Site Logo - Large


After the meetings of the Presidency of the SFRY held on March 12, 14, and 15, 1991, when the Greater Serbia forces did not manage to legally succeed in taking over the power in the country, the military leadership assessed that there are two options for further action:

- the first one, that the Headquarters of Supreme Command or only General Kadijevic, as Chief of Staff of the Headquarters, resign [1] and

- the second one, “that the Army relies on political forces in the Federation and the republics representing all those nations who wish to live in Yugoslavia, with a peaceful departure from those who wish to leave it, and continues to securing such a policy”. This, “translated into the practical language of the then current situation, meant, among other things, the protection and defence of the Serbian nation outside Serbia, and the gathering of the JNA within the borders of the future Yugoslavia, however, the second part of the task — the gathering of the JNA — had to, operationally and time-wise, be coordinated with the first part of the task”.[2]

The leadership of the Greater Serbia movement, “ without a single exception ”, accepted the second option. [3]

By opting for the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement (“without a single exception”), and in favour of the concept of “protection and defence” of the Serb people outside Serbia and gathering of the JNA within the borders of the future Yugoslavia, the JNA placed itself into the function of the implementation of the Greater Serbia project and Serbia’s war-waging policy. From then on, the military leadership began communicating only with the part of the Presidency who had accepted such a political course for the “disentanglement of the political crisis” in Yugoslavia. Thus, the JNA distanced itself from its constitutionally determined obligation and became the armed force of the ruling regime in Serbia and Montenegro. [4]

The agreement in Karadjordjevo, as incomplete as it may have been, significantly changed the situation. Milosevic was no longer on his own. In exchange for the survival and a “so-called banovina” [ duchy; note by the translator ] he was promised, Tudjman had agreed to take on the role of the collaborator. Regardless of the honesty of that agreement, [5] the precarious conquest of Croatia was off the agenda. The dispute was mainly reduced to the division and destruction of Bosnia.

The summits of the republic presidents yielded no results. As the SSNO had threatened to raise combat preparedness and conduct mobilization, the Greater Serbia movement was counting on that Tudjman too would agree to the offer.

Publicly declaring itself as in favour of the survival of the SFRY and the “actual” democratic transformation of society [6] - in the meeting “of the four” (Milosevic, Jovic, Kadijevic and Adzic) on April 5, 1991, the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement opted for war. In relation to this, the heads of the Greater Serbia movement assessed that “Rubicon had been crossed” — an agreement was reached that the army, without a decision and approval of the Presidency of the SFRY (“ We shall not seek any decision or approval ”; “ we shall seek no decisions from anyone any longer ”), shall proceed with armed action for the sake of protection and defence of the Serb nation in Krajina, that is, the defence of what had already been conquered in Croatia (“Serb towns that were then under Serb rule ”). [7]

In early April 1991, the military leadership adopted the decision to deploy a portion of the JNA units westwards. A part of the elite 63rd Parachute Brigade was sent from Nis to Zagreb. From the 51 st Motorized Brigade from Pancevo, the First Armoured Battalion was deployed to Petrinja (into the composition of the 622nd Motorized Brigade). The Second Motorized Battalion of the 36 th Motorized Brigade from Subotica, and the First Motorized Battalion of the 453rd Motorized Brigade from Sremska Mitrovica were deployed into Eastern Slavonia, onto the territory of Vukovar and Vinkovci, and were subjected to the Command of the 17th Corps. The armoured motorized parts of the 10th motorized brigade from Mostar were stationed in May at Kupres Plateau. [8]

On May 6, General Kadijevic seemed to have gained back his self-reliance and desire for independent action. Starting from the assessment that, due to the exasperation of the situation in the country (i.e. the beginnings of the armed insurrection by Serbs in the area of Vukovar municipality, then also around Vinkovci and Osijek), “ a large-scope civil war [ had ] begun in the country“, he ordered the raising of combat preparedness of the JNA and [ was about to order ] the mobilization of appropriate units and threatened that” , unless this were done by the appropriate institutions of the Federation, “ the JNA would ‘secure’ peace ”. [9] The session of the Presidency, where the President of the Assembly of the SFRY, the president of the SIV, the presidents of the republics of Serbia and Macedonia, the presidents of presidencies of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Slovenia, and the president of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, discussing the current political and security situation in the country, convened for May 7, only to end in the wee hours on May 9, [10] when, under pressure of “the imminent” military option (i.e. from fear of a possible military coup), they unanimously adopted the decisions, measures and activities, [11] the implementation of which would secure peace in the country, “thereby also ensuring conditions for the return of the combat preparedness of JNA units back to normal level ”. [12]

This decision gave broad powers to the JNA “ at critical points ” — in the area of Croatia “ with a predominantly Serb population ”, where its units, as well as the units of the Federal Secretariat for the Interior, had already been deployed. Thus, the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement accomplished a “ major advance ”, particularly “in view of the powers given to the army” , because this decision of the Presidency of the SFRY constituted, in essence, the military option . [13] It was in concordance with the war option of the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement as accepted on April 5, 1991.

On May 9, 1991, a meeting was held in the office of General Kadijevic, who had returned from treatment in Karadjordjevo, attended, in addition to him, by Slobodan Milosevic and Borisav Jovic. The discussion was “ about the intentions and position of the army ” after the decision of the Presidency of the SFRY dated May 8 “ to establishment peace and undertake steps for the further resolution of the crisis ”. Surprised at the agreement “ for such radical and far-reaching measures” , Kadijevic communicated to them the assessments and intentions of the army, with an assumption that the aforementioned decision of the Presidency “ was not taken” . In relation to this, he presented the elements and goals of the assessment, the method of implementation, the institutions of power for implementation of the option, the start time, the duration and the order of sequence, in which he again proposed the introduction of a state of emergency . [14]

In the brief discussion that was conducted, in order to break down Croatia more easily, Milosevic “ believed it would be good to narrow down the front of resistance by letting the Slovenians go. If the republics do not object against that, we need to allow the Slovenians to secede legally ”. Jovic thought “ that everything that Veljko said was some kind of reprise of what they had intended after the session of the Supreme Command, which they themselves had abandoned ”. Therefore he was not clear about “what this concept was supposed to mean, now when they had themselves recently fully discredited and eliminated it ”. In further presentation, Jovic indicated the importance of enforcement of the decision of the Presidency of the SFRY, of May 7 and 8, 1991, “ which is the legal basis for the activity of the JNA and all the others in order to resolve problems” . He believed that “ it was necessary to do a new version based on the obligation to enforce the decision of the Presidency ”, which would also contain “ the options for proceeding, in case someone offers resistance to the enforcement of the decisions of the Federal Presidency “, which, in his opinion, was “ quite probable ”. Such an option provided them with the possibility to remove “ only the ones that needed to be removed “, for which, according to him, they had a legal basis. In case “ that the decision is brought into question in general, and by the majority of the republics ”, they could — according to Jovic — return to the version proposed by General Kadijevic. The more so, because he believed that “ in essence, the Presidency of the SFRY had opted for the military option (because it granted huge powers to the Army), although it does not bear such a name ”. [15]

In the end, Jovic presented the position that “ the Army needs to understand and accept ”, that for the holders of the Greater Serbia movement, it is crucial to defend “ the territories of the peoples who wish to stay in Yugoslavia ” and that they find it “ far more suitable ” to do this “ based on the preservation of legality of federal power, and significantly less through a military coup ”. [16] Milosevic and Kadijevic accepted such a position. [17]

In the days of “ arguing ” about the election of Mesic for President of the Presidency of the SFRY (from May 10, 1991, and later on), a number of meetings were held, at which discussions and negotiations were held between the Serbian and Montenegrin political and military leaderships — Milosevic, Jovic, Bulatovic, Kostic, Jokanovic, and generals Kadijevic and Adzic. These meetings, in addition to the issue of election of Mesic for president, also discussed the Serbs in Croatia. Thus, in the discussion between Jovic, Milosevic and Kadijevic, on May 10, it was agreed to continue with the defence of the Serbian nation in Croatia . 18 At the meeting of May 13, the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement (Milosevic, Jovic, Bulatovic, J. Kostic, Jokanovic, and General Kadijevic) discussed the position (for three full hours) in relation to the election of Mesic for President of the Presidency of the SFRY. In relation to this, according to Jovic, two basic theses were in option. [19] Unlike the others, the military leadership believed that Mesic needs to be elected. However, this position was not accepted. [20]

After the session of the Presidency of the SFRY on May 15, 1991, at which Mesic was not elected for president, because he did not receive the required majority of votes (the transfer of the post was prevented by Milosevic’s group in the Presidency of the SFRY), [21] thus opening up a crisis within the Presidency, Milosevic and generals Kadijevic and Adzic “dropped by“ to Jovic’s. The generals were “ dissatisfied, afraid and annoyed ”, and Milosevic and Jovic were “ disappointed at the position of the army ”, [22] whose military leadership took the option that Mesic needs to be elected. [23]

Slobodan Milosevic’s group of four in the Presidency of the SFRY did not allow Mesic to perform constitutional functions. In the desire to assist in resolving the stalemate position, on May 29, the European community delegation was visiting Belgrade. In the discussion with them, Mesic indicated that the blockade of the Presidency was just one of the elements of the Greater Serbia scenario, just as were the “ invasion of the payment system of Yugoslavia, the blockade of the Slovenian market, creation of the crisis points in the parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina ”. Among other things, Mesic stated that the goal is to block the overall system and to grant the Army “ the right of arbitration “. [24]

The next day, the European community delegation also talked to the representatives of the republics, advocating for the preservation of Yugoslavia within its then framework, internal and external borders. [25]

Borisav Jovic and both Kostics proposed the change of order of sequence at the head of the Presidency of the SFRY, thus blocking the Presidency, in order to skip Croatia in its right to preside the Presidency, at which they offered the presidential office to Bogicevic, and the Vice Presidential one to Tupurkovski. They believed that this was “ the best way to overcome the crisis ”. [26]

For six weeks, Jovic and Dr. Kostic were convincing “ the crazed people that they ‘simply can not accept Mesic’, in which Dr. Jovic allowed Croatia to elect ‘someone else’, and Dr. Kostic precluded any possibility that Croatia can be represented by any members of the HDZ.” . In spite of its Greater Serbia commitment, the Serbian opposition was on the side of Mesic, as was the whole political world. [27]

At the request of the general, on May 31, 1991, at Milosevic’s, Kadijevic and Jovic talked “ about the intentions of the army in relation to Slovenia refusing to send recruits and to surrender the recruit records to the Army ”. Among other things, Kadijevic asked for their opinion on that “ if the army throws over the Slovenian government because it is not enforcing the military laws, etc. ”. However, these were, according to Jovic, empty military stories, which he believed no longer. [28]

On June 7, discussing in Kadijevic’s office, Milosevic and Jovic were seeking the answer “ to the question whether the army would intervene if it comes to a tussle at the rally ” on June 9, which was announced by the opposition. The general answered in the affirmative, but he insisted that Milosevic and Jovic (the Serb leadership) first do whatever they can, in order not to leave everything to the army. [29]

A day before the meeting in Split between Tudjman, Milosevic and Izetbegovic, the goal of which was “ to seek a way to resolve the Yugoslav crisis ”, where, according to Jovic, many had expected “ to talk about the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina and creation of a Muslim mini-state ”, on June 11, the following persons met at Milosevic’s: Milosevic, Jovic, Dobrica Cosic, and Radovan Karadzic. The goal of this meeting was to agree about the tactics “ to be applied by Milosevic ”. It was assessed that they need to strictly stick with their principal, or rather, declarative positions: “ we wish to preserve Yugoslavia, and within it Bosnia and Herzegovina too, we are not seeking the division of anything, or a Greater Serbia, but we shall not allow that the Serb nation be forced out of Yugoslavia ”. [30]

Starting from such viewpoints, the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement and their collaborators also assessed that, allegedly, “ by working on the break-up and dissolution of Yugoslavia ”, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina“ were also working on the creation of Greater Serbia ”, which was in their favour, because, as they thought, the time was also on their side (i.e. on the side of the Greater Serbia movement). 31

On June 20, as the session of the Presidency of the SFRY was not held, [32] Milosevic, Jovic, Bulatovic, Branko Kostic and Jugoslav Kostic assessed the situation and agreed on further moves. In assessing that, within a month, Slovenia and Croatia would become independent, they concluded that its is necessary to undertake certain measures of protection against “separatism”. To this aim, in addition to the proposal for “financial and economic defence”, it was agreed that on June 24 they would meet generals Kadijevic and Adzic and demand a precise answer to the question “ whether they would deploy the army on the new (Serb) borders of Yugoslavia ”, in order to allegedly “ prevent higher casualties among the Serb people and defend the territories ”. They concluded that, unless they received confident guarantees, they would organize the defence themselves and give up on the army . [33]

In accordance with the aforementioned conclusions, and based on the arrangement and objectives determined four days before, on June 24, a meeting was held at Milosevic’s, attended by: Veljko Kadijevic, Blagoje Adzic, Borisav Jovic, Momir Bulatovic, Branko Kostic, Jugoslav Kostic, and Slobodan Milosevic. Milosevic spoke first, [34] and, according to Jovic, did not even mention the reasons they met for. He was followed by General Kadijevic, [35] and then Jovic, who, among other things, in pointing out the goals of the holders of the Greater Serbia movement to allow “secession” to Slovenia and Croatia (“ but in a legal manner, and not through a fait accompli policy ”), indicated that Serbia and Montenegro immediately need to review the measures of self-defence in economic and financial terms. However, the problem was in that the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement could not legally ‘leave the Serbs in Yugoslavia’ , and so the last pressure was made on the JNA, which should solve this itself. Therefore, “ the security side ”, according to Jovic, depended “ on the response we will get today from the Army: will the JNA defend the Serbs in Croatia after the decision for secession, and how? ” [36]

General Adzic assessed Jovic’s position on Mesic “ as a stubborn one, and the position on the defence of the Serbs in Croatia as an unreasonable one, because the JNA is there to defend all the Yugoslav nations ”. Jovic reacted, without well-founded arguments, “ that only the Serbs are endangered, just in case he had forgotten ”. [37]

Branko and Jugoslav Kostic, as well as Momir Bulatovic, were categorical just like Jovic. However, according to Jovic, Milosevic swayed, seeking a solution whereby Mesic could be elected, “ but so that we can still outwit them ”. [38]

At this meeting, everyone besides Jovic, according to whom this was unbelievable, “ abandoned the discussion with the army about the defence of Serbs and Serbia, while diverting the discussion into the pressure upon us to elect Mesic. ”. [39] He was disappointed with this meeting and at the same time angry with Milosevic, because “ he did not proceed as agreed ”. [40]

Milosevic “the Boss” gave up on the discussion of the use of the JNA. He obviously did it because he “was disappointed”, because he got afraid, as the Russians could not help them, and also due to the pressure of the international community.

