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The war against Slovenia, waged simultaneously with the loud, open Serb insurrections at Banija and Kordun, in Lika and Eastern Slavonia, and with the occupation of Baranja, forced the world to directly interfere in Yugoslav relations. The first stage of internationalisation involves the European Community. On July 1, under the pressure of the European Community, the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement “accepted” that Mesic should take the office of the President, whereby the Presidency of the SFRY was constituted, while Serbia and Montenegro did all to prevent it in the capacity of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the SFRY. The army did not respect its Supreme Command. The Secretary for Defence could not care less about the Government, in which he was an untouchable member, and a fully autonomous one. A number of times, General Kadijevic let Mesic know that he is not listening the Presidency. He refused to submit the report to the Presidency, because he did not want to talk with the alleged “ secessionists”. He was adamant in giving the blow to Slovenia and Croatia “ from which they would never recover ”. [119]

After these negotiations, the Brioni joint statement followed on July 7, 1991, and then on July 22, the Ohrid Statement, [120] with several more meetings with the presidents of the republics, as well as several brief visits by ministerial groups of three, etc. [121] After the decision for withdrawal of the JNA from Slovenia, the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement started an open aggression against Croatia. In late August, the European Community, interested in a unified Yugoslavia, established that Serbia was the aggressor , thanks to the armed force — the JNA, which had accepted the Greater Serbia aggression policy. Then it was proposed that the “ futile negotiations ” be transferred from Belgrade to The Hague, to the International Peace Conference on Yugoslavia, under the chairmanship of Lord Carrington (David Carrington). [122]

The military leadership was relying on the “group of four” in the Presidency and was constantly referring to the Constitution, while all the war actions of the JNA were contrary to the Constitution. Milosevic’s group in the Presidency of the SFRY, while Mesic was prevented from performing the office of president, had taken a decision, in his absence and in the absence of Drnovsek, by which the JNA was granted the right to move the troops towards the places where “ conflicts ” arise. [123] When he took over the office of President, Mesic demanded on several occasions that the JNA be brought back into “ the constitutional order ”, be returned to the barracks, [124] yet his demands were in vain.

After the defeat in Slovenia, the JNA “ finally ” focused in the direction of the transformation into a Serb army, with the formation of Greater Serbia as goal. [125] On July 30, on the eve of the session of the Presidency with the presidents of the republics about the future of Yugoslavia, in Jovic’s office, General Kadijevic informed Milosevic and Jovic, “ clearly and definitely, about his position and final orientation: the JNA is transforming into the army of those who wish to remain in Yugoslavia, and at least it is: Serbia, the Serbian nation, plus Montenegro. Based on these principles, it is withdrawing on the territories and changes the leaderships ”. [126]

Milosevic warned Kadijevic “ that what he is speaking he is working on slowly. He needs to work on that more quickly ”, which the general resented, “ he is making excuses, he is feeling awkward, and he knows he is to blame ”. [127] The leadership of the Greater Serbia movement was not satisfied at Kadijevic’s actions. Therefore, in early August, Milosevic tried to dismiss Kadijevic (even through admiral Mamula, who was backing him up), because he was “ incapable of leading the Army in the newly emerged crisis ”. [128]

“ As with the development of events, the Yugoslav state was disappearing more and more ”, the military leadership advocated for “ a quick creation of the new Yugoslavia ”. The main motivation for such an approach of theirs “ was not only in the need for the JNA to have its own state, but primarily in the conviction that there are peoples in Yugoslavia who really wish to live in a joint state ”. Starting from such a “ conviction ”, the military leadership stood in favour for the formation of such a state (“ the new Yugoslavia ”), whereby thus it openly revealed its goals. [129]

Milosevic and Jovic were against involvement of the JNA for defence of the state border of the SFRY in the northeast part of the country — in Slovenia and Croatia. They had marked the future borders of Yugoslavia on the western ethnic border of the Serbs in Croatia (the RAM War Plan). Therefore, they sought the JNA “ to withdraw onto those borders, by blackmailing them: unless this is done, Serbia shall form its own armed forces and organize its own defence and leave the JNA to its own destiny. ” [130]

The issue of withdrawal of the JNA from Croatia was on the agenda. [131] In such a situation, the (reduced) tasks of the JNA (according to Kadijevic — “the armed forces”) consisted, among other things, of: “ 1) the defence of the Serb people in Croatia, and of its national interests; 2) the withdrawal of the JNA garrisons from Croatia; 3) full control over Bosnia and Herzegovina (by increasing the density of presence there; note by the author), with the ultimate goal to defend the Serb nation and its ethnic rights... ”; ”4) the creation and defence of the new Yugoslav state of those Yugoslav nations which so wish, this currently being the Serb and Montenegrin nations . [132]

In accordance with these tasks, the JNA “ switched along ” with the Serbs on the ethnic Serb borders in Croatia and waged war against Croatia and the Croats. [133] In this war for ethnically cleansed territories, the JNA almost came to the line of Gospic, Otocac, Karlovac, Sisak, Nova Gradiska, Zadar, Sibenik, Sinj, and there it stopped. It did not accomplish the political goals (postpone the “ international recognition of the fait accompli ”) or military goals (the liberation of the blocked garrisons on the whole territory of Croatia), that is, “ the strategy of the involvement of the JNA in Croatia in the summer and autumn of 1991 ”, which ,after the decision for abandoning Slovenia, was designed and proposed by admiral Mamula. [134] The JNA had sufficient forces available to accomplish the goal before October 1991, when the discussion in The Hague started on the issue of sovereignty and independence of the republics, and their mutual recognition. [135]

The leader of the Greater Serbia movement and the actual commander of the Armed Forces of the SFRY, Slobodan Milosevic, in accordance with the formation of an “independent” Serbian state in Krajina, which was the essence of the Greater Serbia strategy in Croatia, decided that the JNA should remain within ethnic Serb boundaries, in order to defend them “ together with the Krajina paramilitary ”. General Kadijevic formally issued such an order to General Panic, the operational commander of the formations located on the eastern borders of Croatia. [136]

On August the 3 rd , 1991, the Presidency of SFRY passed a decision to cease-fire “ in the Krajinas between Serbs and Croats, with the consent of Croatia ”. [137]

Four days later (on August 7), the “SAO Krajina”, the “SAO Slavonia”, and the Republic of Croatia had “ agreed on a ceasefire ”. [138]

On August 8, at a meeting, in addition to him also attended by Slobodan Milosevic, Borisav Jovic, Branko Kostic and general Blagoje Adzic, where they agreed about the “ further political orientation in relation to the decision for ceasefire in Croatia ”, General Kadijevic informed the participants on the territorial regrouping of the JNA. In relation to this, he stated that the army is dislocating from Slovenia into Bosnia and Serbia . [139]

Milosevic insisted on “ the increase of the combat preparedness of the army, because, according to his assessment, the fight is still to come ”. In addition to that, he asked, almost insisting on “ when and whether the army will for once begin the definite fight ”, because, according to him, the Croats were arming themselves more and more every day. [140]

Speaking about the situation within the army, General Adzic said “ it was not specially good. Selections are being made, but fairly slowly ”. [141] This meeting resulted in an agreement “ that the army should not decrease its combat preparedness, regardless of the truce ”. [142]

At the time, Jovic assessed the significance of intensive expulsion of Slovenians and Croats from the army, the withdrawal of the army onto the territories it will ultimately defend, and them clean up from the HDZ army. According to him, this was the only solution, because everything else is “ wandering and waste of time. Step by step, but slowly ”, this was getting realized, according to Jovic. [143]

At a meeting at Kadijevic’s, on August 14 which was, in addition to himself, also attended by General Adzic, Milosevic, Jovic, Momir Bulatovic, and Dr. Branko Kostic ( the meeting of the “Group of six”), the General communicated “ the assessment of the army ” (“... the Croats have opted for increasing tensions with the JNA ”, disagreement with the Serbs in Krajina and Slavonia, paying much more attention to Bosnia, and the like) [144] , and he proposed the formation of a regular coordination system in the aforementioned composition. He substantiated this with the fact that “ the others are working much more systematically than we are ”. He admitted that this approach is dangerous for the army, but he pointed out that it is in fact necessary. Therefore he stated it would be good “ to form an expert headquarters of some 5-6 people (Serbia, Montenegro, and the JNA), which would have the task of making assessments and proposing decisions ”. [145]

His proposal on the systematic coordination among the “ Group of Six ” was accepted, which, in particular from August 14 onwards, took actual decisions. However, the idea for the formation of the “ expert headquarters ” was not supported, with the explanation that “ it is the army which should be doing analyses ”. [146]

Under the influence of the international community, in early August 1991, Serbia accepted the decisions for ceasefire and establishment of a truce, however, it regularly did not abide by them, just as it happened with the decision of August 6. The JNA undertook joint military actions, committing numerous crimes. [147] On August 8, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia informed the world that Croatia “ is exposed to aggression of the Yugoslav Army ”. Mesic was stating in vain that it is only possible by internationalisation and bringing in of peace forces to prevent “ the transformation of a crisis into a war clash ”. Therefore, just like the leadership of the Republic of Croatia, he persistently insisted on the expansion of the mandate for the observer mission and further involvement of the ministerial group of three in Yugoslavia. Serbia did not respect the truce, and Milosevic was tricking the world, in an effort to conquer as much as possible of the Croatian territory, in order to realize the Greater Serbia dream. The JNA used the truce to raise “ the combat preparedness ” and strengthening of the army, that is, emergency measures, and sought from the Presidency to order “ constitutional recruitment ”, that is, “ enforcement of the law ”, complaining that in July 1991, only 51.6% of the recruits were sent to the Army. [148]

The truce in Croatia was violated both in the late second and early third week of August, particularly in Banija. The JNA was using artillery to bomb Osijek, Vinkovci, Vukovar, and other places. On August 16, troops and artillery of the Banja Luka Corps of the JNA, commanded by general Uzelac, were thrown into West Slavonia. [149]

The aggressor’s attacks against Croatia were intensified on August 16 and 17. At the sessions of the Parliament, Mesic was pointing out those crimes and persistently demanding that they be stopped. On August 16, at the session of the Presidency, Dr. Kostic “ soothed ” him by telling him that his Commission will investigate into that. However, the JNA continued attacking with unremitting force. Independently of the diversion of the Fifth Corps of the JNA into West Slavonia, the Serbian Democratic Party (in mid-August) sent a thousand of Serbs to fight against the Republic of Croatia. [150]

The failed state coup by Marshall Yazov and Kryuchkov (Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchkov, Chairman of the KGB) in Moscow on August 19, 1991, destroyed the last hope for Milosevic and the military leadership that they would receive external support for their own counterrevolution in Yugoslavia. Thus, the somewhat premature joy of the Socialist Party of Serbia [151] died down immediately, and Milosevic had to give up the sheer hope of ruling all of Yugoslavia, with the help of the “ reborn ” USSR. Milosevic tried to overthrow the federal government [152] and activated the reserve plan: the “ antifascist ” propaganda and rhetoric of the JNA and the regime started converting into the Greater Serbia rhetoric (“Ustashas” began meaning “Croats” ever more often, and less and less “the HDZ regime”). The JNA units, deployed in July 1991 on the border of Vojvodina and Croatia, went into an conquest for territories, rather than an attack to overthrow the HDZ government in Croatia. The ethnical one was replacing the political platform of the war. The JNA is swiftly becoming the Serb army. [153]

The territorial aspirations of Serbia towards Croatia and some other republics become more expressive in late August 1991. The aggression against Croatia was still escalating. The decision for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in the Republic of Croatia was constantly violated. Even Kostic’s “State Commission” could not cover up the increasing casualties and vast material damage. [154]

On August 27, the observer mission of the European Community found that the JNA was acting jointly with Serb insurgents against Croatia (i.e. that it had sided with the aggressor option of Serbia). In the “ Declaration about Yugoslavia ”, the European Community communicated its commitment that “ it shall never recognize the change of borders ” and “ that it shall not accept the fait accompli policy ”, and presented its intention to convene a peace conference and establish an arbitration procedure. This document contains three principles: the determination of the aggressor (i.e. Serbia, JNA), international supervision, and, a conference on Yugoslavia . In this way, “ the door was widely opened for internationalisation of the Yugoslav crisis complex ”, that is, particularly the aggression against Croatia was internationalised, an effect Serbia had opposed, particularly the presence of observers of the European Community in Croatia. [155]

The persuasion took five days. Only in the continuation of the session with the representatives of the European Community and the presidents of the republics, on September 1, did the Presidency of the SFRY accept the documents of the European Community titled Declaration on Yugoslavia, Memorandum of Understanding for the Expansion of the Monitoring Mission in Yugoslavia, and Ceasefire Agreement. [156]

Milosevic’s group in the Presidency of the SFRY voted “in favour”, “ but with the statements that this is an ultimatum intended at the international isolation of Serbia and Montenegro ”, which, according to Jovic, “ will not bring anything good either to Yugoslavia or to those who have opted for such political violence ”. [157]

At the meeting of the Informal Group of Six , on September 5, after the Agreement for Ceasefire had been signed on September 1, with the Memorandum on European Observers, Kadijevic gave “ the assessment of the situation ”, [158] presenting a number of “ thoughts and positions in the army ”, [159] and in particular the cases in which the army must be ready for war, [160] and gave a number of proposals. According to Kadijevic, the war had to be offensive in nature, and of high intensity, “because otherwise they would be going into a defeat ”. The imposition of the offensive war, according to him, required mobilization in Serbia and Montenegro, then of Serbs in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and “some Macedonians and Muslims”. [161]

Starting from the position that such decisions require “ coordination between policy and propaganda, particularly in relation to the people who are going to war” , at this joint meeting, Kadijevic was demanding that such a decision be made. [162]

“The Group of six ” received the information about Kadijevic’s assessment and proposals, and they agreed that they would meet soon again and continue “ further review of the situation and directing of the course of developments” . [163]

In early September 1991, in spite of the Agreement for Ceasefire, the aggression against the Republic of Croatia was continued and intensified (the Agreement “ did not ensure peace. The war escalated ”). [164] On September 3, the Presidency held a futile session in Belgrade. The European Community in The Hague adopted one more declaration on Yugoslavia and brought the decision that on September 7, they convene a Conference on Yugoslavia, to be chaired by Lord Carrington. General Kadijevic states that “ the regime in Croatia is a fascist one ”, this republic is strewn with “ neo-Nazism, the main threat to the Serbian people ”. “ He trusted ” that “ there is no army in the world, at any moment in history, which had found itself in a more unenviable position than ours, we remained stateless!... ”. The peace conference on Yugoslavia started working on September 7, in The Hague, and was held in prolongations, under the chairmanship of Lord David Carrington. [165]

In late first and early second week of September, the aggression against the Republic of Croatia was intensified. [166] Europe, not only Croatia, was shocked, and the US was “ deeply disappointed at the degeneration of the political awareness in Yugoslavia and the revival of the primordial passions in the nationalist political circles of Serbia, but also of Croatia and Slovenia ”, and even The Hague Conference “ does not give them any hope of success ”. [167]

Unable to contact Kadijevic in direct discussion and at the session of the Presidency, on September 11, Mesic sent a letter from Zagreb to the General, which, among other things, pointed out to “ the extra- institutional action of the JNA ”. [168] According to Mesic, such action of the JNA was the main responsibility of the SSNO and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the SFRY, that is, General Kadijevic and Adzic, who “had slipped out of control” of the Supreme Command, and acted based on the political instructions of the leadership of Serbia. Given that the military leadership was persistently obstructing the execution of the orders of the Supreme Command, on the same day, Mesic issued the Order for the Withdrawal of the Army into the Barracks within 48 hours. [169]

The military leadership refused to execute the order of the President of Presidency of the SFRY, ordering the withdrawal of the JNA into barracks. The next day, General Kadijevic replied to Mesic (through fax, with the “urgent delivery” sign, and true, it was addressed to the Presidency). In the letter, broken down in several points, among other tings, the General claimed that “ the JNA does not bear the responsibility for human casualties and for the destruction.... Members and units of the JNA had been opening fire only for the sake of their own protection... ”, and that the army “ shall not withdraw into the barracks ”. [170] Thus the JNA acted extra-institutionally and virtually committed a military coup. [171]

On September 12 th , the meeting of “ the Group of six ” was held (“ a continuation of the meeting in the same composition ” like the one on September 5). Starting from the statements made at the previous meeting, “ the Group of six ” decided that the Peace Conference is for them “ a desirable and correct way, and that the war is imminent if the conditions [ for it ] are in place”, i.e. those that they discussed the previous time. It was assessed that the Croats “ will more probably force the war onwards, rather than the Conference achieving success ”. [172]

On the same day, General Kadijevic and Admiral Brovet talked to Sir Fitzroy McLean — (Envoy of Great Britain to the Supreme Headquarters of the NOV and POJ in WWII), who was sent to Yugoslavia by Lord Carrington, Chairman of the European Conference on Yugoslavia, and to the Ambassador of the Great Britain. Speaking about a potential solution to the Yugoslav issue, Kadijevic declaratively stated that it is best to have an integral Yugoslavia, and he did not fail to note that, if allegedly this were not possible, than “ a narrowed Yugoslavia ” would be an option: “ Serbia and Montenegro, and whoever else wants it ”. [173] At this, he intentionally “ forgot ” to clarify what he meant and which nation he was referring to under the formulation “ and whoever else wants it ”.

Stating the fact that “ a quick decision must be made about the future of Yugoslavia ”, in addition to the message that “ it will not be so easy to reach the ceasefire in Yugoslavia... ”, the military leadership also indicated upon the existence of risk from “ expansion of the conflict to BiH ”, after which it would allegedly “ be much harder to come out of the chaos ”. [174] This was a public announcement of their planned aggression on Bosnia, which followed soon after.

On September 12, upon the invitation of Francois Mitterrand, Milosevic visited Paris, [175] where the French president persuaded him to accept the creation of the European Arbitration, whereas Ante Markovic tried to perform a reconstruction in the Government. [176]

For the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement (“ both for the political leadership of Serbia and for the JNA ”), the “ status, tenacity of the Army and the ultimate political solution of the issue of Serbs in Croatia were the key issues ”. [177] Following an assessment of the military leadership, their realization required a sufficient amount of manpower at their disposal. However, General Kadijevic then claimed that with their available manpower, they are not ready for the war with Croatia. Therefore, according to him, mobilization was necessary, because, if the war “ begins, it will very probably develop into a general conflict ”. He insisted on two parallel processes — negotiations for peace and preparation for war. At the same time, his assessment was that “ for both of these, mobilization is the key point ”, which, according to him, “ began with some 5,000 people ”, at which the response was crushing — 25%. [178]

According to the RAM plan, the mobilization of new units was to be used to “ cut up ” Croatia and force it to capitulate:

“1. Cut up Slavonia along the line of Okucani — Pakrac — Daruvar.

Push out onto the line of Vinkovci — Osijek and go along the Drava valley to merge with the army coming from Daruvar.

Push through along the line of Petrovac — Karlovac and merge with the units from this region, joined by the units coming from Slovenia. Cut away Zagreb from the South.

Push through to the Adriatic, along the line of Zadar — Sibenik — Split.

Cut up Herzegovina and Croatia along the line of Mostar — Ploce”. [179]

In mid-September 1991, the commands, units and institutions of the JNA in Croatia, had found themselves in an exceptionally hard situation, only due to failed mobilization. All the smaller and a number of larger garrisons and warehouses were taken by Croatian forces; in Gospic, the barracks were surrendered, and the Territorial Defence left the area it was holding; Korenica too was threatened; the garrison in Virovitica (with 200 people) also fell; the garrison of Djakovo surrendered without fight; some 60 smaller facilities with some 10-20 people were also taken; the forces in Varazdin and Bjelovar were almost exhausted, and Zagreb, Jastrebarsko, and some other places were surrounded; from Rijeka down to Split, all the garrisons were threatened; the whole of Dalmatia was cut off (militarily); the Ploce garrison was taken; Vinkovci and Nasice were besieged; the garrison of Vukovar was unblocked, “but the city was not taken”; the garrison in Slavonski Brod was taken. The JNA was holding the region of Okucani, and the Ninth Corps accomplished “some good results”. As a whole, the situation for the JNA was favourable for offensive actions through Okucani and Pakrac, where Slavonia was to be cut in half, but “ there was no moral among the army ”. In eastern Slavonia, the brigades from Vojvodina had scattered themselves around. In mid- and second half of September (more exactly, on September 20), the most critical situation was in Gracac and Knin, via which the Croats could penetrate towards Knin. Therefore the front line was to be strengthened with manpower, which was lacking at the time because the mobilization had not succeeded. [180]

In the discussion with the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement, Jovic repeated the “ question which according to him was the key one , for a million times ”, the question that occupied him all of the time: “ is it in their goal to use the army ‘to defend the new borders of the people who wish to stay in Yugoslavia ’, or to overthrow the Croatian government?” In addition, he also wandered “why we need the general conflict along the depth of the Croatian territory? ” [181]

In response to this and similar questions, Jovic claims “ that there was not much sense to it ”, because the army was “ still intoxicated with Yugoslavia, although we had talked many times and said this was not realistic anymore ”. He believed that “ we have quite enough manpower if we withdraw all the forces from Slovenia and Croatia onto the future borders ” [182] — borders of Greater Serbia. At this, he was afraid “ that due to this there will be more misunderstandings and difficulties to come ”. “ Spreading the army across Croatia ” represented for him “ a nonsense, and it was even less reasonable for us to overthrow the government ”, because they had elected it themselves, so - let them have it ”. [183]

On September 17, 1991, in Igalo, Carrington forced Milosevic and Kadijevic on the one hand, and Tudjman, on the other hand, to sign an agreement on full ceasefire. The next day, Markovic demanded the dismissal of Veljko Kadijevic and Stane Brovet, because Kadijevic had secretly gone to Moscow for a meeting with defence minister Yazov, and had ordered a large number of helicopters, aircraft and rocket systems. On the same day, at the session of the SIV, Markovic informed about the conversation between Milosevic and Karadzic, in which he ordered the leader of the SDS of Bosnia and Herzegovina (by phone) to contact general Uzelac in Banja Luka, for the purpose of implementation of the war plan coded “RAM”. [184]

The Greater Serbia movement insisted on the implementation of the planned high intensity “RAM” operations, with the purpose of defeating Croatia and pushing through onto the borders of the projected Greater Serbia. The contribution of the Navy and of the majority of the Air Force consisted in blocking Croatia from the air and from the sea, and the use of new motorized, armoured, and mechanized brigades of land army in a number of directions was to cut up Tudjman’s “pretzel” and force him into capitulation.

