on Wednesday evening in the settlement of Sikara.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/shooting-near-migrant-reception-center-in-sombor/

Serbian police to get Super Puma helicopters

June 21, 2022

Internal Affairs Minister Aleksandar Vulin said on Tuesday that Serbia will get three Super Puma firefighting helicopters very soon.

A ministry press release said that Vulin was in Marseille to visit members of Serbian police helicopter unit training to fly Super Pumas. It quoted him as saying that the Serbian police has “the most powerful helicopter fleet in the Balkans”.

According to Vulin, the new helicopters will be used to fight fires and “in defense of the country if needed”.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbian-police-to-get-super-puma-helicopters/

Russia's DefMin claims 51 mercenaries from BiH were killed in Ukraine

June 18, 2022

Russia's Defence Ministry claims that 51 "mercenaries" from Bosnia and Herzegovina were killed in Ukraine, Index reported.

The Ministry published data which, as is said, contains the number of “foreign mercenaries” who came to fight in Ukraine against the Russian invasion, the number of those eliminated, the number of those who left Ukraine and the remaining, Index.hr reported.

The Ministry claims that not only mercenaries are involved in combat operations, but also those who came to train Ukrainian soldiers and help repair Western weapons sent to the country.

According to the Ministry, 167 BiH nationals had arrived in Ukraine since February 24, 51 of them were killed, 46 left the country, and 70 are allegedly still in Ukraine. This data also says that 74 Croatians, 61 Kosovo nationals, 21 Macedonians and one Montenegrin were killed.

Russian officials have previously said that people from BiH have left for Ukraine to fight against the Russians. Bosnia’s Foreign Ministry, however, denied this claim.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/index-russias-defmin-claims-51-mercenaries-from-bih-were-killed-in-ukraine/

Serbian military sends new contingent to UNIFIL

June 17, 2022

The Serbian military sent off another contingent to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) at a ceremony at a barracks in Nis.

A Defense Ministry press release said that the infantry company with staff officers and a national support element will deploy for six month to UNIFIL Sector East.

It quoted Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Col. General Petar Cvetkovic as saying that he is confident that the contingent will perform its duties successfully, representing the country in the best possible way.

The Serbian military first deployed troops to UNIFIL in 2010. The first contingent consisted of five staff officers and the numbers increased over time. Besides the contingent in Sector East, a Serbian force protection platoon is engaged in Sector West, as part of the Italian contingent.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbian-military-sends-new-contingent-to-unifil/

One man shot, two Serbs stabbed in Kosovo

June 13, 2022
One person was wounded by gunfire in a Kosovo border town on Sunday night, media reports said.
The Kosovo police confirmed that one person was shot in the town of Podujevo which lies close to the administrative boundary with Serbia.
Police spokesman Agron Borovci said that the shooting was reported to the police at 8:00 pm. “The police went to the scene and we know that one person was wounded by gunfire,” he said, the KoSSev and Kallxa portals reported. The media said the wounded man, who was not identified, was taken to hospital in Pristina. Podujevo has a majority-Albanian population.
In a separate incident, two young Kosovo Serbs were stabbed and seriously wounded in a bar brawl on Sunday nightin the village of Straze outside the town of Gnjilane in southeastern Kosovo. Kosovo police regional spokesman Ismet Hashani confirmed the incident but said that no arrests had been made.
Local villagers said the two Serbs were attacked by an Albanian and doctors at the Gnjilane hospital said they were both stabbed in the chest. Local media said that this was not the first incident in the bar whose patrons include both Serbs and Albanians.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/man-wounded-in-shooting-in-kosovo/

Serbian military stages Air force, AA Defense exercise with new assets

May 27, 2022
The Serbian military staged its Sky Shield 2022 exercises in the country’s airspace, the Defense Ministry said adding that recently introduced assets have been fully integrated into the air defense system.
The Serbian military recently received a delivery of Chinese FK 3 surface to air missile systems, with analysts saying that the military had formed a new AA defense unit to be armed with the new system. The pictures released from the exercise on the Defense Ministry portal showed a Russian Pantsir AA missile system launcher which Serbia acquired in 2020 and the radar component of the FK 3 system.
“A joint tactical drill is the most complex form of training in the Air Force and Air Defense branches and services requiring a precise coordination of all activities. The results achieved confirm the units’ high level interoperability and competence to execute combat missions. In addition, they prove that the modern combat assets introduced recently to the Serbian Armed Forces are fully integrated into a single system which provides a complex, reliable and efficient protection of the airspace of the Republic of Serbia,” it said.
The Defense Ministry said that the joint Air Force and Air Defence tactical exercise was staged to test capabilities in providing “air support, air defense, air surveillance, warning and guidance and SAR”.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbian-military-stages-air-force-aa-defense-exercise-with-new-assets/

Multiple bomb threats in Sarajevo Canton schools and institutions

May 25, 2022

A series of bomb threats have been reported at schools and other government institutions of Sarajevo Canton on Wednesday morning, forcing the evacuation of students and employees.

Sarajevo Canton Interior Ministry spokesperson Mirza Hadziabdic told N1 that the bomb threats were delivered via email addresses of several schools across the canton. The police immediately took necessary steps, he noted. The cantonal prosecution has also been informed about the matter.

Hadziabdic said there was no reason for panic and that the police are conducting investigation into the case.

Later during the day, social network users shared alleged content of the email that the school received this morning.