Slobodan Milosevic, after having talked to Ambassador Zimmermann on June 26, who inquired what was the condition of the Serb leadership in order to have Mesic elected, and in relation to this, he requested Jovic to provide an “answer” that he then communicated to the Ambassador, [41] and as Jovic informed him about the assessments and positions of NATO towards Yugoslavia, [42] as well as after Slovenia and Croatia had decided to opt for “secession”, [43] together with Jovic, he visited Kadijevic. They informed the General about this information from NATO, which, according to Jovic, “ identifies Yugoslavia as its ‘test case’ to be used for the verification of its new strategy ”. [44]

The aforementioned information, which, according to Jovic, presents the assessments and positions of the Western Alliance towards Yugoslavia, was most probably devised by Milosevic and Jovic, Jovic even more probably, in order to marginalize Ante Markovic and convince the military leadership (Kadijevic and Adzic) that the JNA must be the key factor in “resolving” the Yugoslav crisis. This is confirmed by Jovic’s “random statements” about how it is allegedly clear that NATO wishes to implement the economic and political measures through Ante Markovic, where “ there is no place for the JNA in the resolution of our crisis ”, because “ it may not get involved, because it will always be on someone’s side (for instance, on the side of those who have been attacked )”. [45]

That “ destiny for the JNA ”, according to Jovic, “ was determined by NATO” . In presenting such a claim, Jovic even goes further in his thoughts, in which he believes that this is also “ the reliance of the JNA onto Ante Markovic, from whom it expects to save Yugoslavia ”. According to him, this is “ the most miserable role that can give to an army: that it may not defend the endangered in its own country ”. [46] At this, Jovic concluded that “ NATO shall not defend the endangered, but help those who are endangering, unless they are strong enough themselves ”. [47]

After the general had “ carefully ” read the information, he asked when it arrived and started pondering, and in accordance with the aforementioned assessments of his, Jovic “ interpreted for him ” that “ based on that concept, Ante will not save Yugoslavia with the assistance of the JNA ”, as this was, according to Jovic, believed by Kadijevic, “ but with the assistance of NATO forces, and they will put our army into the barracks ”, because “ our army is a Communist one and energetic action would be offered to counteract it ”. [48]

Kadijevic was trying to explain that NATO always said they were against the use of force, and Jovic replicated that over at NATO, they are now “ against use of our force only ”, which was responded by the General by saying that “ that is something we shall not respect ”. [49]

Milosevic had insisted “on several occasions that the army must defend the future borders of Yugoslavia. ‘What do we have to do in defending Slovenian borders’, this is just temporary. We need to defend the borders which are going to be permanent ”, whereby, according to Jovic, he had corrected “ yesterday’s mistake ”. [50]

At the time, Milosevic “ stubbornly ” mentioned only Slovenia, which was commented by Jovic as that “ this may also have happened out of tactical reasons towards the army, which was intoxicated by the unity of Yugoslavia, which no longer existed ”, because, according to Jovic, “ for us it is clear enough that this also pertains to Croatia without the Serb territories in it ”. [51]

On June 27, 1991, Milosevic “ started with open hostilities in Slovenia ” — the JNA was moved ahead to conquer that republic, to possess the borderline with Slovenia and to establish presence by federal police and customs at the border. [52] In this aggression, the JNA used all the forces available to stomp Slovenia down. [53] However, in application of the doctrine of armed nation, which had been studied by the JNA for decades, the Slovenians offered adamant resistance, having stopped JNA tanks. [54]

During the attack on Slovenia, at the borders between Serbia and Croatia, in accordance with the Instruction for Use of Armoured and Mechanized Units under Emergency Circumstances, [55] the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement stationed armoured and mechanized units of the First Military District. [56]

On June 27, the Federal Executive Council (SIV) proposed a three-month postponement in the implementation of the Slovenian and Croatian decisions for secession. Given that neither the blocked Presidency nor President Markovic had control over the JNA, the SIV insisted on “immediate constitution of the Yugoslav community, and unblocking of the Presidency, so it can take over the functions of the supreme command and prevent autonomous conduct by the Army ”. [57] On the following day, a ceasefire was arranged for with the three-member European Community, providing for the withdrawal of the army into the barracks, a three-month moratorium for the decisions of Slovenia and Croatia for secession and selection of Stipe Mesic for President of the Presidency of the SFRY. [58]

When the putschists understood that the JNA was defeated in Slovenia, they sought new solutions. Jovic’s group showed the signs of giving in. Markovic informed Mesic to this effect on June 29, receiving “ assurances from the most responsible people in Serbia, that they will no longer stand in the way of the inauguration of the constitutional president [59] ”.

Jovic, the two Kostics and Bajramovic, after Milosevic’s discussions with the three ministers of the European Community, on June 29, wrote a joint statement about the “ cease of reasons ” due to which, on May 15, they refused to elect Stjepan Mesic. [60]

However, only some forty hours after these negotiations and public statements on the cease of reasons for the non-election of Mesic, Jovic once again disagreed to vote for Mesic. Upset by the new statements of the Belgrade top, on June 30, the ministers of the European Community demanded from Milosevic to instruct Jovic, without delay, to support Mesic’s appointment. [61]

On June 30, in a closed meeting of the Council for the Protection of the Constitutional Order, speaking about the situation in Yugoslavia, and in relation to this, about “ a very big risk that Yugoslavia” can allegedly “become another Lebanon, and even worse than that ”, on behalf of Milosevic, Jovic “ placed an underline ”, and “thoroughly reconsidered his position ”, gave up on the “preservation” of the integrity of the SFRY. He brought up a statement about existence of a wrong assessment “ that the integrity of the country can be preserved ”. In his opinion, at the time, “ there were no longer any political conditions for us to be able to preserve the integrity of the country ”. [62]

Starting from such positions, in this meeting, Jovic announced — the first person to do this at a meeting of an institution of the Presidency of the SFRY — “ that Slovenia should be given up on ” — immediately proposing the decision on its exclusion from Yugoslavia , [63] which no one at the meeting itself reacted to, because, according to him, “ they were surprised ”. [64]

In advocating in favour of bringing the decision for urgent exclusion of Slovenia from Yugoslavia ( “... Slovenia is to be fully excluded from Yugoslavia in every sense...”) , Jovic also proposed the measures to accomplish that. One of them was the deployment of the JNA on the new borders . [65] Within the borders of Greater Serbia, which in that variant would also include Croatia.

In the desire to paralyse the decisions of the SIV and of president Markovic personally, and to have Milosevic’s group of four at the Presidency taking decisions with force of law, Jovic also brought up the issue and manner of the use of the Army . In relation to this, he stated “ that any decision for the use of the Army, any decision for action of any kind should be passed in the Presidency of Yugoslavia, rather that at the Federal Executive Council ”. [66]

The three ministers of the European Community, on June 30, and July 1, 1991, supervised the constitution of the Presidency of the SFRY and directed its work. After negotiations, assurances and convictions, three decisions were brought: the truce, the three-month moratorium, the implementation of the Declaration of Independence of Slovenia and Croatia, and ( symbolically ) establishment of the constitutional order, by electing the president (Mesic) and Vice President (Dr. Branko Kostic) of the Presidency . [67] However, the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement, particularly General Kadijevic and his closest associates, continued ignoring Mesic’s orders to the army, and prevented his influence over the armed forces. They also obstructed Mesic from any participation in the work of the Presidency, preventing him, among other things, from safely travelling to the sessions of this highest state body. [68]

In the late evening of July 1, 1991, after the JNA failure in Slovenia, admiral Mamula illegally, but invited by General Kadijevic, arrived to the Ministry of Defence. Kadijevic, “visibly upset, very tired, broken under the burden of what had happened in Slovenia, was quite incoherently ” presenting the course of the operation and “ its unfortunate end ”.

He used harsh words to insist on the fault of General Adzic, due to poor organization and directing over the operation. 69 Mamula proposed him that the JNA should come out onto the state borders in Slovenia and preserve the integrity of the SFRY. 70 Kadijevic agreed with this, he organized a meeting to which he invited General Adzic and the appropriate leadership of the General Staff and the Ministry. [71] The meeting, which started somewhere “ after midnight ”, and which was opened and chaired by General Kadijevic, was attended by admirals Mamula and Brovet, and generals: Adzic, Negovanovic, Vasiljevic (Chief of Staff of the KOS, the Counter-espionage Service of Yugoslavia) and Vuletic (Chief of Staff of the Cabinet of the Minister). The discussion ran until “ the early morning ”. There was no dilemma that the JNA must disarm the TO of Slovenia and repossess the borders. [72] However, a number of the attendees advocated the position that, nevertheless, after that (i.e. from 3 to 6 months) the JNA can withdraw from Slovenia and let the federal institutions (Presidency, Assembly, Government) resolve the situation. Mamula did not agree with these positions, because the answer to the basic question was not provided — about the destiny of Yugoslavia. He insisted on the need to undertake a mass military operation, to break up and disarm the TO, to break through onto the borders, and put the leadership of Slovenia up for responsibility due to the armed insurrection and attacks against the JNA. At the same time, he also pointed out the significance of the movement of the JNA units, because, according to him, “ the JNA success in Slovenia ”, of which he was assured, would turn over the whole situation in the country and allow the JNA to reach the ultimate goal: take over the power and allegedly stop the destruction of Yugoslavia . [73]

Kadijevic agreed to undertake a comprehensive military operation of repossession of the borders of the SFRY, and in accordance with this, a start of the preparations was agreed upon, and a four-day time frame was determined for achieving combat preparedness. To this aim, he asked Mamula to take on the activities of planning with General Adzic. [74]

The plan of operations in Slovenia, with the established goals and ideas, forces, manner of their directing and engagement, and all the factors, was made at the General Staff, without knowledge or consultations with Milosevic. At the same time, Admiral Mamula also tried to develop “ the general idea for operations in Croatia, aware that right after the completion of the operation in Slovenia (and maybe even simultaneously), the JNA would have to face the resolution of the military and political situation in Croatia”. [75] However, General Kadijevic, “ unprepared to opt for an independent path of the Army in the resolution of the Yugoslav crisis ”, postponed the operation in Slovenia. [76] He slipped aside once again — maybe because of cowardice or, more probably, because he did not dare go ahead with Mamula, against Milosevic and Jovic.

On July 2, 1991, (at 18:00) movements of the JNA were stopped in all parts of Slovenia. Under pressure by the TO of Slovenia, the SIV and, after July 1, the Presidency of the SFRY, the Army ceased the movement of the troops. The JNA was stopped and blocked in Slovenia with the strength of the unified people. That evening, General Adzic made a public television announcement of a putsch to the “peoples of Yugoslavia”, threatening that the army “ will push things to the very end ”. [77]

On that evening, General Kadijevic did not join the putschists group of the Greater Serbia generals, headed by Adzic, in taking over the power. He accepted the demand that the army, together with the Slovenian armed units, withdraw into barracks. Two days later (on July 4), he spoke using peacetime terminology, ready to accept the Presidency as the Command. [78]

Five days after the election of Mesic as President of the Presidency of the SFRY (July 5, 1991), Milosevic and Jovic arranged a meeting with Kadijevic, which they deemed to be a decisive one, due to the allegedly “ almost tragic ” situation in the country, particularly because the army had been defeated and routed [79] in Slovenia. They placed some categorical demands on the army, requesting from Kadijevic as follows:

“1. The Slovenes need to be fiercely counterattacked using all means available, including aircraft forces ”, [80] and “ then, they [ i.e. the forces ] are to withdraw from Slovenia ”; [81] “

2. The main JNA forces need to be concentrated on the line: Karlovac-Plitvice to the West, Baranja-Osijek-Vinkovci-Sava to the East, and Neretva to the South ”. In this way, they needed to “ cover all the territories populated by Serbs until the full disentanglement, that is, until the final free determination of the peoples in the referenda ”, and, “

3. Fully eliminate the Croats and Slovenes from the army ”. [82] Milosevic and Jovic demanded immediate action in Slovenia, because otherwise they were losing ground in Serbia, “ and then the army would also fall apart ”. [83]

“Without any discussion”, Kadijevic accepted everything that Milosevic told him, including the “ categorical ” demands for the army, and he thought that this would require 6-10 days. However, Milosevic and Jovic did not agree with this — they demanded action in 2 or 3 days, because, according to them, “ after that, Slovenia and Croatia would be recognized by Austria and Germany, and then their military intervention would also be possible ”. Kadijevic accepted this. [84]

At this meeting, in addition to the aforementioned, it was agreed that General Kadijevic should supply the Presidency of the SFRY with two options: “ either to force the Slovenians to execute the decisions of the Presidency taken yesterday [ that is, of July 4; note by the author ] for the surrender of the borders to the JNA, and respect of federal laws; or that the Presidency orders the JNA to leave Slovenia ”. In this, they assessed that in both cases the Slovenians would cause conflict, since without fight they would not let us “ pull out the heavy weapons ”. And they were not supposed to be spared in the conflict. [85]

The military leadership was more prone to threats and threatening manoeuvres than to democratic dialogue. In the speech to he newly appointed “tested” commanders, on July 5, 1991, General Adzic underlined: “ The units you are going to command need to complete the assignment to the end, and also die to the end, if needed ”. The Commander of he Fifth Air Force Corps, Ljubomir Bajic, “ threatened, unless the Slovenians knelt down, that he would carry out the already prepared order for attack against the Slovenian TO forces, until they are eradicated ”. [86]

The Council of Ministers of the European Community, at a session in The Hague on July 5, 1991, adopted the position that it shall by no means accept the policy of force, which was also the assessment of the Crisis Committee of the CSCE . [87] Immediately after The Hague session, the ministerial group of three came to visit Yugoslavia formally again, upon invitation by the Federal Government, where (under pressure of the European Community), at the meeting in Brioni on July 7, after the discussion with the representatives of the republics and the SIV, and the plenary meeting, chaired by President Mesic, and attended by Dr. Kostic, Bogicevic, Tupurkovski and Drnovsek from the Presidency of the SFRY; Markovic, Loncar, Brovet, and Gracanin from the SIV; and Kucan, Rupel, Bucar and Peterle, followed by Tudjman and the others, at which the agreement was reached for peaceful resolution of the Yugoslav crisis . [88] On July 10, “ deeply concerned with the violence in Slovenia and other parts of Yugoslavia ”, the European Parliament, among other things, condemned “ the use of force in Slovenia by the federal army ” and “ further interference by the Yugoslav federal army into the political crisis ”, insisting “ that the Yugoslav Army immediately return its units back into the barracks ”. [89]

Right after the “ order ” from the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement (on July 5), when Milosevic and Jovic, among other things, determined the Neretva river as the Serb border to the South and assigned Kadijevic the task of appropriate deployment of the main JNA forces, in order to cover all the territories “ where Serbs live ”, which was accepted by the General “ without any discussion ” [90] . General Kadijevic tried to ensure or clarify whether he was going to have support from the USSR, that is, of the conspiracy group. He contacted Marshall Yazov. About this contact, on July 9, Kadijevic informed Jovic that “ a few days ago ”, in a telephonic conversation, he had posed two questions: “ whether the USSR can protect us if the West launches a military intervention and whether they want to sell us certain weapons that we do not have in sufficient quantities (particularly bombs and kerosene) ”. The answer to both questions was no. [91]

During the day, there were “ a number ” of consultations with General Kadijevic “ about the situation in Slovenia and the action that is to be undertaken ”. [92] Assessing that the General is “ completely disoriented ”, Jovic and Milosevic concluded that they (“ we ”) have to “ dictate the orientation and direction of the action ”. [93]

The next day, General Kadijevic informed Jovic about the discussion between Stjepan Mesic and Vuk Draskovic, who, according to him, had “ established common political goals to fight for: the destruction of the JNA and the leadership of Serbia” (“propaganda against the JNA, its break-up and eradication ”). [94] Assessing that this is “ a sacrifice of the interests of the Serb people in Croatia and outside Serbia in general ”, and that this is “ the price of the agreement with Mesic; that the consequences can already be felt, because in Belgrade itself, in the units of the First Military District, soldiers are rejecting command en masse, saying that they will not listen to the command of those who had on March 9 prevented the overthrow of the Serbian government ”, Kadijevic appealed “ that we immediately provide a public political reaction ”. [95]

Before the session of the Presidency of the SFRY on July 11, 1991, in agreement with Milosevic, Jovic and Branko Kostic, communicating “ the assessment of the situation related to the conflict in Slovenia and the proposed positions ”, [96] Kadijevic brought up new proposals of the army on the defence of the future Yugoslavia . He proposed two options:


“The first option for the defence of the future Yugoslavia [ would include ] Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbs outside Serbia, and possibly Macedonia.

