The New Voice of Ukraine has just published an interview with Slavenka Drakulić about the war in Ukraine and its similarities to the wars in former Yugoslavia in the 90’s.
There are several parallels but also big differences between the war in Ukraine and in ex-Yugoslavia. It has been already noticed that Putin is using a similar method as the former president of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic. Namely, he was “saving” the Serbian minority in Croatia from the Croatian “fascists” for example, as Russian soldiers in Ukraine are “saving” the Russian minority from genocide of the Russian speaking people and Ukrainians themselves from “Nazism.” The use of the war propaganda, of creating enemies of people who lived together in peace only yesterday, lies, false promises, manipulation of history – that is the same, too. But when we come to the effects, to the importance, there is no comparison. Wars in former Yugoslavia were regarded as a fire in the backyard of the EU. Nobody paid much attention to it at the beginning. it took years and at least 100,000 dead, at least 30,000 raped women, and millions of refugees and displaced persons until the big powers realized that the killing won’t stop without foreign intervention. War in Ukraine is dangerous and that fact had already changed Europe. Russia is a big power, it is an extremely dangerous enemy, armed with atomic arms.
Drakulić also talks about the lack of collective guilt in the case of war, and about ordinary people who can turn to criminals and commit monstrous atrocities in the right circumstances – this is the subject of her 2003 book They Would Never Hurt a Fly: War Criminals on Trial in the Hague.
Or download the PDF file.