“There is a bomb in the school, I can hear voices in my head, I am insane, I am a monster, I am going to kill the kids, forgive me people, in the name of the light, future, amen,” the note reads.

The Interior Ministry of Sarajevo Canton urged media representatives to inform the public that there is no reason for tensions or disturbances.

“School staff and students, as well as parents and guardians of children near schools, should follow the instructions given by police officers in the field, so that the police can do their part of job prescribed in such situations. It is necessary to be patient, that is, to refrain from spreading unverified information, in order to prevent unnecessary anxiety and panic,” the ministry said.

In a brief tweet Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Edin Forto said that following the bomb threats in Sarajevo Canton schools, the Sarajevo Canton Government also received one.

Police spokesperson confirmed the information, noting that the Sarajevo Municipal Court and Sarajevo Centre Municipality received bomb threats as well.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/multiple-bomb-threats-in-sarajevo-canton-schools-and-institutions/

Education Ministry says more bomb threats across Serbia

May 20, 2022
The Serbian Education Ministry said that more than 130 schools across the country received bomb threats on Friday.
“The e-mail messages were sent to 134 elementary schools in Novi Sad as schools in Pirot, Nis, Babusnica, Vlasotince, Lebane and Kursumlije,” the ministry said in a press release. It added that the police was informed and deployed bomb squads.
“Classes will be online until the search is completed and the pupils will return to the schools only after everything is secured,” it said.
Serbian schools, hospitals, and airport and a central police station alone with other public buildings have been receiving bomb threats all through this week. Police bomb squads searched every building that received a threat and found no explosive devices so far. The Serbian authorities said that the threats were e-mailed from outside the country and claimed to have asked for international assistance. Internal Affairs Minister Aleksandar Vulin said that the bomb threats were part of a special war being waged against Serbia to bring pressure on official Belgrade. Vulin also claimed that the incidents are linked to Belgrade’s failure to impose sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/education-ministry-says-more-bomb-threats-across-serbia/

Serbian Education minister confirms bomb threats were false

May 19, 2022
Education Minister Branko Ruzic confirmed on Thursday that the bomb threats made against schools in the Serbian capital were false.
More than 170 public and private schools received bomb threats on Monday morning, forcing their evacuation. Police bomb squads searched all the schools for the next two days but found no explosive devices. Some of the schools went on with classes normally while others switched to online classes. Bomb threats were also sent or phoned in to hospitals, an airport and a central police station in different parts of Serbia.
Ruzic told the pro-regime TV Pink that the intent behind the anonymous bomb threats was to exhaust state resources and paralyze the country.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbian-education-minister-confirms-bomb-threats-were-false/

Serbian Army acquires American armoured vehicles

April 30, 2022

The Serbian Army procured BearCat armoured vehicles from the United States for the needs of the military police, which will be the first time in modern history that the military police use this type of American-made vehicle.

According to the Balkan Security Network portal, the first five BearCat armoured vehicles were presented on Saturday at the Serbian Army exercise at the Batajnica airport near Belgrade, held under the name ‘Shield 22’.

The Balkan Security Network reported that the price is not known or whether it was a donation or a purchase on the market.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbian-army-acquires-american-armoured-vehicles/

Serbian military to display Chinese AA system on Saturday

April 29, 2022

The Serbian military will exhibit its newly-acquired FK-3 Chinese anti-aircraft missile system at the Batajnica air base for the first time on Saturday.

Chief of Staff General Milan Mojsilovic said that more than 300 pieces of combat equipment will be displayed at the STIT 2022 (Shield 2022) display which will include flights by all types of aircraft that the Serbian air force has. He said the FK-3 system will be the star of the show. He said that the medium-range system will fully secure Serbia’s air space.

“The static display will include more than 300 pieces of combat equipment, both those already in use and others under development. The dynamic part will show Serbian military capabilities in 10 scenarios, including a helicopter assault, a fly-by and a jump by the 63rd Parachute Brigade,” the general told the state TV (RTS).

More than 1,000 Defense Ministry and military personnel and 40 aircraft will take part in the display which will be open to the public.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbian-military-to-display-chinese-aa-system-on-saturday/

Bomb threats close schools in Montenegro

April 27, 2022
Bomb threats forced the evacuation of dozens of elementary schools across Montenegro on Wednesday.
The media in Podgorica reported that an identical e-mail message was sent to the schools saying: “A lot of bombs have been placed on school property. We have always dreamed of revenge. We will take revenge, we will come to the school. We will kill everyone. No one will be left alive. The whole town will bleed”.
The state TV (RTCG) said that bomb threats were also received by the court and municipal authorities in the port of Bar.
The police said that all the schools were being searched following the threats.
The Education Ministry ordered a day off for all schools in Montenegro.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/bomb-threats-close-schools-in-montenegro/

Vulin-Serbian police seized 12 tons of drugs

April 26, 2022
Serbian Internal Affairs Minister Aleksandar Vulin said on Tuesday that the police seized more than 12 tons of narcotics and “processed” 30 organized crime groups over the past 18 months.
Speaking at the board of the Criminal Police Directorate that 10 organized crime groups were broken up and processed in the first three months of 2022, including five groups engaged in drug smuggling. “More than 12 tons of drugs were seized in a year and a half, 1.5 tons of it this year,” a press release from the minister’s cabinet said.
Vulin said that the police also discovered 15 marijuana growing laboratories this year.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/vulin-serbian-police-seized-12-tons-of-drugs/

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