The second option: Serbia, Montenegro, the Serb people in Yugoslavia, and bits of land here and there ”. [97]

Kadijevic even proposed measures for implementation of the aforementioned options, that is, for the formation and defence of the future Greater Serbia: “ The army must regroup quickly ”, and this was already being worked on by the military leadership, “ but with great difficulties ”. [98]

Given that the Serbo-Montenegrin block in the Presidency of the SFRY was aware that the proposal formulated by the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement can not receive the required “fifth vote” at the Presidency, Milosevic, Jovic, and Kostic opted for a new solution — “ that the army needs to be withdrawn from Slovenia immediately and deployed along the borders of the future Yugoslavia, and urgently dismiss all the Slovenians and Croats from senior military ranks ”. [99] If the army’s withdrawal from Slovenia is prevented, there was need to “ impose some fierce ultimatums to Slovenia or severely attack it ”, and, “ also, immediately strengthen the Eastern Slavonia front line, attack their police forces and not allow them to molest Serb settlements ”. [100]

Kadijevic, “ being very concerned ”, accepted all the aforementioned proposals, however, it was obvious that “ he was not the one pulling the strings ”, [101] because he had definitely sided up with Milosevic, as the strongest one.

At the session of the Presidency of the SFRY on July 12, 1991, Jovic and Dr. Kostic, just like the military leadership, claimed that, unless they receive green light for Kadijevic’s proposals, “ the war in Croatia would be imminent ”. [102]

Having understood that this was a scenario to push Slovenia out of Yugoslavia as soon as possible, and to divide Croatia, Mesic insisted on the army’s withdrawal into the barracks (“ the Army must go into the barracks ”), that the mobilization be stopped and the illegal paramilitary organizations be disarmed. [103] Jovic claimed that if the Army “ in Croatia withdrew into the barracks” , “ blood would run deep ”. [104]

At this session of the Presidency of the SFRY, Kadijevic demanded the “disarmament of paramilitary organizations, sending recruits to the Army, consistent adherence to the Brioni Declaration (i.e. that the Slovenians surrender the border to the JNA and that everything further be resolved amicably) and authorizing the army to achieve that” . [105] However, his last demand was not accepted by the Presidency, following which, after a break, he proposed to reformulate this demand, so that “ the Presidency guarantees the implementation of these conclusions! ” [106] which was adopted. [107]

Thus, at the time, due to the lack of decisiveness and orientation of General Kadijevic, the attempts of the Serb leadership to withdraw the army out of Slovenia had failed. [108]

The military leadership (i.e. the illegal Headquarters of the Supreme Command), in assessing the situation and facing numerous “ major ” problems, particularly related to mobilization, concluded, “ the only solution is that the JNA leave Slovenia ”. To this goal, the question “ how to do that in the given Yugoslav and international situation ” needed to be answered. In relation to this, three options were “ reconsidered ”:

- 1. “at first, militarily defeat the armed formations of Slovenia, and then leave Slovenia ”; [109]

- 2. inflict, “without the allocation of new land army forces, by using all the air forces, artillery and manoeuvring potentials available within the land army that was already stationed in Slovenia [ ... ] unacceptable losses to the infrastructure of Slovenia, and thus force it to respect the decisions of the federal institutions on the state border ” [110] and,

- 3. “Accomplish political goals by a combined use of political means and by threatening to use all JNA resources available, with actual use, dosed according to the conduct of the Slovenian side ”. [111] “In assessing the good and bad sides of all the three options for further use of the JNA in Slovenia ”, ‘ the Headquarters of the Supreme Command’ “ opted ” for the first one, and excluded the second option. However, this so-called first option did not pass with the Presidency of the SFRY, because, according to Kadijevic, “ certain ” of its members “ would not accept it , with an explanation that there is no mood in the nation from which new troops should go to Slovenia, for them to go there and wage war, in order to use the war to force the Slovenians to remain in Yugoslavia, when they obviously do not wish so ”. In this way, “ they stuck to the third option ”. Therefore, in accomplishing the political goal — leaving Slovenia — “ further political and military activities ” of the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement “ were conducted essentially in compliance with such decision ”. [112]

Jovic and Dr. Kostic did all to prevent the Presidency of the SFRY from functioning, in particular when discussions about the process of resolution of the Yugoslav crisis were held. Due to this, Milosevic’s group at the Presidency did not want to go to Brioni, where, according to the July 12 arrangement, Mesic convened a session of the Presidency for July 17, and where everything was prepared for its holding. Dr. Kostic, in the capacity of Vice President, convened a meeting on the same day with the members of the Presidency in Belgrade. Mesic, Drnovsek, Bogicevic and Tupurkovski, with Ante Markovic and Irfan Ajanovic (Vice President of the Assembly of the SFRY) attended the session of the Presidency in Brioni. While they were holding the session, Serb collaborationists from Borovo Selo attacked that village with military mortars, telephone lines with the besieged Vukovar were disconnected, the Zadar power supply line was mined, due to which Zadar was left without power, and Tudjman was trying to convince General Kadijevic in the military airbase of Zemunik (near Zadar), to stop the aggression against the Republic of Croatia. [113]

In Brioni, where the European Community had accepted the right of the SFRY to establish control over its state border, [114] it was agreed that the next session of the Presidency of the SFRY be held on July 18, in Belgrade, because in Brioni, without the Serbo-Montenegrin “group of four”, nothing could be decided. As Mesic’s proposal was not accepted to discuss Croatia, or the new arrangement of Yugoslavia, the agenda for this session (July 18) involved Slovenia. At the time, the Presidency of the SFRY in full composition took the decision to dislocate commands, units and institutions of the JNA from the territory of Slovenia into Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro. [115] Based on this decision, the Headquarters of the Supreme Command prepared a dislocation plan. [116]

The Greater Serbia movement had “ finally ” succeeded in reaching the withdrawal of the JNA from Slovenia and its deployment “onto the borders of the future Yugoslavia”. Together with generals Kadijevic and Adzic, Milosevic and Jovic took the position that the JNA need not get involved in Slovenia, [117] but that it should concentrate on the borders of Greater Serbia.

The leadership of the Greater Serbia movement was not interested in Slovenia, except as a factor, which was to be, excluded from negotiations as soon as possible, by expulsing this republic out of Yugoslavia. Not in a single historical option was Slovenia within the projected Greater Serbia, nor was this a strategic goal of the Greater Serbia movement. The leadership of this movement assessed (according to Kadijevic — “ the policy was assessed [...] ” ) that the JNA in Slovenia “ had nothing to fight for ”, unlike in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it allegedly fought “for the right of the Serb nation to decide on its own future” , [118] that is, for a fascistic Serb state.

The withdrawal of the JNA from Slovenia meant the change of the external borders of the SFRY. Without Slovenia, Yugoslavia existed no more. The exclusion of Slovenia from Yugoslavia meant an essential change of system in Yugoslavia and an easier realization of the Greater Serbia Nazi ideology and the Greater Serbia program. The leadership of the Greater Serbia movement focused henceforth on the aggressive war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


References:

* In the practice of the Greater Serbia movement, and in order to form Greater Serbia, the idea of a “homogeneous Serbia” was revived, as well as of “ethnic cleansing“, that is, genocide, forced resettlements and other forms of crime. This scenario, a criminal plan, was publicly and secretly referred to as “ plan RAM ”, meaning “FRAME”. In the mid-nineties, with the new deployment of the Army and the formation of special motorized units (in early June), and with the “idea” for the “expulsion” of Slovenia and Croatia out of Yugoslavia (June 27 and 28), the leadership of Greater Serbia adopted plan RAM (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 152, and 159-162; cf. infra , pp. 278-281).

The existence of plan RAM was revealed in a closed session of the SIV on September 18, 1991, when President Ante Markovic informed of its existence. The SIV departments disposed of recordings of telephonic conversations between Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic, which showed, as was established by Time (Belgrade) that “ RAM is not fiction, at all ”, but “ the delimitation of the Western borders of Serbia, the creation of a framework [cf . meaning of the word; note by the author ] for a new Yugoslavia, in which all the Serbs, with their territories, would live in the same state ”. In relation to this, Ante Markovic stated at that session, among other things, “ that there is a clear connection... whereby Slobodan Milosevic gives orders to Radovan Karadzic, to get in touch with Uzelac (General Uzelac was the commander of the Fifth Corps of the JNA; note by the author) and says — based on the agreement at the highest military level — that the arms be surrendered, that the Territorial Defence Corps of Bosanska Krajina be armed, and that this be used in the realization of the RAM program”, “what the RAM program means — so they say, I do not know, ‘this is the implementation of the RAM program’ — used by a man who participated in this conversation; they say it is the Greater Serbia program “ ( Vreme , September 23, 1991, pp. 7 and 9, and September 30, 1991, pp. 4 and 5; S. Mesic, KAKO JE SRUSENA JUGOSLAVIJA — politicki memoari, Zagreb 1994, p. 236; S. Djukic, ON, ONA I MI, Belgrade 1997, pp. 252-253; S. Biserko, OD JUGOSLOVENSKE NARODNE ARMIJE DO SRPSKE VOJSKE , in: RATOVI U JUGOSLAVIJI 1991.-1999., Compilation of Communiqués and Discussions from the Round Table, Belgrade, November 7-9, 2001, Belgrade 2002, p. 224). According to the statements of a high-ranking military analyst (a Ph.D. holder) at the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the SFRY, published by Zoran Odic on October 2, 1991 in the daily Oslobodjenje, in Sarajevo, plan RAM was drafted in February 1991, with the ultimate goal of forming Greater Serbia and the Union of Serb States . According to that military expert, this plan represents “ the expansion and cleansing” of the territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia “ from the inside, and the integration of the Serbian enclaves within this territory ” ( Oslobodjenje , October 2, 1991, p. 2). General Ilija Radakovic claims that the preparations and the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina were conducted under the code “RAM“ (I. Radakovic, BESMISLENA YU RATOVANJA, Belgrade 1997, p. 7). According to Stjepan Mesic, with the use of the JNA, Slobodan Milosevic had implemented plan RAM through the installation of the “governments” with “ obedient chauvinists, petty hillbilly politicians, dentists and warehouse attendants, and in Bosnia, and again with a view to a part of Croatia, where ‘cleansing, i.e. resettling’ was planned, he had done it through Karadzic’s nationalist organization, relying on the troops of the Banja Luka and Knin corps ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 236).