On September 17, 1991, the Navy of the Armed Forces of the SFRY begun with a naval blockade of the Adriatic ports, and offered fire support to the action of the Marine and Land Army sector forces, focused in the areas of the cities of Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Sibenik, and Ploce. [185]

In addition to the Navy, there were also two other operational groups of the JNA active in the South of Croatia. On the section between Mostar and Split, the 37th (Uzice) Corps from Serbia was active, which, in cooperation with the 2nd (Podgorica) Corps , as of the second half of September 1991, occupied all of eastern and central Herzegovina, which constituted the beginning of the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

However, due to the poor response of the reservists, the assignment of the 37th Corps was reduced to securing the airport in Mostar, and intimidating the non-Serb population. To the East of the 37 th Corps, the forces of the 2 nd (Podgorica) Corps and the 9 th Marine Sector of Boka were active. The Operational Group for South Herzegovina and Dalmatia, that is, the 2 nd Operational Group, coordinated their actions towards Dubrovnik. [186]

On September 20, “ the Group of six ” continued the discussion in the same composition. General Adzic informed about the “ occupation all the smaller and some larger garrisons and warehouses on the territory of Croatia ”, that is, on the defeats of the JNA in Croatia, primarily due to the failure of the mobilization, due to which a “ reduced plan ” needed to be made. [187]

Jovic explained the “ nice ” information on how, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, “ resistance had occurred by Muslims against the army which had started from Serbia towards Krajina and Okucani as well as from Montenegro towards Mostar, ” as a result “ of the hesitation on the part of the army to withdraw onto the future borders ”. Having this in mind, he assessed that “ it will be much harder for us to now conduct further action, due to the such stupid defeats ”, which, according to him, were “ absolutely unnecessary ”. [188]

At the meeting of “ the Group of six ” in rump composition (Kadijevic had not brought Adzic, and Kostic had not brought Bulatovic), on September 24, afraid at the prospects of defeat, and behaving “ in a very confused way, almost as though he had lost it ”, Kadijevic was speaking about the defeat of the army, about desertion, lack of motivation, risk of treason “ by the still high number of Croats in the army, about the large mistrust by the Serbs even against the loyal non-Serb officers, about the human and family dramas ”. In order to “ avoid the worst ”, he stated that “ he would immediately have to dismiss 2,000 officers ”, which was “ very difficult ”. Milosevic replied to him that he should dismiss them, that he “ should have done it even earlier ”, which was responded by the General, hardly bearing to hear this, as to that “ it was easier said than done ”. [189]

Kadijevic then concluded that the army “ shall lose the war against Croatia unless motivation and success of mobilization are ensured ”. However, according to him, this could not be accomplished “ with the semi-legality of Yugoslavia ”. Therefore, he insisted that Serbia and Montenegro need to pronounce that the army is theirs, and to take over the command, funding, war and everything else. He stated that all the generals in the General Staff who are Serbs, except for one, “ desire this and are thinking like this ”. [190]

The discussion between Milosevic, Jovic and Kadijevic took long. They did not agree with the general’s assessment that the army is about to face a defeat, nor that the mobilization has been such a failure, because Kadijevic had received manpower of 50,000. Milosevic and Jovic could not accept the demand that the army be deprived of the Yugoslav name and heritage of the joint state, because thus Serbia and Montenegro “ would fully lose all the advantages, both political and military, in the existing conflict and disputing ”. At this, they asked a question “ what they [i.e. the military leadership; note by the author] mean by saying that the Serbo-Montenegrin army wages war with Croatia and should defeat it?! ” [191]

In the end they split, “ with a repeated request to honour the agreement that the army leaves the territories where there are no Serbs and to defend the ones where the citizens declare that they wish to remain in Yugoslavia ”. However, Kadijevic stuck to his position, “ not disputing that he will continue the fight ”. [192]

Four days later (on September 28, Sunday), “ the Group of six ” reconvened in full composition, upon the request of Kadijevic. [193] The General presented “ the assessment of the situation ”. He spoke about the situation on the frontline, where “ all the Serb areas in Croatia have been liberated ”. [194] He reported on the situation in the army [195] and assessed that the negotiations about a peaceful solution of the crisis “were without prospects for success, if the military option fails ”. [196] At this, Kadijevic, in evaluating the involvement of the JNA on Yugoslav territory thus far, concluded that its combat involvement “ is practically reduced to the protection of the Serb people and those who wish to remain with it in a joint state ”. [197]

At this meeting, Kadijevic brought up the issue of the state again. He insisted again on the offer he had also presented at the previous meeting, that the JNA be transferred to Serbia and Montenegro. Because, according to him, Serbia and Montenegro “ have no army of their own ”, he proposed finding a formula “ that the JNA be transferred into the hands of those people who wish to stay in Yugoslavia ”. [198]

The assessment was made that, from the international viewpoint, this is bad. However, “ from the viewpoint of the will of the Serb nation to get involved in their own army ”, in Kadijevic’s opinion, this may even be better. [199]

The leadership of the Greater Serbia movement was not allowed to “ walk out on ” Yugoslavia due to political reasons, or the reasons of “operational disguise” for conducting operations in this unusual war, because “ for the future disentanglement of the Yugoslav crisis, this would lead Serbia and Montenegro into unfavourable circumstances, and would lead this Serbo-Montenegrin army into the position of the ‘aggressor’ on Serbian territories outside Serbia” . [200]

In order to strengthen the JNA, Kadijevic presented a number of proposals, [201] and asked Milosevic “ why he had never publicly acted in behalf of the army and mobilization ”, he spoke about “ numerous psychological traumas and problems of the officers and generals coming from mixed families and marriages ”, and he also expressed his personal readiness to ” make moves aiming at the general goal ” [202] , and provided the assessment of the situation on the front line. [203]

In reviewing the staffing changes in the JNA, which were requested by Jovic and Milosevic, as they had agreed upon, a very rough discussion was lead, particularly as to the issue of the defeat in Slovenia. [204] General Adzic was speaking about the situation on the frontline, also indicating crimes, [205] and providing a conclusion with a number of proposals, which were aimed at establishing and controlling the taken positions in Croatia. [206]

In late September and early October 1991, the Greater Serbia leadership started with the plan of attack against Croatia, with an aim, in compliance with the main ideas from the basic concept on which the plans for deployment of the JNA on overall Yugoslav territory were created, to defeat “the Croatian army fully, if the situation allows so, ... ”and to realize “ full cooperation with the Serb insurgents in Serb Krajina”; to allow “the completion of the withdrawal of the remaining parts of the JNA out of Slovenia”, in particular taking into account “ that the role of the Serb people in Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be the key one for the future of the Serb nation as a whole”. [207] Therefore, the Greater Serbia movement had particularly focused on the activation of the (Serb) fifth column (“for concrete cooperation with the representatives of the Serb nation”) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for cooperation “with the Serb nation as a whole”. [208] This way they secured that, during the aggression against the Republic of Croatia, they can do “ manoeuvring and movements of the JNA forces across Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was of vital importance to the JNA ”. [209]

After the defeat in Slovenia and in the initial period of the armed aggression against the Republic of Croatia, the Greater Serbia movement was narrowing its goals — down to the protection of the Serb people and the establishment of the borders of the future Yugoslavia. Thus, the goal of the JNA “ in the first stage of the armed conflict ” in Croatia was allegedly “ to protect the Serb people in Croatia against the attacks of the Croatian armed formations, and allow it to consolidate its military self-organization for defence ”, and “ at the same time prepare the JNA for war against Croatia once Croatia begins it against the JNA ”. [210] This task of “defence” of the Serb people in Croatia was initially conducted by the JNA under the form of “ prevention of interethnic conflicts ”, [211] which was of extreme importance for the Greater Serbia movement.

The JNA could no longer conduct the “ defence ” of the Serb people in Croatia in this way, having in mind the JNA’s goal, general concept and plan of deployment. However, before it started open combat activity against the Republic of Croatia, the JNA “ had to first wait for an open attack, so that it can be visible for anyone, and it is unambiguously clear as to who is the attacker, who is the defender, who is imposing the war, and only then could they return the attack” . [212] In their assessment, this was “ very important, not only politically, but also in terms of military strategy ”. [213]

The task of use of the JNA in the next phase of the war in Croatia, starting from the “ changed general political goal: the creation of the new Yugoslavia consisting of the people who wish so ”, and allegedly “peaceful and just parting with those peoples who do not wish to remain in Yugoslavia... was [now] to protect the Serb people in Croatia in a way that all the areas with a Serb majority will be liberated in all terms from the presence of the Croatian army and Croatian government; to withdraw the JNA from Croatia, but so that completion of the first task is ensured prior to that; on the whole Yugoslav territory perform further transformation of the JNA into the army of future Yugoslavia, both by the internal ethnic and organizational structure, and by the territorial location ”. [214]

The operational and strategic operation (the modified “RAM”) against Croatia, which envisaged that the Croatian army be defeated, was executed by the JNA, but “ in a rather modified manner in relation to the initial plan ”. The reason (“ only and exclusive ”) for the modification of the initial plan of this operation lies in “ the semi-successful mobilization and organized desertion of the reserve c omposition of the JNA ”. In addition to the poor response, thus reduced units “ could not be moved ahead towards the directions and places of use, that is, some that had even been moved, upon their arrival to the front line, abandoned it ”. [215] Due to the shortage of the planned forces “ it was not possible to perform the operation in one move and thus quickly defeat the majority of the Croatian army, which was otherwise also considerably more numerous than the employed JNA units, but this had to be performed gradually and over an extended period ”. [216]

On October 1, having convened the session illegally, at the Palace of the Federation, Dr. Kostic gathered a large number of the members of the Presidency (Tupurkovski and Bogicevic attended too), in order to legalize the counter-constitutional action of the military leadership , that is, to legalize the military putsch . [217] This illegally convened session was preceded by public declaration of the SSNO that the JNA is in war against Croatia. Namely, in the night of September 30/October 1, 1991, the illegal Headquarters of Supreme Command of the OS SFRY, fearing that Croatia would block the barracks and thus reach the heavier weapons and modern equipment, sent an ultimatum to the Croatian political and military leadership (“ the last warning ”) that “ for every attacked and conquered facility of the Yugoslav National Army, there will immediately be one facility destroyed which is of vital importance to the Republic of Croatia ” and that “ for each facility attacked or garrison taken, the vital facilities of the city where the garrison is located will be destroyed ”. [218]

At that session, the Presidency of the SFRY (without Mesic and Drnovsek) assessed “ that it is absolutely unacceptable to withdraw the JNA from the territories populated by Serbs in Croatia, because this would expose them to physical eradication ”. Therefore, it believed “ that all the military forces, until a political solution to the Yugoslav crisis is reached, need to remain on the territories where they are found now, while respecting the truce, and then, once reached, the political decisions and agreements. ” [219]

The leadership of Montenegro, headed by Momir Bulatovic, on October 1, 1991, brought the decision to use all the “ republic resources ” for the “ liberation ” of Dubrovnik. To this goal, in addition to ensuring of the forces (manpower — units of the Territorial Defence and the JNA reservists) and logistical support, on the same day, Bulatovic also issued the order for mobilization of special units, with the task to act jointly with the forces of JNA and Territorial Defence, and participate in the aggressive combat operations in Dubrovnik and East Herzegovina. [220]

On October 2, only Serbs and generals were at Kostic’s cabinet (without president Mesic, and without Bogicevic, Tupurkovski, and Drnovsek). That morning, the following statement of Dr. Kostic was broadcast (Channel 2 of Radio Belgrade, given on October 1, to the British TV network “Sky News”): “ If the leadership of Croatia fails to accept the ultimatum of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces of Yugoslavia, the Presidency of the SFRY will be forced to order a general attack against Croatia... ”. [221]

Several weeks later, Kostic, together with the rest three members of the rump Presidency, at a meeting of theirs, in presence of Mesic’s advisor, stated that the Presidency shall order “ a general attack against Croatia ”. From the military leadership (generals Kadijevic and Brovet) he demanded that the JNA “ must strike frontally, with all forces, as a thunderbolt, penetrate inside and even into Zagreb! ” [222]

The rump Presidency of the SFRY (four members, only from two republics — from Serbia and Montenegro), in cooperation with the military leadership (Kadijevic, Adzic and Brovet), at the illegally convened session of October 3, decided that as of that date, that is, October 3, “ the Presidency shall make decisions by the majority of votes of members present ”, and, referring to the Constitution, openly violating it, they declared the immediate threat of war , [223] that is, performed the putsch, by taking over — formally and factually — the management and command over the Armed Forces of the SFRY. The Vice President of the Presidency, Dr. Branko Kostic, made this. From the right to direct and command the OS SFRY, they had “ unanimously ” excluded Dr. Drnovsek, the representative of Slovenia, [224] and offered support to the aggressive measures and activities of the JNA, approving, among other things, “ the work of the Headquarters of Supreme Command of the armed forces in execution of the decisions of the Presidency of the SFRY in relation to the mobilization ”, whereby they legalized the conducted mobilization, for which no legitimate decision had ever been made. [225] In this way, the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement (the army together with the Serb leadership, and the Serbo-Montenegrin Group of Four — the rump Presidency with the Army top), headed by Milosevic, took over power in the country and thus legalized the aggression against Croatia. Along with the licentious retaining of the title and name of the already serbianized JNA, [226] this constituted the putsch and a definitive disappearance of the SFRY. The Presidency “ transferred to the conditions of work under immediate threat of war ”, thus taking over certain competencies of the Assembly of the SFRY, which, in such a situation, could not convene. At the same time, it meant that it can work “ in any composition that is viable ”. [227]

With the decision “ to transfer to work under the conditions of immediate threat of war ”, the Presidency of the SFRY was deciding with the majority of votes of the members who were present. Dr. Branko Kostic, Vice President of the Presidency, who had usurped the post of President, declaratively stated after that decision that “ the Presidency of the SFRY will not be using military force in order to impose its own will to any nation in Yugoslavia ”. [228]

The foreign ministers of the EC countries characterized the decision of the Presidency to work in rump composition as unacceptable. Namely, they did not wish to recognize, as they said, “ the rump, or the ‘Serb’ Presidency ” [229] , because its decisions were not constitutional, and the work of this body in its rump composition was unacceptable. Jovic commented upon this assessment that “ this means that they will ignore our decisions and deem us as non-existent ”. [230] At the conference in The Hague, where, within the UN framework, a discussion was held about Yugoslavia, on October 4, it was concluded that the decisions of the Presidency to transfer to work under the conditions of immediate threat of war were unconstitutional . [231]

In cooperation with the military leadership, the rump Presidency of the SFRY consisting of four members (representative of Serbia — Jovic, as Milosevic’s exponent, and the representatives of Montenegro — Dr. Branko Kostic, Vojvodina — Jugoslav Kostic, and Kosovo — Sejdo Bajramovic), as completely insignificant political personalities and marionettes of Milosevic from the very beginning, attempted to retain the legitimacy of the chief of state which then had no longer existed. Having the control and decisive influence over the Rump Presidency and the Headquarters of Supreme Command, Milosevic manipulated this usurped body in order to provide legality to the moves made by the JNA and retain the seemingly existing international legal subjectivity of the SFRY, primarily in the view of foreign policy. [232]

Outside Serbia and Montenegro, no one in Yugoslavia “listened” to a Serbo-Montenegrin Presidency. Milosevic and Bulatovic, whereby Milosevic was the leader, represented Serbia and Montenegro and “ the Presidency was his cabinet for directing and commanding the Army, which was still obeying them blindly ”. [233] The other members of the Presidency (4), including the President himself, were prevented from performing their functions. All the other federal bodies were also blocked by the conduct of Serbia and Montenegro, thanks primarily to their location and staffing mostly with Serb personnel, in the function of the achievement of Greater Serbia. [234]

The Greater Serbia aggressor was also attacking Dubrovnik. On October 3, the JNA (JRM; Yugoslav Navy) also introduced the overall blockade of all the Adriatic ports. Thus Croatia was blocked at sea. “ The airports are closed, the roads are cut, and the ships are prevented from sailing off . Not even fishermen could not make it out to the sea”. [235]

“The Four-Member Gang ”, as the journalists began to call the putschist Belgrade clan, on October 4, after the transfer onto the new conditions of work during the immediate threat of war, and after taking on certain competencies of the Assembly of the SFRY, passed “ the Order for partial mobilization, up to the level required to fill in the commands, headquarters, units and institutions of the armed forces which ensure their combat preparedness ”. On the same day, Dr. Kostic signed off the Order “ on degrading the ranks of the active military personnel because of desertion or transfer from the JNA into paramilitary units ”. [236]

On that day, starting from his conceptions that the JNA had remained stateless, General Kadijevic stated that he would do all to throw Croatia down on its knees and defeat the “ Ustasha forces ”. [237]

On October 4, 1991, one more truce agreement was signed in The Hague (Tudjman, Milosevic, and Kadijevic). Milosevic and Kadijevic declaratively approved of “ the loose union of sovereign republics”, the respect for established borders, and the dislocation and regroupment of the JNA, with control by international observers. [238] However, they denied The Hague agreement for ceasefire. Although they allowed the option that The Hague conference did discuss withdrawal of the army from Croatia, both Milosevic and Kadijevic insisted on retaining the JNA in parts of Croatia, although this, according to Mesic, “ was not even mentioned by The Hague agreement ”, claiming that “ there was no mention about abandoning the areas populated by Serbs”. In accordance with this, they stated that the JNA “ would remain where the Army is desirable, and it is desirable in all the Serb areas in Croatia ”. [239]

“The two eyes in one head ” were looking at the survival of Yugoslavia differently. In The Hague, Momir Bulatovic (President of Montenegro) proposed to equally discuss the survival of Yugoslavia and its international legal cessation. In the capacity of the president of Serbia, Milosevic refused the positions from the Declaration on Yugoslavia. [240]

On October 5, after the discussion urgently requested by Jovic, among himself, Kadijevic and Milosevic, held October 2, [241] the meeting of “ the Group of six ” was held (without Bulatovic, who was absent), at which Kadijevic again demanded general mobilization “as a condition for victory!” A long discussion was held, at which they “ almost quarrelled with each other ”. [242]

Jovic was energetically against this proposal. Instead, after “the Serb” territories in Croatia “ had been liberated” by the JNA that is, taken one third of the Republic of Croatia, he proposed a new tactics — switching to a political solution. At this, he sought the development “ of the concept of a peace making initiative combined with the concept of force, in order to deter from war and shift towards a political solution ”. Milosevic agreed with this, too. However, generals Kadijevic and Adzic were desperate, accusing Jovic and Milosevic of leaving the Serb nation on “ thin ice ”. Branko Kostic expressed solidarity with the generals, “ in casual and general terms, not taking into account the actual situation in Eur ope and in Serbia ”. [243]

Milosevic and Jovic denied the accusations of the military top on leaving of the Serb nation “on thin ice”, claiming that “all the Serb territories have been liberated”. [244]

The discussion was stopped, to be continued “ on some other occasion in full composition”. [245]

On the next day (October 6), Jovic wanted an urgent discussion with Milosevic, so that they can agree in private. The more so, because they are not “a self-service shop” , in terms that they supposedly need to meet the needs of the generals, because the politics must start from them, rather than from the generals, with which Milosevic agreed. Starting from the assessment that Europe is eager to economically destroy and block them, they concluded that “they must switch to a peace-making offensive, and prepare for warfare, unless there is another solution”. They could not accept the war option “ to the extent in which it was not necessary” and get killed for what they can obtain through negotiations. They decided that, “regardless of what the army thinks”, they should accept the demand of the European Community ministers for ceasefire, with the goal of liberating and unblocking the barracks in Croatia without casualties, and instruct the army “to defend the territory already liberated”. [246]

In the afternoon hours of the same day, the rump (four-member) Presidency of the SFRY took such a decision and authorized the army to conduct negotiations about its implementation. [247]

In concordance with the mentioned decision, on October 8, 1991 in Zagreb, a general ceasefire was signed on the territory of the Republic of Croatia (the eighth truce!) between the SSNO and the Republic of Croatia. On the same day, the Assembly of Croatia brought an unanimous decision confirming the decisions brought 3 months before — Croatia has terminated all the connections with Yugoslavia and become a free, independent and sovereign republic . [248]

On October 9, the meeting of the “Group of Six” was held (in the full composition: Milosevic, Jovic, Dr. Branko Kostic, Bulatovic, and generals Kadijevic and Adzic). Kadijevic presented “the assessment of the situation and new proposals for further action”. He indicated their goals (“our goals”) — “the protection of the endangered Serb people in Croatia, and pulling out of the Army from the blocked barracks”, [249] the situation in the Croatian army, [250] the situation in the JNA, [251] and the political and psychological assessment. [252] Among the new proposals, in addition to the readiness for the military option “ for the realization of the objectives and political disentanglement ”, the General insisted once again on comprehensive mobilization . [253]

The aforementioned assessments and proposals of the general were not specifically commented on, whereas “ in general, there was no disputing them, except for the always disputable general mobilization ”. [254]

In Croatia, particularly as of October 1991, the JNA found itself in an exceptionally hard position, facing “a dilemma and lacking a decision on either decisive general military operation, or withdrawal from Croatia”. [255] In order to “fully” defeat the Croatian army, the JNA at the time did not have “enough power”, because it lacked a reserve army. Namely, the JNA needed “ forces larger than those available”. [256]

The other “ main ” weakness of the JNA, in addition to the shortage of the reserve army, was its besieged garrisons. Due to blocked garrisons, the JNA could not withdraw from Croatia, where, among other things, it also lost huge quantities of weapons and ammunition. [257] In such a situation, the JNA made efforts, “ based on agreements or by force ”, to pull out units from the besieged garrisons, “ as well as by transformation within the JNA ”. [258]

On October 1991, in The Hague, Van den Broek again gathered presidents Tudjman and Milosevic with General Kadijevic, where a new (already the tenth) ceasefire was concluded . Milosevic and Kadijevic accepted the decision that within thirty days, the JNA must withdraw from Croatia. However, Milosevic and Kadijevic denied this. They claimed that they had not signed anything, and that, if there was any discussion about the withdrawal of the Army from Croatia, “ there was no discussion about abandoning the places populated by Serbs ”, and that the JNA “ shall remain where the Army is desired, and it is desired in two Serb areas in Croatia ”. [259]

