Croatia: Greater Serbia Agenda Gets Personal Again – A Diplomatic Offensive

Flag of Croatia Photo: Vjeran Zganec-Rogulja/Pixsell

Flag of Croatia
Photo: Vjeran Zganec-Rogulja/Pixsell

It must never be forgotten that Serbia and Serbs who participated in the aggression, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, rape, wanton destruction… against Croatia in the early 1990’s have come to justify and excuse these war crimes with what their politicians called “fear that Croats, once Croatia secedes from communist Yugoslavia, would kill Serbs in Croatia just as they did during World War II”!

In this, those Serbs that voiced such excuses and justification of the unjustifiable had no qualms about pinning onto innocent grandchildren the crimes of grandfathers, great-grandfathers… That, after all, is recognised as a part of Greater Serbia agenda.  Creating fear where there is no justification for that, is another. I am certain Serbia is well aware of the political make-up and the opposition, and those multitudes that didn’t want a bar of either Ustashe or Communists, in Croatia during WWII and that a blanket accusation against the whole nation simply has no grounds in fact.

Serbia is at it again!

It is doing its best to paint Croats and Croatia as anti-Serb even using individual incidents of anti-Serb graffiti as examples of their alleged pan-Croatian anti-Serb sentiment. What kind of a country would make such allegations when it is entirely possible that individual Serbs living in Croatia could have written/drawn the graffiti on walls? Perhaps individual Croats did it; perhaps individual Serbs did it? As to the tearing down of bilingual signage in Vukovar, these actions have been done in public, out in the open and the reason for that given: to work on the path that Vukovar becomes a special place of piety – to honour the victims of Serb aggression and their right to a dignified rehabilitation and remembrance all until the remains of every last of the almost 1,700 still missing Croats from the war are located. Indeed there’s a current move to have a referendum on the matter of bilingual signage etc. Belgrade, Serbia, does not care much about the legal and democratic expression of opinion on that matter in Croatia.
A few days ago, the Serbian foreign ministry sent to all countries where it has diplomatic representations, a document with “accusations” against Croatia of violations of the rights of the Serb minority in the country. The list with the alleged Zagreb’s violations consists of 14 points in the so-called non-paper:
•    “On 13 August 2013, a monument to Serb victims killed in the war of 1991-1995 was demolished in the village of Golubic, near the town of Knin;
•    On 2 September 2013, signs containing bilingual inscription, both Cyrillic and Latin alphabets, displayed on the buildings of Tax Administration and Police in Vukovar, were torn down by large groups of people in broad daylight and in the presence of police forces;
•    On the night of 2-3 September, a graffiti “Srbe na vrbe” (Hang the Serbs) appeared on the wall of Dubrovnik Orthodox Church, which has clear connotations relating to the World War II period and was actually the call for genocide committed against the Serb population in the Independent State of Croatia at the time;
•    On 8 September 2013, in village of Mirkovci, an Ustasha graffiti “Ubij Srbina” (Kill the Serb) was written on the wall of the football stadium;
•    On 19 October 2013, a bilingual sign was removed from State Administration Office in Vukovar in similar circumstance as during the aforementioned occurrence;
•    On 22 October 2013, unidentified perpetrators removed for the second time the bilingual sign from the building of Croatian Employment Office in Vukovar (all of the above events of tearing down of bilingual signs in Vukovar were documented by Croatian state and other TV stations and other media and the perpetrators are easily identifiable);
•      On 3 November 2013, the bilingual sign on the offices of the Serbian National Minority Council in Varazdin was torn down;
•    On 4 November, the Vukovar City Council adopted a decision whereby the Cyrillic script was to be no longer considered as official script in this city (an act that runs in direct contravention to Croatian state legislature and Government decisions);
•    On 6 November 2013, a poster “Serbian Family Tree” was placed at Ban Jelacic Square in Zagreb, containing a graphic presentation of a tree with human bodies hanged from its branches;
•    On 8 November 2013, a graffiti “Srbine iseli se” (Serb, move out) was written on the family house of a Serb from Vukovar;
•    On the night of 8-9 November 2013, the official sign with the inscription of the Consulate General of Republic of Serbia in Rijeka was damaged and a window was broken on the building;
•    On 12 November 2013 the bilingual sign on the building of the office of Council of Serb National Minority of city of Osijek was painted over;
•    On 12 November 2013 the bilingual sign on the Police station building in Vukovar was broken;
•    On 19 November 2013 a footballer from the Croatian soccer representation grabbed hold of a microphone at the qualifying World cup match with Iceland and greeted the public with the notorious Ustashe greeting “For home ready” (the Ustashe regime was a marionette regime of the German Nazi regime during World War II), which found support and approval from more than 30,000 spectators who joined in the chanting (that case is being investigated by FIFA and potentially the Croatian authorities). This event sparked a widespread fear among Serbs”.
So, according to Belgrade, the anti-Serb incidents have increased recently and have even turned into an anti-Serb campaign in Croatia!