1. V. Kadijevic, MOJE VIDJENJE RASPADA - VOJSKA BEZ DRZAVE , Belgrade 1993, pp. 113-114. Kadijevic states that “ in a normal state, this would also have been the only option ”. However, as “ we already [ then ] practically had no common Yugoslav state, but a conglomerate of all sorts of things, it was concluded that this option would be more to the benefit of the breakers of Yugoslavia, and that this would be a coup within the Army, which now has other tasks. This is why such an option was refused ” (Ibid.).
2. Ibid., p. 114.
3. Ibid. This option, according to General Kadijevic, “ with the participation of the appropriate political personae who were on such a political course of disentanglement of the political crisis , was accepted by all, without a single exception ” (Ibid.).
4. S. Biserko, the aforementioned work, p. 222; V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 114; D. Domazet-Loso, KAKO JE PRIPREMANA AGRESIJA NA HRVATSKU ILI PREOBLIKOVANJE JNA U SRPSKU IMPERIJALNU SILU, Hrvatski vojnik (Croatian Soldier) , August 1997, p. 15; D. Marijan, JUGOSLOVENSKA NARODNA ARMIJA U AGRESIJI NA REPUBLIKU HRVATSKU 1990.-1992. GODINE, (hereinafter referred to as: JUGOSLOVENSKA NARODNA ARMIJA... ), Casopis za suvremenu povijest , no. 2, Croatian Institute for History, Zagreb 2001, p. 298. Such a position on the role of the JNA, as claimed by D. Marijan, entailed its involvement in the armament, training and accoutrement of the Serbs in Croatia. Thus, for instance, the assistant for security of the commander of the 10th Corps, from late April to early July 1991, organized the withdrawal of large quantities of arms, weapons and ammunition from the military warehouses in Lika, for the needs of the Serbian Democratic Party (D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, p. 298).
5. It is really hard to believe that this was honest, given the “maximalist” plans of both sides. For the one side, the maximum (territorial) reach was the line of Virovitica- Karlovac-Karlobag, and for the other, the Drina River. Realistic options and suggestions of “ humane resettlement ” and exchange of population after agreement on territorial division had been proposed, and this was a concept already tried in WWII. The project of “ Grossraumordnung ” (arrangement of the greater German territory) foresaw the displacement of millions of people, in order to create Greater Germany ( Grossdeutschland ), which would encompass vast areas in the East and Southeast of Europe. In Pannonia, for instance, there was a plan for the formation of a Danubian Swabia ( Donauschwabenland ), as well as for the opening of the access to the warm seas, from Rjecina to Tagliamento ( Adriatisches Kuestenland ), the Croats were to be resettled to the East of Romania, the resettlement of some 300,000 Slovenians into Serbia had already begun, and then they were diverted into Fascist Croatia, from where so many Serbs were to be resettled to Serbia, and so on. Through the leadership of the fifth columnist Serb Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slobodan Milosevic was “testing” the possibility for the realization of population resettlement through negotiations. With that aim, on January 1, 1991, Nikola Koljevic met Franjo Tudjman to discuss the “ homogenisation of certain territories ”. He suggested Tudjman to form an agency that could regulate the necessary demographic solutions addressing this process “ at the civilization level ” ( THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR FORMER YUGOSLAVIA , Case: No. IT-02-T, PROSECUTOR AGAINST SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC, The Hague 2000, hereinafter referred to as: ICTY, Case: No. IT-02-54-T, paragraph 59). The collaborationist leadership of the SDS of Bosnia and Herzegovina had planned to accomplish this goal through the use of force (Ibid., paragraph 61). At a session of the Presidency of the SFRY held on August 20, 1991, Dr. Branko Kostic presented the concept of “ exchange of population” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 174). In September 1992, as the failure of the RAM operation became obvious and The Hague Conference began (September 7, 1992), negotiations were held between Franjo Tudjman and Dobrica Cosic, chiefs of states of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Tudjman offered Cosic the exchange of the population of Western Slavonia, for the population of Bosnian region of Posavina. Cosic accepted, Karadzic agreed, and Cyrus Vance approved that this be called “ humane resettlement ” (Z. Papic, BOSNA I BALKAN , Sarajevo 2002, p. 134).
6. At the session of the Presidency of the SFRY, held on April 3, 1990, the Headquarters of the Supreme Command “ presented the assessment of the situation and proposed measures ”, in which, among other things, it deemed that the Presidency of the SFRY, the Assembly of the SFRY, and the SIV, “ must undertake all the necessary measures in order to preclude direct threats to the survival of the SFRY as a state, and prevent [ sic ] the actual democratic transformation of the society that will be based on the constitution and the laws...”. The assessment of the situation presented by General Kadijevic and the proposed measures which were, on behalf of the Headquarters of Supreme Command, advocating “ consistent ” securing of the constitutional order, in order to avoid “ chaos and civil war ”, were accepted with a majority of votes ad the Presidency (V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, pp. 107- 108; B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 133-134).
7. B. Jovic, POSLEDNJI DANI SFRJ , second amended issue, Kragujevac 1996, p. 317. In his memoirs, presenting various falsities and pro-Greater Serbia assessments, Borisav Jovic wrote about this meeting as follows: “ April 5, 1991 — In agreement with Slobodan Milosevic, I invited himself, Kadijevic and Adzic for a discussion in the group of four. We talked about the situation in which the Presidency of the SFRY had found itself, not having the required majority any longer, and not being able to pass the deployment of the Army as an armed force. All the decisions for the use of armyfrom now on can only be taken if it is not ordered to act. This is the only thing that we can obtain the sufficient number of the members of [ the ] P [ residency of the ] SFRY. It is clear that the respect of the position that the army must not use arms would be catastrophic for the Serb nation in Croatia, which had not armed itself because it had been counting on the protection of the JNA, whereas Croatia had armed its pro-Ustasha secessionist units. We wonder whether the army will allow that Croatian police take Knin and other Serb towns, which are now under Serb rule? The answer is very clear: it will not. It will proceed in the following manner: in case the Croats attack them, they will offer armed action and inform me, and then I will just summon the Presidency and only inform them of the fact. We will be looking for no decision or approval. We drew their attention to the fact that proceeding otherwise would be treason, and that treason in this case would mean the fall of the Serb leadership and the failure of the JNA. They have agreed and given some solid promises. Let us see how it goes. I guess they have had enough too. In any case, we have “crossed the Rubicon”. We will be seeking no decisions from anyone any longer, we will be acting as needed to protect the Serb nation, we will keep informing the Presidency on the developments, and whoever may not like it can go home. It is even stupid that they sit in the leadership of the state with which they have waged war. The army will attack no one, but it will protect itself and the Serb nation in Krajina ” (Ibid.).
8. D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, p. 299; A. Tus, RAT U SLOVENIJI I HRVATSKOJ DO SARAJEVSKOG PRIMIRJA , in: RAT U HRVATSKOJ I BOSNI I HERCEGOVINI 1991.-1995., ed. B. Magas and I. Zanic, Zagreb-Sarajevo 1999, pp. 68-69.
9. Ibid., pp. 299-300. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 319. This was an excuse for the first of the several rounds of mobilization of the reserve composition, which continued until the end of the year. “ Only selected officers ” were informed of this order (D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, p. 300). On May 6, 1991, General Kadijevic, who was on medical treatment in Karadjordjevo, sought from Jovic to communicate to the Presidency “ the official positions of the Headquarters of the Supreme Command and the Federal Secretariat for National Defence: Because the proposals of the Federal Secretariat for National Defence were not recognized, a large-scale civil war has broken out in the country. The army, which had attempted to stop this process in this way, did not succeed. If it continued like this, it would itself be broken up. Pursuant to the constitutional role of the Yugoslav People’s Army, the Headquarters of the Supreme Command demands that the Presidency and all the federal bodies secure peace in the country. In the meantime, orders will be given, that anyone who attacks the army, so as they have done so far, and at which the army suffered first casualties, be faced following the rules on the combat use of units, meaning including the use of fire. The Headquarters of the Supreme Command has already ordered the raise in the combat preparedness of the Yugoslav People’s Army, and it will order mobilization of the appropriate units so that, unless the appropriate bodies of the Federation fail to secure peace, the Yugoslav People’s Army can do this. Please inform to this effect all the factors influencing the situation in the country, in the Federation and in all of the republics ” (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 319). Jovic informed all the members of the Presidency about the aforementioned positions of the military leadership, and they concluded that he should immediately convene a session of this highest body of the country, with the presidents of the republics, the SIV and the Assembly, for the following day, May 7, 1991 (Ibid.).
10. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 320-321. This session, with pressure of the military option, lasted for two days and two nights, that is, on May 7 and 8 (it ended on May 8, “after midnight, that is, on May 9, at 3 AM” ) and, according to Jovic, it was “an exceptionally difficult and dramatic one. The division was complete, the disagreement a big one, but also the pressure was big in terms of the military option being imminent unless a political agreement was reached” (Ibid., p. 320).
11. Ibid. “ Pursuant to its own, and the constitutional responsibility of the federal and republic bodies for the situation in the country, and to the necessary need to secure peace and normal conditions for the resolution of the Yugoslav crisis, the Presidency of the SFRY decided upon a specific program of measures and activities for a permanent solution to the interethnic and inter-republic conflicts, on the principles of full respect for the territorial integrity of the SFRY and the republics, that is, legality and legitimacy of the governments in them, the civic, individual and ethnic rights, as well as the rule of law. In order to resolve the interethnic conflicts in the Republic of Croatia, conditions need to be created for:
a) prevention of armed conflicts;
b) identification of the disputed issues causing the interethnic problems;
c) securing democratic dialogue for their resolution.
In order to accomplish this, the following needs to be done: Guarantee and provide public order and safety, as well as ethnic and civic rights of all citizens in compliance with the constitutional legal system of the Federation and the Republic of Croatia. All the disputed issues are to be resolved with the involvement of the appropriate bodies of the federation. Immediately ensure cessation of all violence, and secure peace. To this end, immediately stop the movement of the armed formations and armed citizens at critical points, except for legitimate local law enforcement bodies, and in between the area with predominantly Serb population and the other parts of Croatia, stop the movement of all armed formations and groups in both directions, except for the JNA and SSUP (Federal Police) forces. This restriction measure shall be implemented during the month following the day this Decision was taken on. The Yugoslav People’s Army, which, in concordance with its constitutional role and orders of the Presidency of the SFRY, is already involved in ‘critical points’, shall be responsible in terms of ensuring the efficient execution of this decision of the Presidency of the SFRY. Immediately demobilize the reserve compositions of police or police forces, organize the withdrawal of weapons from citizens and their storage into appropriate warehouses controlled by the competent bodies, in compliance with the Law. Immediately conduct a detailed investigation by the appropriate federal and republic bodies in connection with the armed conflicts, human casualties and material destruction, and inform the public to that effect. Immediately stop the attacks against the Yugoslav People’s Army, its members, facilities and resources of the JNA. The Presidency of the SFRY assesses that the Yugoslav People’s Army is exercising its function in compliance with the Constitution of the SFRY and federal laws, and that it is capable to successfully protect the borders of the country and prevent inter-republic and interethnic conflicts as the joint armed force of all our nations. Immediately form a peer group consisting of the representatives of the Republic of Croatia and the legitimate representatives of the Serb nation from Croatia, in order to begin negotiations on any disputed political issues deemed to be causing the crisis, such as: the constitutional equality of the Croatian and Serbian nations, the language, the alphabet, ethnic and state symbols, the right of the nation to self- determination, up to secession, the manner of declaration at referenda, and the like... ” (Ibid. pp. 320-321).
12. Ibid. The part of the Presidency of the SFRY that was committed to Greater Serbia, while reviewing the program of actions and measures of May 9, 1991, in connection with the situation in Croatia tried to establish the political decisions for, according to Mesic, stronger military pressure against Croatia (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 136).
13. Ibid., pp. 320-321, and 323. Jovic evaluated this session in the following way: “ Having in mind the unseen political outwitting and arguing that lasted for two days and two nights, one has to have in mind that these conclusions may be the tactical compromise of Croatia, which was ultimately ‘cornered’. In any case, the conclusions constitute a major advance in terms of the powers granted to the army, but also in terms of the recognition by Croatia as to what the causes of the inter-ethnic conflicts are, regardless of the fact that there is little hope that it will also accept having these causes removed in practice ” (Ibid., p. 321).
14. Ibid., pp. 322-323.
15. Ibid., p. 323.
16. Ibid. In this, Jovic also emphasized as follows: “ The Army itself, in its analysis after the session of the Supreme command of March 12 to 15, [ 1991 ] , showed exceptional risks arising from such a problem resolution path, because it would also lead to the loss of legitimacy and power in Serbia, if it keeps supporting the military option. Anyway, the army itself then abandoned a similar solution ” (Ibid., pp. 323-324).
17. Ibid.
18. Ibid., p. 324. This agreement, according to Jovic, was based on the Decision of the Presidency of May 7 and 8, because, in his opinion, it gave them “ enough options, at least for the time being ”.
19. Ibid., pp. 324-325. About this, Jovic wrote as follows: “ - Veljko Kadijevic believes that he [ Mesic ] needs to be selected, because an opposite action would cause a crisis with serious political consequences and stop the processes of negotiation about the country’s future. - The others believe that he should not be elected, because this would finally ‘give wings’ to the breakers of Yugoslavia, and they themselves would feel embarrassed in front of their own nation ” (Ibid.).
20. Ibid. Nevertheless, “ after an argument ”, Kadijevic expressed understanding for the adopted position, because “ it is not the matter in that he supports Mesic, but that he is burdened with an illusion that there is a way of keeping Croatia and Slovenia within Yugoslavia, when they have virtually opted for separation ” (Ibid.).
21. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. XI; ICTY, Case: No. IT-02-T, paragraph 94. Milosevic’s group in the Presidency of the SFRY did not allow the constitutional President Mesic to take on the presidential office at the time. Thus, among other things, the JNA was allowed, as it had no supreme commander, after Slovenia and Croatia had declared independence and sovereignty, to make an aggression against Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. XI). According to the Constitution of the SFRY, Stipe Mesic was to be automatically elected, that is, pronounced, President of the Presidency of the SFRY, just like all the previous presidents were elected. However, Borisav Jovic used a trick and placed the election of Stipe Mesic up for voting, and Republic of Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for him, and Serbia, Vojvodina, and Kosovo were against, whereas Montenegro refrained from voting, so the session was recessed and postponed for the following day (K. Rotim, ODBRANA HERCEG-BOSNE, Siroki Brijeg 1997, pp. 99-100). Then, the members of the Presidency, as the representatives of the republics, were as follows: Dr. Borisav Jovic (President at the time), representing Serbia; Dr. Janez Drnovsek (the previous President) representing Slovenia; Bogic Bogicevic representing Bosnia and Herzegovina; Nenad Bucin representing Montenegro; Dr. Vasil Tupurkovski representing Macedonia; Dragutin Zelenovic representing Vojvodina and Riza Sapunxiu representing Kosovo. The Assembly of Serbia had suspended the autonomous institutions of Kosovo, dismissed its Presidency of Kosovo, and delegated Vukasin Jokanovic, the Vice President of the Assembly of Serbia into the Presidency of the SFRY, while in March, it unconstitutionally dismissed Sapunxiu, delegating to his office the Vice President of the Serbian Assembly. The representative of Vojvodina had also left (Dragutin Zelenovic, candidate for the composition of the Serbian government), so Jugoslav Kostic, the president of the Vojvodina Presidency, was appointed (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. X; K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, p. 95). On May 16, “ Jovic’s burlesque ” was transferred from the Presidency of the SFRY onto the Federal Assembly, which for the second time (the first time was on May 10), was “deciding” on the confirmation of Branko Kostic, Sejdo Bajramovic (Reserve Ensign, and pensioner), and Jugoslav Kostic (a Vojvodina Montenegrin and Serb). Somehow, they were “pushed through”, with elementary violations of the Constitution of the SFRY (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 11). In relation to this, Mesic wrote that Serbia, given that it did not recognize the Assembly or the Presidency of Kosovo, having constitutionally revoked the autonomy of Kosovo, could not send anyone from Kosovo to the Presidency “ on behalf of Kosovo ”. As the Assembly of Vojvodina, whatever it was like at the time, survived, and it was formally and factually subjected to the Assembly of Serbia, the autonomous right of Vojvodina was expressed by the representative of Serbia in the Presidency (Ibid.). At this session, during declarations, together with the Slovenians and Albanians, the Croatian delegation also left the Assembly (Ibid.). It was in vain to try and prove at the session of the Federal Assembly that the decision of the Serbian Parliament to suspend the autonomous authorities Kosovo and dismiss R. Sapunxiu was a most blatant violation of the Constitution. However, it was just the way Assembly Chairman Slobodan Gligorijevic-Ajga agreed with Milosevic. When the large assembly hall of the Federal Assembly was left by the delegations of Slovenia and Croatia, together with the Albanians from Kosovo and a part of the Bosnia-Herzegovina delegation, Gligorijevic informed the attending MPs that both Kostic and Sejdo Bajramovic were “confirmed in package”. Irfan Ajanovic, Vice President of the Assembly of the SFRY, protested this against but Gligorijevic did not respond to that (Ibid., p. 13).
22. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 325. In relation to this, Jovic wrote: “ Veljko says that what we have done [ i.e. not support Mesic’s election; note by the author ] is a mistake. Blagoje says that he would be glad to arrest us. Slobodan tells him that he can feel free to arrest us if he wants to. The Serbian opposition was altogether for Mesic and against us. Sloba and I are convinced that we are doing well, but we are very disappointed at the position of the army ” (Ibid.). 23. Ibid., pp. 324-325. General Adzic commented the failure to elect Mesic: “ This is a burlesque. The Constitution requires ...” . Some Western agencies commented the statement by the general as “ anger at Serbia, claiming that with the failure to elect Mesic it further weakened the authority of the federal institutions, and of the Army itself ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 8). Admiral Mamula was against electing Mesic for President of the Presidency of the SFRY. He believed this to be a “ crazy idea ”, because Mesic’s alleged “ efforts to break Yugoslavia up made up his basic political image ”. Mamula did not agree with Kadijevic and Adzic; “ to take such a decision in order to ensure peace in the house and avoid the pressure of the international community... ” (B. Mamula, SLUCAJ JUGOSLAVIJA, Podgorica 2000, p. 186). By obstructing and failing to recognize the constitutional president, the Republic of Serbia (the Serb block), according to Mesic, “ was breaking up Yugoslavia ”, showing the world “ who is undermining Yugoslavia and the Constitution ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 10, and 17). President George H. W. Bush, in a telephone conversation with A. Markovic (on May 20, 1991) stated that he supports the federal Government and in particular the President, believing that he would be in favour of the further democratic transformation of the country. The USA then assessed that the election of S. Mesic “ is the reflection of democratic changes in Yugoslavia ”, and that the “ prevention of that is a sign of the stopping of democratic development in Yugoslavia ” (Ibid.,, p. 19). Due to “ the conduct of the leadership of the Republic of Serbia , and its treading on human rights and current destabilization of the Yugoslav Presidency ”, assistance for Yugoslavia equalling half a million dollars (the so-called Don Nickels Amendment) was cancelled. Bush and Baker conditioned “ the freezing of the Nickels amendment ” with the election of Mesic (the amendment was suspended on May 25, although even then and later “ the Serbian four ” claimed that at no price will they “ have a Croat fascist heading the supreme command ” (Ibid.).
24. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 29-30, and 38.
25. Ibid., p. 31.
26. Ibid.
27. Ibid., p. 37.
28. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 337. Jovic wrote that at the time Kadijevic was asking “ a thousand questions. He was beating around the topic of what we think about the army overthrowing the Slovene government, because it is not enforcing military laws, and so on... Honestly, I was sick and tired of these military empty stories. I do not believe them any more at all. They are not going to do or undertake anything, this is clear. And we have already told him a hundred times what we think. ” (Ibid.). 29. Ibid., p. 338.
30. Ibid.
31. Ibid. p. 339. In relation to this, they assessed that “ the time is working for us, and their, particularly Croatian, politics is becoming nervous. Each move it makes may be wrong and beneficial to us ”.
32. Ibid. Jovic wrote that the (expanded) session of the Presidency of the SFRY was not even held on June 20, 1991, because “ the Croat and the Slovene did not want to come until we change the decision about the (non-)election of Mesic for president. We decided that there is no more possibility of discussing that any longer ”.
33. Ibid. At that meeting, it was agreed that they would also develop the procedures to push the Croats and Slovenians out of the federal institutions too — “ so that they do not get to decide about us, if they have already separated out ”, and to oppose “ any kind of policy of forced retaining of the Croats and Slovenians within Yugoslavia, as well as forcing the Serbs out of it ” (Ibid.). 34. Ibid., p. 340. Jovic wrote how Milosevic communicated his assessments “ on the international environment: Germany supports the break-up of Yugoslavia, that is, the separation of Croatia and Slovenia. At the CSCE session in Berlin, it had coordinated in those terms with Austria and Hungary. It is trying to draw Japan into the CSCE, and establish an axis between Berlin and Tokyo. The USA wants Yugoslavia to stay, but be pro-American. Slovenia and Croatia do not find the USA policy suitable to them, but German policy fits them. The USA has no other option but Yugoslavia with Ante Markovic. The election of Mesic is in the function of this interest. He explains this by Baker’s statement that, by not electing Mesic, we have drawn criticism upon us and weakened our position ” (Ibid.).
35. Ibid. He developed the thesis “ that the Russians can not help us [ either ] , that America has realized that Yugoslavia is dominated by secessionist policy and that this is not in their interest, but in the interest of Germany. They would like to preserve Yugoslavia and they are seeking allies. Their ally in Yugoslavia is Ante Markovic and we could use his assistance to preserve Yugoslavia! The only reason that the external factor has turned against us is the non-election of Mesic, so we need to correct it immediately, tomorrow, and elect Mesic! This would allow us to connect Ante Markovic to us and place the SIV in the function of fighting against secessionism, and retrieve the discussion about the future of the country back to the Presidency of the SFRY ” (Ibid.).
36. Ibid. On this occasion, Jovic stated that he would not vote for Mesic, “ regardless of the pressures ”. In relation to this, in his memoirs, he wrote: “ Croatia and Slovenia want to stay in the bodies of the federation so they can take decisions about us, and that we can not take decisions about them. They still want to preside over us. If someone has lost his or her political reason, I haven’t. I can resign if this is required, I can be dismissed, but vote for him — that I can’t ” (Ibid.).
37. Ibid.
38. Ibid. In this way, according to Jovic, Milosevic wanted to calm down Adzic. Jovic asked him: “ - do you have a specific proposal? He doesn’t. I present a specific proposal to him! So that I get sick, go for medical treatment, and they have him replacing me, so let him vote all he wants. Slobodan adds: - and after the voting I can come over and resign. Thus — the same like me. He can’t do it either! ” (Ibid., p. 341).
39. Ibid., p. 341. Due to this, Jovic decided to think over whether in the future he will participate in such meetings. In evaluating the “ results ” from this meeting, Jovic wrote that “ some stupid position arose that we try to send a letter to the Federal Council of the Assembly of the SFRY, so that it can itself interpret the Constitution and inaugurate him without elections. Should they wish so and have the right to do so ” (Ibid.).
40. Ibid. In his memoirs for June 25, Jovic wrote as follows: “ I say to Slobodan Milosevic that I am disappointed with yesterday’s meeting and that I am cross with him. He is also disappointed, but he does not get it why I am cross with him. I explain to him that he did not act as had been agreed. He justifies himself that 'he had said in general terms that we expect to hear what the position of the JNA would be'. I told him that I will attend such meetings no longer if the situation is repeated only once more, where he acts contrary to what has been agreed, and that I will not accept pressure. I do not intend to participate in any letter writing to the Assembly of Yugoslavia. For me, Mesic is already a closed book ” (Ibid.).
41. Ibid. About this, Jovic wrote: “ Slobodan calls me at home. Zimmermann asks what our condition is to elect Mesic. I tell him: the condition is humiliating and probably unacceptable for Croatia: that it publicly abandons the fait accompli policy and annuls all the laws it has passed, which are contrary to the Constitution of the SFRY, and that Mesic publicly announces that he denies them himself, that is, that it is not his goal to dissolve but to preserve Yugoslavia. Slobodan communicated this to Zimmermann ” (Ibid.).
42. Ibid., pp. 342-343. According to Jovic’s interpretation of the NATO positions towards Yugoslavia, “ firstly, we are not the problem of the Balkans, but of Europe. Secondly, there is no collective security in Europe if there is disagreement and conflict in Yugoslavia. Thirdly, NATO must act decisively, because it should not allow the escalation of conflict and loss of control over the course of events. Fourthly, the assessment for the time being is that our crisis can be mitigated through political and economic measures, and this is the direction of activity for the time being. Fifthly, it is unacceptable for NATO to have any involvement of the Army (JNA) on the side of one of the conflicting options, and it (NATO) would react upon it in a decisive and strong manner! ” (Ibid., p. 342).
43. On June 25, 1991, the Croatian Assembly unanimously adopted the Constitutional Decisions on Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Croatia, and the Declaration of Independence and Sovereignty of the Republic of Croatia (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 44-47). ’. On the same day, the Assembly of Slovenia also declared independence of the Republic of Slovenia. Slovenia brought the decision to fully take over all the functions of the Federation within the borders of Slovene territory, and to establish a border towards the rest of Yugoslavia. The appropriate Slovenian bodies in charge of law enforcement and customs implemented this decision. (Slovenia established control over its 671 km long border and over all 37 customs crossings from Slovenia into Hungary, Austria and Italy) — S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 47; V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 117. The Assembly of the SFRY concluded that those Slovenian decisions on taking over the state border of Yugoslavia on the territory of Slovenia are unconstitutional, demanding the appropriate federal bodies to re-establish the status quo ante at the state border. In accordance with this, at the session held on June 25/26, 1991, the Federal Executive Council brought a decision on direct securing of enforcement of the federal regulations pertaining to the crossing of the state border on the territory of Slovenia: “ 1. In order to secure the federal regulations on crossing the state border and movement in the border strip in the territory of the Republic of Slovenia, as well as in order to ensure enforcement of the international obligations of the SFRY and smooth international traffic and free movement of people across the state border, the Federal Secretariat for Interior shall directly undertake, that is, ensure performance of the tasks of border control. 2. Directly ensuring the enforcement of federal regulations related to the crossing of the state border, the Federal Secretariat for the Interior shall establish direct cooperation with the Federal Secretariat for National Defence, in order to involve the border units of the JNA to secure the state border both at the border cr ossings and in the populated settlements in the border strip. The Federal Secretary for the Interior and the Federal Secretary for National Defence shall jointly determine the manner of establishing of cooperation referred to provision 1. 3. Once the federal administrative body, that is, the federal organization, in controlling the circulation of goods and passengers from its competency at the border crossing, comes across physical or other resistance, or when such resistance is to be expected, the employees of the Federal Secretariat shall be obligated to provide assistance to that federal administrative body, that is, the federal organization, upon their request. 4. More detailed provisions for the execution of this decision shall be governed by the Federal Secretary for the Interior. 5. The Federal Secretariat for Foreign Affairs shall inform the competent bodies of the neighbouring countries on the temporary regime governing the state border crossing in the territory of the Republic of Slovenia, in concordance with this decision... ” (V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 117; S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 46-47; B. Mamula, SLUCAJ JUGOSLAVIJA, Podgorica 2000, pp. 177-178). In order to ensure the implementation of federal regulations on crossing the border on the territory of Slovenia, in accordance with the aforementioned decision of the SIV, certain border JNA units were also engaged (some 1,900 soldiers and officers with appropriate equipment), tasked to implement this decision. Within 48 hours, of the 137 facilities at the border, the JNA took over 133, thus practically executing the task assigned (V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 117). Later on, the Slovenians, Kucan in particular, imputed the key responsibility for what followed onto Ante Markovic, because, according to them, he ordered that the JNA “ use the tanks to bring Slovenia back to reason ”. In relation to this, Mesic states that Ante and all the ministers, even the group of Slovenians in the Government, did not demand the action with tanks and military equipment, “ but the idea was only for involvement of the border units, and at the border only ”. The SIV took the position that the armed forces must not be used except in the case of defence (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 47; B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 209).
44. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 342-343. 45. Ibid. p. 343.
46. Ibid. In relation to this, Jovic goes on to say: “ It must not, but the NATO will!
47. Ibid.
48. Ibid. Jovic told all of this to Kadijevic “ so he can think it over well, as to who can and who can not be his ally ”. 49. Ibid.
50. Ibid.
51. Ibid., p. 344.
52. I. Radakovic, the aforementioned work, p. 67; O. Backovic — M. Vasic — A. Vasovic, KO TO RADO IDE U VOJNIKE (MOBILIZACIJSKA KRIZA — ANALITICKI PREGLEDI MEDIJSKOG IZVJESTAVANJA) , in: RAT U HRVATSKOJ I BOSNI I HERCEGOVINI 1991-1995, edited by B. Magas and I. Zanic, Zagreb-Sarajevo 1999; S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 48. D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, p. 300. The commander of the Fifth Army District, stationed in Zagreb, general Konrad Kolsek, informed in writing the Slovenian prime minister Peterle that the Fifth Military District has the assignment to take over all the border crossings and secure the state border of the SFRY, and that the task will be executed unconditionally. In relation to this, Kolsek wrote: “ We shall proceed according to the rules of the combat use of units. Any resistance will be broken down, and all the consequences will be borne by those who had ordered such resistance, and those who executed it ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 49). During the attack against Slovenia, major personnel changes were made in the Fifth Military District. General Konrad Kolsek, the commander of the Fifth Military District, was dismissed, and he was replaced by General Zivota Avramovic (the then commander of the Third Military District). The command over the Fifth Corps of the Military Air Forces and Anti-Aircraft Defence was taken over by colonel Ljubomir Bajic (the then Chief of Staff of the Headquarters). Thus, the leading positions in the Northwest District were now held by members of the Serb nation, which was largest in number among the officer personnel, and the distrust against the non-Serb personnel was thus apparent (D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, p. 302; S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 70-71). In early July, General Avramovic started all the troops available to attack the Republic of Slovenia. The land forces, armoured forces, were coming on particularly strongly towards Ljubljana from the southwest, probably the units of the Rijeka Corps headed by general Cad, and one tank echelon also pushed through which, in the morning of July 2, had come out of Jastrebarsko (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 70-71).
53. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 49. Although the initial armed combat began in Croatia (through the Serbo-Croat dispute and through the ‘logging revolution’) in 1990, more direct military involvement was launched by the JNA in Slovenia, in June 1991, directly after the Slovenian Declaration of Independence. In this attack, “ on the one side, there were the motorized and mechanized units of the JNA from Croatia, the units of the JNA located in Slovenia, JNA aircraft and the forces of the Ministry of Interior and the Customs from the Federation, and on the other side, there were the units of the Slovenian TO, the Slovenian Police Forces and the internal resistance by the Slovenians who were in JNA units ” (I. Radakovic, the aforementioned work, p. 69). The first goal of the JNA towards Slovenia, according to general Radakovic, was “ to reach the line of Maribor - Cole - Vrhnika - Susana, and the second goal was to launch a parachute attack on Trojan, Ljubljana valley and the Postpone gate, which will allow the introduction of the second echelon and a parachute attack on the borders ”. In order to realize those goals, the JNA employed forces from Croatia: in the direction of Varazdin-Maribor, parts of the 32nd Varazdin Corps, in the direction of Zagreb-Novo Mesto, and Karlovac-Metljika, parts of the 10th Zagreb Corps, and in the direction of Gorski Kotar-Kocevje and Rijeka, and Ilirska Bistrica-Sezana, parts of the 13th Rijeka Corps. It also envisaged the forces of the Military Naval Sector of Pula in the direction of Kopar, the Second Echelon and the reserve (two battalions of the parachute infantry), and the aircraft forces for support to the land units and for bombing of Nanos, Krvavac, Boc, Kum, Catez, and Dravograd (TV and radio systems) — Ibid. Mesic was not officially informed of thee movements of tanks and armoured vehicles. In vain did he order the army to withdraw . Ante Markovic was also not informed about the movements of troops through Slovenia (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 49). As written by general Radakovic, the JNA crossed the Croato-Slovenian border, in an effort to try and establish control over the borders towards Austria and Italy, cut off Slovenia, take the airports and establish status quo. The TO of Slovenia planned to remain at the border together with the police, blocking the roads leading to the border crossings and cities; prevent oncoming echelons; block JNA units in garrisons within Slovenia; and initiate negotiations for the JNA to leave the territory of Slovenia (I. Radakovic, the aforementioned work, p. 69).
54. Ibid., pp. 50 and 65; I. Radakovic, the aforementioned work, p. 69. In Slovenia, the JNA was literally strategically surprised. The Territorial Defence Corps was defending its own country and independence. When, according to general Radakovic, the JNA “ did not succeed in the implementation of its goal, then two options appeared — negotiations and saving of the units, or extension of the conflict, thus sacrificing the units in the garrisons until reinforcement comes. In fact, what happened was a strategic paralysis in the army top when the General Staff of the JNA changed its initial goals and satisfied its aspirations with what could be preserved at the moment. It seemed that the General Staff was surprised at the resistance and manner of resistance, while it had been convinced that by closing the borders down and demonstrating a bit of military force it would be able to cover up Slovenia” (I. Radakovic, the aforementioned work, p. 69). ” The thus “ planned and executed operation, from the standpoint of the technique of implementation, is a major improvisation, and the failure was later justified by their refraining from the use of heavy artillery, by shortage of logistical support, and other attempts to justify their own mistakes” , claims General Radakovic (Ibid.).
55. D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, p. 301, note 58. The administration of the armoured and mechanized units of the SSNO on June 28, 1991, issued the Instruction for the Use of Armoured and Mechanized Units under Emergency Circumstances , establishing the tasks or these units under such circumstances: the securing of borders; strengthened securing of military facilities; a share in securing economic, social and other facilities of special importance; patrolling around the areas, setting up barricades and obstacles on the roads and in the streets; patrolling around the areas; demonstrating of force; extinguishing violent demonstrations, identification, breaking up and destruction of commando, banditry, terrorist and other groups; searching the terrain; blocking and destroying violent groups; putting down armed insurrections and preventing civil war (Ibid.).
56. Ibid., p. 300. The operational development of these units, according to D. Marijan, was “ undoubtedly a demonstration of force which was used to emphasize the disproportion in the quantities and types of armament to the Croatian armed forces. The strong added threat was in taking up bridges across the Danube, the last natural obstacle separating Croatia from Serbia. The commander of the 12th Corps, general major Mladen Bratic stated that in early July, they had a number of announcements by certain extremists that they would pull down the bridge and thus prevent us from executing our tasks in prevention of interethnic conflicts. Therefore, we are holding both sides of all the bridges between Vojvodina and Croatia. Taking the bridges sent a message that the Serbian tanks are no longer separated from Croatia by the Danube River as a large natural obstacle. The army bulletin Narodna Armija openly explained that their goal is to prevent the fratricidal war and to protect the borders of Yugoslavia, but also to get involved in the fight against the paramilitary formations that are becoming ever stronger in this territory. T wo brigades were deployed at the border near Sid, the First Proletarian Guards Mechanized Brigade from Belgrade, and the 453rd Mechanized Brigade from Sremska Mitrovica. Baranja and the bridge between Bezdan and Batina were taken by the 36th Mechanized Brigade from Subotica, and the bridge with the broader area around Bogojevo, by the 51st Mechanized Brigade from Pancevo. The bridge on the Danube, between Ilok and Backa Palanka, was taken by the unit from the composition of the 12th Corps. In the city of Osijek, the 12th Proletarian Mechanized Brigade, with a part of its forces, fortified itself in the barracks, and with the other part it took the ways leading out of the city, under the excuse that this was allegedly an exercise design” (Ibid., pp. 300-301). 57. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 50.
58. K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, p. 103. These conditions were accepted by Slobodan Milosevic, Franjo Tudjman, and Milan Kucan. The Slovenians negotiated with the SSNO on June 28, 1991, too (Kucan and Brovet), before the arrival of the European negotiation group of three to Zagreb, and Bavcar and Jansa talked to Andrija Raseta on the technical implementation of the truce (I. Radakovic, the aforementioned work, p. 74).
59. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 52-53.
60. Ibid., p. 53. Obviously the European group of three influenced the change of the hard-line Serbian position. At the time, the EC delegation, in addition to the resolution of the crisis at the Presidency, also sought that the army be withdrawn from the barracks, and that Slovenia and Croatia accept the proposals of the SIV for a three- month postponement of the implementation of the decision for secession (Ibid.). Informed of the changed position of Belgrade in terms of his election, on the same day, Mesic sent the decision and communiqué to the illegal Headquarters of the Supreme Command, as follows: “ As the warfare in Slovenia is still lasting and, in relation to the decision of the Headquarters of the Supreme Command of the SFRY for the mobilization of the reserve composition of the JNA in certain parts of the country, as the constitutional President of Yugoslavia and a member of the Presidency which by the Constitution should perform the function of the supreme commander of the JNA, I hereby decide: 1. That the Headquarters of the Supreme Command of the JNA immediately suspend all military operations in Slovenia, in compliance with the general agreement between the presidents of Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, and the president of the SIV, and the European Community delegation; 2. That all military units be withdrawn immediately into barracks throughout the country, 3. I hereby order to the Headquarters of the Supreme Command of the JNA to urgently withdraw its order for mobilization; 4. I hereby inform all the federal and republic bodies of authority, and the domestic and international public, that I was forced to make this step due to the persistent prevention on the part of the members of the Presidency of the SFRY from Serbia and Montenegro for the Presidency to be constituted in compliance with the Constitution of the SFRY ” (Ibid., p. 54). This futile order to the army to withdraw was also forwarded by Mesic to the SIV, to the presidents of the republics, to the republic governments, to the EC Council, and to the CSCE (Ibid.).
61. Ibid., pp. 54-55.
62. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 344. Then Jovic, hiding the Greater Serbia intentions, cynically said, among other things, as follows: “ Simply, under the contemporary conditions of the European and global developments, it is impossible to force the nations which do not wish so, to live in a country. This is, simply, impossible. This is a fact, this is reality. Those who are pushing us into that, are pushing us into war, for the sake of their interests, claiming that we have such interests too. We do have such an interest, but not everyone has it, and those who do not have it, will not accept it! ” (Ibid.). B. Jovic did not favour the lack of readiness in the public opinion “ for certain radical moves towards the disentanglement of the crisis through the dissolution of Yugoslavia ”, because it was “ more in favour of the radical measures to force out the survival of the country as a whole ”. However, according to him, allegedly, “ everything ” suggested “ that the best option was a peaceful departure, with the appreciation of the will of each nation ” (Ibid.).
63. Ibid. About this position of his, in his memoirs, Jovic wrote: “ In my opinion, we shall best punish Slovenia if we immediately adopt the decision for its exclusion from Yugoslavia. The session of the Assembly of the SFRY needs to be convened right away; communicate through an Assembly decision that the right of the Slovenian nation to self-determination and secession is respected, that the Assembly of Yugoslavia acknowledges the decision of Slovenia to become an independent and sovereign country, to determine a new border and immediately seek the convention of an urgent session of all the republic bodies so they can confirm this decision. In my opinion, we need to immediately seek from the Federal Executive Council to supply the draft Law on delimitation of borders, which would follow right after this decision; to seek a moratorium for foreign debt until the borders with Slovenia are defined, to have the world public support us in going through this situation; to withdraw the JNA towards new borders, because we are not able to otherwise respect the request of the European and world public not to use force. Unfortunately, Europe is such that they do not accept the use of force only on our part. Europe did not with a single word say that the force is also that which is being done by the Slovenians, which practically means that Europe supports the secession, too. We immediately need to exercise the monetary, financial, foreign currency and every other partition, which will completely secede Slovenia from Yugoslavia, and in every respect introduce convertible payments between Slovenia and other parts of the country. We need to demand from the world not to recognize Slovenia until the complete border is defined based on the laws of Yugoslavia. In my opinion, without a radical approach to the solution of the Slovenian problem, we are going to enter an endless war. We are entering a war that has no sense at all, and which ultimately we cannot win. We do not have the need or the interest to wage that war ” (Ibid., pp. 344-345).
64. Ibid. The military, and Jovic “ knew this ” very well, “ does not agree with this. Neither does Croatia agree, because it does not wish to stay alone in the conflict with Yugoslavia. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia are against it, because they apprehend the domination on the part of Serbia and Montenegro in the Presidency, as in that case, out of the seven members of the Presidency they would have four, that is, the majority ” (Ibid.).
65. Ibid., pp. 344.345.
66. Ibid., p. 345. He substantiated such a position by stating that the SIV is not competent for that, and the “ Presidency exists and has existed, regardless of whether it has a president or not Admiral Branko Mamula also stated that, on the basis of its constitutional powers, the Federal Executive Council could not resolve the problem of the state border, and the JNA could and had to do it. However, according to Mamula, Kadijevic was not ready to take on the responsibility. An independent and decisive action in Slovenia called for the resolution of all the other open capital problems of the county in the same way, as well as for equal treatment of each of them. In June 1991, according to Mamula, he was far away from that. On the other hand, “ we could not sit with out hands clasped and look at the country being broken up and the borders being changed ”. According to him, the only alternative left was the joint action of the SIV and the JNA. This sole option “ had all the preconditions for success and would be acceptable as a legal one ”. In relation to this, Mamula wrote that Kadijevic had accepted his assurances “ that the risk is lowest if they act jointly in Slovenia ”. In the presence of Mamula, he telephoned Markovic and arranged for a meeting. Mamula commented upon this in the following manner: “ It seemed to me that Kadijevic was also personally relieved through our discussion — he was no longer alone ” (B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 117).
67. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 58-65; B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 347. On June 30, “ after unseen pressures by foreign factors and domestic opposition ”, Stjepan Mesic was elected President of the Presidency of the SFRY, when, according to Jovic, the “ political torture ” ended, which they had allegedly been undergoing from May 15 until June 30, 1991 (for more details on this, cf. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 346-347). Before the election of President Mesic, on June 30, Jovic talked to Slobodan Milosevic, after the discussion of the representatives of the European Community with him (that is, Milosevic), at the Palace of the Federation, and before the meeting of the members of the Presidency with the EC ministerial group of three, which, according to Jovic, had come to “ make pressure to have Mesic elected president at any price ”. According to Jovic, after that conversation, Milosevic was “ all broken ”, because the EC delegates “ proceeded with such persistence and non-appreciation of any of his arguments, as well as with accusations and threats against Serbia, that there is a question as to whether it is worth to enter such disputes because of Mesic, because another representative of Croatia would probably be the same as him, maybe even ”. worse ”. Therefore, Milosevic “ had to give in and agree ”, and he recommended to Jovic to torture them as long as he can, and then to accept (Ibid.). The outcome of Milosevic’s discussion with the EC representatives was immediately conveyed by Jovic to the members of the Presidency from Serbia and Montenegro (Jugoslav Kostic, Sejdo Bajramovic, and Branko Kostic). In the meeting of the Presidency of the SFRY with the EC members, where, under external pressures, a discussion was held about the presidential election, Mesic was finally elected (Ibid). On July 1, chairing the session of the Presidency held on June 30 and July 1, Tupurkovski inaugurated Stipe Mesic as the President, and Dr. Branko Kostic as the Vice President of the Presidency of the SFRY, whereas the Presidency (with Mesic as president) was symbolically renovated (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 58- 65; B. Mamula, UZROCI I POSLJEDICE RATOVA U JUGOSLAVIJI 1991.-2001. -hereinafter referred to as: UZROCI I POSLJEDICE RATOVA ... -, in: RATOVI U JUGOSLAVIJI 1991.-1999., Compilation of the Communiqués and Discussions from the Round Table, Belgrade, November 7-9, 2001, Belgrade 2002, p. 213). 68. ICTY, Case: No. IT-02-T, paragraph 94. Mesic could not exert any personal influence as the President of the Presidency. Through public media, he issued orders to the army, which were ignored by the military leadership (Headquarters of the Supreme Command), “ treating them as if they did not exist ”. These orders to the army issued by Mesic, according to Kadijevic, “ were not actually orders at all ”. The Federal Secretary states that, in the Presidency, Mesic “ could not bring any decision as he wished, because at the time the proportion of power was four to four. From such a proportion of powers, the Presidency, unfortunately, could not take any decisions that were proposed by the Headquarters of the Supreme Command ”, which, according to Kadijevic, “ were in favour of the defence of Yugoslavia ” (V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, pp. 37-38).
69. B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 210. Kadijevic was accusing Adzic “ for having gotten directly involved in details, instead of setting a clear goal for the operation and assigning general Kolsek, commander of the Zagreb Military District, to influence the size and selection of forces, monitor the course and intervene when problems arose. Kadijevic had from before been concerned with the potential conduct of general Kolsek, a Slovene by ethnicity, if a crisis in Slovenia occurs. Now, certain huge things happened, asking for responsibility, and Kadijevic was not clear how much guilt in it was in the confused conduct of Adzic, as he said, and how much was in the conduct of Kolsek, if mistakes or bad faith were in question. He had already been clear about the responsibility of the commander of the Ljubljana and Maribor Corps, generals Popovic and Delic, because they had seriously violated and erred within the framework of their responsibilities, regardless of the poor performance on the part of the Command of the Zagreb District and the General Staff. General Cad, also a Slovenian, the commander of the Rijeka Corps, did his part of the task successfully, handling the southern sections of the Yugoslav-Italian border. He was decisive in work, and he did not wait for Kolsek or Adzic to give out orders to defend him when attacked, or to patrol in front of him, and remove the obstacles imposed ahead of him. Following this, Kadijevic started talking about Adzic’s and his own responsibility. He believed that the least they have to do is resign, although it would be honourable to commit suicide and save the dignity of the Army, he said. He blamed me for Ante Markovic. ‘The son of a gun acted as usual — washing his hands off of everything, he did not know that the Army was going to use force in executing its tasks (!), he should not have been involved at all’, Kadijevic was grumbling ” (Ibid.).
70. Ibid. In relation to this, Mamula stated that it was out of question that personnel changes must be completed, that an overall analysis of the failure in Slovenia must be conducted, but nevertheless, the main task remains: going out onto the borders and preserving the integrity of the country. The time was running by and the JNA failure was quickly turning into a fait accompli. Yugoslavia was disappearing, and the direct responsibility for that was now on the Army, not on the leaderships of Slovenia or the Federation any longer” (Ibid.).
71. Ibid. “ Waiting for their arrival ”, wrote Mamula, “ we were sketching the contents for the meeting: the assessment of past events in Slovenia, and the conclusions towards the establishment of a more comprehensive operation in Slovenia — breaking down the resistance of the TO, coming out onto the borders and preventing the Slovenian leadership to execute a forced secession. We agr eed that General Kolsek should be replaced by General Zivota Avramovic, commander of the Army District in Skopje. General Kolsek could no longer stay on the post of the commander and face new challenges. We knew Avramovic was a capable officer who had spent several years on the post of the commander in Varazdin and had been successful ever since, and in the early eighties, after an examination I had personally attended, he was produced into a general. He had the knowledge of combat territory, was respected among the military officers and reputable in the Croatian society. We expected a lot from him in the critical moments, which the forces in Slovenia and Croatia were going through, before the eyes of the domestic and world public. It will turn out, unfortunately, that he was below the requirements of the difficult situation in the summer and fall of 1991 on this part of Yugoslav territory ” (Ibid., pp. 210-211).
72. Ibid., pp. 210-215. Among other things, Admiral Mamula presented the position that the operation should immediately be renewed and the task completed — to break through onto the borders of the SFRY in Slovenia. Among other things, General Adzic pointed out “ that we do not have sufficient forces available for a new, comprehensive operation ”, and he saw no reason “ why we would need it ”. Instead, he suggested “ that the forces in Slovenia need to be strengthened, strongly supported by aircraft forces and continue the activity ”. Vuk Obradovic saw no reason “ why the JNA would fight in Slovenia and force it to remain in Yugoslavia ”, and, among other things, he insisted “ that the JNA should withdraw to the Serb borders in Croatia and defend those instead ” (Ibid., pp. 210-215).
73. Ibid., pp. 216, and 222. At this, Mamula was against informing the Presidency about the preparations for the operation in Slovenia “ until the main tasks are completed, and then to put it before a fait accompli and move ahead. We had to be ready in case the preparations are revealed, if the JNA is attacked or there are attempts to stop it ”. He believed “ that the broken Presidency does not have the power to stop us, and Milosevic would not dare proceed in public through the Army. ‘Even if this happened, we had to be ready to remove them quickly and prevent them from obstructing or openly confronting us. The mass media in that case would be placed under the control of the JNA. The General Staff had a plan prepared for such contingency ” (Ibid., pp. 216-217).
74. Ibid., p. 217. Admiral Mamula and General Adzic started right away and into the operational room of the General Staff (in early morning of July 2, 1991). Mamula presented the goal and his idea of the operation, “ and then we talked about the forces, the manner of their management and deployment, on the aircraft force support, on the intelligence and security measures, on the tasks of the special forces, and other relevant factors of the operation. It did not exceed the frameworks of the operation in Slovenia. All the rest pertained to the Minister of Defence, General Kadijevic and his role in the disentanglement of the crisis: how, how many and who of the associates and subjects to inform and what tasks to assign them with ” (Ibid.).
75. Ibid., p. 220. In relation to this, he came to the following conclusions: “ 1. A strong grouping of the JNA after the operation in Slovenia, in order to isolate Croatia from the West; 2. Use of forces brought to the regions of Kordun, Banija, and Bosanska [ Bosnian; note by the translator ] Krajina, from the line of Karlovac-Sisak-Novska- Nova Gradiska, to approach the release of the garrisons in central Croatia, with Zagreb as the main target, and to break out onto the Drava river, and the border with Hungary in order to prevent the arrival of armament and assistance to the ZNG [ Zbor Narodne Garde , Assembly of the People’s Guard, Croatian armed formation; note by the translator ] and potential withdrawal of forces across the river; For each separate area of Croatia, there were forces strong enough to accomplish the general goal: The Military Naval District with the Knin Corps, the forces from Mostar, and as needed, the Corps from Titograd, were able to break the resistance of the ZNG and other paramilitary armies of the HDZ in Dalmatia, and place Western Herzegovina under control; in eastern Slavonia and Baranja, the Tuzla and Novi Sad Corps were able to resolve any organized resistance in this area: in Istria and the area of Rijeka, the situation was boiling and could easily be placed under control using the forces of the Rijeka Corps, mobilized forces in Lika and Gorski Kotar, and the military naval and aircraft forces from Pula; 4. The forces in Bosnia should be strengthened and regrouped after the separation of the military compositions for the operations in Slovenia and Croatia. The Guard Corps in Belgrade (or in the corresponding regions in Srem), the Kragujevac and Uzice Corps were a reserve sufficient to make an intervention as needed. The compositions in Macedonia or Kosovo should not be weakened; 5. The strategic grouping that would derive from such a general concept would also meet the needs of defence from any outside intervention. The Headquarters of the Supreme Command should go out of Belgrade, to one of the command places in Bosnia. The buildings of the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff in Belgrade downtown no longer provided conditions for safe work, there were not even minimal security conditions ” (Ibid.).
76. Ibid. According to Mamula, General Kadijevic “brought himself into a most difficult situation possible. Unprepared to opt for the independent path of the Army in disentangling the Yugoslav crisis, all the time and even right now — in decisive moments, he has been moving along two tracks: trying to cover himself with one — the legitimistic one, and in a given situation, when he assesses that this is possible and realistic, he would switch to the other one — independent army one, for which he had a prepared plan. General Kadijevic did not take a decision this time, either ” (Ibid.).
77. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 72-73.
78. Ibid. pp. 73-80,.
79.
B. Jovic, p. 349. According to Jovic’s assessment, the situation in Yugoslavia was then “ almost a tragic one . The JNA had been defeated and routed in Slovenia. The moral of the army had hit the bottom. The Serb people were losing trust into the JNA. The opposition sought the formation of a Serb army. It was clear to everybody that the war was not be avoided, and that the JNA had almost fallen apart. The Serbian revival movement directly propagated that reservists don’t respond to calls for service, that they desert the army. Treason is in place! Soldiers’ mothers are demonstrating — they are demanding that ‘the kids be returned from the army’. The Serbian nation is completely confused and largely joining the opposition. Our resignations are being demanded... ” (Ibid.).
80. Ibid. In this way “ the Slovenians should absolutely not be allowed to harass the JNA again ”.
81. Ibid. They will bring “ a timely decision ” for the withdrawal from Slovenia. Counterattacking the Slovenians “ fiercely, with all means, including the air forces ” was meant to “ raise the moral of the army, deter Croatia and pacify the Serb people ”.
82. Ibid.
83. Ibid.
84. Ibid.
85. Ibid. At the time, General Kadijevic asked Milosevic and Jovic to encourage the mobilized “who do not wish to respond or have responded, but have been demobilized”, to mobilize the Territorial Defence Corps and to assist in the organization of a rally “for Yugoslavia” in Sarajevo , in order to help France, which according to Kadijevic, “ is fighting for the survival of our country (!) and which wishes to oppose the Germans who want it to fall apart ”. Jovic then said to Kadijevic “ that we should be realistic, not lie both ourselves and the French. There is no more Yugoslavia within its previous borders. If they care about preventing the war on the Balkans, then we need to explain to them about the Serb issue, rather than the issue of preservation of this Yugoslavia. We are the ones that have to do this. If they understand the Serb issue, and if they appreciate equally with the others in Europe, the war will be avoided. This rally in Sarajevo would be bad and a failure. I tell him that he should have in mind that Germans are more important to the French than the Serbs are, let us have no illusions. As for he political work on mobilization, the action of the Army in Slovenia is the response to that, rather than to some political speeches of ours that could even have had a negative effect ” (Ibid.).
86. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 100. Obviously the army, as claimed by Mesic, “ classified itself more and more evidently alongside that policy, that strategic option, as embodied in the Serb leadership ” (Ibid., 104).
87. Ibid., pp. 85-86.
88. Ibid., p. 86-92; I. Radakovic, the aforementioned work, p. 71. In this way, according to Mesic, the Yugoslav crisis was institutionalised and internationalised, whereby the European community “ was the most present factor in resolution of the Yugoslav crisis ”. On July 7, 1991, in Brioni, in the presence of the European group of three, the Presidency of the SFRY adopted the Brioni Declaration , accepting the right of the SFRY to establish control over its state border, agreeing upon a ceasefire (that “all parties” refrain “ from unilateral actions, particularly from the use of violence ”) and the decision of Slovenia for secession from the SFRY being postponed by three months (B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 179; V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 118; K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, pp. 116-118; B. Jovic, the aforementioned work , pp. 350-359).
89. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 95-96. The resolution of the European Parliament, among other things, included the assessment “that the constituent and autonomous provinces of Yugoslavia shall have the right to decide on their own future, in a peaceful and democratic manner, with an understanding that each republic has the absolute responsibility to use exclusively peaceful and democratic means in exercising the changes of the constitutional order...” (Ibid.)
90. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 349; B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 232. On that day, the JNA was amassing units “ at the Croatian borders ”. Instead of withdrawing into barracks, the army in Croatia “ was amassing in the crisis zones: the units until now stationed in the other republics, filled in with mobilized reservists from Serbia, are being sent day and night to Croatia, [ to fight ] against Croatia ”. Starting from this, on July 5, the Croatian Government sent a request consisting of five items to the Presidency of the SFRY: “ firstly, immediate withdrawal into the barracks of all the JA [ ‘Yugoslav Army’; note by the translator ] units on the territory of the Republic of Croatia; Secondly, reduction of the number of the JA units in the Republic of Croatia; Thirdly, reporting to the civilian authorities of any movement of units outside the barracks, on which occasion their movement would be escorted; Fourthly, withdrawal of the JA units from the eastern borders of the Republic of Croatia; Fifthly, cessation of discrimination and harassment of the non-Serb officers and soldiers, and civilians in the JA ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 83-84. President Mesic talked to General Kadijevic to this effect a number of times, and General Kadijevic responded: “ that interethnic confrontations on the territory of Croatia were dramatically on the rise , at which he did not take into account that Belgrade is instigating the Serbs in Croatia at a galloping pace to civic disobedience and terrorist revolt, that from Serbia (and Bosnia) armed Chetnik groups are ‘jumping’ into Croatia ... ” (Ibid., p. 84).
91. Ibid., p. 360. About this, Jovic wrote as follows: “ ...More precisely, they could not protect us, and as for the weapons, it could only go through regular channels, via the Government of the SFRY (and we are seeking beyond the Government, because Ante Markovic is obstructing the Government in taking the decision).
Veljko warned him that the Germans are also threatening them through us, and asked him to convey this to Gorbachev. Yazov called today and said that Gorbachev had accepted the warning on the common danger, that he has talked to Kohl, Bush, Andreotti, Mitterrand and ‘the English guy’, warning that he will not peacefully look upon the division of Yugoslavia, particularly if it involved an outside interference. He will help us diplomatically, but they cannot guarantee anything, nor can they react with eventual reprisals. They will not give the weapons through any secret channels, regardless of the fact that others may have armed themselves in such a way (And through our government, it would not be possible). So this is how the Russians are thinking (or what they can do)... ” — (Ibid.).
92. Ibid.
93. Ibid. In presenting the assessment that the General is “ completely disoriented ”, Jovic states that Kadijevic “ makes terrible evolutions in only a single day: from saying that decisive action must be made in order to retrieve the moral of the Army, to that all of his generals think that any peaceful way is better, that they accept war by no means and that even ‘the devil himself’, let alone the European Mission, should pacify the situation. Just a few hours before that, he told me that a European (military) Mission does not come into question ” (Ibid.). This assessment about General Kadijevic and the position of his generals was commented by Admiral Mamula in the following way: “ I do not know what General Kadijevic might have said to Mr. Jovic, but I am fully aware that, except in some rare cases, the mood of his generals was quite opposite. They had been expecting and demanding operations in Slovenia. They were fully aware that a different decision would mean the end of the JNA, and of Yugoslavia. Rejected by the army officers, ridiculed and humiliated at the Presidency and among the republic leaders, General Kadijevic had no more conditions to command the Army, and it was speedily moving towards its dissolution — the formation of national armies and civil war ” (B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 223).
94. Ibid., p. 360-361. In this way, “ the Serb population in Croatia will remain unprotected. The Croats will harass it individually and cause the Serb reaction, i.e. intervention. Croatia will then declare the Serbs as aggressors and invite foreign troops, with which the legal Serb power will be overthrown ”. In this, Vuk Draskovic, according to General Kadijevic, “ is also supported by Dragoljub Micunovic of the Democratic Party ” — Ibid., p. 361.
95. Ibid., p. 361.
96. Ibid., p. 364. Assessing the situation in relation to the conflict in Slovenia and the proposed positions, Kadijevic stated: “ The international factor: the USSR can only help us politically, through international institutions. This is the position of Gorbachev; however, it is the assessment of the Chief of Staff of the General Staff of the Soviet Army that the plan for the dissolution of Yugoslavia was made by the CIA, with the assistance of West Germany a long time ago, with the intention to transfer the experience in its implementation on the dissolution of the USSR afterwards. However, the official policy of the USSR, although it probably knows this, cannot do more than provide verbal support. France has understood the German game of dissolution of our country, but it also has a prevailing interest of overthrowing the communists, so it seeks from the JNA to refrain and be patient. The EC action is a combined interest of the FRG and France, but their real goal is to make the turnover in shorter than 3 months. The foreign factor is, in general, not on our side. Internal situation: Slovenia is already outside Yugoslavia. Croatia as well, virtually. In BiH, there is a prevailing coalition against the Serbs, and in Serbia, the collaboration of the opposition is growing stronger with Croatia and FR Germany in order to gain power; Macedonia is dominated by the anti-Serb mood; the policy towards the JNA in Montenegro is unstable. The JNA cannot stay united. Slovenians and Croatians at the top of the army, who are in favour of Yugoslavia can be counted using the finger of a sole hand. Unless we make some major moves within 10 days, the dissolution of the JNA is imminent. The idea: In relation to the foreign factor, rely on the French-Soviet line and the paralysis of the FRG ” (Ibid.).
97. Ibid.
98. Ibid. At the time, Kadijevic stated that tomorrow, that is, on July 12, at the session of the Presidency he would propose “ two decisions (options) : Firstly, consistent implementation of the Declaration (Concluded with the EC representatives for the actions of Slovenia and Croatia in relation to the disputes arising from their laws, decisions and actions — note by B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 364) (with the use of force against whoever sabotages), which will probably not be accepted by the Presidency. Secondly, that the army withdraw from Slovenia according to all military rules. If nothing of the above is adopted, then the dissolution of the Presidency of the SFRY would happen ” (Ibid., pp. 364-365).