Having in mind such positions of the Greater Serbia political and military leadership, Van den Broek sent proposals to Kadijevic “ about a balanced plan for the withdrawal of the federal army from Croatia during the transitional period ”. Upon this, the military leadership agreed that, within the next three months the JNA would withdraw from Istria. However, in other areas of Croatia (in war zones), the JNA was concentrating new troops brought from Macedonia, filled in with Serbo-Montenegrin reservists, attacking Croatia, in which numerous crimes were committed. [260]

The Rump Presidency was having continuous sessions (either at the round table or “ in telephonic consultations ”), fully bereft of interest for the absence of the representatives from other republics and at the same time, ignored by the European Community, in the function of the Supreme Command too (the decisions about this function were discussed and taken by the “ Group of Six ”, as well as earlier). All the moves of the European Community, according to them, were destructive. On the eves of the Second Plenary Session of the Conference on Yugoslavia in The Hague, “the group of four” had a number of sessions over only two days (October 16, and 17), finding that “ the EC is audaciously ” refusing to recognize their decisions, and they wrote letters to Van den Broek and Lord Carrington, and to others, stating that they are “ the supreme command ” and that their positions are the only ones that are competent, etc. [261]

In the presence of all the members of the Presidency of the SFRY and the presidents of the republics, that is, the presidencies, on October 18, in The Hague, the Second Plenary Session of the Peace Conference on Yugoslavia was held, dedicated to reaching an agreement among the six republics. The proposed documents for the future system of the Yugoslav states were read by Lord Carrington, demanding, without explanation, their declaration on the three points of their proposal: unconditional ceasefire, urgent unblocking of all the barracks and military facilities in Croatia, and evacuation of the blocked barracks and facilities as soon as possible out of Croatia ; however, the precise time frame is to be determined by the tripartite group in Zagreb. Among other things, Bulatovic and Milosevic sought special status for the Serb people in Croatia, to be guaranteed by the international community, together with demilitarisation. Carrington interrupted Dr. Kostic in speaking “ on behalf of the Presidency of the SFRY ”, because he knew “ that the Presidency as such” did not exist at the time. After he had “clarified” that he was speaking “on behalf of four members of the Presidency...”, Carrington took the word away from Dr. Kostic, and the Kostics, Jovic and Bajramovic left the Conference. Carrington concluded the session with a conviction that nevertheless, some progress had been made, and with the proposal “ to request from the working groups to further develop what we have agreed about ”, announcing that they would convene again to do what they could. [262]

Five republics accepted the document offered, [263] except for Serbia, which was the only one against it . At the plenary session, Milosevic (the president of Serbia) did not accept this document and proposed amendments to the principles for a general solution of the Yugoslav crisis. [264]

In addition to being cross with the insufficiently loyal Bulatovic, who, unlike Milosevic, had accepted The Hague documents “ and left Serbia on the thin ice, which caused numerous dilemmas, surprising Europe itself ”, in speaking about The Hague Conference, the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement claimed that “ The EC Peace Plan for Yugoslavia means a catastrophe and bloodshed ”. Kadijevic’s threat was published that the army “ would undertake decisive action with all the resources available ” against Croatia, and that, in its transformation “ from the army of a Yugoslavia which is disappearing, into the army of a Yugoslavia which is emerging ” it will gather the power “ to defeat Croatia ”, because allegedly “ the government over there is using the revived, and even more horrid genocidal methods than those from WWII ”, relying on Germany, which “ for the third time in this century is attacking our country ”, and “ methods are also in place, as were used by the Fascists in WWII ”. [265]

Adamant to defeat “ the Fascist Croatia ” in the war against it, in late October and later on, the JNA had devastated whatever was accessible to it in Croatia, including Vukovar and Dubrovnik. [266]

On October 19, in compliance with the decision of The Hague Conference dated October 18, 1991, Franjo Tudjman and General Kadijevic issued the Order for ceasefire on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, and for the unblocking of all the barracks and facilities controlled by the JNA on the territory of the Republic of Croatia. [267] However, in spite of that, the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement undertook measures to secure combat preparedness of the units and to increase the size of armed manpower — through the mobilization of military conscripts and units.

In order to undertake decisive action against Croatia, on October 22, upon the proposal and influence of the military leadership, the Rump Presidency declared “ urgent mobilization of military conscripts and units, in accordance with the operational needs of the JNA ”, only “ in such parts of the country, which wish to stay in Yugoslavia ”. [268] Based on the Order of the “Presidency” of the SFRY dated October 4, 1991, and the Order of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the SFRY, marked strictly confidential no. 2732/1 and dated October 21, 1991, “ for the purpose of timely undertaking of security measures in terms of the required level of combat preparedness of commands, headquarters and units of the First VO [ Military District; note by the author ] , on October 22, 1991, the commander of the First Military District (General Zivota Panic) issued the Order for Execution of all the Necessary Preparations “ (strategic, staffing, organizational, and other) for the implementation of mobilization of all the war units in the JNA, in the area of responsibility ”. In addition to the other measures, the competent commands and officers were obligated to urgently undertake the general and specific measures on the organization and preparation of mobilization. [269]

After his return from The Hague, where at the conference he had accepted the proposal by Lord Carrington, Momir Bulatovic gave an ultimatum to the army, demanding from General Kadijevic “ to immediately return from the front line in Krajina the Montenegrin Brigade, or [ Bulatovic ] shall give his support to the public request that the Montenegrins leave the front line ”. In relation to this, on October 22, “ all shocked ”, Kadijevic called Jovic and read him the ultimatum. This, according to Jovic, was “ nothing else but treason ”. [270]

Probably under pressure from abroad, and, primarily, of the announced third Hague session, Bulatovic announced and demanded the withdrawal of the Montenegrin reservists from the surroundings of Dubrovnik, because “ Montenegro has no aspirations towards Dubrovnik ”. Plundering and burning, on October 24, the JNA conducted a parachute attack on Kupari and pushed through the Croatian defence positions near Dubac. [271]

On October 24, the Presidency of Montenegro demanded from Kadijevic and his war headquarters to have the units filled in with Montenegrin reservists returned from the front line in Croatia. However, Kadijevic did not respond to that, because the rump (war) Presidency was backing him up, particularly Dr. Kostic. [272]

After the return from The Hague (between October 22 and 25), a meeting of “ the Group of six ” was held at Milosevic’s, also attended by Momir Bulatovic, who had, on October 18 in The Hague, accepted the proposal of Lord Carrington, which was also supported by Dr. Branko Kostic. [273] At this meeting, Bulatovic stuck “ to his option ” and “ none common language ” was found. [274]

Between Slobodan Milosevic and the Army, primarily General Kadijevic, over the recent and not so short period of “ our drama ”, as written by Jovic in his memoirs for October 25, 1991, there was air of latent mistrust and even almost of conflict. Their conflict and mistrust were felt less at the meetings of “ the Group of six ”, and much more when one of them was alone with Jovic. [275]

Kadijevic was in a very bad mood because Serbia did not give enough reservists for the war and because Milosevic and Jovic did not do more (politically) against desertion. At each meeting, he was trying to point out that they can win the war easily only if Milosevic and Jovic so wish. [276]

Milosevic, upon Jovic’s agreement, had a serious objection against the Army for having brought them into such a situation, stalling action all the time. Jovic had even resigned in the first place to give the army the room for action, and it had even missed that opportunity. [277]

Milosevic had a little of an aversion towards Kadijevic, who was meddling into political issues a lot, without having resolved the military ones. Therefore, he ignored any initiative by the General, which had a political character and told Jovic: “ Let him mind his own business. Let him do what he is in charge of ”. [278]

At the last meeting of “ the Group of six ” at Milosevic’s, [279] generals Kadijevic and Adzic again directly accused Milosevic and Jovic of leaving the Serbs in Croatia “ on thin ice ”. Milosevic responded to them on how they “ had been helping them generously ” and that they would “ do it until the end ”. General Adzic, who, according to Jovic, had a position similar to Kadijevic’s, demanded a larger number of reservists, and said unless he is given “ some more reservists, he will be left with nothing else but to take a gun and go and fight them himself ”. [280]

Speaking about this mistrust between the political and military leaderships, mainly between Milosevic and General Kadijevic, on October 25, 1991, Jovic claimed that there was a big question “as to whether trust could be established”. The more so, because from the newspapers they learned “how many tanks and other equipment, and where, had been seized. It is from the newspapers that we learn that the JNA has made an agreement with Slovenia to leave the artillery there, and that the soldiers come back only with light armament. They have started working the wrong way, and hiding their nonsense from the leadership”. [281]

At a meeting with Milosevic, Kadijevic became “so annoyed that he said: ‘If you do not accept what I propose, I will dismiss the army’, upon which Jovic fiercely responded to him: ‘ You can only resign, and you are not in charge of dismissing the army’ ”. [282]

On October 25, Kadijevic informed Jovic about his discussion with the representatives of western Slavonia, who had allegedly told him that, if they are “left on thin ice”, they will fight over there no more, but instead they would come directly to Belgrade with all of their arms to settle accounts “with those who are responsible for that”, and that he told them “ that he would also join them with a gun in his hand”. [283]

Jovic (“coldly, and without frustration”) responded that he should send a message to the Serbs in western Slavonia “that we shall under no circumstances leave them on thin ice”. [284] In relation to this, Jovic presented some exceptionally significant data on the number and ethnic composition of the JNA reservists. [285]

On October 25, in The Hague, the Third Session of the Conference on Yugoslavia was held. Just like on October 18, Milosevic, adamant in his position to resolve the Yugoslav issue using the army, applying all the means, including force, refused Carrington’s proposal for agreement on the new system of the Yugoslav countries. Carrington was dissatisfied at the actions of Serbia and the JNA (“ Truce agreements are getting signed, while Kadijevic is mobilizing new forces ”). Stating that he is sorry that he had not responded to the invitation to come to The Hague, Carrington stated that the General always said “ that he would accept and honour any agreed political solution” . In relation to this, he stated that Kadijevic’s statements “ and his actions clearly show that he had sided up with one party ”. Therefore he pointed out in particular that “ the statements by General Kadijevic are unsustainable when he says he is acting in accordance with the authority given by those who had grabbed the federal Presidency on October 3, which was condemned by the international community... ”. [286]

On October 27, the four members of the rump Presidency (Borisav Jovic, Dr. Branko Kostic, Jugoslav Kostic, and Sejdo Bajramovic) led a discussion at the Headquarters of the Supreme Command, where there were at least twenty generals and about six “ huge maps of Yugoslavia with the deployment of forces, tactical ideas ”. In this, six generals reported about the situation at the front line, the plans, the tactics, the recruits, the withdrawal of army from Slovenia, the personnel changes, the mobilization, etc. The discussion lasted for four hours (from 12 to 4 PM). [287]

The generals again demanded the supplementary mobilization of 250,000 people . [288] Jovic presented his assessments that the army has made “ serious mistakes, firstly, because the order of withdrawal was wrong (first the movable property, and the like, and only in the end, the heavy artillery!), and secondly, because they had not done anything to prevent Croatia from grasping these weapons from the trains ”. Upon this, some generals began defending themselves, but Kadijevic hushed them up and admitted that there had been mistakes. [289]

As for the issue of mobilization, it was agreed that (on Monday) discussions should be held in the republics, given that “ such a large mobilization can not be realized without their decision and support ”. [290]

On the same day, Jovic informed Milosevic about this discussion and asked him whether he agrees that on the next day they meet “ the Army and the Montenegrins ”. Milosevic said that they should first talk between themselves, and see about it, and “ keep the Montenegrins on ice. Let them see for themselves what they’re going to do ”. [291]

On the next day (October 28), Jovic talked to Milosevic about the position of Montenegro at The Hague Conference, which was of “ crucial importance ” to the Serb leadership, because, among other things, this brought into question their whole policy “ based on the concept that Yugoslavia exists until such time as at least two republics wish to preserve it ”. Due to this, it was agreed that they should talk to the Montenegrins one more time. [292]

On October 28, in Brussels, the Council of Ministers of the European Community adopted a new declaration on the five republics which “have repeated their readiness to cooperate, based on the draft agreement” and on “the one republic which is still expressing reservations”. Restrictive measures were announced against this republic (i.e. Serbia). Having such a conduct by Serbia, as well as of the JNA in mind, the European Community countries indicated “ the Serbian position at the Conference, the state coup by the four members of the federal Presidency, and their announced plan, aimed at the creation of Greater Serbia ”. [293]

The discussion with the Montenegrins, in relation to their, as opposed to Serbia’s, acceptance of the proposal by Lord Carrington in The Hague and the call for their army to return from the front line in Krajina, was held on October 29. It was attended by: Milosevic, Jovic, and Aleksandar Bakocevic (member of the Presidency of SR Serbia), and Momir Bulatovic, Milo Djukanovic, Branko Kostic, and Risto Vukcevic (president of the Assembly of Montenegro). Generals Kadijevic and Adzic were not summoned, as Milosevic and Jovic had done so intentionally, so that without them (by themselves) they could clarify the political issues, but they did invite the generals to join them later (for lunch), where the negotiations would continue. [294]

The discussion was started by Branko Kostic, insisting, among other things, on clarifying the issue “where we are after the position of Montenegro in The Hague and after its position towards the army”. [295]

Milosevic brought up two issues, on which all depended: the attitude of Montenegro towards the army, [296] and the negotiations in The Hague. The second issue, according to him, was a simple one: “The Montenegrins need to provide the amendment to point 1 of the Agreement, so that it retains the wording of that those republics which so desire can become independent and sovereign states, but that it should be added that the republics and peoples who so desire can continue to live in the federative state. This would mean the necessary corr ection in The Hague and in the public. He repeated several times that we are not making the pressure, but we are kindly asking them to clearly tell us: yes or no, so we know how to get about it”. [297]

Jovic spoke about he threat from the break-up of the concept that was based on that Yugoslavia still exists, what would, according to him, happen “unless Montenegro changes its mind...”. [298] Those of Vukcevic, Djukanovic, Bulatovic and Bakocevic followed his speech. [299] After the arrival of Kadijevic and Adzic, “ a new dimension was introduced, which even deteriorated the situation ”. Namely, “ the two of them were about to start crying: Unless we give them 250,000 soldiers, everything will fall down. The army would be dissolved, we would lose the war...”. [300]

The meeting ended “in complete uncertainty”. “ Some kind of agreement was reached that the Montenegrins would decide and state their final option, and that the army should wait for that”. [301]

On October 30, Milosevic drafted the text of the amendments that Montenegro was to send to The Hague, the essence of which was in a peaceful exit, or stay in Yugoslavia. After the whole day of arguing with Bulatovic (“not about the contents any more, but about the procedure”), Milosevic “convinced” him to send the text out. [302]

On behalf of Serbia, and later of Montenegro too, Milosevic drafted the text of the amendment submitted by Serbia and Montenegro to the commissions of The Hague Conference on Yugoslavia, the essence of which was to have the document also include the option by which the future relations among the republics will also be based on the joint state of equal republics and Yugoslav peoples which, based on their right to self-determination, wish to stay in the joint state . [303]

These “amendments” by the leader of the Greater Serbia movement, in addition to the legal and economic continuity of “ the future Yugoslavia ”, were aimed at the creation of the legal basis for the formation of the “Greater Serbia”, under the name of Yugoslavia, [304] using the right of the nations for self-determination under the Greater Serbia agenda.

On October 30, Kadijevic informed Milosevic that on the next day, before the session of the Headquarters of Supreme Command, “ he has the intention to take the decision to use all available forces to go ahead and liberate all the barracks in Croatia and destroy cities ”, which, according to Milosevic, was not smart. [305] Jovic asked Milosevic whether they are to give Kadijevic “ some more reservists ”, and he was answered that “ we are not preventing them, mobilization is in their hands, they have the decisions, but we can not expose ourselves forward, to agitate for people to lose their lives for the barracks they have left behind the front line ”. [306]

In early November 1991, in order to strengthen the military conquests in Croatia, Jovic and Milosevic decided to submit a proposal to invite UN forces into Yugoslavia. At the time, when the Serb nation had power on those territories, according to them, there were reasons that they demand the United Nations to protect them with their peace-making forces “ until the political solution of the Yugoslav crisis is reached ”. Milosevic and Jovic had talked about this first on November 2, when Jovic presented the assessment that “ the situation of the Serbo-Croatian conflicts in Krajina has come to the stage ” when they must “ be thinking about a radical move. The prevalent part of the territory populated by a Serb majority is under Serb power. This is only not the case with Central Slavonia, but the Serbs had en masse fled from there, so there is no one left to fight or hold power. Croatia is arming itself more and more, leading to an increased involvement of the JNA, seeking an ever increasing mobilization here in Serbia, and this is totally counterproductive to our policy ”. [307]

Milosevic agreed to with this very sly move, at which he believed that “ they need to take some more thought ” on how to carry this out. [308]

Under the chairmanship of Lord Carrington, on November 5, 1991, the Fourth Plenary Session of the Conference on Yugoslavia was held in The Hague. [309] Carrington first sought consent about Chapter 1 (“General Provisions”), where Article 1, point C, in accordance with the “Serb objections”, includes the position that, in addition to the loose association of sovereign republics with international identity”, there is also an option of “ the common state of equal republics, made up of such republics as wish to stay within it ”. Four republics were in agreement (“ everyone can go their own ways as they wish ”), and two not (Serbia and Montenegro). [310]

Carrington also proposed another position, supplied by Milosevic and Bulatovic (the author of which was Milosevic), under their amendments to the previous Hague document on the sovereign republics, which may form a joint union. The amendment proposes that the right to form a “ joint state ” is not only granted “ to the republics that so wish ” but also to the “ nations ”, and that the joint state be “ an international entity ” and a “ continuity ” of the existing Yugoslavia. [311]

The presidents of the other four republics did not accept the aforementioned proposal. Namely, the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement, primarily its leader — Milosevic, was trying to use the introduction of nations in order to secede the collaborationist creations from their mother states and join them to Yugoslavia as their common state. Insisting on the continuity , they showed the ambition that such a “Yugoslavia, as a joint state of the republics and nations ”, remains the only aspirant not only to the continuity and succession of the international personality of the former Yugoslavia, but its successor as well. [312]

Given that no agreement was reached on Chapter I, there was no need to discuss the whole document, and Carrington concluded the session, whereby the new Hague agreement suffered the destiny of the previous ones. Instead of a truce and appeasement on the frontline, the JNA launched a new anti-Croatian offensive. [313]

In the period of November 2-9, Milosevic and Jovic completed numerous preparations for deciding on their proposal to invite the peacekeeping forces of the United Nations, in order to protect the Serbs in Krajina [314] (the discussion with Milivoj Maksic, Deputy Secretary for Foreign Affairs, [315] made and coordinated the draft of the letter to the Security Council, [316] and informed Dr. Branko Kostic and Prof. Dr. Gavro Perazic, who was legal advisor to B. Kostic). [317]

After that, Milosevic and Jovic decided to go further. They convened the session of the rump Presidency of the SFRY and presented the proposal that the UN Peacekeeping Forces be invited, in order to “protect” the Serbs in Krajina, [318] that is, in order to legalize the conquered territories in Croatia.

The session of the Presidency was held on November 9. No one had been informed of the aforementioned proposal, presented at the very session, except for Milosevic, Jovic, and Dr. Kostic. “ The Army, the Government, the Foreign office (SSIP), the leadership of Montenegro, or Krajina — no one knew. Even Jugoslav Kostic and Sejdo Bajramovic, the members of the Presidency, were not informed ”, although at the time, Milosevic and Jovic had “ full trust ” in them. [319]

According to Jovic, everyone was surprised and silent, including the JNA and the SSIP. Only Milan Veres from the SSIP, assistant federal secretary, surprised and confused, proposed “ that we take some time to think about it ”. However, Jovic and Dr. Kostic were being categorical and said that “ they had thought about it all and that there can be no postponement ”. [320]

After the discussion about the procedural issues as to how and to whom to send the proposal, the text of the letter was adopted to invite UN Peacekeepers for the purpose of “protecting” the Serbs in Krajina. [321] The essence of this invitation was in that the Greater Serbia aggressor under the surveillance of the UN Peacekeepers holds the occupied areas in Croatia, and that the aggression be legalized. [322]

On November 15, the Security Council began having discussions about the idea to send the “ blue helmets ” into the Croatian Krajina. At this, they avoided mentioning of the request by the rump, unrecognised Presidency of the SFRY. Formally, this was “ requested ” by Great Britain and by France. [323] Thereby Milosevic and Jovic, in cooperation with their western allies, deluded the Security Council and the whole world. [324]

The major operation designed by the military leadership against Croatia did not yield the expected success. In November, the land forces of the JNA were stopped. After a partial execution of the tasks, including the occupation of Vukovar (on November 18, 1991), [325] a stalemate position was created which over a long-term haul was against the Greater Serbia interests. Its aggressive forces found themselves at the hand of the projected objectives, but without the power to continue their further realization. The other smaller part of the forces that was to contribute to the first group was small in size and surrounded in the Croatian cities... The JNA had to be contented at the limited success, [326] hoping that the UN Peacekeeping forces that were arriving to the war areas would secure its territorial conquests. Under the pressure of the international community, the compromise was resolved through agreement dated November 22, 1991, on the dislocation of the remaining forces of the Fifth Military District of the JNA out of the territory of Croatia and leaving the weapons of the Territorial Defence to Croatia. This process of dislocation was completed by December 30, 1991 . [327]

On November 22, 1991, Lord Carrington sent “ the questions he had submitted to the Arbitration Commission ” of Robert Badenteur to Stjepan Mesic. [328] These were the questions of Serbia sent on November 4 to Carrington, which, according to him, were “ major legal issues ”. In addition to Mesic, Carrington also sent them out to the six republic presidents, that is, republic presidencies, requesting their “ observations without delay ”. [329]

The next day ( November 23, 1991) , in Geneva, Tudjman and Milosevic, and General Kadijevic, in front of Cyrus Vance and Lord Carrington, signed the fourteenth truce , under the impression of the position of the special envoy of Javiér Pérez de Cuéllar, that “ the helmets would come only under the condition that a permanent truce is ensured ”. However, Milosevic’s military forces launched new aggressive offensives (East Slavonia, the Zadar area, and the like). Although it had sought after the blue helmets, the rump Presidency was not in a rush about their arrival, because they had not occupied everything that had been planned. According to them, these forces were to be deployed “ only on the interposition line, in between the warring parties ”, whereby they would geographically round up the Greater Serbia under the name of Yugoslavia. [330]

Right before the recognition of Slovenia and Croatia by the European Community, and the invitation to all the republics to become independent, Milosevic and Jovic were “ assessing ” the situation. On December 5, 1991, assessing that “ recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia would follow soon after ”, they were evaluating their position under such circumstances. [331]

The Serbian leadership assessed that, unlike Macedonia, with which the “the thing is simple”, [332] it was going to be “very difficult” with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Reviewing the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where, according to them, “interethnic conflicts had already begun ”, Milosevic and Jovic were intentionally starting from completely wrong facts, such as for instance, endangerment of the Serb population, which, unlike the Bosniaks and Croats, allegedly had not formed “their paramilitary units”. [333] In this way, they made an attempt to “design” the military tactics for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In expectance of the international recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the JNA would be declared “a foreign army”, and Serbia and Montenegro aggressors, and to cover up his participation in the aggression, Milosevic thought that all the citizens of Serbia and Montenegro should be timely withdrawn from the JNA in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and redeploy all the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the JNA into Bosnia and Herzegovina, “so that at the time of international recognition they would avoid the general military chaos by having the army walk in an out across the country” . According to him, this was also to create “the possibilities for the Serb leadership in Bosnia and Herzegovina to take over the command over the Serb part of the JNA”. [334] After they had coordinated positions about the “military tactics” towards Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milosevic and Jovic invited Kadijevic to join in the discussion and gave him “homework” to do. Milosevic told the General in simple terms that “he needs to do the redeployment of the army: everything coming from BiH into Bosnia and Herzegovina, and vice versa”, and he explained to him that this is “ strategically and politically necessary”. [335] Thus the leader of the Greater Serbia movement, “ assessing the further development of events”, believed that, “after leaving Croatia, we should have strong JNA forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. [336]

Twenty days later (December 25), Kadijevic, claims Jovic, informed himself and Milosevic that by then allegedly “90% of the army had been dislocated”, in accordance with their discussion of December 5, whereby at the time in Bosnia and Herzegovina there was “10-15% of the army not coming from that Republic”. [337]

The alleged claims by Jovic are false. The original JNA documents available at the highest level of secrecy from this period, and later, cannot confirm this. That is, they confirm differently.

