Thousands of Serbs, including numerous high-ranking government officials from Serbia and Republika Srpska, rallied in Krusedol on Sunday, to honour those killed during the Croatian Army (HV) action 'Operation Storm' in 1995.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Serbian member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency Milorad Dodik, stood in the front row of... Еще the crowd, following a religious prayer led by Serbian Patriarch Irinej.
«It is important for us that we belong to the same people, we do not need borders. We need to know who the Serbian people are, we need to preserve the Serbian people, to preserve the tradition, to preserve his letter, and to preserve Serbia and Republika Srpska. And that is what we know how to do, and that's what we will do together,» said Vucic, addressing the crowd.
«We cannot bring back the dead. In the 'Operation Storm' alone, more than 1,800 of our people were killed. More than 800 are still accounted for as missing. These are heavy wounds for our people. Severe and non-healing wounds. While they [the Croats] rejoice all over Croatia, we, of course, with with due care and sorrow, weep over our victims,» added Dodik.
Whilst viewed as a victorious occasion in Croatia, the anniversary of Operation Storm is marked as a day of remembrance in neighbouring Serbia where memorials were held for the nearly 700 ethnic Serbs killed during the offensive.
Nearly 200,000 Croatian Serbs were displaced as a result of Operation Storm and Croatia's celebration of the event has continued to strain the relationship between Serbia and its neighbour over recent years.