Exactly a quarter century ago, on 25 June 1991 Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence from Yugoslavia. This was the beginning of the final destruction of the Union state, but if Slovenia’s war lasted ten days and cost a little blood, in Croatia, was delayed for five years. And for a number of reasons about these events, it is important to remember still.
And Slovenia and Croatia were preparing for this step. For example, the Declaration of secession of Slovenia was adopted on 31 January 1991, and in late February the relevant amendment on independence was included in the local Constitution. Moreover, the government of Slovenia more than a year preparing the ground for the rapid recognition of its independence from the countries that seemed Ljubljana key. In the capitals of its neighbors – Hungary, Austria, Italy – had opened an informal representation of Slovenia in Washington, “Bureau of foreign political, economic and cultural relations Slovenia and the USA”, in Moscow as “Ambassador” performed by the Director of commercial enterprises “Slovenijales”. Additional support was received from the Vatican.
“When the Croatian delegation went to negotiate, they were stopped by a squad of his own, the Croatian police in the head with a volunteer from Australia Antoun of Gudela and cynically executed. After the talks in Slavonia”
A few hours before the Chairman of the Parliament of the Yugoslav Slovenia Milan Kucan officially declared independence, so-called part of the Territorial defence (TO) was blocked by the base of the Yugoslav people’s army JNA and tried to seize the border crossings with Austria. Here it is necessary to clarify that the structure of the Ministry of defence of the SFRY and the JNA directly contributed to the emergence of the republics beyond the control of the Federal center and well-armed parts. In Tito, it was believed that large and well-equipped JNA (Yugoslavia had its own MIC) still will not withstand a direct clash neither with NATO nor with the police Department, and especially with both units at the same time. Because Yugoslav military doctrine is expected to return to guerrilla experience during the Second world war, and when YUNA defeated aggressor, it needs to join the “partisans” – part of this and the former framed division. It was called “the military doctrine of total defense.” As a result, all YUNA organizationally divided into three divisions: A (complete and constant readiness), (a reduced set) and R (framed division that existed in time of peace only on paper or in the form of several officers and soldiers who kept personal records of recruits and guarding the warehouses). Most of the “partisans” referred to the category of R. But parts of IT were composed entirely of reservists were created after the entrance of police forces into Czechoslovakia in 1968 in the framework of this “doctrine of total defence”. By definition, they had to focus on the area and be local to effectively message a guerrilla war.
The result is Slovenia numbered to 1991, approximately 36 thousand people. However, even the official command language was Slovenian, not Serbian, and officers of other nationalities in IT was taken “reluctantly”. In the fall of 1990, Slovenia refused to send recruits to the JNA, moreover, is not listed in the Federal budget of the tax to the army. After that, the local Parliament perevodchikam THE Slovenian authorities and appoints the defense Minister Janez Janša – the scientist-theorist, a military historian, an expert on the role of armed forces in Europe and well-known Slovenian nationalist. In turn, the creates Jansa in Ljubljana headquarters, which is headed by major (later Colonel) Yanez, Slapar. Even before the Federal government, suspecting evil, decides to take out Slovenia armories, Slapar successfully captures forms the special forces brigade MORIS and even air defense brigade.
The Federal government woke up only when on the morning of 25 June the Slovenian leadership gave the order to establish control over the borders and airspace of the Republic. In response, the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, the Croat Ante Markovic gave the order to take Ljubljana, but military camps in Slovenia were immediately blocked local roads are blocked by tractors, and bridges blown up. From Croatia to the North began to move part of the 14-th and 31-th army corps of the JNA. But the day the command of the JNA, it became clear that everything is very bad, including the morale of the Federal troops: soldiers and officers of the Slovenes and Croats deserted EN masse. It is believed that only housed in the most of Slovenia party of Ljubljana has moved thousands of troops, about a thousand surrendered in military camps without a fight. While the 32nd IDB released from the Croatian Varazdin after two buildings of the JNA were blocked on the bridge over the Drava, which was blocked by tractors. And the capture of the paratroopers Ljubljana Brnik airport MANPADS were shot down helicopter Mi-8. On July 28 cut off from electricity, water supply and garrisons of the JNA began to surrender.