99. Ibid., p. 365; S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 105. They substantiated the urgent dismissal “ of all the Slovenians and Croats from the senior military positions ” with the fact that “ now they have their own states and their own armies which are in conflict with ours ” (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 365). According to this proposal, all of the army was to be withdrawn from Slovenia (dislocate the units), concentrated in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, while instigating the Serbs in these republics to riot, sending them “ Serb volunteers ” along with the Army. Slovenia was not interesting for them — “ let it go! ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 105).
100. Ibid. Milosevic, Jovic, and Kostic believed that all of this would “ retrieve the reputation of the army ”, and “ if this fails, chances to save it would be small ”.
101. Ibid.
102. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 105. This plan — “ the Serb scenario ” was first revealed by Dr. Kostic and Dr. Jovic at this session of the Presidency of the SFRY, when they stated that they do not want a war with Slovenia, but that they do not want Slovenia in Yugoslavia either, demanding that the JNA immediately leave this “ Germanophile people, befuddled with militarism and indoctrinated with anti- Yugloslavism ”. Kostic was advocating in favour of “ the withdrawal of the JNA out of Slovenia and the delimitation of new state borders, while accepting the secession of Slovenia as a fait accompli ”. According to Jovic, it would be “ smart ” for the JNA units to “ be deployed outside the territory of Slovenia... ”, because “ what has the Army got to do in Slovenia, when it is not desired there! ” (Ibid., pp. 105-106). Kostic’s proposal for dislocation of the units out of Slovenia was an integral part of the overall strategy, “ a part of the strategy for deployment of the armed forces for a definite period, in order to ensure full safety for the JNA members at new locations and to get rid of the Slovenian people, who live in a complete information isolation and blockade, to offer assurances to both them and the international public that there is no desire to use the JNA units to resolve the problem of territorial integrity, not even to retain Slovenia within the composition of Yugoslavia... ” (Ibid., p. 106). When Mesic objected against Jovic by saying — “ shall we put the Army up into Croatia ”, Dr. Kostic diplomatically answered that he did not say so, and continued by saying: “ let them come over to Montenegro, we shall be all so glad to have them ”. Kostic insisted again on voting to enforce his proposal on the withdrawal of the JNA from Slovenia (“ the JNA must withdraw from Slovenia ”) — Ibid., p. 108. Kadijevic “ acknowledged ” their proposals (i.e. of the military top and of the Serb members of the Presidency) for withdrawal from Slovenia, but “ as an extorted measure... ”. Together with Admiral Brovet and Ensign Bajramovic, he was somewhat reserved about leaving Slovenia, or, according to Mesic, “ they were at least leaving such an impression ” (Ibid., pp. 108 and 122).
103. Ibid., p. 109. 104. Ibid., p. 109-117. Milosevic’s group and the military leadership, as stated by Mesic, sought freedom of action for the JNA (Ibid.).
105. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 365. According to Jovic, Kadijevic was “ virtually seeking the First Option” for the defence of the future Yugoslavia (“Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbs outside Serbia, and possibly Macedonia as well”) and a ten-day break.
106. Ibid. In relation to this, Jovic stated that Kadijevic did not explain how the Presidency is supposed to guarantee the execution of those conclusions. According to Jovic, this was “ a purely vacuous slogan ”.
107. Ibid. The Presidency adopted Kadijevic’s modified proposal, but, according to Jovic, “ the chances were small. A waste of time! ”. The session of the Presidency of the SFRY of July 12, 1991, according to Mesic, voted in favour of enforcement of “ the somewhat modified proposal of Kadijevic’s decision ”, which was to ensure military autonomy, protected by the authority of all the members of the Presidency (having the right to govern the country). The decision, according to Mesic, comprised, among other things, the “ demobilization of all armed formations on the territory of the SFRY, except for the JNA and the regular peace time composition of he police forces ” and JNA’s filling in with recruits, “in compliance with the federal Law on obligatory service, and other regulations and enactments enacted for its execution... ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 116). In relation to this, the time frame of the demobilization was determined (“ by July 18, 1991, until Midnight ”). The non-rationed recruits of the June cycle were to “ be rationed with the July cycle by July 20, 1991. The schedule of execution of point 1 of this decision and the filling of the JNA with recruits will be coordinated by the SSNO with the release of the reserve composition from the mobilized JNA units ” (Ibid.). The text of the rest of the decision, according to Mesic, read as follows: “ 3. Immediately exercise the obligations from the joint declaration of July 7, 1991, pertaining to the establishment of the SFRY border control regime, in its application before June 25, 1991, and no later than July 16, 1991, until Midnight; the creation of conditions for normal living and working of the units and institutions and members of the JNA and their families (complete unblocking of the barracks and other military facilities, removal of all obstacles, smooth supply and free communication, movement, regular training program, and the like) by no later than July 13, 1991, until Midnight; the release of all JNA members from detention and return of confiscated resources, equipment and facilities of the JNA, as well as equipment and resources of the Federal Secretariat for Interior, and no later than by July 15, 1991, until Midnight. 4. At the following session, review the execution of its conclusions of May 9, 1991, in relation to the situation in Croatia, including the involvement of the JNA in accordance with its constitutional and legal role, as the context of the obligations of the Presidency, arising from the agreement with the EC representatives, contained in the Brioni documents of July 7, of this year. 5. Execution of points 1 through 3 shall be controlled by a Commission of the Presidency of the SFRY, which is to start working immediately. 6. The Presidency of the SFRY shall guarantee the execution of this decision ” (Ibid., p. 116).
108. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 365. Jovic concluded that “ the army itself is toddling, it is not altogether ripe within itself ”. During the break, Kadijevic was explaining to Jovic that, without disarmament of paramilitary organizations and the sending of recruits to the Army, “ he is not able to do anything, that this is important for him, etc. ”; and with implementation of those two demands, “ the withdrawal is not even necessary. But how to realize them? ”. In relation to this, Jovic stated that the General was relying on the European Community, which, according to him, would “ save Yugoslavia ”. About this, Jovic wrote: “ Let us see that happen. But what will he do with his ten days he is asking for as a time-out? Until then, the army will fall apart! ” (Ibid.).
109. V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, pp. 119-120. The implementation of this option, “ in addition to the forces the JNA had available in Slovenia and which were already partly involved in the fighting on the border and for the defence against attacks by the Slovenian army [ the JNA ] required further deployment of two infantry and one parachute units, as well as of much stronger airborne forces, in order to transport troops, for parachute attacks and fire support to the land army forces. The beginning of this operation required two to three days, and its duration six to seven days ” (Ibid., p. 120).
110. Ibid. This option, according to Kadijevic, “ carried in itself a very strong note of retaliation and terror against the civilian population ”. In relation to this, he wrote: “ As the Slovenian Army — with the formations and weapons it had available, the partisan technique of use in predominantly urban environment, where soldiers are often mixed with civilians, the lack of any serious military infrastructure — could not constitute cost-effective targets for artillery attacks, particularly by the air force, and these attacks would have to predominantly target civilian facilities, that is, facilities directly serving war purposes too, such as communications, management and information systems, factories whose products serve for wartime needs, etc. The attacks of that type would most certainly cause much more casualties among the civilian population, among which could also be families of JNA members, more than soldiers ” (Ibid., pp. 120-121).
111. Ibid., p. 121.
112. Ibid.
113. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 120-121.
114. Ibid.
115. Ibid., 121-123, and 269; V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 121; B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 366; B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 223. According to Jovic, this decision formally stated “ that the units of the JNA from Slovenia were temporarily deployed onto new positions ”, in order, according to him, to satisfy all those who had still been hoping for “ the preservation of Yugoslavia ” (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 366). In relation to this, in the first sentence of his diary for July 15 (this is probably a typo), that is, July 18, Jovic wrote: “ We have finally adopted the decision for the withdrawal of the JNA from Slovenia ” (Ibid.). This decision stated in full as follows: “ 1. The commands, units and institutions of the JNA shall cease deployment on the territory of the Republic of Slovenia until the final agreement on the future of Yugoslavia has been reached. The personal composition and all mobile assets of the 31st Corps are to be dislocated onto the territory of the Republic of Serbia, and of the 14th Corps, onto the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The dislocation is to be completed within three months from the adoption of this decision. 2. Within three months, the members of the permanent composition of the JNA of Slovenian ethnicity will decide whether they wish to stay or not. The procedure for the termination of service in the JNA shall automatically be instituted for the competent officers, except for those who provide written statements that they wish to stay in service of the JNA. Under the condition referred to in point 1, the JNA service shall also be terminated for members of other nations and nationalities who reside on the territory of the Republic of Slovenia, if they request so in writing. 3. The execution of this decision may not be conditioned with the resolution of any legal property relations between the Republic of Slovenia and the bodies of the Federation, or other republics. These issues shall be resolved on the basis and in compliance with the definite agreement on the future of Yugoslavia. 4. The competent bodies of the Republic of Slovenia shall ensure that all the armed compositions of the republic and the armed civilians withdraw from JNA facilities, and that they in no way obstruct the measures and actions of the units and institutions of the JNA. They will also prevent any gatherings of citizens or other manifestations near to military facilities and commands, units and institutions of the JNA in movement. 5. Until the JNA is transferred out of the territory of the Republic of Slovenia, the members, commands, units and institutions of the JNA shall be ensured normal conditions for living and execution of regular tasks, and all the persons in JNA service and members of their families given free movement on the territory of the Republic of Slovenia. 6. The families of active military members and civilians serving in the JNA who wish to reside in other republics shall be ensured free dislocation, at the cost of the JNA, They are guaranteed the protection of rights to the mobile assets they possess, and other rights that can not be exercised until the date of dislocation. 7. The Headquarters of the Supreme Command shall ensure safe, regular and efficient movements of the units and all other actions contained in this decision...” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 123-124). Such a decision was voted for by six members of the Presidency of the SFRY, one was against, and one sustained from voting. This proposal, in addition to the “ group of four from Serbia and Montenegro ” (Jovic, Branko and Jugoslav Kostic, and Bajramovic), was also supported by Drnovsek, and Tupurkovski, Bogicevic was reserved. Mesic was “ strongly against it ”. He was the only one in favour of the position “ that the army cannot withdraw from Slovenia, if it is not also to withdraw from Croatia, too ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 121-123). In relation to this, Jovic wrote that the four members from Serbia and Montenegro, “ plus Drnovsek ”, prevailed. Tupurkovski “ reluctantly joined them thanks to the ‘statement’ of the Presidency that this is in the function of peace. Bogicevic was reserved, and Mesic was strongly against. He insisted on the ‘preservation’ of Yugoslavia (?!), and in fact, he was afraid that all the forces from Slovenia would be dislocated into Croatia and used by us for fighting the HDZ ” (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 366). Thus, the five votes “in favour” decided that “ we leave the north-western borders of Yugoslavia open, that is, to leave Slovenia without the thing that once used to be called ‘national army’ there ”. Speaking about this, Mesic claimed that this “ was one of the rare decisions which would get implemented ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 121-123). At this session, Dr. Kostic and Jovic repeated: “ the Army out of Slovenia! ”. Kadijevic and Brovet were acting as though this had originally been their proposal (Ibid.). In addition to this decision that was unconstitutional according to Mesic, on July 18, 1991, the Presidency of the SFRY also adopted a public communiqué and decided to meet with the presidents of the republics on July 22, in Ohrid (Ibid., p. 124).
116. V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 121. One cannot accept the assessment by Admiral Mamula that the leadership of the JNA had “quite unexpectedly” opted for the withdrawal from Slovenia. Probably for him, this decision was unexpected, because he in person learned about it from the radio, and he was at it, because two nights before (that is, on July 16), he was present at General Staff when, in accordance with the prepared counterattack in Slovenia, “ the order was issued to the commanders of joint compositions of the JNA to start the operation to establish the control of state borders of the SFRY in Slovenia. The operation was to begin exactly on morning following the day when the decision for withdrawal was publicized ” (B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 179). This counterattack, according to Mamula, had been abandoned, “ without any international legal, political or military reasons ”. Thus, the military leadership missed “ the last opportunity to take over the destiny of the country into its own hands ”, claimed Mamula (B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, pp. 179, and 224).
117. B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 215. “ In the armed conflicts in Slovenia ”, according to General Kadijevic, “ in two days, the JNA completed the assigned task related to the border, and it did not accept the imposed war with Slovenia, but it withdrew ” (V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, pp. 162-163). Milosevic withdrew the JNA out of Slovenia onto the so-called Serb borders in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (B. Mamula, UZROCI I POSLJEDICE RATOVA ... , pp. 213-214; I. Radakovic, the aforementioned work, p. 70). The withdrawal of the JNA from Slovenia, as well as the abandoning of the operation and the decision for leaving Slovenia was, according to Mamula, “ a tragic mistake ”. Further, he states that the JNA “ gave in under pressures and missed one more, maybe the last chance, to place the course of the chaotic developments under its control. Nobody can claim with 100% assurance, that in July 1991 the Army would have succeeded. But, this was the last chance when the JNA could still prevent the dissolution of the country and save the nations from the tragic interethnic war and all the direct and long-term consequences for them, for the region and for Europe. It would have been honourable and reasonable that the JNA had even tried, nothing more could be lost than what had already been lost. The mood of the majority of the officers in the Army was in favour of a decisive approach. For them, along with all the state and political reasons, there were their own, direct, intimate reasons — defence of dignity and deepest patriotic feelings, their oath, and the responsibility for the break-up of the country ” (B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, pp. 179, and 228).
118. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 127, 135, and 148-149; V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, pp. 162-163; I. Radakovic, the aforementioned work, p. 70. Politically, “ the ten-day war ” in Slovenia, according to General Radakovic, “ was the continuation of the hard insistence on the expulsion Slovenia from Yugoslavia, counting on that the Slovenians would use it for the ‘secession’. The army top or a part of it were sacrificing a part of the JNA units and a part of the units deployed from Croatia for this goal, in order to discredit the SIV, to overthrow Kucan and the new government, or to create more favourable conditions for continuation of the war in Croatia and Bosnia ” (I. Radakovic, the aforementioned work, p. 70). Without knowledge of, or approval by the leader of the Greater Serbia movement, the JNA concluded an agreement with Slovenia, “ that the heavy artillery stays over there, and that the soldiers return with light weapons only ”. In accordance with this, the JNA only took some 70 tanks out from Slovenia, “ whereas some 200 remained over there ”. In addition, Slovenia also “ retained two thirds of the total equipment and weapons ” (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 403-404).

Tags: Serbian agression, Plan "RAM", Realization of the RAM Plan , Operation RAM, RAM Plan

If you like our work and would like to support it, please consider donating. Thank you!