After the signing of the agreement for unconditional ceasefire in Sarajevo on January 2, 1992, between the representatives of the Republic of Croatia and the JNA, the combat activity significantly abated. Parts of the UN Peacekeeping forces started coming and deploying along the separation line, [338] whereby the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement realized its goal. [339]

With the cessation of the war activities in Croatia, the RAM operation was also finished for the most part. The operation was mainly terminated with the agreed fall of Vukovar. The JNA did not defeat Croatia, but it took one part of its state territory, thus framing the borders of Greater Serbia, withdrawing the main combat resources from the rest of Croatia and deploying them along the borders of the future Yugoslavia, and “defending” the right of the Serb and Montenegrin peoples to their joint state. In compliance with the Declaration of the European Community from Brussels, issued on December 17, 1991, Croatia declared its independence and became an internationally recognized state. With the deployment of the UN Peacekeeping forces on one third of Croatian territory, the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement believed that it had secured the preservation of this territory and the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina within the projected grand Serbian state.


119. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. XIII-XIV, 76-78, and 249. In the first half of July 1991, Kadijevic stated that his army would “ go through to the end “, until it destroys the Croatian “ Nazi Ustasha ” leadership. General Adzic too was constantly threatening with the army, in order to coerce the Presidency of the SFRY to enforce the decisions of the military leadership, as otherwise “ [ they ] would strike with force to the extent as needed, we shall wait no longer, there is no giving up [ ... ] ” - Ibid., pp. 104-105.
120. Ibid. At the session of the Presidency of the SFRY in Ohrid on July 22, 1991, attended, in addition to the members of the Presidency and the presidents of the republics, that is, the presidents of the presidencies of republics, also by the highest officials of the Federation (such as Markovic, Gligorijevic, Kadijevic, Brovet, Loncar, Gracanin, Kambovski, Marendic, Zekan, and others), which was held at the time of an ever stronger aggression of Serbia against Croatia, an agreement was supposed to be reached “ for finding the solution for future relations in the Yugoslav community ” and the debate was to be conducted on the Government’s program for a three-month moratorium. Referring to the decision for withdrawal of the army from Slovenia, and in relation to this, to that “ this is the proof that nobody wants to force anyone to stay in Yugoslavia ”, Dr. Kostic did not accept the right of the republics to secession. Jovic demanded the disarmament of the republic forces of Croatia, and only then could “ the JNA go back into the barracks ”. Informing that “ some 310 people have been killed and over 5,000 injured in the interethnic conflicts in Croatia ”, Kadijevic was categorically against the withdrawal of the JNA into the barracks (“ how can the army withdraw into the barracks when it is constantly being attacked... ”). Tudjman presented the data on the war in Croatia, and on the actions of the air force. Milosevic was against the withdrawal of the army into the barracks, because “ there were no peacetime conditions in place ”. Without the army, he said, “ blood would run deep ”. Tudjman indicated the fact that the JNA “ behaved variously in various areas. In Kosovo, it helped Serbia establish the legal order of the state of Serbia, and in Croatia it is waging war against the constitutional order of Croatia ”. Mesic did not accept the Ohrid statement, just like Tudjman, because the withdrawal of the JNA into barracks (“ the army into the barracks ”), which was, according to Mesic, the key issue, was not contained in the statement. Namely, they “ sought the unconditional withdrawal of the Yugoslav People’s Army into the garrisons, which was not accepted by the majority of participants in the meeting, and therefore did not agree with the text of the statement ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 127-132). The text of the Ohrid statement was publicized by S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 131-132, and K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, pp. 118-119).
121. Ibid.
122. Ibid. p. XI.
123. Ibid., p. 204. According to Mesic, the military leadership (constantly referring to the Constitution) was behaving in a putschist and ‘Greater Serbia’ way, because it was enforcing the policy of aggression. It established, “ in taking the functions of the Presidency of the SFRY, a ‘Headquarters of Supreme Command’, where Milosevic’s clan has the influence. The Republic of Serbia has three votes in the Presidency, and the fourth one was given to its as a gift in advance (‘second eye’?). Making decisions required a group of five ”. Mesic, in the capacity of president, could never receive the fifth vote for his positions, and sometimes Serbia even received the votes of Tupurkovski and Bogicevic (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 204).
124. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 140. Thus, for instance, at the session of the Presidency on July 26, in Belgrade, Mesic sought that the JNA be brought back into “ the constitutional order ”, to be returned to the barracks. In addition, in referring to the function of the fist man in the Supreme Command, he also informed the military leadership of the numerous facts on the strong attacks of the JNA onto Croatian villages and cities, and numerous other crimes, in particularly about the mass murders of the Croats in Banija on July 26 and 27. Based on the data supplied by Dr. Gregoric, Mesic informed Kadijevic and Brovet about that there were: “ ... firstly, heavy attacks with mortars and other heavy artillery from the JA arsenal onto Croatian villages and cities in the areas of Eastern Slavonia, Lika, and Northern Dalmatia; secondly, a large number of casualties among the civilian population in Croatian villages and cities, particularly in Banija, where the majority of places have been resettled, which was contributed to by the described heavy attacks, as well as by the activity of the Greater Serbia terrorists in that area; thirdly, a large number of killed members of the internal law enforcement forces of the Republic of Croatia, as a result of the expansion of the Greater Serbia insurrection, with more or less open support as well as direct involvement by the members of the JA units. The culmination of the terrorist vandalism, with open assistance by the JA units, occurred on July 26, and 27, with the mass murder the Croats in the villages of Struga, Mucani, Kuljani, and Kozibrod, in the Banija Region, was carried out. All of this had occurred in spite of the agreed cease-fire. On the contrary, even after the cease-fire agreement, heavier armed attacks against the members of the law enforcement forces of the Republic of Croatia as well as against civilians continued, with all the features of genocide against the Croats. Those crimes were occurring in front of the eyes of the Presidency — the head of the SFRY and the supreme commander of the Yugoslav Armed Forces, the aforementioned JA, and the Federal Executive Council, whose Defence Secretary stated, on several occasions that the Army will not interfere with the resolution of the state and political crisis... ” (Ibid.). In Croatia, the JNA went out into certain areas following the decision of the Presidency of the SFRY, and it was given a one-month time frame, which expired in the second week of June 1991. However, the JNA had still remained there (Ibid., pp. 133, and 137). 125. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 367. Admiral Mamula claims that the JNA, after the defeat in Slovenia, “ got the concept of the Greater Serbia simply and without resistance imposed on it, as was the doctrine that will realize it ”. The more so, because “ the assessment is that the JNA has no choice anymore ”. Therefore, according to him, “ on July 30, 1991, the army leadership had finally given in ” (B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 230). Obviously, General Mamula “ forgot ” that, much earlier, before the defeat in Slovenia, the JNA had accepted the Greater Serbia concept (this had been its choice from before), and before July 30, 1991, the military leadership had “ given in ” to the leader of the Greater Serbia movement — Slobodan Milosevic — who imposed the doctrine of realization of the Greater Serbia fascist project on the JNA.
126. Ibid. This “ clear and definitive ” position and orientation of Kadijevic was commented by Jovic in the following way: “ He does not believe in any of the options for survival of the integral Yugoslavia . (Of course, this is what we have been persistently telling him ourselves, but he was swaying. )” — B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 367. Among other things, the session of the Presidency of the SFRY on July 30 discussed the cease-fire process and its supervision. With the majority of votes, the State Commission was formed, headed by Dr. Kostic, upon which Mesic left the session. However, this commission, which was “ along with the Army, along with Serbia ”, abandoned by Bogicevic, Tupurkovski, Ajanovic, and Kambovski, did not stop the aggression, because it was unacceptable that it was headed by Vice President Kostic, who had publicly offered support “ to the terrorists in Slavonia ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 142, 147, and 204). At this session, Mesic demanded that Dr. Kostic, because in mid-1991 he had voluntarily been visiting the “Serb autonomous areas” and the insurgent commands in Croatia (in Borovo Selo), and “ encouraging terrorists” in front of the TV cameras “ to expand anti-Croatian actions ”, be called to responsibility. Jovic “ thought that in such a situation, he could offer a clever repartee: ‘You are suggesting that Branko needs a passport to go to Croatia’?’ ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 137, and 141).
127. Ibid. In bringing up the aforementioned “ epithets ” and assessments, in particular the one by which Kadijevic is to blame, Jovic further states that the General “ had been indecisive for a long time ”. However, “ Veljko is making an excuse that nobody wants to help us. The Russians are looking onto themselves, and if they would say just one word to the Americans — ‘ nyet ’ — we would be protected from foreign intervention. This way, if we press more, they will recognize the independence of Croatia, and it will invite foreign troops to come and impose upon us a conflict with Europe. The Russians have even refused to sell us arms, and they owe us almost three billion dollars ” (Ibid.). 128. B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, pp. 225-228. In early August 1991, at the meeting at the CK Building at Usce, attended by Dragan Atanasovski (President of the SK-PJ), and Mira Markovic [ wife of Slobodan Milosevic; note by the translator ] , from the senior leadership of SK-PJ, General Ljubicic and Admiral Mamula (the meeting was convened at the request of Ljubicic, to be received by Mamula), Ljubicic proposed that Kadijevic needs to be dismissed, “ because he is incapable of leading the Army in the newly emerged crisis ” (Ibid., p. 225). The initiative for the dismissal of General Kadijevic had come from Milosevic, in whose house he and Ljubicic discussed the topic of Kadijevic. Starting from that, Mamula visited Milosevic, who received him immediately. On this occasion, presenting a brief assessment of Kadijevic, Milosevic concluded that he had lost his reputation and support among the Army and that he needs to be dismissed (Ibid., p. 226). Given that he could not allow “ that the responsibility for the break-up of Yugoslavia be reduced to the Army and Kadijevic in person ”, Mamula presented the way in which the SFRY can be saved from the current disaster. In relation to this, stating that “ it is not at all a problem to dismiss Kadijevic, that there are generals who can lead the Army decisively and successfully ”, he stated that all the presidents of republics, including Milosevic, have to leave power. This, according to Mamula, was “ the only solution in the attempt to save Yugoslavia, although it may even be too late for this attempt too ”. According to Mamula, Milosevic was surprised, “ but he reacted promptly: ‘Why me, the only one who is supporting the army and defending Yugoslavia?’ He stood up in protest and started off towards the door, which was the sign that we had finished the conversation and that I should leave the office. Not that it did not matter to me, but as early as in coming there had I been ready for the worst. Nothing happened, I left the palace peacefully and walked away ” (Ibid., pp. 226-227). Probably because they were not satisfied with his actions, because he could not meet all of their demands, Milosevic insisted on the dismissal of Kadijevic. Thus, in late September 1991, a group of some forty officers of the guardian brigade arrived at the SSNO at night and took over the command of the Ministry and General Staff buildings, demanding resignation of General Kadijevic, offering General Adzic to take on his duty and overall control over the Army. Although this group was headed by major Sljivancanin (the KOS officer in the brigade), the role of Colonel Vuk Obradovic was more interesting, as he was the key person in that event. When he realized that General Adzic refused to participate in overthrowing Kadijevic, which meant that the mutiny had failed, Obradovic suddenly disappeared (Ibid., p. 228). In a discussion between General Mamula and General Vasiljevic (the Chief of Staff of the KOS) in the spring of 1991, Vasiljevic warned him “ about the characteristics and ambitions of colonel Vuk Obradovic, and said that he seriously means to become Defence Secretary, and hopes that Serbia would support him in this effort. V asiljevic knew about my relations with Kadijevic at the time, and he probably wanted me to draw Kadijevic’s attention to Obradovic, because he had trusted him too much and relied on him and his judgments. I am not far from the conclusion that the attempt to overthrow Kadijevic was initiated through Vuk Obradovic. However , he does not have the profile of an officer who would bring the mutiny up to its end with the risk of a bloodshed, which could not be excluded, particularly when General Adzic stood in the way” (Ibid.).
129. V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 90. In relation to this, Kadijevic states: “ ..., so this is why such a state needs to be created ”.
130. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 343-367, and others; B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 178. Mamula claims that “ this threat with blackmail was not only an empty shotgun ”, because the intentions of Serbia to form its own army as a replacement to the JNA were evidently shown in the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, adopted on September 28, 1990, while the SFRY still existed, as well as its armed forces, and the system of command over them. This Constitution, among other things, established that the president of the Republic “ shall direct the armed forces in peace and war; order general and partial mobilization... ”. The realization of this constitutional provision, according to Mamula, required the removal of a realistic obstacle — “the existence of the JNA and the precariousness thereof ”. After the JNA failure in Slovenia, as Mamula wrote, conditions were created for the removal of this obstacle. Therefore, both Milosevic and Jovic were increasing their pressure on the military leadership, particularly in the summer of 1991 (B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, pp. 178-179, and 229).
131. Ibid. p. 230. About this, Mamula wrote as follows: “ It was just a question of time when the JNA will have to withdraw from Croatia. Tudjman had taken a correct strategic approach: on the external plan, to insist on and create any army that could simultaneously resist both the JNA and the Krajina paramilitary, and once Croatia is recognized and the JNA has to withdraw, to defeat the Krajina army and force the Serbs to obedience. Until the assumed conditions are created, the position was taken to stall, to negotiate, not to challenge the JNA for a radical settlement, if it is assessed that it could do it, by seeking cease fires, in a single word — buy time. He was successful in accomplishing all three goals, however, the defeat of the Krajina army had to be postponed until all the necessary international circumstances were created, most directly linked to the war in Bosnia and to the defeat of the Bosnian Serb Army in the spring and summer of 1995. For Tudjman, since the dissolution of Yugoslavia began, this was the sole goal — to create a Greater Croatia. As early as since March 1991, since Karadjordjevo, he had been negotiating with Milosevic about the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they were playing with who will get what and finally, he succeeded in expulsing the Serbs from Krajina, conquering a large part of Western Bosnia and expelling the Serbs almost as far as Banja Luka ” (Ibid.).
132. V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 93.
133. B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 231. This policy and practice, according to Mamula, was detrimental to the JNA.
134. Ibid., p. 230-231. The differences between Mamula’s assessments and positions and the ones by General Adzic and other high-ranking military officers did not exist. “ Anyone thinking about Yugoslavia, rather than about Greater Serbia and its devised borders, would come to the same conclusions. However, it was not very much worth it to discuss about the involvement of the JNA with the chief of staff of the General Staff. Actually, it was not himself who commanded over the Army, it was Milosevic ”. “ The separation of the enemy and Serb paramilitary forces at the separation line ”, according to Mamula, “ could be a temporary goal until these are disarmed, placed under JNA control or militarily defeated ”. According to him, “ extended speculation and stalling on the separation [ will lead ] to the alignment of the JNA with the Serb side ”. This trap “ of unilateral conduct was not even avoided by the UN forces, whose political, as well as national distances from the warring parties were incomparable to those of the JNA ”, claims Mamula (Ibid.).
135. Ibid., p. 231. Speaking about this, Admiral Mamula states that “ many arguments can be sued to claim that the break-up of Yugoslavia would not have been proceeded in October, nor would Slovenia have been recognized, if the JNA had unblocked its garrisons, strengthened its positions with the newly arrived forces and proceeded from the depth with a decisive disarmament of the paramilitary forces in Croatia. The JNA garrisons would not have been disarmed, huge quantities of armament, artillery and lethal devices would not have been confiscated, which allowed that, from the end of summer until the end of the autumn, the proportion of powers had completely changed between the JNA and the ZNG. In late September, Tudjman himself claimed that seventy JNA facilities, ranging from the complete garrisons to he armament and weapon warehouses, had fallen into ZNG hands. The armament, artillery and equipment withdrawn on trains from Slovenia were largely withheld by the ZNG units. Only one composition of 26 wagons ‘that disappeared on the way’ held equipment equalling 6 artillery divisions. On September 19, the Guard Corps left Belgrade and went to Sid and the Croatian border. Together with the brigades from Sremska Mitrovica and Djakovo, it had enough forces to push out onto the territory of Virovitica, Bjelovar, Koprivnica, Varazdin, with one major part, and to strengthen the already present forces on the territory of Karlovac, Sisak, Okucani with its other part, so that together with the armed and artillery forces from Karlovac, Jastrebarsko and Dugo Selo, they can force ahead towards Zagreb, liberate the besieged barracks in Zagreb and Varazdin, and to force the Croatian HDZ government to negotiate. The pockets, such as Vukovar or Osijek, had no military significance in the projected operation. They would be left deep in the background and share the destiny of whatever would happen in Zagreb and the broader territory surrounding it. The JNA operation in the central part of Croatia, in my opinion, should have been commanded by the commander of the Zagreb Military District, General Avramovic. He and his command should have been at some of the command points in the central area, and by no means on the periphery, at the Slunj training ground, where he had barricaded himself, and remained immobile for three months ” (Ibid., pp. 231-232).
136. Ibid., pp. 232 and 239. “ Instead of the projected operation on the whole territory of Croatia, what actually occurred was ”, according to Mamula, “ a senseless and bloody fight in Vukovar and around it, the fight exclusively for territories between Serb and Croat nationalists. The destiny of these territories, as we can see now, was not determined by the victories of one side or the defeats of the other, but by many other circumstances: from the international, to the ethnic and historical ones, which could not be understood by the blinded nationalists ” (Ibid., p. 232).
137. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 368. “ The immediate, absolute and unconditional cease fire ” was discussed, as stated by Mesic, on August 2 and 3, at the session of the Presidency of the SFRY. Croatia’s demand for the inclusion of European observers in the monitoring of the truce was refused by the military leadership and the Serbo-Montenegrin clan in the Presidency. Having in mind the location and dislocation, the constant concentration of artillery in the crisis zones, the speedy withdrawal of the corps in the Bosnian territories neighbouring Croatia and other things, the JNA also sought the division of Croatia, in order to conquer the territory of the Greater Serbia, and to overthrow the democratically elected Croatian government. (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 146-148). The ministerial Group of three visited Yugoslavia again on August 3 and 4, mainly due to “the escalation of the war in Croatia ”. During the visit to Belgrade, the European Community then also proposed the expansion of the observer mission to include Croatia, which was fiercely opposed by Jovic and Dr. Kostic. Thus, the European Community mission did not succeed due to the blockage by the Serbian block, for which Hans van den Broek accused Serbia, which, making efforts to hide its aggressor intentions, was persistently opposing the internationalisation of the problem and the presence of objective observers (Ibid., pp. 152-154). The escalation of the war against Croatia prompted the request for an urgent session of the Security Council. The leadership of Croatia was advocating full internationalisation (Ibid., p. 157).
138. Ibid. In presenting this piece of data, Jovic wrote: “ We shall see how long this will last. The Croats are mainly taking advantage of the ceasefire to surprise and kill JNA soldiers. We are constantly cautioning the military leadership to increase their precautionary measures ” (Ibid.). 139. Ibid., p. 370.
140. Jovic presented his assessment “ that the Croats are cornered, that they are facing a dilemma: the escalation of the war means a military defeat for them, while accepting peace brings them defeat at the interior policy level. Their only hope is to internationalise the problem and bring in foreign troops. This can only happen in the option of international recognition of Croatia, which could be caused by some wrong move on our part. One such move could be the attack of the army on the Croatian government. The world would turn against us. The problem is how to disarm them, without overthrowing the government ” (Ibid., pp. 370-371). Jovic left this meeting before its end, because of his trip to Vojvodina. General Kadijevic gave him “ the credits ” for the “ reasonable ” position. In relation to this, in his memoirs, Jovic wrote down: “ Veljko is strange, one time he is in favour of the general attack and overthrow of the Croatian government, the other time he is against it ” (Ibid., p. 371).
141. Ibid., p. 371.
142. Ibid.
143. Ibid. Jovic formulated this assessment of his in the following manner: “ We really have no other solution but to intensively expel Croats and Slovenes from the army, withdraw our army onto the territory that we will ultimately defend, and use all the force available to clean them up from the HDZ army ” (Ibid.).
144. Ibid. In relation to this, among other things, Kadijevic stated: “ According to the information coming from several sources, and the Greek one is completely reliable, the Croats have opted to increase the tensions with the JNA, in order to use the increased confrontation as a cause for foreign military intervention. The current situation does not suit them. They have support from the Vatican and the FRG, as well as the blessing of the USA. The Romanians are anticipating a similar attack in their country in October, but they are associating it with the developments in Yugoslavia, for fear of the Hungarians. Foreign military powers assess that the next movement in the action to overthrow the leadership of Serbia and the JNA needs to be a division within the SPS, because they have assessed that the opposition forces are weak. There is a serious problem of disagreement between the Serbs in Krajina and in Slavonia, on political and military terms. There is an urgent need for coordination ” (Ibid.). “About BiH [ Bosnia and Herzegovina ] , he says that Alija and his people will not easily change their positions. Much more attention should be paid to Bosnia ” (Ibid.).
145. Ibid. Jovic commented on this proposal as follows: “ I am afraid that, on the contrary, we could miss out on the main things ”. Jovic wrote that Kadijevic had presented the example that Branko Kostic “had stated last night, without prior agreement, that it was better to call in he reservists, than to extend the retaining of recruits, which is not the position and the assessment of the army ” (Ibid.).
146. Ibid., p. 372.
147. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 159. The aggressor attacks against Croatia in the first half of August, according to Mesic, “ became of devastating intensity. The targets of military cannons have these days been Osijek, Vinkovci, and Saborsko, and the attacks are also beginning on Ceminac and Topusko in Banija. The parachute units of the JNA have blocked the island of Solta. Zadar with the surrounding settlements is without water supply; near Obrovac, the terrorists have turned down the water pipeline valves. Near Kostajnica, new crimes are in abundance; HTV reporter Goran Lederer was shot dead. In eastern Slavonia and western Srijem, in Baranja, in Banija and Kordun, and in Lika, there are already more than 30,000 expelled Croats, but there are also tens of thousands of Serbs who had also left, and who are still being called upon by the Serb authorities and taken care about in Serbia, by sending buses and lines of private vehicles to pick them up, even to villages where there has been absolutely no intervention by the armed forces of the Republic of Croatia ” (Ibid., p. 159).