Belgrade it would seem, has even counted every single one of the 30,000 spectators at the soccer match on 19 November who had chanted the alleged Ustashe greeting. Not 5,000 or 10,000 …but the whole lot! How maliciously false! Furthermore, Belgrade is not concerned with the fact that such a greeting has existed centuries before WWII and by WWII it had become ingrained in Croatian tradition as a greeting with positive connotations; but because WWII Ustashe had borrowed a version of that historic greeting Belgrade prefers to refer to WWII because it suits it – it suits the Greater Serbia agenda.

Belgrade, official Serbia does not care that many of the anti-Serb incidents it mentions in its “non-paper” sent to all diplomatic missions it has relations with, could have been perpetrated by Serbs living or visiting Croatia, not Croats! Serbia it seems does not care much for regard for justice in such matters.
To the defence of the Croatian efforts on ethnic minority rights there are several important dates from the past. In 1997, the Croatian government ratified the convention on protection of national minorities as well as the European provisions for regional and minority languages. In 2002 a constitutional law was adopted on the rights of national minorities (which now appears at disparity with the EU one, e.g. EU has 50% benchmark for introduction of bilingual signs and Croatia has 30%). In addition, there is a law in Croatia that allows minorities to study in their mother tongue and writing. On national TV and radio there are also programmes in the languages of Croatia’s minorities and the council on national minorities meets regularly and often reviews whether the provisions related to public media are implemented. Vukovar has Serbian schools. 133,000 members of ethnic national minorities/war refugees, most of which are of Serb nationality have returned to Croatia. Since the 1990’s war Croatia has spent 5.5 Billion Euros from its budget on this and renovated by war destroyed houses and homes. I’d like to see how much Serbia has contributed given that it joined into the destruction via its control over the Yugoslav Peoples Army. The money Croatia has spent was spent on restoration of destructed homes, infrastructure, removal of landmines and affect some 150 000 homes and properties. 120 million euros are planned to be spent both from the Croatian budget and the EU funds, 90% of which will be spent on securing housing for 3 541 families who have housing rights in their capacity of refugees. 40 000 people in Serbia receive pensions from the Croatian budget.
Well now!
In Serbia, the Croat minority has nowhere near the same rights as Serbs have in Croatia.

In Croatia, minorities have representatives in parliament. They are eight, three of whom are Serb MPs. Something that has not happened yet in Serbia. Croatian kids in Serbia’s schools have still not received textbooks in Croatian language.

From where I am standing and given the fact that Croatia had suffered immensely from the war of Serb aggression, Croatia is doing very well in attending to reparations and ethnic minority rights when compared to developed countries.

Serbia’s “diplomatic offensive” apparently caught official Zagreb by surprise – both the government and the opposition! Why! Have those in power in Croatia not have had ample time to analyze the political craftiness of Greater Serbia agenda, which stoops into all grubby and grubbiest gutters in order to achieve its goal? Or, are the pro-Communists governing Croatia in on this trail of belittling and destroying all that Croats fought for: freedom and democracy?

An additional reason that may exist for this “diplomatic offensive” by Serbia against Croatia could be associated with Serbia’s sights on joining the EU. With this “diplomatic offensive” Serbia may be trying to carve a platform whereby it would not be required to make drastic changes to many of its laws including those that currently place Serbia as a leading country for human trafficking in the region, if it can weave a web of unwelcome incidents in Croatia (an EU member state) that are not being controlled by the government (?).

But of course, anyone who has paid even a little attention to the work of SANU (Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences) will see that this folio of Serbia’s latest “diplomatic offensive” reads like a SANU memorandum, which would have as one of its main goals the reduction in the eyes of the world of Serbia’s guilt in the genocide it ignited and took part in on Croatia’s and Bosnia and Herzegovina territories.  Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps.(Syd)


  1. Excellent and truthful article. It should be presented to the colleagues in the EU to read, truth must be known.

  2. From Facebook: We must never forget who the aggressor against independent Croatia was! These devils that are in power in Croatia today are attempting to eliminate Serbia’s responsibility, spit on everything that is Croatian, and equate the victim with the aggressor. They must not be allowed to do this, not even in lunacy, because we’d make a cardinal omission and mistake, which all generations to come won’t be able to rectify. God and Croats!

  3. Well so much for Serbia’s professionalism and correctness. It turns to foreign diplomatic missions with such allegations against the Croatian people based on individual and rather isolated cases of graffiti, vandalism… (cannot include Vukovar’s protest against bilingual signs here because that is a fully legitimate democratic public expression of citizens’ demands or requests) – most of which have actually not even been attributed to any person. Knowing the conniving rotten tricks Serbs have played in Croatia it would NOT surprise me that some of these vandalism deeds had been perpetrated by Serbs in Croatia who are joined in their mission to equate the victim with the aggressor. I trust the diplomatic cores receiving this malicious paper from Serbia will conclude the same, or at least ask Serbia: please provide proof of who has painted the graffiti you speak of.

    • Yes Rozic, I believe there are lots of professional diplomats who will know how to judge the contents of the paper.

    • Rozic to me it doesn’t matter who did these acts. They are an expression either by Croats at the aggressive agitation of Serbs to dominate Croatia and indeed continue Greater Serbia policy, or by Serbs as provocation and ‘proof’ that Serbs where the victims in the Homeland war and that they were only defending themselves from blood thirsty Croats – create world sympathy and minimize and justify their role in the war. What bothers me greatly is that we have very naive and stupid political elites who are barely defensive never mind taking a lead. Our Government and diplomats should have been documenting and keeping informed it’s allies and countries that we have diplomatic relationships about the continued agitation and resumption of Greater Serbia ambitions and policy by Serbia. The world should have been informed and reminded constantly that Serbia is continuing the homeland war. In the link that Micheal provided earlier showing the symposium of the Balkans war at the Clinton library, President Clinton admits as much – that Serbia is continuing it’s Greater Serbia ambitions. Croatia needs to do this, otherwise we will continue to be a small pawn in a bigger game – Serbia has Russia, who does Croatia have – no one, so we must have everyone.

      • Yes Sunman I agree totally that Croatian leaders or the stale political elite must be more robust and active and proactive in defense of Croatia and Croatian being. Even when the government reacted a couple of days ago that the incidents listed by Serbia were isolated etc it failed also to point out that one cannot assume anything when acts of vandalism are concerned, especially not claim that Croats did them all if there is no evidence.

  4. This is nothing that surprises me Ina. What do you expect of the bitter enemy?? Serbia has been doing the very same to Croatia for the last, almost 100 years, in a way that when the war broke out in 90’s, Croatia didn’t have many friendly countries to help them out, because most of the countries around the world believed to Serbia nasty propaganda.

    I am glad you are not turning another cheek Ina, but rather providing the facts and figures with all the references, and exposing the Serbian lies. I am proud of you and keep the good work

    • Thank you so much rb! And I do believe the world will get to see the truth despite Serbia’s nasty meals offered. Truth must be told, facts supplied – repeat and repeat until done!

  5. I learn so much when I read your stuff. You are very talented and a true patriot i believe. When I heard about the unrest in the Ukraine, I thought about you and what you might have to say about it.
    See…you are influencing a simple truck driver in awareness from the USA.

  6. Wake up CROATIA!

  7. Of course, it should come as no surprise to anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of the region and its political history that the Serbs are aggressively pushing forward their agenda. They are very experienced at using any and all means to divert attention away from their own misdeeds and wrongdoings and pointing the finger at Croatia’s govt. policies, or Croatian people in general by throwing in the “ustasha” wild card. The scenario, practised over the last 63 years goes like this: We (Serbs) have been found guilty in the court of public opinion for (fill in the blank- there are a lot of options, ie. aggression, ethnic cleansing, mass murders, systemic raping etc.), so how do we divert negative world attention and blacken the reputation of our enemies (read Croatians)? Let’s convince the world that “ustashas” and “ustashaism” is alive and well in Croatia by regurgitating Yugoslavian/Communist/Partisan propaganda of the last six decades to create a fictional threat out of thin air. Let us be hyper-vigilant and feign hypersensitivity so that Croatians themselves begin to feel guilty for waving their flag, singing their anthems, asserting their rights as a majority in their own country. And guess what – its working!
    So, as I’ve said, this is just par for the course – but what is infuriating to me is that this Croatian govt. is so blatantly anti-Croatian, pro-Communist, pro-Yugoslav, pro-Partisan – (they don’t make even the pretense of advocating for Croatian interests) and yet we hear NOTHING from the majority opposition party HDZ! NOTHING from the party that led Croatia out of Yugoslavia and into independence, NOTHING from the party that led Croatia out of communist control and into democracy! Does HDZ represent Croatia and Croatians today or only the political best interests of the party itself and its career politicians?

    • Yes Velebit, well summarised – Croatia needs courageous and vigilant leaders that’\s for sure

    • Sadly we have no good leaders. The only leaders that I think have Croatian interests at heart and take a Croatia first attitude is Ruza Tomasic,Vesna Skare-Ozbolt and possibly Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and of course Ina Vukic. All women…seems the men since Tudjman have failed us. Majka Hrvatska.

  8. Michael Silovic says:

    Serbia can kiss Croatia where the sun don’t shine!The reality of it is they want to play the poor me game while we know they still are searching for a Greater Serbia as stated by former President Bill Clinton just last month. The real truth is they are still being aggressive in behavior with their neighbors and think that if they play the poor victim they will have justification for their behavior. As far as I am concerned any Serb that does not want to live by the rule of CROATIA then they can leave.Croatians are tired of this BS propaganda and know that the Serbs are nothing more then a joke that can never be taken serious in anything they say or do. If they are complaining about such issues now what will they do when we say we want a Greater Croatia as I am not satisfied with our borders and believe we should expand them. I am waiting on our goverment to confront them on this issue but I think they are too weak or afraid to go at it. ~ Za Dom Spremni ~

    • Imagine Michael what would happen if Croatia really did go for expansion into its historic territory! What Serbia did when Croatia wanted independence within its current borders was utterly abominable and Croatian political elite continue their blindness and continue exposing Croats to terrible attacks and vilification … intolerable, I’d say.

      • Michael Silovic says:

        I could imagine imagine what would happen not IF but WHEN we decide to go back to our original territories ( trust me you wouldn’t print what I imagine )and its just a matter of time that we will get our land back but this time we will be better prepared. The problem we have is getting those cowards out of office first and put strong leadership in place that will defend Croatia , its people and history at all costs.Perhaps it’s time to install a Nationalist goverment.Perhaps it is time for the diaspora community to raise money for our own candidate to install in leadership position. All I know is this goverment has failed in every aspect and I am not impressed with HDZ either for not speaking so loudly as I think they are afraid of being labeled Ustasa. Who cares? Call me Ustasa or whatever you want but Croatia First always…..~ Za Dom Spremni ! ~

      • Now you’re talking, Michael 😀

  9. Good morning !

  10. From Facebook: This is typical Serb propaganda for a forthcoming uprising against Croatians and Croatia. History repeats itself. The pen is mightier than the sword…for now. I thank you so much for writing in English as we Croatians are very much aware of what has and is happening. The rest of the world needs to know and you are helping the know. We should all be on guard. Blessings

  11. From Facebook: All respect to you Ms Vukic, I follow your blog and your articles are excellent.

  12. I’ve learned from hard experience that Serbia can’t be trusted. It clearly shows time again how they are trying to undermine Croatia progress.
    Serbia is so desperate, full of hate, and to hurt Croatia again, they have unleash dirty propaganda lies frenzy — and a sinking feeling of déjà vu all over again.
    I wonder what other activities they are doing that is not in the print ?
    Merry Christmas Ina and all the best in the New Year 2014

  13. Wishing you a blissful Christmas season and a wonderful new year.I visited Serbia few years ago when l was in Vienna.jalal

  14. I am appalled but must confess I apparently don’ t know much about the strife between Serbia and Croatia. So while proving the world an informative and wonderful blog, I am learning bits and pieces too. So thank you my friend, you are a flame that shines brightly. Hugs, Barbara

  15. Good morning !
    Aseara la NOVI SAD ( SERBIA ),
    la Campionatul Mondial de Handbal 2013 !!!
    Forza ROMANIA !!!
    Cu respect,

    Vídeo y musica .excelente!

  17. Serbs are easy to understand, they always claim the opposite of true … if they said … “bloody Croats are attacking us” … that means that in fact Serbs attack Croats … exactly the same thing happened now … but our government is just tragic, they try to establish good relations with everyone in region, especially with Serbs, but in return they get only knife in their back … if it is not tragic, it will be funny (sorry about my English, I suppose it is pretty bad)

Leave a Reply to inavukicCancel reply

Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions:

All content on “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is for informational purposes only. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is not responsible for and expressly disclaims all liability for the interpretations and subsequent reactions of visitors or commenters either to this site or its associate Twitter account, @IVukic or its Facebook account. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The nature of information provided on this website may be transitional and, therefore, accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed. This blog may contain hypertext links to other websites or webpages. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information on any other website or webpage. We do not endorse or accept any responsibility for any views expressed or products or services offered on outside sites, or the organisations sponsoring those sites, or the safety of linking to those sites. Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with the subject in posts or other commentators. Personal or other criticism is acceptable as long as it is justified by facts, arguments or discussions of key issues. Comments that include profanity, offensive language and insults will be moderated.
%d bloggers like this: