Last weekend in Belgrade was marked by acute outdoor activity. On Saturday evening the protesters by force occupied the building of Radio television Serbia — state of the media resource of the country — after which the television station released the special forces. On Sunday activists (and there were about a thousand) were blocked by the residence of the President Aleksandar Vucic, who in that time spoke at a press conference. The leader of the country went to the car for enhanced protection of the whistling and the insults of street activists. The opposition were demanding the resignation of the President and the release of the detained participants of protest actions.
The situation in Serbia is complicated by intense regional and international agenda, and at once two significant for the country dates already tragic history. Obviously, the goal of the opposition is the engagement and Patriotic life — anti-Western, but also, however, for their own reasons, dissatisfied with the policy Vucic.
The organizers of the protests — the “Union for Serbia” — have teamed up exclusively on the basis of the idea of the overthrow Aleksandar Vucic. A different political program, according to the spirit and ideology of the organization from ultra-liberals to nationalists-conservatives. Several of the founders of the Union, especially Dragan Djilas, the Democratic party and its former member, Mr. Vuk jeremić, well-known to Serbs more of a “color revolution” of 2000, which was ousted Slobodan Milosevic. The revolution gave the world almost finished the script of a coup d’etat and became a household name “Otpor”. For subsequent years, agree most Serbian analysts, even in diametrically opposed relation to the figure of Milosevic, it was a real delivery of all items once strong country: the collapse of the army, transferring into the hands of the Western “partners” of the levers of the economy, active involvement of foreign factor in public life, media and education. In less than twenty years the liberal opposition, Serbia has experienced a rise, but then fall, and her representation in Parliament, and opinion polls show that Pro-Western ideas (like immediate entry into NATO) do not resonate with the people.
It is therefore important that a substantial part of the “Union” is so-called “Patriotic opposition”, that is, parties and movements with a declared nationalist and conservative views. This “Door” led by Bosko Obradovic, still from time to time flirting with the Patriotic populist public actions and slogans, the movement “Fatherland” of Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija, requiring a more rigid position of official Belgrade for the protection of the territory; “health of Serbia” Milan Stamatovic, Chairman of the booming, beautiful tourist area of Cajetina (Zlatibor).
At the end of last year, the formal reason for the demonstrations was the attack on one of the founders of the “Union for Serbia” Borko Stefanovic, the catalyst is a dispute with the state media on the number of participants of street protests. According to the classics, at the first meeting of the leaders of the opposition were present, but were not the main actors. With inspiring speeches about the future of the country to the audience addressed the specially invited actors, writers, public figures… Repeatedly raised and Patriotic agenda, for example, the investigation into the murder of the Serb politician, Oliver Ivanovic, Kosovo and Metohija. It is noteworthy that even then openly sounded wording such as “overthrow Vucic, as once Milosevic”.
Troubled internal situation, as if by chance coincided with aggravation, and then the interruption of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. Self-proclaimed “Republic of Kosovo” began the arrests of Serbian activists, imposed a 100 percent duty on goods from Central Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, announced the formation of the army bypassing its own international obligations, and has recently delivered a list of ultimatums to Serbia, demanding, in particular, official recognition. Kosovo is, of course, is more than a territorial dispute within a country, and not only because of the Brussels platform for negotiations. This smoldering conflict, and in General the Albanian claim to the Balkans — long-term and serious threat to the security of the entire region. Albanian politicians are still trying to blackmail Europe, “the new fire” on the “powder keg”.
Activation of the Belgrade street protests, for the first time, but it is indicative ended in violence came on the anniversary — 15 years since the pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija, when Albanian extremists, was burned hundreds of churches and other objects of Orthodox culture, banished from the homes of thousands of Serbs (March 17) and 20 years since the beginning of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia (March 24). These dates, well known to any Serb, each year accompanied by a surge of Patriotic, antialbanian and anti-Western activity. In addition to the official events, your events carried out by the nationalists burning flags (Kosovo, USA and NATO), concerts, and slogans directed not only against the participants of the tragic events of history, but against the current government. Serbian nationalists consider a betrayal softer stance of Belgrade on the Kosovo issue and do not support a partnership with the West. Due to the developments that had to go through Serbia 20-30 years ago, this is understandable.
Survived in this difficult time for Serbia, the situation tries to take an ambivalent position. He values relations with Russia, and this, incidentally, became his trump card in the election campaign. The Serbian President attended the Victory Parade in Moscow on 9 may, Belgrade refused to expel Russian diplomats after “case Skrypalia” and to introduce anti-Russian sanctions. At least actively develop relations with the West, carried out joint military exercises with NATO, and the principal declared the leitmotif of Serbian foreign policy — accession to the EU. This is what annoys the Patriotic public and pushes it to the street protests.
Even the Serbian experts have repeatedly compared the policy Vucic attempts by Yanukovych to “sit on two chairs”. It is noteworthy that during the Maidan, comments and Analytics of balkanistan that caused the anatomy of the Serbian color revolution, were appropriate and relevant. Had already sounded warnings about the “yugoslavization of Ukraine”. It’s only been five years and now sad experience of Kiev is an argument for Serbian opponents of street activity. “You want to like in the Ukraine?” or: “we are preparing a new Venezuela?”, — rhetorically asked in Serbia, although in fact the country risks not repeat someone else’s, and their own experience of a color revolution.
The oxymoron “Union for Serbia” — is objectively Vucic is a much less Pro-Western politician than experienced instigators and ideological inspirers of the demonstrations. And the danger is that the patriot resource they can be just used, “abused”, as is very accurately stated in the Serbian language — in favor of not Patriotic intentions.
Oksana Sazonova, chief editor of News Front — Serbia