148. Ibid., pp. 159-163. The Assembly of the Republic of Croatia brought the Decision for Non-Application of the Law on obligatory military service, so the recruits from Croatia no longer went to the JNA, just like from Macedonia either. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, sending of the recruits during July was postponed, and in August, the recruited young men could only be deployed in the units within Bosnia and Herzegovina. Starting from the assessment that “ Serbia is there, wherever Serbs may live ”, on July 8, Serbia adopted the position “ that the recruits from the Republic of Serbia should be sent to serve the military term only in the JNA units on the territories populated by the nations which have opted to live in Yugoslavia ” (Ibid., p. 161). Left without recruits, on August 12, “ in compliance with the federal laws ”, the SSNO dictated the following decision to the Presidency: “ 1. No later than by the end of August of this year, the military territorial authorities shall take over the military obligation tasks on the whole territory of the SFRY, except for the Republic of Slovenia. 2. They shall undertake all the necessary measures, including measures of criminal prosecution, against the most responsible individuals sabotaging and not implementing the Law on obligatory military service, and the Decision of the Presidency of the SFRY in terms of the military obligation and of recruits to the JNA. 3. They shall maintain the combat preparedness of the JNA at the required level ” (Ibid., p. 161).
149. Ibid., pp. 164-166.
150. Ibid., pp. 166-170. The armed formations of the Serb insurgents in West Slavonia, on August 1991, attacked a unit of the Croatian police and the ZNG in Okucani. Due to this, the Government of the Republic of Croatia demanded an urgent meeting of the Presidency of the SFRY. On the same day, the Combat Group of the 265th Mechanized Brigade was sent from Bjelovar, and a part of the 329th Armoured Brigade entered Okucani from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and attacked the Croatian police forces. The military leadership rejected the accusation of the leadership of the Republic of Croatia for an open aggression as ungrounded, believing it “ is logical to involve the forces of the First Military District and the units of the Banja Luka Corps on the prevention of interethnic clashes in their areas of responsibility ” (D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, p. 305).
151. O. Backovic-M. Vasic-A. Vasovic, the aforementioned work, p. 358; M. Vasic- F. Schwarm, MIRIS ZLOCINA — SRPSKE PARAVOJNE FORMACIJE 1990.-2000., in: RATOVI U JUGOSLAVIJI 1991.-1999., Compilation of Communiqués and Discussions from the Round Table, Belgrade, November 7-9, 2001, Belgrade 2002, p. 243. Departure of Mikhail Gorbachev was desirable among the Yugoslav general circles. In addition to the military circles, pleasure was also evident among the Milosevic circle. Professor Mihajlo Markovic, one of Jovic’s head people in the SPS (the ruling party) publicly supported the putschists (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 170-171).
152. Ibid. At the session of the Presidency of the SFRY, with the presidents of the republics, on August 22, Milosevic presented the claim that Markovic’s economic policy was disastrous, about which “ they had nicely warned him ” last year (December 27), which is his fault (“ It’s your fault! ”). This was the way Milosevic used in trying to overthrow the Federal Government, which had before him been initiated by Momir Bulatovic, when he claimed: “ If there is no Assembly, if it is not functioning, then there is no SIV either ”. Markovic patiently responded to such ill-argumented accusations: “ Serbia prevented the adoption of the economic program for 1991. Serbia made a diversion into the payment system, Serbia did not adhere to any single agreement, so how can they simply throw the responsibility on someone else’s back ”. Milosevic reacted to this, waving down his hand: “ That was last year ”, and Markovic replied again: “ Last year, you undermined the economic policy, you suspended the commercial and economic relations, you exceeded allowed public wages and expenditure, you made diversions into the payment and monetary system... The production is falling down, and wages are increasing. The two most recent wage rounds were paid in the amount of 41.5 billion dinars... ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 181).
153. Ibid.
154. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 187-188. In August 1991, General Spiro Nikovic, the Knin commander, stated that in five days the army can complete a very successful operation, and this has to be done by the Army itself, instead of pretending to be a peacemaker in the so-called buffer zone. General Uzelac, commander of the Banja Luka Corps, instructed the subjected commanders to cross the Sava river with tanks and armoured vehicles, and to push towards the North “ in order to identify the right, correct borders ”. For the Serbian government, “ this was not a conquest, this was not the war of Serbia against Croatia, and this was only about saving endangered Serbs and correcting unjust administrative borders ”. However, this was the Serbian scenario for a change of the borders, that is, an aggressive war for Greater Serbia (Ibid., pp. 186, 191, and 194). On August 27, 1991, huge JNA forces started towards Croatia through Bosnia and Herzegovina (Ibid., p. 185).
155. Ibid., pp. 198-200. Thus, claims Mesic, Europe named the aggressor (Serbia) and did not allow forced change of the borders. In relation to this, he writes: “ The Greater Serbia scenario is failing. Through internationalisation, we are entering the process of prevention of this dirty war imposed on Croatia “ — Ibid., pp. 198-200, and 203-204.
156. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 206-212; B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 380-382. On August 29, these documents were “ studied ” by Slobodan Milosevic and Borisav Jovic. In his diary for August 29, Jovic noted down: “ I give Slobodan my opinion on the essence and course of yesterday’s session of the Presidency. He fully agrees with me. He says he is facing unseen pressure by the EC representatives. The pressure is based on falsities, and they are transformed into accusations. He was thinking about what position we should take. He believes that the Declaration is something they have adopted and something we cannot change, although it is not fair and just. This is not worth discussing. We should concentrate on the documents we are expected to sign, and this is the Agreement for Ceasefire ad the Memorandum of Understanding. Do everything we can to correct in those documents whatever is not acceptable, and then fight further. He believes that it could even be worse for us if they isolated us immediately, instead of going into the further course together, so that we can fight. If they manage to put us aside at this point, they can forever impute on us that we have ourselves chosen such way. I warn him that the Declaration has not only unacceptable assessments, but also demands that we accept a Peace Conference, arbitration, monitoring, and truce, which are based on such unacceptable starting assessments, so hence, it is not possible to ‘become aware of it’ and keep silent. Also, I warn him that ‘Ceasefire Agreement’ demands the disarmament of all paramilitary units except the Croatian police, and it was exactly the Croats who had declared the largest number of illegally armed forces to be police forces, which have grown to 120,000 members. It also envisages the exclusion ‘the regular guard formations’ from the disarmament, which is unacceptable, because the whole Croatian guard is illegal. It turns out that it demands only the disarmament of the Serb units in Krajina, if there are any at all. Further, it demands that the JNA withdraws into barracks, which would be home arrest for the army. Supposedly it involves withdrawal into garrisons rather than barracks. These are all unacceptable positions, aiming to impose an ultimatum upon us to sign, otherwise they shall ‘excommunicate’ us, and continue negotiations with those who accept that, and they shall accuse us of breaking up Yugoslavia. Slobodan says that we had better entered the further circle of negotiations, rather than being accused of having excluded ourselves. He reminds me that the army is thinking in similar terms. He will still think the whole situation over, but he expects big pressure on the part of the EC against us. He hopes that in the next phase we will nevertheless have space and time to explicate our position and to establish a more equal treatment. We concluded that, in the meeting of the Presidency, I should try to obtain some corrections to the documents, if possible ” (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 380-381).
157. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 381-382. During the voting about the Memorandum on the Observer Mission, Jovic said: “ It is in vain to speak, there is no possibility for discussion. I have to accept the imposed destiny, too ”(S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 212). About this last session of the Presidency in full composition, Jovic wrote down: “ September 1, 1991. Session of the Presidency. Continued review of the documents (the ultimatum) of the EC. Mesic demanded that we vote immediately, because the European ‘group of three’ is waiting for our position (They had come, although we did not invite them). I present the objections to the Agreement for Ceasefire, and seek that the Presidency takes the position that the Croatian police forces above the normal composition of 20,000 people should be disarmed, as well as the Croatian guard in full, and that the JNA should withdraw into garrisons, rather than into barracks. Mesic and Drnovsek are insisting on having nothing changed. Loncar is supporting them. They say, those who want to sign will go into further negotiation, and those who don’t, may exclude themselves. The only thing left was to vote and there is not much more to discuss or negotiate about. Upon my strong insistence, they agreed that I call Van den Broek myself and tell him about my objections, which, if removed, provide the opportunity for the documents to be signed. We stopped the session so I could make that phone call. Van den Broek was brutally resentful. He told me: ‘I have not come here to negotiate with you’. He did not want to even hear about any changes. It was clear that he was eager to see the excommunication of Serbia and its isolation, as well as that there was a clear agreement with Mesic and Drnovsek. I returned to the session of the Presidency to inform them about the result. The separatists were triumphing. They had expected a triumph — which I and the rest from Serbia and Montenegro, would vote against. We voted in favour, with the statements that this is an ultimatum intended at the international isolation of Serbia and Montenegro , which will not bring anything good either to Yugoslavia, or to those who have opted for such political violence ” (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 381-382).
158. Ibid., p. 382. In relation to this, Kadijevic stated: “ The agreement for ceasefire is a sign of failure of the Croato-German line and the failure of the trap they had set up for Serbia. After the Agreement, they tried to retrieve the conflict line, in order to have Slovenia and Croatia recognized, with potential addition of the ‘Blue Helmets’, or an European army. Serbia and the Army find it suitable that the European Conference on Yugoslavia starts soon, on the 7th and 8th of this month. This is good for the army, because its tenacity is very limited. The goal of Croatia and Germany is to either quickly impose a dictate or extort the recognition of Slovenia and Croatia, and this has been avoided. The French and the English see the German penetration line into the Balkans, and they oppose the disintegration of Yugoslavia and recognition of Croatia” (Ibid.). Milosevic also stated that the Greek minister of foreign affairs had presented similar assessments to him (Ibid.).
159. Ibid. According to Jovic, Kadijevic presented “ the following thoughts and positions about the army: The Army cannot be the only federal institution for the adoption and implementation of the truce, but part of the overall system of the Federation. The transformation of the Army has to go just like the transformation of Yugoslavia goes ” (Ibid.).
160. Ibid. According to Kadijevic, the Army had to be ready for war in the following cases: “ 1. If Croatia continues with provocations and blockades up to an unbearable extent, and if it proves that this would cause the disintegration of the JNA. 2. If ultimate solutions were to be imposed to introduce solutions unacceptable to the Serbian people ” (Ibid.).
161. Ibid., p. 383.
162. Ibid. Kadijevic then spoke about the material resources, funding, ethnic composition of the JNA, and the like, which was recorded in Jovic’s memoirs as follows: “ The material resources are partially limited. Lethal devices and fuel are limited in the Air Force. The funding provided should be the one of the wartime. At present, the National Bank of Yugoslavia has 60 billion dinars for war reserves [ 4.3 billion € ; note by the author ] . The ethnic composition of the JNA would, in that case, have to change even further. Even without that, clashes happen every day within families and between officers. Slovenia and Croatia need to be exposed to conflict with Europe, within the EC. Support Europe in whatever it may propose (preservation of Yugoslavia, a new constitutional solution, and the like). Through the evolution of discussion, we will reach what suits us best, because the Croats and Slovenians will remain stubbornly for the option of secession and thus annoy Europe. Our concept is: Yugoslavia, a union of equals, and an efficient state, without experiments, self-determination of the peoples. We should not go into tiny details with minor issues, but we should stick to the principles” (Ibid.).
163. Ibid.
164. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 213-215.
165. Ibid., pp. 215-232. According to Mesic, Europe understood that the war waged in Croatia was not the war of the Croatian Serbs for their rights, but that it is the occupation of Croatian territories, in order to form Greater Serbia (Ibid., p. 213). The Hague Peace Conference on Yugoslavia, convened by the EC member countries, was attended by the members of the Presidency of the SFRY, the President of the SIV, the six republic presidents, the Federal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the EC foreign affairs ministers, the representatives of the European Commission, the European Political Cooperation, the CSCE, and Lord Carrington as the chairman. In the joint communiqué, the participants stated: “ We, the representatives of the European Community and the member countries, as well as of Yugoslavia and its republics, participants at the opening of the Conference on Yugoslavia, have gathered at the Peace Palace in The Hague, on September 7, 1991. It is our common goal to bring peace to everyone in Yugoslavia and to find durable solutions, only on terms of all their legitimate apprehensions and aspirations. In order to accomplish that, we have decided to establish an Arbitration Commission under this Conference. The opening of today’s conference marks the beginning of negotiations about the future of Yugoslavia and its peoples, and the result of this negotiation must respect the interest of all parties living there. We promise that we shall seek a peaceful solution based on the principles and obligations agreed upon under the CSCE process. We are committed to never accept changes of any borders that would not be conducted in a peaceful and amicable way. We affirm our commitment to the Paris Charter for the construction of a new Europe, the solidification and strengthening of democracy, as the only system we all need to be guided by. We solemnly declare our will to do everything that is in our power to make the Conference on Yugoslavia pass peacefully, with supervision of the ceasefire and all elements required for that, and thus to contribute to a peaceful solution". The adopted joint statement was signed by all the participants. It was agreed that on September 12, the Arbitration Commission should start working (K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, volume I, p. 144).
166. Ibid., p. 233. After his return from The Hague, Mesic found his desk “ covered with reports on intensification of the aggression: frequent attacks were made on the industrial zone of Sisak, mortars are devastating Novska, Gradiska, Gospic and Otocac, fresh troops, while people forcefully mobilized in the composition of the Banja Luka Crops were concentrating at the frontline near Okucani... Not a mention on implementation of the Agreement for Truce and Withdrawal of the Army into Barracks. The prayers for peace in Croatia and Yugoslavia by the Holy Father were also in vein. There is a terrible echo of the cries from Krusevo and Otocac, from the masses of refugees in Lovincani, Svetorocani and Ricicani, from Vrlika, from Vukovar and Sarvas, from Baranja... The Croatian villages in West Srijem are burning, explosions are shaking up Vukovar and Osijek, and from September 10, the Yugo-army also started attacking Karlovac” (Ibid.).
167. Ibid. Lawrence Eagleburger stated that “ the leadership of Serbia is going for the creation of Greater Serbia... Milosevic is ready to let Slovenia and a part of Croatia become independent, but under the condition that Greater Serbia include Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Croatia and probably Macedonia ” (Ibid., pp. 233-234). The US leadership, according to Mesic, surely also knew that the leadership of Serbia was “ closely cooperating with the JNA in conquering parts of Croatia ” (Ibid., p. 234).
168. Ibid., p. 237. Mesic stated several examples of the “ extra-institutional action” of the JNA: “ - all the insurgent groups have been armed and given protection by the JNA; - the mobilization of the Serbs in the TO was done by the Army or it tolerated such mobilization, and then the TO units act under the single command of the ”. JNA or with their knowledge, committing such crimes, even against civilians, as not remembered even from Second World War; - the units commanded by General Nikola Uzelac from the First Military District use heavy artillery from the territory of BiH (Bosnia-Herzegovina) to attack Croatian cities and villages, while the very same General tells the president of the Government of BiH that it shall be so until the police forces of the Republic of Croatia surrender themselves (Kostajnica); - the war crimes of the so-called TO in Baranja and Srijem were committed with the active support and assistance of the JNA (the JNA has conquered Baranja and surrendered it to the extremist groups which are now sending ultimatums to the Republic of Croatia, and along with the Chetniks , the active JNA Major Borivoje Dobrokesa also places his signature); - Milan Martic, arrested in BiH, against whom a search warrant was issued due to ascertained crimes, was transported to Knin as a national hero by General Major Aleksandar Vasiljevic, in a military helicopter; - From the territories of BiH and Serbia, the JNA is using heavy artillery and tanks to destroy Croatian villages and cities (Kostajnica, Vukovar, etc.); - General Aksentijevic, from the Fifth Military District, with a cynical grin on his face, presented in HTV [ Croatian Television ] that the withdrawal of the JNA into the barracks is the personal opinion of the President of Presidency of the SFRY, by which he has seriously violated the laws to which himself and other JNA officers like to ‘refer’; - The JNA has taken the HTV [ Croatian Television ] transmitters to broadcast Belgrade TV propaganda (Slavonia, Dalmatia, Lika) ” — Ibid., pp. 237-238.
169. Ibid., pp. 238-239; K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, p. 147. This order fully stated: “ that all the units have to withdraw into their barracks within 48 hours, and that the units which, with the help of the insurgent groups, have taken the area of the Beli Manastir municipality should withdraw from that area within 72 hours from the moment of the announcement of this order in public media. All the military commanders who neglect and fail to execute the orders of the Presidency of the SFRY for withdrawal of the Army into the barracks shall be placing themselves beyond the law... By withdrawing the army units of JNA to army barracks, and dissolving the illegally mobilized units of TO, since no such decision was made by the presidency of SFRJ, the conditions for solving the crisis in a peaceful and democratic manner will be created with all the relevant factors. Only by withdrawing the armies, it is possible to secure functioning of a legal state and all of its institutions...The army commanders who disobey and do not act according to the decisions of the presidency of SFRJ about the army withdrawal will automatically place themselves outside the law... ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 238). Jovic writes that “ it was without a session of the Presidency, and on his own, that Mesic had issued the ‘Order’ for the army to withdraw into the barracks ”. This order by Mesic was, as Jovic claims, assessed by the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement “ as the creation of reasons for attacking the army in Croatia. If the army fails to ‘obey’, they will be pronounce outlaws and occupators in Croatia. The purpose is to more easily explain and justify the aggression of Croatia against the Army. In fact, is preparing a declaration of war against the Army. However, the Army does not have the right to obey individual decisions of that kind ”, wrote Jovic (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 385). Jovic demanded and insisted that Mesic, as the President of the Presidency of the SFRY, “ convenes an urgent session of the Presidency of the SFRY, in order to review the action of the President of the Presidency of the SFRY — issuance of the order that the JNA units withdraw to the barracks without prior decision of the Presidency of the SFRY ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 241).
170. Ibid., p. 239-241. Such a response by Kadijevic was published in: K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, pp. 144-147. On August 3, the Assembly of the Republic of Croatia adopted Conclusions in which it brought up the demand that the JNA withdraw from the territory of the Republic of Croatia without delay. As the JNA neglected these conclusions and continued with the aggression, in early September, Croatian forces began making pressure on the barracks. The order by the President of the Presidency of the SFRY Stipe Mesic dated September 11, for withdrawal of the JNA units into barracks within 48 hours was rejected by the military leadership as unlawful (D. Marijan, JUGOSLOVENSKA NARODNA ARMIJA..., p. 306).
171. K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, p. 147; B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, pp. 186-187.
172. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 383.
173. Ibid., p. 384.
174. Ibid. According to Jovic, the main messages of General Kadijevic and Admiral Brovet were: “They were made aware of the fact that it will not be so easy to reach ceasefire in Yugoslavia, unless they stop the Germans, who influence the Croats, encouraging and assisting them. This is the key to their power, if they have any. A quick decision should be made about the future of Yugoslavia, because there is danger from expansion of the conflict into BiH, after which it would be much harder to come out of the chaos ” (Ibid.). Kadijevic and Brovet were satisfied at having deluded McLaine and the British Ambassador (Ibid.).
175. Ibid. According to Jovic, Milosevic “ was visiting Paris upon Mitterrand’s invitation. Mitterrand’s evolution from clear support to Serbia, to siding up with the other options, as explained to Milosevic, is in the function of interior political needs. Probably so, but why are they settling their interior political needs at our expense? Mitterrand persuaded Milosevic that he should accept the formation of a European arbitration, which would ‘fairly’ assess what is actually happening in Yugoslavia and what needs to be done ” (Ibid., pp. 384-385).
176. Ibid., p. 385. The attempt by Ante Markovic to reconstruct the Government was evaluated by the “ Group of Six ” as “ a manoeuvre for his own rehabilitation and strengthening of his own position, as well as the desire to dispose of those whom he does not like, Veljko Kadijevic above all. We shall not support that ” (Ibid.).
177. Ibid. Indicating upon those “ key issues ”, Jovic states that the European Community “ has persistently recommended them to refrain from them, but there is a limit to that as well ”.
178. Ibid. According to Kadijevic, this was “ very concerning ”, and he was not sure “ if it would be different even if the war began ”.
179. Ibid., p. 386. This mobilization did not succeed.
180. Ibid.
181. Ibid., p. 385.
182. Ibid.
183. Ibid. Finally, Jovic concluded that the lack of decisiveness with the army may cost them dearly.
184. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 236-247; K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, p. 142. See: pp. 494-495, and 578-581.
185. D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, p. 313.
186. Ibid.
187. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 386.
188. Ibid., pp. 386-387. In relation to this, he asked the question: “ What for do we need this lining up and down Croatia? Why do we need its capitulation?”. According to him, “ the thing boils down to rescuing the blocked soldiers in the barracks ” (Ibid.).
189. Ibid., p. 387.
190. Ibid.
191. Ibid. 192. After the departure of Kadijevic and Branko Kostic, Milosevic and Jovic assessed that “ Veljko has lost it and would very gladly slip away in a cowardly way ”, and that his “ moral is down to zero ”. In September 1991, there was also a lot of arguing about formulation of goals of the future involvement of the JNA. Some individuals were in favour of declaration of general mobilization, and for initiation of a military offensive which would break down the resistance of the Croatian regime on the whole territory of the Republic of Croatia. However, the largest number of generals was against this, at which they openly favoured the withdrawal of the JNA “ onto the ethnic borders of the Serb people ”. These borders were to be the northwestern borders of new Yugoslavia ( Profil, no. 16, p. 108). A number of generals, presenting their positions and commitments for the new system of the JNA, were in favour of having the JNA “ strongly and clearly ” rely on the nations accepting it as its own. According to them, these are the Serb and Montenegrin peoples, and “also partially the Muslim and Macedonian ones”. The ethnic borders of those nations, at the stage of disentanglement of the Yugoslav crisis (September 1991), were to also become the borders that the JNA can and must defend. According to them, Yugoslavia within such borders is “ the actual homeland of the JNA members ”, and they also claimed that they cannot and must not stay without their homeland. For the champions of such perceptions, in September 1991, SFRY did not exist any longer, whereas the JNA “ remained without its own state and had found itself in an airless space” (Ibid. Pp. 108-109). In the major part of the army personnel, in September 1991, the goals they fought for at the time were not clear, which caused major consequences. Due to this, a number of this personnel, including a number of generals, among which was even Vuk Obradovic (cf. infra), believed that the goals for which the JNA then fought “ should remain within the limits of protection of the ethnic borders of the people” to which they belonged, and saving the JNA members “ outside those ethnic borders by combining political, international, military, and all other possible activities ”. According to them, the JNA should “ firmly stick together with the people of Krajina, the people of Baranja, Slavonia, and West Srem...” (Ibid., p. 109).
193. Ibid. Jovic had come from his native Niksic, where he had been spending the weekend. 194. Ibid., pp. 387-388. In relation to this, Kadijevic stated: “ - All the Serb areas in Croatia are liberated. There is still a small number of mixed settlements, which will be liberated soon. - Parts of the garrisons behind the front line are in a very difficult situation. They get out one by one. The idea is to use the forces from the depth, mobilized and active, to strengthen the taken territory and secure normal communication with the garrisons, or for them to withdraw from the present locations. No single garrison would have fallen if the mobilization had been successful ” (Ibid., pp. 388). In his memoirs, Jovic noted down as follows about the issue of withdrawal of the garrisons from the then locations, about which Kadijevic was talking: “ [ Kadijevic ] does not explain , why he did not withdraw them when we said so, onto the new borders, and he could have done that ”.
195. Ibid. When reporting on the situation in the army, Kadijevic brought up as follows: “ There is organized work aimed at breaking of the army. Now the attack by the Serb opposition forces is the most active one. Over the last three days, three putsches were attempted: in the Military Air Forces, in the VMA Military Hospital and in the Guard Brigade. Everywhere, the same paroles and the same demands. They demand that the Presidency of the SFRY, the Supreme Command and the Army be cleansed off of traitors and that only Serbs and Montenegrins remain. There is no trust in Kadijevic and Brovet. They demand people who will ‘cleanse all, pull down everything, and kill everyone...’. No arguments are being taken into account ” (Ibid.).
196. Ibid. According to him, the tactics of the USA, Germany and Croatia is “ to conduct negotiations and to go for disarmament of the JNA on all bases available ”.
197. Ibid. About the discussions lead by Kadijevic within the framework of the JNA, Jovic wrote: “ He quickly dissuades the people who think differently, but also, mistrust against him and Brovet is expanding quickly. They think that they could have settled all of that sooner. They do not mind the circumstances. This is a typical example of the special war. The security service could not catch all the ends where this is all coming from. Probably from one centre. Mihály Kertesz [ national delegate at the Assembly of Serbia; note by the author ] is frequently in contacts with certain people from the JNA through which this wave gets intensified. He is factually suspecting Kertesz. The readiness of the Serbs in Serbia to get involved in fights in Croatia is dissatisfactory. They are demanding action, while they do not wish to participate in it, so they criticize because there is no action! He states numerous brigades refusing to go into battle ” (Ibid.).
198. Ibid.
199. Ibid., pp. 388-389.
200. Ibid., p. 389. Jovic was “ wondering ” how come that Kadijevic did not appreciate that. Kadijevic’s conclusion that they had agreed for permanent coordination, which, according to him, “ was in place anyhow, but everyone was doing their respective jobs, so the coordination was not fitted to the needs ”, Jovic commented as how “ it is visible that he is depressed. He says, in the past he had the custom to propose what needs to be done, but now he can just as well skip that too ”.
201. Ibid. In relation to this, he said: “ - Everything must be done in order to stabilize and strengthen the army, in order to succeed in negotiations later on; - A way needs to be found that a part of the Presidency of the SFRY [ the one loyal to Milosevic; note by the author ] both formally and factually takes over management and command over the armed forces of the country; - that this part of the Presidency of the SFRY reveal its position towards the JNA and bring the necessary decisions; - It must be ensured that the military conscripts be the army, rather than being the political problem of the army; - Further staffing changes need to be made at the army ” (Ibid.).
202. Ibid. This, according to Jovic, meant that Kadijevic was ready even to resign “ if we demand it ”. 203. Ibid. Kadijevic assessed at the time that the situation on the frontline is a favourable one, expressly claiming that “ this army with maybe two brigades left is quite sufficient to complete the whole task ”. This assessment of his was commented by Jovic by stating that the General had been saying up to then “ that he needed a general mobilization. I guess he has returned to the Serb borders in his mind ” (Ibid.). The situation on the frontline was presented by Kadijevic in the following way: “ The Knin Corps has been strengthened and the situation over there is good. The penetration towards Pakrac is a “bone in Croatia’s throat”. Even there, the situation is stable. Two more brigades have been sent to Banija and Kordun, one towards Petrinja, and the other towards Karlovac. If we sent two more brigades (one towards Knin, and the other towards Okucani), everything would be alright. The situation in the Dubrovnik sector is solid. The Valjevo forces have fled from this sector too (resp. from the border of Montenegro and Herzegovina). The HDZ forces there can easily be eradicated. Slovenia is pulling itself back together. We do not have enough infantry, and one cannot do without it. The Kragujevac forces have fled, as well as the Vojvodina ones. Now another brigade is getting ready in Novi Sad. It will go out to the line of Osijek — Vinkovci, and take up Vukovar, but the infantry is necessary ” (Ibid., pp. 389-390).
204. Ibid., p. 390. In his memoirs, Jovic wrote about this as follows: “ I demand Veljko to inform us whether the staffing changes are being made in the army that we had agreed upon. He answers to me angrily: ‘This is what the putschists also want’. He has lost his nerve. I reply: ‘Last time you told me that 2,000 people need to be dismissed. You should not be discussing that way, you should be reporting as to what has been done’. He apologizes. He says that much has been done, but they were prevented by ‘the rabble-rousers’. Slobodan jumps in: ‘The staffing changes are a first priority issue’. Veljko interrupts him: ‘Why did we then lose in Slovenia? The Serbs did not want to go to Slovenia’- I tell him that this cannot be rue. He allegedly needed a manpower of 5,000 for Slovenia. Could he not simply strengthen the Slovenia manpower as much as he needed, from the 150,000 permanent composition of the JNA?! This really sounds not just like an excuse, but also like an unjustified attribution of the fault onto Serbia ” (Ibid.). In Milosevic’s attempt to avoid confrontation, it was discussed “ about consolidation among the JNA, about staffing changes ”. However, according to Jovic, it was clear “ that the army is trying to attribute to us the responsibility for its own mistakes and defeats ” (Ibid.).
205. Ibid. General Adzic reported “ about the ‘slackness’ of the Krajina army. There is a large number of them eating JNA food, but not on the battlefield. There is an urgent need to form a headquarters, which will place them all under control. There are cases of plundering out of Serb villages, which must be prevented immediately. The situation in Lika is bad. They are constantly fighting. No one knows how many insurgents there are and whom they can count on. In Banija, the situation on the front line is even the best, but there is much swaying among the reservists. 400 people have fled from the Loznica brigade. He claims that there is organized activity towards the disintegration of the Serb units. Similar dissipation of the Serb reserve units is going on everywhere. One elite unit of the Guardian division has fallen completely apart — it remained without soldiers once the recruits had left after having served their military term, and the filling in with reservists did not succeed. Only the 3rd Brigade from Pozarevac has been successfully mobilized. It unblocked the Vinkovci unit from the siege. The 2nd Mechanized Brigade (Valjevo forces) has completely fled. These are Orthodox Serb nationalists. Now the complete artillery of the 2nd Motorized Brigade is standing there in Sid without manpower. Slavonia required a lot of army, they do not have infantry. He wanders where the Slavonian Serbs are, do they perhaps think that others will defend their country? ” (Ibid.).
206. Ibid., p. 391. General Adzic demanded: “ 1) Strengthening of the reached line must be ensured; 2) Units should be filled in with volunteers; 3) Serb insurgent units must be classified and the positions for defence of the reached lines must be solidified; 4) Slavonia must have infantry, in order to control liberated territory ” (Ibid., pp. 390-391).
207. V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 134; D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, pp. 307-313, and 318-319. According to Kadijevic, the aforementioned tasks were to be executed in two stages: “ the first one consisted predominantly of counterattacks of tactical relevance, until the Croat aggression is fully developed, with intensive organization and preparation of the Serb insurgents in Croatia; and the second one, with joint operational and strategic attack operation, defeat Croatia and complete the tasks assigned ”. However, in addition to the already assigned JNA forces, this operation also required 15-18 more brigades of land army — armoured, mechanized, and infantry ones (V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, pp. 134-135). The idea of the manoeuvres contained the following basic elements: “ - fully block Croatia from the air, and from the sea; - link as directly as possible the directions of attack of the main JNA forces to the liberation of the Serb regions in Croatia, and of the JNA garrisons in the depth of Croatian territory. To this goal, slice up Croatia along the lines of Gradiska — Virovitica; Bihac — Karlovac — Zagreb; Knin — Zadar; Mostar — Split. Use the strongest group of the armed and mechanized forces to liberate East Slavonia, and then quickly continue action towards the West, merge with the forces in West Slavonia and continue towards Zagreb and Varazdin, that is, towards the Slovenian border. At the same time, use strong forces from the region of Herceg Novi — Trebinje block Dubrovnik from the land and push through into the valley of Neretva and thus merge activity with the forces moving towards Mostar — Split; - after reaching certain facilities, secure and hold the border of the Serb Krajina in Croatia, pull out the remaining parts of the JNA from Slovenia and after that withdraw the JNA from Croatia; - the mobilization, preparation of mobilized or demobilized units, as well as their bringing onto the planned direction of use, will require 10-15 days, depending on the degree of combat preparedness of thee units and their distance from the direction of use ” (Ibid., pp. 135-136). The aggressive attacks against Dubrovnik began on October 1, 1991. By October 5, Prevlaka was “cleansed”, and then the pressure on Dubrovnik followed, as it was besieged and completely cut off from Croatia (D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, pp. 313-314). In the initial days of the operation, General Kadijevic stated (on October 5, 1991), that “the army at this time wishes nothing more than to establish control in the crisis regions, to protect the Serb population from persecution and destruction, and to liberate the JNA members and their families”, and that “the condition for this is to defeat the Ustasha forces” (Ibid., p. 307).
208. V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 147. The leadership of this movement “ had to ” do this, because, allegedly, according to Kadijevic, “ the JNA efforts to orient the Muslim part of the leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well towards the new Yugoslav state of those Yugoslav nations which really wish so, had not been fruitful ” (Ibid). In addition, according to Kadijevic, they were very “generous”, because they never closed the “ door for cooperation with the others, at least individuals, who were in favour of the new Yugoslavia ” (Ibid).
209. Ibid. These manoeuvres and movements, according to Kadijevic, “ were made with difficulties, somewhere they were obstructed, but nowhere were they stopped ”. This, among other things, allowed that the mobilization “ in the Serb parts ” of Bosnia and Herzegovina “ be very successful ” (Ibid.).
210. Ibid., p. 127. In order to realize this assigned task, the JNA units were strengthened “ in and around Croatia. To have two types of formations. A larger number of armoured mechanized formations ranging from one platoon to one battalion to be deployed as close as possible to the potential places of conflict, so that they can offer quick intervention. An appropriate number of the armoured mechanized units such as brigades or stronger, should be set on the appropriate points in Croatia and around Croatia, so that they can be employed for major interventions ” (Ibid.).
211. Ibid., pp. 127 and 133.
212. Ibid., p. 133.
213. Ibid., p. 134.
214. Ibid. The aforementioned tasks were to be executed in two stages: “ in the first one, predominantly with counterattacks of tactical relevance, until the aggression of the Croats is fully developed, with intensive organization and preparation of the Serb insurgents in Croatia; and the second one, with joint operational and strategic attack operation, defeat Croatia and complete the tasks assigned ” (Ibid.). The joint operational and strategic attack operation and defeat of the Croatian army, in addition to the JNA forces employed in the first stage, according to General Kadijevic, “ also required 15-18 more brigades of land army — armoured, mechanized, and infantry ones ” (Ibid., p. 135). Grouping of the JNA forces and their use in the first stage was envisaged “ to be conducted so that they be in concordance with the plan of the operational and strategic attack operation planned for the second stage ” (Ibid.).
215. Ibid., p. 136. About the failure of mobilization and about defection, Kadijevic wrote: “ All the problems of strategic and operational nature in carrying out the operation, particularly the problems related to the time of arrival of the necessary or fresh forces in certain directions, are exclusively conditioned by the failure of mobilization and by defection, in particular in some parts of the country. The solution to this problem has always been and shall always be in the hands of the state which, unfortunately, was at the time not ther e to the extend demanded by the war state. This was known by enemies of all colours, both external and internal ones. Moreover, they knew that this was in fact the only way to prevent the JNA in execution of its tasks, and this is why they concentrated all their efforts and coordinated them jointly. This is why various actions were run by ‘parents, mothers, sisters, peacemakers, pacifists, etc.’ across Yugoslavia against the JNA, whereas there were no such actions in Croatia against the Croatian army, although it had enforced general mobilization. However, in spite of this huge handicap, shortage of forces that were counted on and which objectively were not large, both in comparison with the total mobilization potentials of the country, and in comparison with the size of the Croatian army, the operation /RAM; note by the author/ was effected with reduced demands and with incomparably more difficulties and losses that would have otherwise been the case ” (Ibid., pp. 136-137). 216. Ibid., p. 137.
217. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 262. Mesic accused Tupurkovski and Bogicevic for having attended that session of the Presidency. In his letter to Gligorov, he protested by pointing out, among other things, that Tupurkovski “ by his presence in the illegally convened meeting of the Presidency is legalizing the military putsch and is allowing Serbia and the JNA to effect aggression and devastation, with all the so far committed crimes on the territory of the Republic of Croatia. Do the friendly Macedonian people know about that ?” (Ibid.). Speaking about the reasons for presence of Tupurkovski and Bogicevic at this session, Mesic assumes, among other things, that this was “ decisively influenced by the army’s occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina... ”. In his letter to Izetbegovic, among other things, Mesic also stated that by his presence at the session of the Presidency on October 1, Bogicevic “ was enabling the legalization of the military putsch ” (Ibid.). The presence of Tupurkovski and Bogicevic at that session, in spite of the fact that “ not did Tupurkovski allow once more to be persuaded to come to these illegal meetings of the Kostics ”, and Bogicevic appeared once more “ in an attempt to present the whole of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian problem caused by the military pressure on his republic, and then, he also left Belgrade for good ”, had, according to Mesic, overwhelming consequences to it. “ Namely, not due to their positions, but due to their sheer presence at the session of October 1, they will be attributed with the approval of the most recent decision of the Kostics — Jovic — Bajramovic group, proclaiming the state of war in Yugoslavia ” (Ibid., pp. 262-263).
218. Ibid., p. 263; K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, pp. 162-163; D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, p. 306. The session of October 1, was completed in the late afternoon hours, following which Mesic received the “communiqué”, together with the invitation for tomorrow’s session, with “ an ominous and unusual announcement: ‘The representatives of the Headquarters of Supreme Command shall also participate in the work of the session’, without a single word on the usually invited representatives of the Federal Assembly and the SIV ”. Mesic reacted upon this by sending a letter of protest to all the members of the Presidency through the Secretary General: “ ... The session was illegally convened by the Vice President... Namely, the Vice President of the Presidency, together with some members of the Serb block, is participating in the military putsch and is intentionally attempting to use illegal manipulation to reach decisions in the Presidency, in order to legalize the illegal and non-constitutional decisions of the Army. The positions of the Serb block in the Presidency are not strange to me, but I am surprised at the accession to the military putsch by Messrs. Bogic Bogicevic and Vasil Tupurkovski. I have to emphasize once again that the same JNA, which demands that its funding be placed on the agenda, is using tanks on motor roads and is blocking the air traffic in order to prevent arrival to the session of the legal and legitimate President of the Presidency of the SFRY. Everyone shall carry their respective shares of responsibility for illegal action ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 263).
219. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 283.
220. ICTY, Case: No. IT-02-54-T, paragraphs 82-83, and 959. At this meeting with Prime Minister Djukanovic and several senior officers of the JNA, Bulatovic claimed that thirty thousand “Ustashas” had attacked Montenegro, which was a lie. At the next meeting, Bulatovic and other top Montenegrin politicians discussed the creation of the (historic) “ Republic of Ragusa [ i.e. Dubrovnik ] ” , and its accession to the expanded Serb state (Ibid.).
221. Ibid., p. 264. In his interview, Dr. Kostic said: “ ... JOURNALIST: Has not thus the Headquarters of the Supreme Command taken over the competencies of the Presidency? KOSTIC: No, because in the previous decisions of the Presidency the Headquarters of the Supreme Command had such powers, including saving of the army endangered in the barracks, and employing the necessary forces in crisis areas, where they need to serve in separation of the interethnically conflicting sides. The Headquarters has brought such a decision as it can make. JOURNALIST: Today, while you were at the session, a piece of news has passed around that Mesic has resigned, which he has denied, and that Kadijevic has been arrested. KOSTIC: This piece of news has not reached me... JOURNALIST: Judging by the conduct of the head people of BiH, there were three that were expected to show up, but they did not come, because Mesic is not presiding, there is resistance against your method of work. And you did not say, has Kadijevic been arrested? KOSTIC: He has not been arrested, what do you mean arrested? JOURNALIST: Honoured Vice President of Yugoslavia, the richest parts of Croatia have been devastated, destroyed. Now the fire is coming near Dubrovnik, three cassette bombs have been thrown onto it today. Has the Presidency discussed this today? I suppose the Presidency shall not allow Dubrovnik to be devastated! KOSTIC: There has been no discussion of that. And as for the cassette bombs, I have not heard about them, I have just heard that Dubrovnik has been bombed. JOURNALIST: Honoured Vice President, according to this ultimatum, or — as you say — the ultimate warning of the Headquarters of Supreme Command to the Republic of Croatia, it turns out — if the blockade of barracks is continued — that the JNA would pull down the major facilities of Croatia. Dubrovnik is such a place. Is it possible that someone shall have the imprudence to strike Dubrovnik? KOSTIC: I suppose that it will not occur to anyone among the Croatian formations to use the Fortress of Dubrovnik or some other place to set artillery, mortars, or other weapons, to be used to endanger or fight the other side in the conflict. But, if the Croatian armed formations happen to use the buildings of Dubrovnik, thinking they are protected there, to strike the other side, then this realistically poses a threat to Dubrovnik. JOURNALIST: Glory is transient, humans are mortal, and Dubrovnik should be immortal, at least this is what we have believed. I think, honoured Vice President, that the eight of you at the Presidency are not so important as Dubrovnik, do you agree? KOSTIC: Do not refer only to the eight of us, please. JOURNALIST: I have asked about the Presidency, because you have said that, of the Federal institutions only the Presidency is functioning, that the Assembly is blocked, that the SIV has been decimated... KOSTIC: It could occur to no one to strike a church tower, but, if someone over there places a machine gun nest into it, then this machine gun indeed needs to be neutralized. So, now you tell me who is to blame. This also pertains to Dubrovnik ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 264).
222. Ibid., p. 265. In relation to this, the Belgrade commentator stated that “ the general attack against Croatia ” should have been ordered as early as in mid-March 1991, when “ the demand of the Army for full raising of combat preparedness was correctly understood and supported only by Borisav Jovic, whereas Mesic and Drnovsek were repeating their well-known positions, Riza Sapunxiu was lost, Bogic Bogicevic kept repeating that this will not provide salaries for the 23,000 workers in Zenica, and Vasil Tupurkovski, as usual, was performing his ivory-tower shows ” (Ibid., p. 265). Such tactics for the conquest and destruction of Croatia was not accepted by Kadijevic at that meeting, “ but not for reasons of humaneness, instead, out of the difficulty! - Branko, we don’t have enough force to do that, we have no manpower! ” (Ibid.).
223. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 392-393; O. Backovic —M. Vasic — A. Vasovic, the aforementioned work, p. 360; S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 268; B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, pp. 240-242; D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, p. 306. Kostic’s public communiqué states that this “ was unanimously assessed by the Presidency of the SFRY ”. He was referring to the decision of the October 1 session, when Tupurkovski and Bogicevic attended, when with the majority of the present members the Presidency “ unanimously assessed that we are facing the danger of the general civil war and that the country is in the state of immediate threat of war, of which the local and international public has been already notified in the official communiqué from that session ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 268-269). At the session of the Presidency of October 1, the status of immediate threat of war had never been mentioned, but, as the “ communiqué ” states, “ the Presidency of the SFRY was informed by the competent federal bodies that the political and security situation in the country is ultimately difficult and dramatic, and that the general civil war is threatening ”. This formulation was not included in the “ communiqué ”, or in the record from this session, nor in the invitation for the October 3 session. There was only one agreed point on the agenda: “ Some current issues from the general national defence domain ”. Only at the meeting “ of the group of four ” was it decided that the first point of the agenda be “ the agreement for ensuring continuity of the work of the Presidency of the SFRY based on the assessment of the Presidency from the 143rd Session of the Presidency held on October 1, 1991, about existence of the immediate threat of war and the transition of the work of the Presidency of the SFRY under the conditions of existence of the immediate threat of war ” (Ibid.). According to Mesic, reference to the October 1, 1991 session of the Presidency of the SFRY is a “ sheer falsification ”. In order for the October 3 session to have the aforementioned agenda, according to him, “ prior to that, two things had to be decided, that: (1) immediate threat of war exists, and (2) the Presidency of the SFRY transfers to work under conditions of immediate threat of war. Had there not been such decisions, how could then such an agenda ever have been announced! ” (Ibid.). Jovic substantiated the decision of the Presidency to transfer to work under conditions of immediate threat of war in the following way: “ Two days ago, we took the decision that the Presidency of the SFRY should come out of the paralysis imposed on it by boycotting work on the part of some Presidency members. For a long time, Drnovsek has not been coming to the meetings, and recently Stipe Mesic either. Tupurkovski and Bogicevic do not accept the holding of sessions without Mesic as the president, and every attempt on our part to make any serious decisions is brought into question. Mesic is in Zagreb. On our insistence to come to Belgrade so we could perform our function, he convenes the session in Brioni, which we rejected. The Rules of Procedure envisage that the Presidency works in Belgrade. The change could only occur upon the decision of the Presidency, but not upon the decision of the President only. Mesic says that due to traffic obstacles on the highway, he cannot come! This was a good excuse for us to use the constitutional option and transfer to work with that number of the Presidency members as can come to the session. The Presidency brought the decision to transfer to work under the conditions of immediate threat of war, and then it works in any composition that is viable. This decision was brought with the participation of six members of the Presidency, including Bogicevic and Tupurkovski. They had agreed for us to bring the decision on work under conditions of immediate threat of war, and once we started implementing it, they withdrew and refused to participate in further work of the Presidency. Probably they have been influenced from aside ” (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 392-393). Jovic openly lies, particularly when he claims that the decision for transfer of the Presidency of the SFRY to work under conditions of immediate threat of war was made with participation of “ six members of the Presidency, including Bogicevic and Tupurkovski ”, who, according to him, had agreed upon the aforementioned decision to be made (Ibid., p. 393).
224. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 269. This is the right that was denied to Dr. Drnovsek by the rump Presidency, “ because, with the consent of the Republic of Slovenia, on July 18, 1991, the Presidency of the SFRY brought a decision to dislocate all commands, units and institutions of the JNA out of the territory of the Republic of Slovenia ”. In citing this decision, Mesic concluded: “ On July 12 and 18, they had a completely different story, when Kostic and Jovic brought up the request for withdrawal of the army from Slovenia ” (Ibid.).
225. Ibid., pp. 272, 274, 275, and 277. About this, the Presidency of the SFRY had never brought any decisions. The rump Presidency then “ agreed that the Federal Secretary for National Defence, Army General Veljko Kadijevic participates at the meeting in The Hague on October 4... and it established the positions for his presentation at this meeting ” (Ibid.).
226. Milosevic insisted on the name of Yugoslavia (both for the state and the army), in order to maintain his “thesis”, thus deluding the public that Yugoslavia had been broken up by the “secessionists” (Slovenia and Croatia), with important support from Germany, Austria, and the Vatican. For Milosevic, this was of supreme importance, because he was counting on that the future Yugoslavia (of 17 million) would be continuous in legal personality with the SFRY. Upon insistence of General Tomislav Simovic (defence minister of the Republic of Serbia), Milosevic refused to conduct general mobilization, because allegedly, “ the conditions for that have not yet come into place ”, as “ Serbia is not at war ”. Instead of the general mobilization, Milosevic was in favour of the partial one, and for disciplining of defectors, at which he sought to be given the lists “ of incompetent generals and colonels for urgent retirement ” (S. Biserko, the aforementioned work, p. 227).
227. Ibid., pp. 272-274, and 277; B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 392-393; O. Backovic - M. Vasic - A. Vasovic, the aforementioned work, p. 360; B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, pp. 187-188, and 240-241; D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, p. 306.
228. D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, p. 306. However, the situation was quite the contrary one, because “ it was exactly then that the majority of the military potentials of the JNA was in function of imposing the will of the political and military top of the most numerous people in the SFRY (the Serbs), to the second people by size (the Croats) ”, as correctly pointed out by D. Marijan (Ibid.).
229. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 313; V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 38; B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 393. Because of this, Kadijevic “ concluded ” that “ thus the time has come when the West was pushing the JNA to act independently ” (V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 38).
230. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 393. A number of members of the Presidency of the SFRY, since late August or early September 1991 (according to Jovic, the last session of the Presidency of the SFRY in full composition was held on September 1, 1991), had not been coming to sessions, such as: Janez Drnovsek, and Stipe Mesic. Tupurkovski and Bogicevic did not accept the holding of sessions without Mesic as the president (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 381-382, and 392). Instead, illegal meetings of the “ Group of Six ” had been constantly and in continuity held just as before.
231. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 393-394. This conference was on behalf of the SFRY also attended by Budimir Loncar, Federal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, who declared solidarity with such a conclusion, which was enough for Jovic to conclude that “ we must dismiss him. There is no other option ” (Ibid., p. 393). On October 26, 1991, as agreed, Branko Kostic talked to Loncar and suggested him to resign by himself, which he refused. Because he was an obstacle for the Serb leadership, Jovic demanded “ an analysis from the services, to tell him what we could do ” (Ibid., p. 40 4).
232. O. Backovic - M. Vasic - A. Vasovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 360-361; B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 241; S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 47-48, and 313; ICTY, Case: No. IT-02-54-T, paragraphs 99 and 956. In addition to the control over the rump Presidency, Milosevic was also exerting direct or indirect control over the police and military forces in the Republic of Serbia and SFRY (ICTY, Case: No. IT-02-54-T, paragraph 99).
233. B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 246. 234. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 313; B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 393.
235. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 268.
236. Ibid., p. 277.
237. Ibid., pp. 273-274.
238. Ibid., pp. 272-273.
239. Ibid., p. 283. Upon such interpretation of the agreement, there was a public reaction by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the Ministerial Council of the European Community, claiming that “ indeed, nothing was signed, but the verbal agreement is also deemed binding, and the statement of General Kadijevic and the communiqué of the SSNO are unacceptable... No document has been signed, but all sides have agreed that the federal forces would withdraw from Croatia within one month ” (Ibid.).
240. B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 240.
241. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 391. The reason for this “ urgent discussion ” was the information that Jovic “ urgently ” received from Vlado Kovacevic, member of the Main Board of the SPS, that at the meeting of the soldiers of the First Proletarian Brigade, the retired General Eugen Lebaric had asked General Marko Negovanovic (member of the Headquarters of Supreme Command in charge of ideology affairs) “ how come, that there is such rate of desertion in the army and resistance to mobilization? ” At that, the general responded to him as follows: “ - You had better ask the president of the Republic of Serbia and the state and political leadership of Serbia. - The SPS and the leadership of Serbia are to blame for the defeatism, having allowed something like that to take place. - They had initiated the fight of the Serb nation in Croatia, and now they are leaving them on thin ice. - The main culprit is the Serbian state and the SPS, because they are not fighting against the enemy of the JNA and the defection within it ” (Ibid.). After that, Jovic called Kadijevic and Milosevic, asking for an urgent meeting. Milosevic sought from Kadijevic to immediately dismiss general Negovanovic, and Jovic said: “ that it was not Negovanovic who made it up, that he had only presented the position of the military top, and that I want to make this clear: how can something like this be revealed in public. The army cannot do without us. We could perhaps do without [ the Army ] — we would form our own, anyway — and how would they devise their own state — is not clear. Veljko promised he would check up on that. He has checked it up and he says that Lebaric was not telling the truth. Maybe Kadijevic is being lied to. Maybe we are all being lied and all of them think so about us. We have come over that. Dog eat dog... ” (Ibid.).
242. Ibid. In relation to this, Jovic was wondering, because the military leadership spoke “ a couple of days ago”, “that 6 brigades (30,000 manpower) was enough for final success”, and “now they are demanding general mobilization. Serbia and Montenegro have 1,500,000 military conscripts! Are we supposed to mobilize all!? And Croatia has 200,000 soldiers. Why do we need such a large army? ”, rightfully wondered Jovic (Ibid., pp. 391-392).
243. Ibid., p. 392.
244. Ibid. In relation to this, Jovic wrote: “ I guess at one point we must switch to a political solution ”.
245. Ibid. On October 5, the “ the Gang of Four ” was distributing general’s epaulettes. Namely, a list was prepared at the Presidency of the SFRY with several thousand names — proposals for decorations for “ the active military personnel and soldiers for the courage shown and for conscientious fulfilling of tasks” . From August, this list had been waiting for the signature by President of the Presidency of the SFRY. By the “ unanimous decision ” of his group of four, which was making decisions “ by the majority present at the session ”, Kostic was authorized on October 7 to sign off the decree on decorations “ for exceptional sacrifice and execution of combat tasks, but also for promotions into higher ranks ”. Thus, “ for exceptional contribution in execution of combat tasks ”, the then colonels, blatant criminals, received extraordinary ranks of General — Ljubomir Gajic and Ratko Mladic (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 275-276). On October 5, “ upon the proposal of the SSNO, without a session, in consultations with the members of the Presidency ”, the rump Presidency of the SFRY passed “ the Order for Determining of Territories of Jurisdiction for Martial Courts of First Instance ” (Ibid., p. 277). 246. Ibid.
247. Ibid.
248. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 280; K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, pp. 169-170. Under the auspices of the European Community, represented by Ambassador D. J. van Houten, the agreement was signed by: general Andrija Raseta (representative of the SSNO), Stjepan Adamic (deputy defence minister of the Government of the Republic of Croatia), colonel Imre Agotic (member of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Armed Forces), and Ambassador Dirk-Jan van Houten (Ibid.).
249. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 394. At the time, Kadijevic replaced “ the overthrow of the Croatian leadership, which he had long demanded ”, with “ pulling the army out ”.
250. Ibid. About the situation in Croatia, Kadijevic stated: “ They have 200,000 armed soldiers. They have new forces coming in. They are receiving arms from abroad. They are seriously shaken by our offensive. They have strong international support. If they assess that they would lose in political negotiations, and gain on military ground, they will opt for the military action, regardless of the current situation. There is no doubt that they will stick to the military option ” (Ibid.).
251. Ibid. About “ the condition in the JNA ”, Kadijevic pointed out: “ The main weaknesses are the besieged garrisons and the lack of reserve soldiers. Part of the reserves on the front line could easily be defeated in case of extended waiting. The JNA does not possess sufficient power to completely defeat the Croatian army, although they may even fall in 10 days if there was not for the problem of the besieged garrisons (I wonder why they had not done this while the garrisons were still not besieged and why is he still shuffling the idea of completely defeating the Croatian army if he has accepted the new goals). For realization of the goals, which can also be accomplished without defeating the Croatian army, but only threatening them with force, with a peace making initiative, the army requires forces larger than the available ones ” (Ibid.).
252. Ibid. About this, Kadijevic said as follows: “ The axis of the activities of the JNA compositions are Serbs and they are excellent everywhere, both as officers and as soldiers. However, the Serb and Vojvodina reservists have offered major resistance against coming to the army. There where the reservists were in minority in relation to the active composition, they were fighting well. The main problem is where they were either the majority or fully reservists. The fleeing from the frontline continues. The Montenegrins and the Herzegovinians are excellent. The Bosnians and the Krajina forces are rather mediocre ” (Ibid.).
253. Ibid. In relation to this, General Kadijevic concluded: “ 1) We have to get ready for the military option of the realization of the objectives and political disentanglement. Unless we are militarily ready to defend our goals, we will suffer a defeat. 2) It is certain that the military option of defence in long-term on the reached frontline, only with forces we have available can not be accomplished, we shall not hold on. The solution is to be sought in a quick political disentanglement or a military action. On a long-term basis, we will lose. Therefore we should seek intensification of the military and political measures, combined. Intensify political negotiations both through the EC and directly. Try to use the EC peace-making initiative to find a peaceful solution as soon as possible and thus accomplish our goals. We need to let them know that, if there are tricks in this peace making initiative, Serbia and Montenegro will propose general mobilization and that the Army will be capable to prevent any solution unacceptable for us. This needs to be stated very clearly. As early as now, prepare everything for general mobilization that may or may not happen. Meanwhile continue with maximum use of the partial mobilization. The Army shall continue with the pulling out of the units from the besieged garrisons based on agreements or by force, as well as by transformation within the JNA ” (Ibid., pp. 394-395).
254. Ibid., p. 395. 255. B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 187.
256. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 394.
257. Ibid.; B. Mamula, the aforementioned work, p. 228. According to Jovic’s notes dated October 27, 1991, in which he speaks about the meeting of the Rump Presidency of the SFRY at the Headquarters of Supreme Command, “ three trains, some 100 wagons of armament and ammunition (cannons, howitzers, etc.) were seized ” from the Yugoslav People’s Army. — B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 404.
258. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 394.
259. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 281, and 283.
260. Ibid. p. 284.
261. Ibid., pp. 284-285; B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 400. At the session of October 17, the Rump Presidency decided to go to The Hague, but, as written by Jovic, “ they had planned the decision making about the position for the evening, at 9 PM, until the text of Carrington’s plan had been translated. Otherwise, as early as from the untranslated text, it was clear that the proposal is unacceptable, that it needs to be refused: it sets Yugoslavia apart, breaks up the Serb nation into several states, leaving Serbs in Croatia, etc. “ (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 400). Then Dr. Kostic stated that Montenegro would support the proposal of Lord Carrington, which caused a real shock with Jovic and Milosevic. About this, Jovic wrote as follows: “ At the office of Branko Kostic — he was just about to leave for Titograd, to the session of the Assembly of Montenegro, on the same issue; suddenly, Branko told me, in front of Jugoslav Kostic and Sejdo Bajramovic, as follows: “Montenegro will support the proposal of Lord Carrington!” I looked at him, unbelievingly, as is he was joking. I warn him not to tell such jokes. Very seriously, he confirms the same once again.I told him that this would be the most treacherous knife into the back of Serbia and its leadership. Let them think well over about what they are doing. Annoyed, I left his office, simply not believing. In several minutes, Jugoslav Kostic comes to me, he says that Branko has repeated the same again and even said that he will probably resign from the office of the member of Presidency of the SFRY, because Yugoslavia exists no more!! Nice, by Jove! I go to Slobodan Milosevic so we can prepare the positions for The Hague. Immediately I told him this nonsense. He does not believe. He thinks they can’t be serious. In several attempts to reach Momir Bulatovic on the phone, Slobodan is not successful. “He does not have a phone with him, he is in the conference room! “ Imagine that! (while he does not want to answer). We receive the fax with the positions of Montenegro. Black positions. Only then Momir Bulatovic calls. He is persistent, nothing can be changed. We are shocked. Around 8 PM I receive Cyrus Vance, envoy of the UN Secretary General. I make efforts to talk to the man in a normal way, although he himself was rather “stiff”. At 9:30 PM, the session of the Presidency of the SFRY about Carrington’s document. I take the word and start telling Branko: “Although you in Montenegro have declared yourselves positively, we shall overpower your vote here...” However, Branko had the same opinion as me. Meaning, the conflict is within the Montenegrin leadership.
I try to learn from Branko what the matter is about, how this turnaround had come about. He links everything to the meeting held several days earlier between the Serb and Montenegrin leaderships. And what happened at that meeting? I participated in it. It discussed mainly the directions for solution of the crisis and the actual difficulties in which we are. The Montenegrins were exceptionally aggressive. They proposed general mobilization. They criticized the dissipation of the units in Serbia, they believed that this may be eliminated by one single speech by Slobodan Milosevic, that we had given too much clearance to the opposition, that we are not holding the press, radio and television under control, [ and ] that they do not trust in the political solution unless we overthrow Tudjman’s army and government. We could not agree about that. We presented the objective situation in Serbia, which cannot be easily turned around with a single speech. The people are not so much in the mood for war, as they may think, nor can we move them ahead overnight. They have to have this fact in mind. Furthermore, the orientation for the military option has to have in mind that on the other side we have not only Croatia, but also Germany, and probably Europe and the US. Even the USSR is not on our side, they have been weakened, and Gorbachev did not even want to promise that he will place a veto at the Security Council if they want to introduce economic embargo or military measures. Our opinion is that we have militarily protected the territories of the Serb people, that we should not go and conquer what is not ours, that we need to keep balance on the field and conduct political negotiations. For us it is important to accomplish freedom and independence from the Croats for the Serb people in Croatia. It is not our goal to overthrow the Croatian government, or to conquer the Croatian territories. Seemingly, at least in their interpretation, the Montenegrins were shocked that we are not seeking general mobilization but negotiations. I shall never understand how come that our position to accept political negotiations served them as a reason to accept the EC ultimatum. They will never be able to justify that.
People are confused at the Montenegrin acceptance of disintegration of Yugoslavia. We are not dramatizing the events, hoping for a positive evolution. Maybe the Assembly of Montenegro, or the people of Montenegro, will deny such a position of Bulatovic. He is in person also trying to cover this up in public... ” (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 400-401).
262. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 286-289.
263. K. Begic, BOSNA I HERCEGOVINA OD VANCEOVE MISIJE DO DAYTONSKOG SPORAZUMA (1991. — 1996.), Sarajevo 1997, pp. 24-26. This is the document under the title “ Frameworks for general solution of the Yugoslav crisis ”, which, after a previously signed order for urgent and unconditional ceasefire, was distributed to the participants of the Conference. According to this document, overcoming the Yugoslav crisis included the following components: “ a) Sovereign and independent republics with international subjectivity for those republics that so desire. b) Freedom of association for the republics with international subjectivity, as foreseen in this agreement. c) A comprehensive agreement, including the control mechanisms for protection of human rights and the special status for individual groups and areas. d) European involvement, in cases where needed. e) Under the global solution, recognition of independence of those republics which so desire, within their existing borders, unless a different agreement is reached ” (Ibid., p. 24).
264. Ibid. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 293. In the subsequent substantiation of his position, Milosevic pointed out that the principles of the agreement for a general solution of he Yugoslav crisis mean the termination of Yugoslavia. In spite of that, he advocated in favour of continued work of the Conference and in particular of the involvement of the Arbitration Commission. The other five republic leaders had in principle accepted the Framework for the General Solution of the Crisis (K. Begic, the aforementioned work, pp. 24-26, and 31). In a closed session (between October 18 and 19, 1991), the Assembly of Serbia gave support to Slobodan Milosevic and demonstratively refused “ The Hague materials ” (Ibid., p. 26. note 2).
265. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 289-290; B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 400.
266. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 290.
267. K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, pp. 170-171.
268. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 289; K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, p. 161. This order for mobilization was dictated by Kadijevic. In this, he fiercely attacked the European Community and in particular Germany, at which, according to Borba , “ the tone of his General [ sic ] was exceptionally aggressive ”. He then also announced the transformation of the JNA “ into the armed force of Yugoslavia such as it will be preserved ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 289).
269. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2814, Command of the First Military District, strictly confidential no. 12/73-173, October 22, 1991 — to the commands: of the Fourth Corps and others. All the commands and officers, among other things, were obligated, in a timely manner, to prepare and ensure “ the complete military equipment (including helmets, protective masks, pioneering tools, emergency bandages, and the like), the formation armament and the accompanying quantities of ammunition for the whole manpower (as per the peacetime and wartime formation of the respective unit)”. What was to be done immediately was “ to carry out invitation to the training into the war-time units of the AVL [ Active Military Personnel; note by the author ] and the reserve military officers deployed in such units, for their training in carrying out of mobilization and commanding over the units in execution of the basic combat tasks. All the reserve military officers at the levels of commanders of regiments or brigades, battalions or divisions, commanders of companies — batteries and independent platoons, as well as officers at other key duties in the units for which the competent commands deem necessary ”. The inviting was to be done on October 23, 1991, “ and the training of the reserve composition was to be conducted over 12 hours a day (with officers and mobilized reserve units) ”. The mobilization was to be done selectively, in order to avoid the weaknesses, which had thus far been present in mobilization of war units. Under this order, there was also the need to undertake “ special measures for institution of criminal and minor offence procedures against the responsible persons for failing to fulfil their military obligation ” (Ibid.).
270. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 401-402.
271. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 291.
272. Ibid., p. 292.
273. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 400-402.
274. Ibid., p. 402. About this meeting, Jovic noted down in his memoirs as follows: “ ... There was Momir Bulatovic, too. We did not attack him. We were trying to ‘look the other way’ , to pretend that we do not see anything. But we could not find the same language when we were coming from different standpoints. Towards the end of the meeting, I said that it is in vain to continue our work now unless Momir changes his position. His response was that the problem is not in Momir but in us. ‘They do not want to fight in the was for us’, ‘they are running Montenegro, not us’, and so on. There is not even tolerance left, let alone trust! ” (Ibid.). After the meeting, Jovic invited Milosevic at home and “ said that such meetings have no more sense if Momir sticks with his opinion ”.
275. Ibid.
276. Ibid. Jovic claims that this was factually accusing Milosevic and Jovic when saying this.
277. Ibid. In relation to this, on October 25, 1991, Jovic concluded: “ It is hard now to ‘accommodate’ it all the time, while it is doing nothing ”. 278. Ibid.
279. Ibid. About this meeting, On October 1991, Milosevic stated: “ maybe it will be the last one, and that’s it ”.
280. Ibid., p. 403. Jovic reacted to such information by saying: “ This is really insolent ”.
281. Ibid.
282. Ibid. Stating that Kadijevic had apologized, Jovic concluded: “ ... one can see what he thinks in himself. And what he thinks about himself ”.
283. Ibid., p. 403.
284. Ibid.
285. Ibid. About this, in his memoirs, Jovic wrote: “ Of the 200,000 soldiers that JNA has today [ that is, in late October; note by the author ] , 70% are Serbs. Of the 100,000 reservists, 75% are Serbs. Who is holding all these frontlines across Croatia, if not Serbs? Ten days before he asked for 30,000 reservists to finish off the war in 15 days (6 brigades, of which 3 brigades from Serbia, two from Bosnia, and one from Montenegro). He has already received half of that. Today [ October 25; note by the author ] he wants [ General Kadijevic; note by the author ] 250,000: How come, when nothing significant has changed on the front line? ” (Ibid.).
286. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 293.
287. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 404. In relation to this, Jovic wrote: “ They did not feel either comfortable or easy. For years, they learned not having a tutor, and having everything adopted as they said, and now it is a little harder to have that ”.
288. Ibid. Stating this demand of the military leadership, Jovic wrote: “ They are again asking for the supplementary mobilization of 250,000 people. Now the army has some 100,000 soldiers in its active composition, and recruits, and 100,000 reservists. Allegedly, the Croats have 160,000 mobilized and equally as many more (160,000) armed people... ” (Ibid.).
289. Ibid.
290. Ibid. Jovic personally did not believe that they can receive such support, but he promised that he would present the army demands to them.
291. Ibid., pp. 404-405. Such a position of Milosevic was assessed by Jovic as “ probably a smart move ”, and he continued to say that the Montenegrins have made him very concerned at their conduct. He could never “ even think that they could turn their backs on us so easily ”.
292. Ibid., p. 405. About this conversation, Jovic continues to say: “ Unless they change their statement, we are going public with the right assessments about what their position means, and this would mean their devastation. This is what we are left with as the only way out. We believe that we would find it easier to overthrow them then to build a new, good political platform for further independent action. This is what suits us the least, but we have no other option ” (Ibid.).
293. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 294.
294. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 405.
295. Ibid. Kostic stated that they need to know “ whether we have the state, the Presidency, the JNA, or we have come apart” , because this is what their work in the Presidency depended upon.
296. Ibid. In relation to this, he stated if the Montenegrins “ continue to attack the army and to confront it, the concept of existence of Yugoslavia and our whole policy has fallen down ”.
297. Ibid.
298. Ibid., pp. 405-406. This would, according to him, bring to some “ major detriment, because we will lose even what we would have certainly gained politically, based on the past strife for the rights and position of the Serb people in Croatia. This would be an unforgivable mistake. Regardless of the outcome of the negotiations in The Hague, we must stick together. There is simply this question: are we together or not? The public can not be held in delusion ” (Ibid., p. 406).
299. Ibid. About this, Jovic wrote: “ Risto, Milo, and Momir spoke. Each of them in the same direction: the problem is not in them. We should not doubt that the people of Montenegro want to be with the people of Serbia, they will prove this at the referendum, as well. They have huge support in the parliament and among people. It is unacceptable that they be called traitors. The problem is that Serbia does not want to make war. They were in favour of the war, but if Serbia is not, then there is no other option than to accept the peace proposals. They dispute by saying that these proposals are no good, although they include full dissolution and eradication of Yugoslavia. They believe they can be improved, but they are essentially acceptable. They attack the army. The army is doing what they want, they do not ask them where to send their reservists, now it is mining the barracks in Montenegro! And so on... We argued for a long time. We let them know sufficiently clearly how much guilty they would be for the situation that may occur. Bakocevic posed them an open question: you have talked to the Croatians, Italians, and Austrians... May we know what they offered to you? Bulatovic said as follows: - We’ve got nothing to hide. They told us we would benefit personally, that our party would be treated as a democratic one, that we will receive money for the development of Montenegro, that we will gain Prevlaka in a peaceful way, and that Montenegro shall not suffer from the embargo, if it is imposed against Serbia. Of course, Bulatovic said, we have not accepted the plan of the European Community (Carrington plan) because of that, but because of our personal conviction” (Ibid.).
300. Ibid. According to Jovic, this had come in well for the Montenegrins “ so they can intensify their attacks against us ”.
301. Ibid.
302. Ibid. Jovic wrote about this as follows: “ Slobodan has drafted the text of the amendment that Montenegro should send to The Hague. The essence is that those who wish to leave Yugoslavia may do that, and those who wish to stay in Yugoslavia also may do that. So the dissolution is not inevitable. Momir and Slobodan were arguing all day long, not on the contents any longer, but on the procedure. Sloba seeks that Momir should present this to The Hague, and Momir wants Sloba to do it, and that he agrees at the Conference. Finally, Sloba ‘persuaded’ him. Bulatovic finally accepted and promised to forward it. I guess things are going for the better ” (Ibid. pp. 406-407). Under intensive pressure of Slobodan Milosevic, Borisav Jovic, Dr. Branko Kostic, and the others, Momir Bulatovic changed his position and rejected Carrington’s plan. He was threatened by both Borisav Jovic and Dr. Branko Kostic: unless he reviews his position he shall be dismissed, and possibly also arrested ( ICTY, Case: No. IT-02-54-T, paragraph 84, inst. 165, and 959).
303. K. Begic, the aforementioned work, p. 26. 304. Ibid., p. 27.
305. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 407. According to Jovic, Kadijevic responded to Milosevic: “ You are just like Bora Jovic ”. In order to boost the severely declined morale, the units of the First Military District, on October 31 and November 1, 1991, during the battle for Vukovar, were visited by the Chief of Staff of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the SFRY, General Blagoje Adzic (D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, pp. 308-309).
306. Ibid. Jovic then informed Milosevic that he had asked the military leadership at the General Staff “ how much army there is at those barracks, and they responded to me: 13,000. They got angry when I wondered in front of them if it is justified to mobilize 250,000 people, of which at least 10% will be killed for forced conquest of these barracks in the cities? And the question is how much success they will have in the first place. I told them openly that we cannot succeed with such large mobilization and that mass protests may occur, and the political defeat, if we insist on that to the end. They do not care about this. They think it is enough that the two of us hold one speech each, and that everybody will go to war and correct their mistakes ” (Ibid.).
307. Ibid.
308. Ibid., p. 408. At this, according to Jovic, Milosevic was thinking about “ how to do this without having them refuse us, and there is also the danger of lack of understanding with the Serbs in Krajina ”. In relation to this, Jovic noted down: “ We will talk about it some more ”.
309. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 306. The Conference was attended by: members of the Presidency of the SFRY (except for Dr. Drnovsek), then Markovic and Loncar, the republic presidents (Tudjman, Milosevic, and Gligorov), presidents of the republic presidencies (Izetbegovic, Kucan, and Bulatovic), and the republic ministers of foreign affairs (Silajdzic, Samardzic, Separovic, Meleski, Rupel, and Jovanovic) — Ibid.
310. Ibid.; K. Begic, the aforementioned work, p. 27. Thus, Milosevic, the president of Serbia, denied his signature on the “European plan” for the second time (K. Begic, the aforementioned work, p. 31).
311. Ibid.; K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, p. 177. In order to accept Chapter I, Milosevic and Bulatovic insisted on making the following changes: - firstly, that point C, Article 1, states as follows: “ the joint state of equal republics and nations that wish to stay in Yugoslavia as their common state ”; and, - secondly, that point G also be included, stating as follows: “ Under the framework of the general solution, the continuity and international subjectivity of Yugoslavia as a joint state of the republics that so wish ” (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 306).
312. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 306. Dr. Kostic was prevented from talking once again. After everyone declared in the proportion of 4:2, Dr. Kostic applied to speak. Lord Carrington told him: “ You can not speak, Sir, because it is an illegitimate body that you want to represent ” (Ibid., pp. 306-307).
313. Ibid., p. 308.
314. Ibid., pp. 407-411. According to Jovic, Milosevic agreed with that “ radical move, but he believes that we need to take some more time in order to think about how to carry that out, without being refused, and there is also the risk of lack of understanding with the Serbs in Krajina ” (Ibid., p. 408). The unsuccessful military mobilization convinced the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement that the formation of the Republic of Serbian Krajina is their optimum goal in Croatia. Given that the Serb people in this area had the power, this leadership very slyly opted for requesting the United Nations to use their peace keeping forces to protect the Serb nation “ until the political resolution to the Yugoslav crisis ” (Ibid., p. 407; S. Biserko, the aforementioned work, p. 226).
315. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 408. Jovic talked to Maksic. He asked him for his opinion on the idea to invite the peacekeeping forces of the UN to protect the Serbs in Krajina. Maksic believed that “ this was not realistic. The West does not recognize our four-member presidency, and they will simply just ignore our request. We will just come into an awkward situation ”. Jovic did not agree with this, he thought Maksic was exaggerating, and that he was being too cautious.
316. Ibid. The first draft of the letter to the Security Council was made by Jovic on November 7, and then he went to Milosevic to review it together, where, “ with some minor corrections ”, they coordinated the text.
317. Ibid. After they had coordinated the text, on October 7, they informed Dr. Branko Kostic about it. He agreed with the idea and the draft letter, and invited Gavro Perazic “ to have a look at the text of the letter ” and give them suggestions. During the same day, he did “ some major corrections to the text ”, which, according to Jovic, then sounded “ very convincing ”.
318. Ibid.
319. Ibid.
320. Ibid. Jovic wrote “ that a discussion arose about the procedural issues as to whom to send it to. If we send it to Darko Silovic, the Ambassador at the UN, who is a Croat, he could even ‘retain’ it for the sake of obstruction, and not deliver it to the Security Council. Direct mailing to the Security Council is not usual when we have an ambassador there. We could equally throw it into the dustbin. We found a ‘solomonic’ solution: to send it personally to the Chairman of the Security Council, the Romanian Ambassador at the UN, and inform the Romanian government of this, so that it would influence that our request be placed on the agenda ” (Ibid., pp. 408-409).
321. Ibid., pp. 409-410. The letter states many facts, which really do not stand, and indicates the danger and fear of genocide against the Serb nation in Croatia, which “ is happening again and threatens to have broader tragic consequences, not only in Yugoslavia, but also in the Balkans and in Europe ” (Ibid.). “ The UN Peacekeeping forces ”, says the letter, “ would create a buffer zone and separate the conflicting parties, until the Yugoslav crisis is resolved in a peaceful, fair way, based on the international law, and backed up by the UN. This would create the necessary conditions for the Presidency of the SFRY, as the supreme commander of the armed forces of the SFRY, to bring the decision in non-involvement of the JNA in reduction of interethnic conflicts on the territory of the Republic of Croatia. In the opinion of the Presidency of the SFRY, the political solution of the Yugoslav crisis that needs to provide a permanent peace, under the present circumstances, and this further assumes involvement of the UN Peacekeeping forces, as a guarantor to the Serbian people in Croatia that they shall not re-suffer their tragic destiny from WWII. The Presidency of the SFRY is convinced that the proposed involvement of the UN Peacekeeping forces would bring to cessation of the armed conflicts. This would also create the conditions for quicker peaceful and democratic solving of the Yugoslav crisis which is now, even with involvement of the European Community, facing major obstacles ” (Ibid., p. 410).
322. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 308-310. About the reasons for such invitation, see: S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 309-310.
323. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 411. In this way, according to Jovic, “ the action has been successful ”. According to him, the Security Council had itself found a “solomonic” solution. “ Formally, this was sought by the Great Britain and by France. So that the enemies do not ‘dig it’. They do not wish to mention our ‘rump’ Presidency ” (Ibid.). On December 31, the ‘rump’ Presidency adopted the Concept for the Involvement of the UN Peacekeeping Forces in Yugoslavia, proposed by the personal envoy of the UN Secretary General, Cyrus Vance), after whom it was later called Vance’s plan. The drafting and coordination of this concept on the Serbian side was participated by Milosevic and Kadijevic. The rump Presidency was excluded, because the UN did not recognize it. In all the stages of negotiations, Milosevic informed and consulted him, as well as Kadijevic (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 421). On January 20, 1992, Jovic talked to Marrack Golding — Undersecretary General of the UN, and informed him about the acceptance of Vance’s plan by the (rump) Presidency of the SFRY (Ibid., pp. 422-423). Golding also met the representatives of the JNA, generals Adzic, Mladic, and Vukovic, who expressed their support to the UN Peace Making Operations Plan (Ibid., p. 423). On February 2, 1992, the leadership of the collaborationist Republic of Serbian Krajina accepted Vance’s plan. The general activities about drafting the plan in the name of the Serbian side were led by Slobodan Milosevic (for more details on this: B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, pp. 430-436). Franjo Tudjman too fully and unconditionally accepted the concept and plan of the UN Secretary General, defining the conditions and areas where the UN forces would be deployed (Ibid., p. 435).
324. On November 27, 1991, the Security Council voted for Resolution no. 721, thus opening the door for the arrival of the blue helmets (S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 318).
325. D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, pp. 308-315. Vukovar was taken by the forces of the “North Operational Group”, commanded by General Major Andrija Biorcevic and the “South Operational Group”, commanded by colonel Mile Mrksic, with the air support of the 1st Air Force Corps, commanded by Branislav Petrovic. Otherwise, this operation was completed under the command of General Zivota Panic, commander of the First Military District (D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, pp. 308-309).
326. Ibid. the main group of the land army of the JNA, predominantly the armoured and mechanized compositions in eastern Slavonia, according to General Kadijevic, had two tasks: “ to liberate the Serb areas in eastern Slavonia ” and “ to be the main manoeuvre force of the Supreme Command for penetration towards Zagreb and Varazdin ”. The first task was completed by the JNA, however, “ it had wasted a lot of time, primarily because it lacked the planned infantry forces to accompany the tanks, which was to be gained through mobilization ”. The JNA group in East Slavonia won “ the so-called battle for Vukovar ”, “ defeated the main group of the Croatian army ”, and after it took Vukovar, it was “ ready to extend the activities westwards ”. However, due to the lack of sufficient forces, the penetration towards Zagreb was not launched (V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 137. The success and the danger of the penetration of this JNA group towards Zagreb had a relevant influence, according to Kadijevic, “ on Croatia’s acceptance of the Vance plan ”). The JNA activities in West Slavonia in the direction of Gradiska-Pakrac-Virovitica “ initially yielded some good results ”, in which “the mass insurrection of the Serb people in Slavonia contributed significantly ”. However, this group “ had completed its task only partially ”. The main reason for this, according to Kadijevic, was “ that due to the unsuccessful mobilization the group did not receive the planned five brigades, but only an equivalent of one and a half brigades, and those who reached the frontline even abandoned it during the battle... ”. Nowhere did the failure of mobilization “ reflect so negatively on our situation as in West Slavonia... ”, claims General Kadijevic (Ibid., p. 138). The JNA group in the areas of Banija, Kordun and Lika , with certain problems and losses (the lack of forces), nevertheless, executed “ its reduced tasks ” (Ibid., p. 139). The Knin group “executed all of its tasks in an extraordinary manner” : it fully “’ liberated’ all the Serb areas in its zone of activity, it cut up Croatia near Zadar, unblocked the Sinj, Drnis, and Zadar garrisons, helped the Military Navy District in unblocking of Sibenik, threatened Split and helped very much with the situation in Lika ” (Ibid.). Due to the lack of the operationally planned forces, the Mostar group executed “ the limited task only — securing Mostar airport, and relying on East Herzegovina to create the operational background for potential activity towards Split in cooperation wit the forces of the Knin group and the War Navy ” (Ibid., pp. 139-140). “ In the changed operation plan”, the Trebinje-Herzegovina group was assigned the task to “liberate”, that is, take Prevlaka, “ block the broader region of Dubrovnik from the land and be prepared for the activity towards the Neretva delta ”. For the execution of this task, which was executed “ efficiently and quickly ”, the group received the planned forces “ thanks to the successful mobilization in East Herzegovina and Montenegro ” (Ibid., p. 140). The Military Navy “ successfully executed two main tasks — fully efficiently executed and secured the naval blockade of Croatia and preserved the whole Navy fleet for the JNA, that is, the army of future Yugoslavia ”. The Military Air Forces also “ executed all of its tasks with the minimum losses — support to the forces of land army, independent activity, patrolling tasks, transport and parachute attacks”, as well as “ dislocation of its units and institutions ” (Ibid., p. 141). The main tasks of the modified plan of operations for the JNA in Croatia were executed as follows: “ - all the Serb areas in Croatia, except a part in West Slavonia, in close cooperation with the Serb insurgents, were liberated ”, that is, taken (Ibid. According to Kadijevic, this accounted for “ about one third of the territory of the former Republic of Croatia ”); - through combat, the future army of Serbian Krajina was virtually built, which was equipped by the JNA with appropriate armament and artillery; - the JNA withdrew all of its main combat resources out of Croatia and deployed them so that they correspond with the future tasks. The largest number of the JNA garrisons were unblocked in combat, and only a minor part based on Vance’s plan ” (Ibid. In relation to this, Kadijevic states “ that only a minor number of the garrisons and warehouses were taken by the enemy. The majority of thus lost artillery had been broken or destroyed through subsequent air force actions and in other ways ” — Ibid., pp. 141-142); - very high losses were inflicted to the Croatian army, so that it was no longer capable of any serious activity, including defence actions... ” (Ibid., pp. 142-143). These conclusions of Kadijevic, as well as the claims that Croatia has lost the war, are just empty babble of the defeated general). Speaking about the “ results ” of the war in Croatia, according to Kadijevic, the JNA “had fully, under the conditions unprecedented in history, executed the first part of their newly established assignment — to militarily defend the right of the Serb and Montenegrin people to have a joint state ”. However, the second part of this task — “ to secure peaceful separation from other nations who did not wish to remain in Yugoslavia ”, according to him, “ could not be executed by the JNA, because it had not depended on it in the first place ” (Ibid., p. 144). In relation to this, Kadijevic comforts himself with the false statement: “ As it is known, the war was imposed first by the Slovenians, then by the Croats and Muslims, under the dictation of the Germans, and with the support of the pro-German policy in the US, so the peace or war depended upon them ” (Ibid.).
327. Ibid., pp. 314-315.
328. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, p. 314. For Arbitration (Badenteur’s) Commission, see: K. Begic, the aforementioned work, pp. 31-44).
329. Ibid., p. 314.
330. S. Mesic, the aforementioned work, pp. 315-316.
331. B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 420. 332. Ibid. In Macedonia, according to Milosevic and Jovic, “ interethnic conflicts are not a risk. The Serbs are not endangered. If Macedonia wants to secede, we need to make an arrangement with it about the withdrawal of the army and the division of military property ”.
333. Ibid. Milosevic and Jovic “ assessed ” that “ the Muslims and the Croats had abandoned the JNA and formed paramilitary units. Those who have remained in the JNA are virtually the Serbs and Montenegrins, but coming from all the Serb lands. Once Bosnia and Herzegovina is internationally recognized, the JNA shall be declared a foreign army and its withdrawal shall be demanded, which is impossible to avoid. In this situation, the Serb population in BiH, which has not created its paramilitary units, will remain unprotected and endangered ” (Ibid.). The resources available, including the documents of military origin of the highest degree of secrecy, cannot confirm the alleged “assessments” by the leaders of the Greater Serbia movement, that is, they are categorically denying them.
334. Ibid. In stating this, Milosevic said that “ this had already been done by the Muslims and Croats ”, which, as far as the Bosniaks were concerned, he had made up.
335. Ibid. Kadijevic claimed “ that this is not in compliance with the policy and practice of the JNA and that it would be very hard to accept for the military leadership ” and said that he would “ see what he can do about it ”. Jovic claims that Milosevic was trying to cover up the involvement and participation of Serbia and Montenegro in the aggression and genocide against Bosnia and Herzegovina at any price. In relation to this, Jovic wrote the Milosevic proposed in person, and the rump Presidency of the SFRY accepted and “implemented” the decision that “ immediately all the citizens of Serbia and Montenegro in service at the Yugoslav People’s Army should be withdrawn from Bosnia and Herzegovina ” (B. Jovic, KNJIGA O MILOSEVICU , Belgrade 2001, p. 73).
336. V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 147. Kadijevic claims that the Rump Presidency of the SFRY agreed with such an assessment and adopted the proposal (according to him, this was allegedly the assessment of the military leadership). This, he wrote, “ fit in with every realistic political option for the development of the events in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as with the need for existence of ready and strong forces on the border towards Serb Krajina, in order to provide the guarantee that Croatia too would honour Vance’s plan ” (Ibid., pp. 147-148). The subsequent “ development of events virtually confirmed the correctness of this assessment and decision ”, wrote Kadijevic (Ibid., p. 148).
337. Ibid., p. 421. About this report of Kadijevic, Jovic wrote: “ In spite of resistance and dramatization, the dislocation was conducted timely and without any noise ”. After the session of the Rump Presidency of the SFRY, on December 31, 1991, which adopted the Concept for Involvement of the UN Peacekeeping forces in Yugoslavia (B. Jovic, the aforementioned work, p. 421), at the office of Branko Kostic, where the following sat: Jovic, Branko and Jugoslav Kostic, Sejdo Bajramovic and Kadijevic (so they can have a drink and wish each other a Happy New Year), General Kadijevic informed the attendees that he has decided to resign for health reasons, and that “ this is his final decision ”, and that after New Year he would also confirm it in writing (Ibid., pp. 421-422). In relation to this, Jovic stated: “ We did not become much upset about this. No one insisted that he take a second thought on this. We asked him about his health, and he said that ‘there were various things’ the treatment of which he can no longer postpone. I am personally in a dilemma whether to believe the health reasons, although it is not excluded that he has them, too. I believe that there are other reasons that he does not want to mention. After all, the drama we are going through is reason enough to topple anyone ” (Ibid., p. 422).
338. D. Marijan, the aforementioned work, pp. 314-315. Parallel with “ the development of war activity in Croatia, there were also ”, according to Kadijevic, “ peace negotiations underway run by the personal envoy of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Cyrus Vance. The modified JNA operation in Croatia was coming to an end when the initial document of Vance’s peace plan was accepted and signed. Then the war activities in Croatia virtually stopped, although the total peace occurred after the Sarajevo agreement of January 2, 1992, between the representatives of the JNA and the Croatian army ” (V. Kadijevic, the aforementioned work, p. 142). The system of directing and commanding over the JNA was adjusted from Slovenia, via Croatia and up to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Under the conditions when the Commands of the Fifth Military District in Zagreb and the Military Naval District in Split were not able to perform the commanding function, this was taken over and conducted by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the SFRY. Thus, the General Staff was directly commanding over the parts of the First Military District, that is, the Novi Sad, Tuzla, and Banja Luka Corps, and over the special interim compositions of OG-1 and OG-2, which had participated in the aggression against Croatia (Ibid.).
339. After the entry of the international troops into Croatia, the leadership of the Greater Serbia movement realized its goal — it had defined the western borders of the Greater Serbia (by forming of the collaborationist Republic of Serb Krajina and by placing it under the protection of the United Nations) — S. Biserko, the aforementioned work, p. 226.

Tags: Serbian agression, Realization of the RAM Plan

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