By 29 June, some parts YUNA still managed to unblock the Croatian-Slovenian border and move to Austria. Aircraft repeatedly bombed Slovenian barriers and barricades, but mostly for psychological effect, which has not happened. 30 Jun surrendered two blocked battalion 345th mountain brigade of the JNA and the guards, after which the Slovenes seized the Karavanke tunnel, passing through the Alps in Austria. As of July 1, under pressure from the EU, Chairman of the Presidium of the SFRY was elected as the Croat Stipe Mesic, who immediately sent in the troops the order to cease fire. The EU froze all economic aid to Yugoslavia and sent their representatives – Djani de Mikelis (Italy), Jacques Poza (Luxembourg) and Hans van der Broek (Netherlands) with a peacekeeping mission.
The talks were held in Zagreb, the representatives of Yugoslavia demanded that the EU written assurances that Slovenia would abide by the cease-fire. Slovenes demanded in response to parts of YUNA completely disarmed, and left all of its weapons, military equipment on the territory of Slovenia, and also freed all the buildings belonging to YUNA. Representatives of the Center did not agree, with the exception of President Mesic, who put all the responsibility for the command of the JNA.
Then something unexpected happened. The command of the JNA openly went against the position of the head of state, the benefit meant an actual surrender of Slovenia at the uncertain fate of some parts of the JNA that remained in the environment. And took independent attempt to win the Slovenia back or at least unlock the barracks. The new attack involved up to 250 tanks, a key checkpoint on the border with Austria landed paratroopers and the special forces. Into the air again rose aviation. All this grace lasted a day, during which YUNA did not kick only lazy, both within Yugoslavia and abroad. The command of the army was subjected to unprecedented informational, political and external pressure, and on 3 July, the order to return to the places of dislocation were given. 4 July the fighting in Slovenia had ceased forever, and July 7 at the favorite residence of Josip Broz Tito on the Croatian island of Brijuni started peace talks with the mediation of the already mentioned representatives of Europe. The final document called for a permanent ceasefire and even looks like a concession to the Federal government. Control of the external border of the like transmitted to the Slovenes, but the charges have been received for the Federal account. Also, the Slovenians had to hit the road and disband. No later than August was supposed to start negotiations on all aspects of the future of Yugoslavia, and until that time Slovenia and Croatia would “freeze” the action of the Declaration of independence. Finally, on 12 July the Federal government has ordered the complete withdrawal of the JNA from the territory of Slovenia.
Of course, in the future, Ljubljana has completely ignored those points “Brinskogo agreement”, which she disliked, and in December 1991 Iceland became the first state to officially recognize the independence of the Republic of Slovenia and also Croatia. During the “ten-day war killed 45 soldiers and officers of the JNA, 19 Slovenes (of these, only 9 combatants), as well as 12 foreigners, mainly truck drivers, stuck in tunnels on the border with Austria CAT. Wounded from all sides – about 500 people. In addition, about 5,000 troops of the JNA and Federal officials, was captured by the Slovenes. Was lost 31 tanks, 22 armored personnel carriers, 6 aircraft and helicopters and a couple dozen trucks. It seemed a monstrous and actions of European negotiators, in contrast, was rated as “brilliant”. Perhaps that is why European officials in the future so willingly undertook any kind of peacekeeping missions in Yugoslavia, believing that they’ll work it out successfully.
Theoretically, YOUNG could crush Slovenian resistance during these ten days in the flat. But at some point the army had to act alone, without the support of the political leadership of the country, which, being the beginning of Mesic, actually led the policy on the separation of Slovenia and Croatia. Against this background, in the army there was a difficult moral and psychological climate. Aviation and technology was used mainly for display of power and not for combat use. A hostile population and difficult terrain, and this is YUNA, too, was not ready.
“The EU and the OSCE focused on “Slovenian precedent” and believed that Belgrade and the political leadership, and YUNA just give compatriots at the mercy of the historical enemies”
The army began to retire officers Croats, Muslims, and – partially – the Macedonians. If the beginning of 1991, the JNA was approximately 51% of officers-Serbs, in the summer after the “ten day war” was almost 90%. In July of THAT part of Serbian preemptively launched operation Obala-91 (Shore-91) and took the Bania region of Central Croatia, after which the desertion of YOUNG Croats, Bosnians and Albanians became widespread. By the end of August 1991, when the war in Croatia became a reality and purchased a large and extremely bloody, the army has already almost entirely been of the Serbian-Montenegrin. In fact, there was no “collective leadership” of the Presidium of the SFRY, and to exert political pressure on the military, no one could.
Yes, in fact, not wanted. Slovenia was – and still is now virtually mono-ethnic Republic and of the national minorities there are not Serbs, and Italians, Hungarians and Gypsies. The population cast were against the JNA and the Federal government, moreover, Slovenia had the highest living standards in “old” Yugoslavia, worked for the myth of the “bright and independent future,” as in the Soviet Baltic States.
It just so happened that Yugoslavia was very uneven economic and educational indicators. To some extent this is a historical legacy, but Tito brought the situation to the absurd. The most developed regions continued to grow, and backward – lagged more and more. With the exception of Kosovo, in which the government deliberately threw millions of investment to something to occupy a restless Albanian population, Slovenia, Croatia and the city Serbia (Belgrade, Niš, Kragujevac, Novi Sad) were the regions-donors. And if in Slovenia the standard of living of the population were consistently higher than in Serbia, at the expense of high-tech production, in Croatia, the situation differs from region to region. “Root” Croatia and Dalmatia was much richer than carbanazepine Krajina and Slavonia. Similarly the Montenegrin coast, were and remain significantly better off than the Patriarchal inhabitants of mountain areas.
So there is nothing surprising in the fact that Slovenia and Slovenians always considered himself more an Austrian than South Slavs) are so solidly opposed Federal government. In Croatia as prerequisites for that solidarity uprising was not. The Serbian population as a whole have ignored the referendum on the independence of the Republic and began to build their own parallel organs of government, including the armed forces, including on the basis of the same. More than half a million Serbs – almost 15% of the population of Croatia was a real force, which in Zagreb couldn’t just dismiss. And “ideal scenario” at the exit from the SFRY, which was demonstrated by the Slovenians in the Republic work could not.
The war in Croatia started immediately after the withdrawal of the JNA from Slovenia without a break. No mediation and the international mission did not work, at best they were simply sent to hell. Events were determined solely by military necessity, and the rare attempts to negotiate a ceasefire for humanitarian reasons ended in failure. Revealing story of how the Croat police chief of Osijek, Josip Reichl-Kir decided to hold a meeting with the head of the Slavonian branch of the Serbian democratic party, Goran Hadzic. When the Croatian delegation went to negotiate, they were stopped by a squad of his own, the Croatian police in the head with a volunteer from Australia Antoun of Gudela and cynically executed. After the talks in Slavonia, the 5th army corps of the JNA crossed the Sava and began a three-month siege of Vukovar, ending the monstrous massacre.
The historical antagonism between the two peoples – a subject studiously ignored by many European and even Russian officials. Discrimination half a million Serbian population in Croatia by the summer of 1991 is a non – starter. While Europe openly indulged ambition of Zagreb in the matter of the Declaration of independence: the EU and the OSCE focused on “Slovenian precedent” and believed that Belgrade and the political leadership, and YUNA just give compatriots at the mercy of the historical enemy. In Brussels and Vienna didn’t even try to understand the mentality of the Serbs and Croats, to remember the relatively recent past of the Second world war, or at least look at a map with statistical calculations. The Soviet Union in the summer of 1991 the figure had not considered that, in General, match the true state of Affairs. As a result of collision in Croatia in record time turned into a war of annihilation, sometimes just in a massacre, the extent of which could only overshadow the war that followed in Bosnia.
Of course, this went the development of Yugoslavia from 1980 year, and perhaps earlier. But by the summer of 1991, all the stars came together in one point: the so-called “collective leadership” of the country has exhausted its administrative capacity and volitional qualities, the army was demoralized, and the country has reached the peak of nationalist and separatist sentiments. Europe and the West did not understand what to do with it, and some countries (Germany, Austria, Italy) openly pursued its own interests. Finally, relatively bloodless secession of Slovenia has created in the minds of the European officials the illusion that they are almost Gods peace talks, and wild South Slavs it is necessary to tighten to the heights of democracy.
The events of 25 years ago in a long-defunct Yugoslavia will be the subject of purely academic interest. Much of what happened then can be easily transferred to present amendments “to the wind”. You can certainly find any specific blame or to assign them Serbs, as it did in the West, first to justify your incompetence, and then their own crimes. But in the foreseeable future, the consequences of this war would not be abolished, despite all the “integration” of the EU, OSCE and NATO. And remember it is just necessary at least in order to “Europe’s powder keg exploded again.Related posts: