Davor Marijan

STORM

1

Published by
Croatian Homeland War Memorial&Documentation Centre
For the publisher
Ante Nazor, Ph.D.
Editor
Ante Nazor, Ph. D.
Author
Davor Marijan, Ph.D.
Appendix editor
Mate Rupić
English translation
Janko Paravić
This translation from Croatian into English has been made possible by Ante Kostelić
Reviewers:
Nikica Barić, Ph.D.
Zdenko Radelić, Ph.D.
Staff General Antun Tus, ret.
Index editor
Željka Križe Gračanin
Document copy
Indira Alpeza
Makeready
Naklada Stih
Printed by
Run

CIP record available in the computer catalogue of the National and University Library
in Zagreb under no. 650140
ISBN 978-953-7493-08-8

2

Davor Marijan

STORM

Zagreb, August 2010
3

Croatian soldier (guardsman)

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Editor’s introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Storm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Author’s biography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Appendices (edited by Mate Rupić) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173
Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 383
List of names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 389
List of places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 393

5

EDITOR’S INTRODUCTION
EDITOR’S INTRODUCTION

T

he significance of the liberation military-police operation Storm for the destiny
of Croatia is extraordinary. With its victorious Storm in August 1995 Croatia
successfully brought to a close a very dramatic period in its history which
started with the armed rebellion of the Serbs in Croatia and the terrorist activity of
Serbian extremists after August 1990. That was the introduction to the open aggression
against the Republic of Croatia carried out, after July 1991, by the armed forces of the
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (JNA and the territorial defence units of Serbia,
Montenegro and Bosnia&Herzegovina), that is, of Serbia and Montenegro, and Serbian
paramilitary, largely pro-chetnik units. It can freely be claimed that the survival of Croatia
within its internationally recognized borders depended on the outcome of Storm, and
that the failure of the operation would have had fateful and lasting consequences for
the territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia. Today, twelve years after victory, it is
difficult even to imagine the drama behind the decision to launch Storm, because Croatia
would never again, probably, have had another chance to reincorporate the occupied
territory into its constitutional and legal system.
Although a cool scientific analysis might show that Operation Storm, because of a
number of problems in its preparation and execution, was not so irreproachable as some
people claim - which is understandable considering the circumstances in which it was
carried out and the great number of mobilized troops - for most Croats and citizens
of other ethnic backgrounds who live in Croatia and consider it their homeland it is
a magnificent event. First of all because of its result - the liberation of the occupied
territory of the Republic of Croatia and the rescue of thousands of people from certain
death in Bihać. This is why not even comments of military analysts and historians related
to the shortcomings in the implementation of the operation can challenge its success.
This is particularly true if we take into account - in the final assessment of the success
of Storm - the fact that such a complex operation was carried out by an army created
in a very short time and organized in wartime conditions after Croatia managed to
defend itself, in 1991, from the aggression of the superior Serbian forces and from total
occupation focused on the creation of so-called Greater Serbia. Storm is actually the
crown of Croatia’s Homeland War and the confirmation of the military skill of Croatian
officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers, of their courage and determination,
organization and ability to apply scientific achievements, but also of their skill in
improvisation. Regardless of the higher or lower performance of his unit, every Croatian
soldier or policeman who took honourable part in Storm deserves the appreciation and
gratitude of other Croatian citizens who had waited for years for the liberation of their
homeland and for the end of the war.

* We express our deep gratitude to Mr. Ante Kostelić for making this translation possible.
7

This crucial operation of the Croatian armed forces has been the subject of almost
everyday discussions or comments. However, there are few studies based on historical
sources such as Dr. Davor Marijan’s Storm. For the first time in Croatian historiography
it presents, chronologically and in terms of the corps districts of the Croatian armed
forces, the preparation and the course of this military-police operation. Although the
book presents relevant documents, it is precisely the lack of accessible sources - mainly
because of still unsorted archive material, but also because some documents are in private
hands - that creates major problems to anybody wishing to write about the operation.
Maybe some people will not be satisfied with the presentation of their own role in Storm,
some participants in the events will note, perhaps, certain incorrect data in the mentioned
documents, which may raise the question of the objectivity of specific sources, or of their
integrity and accuracy of the mentioned data. Because of that we would kindly ask all
persons having argumented comments with regard to the contents of this study to pass
them on to the Centre, so that we can record and file them, and make them available
for a future publication. However, in spite of any possible shortcomings, this study is
an excellent foundation for any future discussion of Operation Storm, the more so as it
would be difficult to expect the very first study of this type to answer all questions and
deal with all problems related to a complex event such as this one.
This study offers the public an overview of Operation Storm from the perspective of
a historian, based on currently accessible historical sources. The author has limited his
account to the involvement of HV corps districts, and does not present the action of each
brigade separately. There is still hope, however, that this study will stimulate the writing
of special monographs on the role of each corps district in Storm, describing in detail
the engagement of each brigade and its battalions, and other units. Some already exist
(e.g., Jakša Raguž, The HV 151st Samobor Brigade in the War, Samobor, 2006; Aleksandar
Božić - Damir Goršeta, The HV 153rd Velika Gorica Brigade, Velika Gorica, 2002). But
most are still to be written in order to confirm or correct the current analyses.
It is precisely in order to improve objectivity that distinguished commanders of the
Croatian armed forces were given the opportunity to read the study and the parts related
to specific corps districts; their remarks improved the quality and objectivity of the
book, and offered in some cases different views regarding certain sources. Insight into
written sources and comments by highly-positioned participants in the events covered
in the book make this study a particularly valuable document. The intention was, along
with the author’s interpretation of the written source, to draw attention as well to the
views of the commanders personally involved in the events, whose statements have a
particular bearing on the subject under consideration. In this way the reader can obtain
the confirmation of the accuracy of the written source, but also witness the inevitable
differences between the written source and memoir material, as well as frequently
different interpretations of a specific event by people personally involved in it. That is
to say, reports are often written automatically and mainly deal with results and less with
explanations of the reasons why such results were achieved, and may therefore offer
an incomplete picture of a specific event. This is why, in order to assure an objective
presentation of an event, interviews with participants are desirable in order to explain
8

why something was done in a specific way and not as planned. Of course, there is always
the danger that the participant’s story might be too subjective just as various reports and
other written documents, and it is up to historians and other scientists to assess the case.
Moreover, there is always the “public correction” as well. This is why it is important to
publish the sources (verbal and written) as soon as possible, or to have as many interviews
as possible on the subject with the participants. At any rate, the reader ought to get, in a
single spot, the substance or the interpretation of a historical source, and the explanation
of the participants to which the source refers, because this will make his conclusion more
realistic and more objective.
This is why due gratitude ought to be expressed, for their readiness to help in the editing
of this book, to the generals and commanders of the Croatian Army and special units of
the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia, as well as to the associations of
the Croatian Homeland War veterans, whose useful comments enhanced objectivity in
the presentation of those parts of Storm in which they were personally involved. Their
names are mentioned in the notes, and next to their comments on the text or on the
mentioned sources. The reviewers of the book, General Anton Tus, Zdenko Radelić,
Ph.D., and Nikica Barić, Ph.D., deserve particular gratitude.
In addition to the mentioned scientific study, this book is enriched by the Appendices,
documents on important political and military events on the eve of Storm, which
influenced its initiation (the process of annexation to Serbia and the unification of the
so-called Republic of Srpska Krajina1 and Republika Srpska, that is, of the Serbs from
Croatia and the Serbs from Bosnia&Herzegovina, into a single state, and the Bihać crisis),
and on its aftermath (the exodus of the Serbs from the occupied area), selected and
edited by senior archivist Mate Rupić, Head of the Archival Material Department of the
Croatian Homeland War Memorial&Documentation Centre. The chosen topics, and the
respective selected and chronologically arranged documents, ought to help in finding
answers to the question of why the issue, i.e., the occupied territory of the Republic of
Croatia, could not be resolved by diplomatic means and peacefully, why Storm could not
be deferred any longer, and why claims that the Croatian leadership expelled the Serbs
from the so-called Krajina and carried out ethnic cleansing are historically unfounded.
The documents in the Appendices of this book cover the period between 1991 and 1995
in order to draw attention to the fact that the launching of Storm was not a sudden whim
of the Croatian leadership but, rather, the consequence of a long process of fruitless
1

In its publications the Croatian Homeland War Memorial&Documentation Centre mainly follows the rule whereby the names of self-proclaimed or unrecognized states or political creations are placed in inverted commas or
qualified as «so-called». However, on this occasion we accepted the author’s view that «the names of all states,
political creations and movements, whether internationally recognized or not, lawful or unlawful, accepted or rejected - in a nutshell, ‘good’ or ‘bad’ - ought to be written without inverted commas, that is, as they call themselves,
or as listed in historical sources» (see Nikica Barić, The Serbian Rebellion in Croatia 1990-1995, Zagreb, 2005, pp.
13-14). Of course, the fact that the text, when mentioning the «SAO Krajina» or the «Republic of Serbian Krajina»
and its paramilitary formations, will have no inverted commas or the qualification of «so-called», does not imply
that the author considers the occupied territory of the Republic of Croatia, in which the Serbians established their
control and proclaimed their para-state, to be a legitimate state entity. Quite the contrary.

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negotiations with the leadership of the rebel Serbs on the peaceful reintegration of the
occupied Croatian territory and of inefficient moves by the international community,
and, finally, to stress that the launching of Storm cannot be limited to the events in July
and August 1995. Since the intentions of the leadership of the rebel Serbs in Croatia
to unite with Serbia and create, together with the Serbs from Bosnia&Herzegovina, a
single Serbian state are confirmed best by the documents produced by their own or by
their allied (Belgrade) political and military institutions, the editor of the Appendices
has limited his selection to sources of Serbian provenance. The same holds true for the
part of the Appendices presenting the plans and preparations for the organized departure
of Serbs from Croatia. A slight exception to this has only been made in the section of
Appendices on the Bihać crisis; in order to recall the diplomatic efforts of the Croatian
leadership and the role of the big powers with regard to the developments in Croatia
and Bosnia&Herzegovina, that section starts with a Croatian official’s account of the
negotiations for the settlement of the first Bihać crisis. In order to evoke the dramatic
situation in which the population of the Bihać enclave found itself late in July 1995,
this section also includes several documents, actually cries for help sent to the Croatian
leadership from besieged Bihać.
The series of documents on the attempted unification of the rebel Serbs from
Croatia with Serbia starts with the Decision on the “unification of SAO Krajina” with the
Republic of Serbia, enacted by the “Executive Council of SAO Krajina” on 1 April 1991;
the documents on the process of unification of the Serbs from Bosnia&Herzegovina and
Croatia start with the “Declaration on the Unification of the Association of Municipalities
of Bosnian Krajina and the Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina” of 27 June 1991.
The list includes altogether 30 documents bearing witness to the intensive activities of
Serbian politicians focused on preparing the unification of the Serbs from the Republic
of Serbia and from Bosnia&Herzegovina (i.e., from the so-called Republic of Serbian
Krajina and Republika Srpska) in a single Serbian state. It includes, in chronological
terms, the “Protocol on Cooperation between the Government of Republika Srpska and
the Republic of Serbian Krajina” (Banja Luka, 22 September 1992), the “Declaration
on the Unification of the Assemblies of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika
Srpska” (Prijedor, 31 October 1992), the “Decision on the Constitution of the National
Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska” (Banja Luka, 24 April
1993), the “Proposal of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska and the National
Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina to the National Assemblies of Serbia and
Montenegro concerning Unification in a Single State” (18 August 1994), the “Decision
of the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina Concerning the Agreement on the
Constitutional Law about the Provisional Constitutional Arrangement of the ‘United
Republika Srpska’” (Knin, 29 May 1995), and other documents showing that the Serbs
in Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina continued to prepare legislative documents for
the proclamation of the “United Republika Srpska” even after their defeat in Operation
Bljesak (Flash; May 1995), and that the process, but a step away from its realization, was
interrupted by Operation Storm.
The collection of documents on the Bihać crisis, caused by attacks of Serbs from
Bosnia&Herzegovina and Croatia on the UN safe area of Bihać starts with a memoir
10

material, the reminiscences of General Krešimir Ćosić regarding negotiations with
American political and military officials in the United States, resulting in Operation
Zima ’94 (Winter ’94) by Croatian armed forces and the resolution of the first Bihać
crisis. This is followed by 44 documents, largely of Serbian provenance, on events in the
Bihać area - between 27 October 1994 and 3 August 1995 - showing that Bihać was an
extremely important objective in the Serbian plans, which could not easily be achieved
because of the tough resistance of the ARBiH 5th Corps. Moreover, the documents show
that Serbian strategists did not shrink from any means in their attempt to take Bihać.
They even carried out a covert operation involving the use of biological agents for food
poisoning, to be smuggled into Bihać and intended to cause large scale poisoning of the
5th Corps troops and knocking them out of action.
The third thematic section presents the plans of the rebel Serbs for the evacuation of
the population from the occupied territory of Croatia. The 22 documents, demonstrating
that evacuation plans in the case of an HV attack such as Storm had existed already in
1993, include the “Decision of the RSK Supreme Defence Council on the Evacuation of
the Population from the Municipalities of Benkovac, Obrovac, Drniš, Gračac and Knin
towards Srb and Lapac” adopted in the afternoon on 4 August 1995 in Knin.
At the end, the Appendices present the contents of the so-called Plan Z-4, which
the rebel Serbs refused even to consider, and reminiscences of the representatives of
the international community involved in the attempt to implement the plan. Their
statements on how the leaders of the Serbs in Croatia refused to accept the offered Plan
as a negotiating platform clearly confirm that any attempt to peacefully reintegrate the
occupied areas into the constitutional and legal system of the Republic of Croatia would
have been futile because of the narrow-mindedness of the Serbian leaders.
The documents in Appendices are the direct and well-argumented answer to
questions such as why, unfortunately, there was no alternative to the military option,
why the Croatian leadership could no longer defer Storm, and who was responsible
for the exodus of Croatian citizens, ethnic Serbs, on the eve of Storm and during the
operation. The dramatic condition of Bihać defences, the collapse of which would have
reinforced almost decisively the position of Serbian forces and their refusal of all peace
initiatives - whether promoted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia or by
the international community - and even of the “Plan Z-4” which granted the Serbs in
Croatia an extraordinarily broad autonomy, and the continuous endeavours, ever since
1991, of the Serbs from Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina to create a single Serbian
state in the occupied territory of the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina,
which had entered, on the eve of Storm, the final stage by the adoption of their common
Constitution, clearly demonstrate how unconvincing are the claims that Croatia had
been hasty in resorting to a military solution and that more time should have been
foreseen for negotiations.
In view of the experience acquired throughout the process of negotiation on the
peaceful reintegration of occupied territory into the constitutional and legal system of
the Republic of Croatia, it would indeed be very difficult to explain in a reasoned way the
assumption that the rebel Serbs - if they had succeeded in taking Bihać and strategically
11

improving, to a substantial extent, their military position with respect to Croatia - would
have agreed to negotiate peaceful integration. Along with many documents, some of
which are included in the Appendices of this book, this is also confirmed by the interview
given by SVK commander, Lieutenant Colonel General Mile Mrkšić, on the occasion
of St. Vitus’ Day, 28 June 1995, in which he addressed all SVK members by “looking
forward to the celebration of the next St. Vitus’ Day united - in one Serbian state” (Vojska
Krajine/Army of the Krajina/; 11 July 1995, p. 24).
The extraordinary importance of Bihać, the fall of which would probably have had
crucial consequences for the eventual outcome of the war, was also confirmed by
the attention paid the Bihać crisis by the media. In early August 1995 Bihać was also
mentioned in the Serbian press as “the key in future warfare and developments in B&H
and Croatia”; the conclusion was reinforced by quotations from foreign media. Thus,
according to The Independent, the fall of the Bihać safe area would deal a “colossal and
maybe even deadly blow to the overall UN operation” (Sedma vojska/The Seventh Army/;
Nin, 2327, 4 Aug. 1995, pp. 10-11). Accordingly, the situation on the ground in late July
1995 simply demanded either the unconditional acceptance of immediate reintegration
in the constitutional and legal order in the Republic of Croatia by the rebel Serbs in
Croatia or a military action by the Croatian armed forces.
Of course, in addition to military and strategic reasons due to the Bihać crisis, the
decision of the Croatian Government to accelerate the process of reincorporation of
the occupied territories into its constitutional and legal system was also influenced by
economic reasons, which are not presented in this study. The Croatian economy was
considerably affected by the Serbian aggression and occupation of a part of the Republic
of Croatia, and particularly by the severance of communications between the southern
and northern parts of Croatia via Knin as well as by the destruction of many industrial
and business facilities due to the armed Serbian rebellion and aggression against Croatia.
Any delay in eliminating the existing condition and the deferred reintegration of
occupied territory meant new losses every day and the irreversible loss of considerable
possible revenues - primarily of the tourist industry. It would be difficult to say how long
the Croatian economy could have withstood such conditions, particularly with respect
to the numerous displaced persons and refugees looked after by Croatia, for whom any
delayed return caused new frustrations and threatened to develop into riots. In this
regard, the question can also be raised of how Croatian authorities could have explained
to the tens of thousands of displaced persons and the very dissatisfied and frustrated
Croatian citizens, who had been waiting to return to their homes since 1991, that they
would have to spend another year in exile and await a solution leading to their return for
who knows how long.
In his study the author has also reviewed one of the most intriguing issues related
to Storm: did the rebel Serbs abandon the occupied area of the Republic of Croatia
(UNPA Sectors North and South) of their own free will, or were they expelled - that is,
did Croatia carry out ethnic cleansing of the rebel Serbs with its Operation Storm? The
conclusion that the mass departure of the Serbs from Croatia during the operation was
12

logical and that is was organized by the Serbian leadership, meaning that the Croatian
Army could not have carried out any “ethnic cleansing”, is based on historical sources.
Some of the documents of the so-called RSK, showing that the departure of the Serbs
from the occupied area during Storm was planned and implemented by the political and
military leadership of the rebel Serbs, are included in the Appendices to this book; this is
also borne out by the testimony of Serbs who fled Croatia.
Similarly, a review of Serbian press reports published immediately after Storm confirms
that the political and military leadership of the rebel Serbs in Croatia was responsible for
the exodus of the Serbian population from Croatia during Storm.2 Many questions and
comments in the Serbian press suggest the conclusion that the Serbian journalists, but
also the public, believed that the “Krajina leadership” was responsible for the tribulation
of the Serbian people in Croatia: Why didn’t the Krajina leadership accept peace in time
if it could not prevail in war? Who really issued the orders for the retreat of the people and
of the troops? If they were independent enough to turn down the peace proposals, and the
suggestions and demands in this respect from Belgrade, why didn’t they defend themselves?
These are only some of the questions raised in the Serbian press. The Serbian public
wanted the “Krajina leaders, who did not flee at the rear of the column” to reply to
the question: Why, and on whose advice, did they decide to get hundreds of thousands of
inhabitants moving towards Serbia? (Zoran Jevđović, “Bežanje na čelu kolone”/Flight at
the Head of the Column/; Večernje novosti, 16 Aug. 1995).
Actually, on the very first day of Storm the Yugoslav press denounced the behaviour
of the “RSK leadership” because it sought justification for its defeat by claiming that that
it was allegedly sold out by Belgrade instead of admitting to its “very rigid and disloyal
attitude towards Serbia”: They spin a story about uniting all Serbian lands, and when the
going gets tough, they call on Serbia to help them. Serbia gave them weapons, it sent them
a commander to organize them. They were told to negotiate with Croatia and thus pacify
the situation. No! They wanted a big show, a heavenly drama. However, the Croats are now
deep in their territory and they have cut them off; thus, they have also lost their diplomatic
position and their stake is much lower. (“Pakao na Drini”/Hell on the Drina/; Monitor,
independent MonteneHellHHegrin weekly, 250, 4 Aug. 1995, pp. 8-9).
When appearing in the media the RSK officials themselves accused one another or
justified their decisions, and thereby actually admitted their responsibility. Thus, the
last “president of the RSK government”, Milan Babić, expressed his dismay at the fact
“that the SVK General Staff and President Martić” had ordered the general evacuation
of the population and retreat of the troops. (“Povlačenje umesto borbe”/Retreat Instead
of Battle/; Večernje novosti, 9 Aug. 1995). The censured president, Milan Martić, denied
the allegations and claimed that he had only issued orders to provide shelter for the
population in surrounding villages, and that “no mention was made” of troop retreat.
(“Nisam naredio povlačenje vojske”/I Did Not Order Troop Retreat/; Politika, 13 Aug.
2

The Serbian press from August to December 1995 was examined by Ivan Radoš, who also reviewed some of the
collected articles together with Ana Holjević Turković. Their observations were used for this presentation. Boris
Anić also deserves gratitude for the translation and analysis of selected texts from publications in English related
to Operation Storm.

13

1995). However, his statement about the provision of shelter for the population only in
the “surrounding villages” is denied by the letter of Milivoj Vojnović, “foreign minister of
RSK”, of 5 August, sent to the UNPROFOR spokesman Yury Miyahotnik, informing him
that “the Government of the RSK and the SVK General Staff had decided to immediately
evacuate children, women and old people from the territory of the so-called RSK to
Yugoslavia, and asked for UNPROFOR help”. (Radovan Kovačević, “Ko je doneo odluku
o evakuaciji?”/Who Decided to Evacuate?/; Politika, 27 Aug. 1995).
But all ambiguities about who ordered evacuation, when and to which points were
eliminated at the press conference in Belgrade on 22 August 1995; after the fall of the
RSK, that was the first public appearance of the members of its government and assembly,
who actually confirmed that the political and military leadership of the Serbs in the
Republic of Croatia was responsible for the departure of the Serbs from Croatia. That is,
the journalists were shown the “Decision on the evacuation of the population from the
municipalities of Knin, Benkovac, Obrovac, Drniš and Gračac”, issued by the “Supreme
Defence Cuncil” and signed by Milan Martić. In their report of the conference Večernje
novosti and Politika published a facsimile of the “Decision” according to which persons
unfit for combat duty were supposed to pull out via Otrić towards Srb and Lapac. The
full text of the “Decision” was published in Radovan Pavlović’s article “The people were
led from Knin by the Supreme Defence Council of RSK” Politika, 23 Aug. 1995): Because
of the new situation caused by the outright general aggression of Croatia against the
RSK, and after the first initial defence successes, a substantial part of northern Dalmatia
and part of Lika became endangered, and we have therefore decided as follows: planned
evacuation of all combat-unfit persons must be carried out from the municipalities of Knin,
Benkovac, Obrovac, Drniš and Gračac. The evacuation shall be carried out in accordance
with prepared plans along routes towards Knin and further on via Otrić towards Srb and
Lapac. For evacuation purposes request the help of the UNPROFOR Command for Sector
South headquartered in Knin.
The statements of RSK officials issued after that were attempts to disclaim their
responsibility. The “President of the RSK Assembly” Rajko Ležajić stated that he did not
know about the decision, but thought that the population should have been evacuated
only to the neighbouring villages because “the RSK did not even have a professional
army, the people were the army, and it was therefore logical that fathers, husbands,
brothers and sons should follow the weak and the infirm”. Milan Ivanić, adviser to
Milan Martić, declared the decision to be unlawful because there was no quorum at
the meeting of the VSO (Supreme Defence Council) and all the decisions were made
by Milan Martić and Mile Mrkšić as the other VSO members were not even in Knin.
(Milan Babić was in Belgrade, the “minister of the interior” Tošo Pajić in Kordun, and
the “minister of defence” Milan Šuput in Korenica). In his assessment of the “Decision”
the “foreign minister” Milivoj Vojnović claimed that its goal was to draw the SRJ into war
and confirmed the existence of a split between two groups, “the negotiation-prone and
the war-mongering one”, in the leadership of the so-called RSK. Although those present
did not give an accurate answer to the question concerning the person who ordered
the retreat of the army (M. Bošnjak, D. Dimitrovska, “Bežaniju naredio Martić”/Martić
14

ordered the Flight/; Večernje novosti, 23 August 1995; “Odluku o evakuaciji doneo Martić”/
Martić Ordered the Evacuation/; Politika, 23 August 1995), it seems that everybody
already knew clearly that the leadership of the so-called RSK was responsible for the
evacuation and tribulation of the Serbs in Croatia. A comment from the Serbian press
is maybe the most appropriate confirmation of this evaluation: “The flight from Krajina
has a clear identifying code... by adopting the policy set at Pale, the entire RSK leadership,
including the President of the Republic, the Government and the military leadership failed
their history test and are exclusively responsible for the fate of 200,000 Serbs from the
western part of Krajina (Radovan Kovačević, Ko je doneo odluku o evakuaciji RSK?/
Who Decided to Evacuate the RSK?/; Politika, 27 August 1995.)
Vuk Drašković, at the time the leader of the opposition Serbian Renewal Movement,
also sought the culprits “in his own back yard” by emphasizing the narrow-mindedness
of the Serbs and their determination in the implementation of the decision according
to which all Serbs had to live in one state. His answer to the reporter’s decision on the
“blame for the fall of Krajina and the fate of the Serbian population in the region” clearly
shows why the Serbian people experienced tragedy in Croatia and who was responsible
for it: For years people in Serbia have been shouting that Krajina will never think of living
anywhere else except in Greater Serbia. This unreality is so powerful that it has entered the
consciousness and unconsciousness of quite a few people. Those that fed the people such a
dangerous illusion are to be blamed. On the other hand we, who had a different view, were
unable to explain to the people that they were being grossly deluded. We did not tell our
people in time what lay in store, and we are guilty. (Gurat ću na svaka vrata”/I’ll Push any
Door/; Vreme, 21 August 1995).
The Serbian press also described the circumstances in which evacuation was decided
and the way in which the population was informed about it. Thus, according to the
report of Milorad Bošnjak, journalist assigned to the “State Information Pool of the
RSK” (since 10 June 1993), on 4 August 1995, at about 12 o’clock noon, in the Army
Hall in Knin the commander of UN forces in Sector South Alain Forand met with the
military and political officials of the so-called RSK (“Colonel Kosta Novaković - assistant
SVK commander, Colonel Milan Trgovčić - head of the SVK military negotiating team,
Mladen Kalapać - liaison officer with UNPROFOR, and Sava Štrbac - Secretary of the
Government”); “at the same time, the Supreme RSK Defence Council was in permanent
session; its members were RSK President Milan Martić, Prime Minister Milan Babić (then
in Belgrade), SVK Commander Mile Mrkšić, Minister of the Interior Tošo Pajić (then
in Kordun) and Defence Minister Milan Šuput (then in Korenica)”. At about 7 p.m., the
account continues, Colonel Novaković informed the reporters about the order according
to which the VSK General Staff and government institutions would be evacuated to the
small town of Srb in Lika and added that, in accordance with the agreement between
Colonel Novaković and the press, it was decided that civil protection runners would
inform the population because “they did not want the Croats to hear the explanation of
the order on Radio Knin”. The reporter also quoted part of the explanation of the order:
The evacuation is carried out for preventive security reasons. The fighters on the front will
also be relieved knowing that their loved ones are safe in Srb and Donji Lapac (Milorad
15

Bošnjak, “Tvrdoglavost i naiva”/Stubbornness and Naiveté/; Večernje novosti, 22 August
1995).
Accordingly, even the debates in the Serbian press, in particular the statements
of the officials of the so-called RSK, demonstrate how unconvincing and historically
unfounded are the claims about the “ethnic cleansing” carried out by the HV during
Storm and about the responsibility of the Croatian leadership for the exodus of the Serbs
from Croatia. However, in view of the foregoing, the debate about evacuation has now
mainly shifted to questions about whether it was “devised and agreed with somebody in
advance” (reference to the alleged “agreement between Tuđman and Milošević”) or due
to the military situation and to the evaluation of the SVK military and political command
that “they could not stand up to the Croatian Army” and that such a singular strategic
move was made in the hope that the evacuation of civilians from the Knin area would
make possible more concentrated operations by the SVK. Thus, the book of the Croatian
Helsinki Committee (HHO) for Human Rights entitled The Military Operation ‘Storm’
and Its Aftermath (“Vojna operacija ‘Oluja’ i poslije”); Zagreb, 2001, pp. 13, 14, 21, 23
ff.) lists examples showing that the retreat of the civilian population from the so-called
RSK started even before Operation Storm, and that civilians were even forced to retreat,
threatened by their compatriots at gunpoint; however, the text mainly suggests that
the retreat was the result of a scenario planned in advance (alleged agreement between
Tuđman and Milošević). In addition to such scientifically unfounded suggestions, the
book claims that the Croatian leadership was also responsible for the departure of the
rebel Serbs from Croatia because “the statements of the Croatian leaders, particularly
Tuđman and the late Gojko Šušak, did not inspire hope in a possibly dignified and
honourable defeat, whether by peaceful reintegration or by any other kind of agreement”
(HHO, The Military Operation ‘Storm’ and Its Aftermath/“Vojna operacija ‘Oluja’ i poslije”,
p. 21). The fate of the so-called Plan Z-4, which the leadership of the rebel Serbs did not
even want to consider, is the best proof that such claims are neither correct nor objective
and that, considering the position and the actions of the political leadership of the rebel
Serbs, peaceful reintegration was not realistically possible.
It is a historical fact that the public statements of the President of the Republic of
Croatia F. Tuđman and of the Croatian Defence Minister G. Šušak did not influence the
decision of the rebel Serbs in Croatia to turn down “Plan Z-4”, and that their leadership
firmly rejected every suggestion on the reintegration of occupied Croatian territory, or
of the so-called RSK, into the constitutional and legal system of the Republic of Croatia,
although it was favourable for them, actually maximalist considering the internationally
recognized borders of the Republic of Croatia. After all, the view that “Plan Z-4” should
have been accepted prevailed even in the Serbian press after Storm. Thus, one of the
articles analyzing “Plan -4” reported that Serbs, among other things, were offered their
own flag, coat of arms, currency, police; in the author’s view, that was a maximum which
should have been accepted because of the fact that the West would never have recognized
the “RSK” (“Zašto zvona ne zvone?”/Why Don’t Bells Ring?/; Vojska, 159, 24 August
1995, l2).
16

In addition to the comment that “Plan Z-4” was the “last chance” plan permitting
the Serbs to achieve the maximum because the West would never recognize the RSK”,
the Serbian press reported that many political factors in Belgrade were also behind the
rejection of the plan and “fuelling” the unrealistic ambitions of the so-called RSK. Thus,
Borisav Jović is reported to have said that “Krajina is militarily strong enough to resist
the possible attack of the Croatian Army”; according to Vojislav Šešelj, “Plan Z-4 was
totally unacceptable”. Even Zoran Đinđić thought that ”the fact that the Serbian people
in the RSK do not support the Plan suggests that we should not support it either”. In the
same group of comments the most consistent advocate of “Plan Z-4” was Vuk Drašković
(Miljenko Pešić, “Da li je propuštena istorijska šansa?”/Was a Historic Chance Missed?/;
Politika, 8 August 1995). He obviously understood it as an inevitable reality because his
position, publicly proclaimed some days before, that 85 percent of the territory of Bosnia
and Herzegovina should be made part of a confederation with Serbia and Montenegro,
showed that he had not given up his idea about a Greater Serbia: When I say that I accept
the Contact Group plan as a basis for future negotiations, I do not mean, on any account,
that 49% percent of Bosnia&Herzegovina ought to be Serbian, and the rest non-Serbian.
No way! Even if the peace plan said that 60% of Bosnia is Serbian, and the rest non-Serbian,
I would be against it! (“I dalje za veliku Srbiju”/On for Greater Serbia/; Intervju; 21 July
1995, pp. 12-13).
As opposed to the unargumented view that the exodus of the Serbs from Croatia
during Storm was caused by the “Milošević-Tuđman” agreement, in various analyses of
the operation military experts explain the evacuation of civilians from the RSK as a move
intended to prevent SVK defeat, i.e., a move prompted by conditions on the front and the
foreboding of total military defeat. Thus, according to the CIA analysis, evacuation was
ordered only in Knin, and not in Sector North, in order to allow the SVK 7th Corps to
focus on fighting, and SVK commanders were forced to a choice - retreat or destruction
of their forces (Balkan Battlegrounds: A Military History of the Yugoslav Conflict, 19901995, Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Russian and European Analysis, Washington,
DC 25505, May 2002, Chapter 89, pp. 371-372. 375).
According to the same analysis (Balkan Battlegrounds, Chapter 89, p. 374), “it is not
true that former US military officers trained the Croatian Army (and planned Storm),
or that NATO supported the Croatian offensive, or that Milošević sent General Mrkšić
to the RSK in order to prepare the withdrawal of the Army and the population, and
that the SVK did not really fight but simply retreated as soon as the HV attacked, or
that Belgrade had sold out the RSK”, as SVK General M. Sekulić claims in his book.
On the contrary, the analysis emphasizes that “the HV’s stunning victory rested on a
combination of improvements made in force structure and doctrine before the operation
and the key penetration of Serbian positions that the HV and the ARBiH 5th Corps were
able to open and exploit during the operation itself and that unraveled the SVK’s defence
system”. Therefore, as pointed out, the success of Storm was based on improvements in
HV doctrine and force structure, implemented since 1993, because these professional
improvements enhanced the HV’s capacity in planning and organizing operations of
17

impressive magnitude and complexity, and the capacity of executing rapid breakthroughs
deep behind the enemy’s defences. Of course, comments the analysis, doctrine in itself
did not produce victory but had to be faithfully executed on the battlefield. However,
since the Croatian Army was not immediately or everywhere successful in its planned
attacks, its success, according to the analysis, lay in achieving breakthroughs in key
sectors, enhanced by the disruption of the SVK command and control system, and
all that undermined the SVK’s defensive system as a whole and caused its collapse. As
a precondition for the successful completion of Storm, and its “first and most visible
critical individual action”, the analysis mentions the HV’s long-term advance up the
Dinara Mountains and the Livno Valley, that gave it excellent jump-off positions for a
quick and direct strike at Knin, bypassing the main SVK defences south of the town. The
taking of Bosansko Grahovo, continues the analysis, effectively sealed Knin’s fate even
before Storm got off the ground (Balkan Battlegrounds, Chapter 89, pp. 374-375). The
loss of Bosansko Grahovo and the HV attack on Knin from that direction was a major
surprise for the SVK leadership, as shown by their “Evaluation of threat, and protection
and rescue options” prepared in Knin in April 1995. That is, in listing the possible lines
of HV action towards Knin it mentions Zadar, Split (Muć), Šibenik and Sinj as jumpoff points, while the leaders of the rebel Serbs did not even think of a possible attack by
Croatian forces from Mount Dinara (see Appendix 3, document 10).
Similarly, according to the CIA analysis, the battlefield successes of the HV and the
ARBiH were facilitated by the SVK structural weaknesses - which, of course, the HV
staff had calculated on exploiting. The SVK’s biggest problem was not that its troops were
unwilling or unprepared to fight but that there were not enough of them - a problem
recognized when General Mrkšić was brought in to reallocate defensive formations and
establish a bigger and better mobile reserve force. The “Krajina Serbs had fought well”,
notes the analysis, “in the attack in another country, during the Bihać battles, and during
Storm many SVK formations were able to hold their ground against frontal attacks by
stronger HV forces. However, the SVK General Staff and its corps commanders did not
have enough combat formations to maintain the depth and mobility needed to contain
an HV penetration. Thus, when the HV struck through SVK static defences at Knin, the
SVK 7th Corps had no units in reserve to resist and prevent its capture. The only unit left
uncommitted had been cobbled together from bits and pieces stripped out of the corps’
line brigades. Lack of reserves to cushion a flank attack forced the evacuation of the welldefended area south of Karlovac, and Petrinja’s stout defences yielded when the reserves
it counted on were committed elsewhere (Balkan Battlegrounds, Chapter 89, p. 375).
Of course, the reasons underlying the military collapse of the so-called RSK were also
discussed in the Serbian press. In one of the analyses of the causes leading to SVK’s defeat,
two unnamed Yugoslav Army generals agreed that there were many shortcomings, since
the very beginning, in the organization of the defence of the so-called RSK and in the
structure of its army. Thus, they pointed out the following:
- lack of “discipline, courage and brains”, and the fact that the morale of the army “was
destroyed by the awareness that some people were always getting rich while others
languish in the trenches... and only the poor are fighting”;
18

- the population was significantly committed to defensive tasks, and the ratio of the
active to the reserve component was definitively in favour of the former; thus, out of
50,000 troops, as many as 38,000 were on the active list;3
- conflicts in the state leadership and frequent relief of command and corps officers, with
no effect in terms of improved defence;
- markedly negative impact of different lines of command, primarily of special units of
the ministry of the interior which often “exceeded authority, controlled the army and
harassed officers”;
- undisciplined volunteer paramilitary units with “self-styled voivode”, unwilling to
accept subordination to the joint command.
In remarking that his [Mrkšić’s] job was made even more difficult because “he got
back fifteen thousand mobilized refugees”, the generals noted that no major progress
in the organization of the army was made either by Mile Mrkšić, “officer of an elite
Yugoslav Army unit”, who was expected to organize rapid intervention units capable
of deep strikes and “splitting Croatian territory”. The conclusion was that “in terms of
personnel and equipment the SVK was inferior to the aggressor”; however, it also referred
to exaggerated data about HV’s strength floated around in the public, which created
panic in the population along with rumours such as “the ustashi (ustaše) are coming
and slaughtering people” etc. Attention was also drawn to the “mistaken conviction”
that Knin was being defended in Belgrade (Radovan Pavlović, “Uzroci vojnog poraza
Krajine. Serija propusta u organizaciji vojske RSK”/Causes of the Military Defeat of the
Krajina - A Series of Omissions in the Organization of the RSK army”/; Politika, 27 August
1995).
The causes of defeat were also commented on in an interview by Dragan Vasiljković
- “Captain Dragan”. Disappointed by the outcome of the situation, he expressed a
pronouncedly negative view about the “constantly” poor effect of Serbian myths
because of which “since the Kosovo battle the Serbians have not admitted defeat and
keep looking all the time for a new Vuk Branković”. According to his opinion, based on
experience acquired over four years of combat action and training, the defeat was caused
by lack of concern for the army, military and government disorganization, and neglect
of basic military requirements such as food and equipment, resulting ultimately in a
poorly prepared army. According to Vasiljković, “Krajina was in total disarray from the
beginning to the very end”. When explaining the reason why he left the so-called RSK,
he said that on the eve of the attack he met in Knin with Patriarch Pavle, Milan Martić,
Mile Mrkšić and Ratko Mladić - who then claimed then that “his army would defend
every inch of the RSK”. Since the fall of Bosansko Grahovo opened to the Croatian forces
the route to Knin, Vasiljković claims that he suggested counter-strikes towards Šibenik
and Zadar, but his proposals were pessimistically opposed by General Dušan Lončar.
3

When considering the number of SVK troops, it is interesting to note that the proposal of «SVK commitment plan», prepared in early 1995, mentions 69,000 possible SVK members according to the «variant
where SVK engages in defence without major reliance on the Yugoslav Army and the Army of the Republika
Srpska». See Appendix 1, document 18.

19

According to Vasiljković, the pessimistic position of one of the commanders and the
fact that he could not set off on his own with only 60 trained men and lead them into
sure death led him to leave Knin.4 In the interview it was also mentioned that Captain
Dragan had spent more than four years - from 4 April 1991 to 31 July 1995 - in the socalled-RSK, that he had, after arriving in Knin in 1991 - in spite of antagonism of Milan
Babić, who wanted to turn the Krajina “into his own empire” - put in order the exercise
range at Golubić near Knin, and trained 1200 troops in the first three months; in setting
up the training centre he was assisted by a fellow soldier from a British paratrooper
regiment called Marko (Dijana Dimitrovska, “Politika oborila Krajinu”/Politics Brought
Down Krajina/; Večernje novosti; 29 August 1995).
The reasons underlying the fall of the so-called RSK, but also the role of the Yugoslav
Army and Yugoslavia in the Serbian rebellion in Croatia, and the relation of the Krajina
leadership with Belgrade, are also discussed in Miroslav Lazanski’s article “Strategija
‘lako ćemo’” (No Problem Strategy). In Lazanski’s estimate, “Eastern Slavonija and Baranja
cannot be defended without the protection of Yugoslavia, just as it was clear, already
back in 1991, that Krajina could not hold its ground without Yugoslavia”. The reporter
stressed that the “Croatian Army of 1995 was not the army of 1991” and that “Zagreb
had taken advantage of the four years of RSK’s existence in order to create a professional
army 75,000 strong organized in eight brigades and several self-contained battalions, and
an additional component of 140,000 Home Guardsmen”. Moreover, continued Lazanski,
“Zagreb has a military budget of 5.6 billion US dollars as compared to the total military
budget of the RSK, Republika Srpska and the SRJ which does not exceed 1.3 billion
dollars” (Strategija ‘lako ćemo’”/ No Problem Strategy; Nin; 2328, 11 August 1995, 1617).
In consideration of the foregoing, the following sentence from the magazine Nin can
serve as a general conclusion of the analyses regarding SVK’s defeat in Operation Storm
published in the Serbian press: War is won by first-class organization, discipline and
governance, and the Croats have achieved all that during these four years (“Hrvatska neće
napustiti Baranju i Istočnu Slavoniju/Croatia Will Not Abandon Baranja and Eastern
Slavonija/; Nin; 2329, 18 August 1995).
The absence of powerful support by the Army of Republika Srpska and the Yugoslav
Army, that is, of their attack on the Republic of Croatia after the start of Storm, has
also been debated at length. Although some people see in that fact the confirmation
of the alleged Tuđman-Milošević agreement on the resettlement of the population, the
conclusion that the military forces of Republika Srpska and SR of Yugoslavia were not at
the moment capable of a major commitment in terms of an attack against the Republic
of Croatia seems to be more likely. Thus, according to the CIA analysis of Storm, the SVK
4

As opposed to his statement, the daily report of the «Security department of the GŠ SVK» of 3 August 1995
states that «Captain Dragan demonstratively left the Krajina because the SVK commander did not agree
with his request to be appointed commander of the 92nd motorized brigade of the SVK 7th Corps». (See
Appendix 3, document 21).

20

General Staff had traditionally counted on the Bosnian Serb and Yugoslav armies to act
as their strategic reserve, and during Storm these reserves were not available. The Army
of Republika Srpska (VRS) was still more than willing to fulfill this role, but the VRS
General Staff itself was short of reserve formations it needed to contend with ARBiH
attacks across Bosnia. The battlefield situation in Bosnia made it impossible for the
Bosnian Serbs to contribute anything more than a few counterattacks around Grahovo
and Bihać (Balkan Battlegrounds, Chapter 89, p. 376).
An overview of the war in Bosnia shows that such a conclusion is justified. According
to the CIA analysis, on instructions of the military leadership of Republika Srpska of 8
March 1995 the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) planned a number of offensive actions
(“Sarajevo ‘95”, “Spreča ‘95”, Sadejstvo ‘95”, “Lukavac ‘95”, “Zvijezda ‘95”), intended to
seize a large portion of ARBiH-held territory north of Tuzla, the areas of Mounts Igman
and Bjelašnica, expand the Posavina corridor and remove the threat facing Doboj,
strangle the enclaves of Žepa and Srebrenica and capture them if their UN protectors
withdrew, and reduce the enclave of Goražde to a 3 km radius around the town itself.
Plans had to include two additional operations to cut routes through the Neretva valley
to the sea near Dubrovnik (Balkan Battlegrounds, Chapter 73, pp. 289-290). These very
ambitious plans for the VRS show that that the Serbs wanted to use military actions
in order to force the Muslim and Croatian leadership, and thereby the international
community as well, to acknowledge the facts on the ground, which were abundantly to
the favour of the “Serbian cause”.
However, these plans were largely beyond the momentary capacity of the VRS because
the changes in the balance of forces between the ARBiH and VRS, which first became
apparent in 1994, were very obvious by 1995 (Balkan Battlegrounds, Chapter 78, pp. 300303). Thus, instead of capturing territory the VRS had to defend itself from the reorganized
Army of BiH.5 Moreover, the VRS also had to defend itself from the attack of Croatian
5

Thus, on 20 March 1995 the ARBiH launched spring offensives, the targets being the Serbian-held radio
transmitters atop Mount Vlašić near Travnik (Operation «Domet») and Stolice on Mount Majevica east of
Tuzla. There was also fierce fighting on Mount Treskavica. The ARBiH was very successful in the first attack,
while in the second it suffered a major defeat. However, in spite of its substantial losses in both operations,
UN military observers reported obvious improvements in terms of equipment, planning, organization and
execution of attacks; Bosnian soldiers now had adequate small arms and ammunition, flak jackets, helmets
and radios. Similarly, the failure of the Serbian operation «Sadejstvo ‘95» in April 1995, intended to expand
the corridor at Boderište 8 km south of Brčko, defended by ARBiH forces and the Croatian Defence Council
(HVO) 108th brigade shows that the VRS - in spite of its superiority in armour, artillery and other heavy
weapons - was unable to break through ARBiH defences (Balkan Battlegrounds, Chapter 78, pp. 300-303).
Of course, the VRS also had to prepare for defence from the long announced ARBiH offensive intended to
relieve Sarajevo, which started in mid-June 1995; although it failed and even if ARBiH had extremely high
losses, the offensive tied down considerable VRS forces which could not be committed elsewhere. The VRS
also suffered considerable losses (Chapter 80, pp. 307-314). After January 1995 the fighting was particularly
intensive in the Bihać enclave where the ARBiH 5th Corps assisted by the HVO 101st regiment and logistic
support from Croatia put up a tough and active defence against the superior forces of Bosnian and Croatian
Serbs, and special force units from Serbia. This is supported by the operations «Una ‘95» and «Zora ‘95» of
the ARBiH 5th Corps in May 1995, and operations «Trokut 1» in June 1995 (Balkan Battlegrounds, Chapters
74, 75, 79).

21

forces in Livanjsko Polje and on Mount Dinara. After the success of Operation ”Cincar”
and the liberation of Kupres in early November 1994, the Croatian forces carried out on
Mount Dinara a serious of actions and operations which began to erode the strong VRS
positions (“Zima ‘94”, “Skok 1” and “Skok 2”); after Operation “Ljeto ‘95” they entered
Bosansko Grahovo and Glamoč, and opened the route for Knin (Balkan Battlegrounds,
Chapter 77, pp. 364-365). In the meantime, Operation Flash (“Bljesak”) also liberated
Western Slavonija. The SVK was unable to help their fellow fighters, and neither was the
VRS; they retaliated instead by cowardly and terrorist attacks on Croatian cities with
“Orkan” rockets fitted with cluster munitions, to which Croatia did not respond (Balkan
Battlegrounds, Chapter 77, pp. 296-298).6
Therefore, being overstretched and overloaded, VRS forces could not provide
significant help to the SVK even during Operation Flash. Following that, failure in the
retaliatory VRS offensive (“Plamen ‘95”; the Croats called it “Revenge”) against Orašje
(5 May to 10 June 1995), defended by HVO forces, vividly confirmed the declining VRS
capacity as compared with the first war years. Although the attack was spearheaded by
armoured and elite infantry units, of course with very strong fire support, the Serbian
army failed to achieve the planned targets because, unlike the case in 1992 and 1993, it
was now attacking a well-organized enemy backed by considerably better fire support as
compared with previous years (Balkan Battlegrounds, Chapter 77, pp. 298-299).
However, after Lieutenant Colonel General Mile Mrkšić was appointed on 16 May
1995 to command the SVK and run its reorganization, including the creation of the SVK
Special Units Corps, the fall of Bihać into Serbian hands seemed to be inevitable in July
1995; that was the starting date of the fateful Serbian offensive against Bihać - Operation
“Sword ‘95”.7 After a strategic dilemma - crush first the ARBiH 5th Corps or the Croatian
forces on Mount Dinara, on 19 July 1995 the Serbian forces attacked the Bihać enclave
and, in the battle for Cazin on 19-26 July 1995, brought the ARBiH 5th Corps to the
brink of defeat. The commander of the ARBiH 5th Corps, General Atif Dudaković, later
described this VSK offensive as his most difficult experience of the war. Any objective
analysis can easily confirm the dramatic situation in which, in the event of Bihać falling
into the hands of the Serbs, they would enjoy an extraordinary strategic advantage over
the HV and cause a new, vast humanitarian disaster.8
6

The author of the comment in the CIA analysis notes that “President Tuđman showed unusual restraint
when he refrained from ordering retaliatory strikes against the Serbs” (Balkan Battlegrounds, Chapter 77,
p. 298).
7
The CIA analysis stresses in particular that the Yugoslav Army had also sent «to Krajina a number of veterans, former JNA officers (at the time officers of the Yugoslav Army), in order to help with the implementation of changes, in the analysis of the SVK strategic and tactical-operational situation, and reinforce defence,
because they also brought along additional equipment for the SVK new mobile reserve forces” (Balkan
Battlegrounds, Chapter 88. p. 363).
8
According to the CIA analysis, involved in the SVK offensive were also an estimated 500 special operations troops of the Yugoslav Army, the Serbian State Security Service and Arkan’s Serbian Volunteer Guard,
with additional reinforcements - troops from the VJ Special Units Corps - intended to provide shock troops
and combat leaders during the attack of the VSK Special Units Corps (Balkan Battlegrounds, Chapter 88,
p. 363).

22

However, after the Split Agreement of 22 July 1995 between the Croatian President
Franjo Tuđman and the President of the BiH Presidency Alija Izetbegović, along with
the President of the BiH Federation Krešimir Zubak and the BiH Prime Minister
Haris Silajdžić, the Croatian forces launched Operation “Summer ‘95” and, after
liberating Bosansko Grahovo and Glamoč in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and mobilizing
and deploying their troops, forced the Serbian army to relegate Bihać to a position of
secondary importance and face the jeopardy of the Croatian strategic attack on the RSK
with its threat of fatal changes in the battlefield (Balkan Battlegrounds, Chapter 88, p.
363). Accordingly, the capture of the enclaves of Srebrenica and Žepa was actually the
only achieved VRS target among the many planned in March 1995, but even this was
soon neutralized by the loss of Bosansko Grahovo and Glamoč. It was in such conditions
- torn and overstretched, with a considerably eroded morale - that the VRS was faced
with the Croatian military-police operation Storm, and even this brief overview of the
war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 shows why the so-called RSK and its army did not
get the anticipated military help from the Bosnian Serbs, i.e., the VRS, during Storm.
According to the CIA comment on the reasons why the Yugoslav Army did not give
direct help and why Serbia allegedly sold the RSK out, “the claims of SVK General
Milisav Sekulić that Milošević intentionally forced decisions that would lead to RSK’a
fall do not hold water, because their were good arguments for most of them”. Thus,
evacuation was ordered only in Knin, and not in Sector North, Moreover, the Yugoslav
Army had already started (actually continued) - with Milošević’s concurrence - to supply
equipment to the SVK and provide officers to stiffen its units, as well as some special
operations units. Furthermore, “sending VJ units openly across its borders in support of
the SVK was apparently more than Milošević was willing to do to save the RSK. But even
if he had been willing, the rapidity with which the HV struck and enveloped the RSK left
very little time for the VJ to send adequate forces to the region”. Storm did cause the VJ to
mobilize and deploy large numbers of armour, artillery and infantry to the border with
Eastern Slavonia as a warning to Zagreb, “but it would have taken a major VJ-supported
offensive out of the RSK enclave to actually deter or slow down the HV offensive”. In the
view of the CIA analysts, “even if Milošević’s failure to order in the VJ is taken as a sign
of his indifference or at least callousness about the RSK’s fate, this does not imply that
Milošević wanted the RSK to fall. He had committed his personal prestige and a lot of
Yugoslav resources to propping up the RSK, and he had been sending VJ officers and
equipment to help defend the Krajina Serbs since 1992”. But, as the conclusion goes,
there was a line beyond which he was not willing to go (or could not go?) if by crossing
it Yugoslavia incurred prolonged or increased Western sanctions or high military
costs. With Western governments and their peoples increasingly focused on what was
happening in places like Srebrenica and Bihać, Milošević had finally come to that line
(Balkan Battlegrounds, Chapter 89, p. 376).
Of course, the lack of direct VJ commitment in the defence of “Krajina” stirred up
quite a reaction in the Serbian public. However, such developments did not surprise the
23

people responsible for the defence of the so-called RSK. Specifically, already in early
1995 the draft of the new “RSK Defence Plan” indicated “that at present it would not
be realistically possible to plan the commitment, in the case of an attack on the RSK,
of either VJ or VRS units” (see Appendix 1, document 18). Similarly, the Serbian press
reported already in July 1995 that SR Yugoslavia, under the pressure of international
economic sanctions, was not longer capable of helping the Serbs across the Drina either
economically or militarily, and that precisely international sanctions had forced Slobodan
Milošević to try to change his past policies by offering his good services as a peace broker
in the Balkans. Thus, in his interview to The Times Milošević claimed that Yugoslavia,
if the sanctions were abolished, would bring the Bosnian Serbs to the negotiating table
and added that “he would bring reasonable peace to that part of the country within six
months” (“Poruka iz Srbije”/Message from Serbia/; Nin; 2327, 14 July 1995, pp. 13-14).
Therefore, it seems that open intervention in Croatia was not acceptable for Milošević
because it would have directly jeopardized his negotiating status and possible lifting
of sanctions against Yugoslavia. In spite of that, however, Yugoslavia seems to have
promised military help and diplomatic pressure on Croatia to the Krajina leadership.
Specifically, Momir Bulatović, then member of the Yugoslav Supreme Defence Council,
claimed that the Supreme Council had sent a telegram - from its extraordinary session
held on 4 August 1995 in the command post at Dobanovci near Belgrade - to General
Mrkšić encouraging him to keep organizing stiff resistance for at least another two days,
after which Yugoslavia would be capable of helping him with all available resources (M.
Bulatović, Pravila ćutanja: istiniti politički triler sa poznatim završetkom/The Silence
Rules: A True Political Thriller with a Known Ending/; Belgrade, 2004, pp. 181-182; “Rat u
Hrvatskoj 1991-1995”/War in Croatia 1991-1995/; www.centerforhistory.net). Mention
is also made of Milošević’s telephone message to Martić, on the first day of Storm,
“to hold out for five to six days, in order to leave Belgrade scope for action” (Milisav
Sekulić, Knin je pao u Beogradu/Knin Fell in Belgrade/; Bad Vilbel, 2001; 178). This is
also supported by the statement of Goran Hadžić, former “RSK” prime minister, after
Storm; along with his faith in the survival of the “RSK” in Slavonia and Srijem and the
message that he would never accept the fact that “Krajina” was gone, he answered to the
question on a possible attack of the Croatian Army: I am certain that Serbia will help
this part of Krajina and I have sure indications for that, but I cannot disclose them to the
press at present. I am sure it would have helped that part of Krajina as well if it had put
up at least some resistance(“Srbija će pomoći”/Serbia Will Help/; Nin; 2329, 18 August
1995; pp. 17-19). Milan Milanović, “assistant RSK defence minister”, also spoke about
the organizational capacity and readiness of the remaining “RSK” army to defend itself,
noted that it would expect help from Yugoslavia if it were attacked by a bigger force, and
added that no plans or actions were done without the agreement of Belgrade (“Svi se
boje Srbije”/Everybody is Afraid of Serbia/; Intervju; 22 September 1995; pp. 6-7).
Denying the allegations in the Serbian press about the poor military preparation and
lack of financial support to the SVK, Borislav Mikelić indirectly confirmed Yugoslavia’s
24

military support to the RSK. Specifically, he mentioned the considerable armaments of
the “RSK” army - weapons inherited from the JNA and acquired later, and noted: “It is
known that the RSK Army had an air force at Udbina, that it had rocket systems, that it
had quite a few tanks, anti-aircraft guns, artillery, missiles”. This is confirmed by the fact
that “the Croatian Army captured weapons and ammunitions worth at least 700 million
or up to an estimated one billion Deutschmarks” (“Tko je prevario Miloševića?”/Who
Deceived Milošević?/; Intervju; 368; 8 September 1995; 110-11). Of course, numerous
documents confirm the help provided by Yugoslavia to the so-called RSK and the SVK.
Thus, the “extraordinary operational report of the SVK General Staff ” sent to “the
President of the Republic of Serbia Slobodan Milošević, the President of RSK Milan
Martić and the Chief of the Yugoslav Army General Staff Colonel General Momčilo
Perišić” on 11 June 1995 mentions the overall help sent by SR Yugoslavia to the Serbian
Army of Krajina, including primarily the mobilization of combat-capable persons who
had fled the area and sending them back to the Krajina”. The same document mentions
under point 7 the “reception, currently under way, of the materiel authorized for the
requirements of the Serbian Army of Krajina from the Yugoslav Army” (see Appendix
2, document 26). Actually, because of the numerous documents confirming this point,
nobody can seriously deny the fact that the JNA, and subsequently the VJ, openly
supported the rebellion of the Serbs in Croatia and the structuring of the SVK - to
the extent that they may have been considered to be one and the same army. This was
generally known, especially to the officials of the so-called RSK, as borne out by the
statement of the “Deputy RSK Prime Minister” Stojan Španović at the “joint session of
the Goverment of Republika Srpska and the RSK Government” held on 19 July 1993
in Knin: In terms of official SRJ documents the SVK is part of the Yugoslav Army (see
Appendix 1, document 10).
Milošević seems to have understood that he could not achieve the planned targets
by military means, and tried instead to keep what he had already realized, or actually
conquered, by a “policy of agreement” which he believed, together with the “Krajina
Prime Minister” Borislav Mikelić, to be the most favourable for the Serbs in Croatia.
However, the “Krajina” leadership turned to Pale claiming that Mikelić was a traitor
and opposing his policy. At the session of the “Krajina Assembly” held in Knin on 29
May 1995, Borislav Mikelić was relieved, and the Assembly expressed agreement with
the “decision on the state unification of the RSK and Republika Srpska”. Because of this,
in an interview given on 9 June 1995, Mikelić censured Milan Martić and Milan Babić
for openly obstructing any attempt to come to an agreement with Croatia. In explaining
the reasons why he opposed “any fast, hasty and ill-considered unification” he actually
highlighted Milošević’s plan focused on lifting the sanctions against Yugoslavia and
achieving the ultimate goal of Serbian policy - the unification of Serbian lands in one state:
I have first of all in mind the lifting of sanctions against SR Yugoslavia and the acceptance of
the Contact Group Plan by the leadership in Pale. In that case SR Yugoslavia could enter a
confederation or establish a federal relation with Republika Srpska, and RS Krajina would
then rely on such an arrangement (“Jesam Miloševićev čovjek” /I Am Milošević’s Man/;
25

Intervju; 362, 9 June 1995, 15). Later on, the Belgrade daily Večernje novosti carried an
article which criticized the policy of the “Krajina leadership” because of its drifting apart
from Belgrade and collusion with the Bosnian Serbs, and presented - as evidence that the
Bosnian and Croatian Serbs pursued the policy of immediate mutual unification - the
Decision on the State Unification of the RSK and the RS, the document prepared for the
announced session of the assemblies of the RSK and the RS, never held because of Storm
(“Tvrdoglavost i naiva”/Stubbornness and Naiveté/; Večernje novosti; 22 August 1995).
Milošević and Mikelić must have been angry when their idea was not accepted (or
understood?) by the leading politicians of the so-called RSK, who probably thought
that the realization of such a plan would be too slow. This is why Mikelić accused the
RSK leaders of thwarting every peace initiative and, in particular, found fault with the
“rightist extremism” of Milan Martić and Milan Babić and with their political links with
the “capital” of the Bosnian Serbs, Pale, and Radovan Karadžić. Mikelić reviewed the
events on 29 March 1994 and the Zagreb Ceasefire Agreement, and pointed out that it
was concluded on the initiative of Belgrade with the objective to place “Krajina” under
international protection after the unfavourable developments - the loss of Maslenica,
the Miljevac Plateau, Zemunik, Peruča and the Medak pocket. The establishment of
peace, continued Mikelić, was to be followed by economic negotiations, the opening
of the Zagreb-Knin-Split railway link and the opening of the oil pipeline. In Mikelić’s
words, “such a development favoured the Krajina because it implied the extension of the
agreement with the peacekeeping forces”. He also mentioned the negotiations in Erdut
with the participation of the Russian defence minister Pavel Grachev who guaranteed
the RSK, if it accepted the plan, the status of a “state within a state”, and added that
the opposition of Babić and Martić, and their insistence on unification with Republic
Srpska, led to the interruption of peace negotiations and to conflict between them and
him - and thereby to conflict with Belgrade. Thus, in Mikelić’s interpretation, Martić’s
order to pull back the army in Storm and put up no resistance was in accordance with
Karadžić’s slogan: If Petrinja and Knin fall, Belgrade will fall! (Ko je prevario Miloševića/
Who Deceived Milošević/; Intervju; 368, 8 Sept. 1995, 10-11).
Just as the accusations about “ethnic cleansing”, equally unfounded are the accusations
about the Croatian excessive shelling of Knin, which some try to push by incorrectly
referring only to statements supporting such claims. An example is the statement that
“the Croats knew they were shelling civilian facilities, and out of the 3000 shells fired on
Knin only 250 hit military targets”, given according to The New York Times to the ICTY
investigators by General Alain Forand, commander of UN forces in Sector South (HHO,
The military operation ‘Storm” and Its Aftermath, p. 28). However, all those who visited
Knin immediately after Storm know how convincing is the claim, or actually accusation,
about the excessive and uncontrolled shelling of civilian targets in Knin. Especially
when they remember the JNA attacks on Croatian towns and villages in 1991... SVK
commanding officers also know it because their reports on the start of the operation
26

warrant the conclusion that Croatian artillery attacked military targets.9 At any rate, the
story about the excessive shelling of Knin passed off by “RSK officials” has been disproved
by photographs of Knin, shown on TV and published in a Serbian newspaper. The same
paper published the statement of Slobodan Jarčević, adviser to Milan Martić and former
“RSK minister of foreign affairs”, according to which there was in Knin no building that
had not been shelled (M.A., “Egzodus naroda”/Exodus of the people; Večernje novosti, 6
August 1995), along with the comment that “according to photographs taken in some of
Knin’s main streets, no signs of major armed conflicts can be observed; only some trees
are down, and tanks and troops are all over town” (S.P., “Snimci iz Knina”/Photographs
from Knin/; Večernje novosti, 6 August 1995).
In his study of Storm, which constitutes the main part of this book, the author did
not omit certain problems such as the undisciplined conduct of some HV troops, and
incidents - dishonourable actions (murder and torching of property) - committed against
parts of the remaining Serbian population and their property in the just liberated area of
the Republic of Croatia. They are presented in greater detail in the book “Vojna operacija
‘Oluja’ i poslije” (Military Operation Storm and Its Aftermath) published by the Croatian
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (Zagreb 2001). The book is actually a report on
the conditions and events in the area liberated by the military-police Operation Storm the former UN Sectors South and North - covering mainly the period between the start
of the operation until the end of 1995, but also some later developments. Of course,
the victims on the Serbian side during Storm are also discussed in the publications of
the Veritas Information&Documentation Centre from Belgrade. However, there is no
need to comment on them in particular because in its activity to date Veritas has not
demonstrated any wish for a well-argumented record and objective representation of

9

Thus, the report of the «command of the SVK 11th Infantry Brigade (str. conf. No. 239/2-95.) of 4 August
1995 reads, among other things: Knin was shelled from Livanjsko Polje and from several directions, and
until the drafting of this report the town was hit by 200 to 300 projectiles of different types and calibres. The
target of the first strike was the building of the Headquarters of the Serbian Army of the Krajina, which suffered great damage and the almost complete loss of the motor pool. Subsequently the fire was focused on the
‘1300 Corporals’ Barracks, the Tvik plant, the railway marshalling yard, housing below the fortress, and other targets... This is also borne out by a record of an SVK officer who was present in Knin when Storm started:
the drumfire barrage started all over Krajina. Everything had been planned from the smallest detail. Every
shell and every artillery attack. Several days ago observers and gunners were infiltrated in order to direct fire.
The most important targets in the town include the Headquarters building, the residence of the president
of the state, the northern barracks, the Senjak barracks and the main crossroads in Knin... I jumped over
the fence of the northern barracks and entered the building in which I had worked four months ago... The
barracks was hit by quite a few shells, but we were lucky and avoided shells falling on our head... We got into
a Golf and set off towards Headquarters. Shells were still falling, this time less frequently. We arrived at the
Dešlić crossroads. The area round Headquarters was hit more heavily. I stopped the driver and told him to
return to the barracks, and proceeded on foot... Seeking shelter behind trees I reached Headquarters. I enter
the building: what a sight. Two shells hit the parking space between the buildings and destroyed the entire
Headquarters motor pool. That must have been quite a gunner, to land them right there (Marko Vrcelj, Rat
za srpsku krajinu, 1991-1995/War for the Serbian Krajina, 1991-1995/; Belgrade, 2002, pp. 212-213).

27

history. After all, it was precisely the Croatian Helsinki Committee (HHO) that drew
attention to the unreliable data in Veritas publications and the latter’s exaggerations in
reporting the number of victims. Thus, HHO demonstrated that Veritas passed off, in its
list of victims (e.g., in the pamphlet published in 1998), many members of the Krajina
paramilitary as civilian victims, and claimed that living persons were dead (“HHO
upozorava na lažne podatke beogradskog Veritasa”/HHO draws attention to false data
published by Veritas of Belgrade/; Vjesnik, 11 January 2001).
The abovementioned HHO report (Military Operation Storm and Its Aftermath) lists
410 persons who died or were killed in the former UN Sector South “during Operation
Storm until the end of 1995”. The data reported in the list suggest that, during Operation
Storm in the area under consideration, the death of approximately 31 persons was due
to military action (mainly shelling), that approximately 52 Serbs and 2 Croats were
killed by unknown perpetrators (no details are reported), and 43 persons are reported to
have been killed by Croatian soldiers or persons wearing HV uniforms; the remainder,
according to the report, died or were killed after the end of the operation (HHO, Military
Operation Storm and Its Aftermath; pp. 131-157). The report also lists 191 civilian
persons who died, were killed or turned up missing in the former UN Sector North; the
information suggests that, during Operation Storm, death in approximately 7 cases was
due to military action (mainly shelling), approximately 30 ethnic Serbs were killed by
unknown perpetrators (no details are reported), approximately 37 persons were killed
by Croatian soldiers persons wearing HV uniforms, 7 persons were killed by soldiers of
the Army of B&H, 3 persons (out of whom a Croatian couple) were killed by members
of the so-called Army of Krajina, 24 persons turned up missing, and the remainder
died, were killed or turned up missing after the end of the operation (HHO, Military
Operation Storm and Its Aftermath, pp. 221-244). A separate list includes 76 persons who
died, were killed or turned up missing in the refugee column, mainly due to military
action, while some are reported to have been killed by Croatian soldiers (HHO, Military
Operation Storm and Its Aftermath, pp. 208-215).
Unfortunately, many allegations in the book are not accompanied by the required
scholarly apparatus, and this the leaves the question of the reason why some notes
include full information on the source for a specific event, while some events are
mentioned without reference to any source. Similarly, this worthy attempt to collect data
on dishonourable actions (murder, plunder and torching of property) committed by the
Croatian side during and after Storm is partly encumbered by foisting an unargumented
consideration of the political and military context of the operation, i.e., by emphasizing
the alleged Milošević-Tuđman agreement on the so-called humane resettlement of
the population. Of course, these observations do not deny the fact that individuals on
the Croatian side (soldiers or civilians) killed Serbian civilians during and after Storm;
instead, and on the basis of insight into diverse sources, attention is only drawn to the
need for a fully argumented and accurate presentation of information, especially when
comments refer to the way the victims died or to who killed them.
It would be difficult to explain the motives of crimes committed against innocent and
helpless people, and even more difficult to accept them as a reality which recurs in every
28

war. But, it is certain that they cannot be justified, regardless of their perpetrators, and that
truth and justice require the detection and punishment of all those who were personally
responsible for the crimes. This would give the victims at least some satisfaction, and
the punishment of the actual perpetrators would demonstrate that the crimes were
committed by individuals whose actions were in opposition to the action and conduct of
the overwhelming majority of Croatian commanders, soldiers and policemen, who took
honourable part in Operation Storm.
This is also in the interest of historical truth: it requires the final and accurate
determination of the dishonourable deeds (murders of civilians and POWs, and torching
of homes) committed against the Serbian population in the area covered by Operation
Storm by members of the armed forces or civilians on the Croatian side, by members of
the Army of B&H, and by members of the Serbian military units or Serbian civilians.10
10

The HHO book mainly mentions crimes against Serbian civilians committed by individuals on the Croatian
side or members of the Army of B&H. However, the reports of refugee Serbs also mention the tribulations of
Serbs and refugees of other ethnic groups due to the actions of the Serbian army, murders of Serbs by their
fellow-countrymen and suicides during withdrawal. Thus, a note in the HHO book also mentions people
killed because they did not want to join the refugee column: Our leadership informed the people about our
flight. People were made afraid of the Croatian army, and we had to flee. Those of us who did not want to
leave hid well, we did not want them to find out that we were staying; otherwise, we would be forced to leave
or Serbs would have killed us... They went from home to home and checked whether people were leaving...
(Statement by N. Drača, 23 July 1998; HHO, The Military Operation ‘Storm’ and Its Aftermath; 14). These
were not mere threats, as shown by the statement of M.P. (details in the HMDCDR); she said that «Martić’s
people killed her son because he refused to join the column» (HMDCDR, verbal testimony of O.N., details
in the HMDCDR). M.K. (details in the HMDCDR) stated as follows: We were in the basement of the building in which Milan Babić, the dentist, had an apartment. The militia came and forced us to join the column
(HMDCDR, protocol 1396 of 18 September 1995). M.M. (details in the HMDCDR) stated: I was wounded
by a Serbian sniper. I came to save my son and we all wanted to come back (HMDCDR, protocol 1360 of
14 September 1995). M.J. (details in the HMDCDR) , a Croat from Gračac who had to leave his home and
was forced to join the column at gunpoint, stated that one of his neighbours was killed because she did not
want to join the column (HMDCDR, protocol 1269 of 1 September 1995).L.I. (details in the HMDCDR)
from Glina resisted when they tried to force him to join the column, and was beaten up by RSK soldiers
(HMDCDR, protocol 74 of 19 January 1996). D.Ć. (details in the HMDCDR) stated that he had joined the
column «because terror groups were left behind» (HMDCDR, protocol 247 of 12 March 1996). The daily
Delo (Ljubljana) reported on the fate of the Serbian refugees rocketed by the Serbian air force: HTTP://www.
hrt.hr/arhiv/oluja/950808/H/080895174801.html.
Some Serbs in the refugee columns were crushed by tanks, e.g., the man in the militia car ran over by in Knin
by an SVK tank before the arrival of Croatian troops... On the right side of the road (by the administration
of the diesel fuel storage facility) I found a militia car, a ‘stojadin’ (Zastava 101). Tracks showed that it had
been run over by a tank. It was quite flattened, and a human leg protruded from it... I went on to Corps
Command... I saw a ‘lada’ with two dead men in camouflage RSK Army uniforms, 25-30 years old... The
side of the car was riddled with bullet holes at chest level. Croatian troops had not yet entered the town, and
I don’t know how they died. They must have been killed by a burst. (HHO, The Military Operation ‘Storm’
and Its Aftermath, p. 27). There is a well-known story about retreating Serbian tanks running over a column
of Serbian refugee vehicles in the region of Banovina. Thus, commenting on the «sad column of 32,000
refugees), the Zagreb reporter of Belgrade’s daily Večernje novosti, Milenko Predragović wrote: «According
to eyewitnesses, the said column was rolled over by tanks under the command of the Serbian General Mile
Novaković as he fled from Petrova Gora». Of course, he believed that Croatian media interpreted this version in order to blame «the Serbian leadership for the fate of the Serbian refugees». He even suggested that
the column had been rolled over by «Serbian, but captured tanks» (Milenko Predragović, «Kolona izgažena
tenkovima» (Column Rolled over by Tanks; Večernje novosti, 14 August 1995). The construction is not true,
as confirmed by recollections of Storm participants (HMDCDR, memoir material).

29

Of course, the number of Serbian suicides must also be determined accurately
because sources have shown that such cases were not rare either.11 Another question
is the suffering of the Serbs in the refugee columns because civilians were mixed with
soldiers, and tractors and cars with tanks. Moreover, many people not wearing uniforms
(“civilians”) were armed. Croatian soldiers remembered being shot at by civilians from
various weapons and attacked with grenades.12 The same goes for the list of the torched
and plundered houses abandoned by the Serbs because sources show that some of the
property (homes, buildings) was set on fire by the Serbs as they fled during Storm.13

11

This is also borne out by the reporter’s interview with a Serbian refugee who fled Croatia:...While he [the
Serbian refugee] was telling me about the many suicides during their flight, babies and old people who
had died, about the lack of bread and water, his fellow refugee sternly warned us that the stuff could not be
published, that everything was alright but that it was forbidden to write anything about it. Who forbade it,
I asked, but he just shrugged and went away... An old man, seventy-three, killed himself. He just got off the
road into a maize field and killed himself with a grenade... The bridge at Nova Grada was destroyed, and a
women killed herself there. When we got to the bridge, she just jumped into the water, poor soul (“Progoni
istočno od raja”/Persecutions East of Eden; Intervju; 367, 25 August 1995). Here is part of the moving story
of Radmila Dragičević (34): Five babies died in our column, and many old people; we left them by the road
because they told us that ambulances would collect them. Miloš Bradaš (39): A man who had no more fuel
in his tractor, probably deranged, took out a gun and killed his wife, their two children and then himself.
They tried to stop him, but failed. (“Ljudi s traktora”/The people on the tractors; Nin, 2329, 18 August 1995,
29). An old refugee also described the chaos in the Serbian refugee columns fleeing Croatia: In the Topusko
pocket we heard that the Muslims were slaughtering everybody at Glina. Chaos followed, people cried,
moaned, armed and drunken soldiers threatened, two men killed themselves. Then the police from Kordun
restored order. They beat people with sticks... (Milena Marković, “Kroz psovke i batine”/Through Curses
and Beating; Večernje novosti, 15 August 1995). Testimony of Višnja, 32: We were in the column from 5 to
10 August 1995. We just stood on the spot or moved slowly. We had food, what we had taken along, but I
could hardly eat. I lost my appetite because of everything that had happened to us. We heard that there had
been some negotiations and that we should move on. They formed us into rank, set the column in order
(Croatian militia) and ordered everyone to leave their weapons because the border could not be crossed with
weapons. They let people take the fuel from the remaining tanks, but not weapons. Some people could not
bear being separated from their weapons and committed suicide... (Žene Krajine - rat, egzodus i izbeglištvo/
The Women of Krajina - War, Exodus and Exile/, Belgrade, 1996, 287).
12
This is borne out by the example, amply covered by the media, of grandmother Danica Obradović (shown
on the “Krajina television” after the Medak Pocket operation), but also by the moving story of the widow
Marina, 27: ... Near my house [village of Kašić in the Zadar hinterland] there is a hill from which we could
see everybody approaching. We had a ‘broing’ [Browning]. I shot from it. That was an antiaircraft gun capable of mowing down anything. The people put in the bullets and set everything up, and I handled it... I had
to think of my children. But where there were no men for the village guards, I never refused guard duty... (V.
Nikolić-Ristanović, S. Konstantinović-Vilić, N. Mrvić-Petrović, I. Stevanović, B. Knežić, Žene Krajine - rat,
egzodus i izbeglištvo/The Women of Krajina - War, Exodus and Exile/; Belgrade, 1996, 79). Testimonies of
other women also suggest that quite a few civilians in the so-called RSK, including women, were armed.
Thus, in the story about her tragedy and exile, Neda (born 1954) mentioned that she had taken “her weapons
along because everyone had it” (The Women of Krajina, 263). Faced with a similar situation, Desanka (55),
“grabbed a bag and stuffed some bare necessities into it; I also took along a hunting gun, but no documents”
(The Women of Krajina, 283).
13
This is borne out by the statements of the Serbian refugees after Storm: ... According to Politika (Belgrade
daily), a soldier from Kninsko Polje, who had been given leave just before the attack to go home and clean
up, “packed” all the people in his hamlet (40) into a large trailer truck and drove them to Belgrade. Only

30

Of course, this does not disprove the fact that the property of Croatian citizens, ethnic
Serbs, in the liberated territory was mainly torched by individuals on the Croatian side.
No dialogue can be established, and no badly needed peace reinforced in this area by
denying the committed criminal offences or by blaming only one side for them, and by
drawing specific events out of the context of the historic process. Truth is also the only
right avenue for the future of our children, because we can only expect new suffering if
everybody does not understand that crime cannot be justified by anything. At the same
time, resorting to half-truths or unverified information and, thereby, the imposition
of a conclusion that Storm was a “criminal scheme”, forcing upon Croatia a new guilt
complex, are also unacceptable. Many examples support the claim that Storm was not
intended to expel and exterminate the Serbs, and that Croatian soldiers were ordered
to abide by the rules of international law of war. They include the testimony of a bedridden old woman, recorded in the already mentioned HHO book (p. 29), saved thanks
to the determined insistence of a Croatian soldier (probably a commanding officer),
who had her put on a truck and taken to Knin, although his fellow-soldier suggested
he should “leave her or kill her”. Although the story also shows that some individuals
had no intention of respecting the international law of war, it actually confirms - by the
order to the superior to his subordinate to “look after the old woman as if she were his

the driver’s father, 63, stayed behind: the man took a gun in order to fight as long as he could, then set his
house on fire and fled only then (Vreme weekly; 14 August 1995, p. 4)... As we pulled back to Srb and Drvar,
we passed through empty villages. There were no dead or wounded civilians or soldiers, just empty houses
and livestock. Occasionally explosions were heard - the Serbs had blown up some facilities lest they should
fall into the hands of the Croats - hospitals, post offices, storage facilities with weapons they could not take
along... The refugee column was far ahead of us... (testimony of M.Č., 32, from Obrovac, wounded during
retreat at Srb and transferred for treatment to the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade; recorded in the
double issue of the “independent political daily” Naša borba, 193-194, of 12-13 August, p. 9). Statements
by other Serbian refugees also show that buildings and other facilities were set to fire, “in order not to leave
them to the Croats”. Thus, before leaving Donji Lapac the Serbs set fire to the Kamensko Hotel, the police
station and “at least an additional 3-4 buildings” (HHO, The Military Operation ‘Storm’ and Its Aftermath;
Zagreb, 2001, 25, notes 23, 34). Another distressing testimony, one of the many by Serbs who fled the socalled RSK during Storm, by a women called Jagoda, 45-year-old mother of two minor children, bears witness to the suffering of the people led by their leaders into exile, to the tribulations of civilians and burning
homes before the arrival of the Croatian troops in the formerly occupied areas... Wherever we went, there
was just wasteland... Homes were burning by the roadside (The Women of Krajina, 127-128). Testimony of
Neda, born in 1954: ... Podgorje is about a mile away from the municipality of Krnjak; nobody had told us
anything, but I saw the village burning and women running away. Panic set in, we didn’t know what to do...
Somebody shouted ‘let’s move’, and just as we sat down I saw a house burning. Groups of Muslims appeared,
torched homes, and people began to flee again. I took my gun along, because everybody did. People fled into
the maize field, and terrible slaughter followed... (The Women of Krajina, 262-263). Testimony of Desanka,
55: In the evening, at about 8 p.m. (on 5 August), my husband went to bed, and I followed him. The people
from the civil defence came and told us to go to the factory, the “assembly point”. I called my husband. - He
said he could not go. I grabbed a bag and filed it with the bare necessities. I also took a hunting gun, but no
documents, because I thought we would be coming back... We assembled in the factory, about thirty of us,
infirm people; everything was already burning, in flames. One of the factory managers called a driver and
gave us a bus to take us away, We drove through the burning village. The driver drove with lights off (The
Women of Krajina; 282-283).

31

own kin... at the cost of his life” - that Croatian soldiers were given the task of looking
after the safety of the remaining Serbian civilians, in this case by transferring them to
security in Knin. Moreover, many Croatian soldiers and policemen testified that they fed
and looked after Serbian civilians after operations Flash and Storm. Unfortunately, some
individuals did not follow their example.
Of course, humanitarian activities in the just liberated area are not a topic discussed
in this book (Slobodan Lang - Vesna Ivanović, Pružena ruka: hrvatski “Pravednici” djela dobra u ratu/The Offered Hand: the ‘Righteous’ Croats - Good Deeds During the
War; Zagreb, 2006, 196-209, and other reports). In this context, and since the Croatian
army was supposed to lift the blockade of the UN safe area at Bihać in neighbouring
Bosnia&Herzegovina, one should not neglect the fact that Storm itself was also a singular
humanitarian operation which saved from certain death thousands of innocent people
in Bihać, surrounded by Serbian forces and threatened with the fate of the inhabitants of
Srebrenica and Žepa.
Croatian historiography has already demonstrated its maturity and impartiality, and
readiness to face the most intriguing issues. This warrants the belief that this book on
Operation Storm will contribute to its objective presentation and to the understanding of
the procedures conditioned by circumstances, and clearly distinguish the consequences
of combat action (suffering of the population due to shelling and fighting) from the
criminal offences committed independently of military action (because of revenge or
gain). Similarly, scientific analyses ought to help in understanding the objectives and
the outcome of Storm: the defeat of the Serbian aggressor and the reintegration of
the so-called UNPA Zones into the constitutional and legal system of the Republic of
Croatia, i.e., the liberation of the occupied territory of the Republic of Croatia up to its
international recognized borders, return of the refugees, and help provided to the Army
of B&H in lifting the blockade of surrounded Bihać and preventing a new humanitarian
disaster. However, the book should also halt the manipulations whereby the legitimacy
and the liberating character of this military&police operation is being questioned by
referring to events which are not related to its objectives and which were committed by
wilful individuals largely after its end.
Ante Nazor

32

33

Davor Marijan
STORM

35

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

The battlefield and the belligerents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
The Serbian rebellion in Croatia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
The first Bihać crisis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Croatian force operations in Livanjsko Polje and Western Slavonia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
The RSK in the first half of 1995 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
The second Bihać crisis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
The Croatian response to the second Bihać crisis - the Operation Ljeto ’95 (Summer ‘95) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Political preparation for Operation Storm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Krajina in anticipation of Storm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
War plans (defence plans and plans for the liberation of the occupied territory) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Final HV preparations for the operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

THE STORM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Split Corps District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Special MUP units in Storm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Gospić Corps District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
Karlovac Corps District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Zagreb Corps District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
Bjelovar Corps District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Air Force in Storm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Support of the Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
Osijek Corps District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
Southern theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
Croatian Navy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
Croatian Defence Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
Response of the SVK Slavonia-Baranja Corps, the VRS and the VJ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
UNCRO, UN and international reactions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150

36

Overview of the execution of the operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
“Ethnic cleansing” or exodus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .168

37

INTRODUCTION

F

ew people in Croatia remain indifferent to the word Storm. From the Croatian
perspective, Storm is synonymous with victory, it is the symbol of the successful
end of a years-long war. From the perspective of the Serbs, and not only of the
Serbs in Croatia, Storm is an entirely different symbol. The reason is simple: a different
view of the recent past and its interpretation. Ever since it has become the object of ICTY
interest and proceedings, Storm has been a topical issue in Croatian everyday political
life and not only a compelling event from the recent past.
Apart from the press, in which it has been directly or indirectly a constant topic,
Operation Storm is also the theme of papers having a more ambitious scope than a daily
press release. In spite of the uncritical and celebratory texts of the Political Directorate
of the Ministry of Defence,1 the groundwork of Storm was matter-of-factly presented by
the former Chief of the HV General Staff, Staff General Janko Bobetko (ret.). In his book
All My Battles Bobetko published the complete directive which formed the basis for the
subsequent execution of Operation Storm,2 although the publication of the war plan of
an army so soon after its drafting was a rather unusual event. However, it could be said
that Bobetko’s interpretation of Operation Storm is not correct, in principle, because he
obviously was not familiar with the changes which were made after his retirement and
which brought about modifications of the war plan. This is particularly the case with the
presentation of the operation in the Banovina area, which totally omits the role of the
Bjelovar Corps District, about which Bobetko knew nothing because he had not even
envisioned it when he signed the directive for Storm-1 in June 1995. Operation Storm
was also highlighted in the papers and a book by another Chief of the HV General Staff,
Admiral Davor Domazet Lošo (ret.),3 although some authors challenge his claim that
Storm was an air&land battle.4 The Operation was also given due coverage in publications

1

Oluja/Storm, Hrvatska vojna glasila (Croatian military press), 1, October 1995; Oluja, Hrvatska vojna
glasila, 2, November 1995; Oluja, Hrvatska vojna glasila, 3, December 1995.
2
Janko Bobetko, “Sve moje bitke” (All My Battles), self-published; Zagreb, 1996, 422-432, 441-451, 462-475
and 484-491.
3
Davor Domazet-Lošo, “Završne operacije Hrvatske vojske - uvjerljivost vojne moći i/ili promjena strategijskog odnosa (Final Operations of the Croatian Army - Convincing Military Power and/or Change of
Strategic Balance), Hrvatski vojnik, Zagreb, 22/1997, 12-21; ibid., Hrvatska i veliko ratište (Croatia and the
Great Battlefield), Udruga Sv. Jurja, Zagreb, 2002.
4
Ozren Žunec, «Operacije Bljesak i Oluja», Rat u Hrvatskoj i Bosni i Hercegovini, 1991-1995 (Operations
Flash and Storm; War in Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina, 1991-1995); Jesenski i Turk: Dani, Zagreb: Sarajevo, 1999, 100-101.

39

by influential Croatian politicians, e.g., in the books by Hrvoje Šarinić, Chief of Staff of
the President of the Republic of Croatia, and Mate Granić, Minister of Foreign Affairs.5
At the other end, Milisav Sekulić and Marko Vrcelj of the Serbian Krajina Army
(SVK) authored books on Storm.6 Major General Sekulić, Head of the SVK Training
and Education Division, produced a valuable but also a questionable contribution. A
significant part of the book Knin Fell in Belgrade is really based on documents partly
captured by Croatian forces during the operation. However, some of the claims are not
documented; they derive from the author’s family education (primary socialization)
and abound in biases, blanket assessments and deliberate insinuations. In a nutshell, a
significant part of the book is extremely incorrect. The author seeks to challenge the fact
that the SVK was militarily defeated and, of course, accuses the political and military
leadership of treason, introduces NATO (which was not involved) into the story - briefly,
resorts to everything in order to dispute his own account on earlier pages, i.e., the poor
and inefficient political system which had produced an analogous military force.
The operations of the ARBiH 5th Corps are described by Bejdo Felić’s monograph
which lacks a scientific approach and omits certain significant facts regarding Storm and
Bosniac-Croatian relations in the Bihać region.7
This book is based on my unfinished manuscript which was commissioned by Mr.
Jozo Radoš, then Minister of Defence of the Republic of Croatia. The documents to
which I refer were then in the Archives of the HV General Staff; today, to my knowledge,
they are mainly in the MORH Central Military Archives. In late 2006 I again applied
for access to the same documents to the cabinet of the Minister of Defence. I have never
received any answer.
A major problem in the analysis of the operations of the Croatian forces was the lack
of part of documents related to the actual engagement. Part of these is certainly missing,
and another part was apparently never written. Some units certainly never recorded
daily operational reports, and others kept no war diary. Because of this some aspects and
parts of specific operations will forever remain an unknown. Thus, one of the questions
open to speculation is the claim of one HV unit that it was the first to reach the suburbs
of Slunj where for “well-known reasons it waited” for units of the 14th Slunj Home Guard
Regiment to enter their town first.8 Only time will show how much this can be set right
by interviewing the participants. Another very frequently flawed type of documents
are combat action analyses by the units involved after the operation. The units were
mainly focused on themselves and on their role, and it is difficult to establish what was
happening with their ‘neighbours’ and analyze their contribution along specific lines of
action. Some of the units produced analyses of no historic value, and others, apparently,
none at all. Unfortunately, the latter include two of the five guards brigades which were
5

Hrvoje Šarinić, «Svi moji tajni pregovori sa Slobodanom Miloševićem, 1993-95/98» (All My Secret Negotiations with Slobodan Milošević, 1993-95/98). Globus, International, Zagreb, 1999; Mate Granić, «Vanjski
poslovi: Iza kulisa politike” (Foreign Affairs: Behind the Scenes of Politics). Algoritam, Zagreb, 2005.
6
Milisav Sekulić, «Knin je pao u Beogradu» (Knin Fell in Belgrade), Nidda Verlag, Bad Vilbel, 2000; Marko
Vrcelj, „Rat za Srpsku Krajinu 1991-1995“ (The War for Serbian Krajina, 1991-1995); Srpsko kulturno
društvo “Zora”, Belgrade, 2002.
7
Brigadier Bejdo Felić, «Peti korpus 1992-1995.» (The 5th Corps 1992-1995); Ljiljan, Sarajevo, 2002.
8
Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia (MORH), GSHV Archives: ZP Karlovac, IZpM KarlovacOgulin; Cl. 81/95-01/01, Reg. No. 1078-IZM-1/95-29 of 6 August 1995. Report.

40

engaged in the Operation and contributed significantly to its success. Apart from that,
such documents usually and largely lack self-criticism. Thus, it is obvious that the analysis
of an attached unit will not include the assessment of one Corps District Command that
it could “not be committed any longer in action because of well-known reasons stated in
previous reports.9
Today as well as in 2001 I had a negligible number of documents on the actions of the
Special Police of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia; as a matter of
fact, I hardly had any. Accordingly, the space devoted to the actions of the MUP Special
Police is this book is totally below the level of its action and performance during the
Operation.
This study is not meant to deal in detail with the action of each and every unit. It
seeks to describe the atmosphere in which the operation was run and its salient features.
However, it can be noted that a more detailed analysis of Storm, not yet presented publicly,
would not confirm the claim about an “irreproachably executed operation”. Of course,
this is obvious, considering the great number of quickly mobilized units and personnel
in reserve brigades and Home Guard regiments, not prepared for such a demanding
operation. Of course, for the Croats Storm will always remain “the mother of all battles”,
an operation which deserves the epithet “brilliant” above all because its outcome is of an
extraordinary, maybe even crucial historical significance for the Croats and for Croatia.

Croatian soldier
9

MORH, GSHV: ZP Karlovac, IZpM Karlovac-Ogulin, Cl. 81/95-01/01, Reg. No. 1078-IZM-1/95-29 of 6
August 1995, 17.00 hours. Report. MORH, GSHV: VP 2121, Cl. 81/95-01/01, Reg. No. 2121-02/2-95-28 of 5
September 1995. Analysis of combat action, Operation Storm.

41

THE BATTLEFIELD AND THE BELLIGERENTS

O

peration Storm was executed in the central part of the Republic of Croatia,
occupied and wrested from the control of the legal authorities of the Republic
of Croatia by synchronous action of the rebel Serbs and the Yugoslav People’s
Army, and named the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK). The RSK consisted of three
territorial units: the first in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem, the second in Western
Slavonia and the third, the largest, which comprised the area along the state border
between Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina, from Jasenovac to Benkovac, Knin and
the state border on Mount Dinara. The last two units accounted for 85% of the total
area of the RSK.10 For several years rebel Serbs controlled a territory of 17,028 square
kilometres with a population - according to unreliable data - of about 430,000. The frontline 923 km long separated this territory from the part of the Republic of Croatia under
the control of lawfully elected Croatian authorities. The line dividing the RSK from the
Cazin Krajina was 118 km long. The greatest depth of the area - 63.1 km - was between
the villages of Škabrinja and Tiškovac. It was thinnest, about 2.5 km, at Jasenovac, then
- 12.5 km - from Vedro Polje (Sunja) to Kostajnica and - 19.5 km - from the village
of Čanak to the border with Bosnia&Herzegovina on Mount Plješivica.11 The territory
was drawn out and broken up, which had a negative impact on conduct of war and
command, operational&strategic development and manoeuvring capability of the rebel
Serbian army. The low depth of the territory hampered the establishment of air bases,
the echeloning of material reserves and, hence, the support of combat operations, the
selection of positions for rocket systems and manoeuvring. Because of its great length and
relatively small depth the entire RSK battlefield could simultaneously be placed under
fire control by the Croatian Army, which favoured cutting-off with a high potential for
strategic surprise.12
The Croatian Army indeed considered a possible strategic surprise. It was formed in
1991 from police units, the National Guard and the Territorial Defence of the Republic of

10
For a more extensive history of the RSK see Nikica Barić, “Srpska pobuna u Hrvatskoj 1990-1995” (Serbian Rebellion in Croatia 1990-1995), Golden marketing-Tehnička knjiga, Zagreb, 2005.
11
N. Barić, “Srpska pobuna u Hrvatskoj 1990-1995” (Serbian Rebellion in Croatia 1990-1995), 171-173;
Croatian State Archives (HDA), material on Republika Srpske Krajine (RSK): “Dostignuti nivo i dalji pravci
razvoja SVK (nedatirano i nepotpisano) (Achieved level and further lines of SVK development - undated
and unsigned).
12
HDA, RSK: “Dostignuti nivo i dalji pravci razvoja SVK (nedatirano i nepotpisano) (Achieved level and
further lines of SVK development - undated and unsigned), MORH.

42

Croatia in the difficult circumstances imposed by the Serbian rebellion and the allegedly
neutral and actually pro-Serbian actions of the JNA. Its first task was the defence of the
Republic of Croatia, and after 1992 its strategic mission became the reintegration of the
rebel-controlled and occupied regions into the constitutional system of the Republic of
Croatia. The Croatian Army had no clear-cut or official strategy during the war, although
the matter was being studied by the Ministry of Defence.13 Croatian intentions were
also hampered by the demanding character of the territory of the Republic of Croatia
under the control of legal authorities from the standpoint of military considerations, i.e.,
defence and engagement of forces. The Serbian claim that “in today’s Europe there is no
country comparable with Croatia in terms of the unfavourable set-up of its territory”
was not far from the truth.14
By the second half of 1994 the structuring of the Croatian Army was finally completed,
and with minor changes the setup was maintained until the end of the war. It comprised
the various command, institutions and units. The umbrella command body was the
HV General Staff, which controlled six corps districts (ZPs) and one war theatre, units
directly subordinated to the General Staff, the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence
and the Croatian Navy. The corps district was an operational group with a standing
structure including HV reserve units and Home Guard units. In principle it consisted
of various commands, a motorized Guards brigade, 3 to 6 HV infantry brigades, 3 to 6
Home Guard regiments, a logistic base, artillery support battalions, anti-armour and
air defence units, and a number of smaller units. Some corps districts (ZP Zagreb, Split
and Gospić) included one Guards brigade, ZP Osijek had two Guards brigades, and
ZP Karlovac and Bjelovar none. The last two corps districts were also smaller than the
others. The units directly subordinated to the HV General Staff included the 1st and
7th Guards Motorized Brigade, the 15th Anti-armour Artillery-rocket Brigade, the 16th
Artillery-rocket Brigade, the 33rd Engineer Brigade, the 40th Communications Regiment
and several smaller branch units.15 The main HV forces were the seven Guards brigades,
while reserve units includes 28 infantry brigades and 38 Home Guard regiments.16 The
organic HV structure did not include the 1st Croatian Guards Corps which included
a combat unit, the 1st Croatian Guards Brigade.17 In December 1994 the HV had 320
artillery support 105 to 203 mm pieces - 52.81% of its organic requirements.18 After
Operation Flash the army had 393 armoured vehicles, out of which 232 tanks.19

13

Cf., e.g., «Hrvatska strategija obrane» (Croatian Defence Strategy), Centar za strateška istraživanja (Centre for
Strategic Studies), MORH, Zagreb, 1995.
14
Radovan Radinović, «Realna pretnja na delu» (Real Threat at Work), Vojska Krajine, 4-5, July-August 1993, 7.
15
Central Military Archives of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia (SVA MORH), holdings of the
Political Directorate: GSHV, cl. 8/93-02/04; reg. no. 512-96-05-93-28 of 4 February 1993; Decision on the division of
RH into Corps Districts; SVA MORH, holdings of the Cabinet of the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Croatia
(KMORH): MORH, cl. str. conf. 801-01/93-02/02, reg. no. 512-01-93-320 of 16 February 1993; mobilization and
deployment of the RH armed forces in peacetime conditions.
16
SVA MORH, GSHV: GSHV, HV combat readiness report, December 1994.
17
SVA MORH, GSHV: RH, the President, no. PA7-61/1-94 of 31 March 1994; Decision; SVA MORH, GSHV: MORH,
cl. SP 801-01/94-03, reg. no. 512-01-94-1259 of 29 March 1994; Amendments to the mobilization, deployment and
organic OS RH structure.
18
SVA MORH, GSHV: Materiel Report - Support Artillery, 15 December 1994.
19
SVA MORH, GSHV: cl. 512-06-04/5-95, reg. no. 813-07/95-02/10 of 5 July 1995; Report on HV armoured forces.

43

The Croatian Air Force and Air Defence included the Command, five air bases and
four Air Defence brigades. The Air Force had 40 aircraft, out of which 26 combat aircraft,
and 22 helicopters, out of which 10 combat helicopters. The Croatian Navy included
the Command, the North, Central and South Adriatic commands, the fleet, batteries,
and infantry detachments and Home Guard battalions. The fleet had 28 vessels.20 In
December 1994 the HV had about 96,000 troops. The army prevailed with more than
89,000 troops.21 For the requirements of operations Storm and Flash the numbers
increased through additional mobilization and mobilization of reserve units.
Until late autumn in 1992 the armed forces of the rebel Serbs were known as the
Territorial Defence (TO); they were then renamed into Serbian Krajina Army (SVK). At
the same time it was structured in terms of organization and organically, and retained
the structure until its disappearance. The SVK included the General Staff and units
subordinated to the General Staff, six corps, and air forces. The corps were organized
along the regional principle. Northern Dalmatia was covered by the 7th, North Dalmatian
Corps, Lika by the 15th, Lika Corps, Kordun by the 21st, Kordun Corps, Banovina by
the 39th, Banovina Corps, Western Slavonia by the 18th, Western Slavonia Corps, and
Eastern Slavonia by the 11th, Slavonia-Baranja Corps. In principle a corps comprised the
command, three or more brigades, a logistic base and support artillery. The SlavoniaBaranja Corps was an exception in that it also included an infantry division. The air force
included an air brigade, air bases, and an observation, reporting and guidance battalion.22
After Operation Flash and the routing of the Western Slavonia Corps, Lieutenant Colonel
General Mile Mrkšić became the new commander of the SVK. Mrkšić initiated a number
of changes in the SVK structure, the most important one being the formation of the
Special Unit Corps (Korpus specijalnih jedinica, KSJ). It comprised the Corps Command,
2 armoured brigades, the 71st Special Brigade, the 2nd Guards Brigade, the Mountain
Battalion, an MP battalion, and a light air defence artillery battalion.23 In spite of the
high-sounding name of the unit, it was of brigade rank; however, special units were
usually regarded as being of the same rank as larger units. The HV paid great attention
to the formation of the Special Unit Corps, and attributed to it an excessive significance;
time would show, soon, that its impact was nevertheless more modest than expected.24
In mid-1994 the SVK had 300 tanks, 295 armoured vehicles, and 360 artillery pieces
of 100-plus mm caliber.25 In late October 1994 it had 20,000 to 25,000 troops.26 During
20

SVA MORH, GSHV: GSHV, HV combat readiness report, December 1994.
SVA MORH, GSHV: GSHV, HV combat readiness report, December 1994.
22
Military Security Agency (Vojnosigurnosna agencija, VSA) MORH: RSK, GŠ SV, DT no. 947.23/1 of 27
November 1992; Restructuring of TO and special militia units into the Serbian Army of the RSK; M. Sekulić,
“Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin fell in Belgrade), 36-39.
23
Counterintelligence Agency (Protuobavještajna agencija, POA): RSK, GŠ SV, str. conf., no. 3-268 of 22
May 1995; SVK restructuring, Order; VSA MORH: Overview of Special Unit Corps (document with no
number or date); M. Sekulić, Knin fell in Belgrade, 157.
24
MORH, GSHV; GS HV, RP/13/85 of 5 July 1995; Appendix based on intelligence assessment.
25
HDA, RSK: GŠ SV, str. conf. no. 26-216 of 12 May 1994. Overview of basic SVK materiel; HDA, RSK:
Report to the commander-in-chief on the plan of SVK commitment (undated, early 1995).
26
POA: GŠ SVK.IKM, str. conf., no. 3-503/552 of 30 November 1994. Data for the report of the defence
minister to the RSK Assembly.
21

44

Operation Flash its peacetime complement totalled 14,900 and the wartime complement
62,500 troops. The numbers can be assumed to have been the same on the eve of Operation
Storm, meaning that the SVK had about 43,000 men under arms in the western part of
Croatia.27
The “real threat strategy”, as the RSK military strategy was called, was introduced in
the summer of 1993. It was based on the assumption that the Croatian offensive “against
the Republic of Serbian Krajina would set off... large scale fire counteractions targeting
vital facilities and objectives in Croatia and resulting in demolition, destruction and
manpower losses, which the Croatian side would find unacceptable”. That, it was believed,
was the only way which “could force Croatia to accept the Krajina and its armed forces as
a serious opponent and negotiating partner”.28

27

VSA MORH: Overview of reinforcement of the SVK peacetime complement on 1 May 1995; VSA MORH:
Overview of reinforcement of the SVK wartime complement on 1 May 1995.
28
R. Radinović, «Realna pretnja na delu» (Real Threat at Work), 7.

45

THE SERBIAN REBELLION IN CROATIA

A

ugust 1995 marked the fifth anniversary of the start of the Serbian rebellion in
Croatia (Knin, 17 August 1990). In late 1991 the rebellion led to the creation of
the Republic of Serbian Krajina (Republika Srpska Krajina, RSK). The anniversary
of the rebellion in Knin could not be celebrated because the RSK had ceased to exist in
the western parts of the Croatia a dozen days before. It disappeared in the action of the
Croatian armed forces and police, code-named Storm. Although it did not mark the end
of the war, Operation Storm announced the imminent end of hostilities and became the
symbol of Croatian victory in the Homeland War.
The way in which the RSK came into being along with the irrational behaviour of
its leadership made liberation by an operation such as Storm inevitable. The Serbian
rebellion in Croatia started in the summer of 1990 after the first democratic elections
in Croatia. The elections were won by the Croatian Democratic Union on a political
platform of national reconciliation. In Serbia and among a significant part of the Serbs
in Croatia its victory was accepted as a confirmation of the return of the ustashi to the
political scene. In spite of the often tough political rhetoric of the HDZ, and in spite of the
fact that research on the activity of that party is yet to come, it would be difficult to deny
the claim that there was no reason for the Serbs to rise up in arms. The view according
to which a part of the Serbs in Croatia was not prepared to accept any Croatian state also
appears to be acceptable.29
The Serbian rebellion in Croatia also marked the final stage of the crisis and collapse
of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). The disintegration of the SFRY
started after the death of Josip Broz Tito. At the same time, the communist system in
Europe also fell apart quickly, and rather unexpectedly, in the late nineteen-eighties. All
that led to the breakdown of the SFRY because the Serbian political, scientific, religious
and other elite circles tried to impose their vision of the Yugoslav system upon the
others.30 They attempt failed. The aggressive Serbian policy was tolerated in the other
republics until the overthrow of the political leaderships in SAP Vojvodina and SAP
Kosovo, and the abrogation of the autonomy of the provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo.
29

Boško Todorović/Dušan Vilić, Izdaja i odbrana Jugoslavije» (The Betrayal and the Defence of Yugoslavia); Privredapublik, Belgrade, 1990, 163-166, 169-170; Dejan Jović, «Jugoslavija: država koja je odumrla»
(Yugoslavia: The State that Withered Away), Prometej, Zagreb, 2003, 483; Nikica Barić, “Srpska pobuna
u Hrvatskoj 1990-1995” (Serbian Rebellion in Croatia 1990-1995), Golden marketing - Tehnička knjiga,
Zagreb, 2005, 58-59.
30
Dušan Bilandžić, «Hrvatska moderna povijest» (Modern Croatian History), Golden marketing, Zagreb,
2005, 750-764.

46

The overthrow of the political leadership of Montenegro in January 1989 marked the end
of tolerance. The Slovenes reacted strongly and the rest of Yugoslavia found itself in a
position where it had to opt for one of the sides in the conflict.31 In such circumstances,
the Serbian attempt to destabilize Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina, the republics with
a substantial number of Serbs, failed to produce the desired results. In mid-1990 the
Serbian rebellion broke out in Croatia; the (then) Croatian militia was unable to nip
it in the bud because it was prevented to do so by the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA).
Thanks to the JNA the Serbs were able to spread the rebellion, and by the end of 1990
this led to the creation of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina.32 During 1991 two
similar regions appeared in Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem: the Serbian Region of Slavonia,
Baranja and Srem on 26 February 1991, and SAO Western Slavonia in August 1991. By
the very end of 1991 they united into the Republic of Serbian Krajina (Republika Srpska
Krajina, RSK), a self-proclaimed para-state entity.33
In accordance with the 1990 Constitution of the Republic of Croatia the Serbs were
granted all civil rights, but also the status of an ethnic minority, which did not please
them.34 During 1991, after a series of crises and failed attempts to reach an agreement
about a new Yugoslavia, the SAO Krajina began to expand to areas with a majority Serbian
population or with a high percentage of Serbs. The open war of the JNA and the rebel
Serbs against Croatia started in the summer of 1991. By the end of 1991 the JNA managed
to gain control, i.e., occupy almost one-fourth of the territory of the Republic of Croatia.
The Republic of Serbian Krajina was proclaimed in that territory on 19 December 1991.
The rebel Serbs were faced with the problem of retaining control over these areas. A
solution was found in the international community and its peace-keeping forces. The
truce signed between the JNA and the Republic of Croatia in Sarajevo on 2 January 1992
permitted the deployment of UN peace-keeping forces. It soon became obvious that the
Croats had entertained excessive and unrealistic expectations with respect to the “blue
31

D. Jović, «Jugoslavija: država koja je odumrla» (Yugoslavia: The State that Withered Away).
Davor Marijan, «Smrt oklopne brigade» (Death of the Armoured Brigade), Naklada Zoro, Zagreb-Sarajevo, 2002, 6-7.
33
M.M., «Proglašena Republika Srpska Krajina» (The Republic of Serbian Krajina has been Proclaimed),
Srpski glas, Glina, 29 December 1991, 1.
34
The Historical Foundations of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia of 22 December 1990 state that
“the Republic of Croatia is hereby established as the national state of the Croatian nation and the state of
members of other nations and minorities who are its citizens: Serbs, Muslims, Slovenes, Czechs, Slovaks,
Italians, Hungarians, Jews and others, who are guaranteed equality with citizens of Croatian nationality and
the realization of ethnic rights in accordance with the democratic norms of the United Nations Organization
and the free world countries”. In commenting the claims of some authors that the Constitution in question
was the first “to remove overtones of dual sovereignty and unequivocally proclaimed the Croatian nation as
the holder of the sovereignty of Croatia”, Z. Radelić notes that already the wording of the 1974 Constitution
of the Socialist Republic of Croatia - “the Socialist Republic of Croatia is the national state of the Croatian
nation, the state of the Serbian nation in Croatia and the state of other nations and minorities living in it”
does not permit the unequivocal interpretation that the Serbs were elevated to the status of a constituent
nation in Croatia, and that it is obvious “only that they were recognized a special status in relation to other
nations and minorities”. Cf. Zdenko Radelić, Davor Marijan, Nikica Barić, Albert Bing and Dražen Živić,
“Stvaranje hrvatske države i Domovinski rat” (The Creation of the Croatian State and the Homeland War),
Školska knjiga, Hrvatski institut za povijest, Zagreb, 2006, 94.
32

47

helmets”.35 They brought relative peace along the line of disengagement, but not also the
expected reintegration of the areas the administration of which had been turned over to
the rebel Serbs by the JNA after its transformation into the Yugoslav Army in 1992 and
withdrawal from Croatia.36
Until late autumn in 1992 the Croatian Army was busy liberating the occupied
territory in southern Croatia and defending Bosnian Posavina. No major actions were
taken against the other occupied areas, with few exceptions - apparently against the will
of the state leadership.37 Indeed, after the withdrawal of the JNA and the organizational
and structural changes in the Croatian Army, until January 1993 there was no operational
plan regarding the commitment of armed forces in operations focused on Krajina;
however, as of January 1992 the HV General Staff was engaged in drawing up plans for
the liberation of the territory of the Republic of Croatia occupied by the JNA and rebel
Serb forces, code-named after Croatian rivers. The military directive in the event that the
peaceful reintegration of the occupied territory into the Republic of Croatia should fail
was not drawn up until January 1993.38 By the end of 1993 the Croatian Army engaged
in two minor operations which earned it, notwithstanding certain military success,
negative political points on the international political scene. After the operation in the
Zadar hinterland in January 1993, Croatia was accused of fomenting war, an accusation
hitherto reserved for Serbia and the Serbs.39 The response was similar after the operation
in the Medak pocket in September 1993, and some international circles accused Croatia
of aggression and of breaking the truce.40 If Croatia’s extremely unfavourable position
due to its involvement in the war between the Bosnian&Herzegovinian Croats and
Bosniaks-Muslims in Bosna&Herzegovina is added to the picture, it is obvious why
Croatia’s political position was far from being rosy.
Thanks to the efforts of the international community the Cease-Fire Agreement was
signed in Zagreb between the representatives of the Republic of Croatia and of the rebel
Serbs on 29 March 1994. It entered into force on 4 April and provided for the withdrawal
of the belligerent troops at least one kilometre from the line of disengagement and the
withdrawal of heavy weapons 10/20 km from that line.41 Following the agreement, part of

35
Mario Nobilo, Hrvatski feniks: diplomatski procesi iza zatvorenih vrata, 1990-1997” (The Croatian Phoenix: Diplomatic Processes Behind Closed Doors, 1990-1997; Nakladni zavod Globus, Zagreb, 2000, 247260.
36
D. Marijan, «Smrt oklopne brigade» (Death of the Armoured Brigade), 24-25.
37
Specifically, Nos Kalik, Baranja and the Miljevac Plateau. See Davor Marijan in Zdenko Radelić, Davor
Marijan, Nikica Barić, Albert Bing and Dražen Živić, “Stvaranje hrvatske države i Domovinski rat” (The
Creation of the Croatian State and the Homeland War), Školska knjiga, Hrvatski institut za povijest, Zagreb,
2006, 150-151.
38
Central Military Archives, General Staff holdings (hereinafter SVA MORH, GSHV): GSHV, cl. 8/93-02/04,
reg. no. 512-06-93-7 of 15 January 1993. Directive.
39
«Ujedinjeni narodi: Rezolucije o Republici Hrvatskoj, UNPROFOR» (The United Nations: Resolutions on
the Republic of Croatia, UNPROFOR); Pan liber, Osijek, 1995, 85. Cf. F. Tuđman, «Hrvatska riječ svijetu:
razgovori sa stranim predstavnicima» (Croatia’s Word to the World: Talks with Foreign Representatives),
243-248.
40
M. Granić, “Vanjski poslovi: Iza kulisa politike” (Foreign Affairs: Behind the Scenes of Politics), 83-84.
41
“Kronologija rata 1989-1998” (Chronology of the War 1989-1998); Hrvatski informativni centar, Zagreb,
1998, 360.

48

the Croatian reserve troops was demobilized, and military activities abated throughout
the Croatian theatre of war.42 The efforts of the Republic of Croatia focused on resolving
the problem of the Serbian rebellion were transferred to the diplomatic field. On 31 March
and 30 September 1994 the UN Security Council extended the UNPROFOR mandate
by six months.43 Croatia was not satisfied with UNPROFOR’s efficiency, and between 1
July and 16 August 1994 displaced persons organized road blocks in order to pressure
UNPROFOR and draw the attention of the international public to the inefficiency of
the “blue helmets”.44 The position of the RSK deteriorated owing to the conflict between
Belgrade and Pale because the Bosnian&Herzegovinian Serbs refused to sign the Contact
Group peace plan for Bosnia&Herzegovina, after which Belgrade imposed on 4 August
1994 political and economic sanctions which also affected the Krajina Serbs.45
In mid-September 1994 the US Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia Peter Galbraith
proposed to the President of the Republic of Croatia a plan, later on called Plan Z4,
according to which the autonomous districts of Glina and Knin would have certain
elements of statehood, but would be reintegrated together with other occupied areas
into Croatia. The acceptance of the plan would be equal to political suicide, as F. Tuđman
was clearly aware, according to the testimony of one of his close associates.46 However,
regardless of whether he was equal to his function, Galbraith was the representative of
a global power and his view had to be appreciated.47 All the same, on 30 January 1995 F.
Tuđman received the draft plan from the representatives of the international community
and declared that the Croatian side would consider it. He also noted that he had serious
objections to the plan, in particular because “the issue was defined as a controversy
between two equal sides, while it actually involved an issue regarding a minority in a
national state, and even not the entire minority but only a smaller part of it”.48 However,
the RSK leadership turned the plan down; actually, because it insistently pursued the
policy of annexation of the RSK to the “Greater Serbia”, it even refused to consider it
although the plan offered the rebel Serbs in Croatia an extraordinarily great autonomy,
almost a “state within a state”. The possibility of sustaining negotiations about the plan
existed until the moment when conditions again brought the military option to the fore.
The commitment of the Army of B&H and the Croatian Defence Council at Bihać and
Kupres opened up the need for the engagement of Croatian forces, and after a six-month

42

Command of the Zagreb Corps District, cl. str. conf. 8p/94-02/87, reg. no. 1075-11/01-94-3 of 16 March
1994. Order for the demobilization of units and parts of HV units of the Zagreb Corps District.
43
«Ujedinjeni narodi: Rezolucije o Republici Hrvatskoj, UNPROFOR» (The United Nations: Resolutions on
the Republic of Croatia, UNPROFOR), 57-63.
44
“Hronologija rata” (Chronology of the War),. 387, 400.
45
“Hronologija događaja na prostoru prethodne Jugoslavije 1990-1995” (Chronology of Developments in
the Previous Yugoslavia 1990-1995); Glas srpski - Centar za geostrateška istraživanja Univerziteta u Banja
Luci, Banja Luka, 2002, 176.
46
H. Šarinić, «Svi moji tajni pregovori sa Slobodanom Miloševićem, 1993-95/98» (All My Secret Negotiations with Slobodan Milošević, 1993-95/98), 153-161.
47
Ibid., 268.
48
Ibid., 209-210. Date of meeting in “Kronologija rata” (Chronology of the War), 448.

49

THE FIRST BIHAĆ CRISIS

A

fter the end of the war between the Croats and the Bosniaks (Muslims) in
Bosnia&Herzegovina, the conflict between the Serbs and the Bosniaks/Muslims
- previously reduced to a fairly local scale because of the former war - flared up
again. The focal areas of the conflict were Sarajevo, Konjic, Kupres, Teslić and Bihać.49
The Bihać area was strategically important for Croatia because it separated the Republic
of Serbian Krajina from Republika Srpska along a considerable stretch (118 km).50 The
ARBiH 5th Corps tied down parts of both Serb armies and prevented their commitment
in other parts of the theatre of war, whether in Croatia or in Bosnia&Herzegovina.
By the end of October 1994 Serb forces waged several major campaigns in the Bihać
area but failed to destroy the ARBiH 5th Corps. The winter&spring operation of the
Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) exacted a heavy toll on the ARBiH 5th Corps.51 After
this operation, from 16 to 21 August 1994 units of the 5th Corps defeated the autonomist
army of Fikret Abdić and entered Velika Kladuša. About 45,600 refugees escaped to the
provisionally occupied territory of Croatia: Turanj near Karlovac, the village of Batnoga
near Slunj and Staro Selo near Vrginmost.52 After regrouping and rest, the ARBiH 5th
Corps launched the offensive operation codenamed Grmeč-94. It started after a part of
VRS forces pulled out of encirclement and began to advance towards central Bosnia
and the valley of the river Vrbas. The offensive was intended to roll back Serbian forces
at Bihać and free a larger area on the right bank of the Una from Lohovska Brda to
Bosanska Krupa.53 The 5th Corps scored major success, captured the Grabež barracks
and set off in pursuit of the routed forces of the VRS 2nd Krajina Corps in the direction
of Ripač-Dubovsko-Vrtoče and Dubovsko-Orašac-Kulen Vakuf. The Bosniak forces
reached Dubovsko, Lipa and Kulen Vakuf.54
Although the action of ARBiH was focused only against Republika Srpska, on 26
October 1994 the SVK General Staff took steps in order to prevent possible surprise
49

Hasib Mušinbegović, Remzija Šiljak, Kemo Bećirević, «Operacija Vlašić» (Operation Vlašić), Sarajevo,
1999, 8.
50
HDA, RSK: Stanje i problemi odbrane RSK (RSK Defence - Condition and Problems) (undated material
from early 1995).
51
Embassy of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zagreb, AMB/ZAG/03-11032/94 of 4 February
1994; Request. B. Felić, “Peti korpus 1992-1995” (The 5th Corps 1992-1995), 168-188.
52
VRH, USMP: RSK, GŠ SVK, IKM Muljava, str. conf., no. 1350/27 of 24 August 1994; Operativni izveštaj u
vezi AP Zapadna Bosna (Operational Report on AP Western Bosnia); M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu”
(Knin Fell in Belgrade), 91.
53
Bejdo Felić, brigadir, «Peti korpus 1992-1995» (The 5th Corps 1992-1995); Ljiljan, Sarajevo, 2002, 275283, 309-316).
54
Ibid., 329-331, 343-344.

51

attacks against the RSK. The Lika Corps was ordered to prevent, with two reinforced
battalions, the penetration of Bosniak forces along the valley of the Una and help thereby
the VRS 2nd Krajina Corps. The North Dalmatian and Slavonia-Baranja Corps were
ordered to place one battalion each in full combat readiness for commitment outside
their zone of responsibility. The combat readiness of the Kordun and Banija Corps was
increased along the line of possible confrontation with the ARBiH 5th Corps.55
Two days later the area was visited by the RSK President Milan Martić and the Chief
of the General Staff Milan Čeleketić. This was a sign that that the Bosniak success had
alarmed the Knin leadership. The response of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs to the
success of the 5th Corps was more pronounced because the latter was achieved at the
expense of their 2nd Krajina Corps. The Krajina Corps had already felt the pressure of
the ARBiH 7th Corps and the HVO at Bugojno and Kupres. Of course, the Serbs held
that offensive action in the direction of Bihać and Bosanski Petrovac was a sign of
synchronous action with the forces of the 7th Corps, focused on intersecting the forces of
the 2nd Krajina Corps and on dividing the RSK from Republika Srpska. In his telegram
to the political and military leadership of the RSK Lieutenant Colonel General Manojlo
Milovanović, Deputy Chief of the VRS General Staff, warned them that those were “the
most critical moments in this war for the Serbs west of the Drina”. Only minor efforts of
both Serbian armies, he stressed, would be required “to remove the danger”. Milovanović
boasted that the VRS had already succeeded in stopping the ARBiH offensive towards
Kupres and even engaged in a counteroffensive towards Zloselo - Kupreška Vrata
- Bugojno, and was ready to defend the Kupres plateau against the HVO attack from
Livno, Šuica, Tomislavgrad, Prozor and Gornji Vakuf. The problem was the condition
in the Bihać-Petrovac area as the VRS found it difficult to cope with it “because of the
obstructive behaviour and fear of the local population and of the greater part of the RS
fighters (local people)”. The VRS was successful in reinforcing defence by bringing in
minor forces from certain theatres, and began to put up a combined unit of brigade
strength from all parts of Republika Srpska for a counterstrike on the Bihać front.
However, the problem was time - 3-4 more days to prepare the action - and the RSK
political leadership was requested to use units of the Lika, Kordun and Banija Corps to
put pressure on the ARBiH 5th Corps. The request was also made to sever all channels
(including black-marketeering) through which the ARBiH 5th Corps resupplied itself
with personnel and materiel (as per agreement of December 1993).56 The conditions
were deemed to be extremely serious, as evinced by R. Karadžić’s decision of 29 October
to declare the state of war in the part of RS matching the area of action of the 2nd Krajina
Corps. Full mobilization of persons fit for military service was organized and carried
out.57
The SVK formed two tactical groups for the joint SVK and VRS action against the
ARBiH 5th Corps along the Bosanski Petrovac - Vrtoče road.58 The operation started on
55

HDA, RSK: RSK, GŠ SV, str. conf. no. 3-488 of 26 October 1994; Order Op no. 1; HDA, RSK: RSK, GŠ SV,
str.conf. no. 3-389 of 26 October 1994; Order Op.no. 2.
56
POA: VRS General Staff, str. conf., no. 02/2-140 of 27 Otober 1994; Assistance in consolidating conditions
in the «Drvar Krajina».
57
HDA, RSK: Army Post Office 7531 Bosansko Grahovo; conf. no. 4-504 of 31 October 1994. Information.
58
HDA, RSK: RSK, GŠ SV; str. conf., no. 3-502 of 31 October 1994. Order.

52

1 November 1994. By 8 November Serbian forces cleared the valley of the river Una from
Spasovo to the village of Lohovo, and blocked Ripač.59 Bosniak forces found themselves
in a tight spot, and on 12 November the President of the Republic of Bosnia and
Herzegovina A. Izetbegović sent to the President of the Republic of Croatia F. Tuđman
the request to prevent attacks on Bihać from Croatian territory.60
By 17 November Serbian forces recovered almost the entire territory formerly
liberated by the Bosniaks. F. Abdić’s forces entered V. Kladuša, and units of the 2nd Krajina
Corps advanced to two kilometres from Bihać.61 The forces of the Krajina Serbs were
restructured, and the Command of Operational Group Pauk (Spider) became functional
on 16 November.62 Since the concentration of Croatian forces towards occupied areas had
been observed, on 17 November the SVK General Staff ordered all units to ensure the
appropriate degree of combat readiness “in order to prevent a possible surprise action by
the HV”.63 Two days later mobilization was ordered of all conscripts on wartime posting
lists of the SVK units.64
The international community reacted to the Serbian attacks. On 9 November
UNPROFOR warned the Krajina Serbs that it would use all available means if they did
not stop shelling the Bihać safe area. The Serbs rejected the warning on grounds that it
as untrue, and attributed it to false accusations by Croats and Bosniaks.65 The attacks
did not stop, and on 21 November NATO aircraft attacked the SVK airstrip at Udbina.
Five persons were wounded and one of them died soon thereafter; the attack caused
considerable damage to the airstrip and mobile equipment.66 On 22 November the
Yugoslav Army informed the SVK that it had received from its military representatives
in Rome and London the information that the air attacks would continue if the Serbian
offensive in the Bihać area should continue.67 Because of the attack and of the threats of
the international community F. Abdić’s units were given the role of main forces, while
the SVK was supposed to organize and supply them, and direct their actions.68

59

HDA, RSK: Command of the 98th infantry brigade; str. conf., no. 32-103 of 12 November 1994. Information
H. Šarinić, «Svi moji tajni pregovori sa Slobodanom Miloševićem, 1993-95» (All My Secret Negotiations
with Slobodan Milošević, 1993-95/98), 170-171.
61
D. Radišić, Hronologija 1990-1995» (Chronology 1990-1995), 501.
62
HDA, HMDCDR: War diary of GŠ VSK, note for 16 November 1994.
63
HDA, RSK: GŠ SVK, IKM Korenica; str. conf., no. 3-503/174 of 17 November. Battle order.
64
HDA, RSK: GŠ SVK; str. conf., no. 11-301 of 19 November 1994. SVK conscripts, mobilization order.
65
HDA, RSK: RSK, GŠ SV; conf., no. 40-66/94 of 10 November 1994. Response to the accusations.
66
POA: RSK, GŠ SV, str. conf., no. 3-503/390 of 23 November 1994. Report of the commission for the examination of the consequences of the NATO air attack.
67
HDA, RSK: RSK, GŠSV; str. conf., no. 3-555 of 22 November 1994. Danger of air attack.
68
POA: GŠ SVK-IKM; str. conf., no. 3-503/552 of 30 November 1994. Data for the report of the defence
minister in the RSK Assembly.
60

53

CROATIAN FORCE OPERATIONS IN LIVANJSKO POLJE
AND WESTERN SLAVONIA

A

s might have been expected, the Serbian attacks on Bihać alarmed the Croatian
leadership, which could not just sit back and watch the Serbs carry the day. The
dilemma was where to provide assistance - by putting pressure on Okučani and
Knin in order to stretch hostile forces or by a breakthrough across Slunj in order to help
the ARBiH 5th Corps.69 In the meantime, on 3 November 1994 Croatian and Bosniak
forces liberated Kupres and the greater part of the Kupres plateau, opening up a new
possible route for the intervention of the Croatian army. The Split Corps District started
to prepare secretly for operations in Herceg-Bosna, specifically on Mount Dinara and in
Livanjsko Polje.70
The first operation of the Split Corps District (ZP Split) in the area was Zima ‘94
(Winter-94). The task of ZP Split was to rout Serbian forces along the stretch from
Livanjsko Polje to the state border on Mount Dinara, repel them as far as possible from
the Rujani-Sinj road and remain prepared for subsequent action. The main forces were
concentrated along the Razdolje-Troglav line, and auxiliary units along the Rujani Sajković line. In the eastern part of Livanjsko Polje the plan envisioned the crushing of
Serbian forces and pushing them off the western slopes of Mount Staretina, followed by
deep penetration towards the village of Bastasi in order to ultimately gain control over
the greater part of Livanjsko Polje and provide support for the main attacking forces.
Units of the 126th Home Guard Regiment and HV 114th Brigade were committed to the
attack. They were opposed by the VRS 9th Light Infantry Brigade. The command post of
OG Livno was set up in Livno.71 In this operation the HVO mission was to attack Serbian
forces throughout the area of the Tomislavgrad Corps District from the village of Čelebić
in Livanjsko Polje to Kupreška Vrata.72
The operation started on 29 November 1994 and lasted 29 days on very difficult
terrain and in adverse weather conditions, snow and low temperatures. After the initial
success of the Home Guard and reserve units, units of the 4th and 7th Guards Brigades

69
H. Šarinić, «Svi moji tajni pregovori sa Slobodanom Miloševićem, 1993-95 (98)» (All My Secret Negotiations with Slobodan Milošević, 1993-95/98), 170-171.
70
A. Gotovina, “Napadajni bojevi i operacije HV i HVO”(Offensive HV and HVO Battles and Operations),
25-26.
71
SVA MORH, ZZPS: Split Corps District, cl. str. conf. 8/94-01/01, reg. no. 1080-01-94-180 of 16 November
1994. Attack order.
72
HR HB, GS HVO, cl. str.conf. 8/94-02/06-1, reg. no. 02-10-06/02-94-32 of 23 November 1994. Order for
the offensive operation Op. no. 2.

54

were committed to the attack and made additional inroads. Operations in the eastern
part of Livanjsko Polje were also successful. By the end of the operation Croatian forces
liberated an area 20 km deep and 10 km wide. Serbian forces were thrown back to the
line: Zeleno Brdo - Škašin Vrh - Bat- Točila - village of Grkovci - slopes of Mali Orlovac
- Orlovac - village of Nuglašica - Talijanov Vrh - Pitoma Kosa - Tavanak.73 The Croatian
attack put Knin at risk from the hitherto safe area of Republika Srpska. In the first days
of the operation the SVK General Staff tried to commit smaller forces of the North
Dalmatian Corps and bolster the defence of the VRS 9th Light Infantry Brigade and throw
the Croatian forces back beyond the kickoff line.74 However, the attempt failed. Because
of the continued breakthrough of Croatian forces, in particular the capture of the village
of Pržine on 23 December 1994 and the rolling back of Serbian forces to Nuglašice Grkovci, it was decided to redeploy VRS forces from other theatres, including the one
in Bihać, towards Bosansko Grahovo and Glamoč. Under heavy snowfall, by the end
of December two VRS brigades and two battalions from the 1st Krajina, Herzegovinian
and East Bosnian Corps were deployed in the Grahovo-Glamoč area.75 Their arrival
stopped the panic and the evacuation of the population ceased, especially from the
Glamoč area.76 After assembling, the Serbian forces attempted a counterattack in order
to drive the Croatian units out of the villages Sajković and Čelebić.77 Although relatively
frequent, the attacks were of lower intensity and analogously lower effect. Serbian units
were not able to sustain their minor success.78
The reinforcement of positions in the Grahovo-Glamoč area was disadvantageous
for the Serbian leadership because it halted the attacks on Bihać. Because of rumours
circulating among the troops of a VRS brigade, manned by Serbs from the municipality
of Bihać, they were informed that the Bihać operation had ground to a standstill
temporarily “because of the situation in the Grahovo-Glamoč theatre; once control
is again established, the operations against Bihać will continue until the 5th corps is
defeated. Therefore, Bihać is not being forfeited”.79

73

A. Gotovina, “Napadajni bojevi i operacije HV i HVO” (Offensive HV and HVO Battles and Operations),
28-32.
74
HDA, RSK: GŠ SVK-IKM of 5 December 1994. Order op. no. 11/1.
75
HDA, RSK: Command of the 2nd KK; str. conf. no 3693-6 of 23 December 1994. HDA, RSK: Command
of the 2nd KK; str. conf. no. 2/1369 of 23 December 1994; Regular battle report. HDA, RSK: Command of
the 2nd KK; str. conf. no. 2/1 -370 of 24 December 1994; Regular battle report. HDA, RSK: Command of the
2nd KK; str. conf. 2/1-372 of 26 December 1994; Regular battle report. HDA, RSK: Command of the 2nd
KK; str. conf. no. 2/1-373 of 27 December 1994; Regular battle report. HDA, RSK: Command of the 2nd KK;
str. conf. no. 2/1-374 of 28 December 1994; Regular battle report.
76
HDA, RSK: Command of the 2nd KK; str. conf. no. 2/1-374 of 28 December 1994; Regular battle report.
77
HDA, RSK: Command of the 9th light infantry brigade; str. conf. no. 11-33 of 30 December 1994; Excerpt
from the attack order.
78
SVA MORH, ZZPS: OG Livno, cl. 81/95-01/16, reg. no. 1085/5-01-95-2 of 8 January 1995; Daily operational report. SVA MORH, ZZPS: OG Livno, cl. 81/95-01/16, reg. no. 1085/5-01-95-3 of 9 January 1995;
Daily operational report. SVA MORH, ZZPS: OG Livno, cl. 81/95-01/16, reg. no. 1085/5-01-95 of 12 January 1995; Special report. SVA MORH, ZZPS: OG Livno, cl. 81/95-01/16, reg. no. 1085/5-01-95-11 of 22
January 1995; Daily operational report.
79
SVA MORH, GSHV: Command of the 15th light infantry brigade; conf. no. 2 of 6 January 1995; Information on current issues. The information was captured by the ARBiH 5th Corps and sent to General Bobetko
on 19 January 1995.

55

This was quite true, because the military and political leadership of Republika Srpska
(RS) had no intention of desisting from the defeat of the ARBiH 5th Corps and the
capture of Bihać.80
After the successful Croatian actions in Operation Zima ’94 relative calm prevailed
in the Livno theatre until the spring of 1995. Croatian forces engaged in active defence
and carried out planned replacements with units from the Split Corps District and the
HVO. During the period certain minor tactical changes were made along the front line.
As spring approached, so did the possibility that the Serbs could jeopardize Croatian
positions on Mounts Dinara and Staretina. Accordingly, the Split Corps District decided
to mount Operation Skok-1 (Leap-1). It was meant to push Serbian forces off dominant
high ground on Mount Dinara and bring SVK forces in the valley of the Cetina within
fire range.81 On 7 April 1995 the operation was completed by the 7th Guards Brigade
with the support of the 126th Home Guard Regiment. It established control over Mount
Dinara across an area 5 km deep and 15 km wide. In this way the positions of the Croatian
forces in Livanjsko Polje and on Mount Dinara were assured the required stability, and
there were no major Serbian actions in the eastern part of Livansko Polje after this
operation.82
After this success the Croatian forces were ready to mount subsequent operations.
However, the next operation, called Flash (Bljesak) was mounted at the other end of
the Croatian theatre, in Western Slavonia. The plan of Operation Flash envisioned a
fast and vigorous breakthrough of armoured/mechanized and infantry units along the
motorway from Nova Gradiška and Novska, the carving-up of the occupied area and the
liberation of Okučani. In the following step the units committed to the operation were
to advance to the river Sava and prevent the intervention of the Bosnian Serbs or the
SVK Banija Corps. In the final, second part of the plan, the Serbian units encircled north
of the Novska - Nova Gradiška motorway would be wiped out. The final preparations
for the operation started in late April 1995 with the assembling of the planned units
and mobilization of reserve forces. The execution of the operation was entrusted to the
Bjelovar Corps District and the operational teams of the HV General Staff.83
Operation Flash started at dawn on the 1st of May.84 It mainly proceeded as planned
and successfully. The occupied area was cut up after the Croatian forces took over control

80

Command of the 2nd KK; str. conf. no. 3-36 of 16 February 1995. It refers to the meeting held by R.
Karadžić in Bosansko Grahovo on 15 February 1995 with the representatives of 11 West Bosnian municipalities and seven brigades manned from these municipalities.
81
SVA MORH, ZZPS: ZP Split Command; cl. str. conf. 8/95-01/01, reg. no. 1080-01-95-75 of 4 April 1995.
Attack order.
82
SVA MORH, ZZPS: OG Livno, cl. 81/95-01/16, reg. no 1085/5-01-95-103 of 7 January 1995; Daily operational report. SVA MORH, HV 7th gbr: 7th Guards Brigade of 7 April 1995; Daily operational report.
A. Gotovina, “Napadajni bojevi i operacije HV i HVO (Offensive HV and HVO Battles and Operations)”,
38-40.
83
MORH, GSHV, RP/5/94 of 5 December 1994; Directive Op. no. 5/94. Facsimile in J. Bobetko, “Sve moje
bitke” (All My Battles), 392-399. SVA MORH, GSHV: GSHV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95129 of 29 April 1995; Order.
84
HDA, RSK: RSK, GŠ SV; str. conf. no. 4-2361 of 2 May 1995; Regular operational report.

56

of the motorway; the hostile forces south of the intersection line were thrown back to
the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while a considerable part of the West Slavonian
Corps and many civilians were encircled at Pakrac north of the intersection line.85 These
forces surrendered on 4 May 1995 at 1400 hours. Altogether 1200 Serbian soldiers were
taken prisoner in the second phase of Operation Flash.86 Serbian civilians wishing to
cross into Bosnia&Herzegovina were permitted to do so.87 During the operation the SVK
demonstrated the real threat strategy. Retaliatory rocket attacks followed on Croatian
cities. In the attack on Zagreb five persons were killed and 203 wounded.88
After the success of Operation Flash the Croatian forces did not rest idle. They
continued to advance towards Livno-Bosansko Grahovo in Operation Skok-2 (Leap-2).
Its objective was the continued routing of Serbian forces, the breakthrough at Mount
Šator and, on Mount Dinara, gaining control of the Crvena Zemlja ridge in order to
bring Bosansko Grahovo and the Bosansko Grahovo - Glamoč communication within
firing range. Committed to the operation were the 4th Guards Brigade as the main force,
supported by the HVO 3rd Guards brigade, the 126th Home Guard Regiment, the 1st
Croatian Guards Task Force (HGZ), part of the HV 1st Guards Brigade and units of the
Herceg-Bosna special police.89
The Croatian successes on Mount Dinara did not suit the international community.
At the meeting between General Gotovina and the commanding officer of the UN forces
for Sector South, General Rastislav Kotil, held on 20 March 1995, the “blue helmet”
commander asked General Gotovina to use his influence and have the HVO forces
withdraw from the northern part of Livanjsko Polje.90 After the Croatian forces had
gained control of the Crvena Zemlja ridge in Operation Leap-2, and advanced within
firing range of Bosansko Grahovo and the Bosansko Grahovo - Glamoč communication,
the UN repeated its request on 20 March. At the meeting held on 12 June 1995 General
Kotil proposed to General Gotovina to withdraw the HVO from its positions on Mount
Dinara; in return, the Krajina Serbs would pull back their weapons into depots as
provided for by the Zagreb Agreement of 29 March 1994.91
85

HDA, RSK: RSK, GŠ SV; str. conf. no. 3-212 of 2 May 1995; Special operational report.
MORH, Command of the Flash Military-Police Force; cl. str. conf. 200-01/95-156/08, reg. no. 3315-01/495-26 of 4May 1995. GSHV, cl. str. conf. 80-01/95-01/12, reg. no. 512-06-10-95-92. IZM GSHV of 10 May
1995.
87
MORH, GSHV: Bjelovar CD Command, IZM Daruvar; cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no 1077-95-34 of 9 May 1995;
GSHV War Diary, pp. 114, 122-128.
88
HDA, RSK: RSK, GŠ SV; str. conf. 3-212 of 2 May 1995; Special operational report. HDA, RSK: RSK, GŠ
SV; str. conf. no. 3-219 of 3 May 1995; Special operational report. F. Tuđman, “Pet godina hrvatske pobjede”
(Five Years of Croatian Victory), 15. The Večernji List daily (Zagreb) reported on March 2007: “In the attack
on Zagreb on 2 and 3 May 1995 seven civilians (listed by full name) were killed and 176 wounded; Zagreb
was hit by 23 missiles - the Children’s Hospital in Klaićeva, the Academy of Dramatic Arts and the Grammar School in Križanićeva were among the buildings hit.” Cf. Damir Luka Saftić, “Kod Šoštarićeve prvi trg
civilnim žrtvama” (The First Square Honouring Civilian Victims at the Corner of Šoštarićeva St.”), Večernji
list, 8 March 2007, 26.
89
SVA MORH, ZZPS: Split Corps District, cl. str.conf. 8/95-01/01; reg. no. 1080-o1-95-88 of 1 June 1995;
Attack order.
90
SVA MORH, ZZPS: ZPS, IZM Zadar; cl. str. conf. 80-02/95-01/01, reg. no. 1080-03-95-05 of 20 March
1995 Information.
91
SVA MORH, ZZPS: ZPS, IZM Zadar; cl. 032-01/95-01/01; reg. no. 1080-03-95-372 of 12 June 1995; Report.
86

57

THE RSK IN THE FIRST HALF OF 1995

T

he liberation of Western Slavonia was just another in a series of setbacks, although
a major one, which dogged the RSK since late 1994. The Krajina was undergoing
a difficult political and economic crisis. Regardless of different interpretations,
the signing of the economic agreement with Croatia in Zagreb on 2 December 1994 was
a sign of weakness. The agreement regulated matters such as water and power supply,
the motorway and the pipeline.92 Soon after that, on 21 December, the Zagreb-Belgrade
motorway was opened for traffic.93 Its opening had a devastating effect on the morale of
the population and of the army of the Krajina Serbs. It facilitated the growth of blackmarketeering and opened up new avenues for Croatian promotional campaigns.94 The
Croatian military success on Mount Dinara and in Livanjsko Polje posed a serious threat
for the morale of the Krajina Serbs.
The political scene in the Krajina was turbulent. The prime minister, Borislav Mikelić,
was the target of many attacks because part of the political forces saw in him an exponent
of S. Milošević who was allegedly doing his best in order “to leave the Krajina within
the borders of the former Socialist Republic of Croatia”. After Operation Flash Mikelić’s
position became untenable because the restrained position of the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia was considered treasonable. Finally, on 29 May 1995 Mikelić was relieved
because he opposed the unification of the RSK and the RS.95 Unification was also
opposed by the leadership of the rebel Serbs in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western
Srijem. They founded the Coordinating Board of five municipalities headed by Goran
Hadžić.96 Milan Babić returned to the political scene, and his government was accepted
in Topusko on 27 July 1995.97
Another set of problems which plagued the Krajina were its relations with the
international community. On 12 January 1995 the President of the Republic of Croatia
informed the public that the Republic of Croatia had decided to cancel the mandate
92

“Hronologija rata” (The Chronology of War), 430.
HDA, RSK: RSK, Ministry of Defence, Government Staff for the Opening of the Motorway (undated, no
number); Information on the opening of the Paklenica-Lipovac motorway. SVA MORH, 125th Home Guard
Regiment; VP 2147; cl. 818-03/94-02/02, reg. no. 147-04/1-94-16 of 22 December 1994; Weekly report.
94
POA: RSK, MUP, Okučani Secretariat of Internal Affairs, no. 08-05/1-1086/1-05 of 16 March 1995. POA:
SVK West Slavonian Corps, 4 March 1995; Support telegram. POA: Public Security Directorate, no. 08/1-13366/1-95 of 21 April 1995. Order.
95
N. Barić, “Srpska pobuna u Hrvatskoj 1990-1995.” (Serb Rebellion in Croatia 1990-1995), 480-483.
96
Ibid., 484.
97
Ibid., 486.
93

59

of UNPROFOR. In his letter to Boutros Boutros Ghali F. Tuđman stressed that the
cancellation of the UNPROFOR mandate did not imply that Croatia was desisting
from a peaceful settlement of the conflict with the rebel Serbs and that it was instead
an endeavour to reach an agreement through direct negotiations between Zagreb and
Knin.98 The reaction of the Krajina Serbs was not long in coming. On 27 January M.
Martić applied to the UN Secretary General Ghali and asked him for “UN force protection
of the AP Western Bosnia from the army of Alija Izebegović, just as the peacekeeping
forces are protecting, in the conflict between the Croats and the Serbs, the Republic of
Serbian Krajina from the Republic of Croatia, which has violated our territory as many
as four times since 1992, perpetrated ethnic cleansing and committed crimes against the
Serbian civilian population”.99 In spite of their unfavourable position, of which they were
partly aware, the Serbs turned down Plan Z4. Martić’s position that the plan should not
be considered at all was accepted at the extraordinary session of the RSK Assembly held
on 8 February in Knin. The Assembly accepted the proposal of the RSK Government
to break off and postpone negotiations with the Republic of Croatia on economic and
political issues “until Croatia withdraws its request for the cancellation of the mandate
of UN peacekeeping forces or until the Security Council decides to extend the mandate
of the UN peacekeeping forces in the protected zones in the territory of the Republic of
Serbian Krajina.100
The next shock came on 31 March 1995 when the UN Security Council accepted the
Croatian requests and passed Resolution 981 which confirmed the territorial integrity
of the Republic of Croatia and recognized that major provisions of the Vance Plan
remained to be implemented. The role of the peacekeeping forces was redefined, and
the name UNROFOR changed into UNCRO (United Nations Confidence Restoration
Operation in Croatia) with a mandate until 30 November 1995. According to the new
mandate, UN forces were responsible for the establishment of efficient control over the
internationally recognized borders of Croatia, and for controlling and monitoring the
crossing of military equipment and personnel from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
or Republika Srpska into the protected areas.101
After the military successes of the Croatian Army on Mount Dinara in late 1994 and
early 1995 the area of Knin was threatened from Mount Dinara and Livanjsko Polje,
i.e., from the territory previously held by the armed forces of Republika Srpska. Faced
with the same danger, the rebel Serbs from Croatia and the Bosnian&Herzegovinian
Serbs founded on 20 February the Joint Council of National Defence.102 In the following
months it was hardly active. An attempt to establish order in the army of the Krajina

98

“Otkaz mandata UNPROFOR-u: Treća obljetnica međunarodnog priznanja Republike Hrvatske” (Cancellation of the UNPROFOR Mandate: The Third Anniversary of the International Recognition of the Republic
of Croatia); MORH, Political Directorate, Zagreb, 1995, 12-18.
99
VRH, USMSP: RSK, President of the Republic, no. 020/1-56 of 27 January 1995.
100
POA: Abridged minutes of the first extraordinary session of the RSK Assembly held on 8 February 1995.
101
«Kronologija rata» (The Chronology of the War), 465.
102
«Hronologija 1990-1995.»(Chronology 1990-1995), 222.

60

Serbs was made only after the RSK was reduced by the liberation of the formerly occupied
Western Slavonia. A new commanding officer was brought in, and a manoeuvring
unit formed - the Special Unit Corps (KSJ). After Operation Leap-2 Croatian forces
directly threatened the Bosanski Petrovac - Drvar - Strmica - Knin communications and
additionally aggravated the traffic isolation of the western parts of the Krajina. Such a
situation highlighted the strategic importance of Western Bosnia and of the ARBiH 5th
Corps. For the Serbian armies in Bosnia&Herzegovina and in the Republic of Croatia
the successful resolution of the Western Bosnia “issue” would free considerable forces
of the VRS 2nd Krajina Corps, which could then be committed in the southern part of
the Corps’ zone of responsibility against the units of the Split Corps District and the
Croatian Defence Council. The same applied to the forces of the SVK Lika, Kordun and
Banija Corps committed in Western Bosnia, which could be taken off that theatre and
concentrated along the borders of the Serbian para-state.103

103

GS HV, RP/13/95 of 5 July 1995; Annex to intelligence evaluation.

61

THE SECOND BIHAĆ CRISIS

O

n 11 July 1995 the Army of Republika Srpska captured the safe area of Srebrenica,
and that was a sign that the situation had taken a radical course.104 The
Bosnian&Herzegovinian Serbs had no intention of stopping their war machine.
Soon after Srebrenica a new attack was mounted on Bihać. The Bihać theatre had not
remained quiet since the Serb offensive in late 1994, but there were no major changes
of the front line either. After the Croatian forces had liberated Western Slavonia, Bihać
again ranked very high on the priority list of both Serbian armies, especially because the
observed grouping of Croatian forces towards Kordun and Banovina forced SVK units
to shift their focus from Bihać to the defence of these areas. The pressure of Operational
Group Pauk (Spider) on Bihać ceased, and the ARBiH 5th Corps used the opportunity to
attack Serbian positions. Developments clearly indicated the possible link-up of Croatian
and Bosnian forces along the Bihać - Bosansko Grahovo line, as well as the danger posed
by such a situation for Knin. Accordingly, the commander of the 2nd Krajina Corps,
responsible for the area under consideration, requested from the VRS General Staff to
take every step in order to prevent the risk.105 The proposal of the commander of the
2nd Krajina Corps to “deal jointly with Dinara and Plješivica” was accepted in principle
at the meeting of the supreme RS and RSK command held on 4 May in Knin. For the
new campaign Radovan Karadžić approved special police reinforcements and special
units for operations on Mount Plješivica.106 Serbian indecision and sluggish agreement
worked to the advantage of the ARBiH 5th Corps, which rolled back Serbian forces from
Bihać on part of the front line.107
Preparations for the Serbian offensive started after it was agreed by the general staffs of
the VRS and the VSK on 4 July. The code name of the operation was Mač-95 (Sword-92)
for the SVK and Štit-95 (Shield-95) for the VRS. The plan of the operation envisioned the
routing of the ARBiH 5th Corps followed by its encirclement and annihilation. The role
of the SVK was to protect the operation, by preventive readiness, from possible attacks
of the Croatian army. The SVK committed two operational and one tactical group to
the attack itself.108 The newly-formed Special Unit Corps was committed as the Second
Operational Group (OG-2), and OG Pauk was renamed into First Operational group
(OG-1).109 A group of MUP members from the Republic of Serbia was also involved
104

«Hronologija 1990-1995» (Chronology 1990.-1995), 246.
Command of the 2nd KK; str. conf. no. 66-64 of 8 May 1995.
106
Command of the 2nd KK; str. conf. no. 66-62 of 5 May 1995.
107
B. Felić, “Peti korpus 1992-1995.” (The 5th Corps 1992-1995), 463.
108
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 159.
109
VSA MORH: RSK, GŠ SV; str. conf. no.105-41 of 17 July 1995; Delivery of regular battle reports. Warning:
VSA MORH: Command OG-2, 17 July 1995, order of the chief of the artillery.
105

62

in the operation as part the SVK 101st Detachment at the hamlet of Rekić (village of
Tržac).110
After a number of postponements, the operation started on 19 July 1995.111 On 21
July the Command of the ARBiH 5th Corps informed the HV General Staff that the
Corps had sustained heavy losses “in personnel and a significant loss of territory. [...]
Ammunition and materiel supplies are below the critical level and the Corps cannot
resist the aggressor for a longer period. [...] Considering the rate of the aggressor’s
onslaught, we can sustain organized defence over the next two to three days”.112 Two days
later, on 23 July, the Command of the ARBiH 5th Corps informed the HV General Staff
that conditions had deteriorated beyond control and that by the end of the day the Bihać
area could be cut up into two parts, “and the 5th Corps broken up”.113 One day later, the
Command of the 5th Corps, the HVO General Staff for Bihać and the Bihać Municipal
HDZ Board appealed for help to the political and military authorities in Zagreb. “Please
consider this situation with utmost seriousness, and take urgent and radical steps in
order to save the population and the territory of the Una-Sana Canton”.114 The Serbian
success at Bihać briefly brought Fikret Abdić back to the front pages. He proclaimed the
Republic of Western Bosnia in Velika Kladuša on 26 July 1995.115

Soldiers of the HVO 101st Regiment in Bihać
110

RSK, MUP, Special Unit Directorate; no. 08/4-2-6299/95 of 31 July 1995; Report.
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 160-161.
112
Command of the 5th Corps, GS GVO Command Bihać, 21 July 1995; Intelligence information.
113
Command of the 5th Corps, GS GVO Command Bihać; 23 July 1995; Information on conditions in the
zone of responsibility of the 5th Corps and HVO Bihać.
114
Command of the 5th Corps, GS HVO Command Bihać, Bihać Municipal HDZ Board, 24 July 1995;
Breakdown of the military and political situation in the territory of the Una-Sana Canton.
115
“Hronologija 1990-1995.”(Chronology 1990-1995), 251.
111

63

THE CROATIAN RESPONSE TO THE SECOND BIHAĆ CRISIS THE OPERATION LJETO ‘95 (SUMMER ’95)

C

roatia responded to the second Bihać crisis just as it had done in the first one. The
leadership of the Republic of Croatia had followed the new Serb offensive very
attentively.116 As the crisis reached its climax, President A. Izetbegović received
the unexpected invitation of the Croatian President F. Tuđman to come to Split for
“important talks”.117 On 22 July 1995 both Presidents signed in Split the Declaration on the
Implementation of the Washington Agreement. However, the most important part of the
document was the agreement on military cooperation.118 On the basis of the agreement
between the politicians, Croatian forces took concrete steps in the direction of Livno Bosansko Grahovo and Livno - Glamoč in order to help encircled Bihać. The objective
of the operation, called Ljeto ’95 (Summer ’95), was to crush VRS forces at the eastern
and north-eastern end of Livanjsko Polje, and capture Bosansko Grahovo and Glamoč,
thus stopping Serbian attacks on Bihać and creating the conditions for the liberation of
Knin and northern Dalmatia. The operation was executed between 25 and 29 July 1995.
Croatian forces entered Glamoč and Bosansko Grahovo, and intersected the Knin - Drvar
communication, vital for the fate of the RSK.119 The road to Knin was open.

The signing of the Declaration on the Renewal of the
Washington Agreement, Joint
Defence Against Serbian Aggression and Realization of a
Political Solution with the Aid
of the International Community, Split, 22 July 1995.

116

H. Šarinić, «Svi moji tajni pregovori sa Slobodanom Miloševićem, 1993-95 (98)» (All My Secret Negotiations with Slobodan Milošević, 1993-95/98), 261.
117
Alija Izetbegović, “Sjećanja: autobiografski zapisi” (Memories: Autobiographical Notes); Šahinpašić, Sarajevo, 2001, 201.
118
Miroslav Tuđman, “Istina o Bosni i Hercegovini: dokumenti 1991-1995.” (The Truth About Bosnia&Herzegovina:
Documents 1991-1995); Slovo M, Zagreb, 2005, 614-616.
119
SVA MORH, ZZPS: Command OG North, cl. str. conf. 8/95-01/07, reg. no. 1080-01-95-294 of 25 July 1995; Attack
order; A. Gotovina, “Napadajni bojevi i operacije HV i HVO”(Offensive HV and HVO Battles and Operations), 59-64.

64

POLITICAL PREPARATION OF OPERATION STORM

I

n his message to the public on 3 May 1995, after the end of Operation Flash, the
President of the Republic of Croatia F. Tuđman pointed out that “with such a victory
Croatia [...] has demonstrated to the rebel Croatian Serbs, and to international
factors, that it has an armed force capable of liberating all the still occupied areas if that
is not achieved in a peaceful way in cooperation with the international community”.120
Along with its success in Western Slavonia, the Croatian army also mounted a number
of successful military operations along the border between the Republic of Croatia and
Bosnia&Herzegovina, and created conditions for the liberation of temporarily occupied
areas.121 The Croatian leadership was aware that there would be no peaceful reintegration,
and that the inactivity of the Croatian Army in the Western Bosnian theatre could only
adversely affect the general balance of forces, which had never been so favourable until
that point in time. Having been given the green light by the political leadership the
Croatian Army had a free hand to set off the process for the liberation of the temporarily
occupied parts of the Republic of Croatia. At the meeting held on the Brijuni Islands on
31 July 1995, the President of the Republic of Croatia Dr. Franjo Tuđman and top-level
HV officers considered the forthcoming operation and sought to define the political
justification for it. F. Tuđman wanted the rebel Serbs totally defeated within the shortest
possible time.122
At the political level, the last attempt for a peaceful resolution of the issue of rebel
areas was made on 3 August 1995 at the meeting of the representatives of Croatian
authorities and of the rebel Serbs from Knin. The meeting started at 10 a.m. in the Saugy
Villa at Genthod, a dozen kilometres from Geneva. The Croatian delegation included
Ivić Pašalić (MP), Vesna Škare Ožbolt (Assistant Chief of Staff of the President), Smiljan
Reljić (Assistant Minister of the Interior) and Lieutenant-General Petar Stipetić (Assistant
Chief of the HV General Staff ). During the negotiations it produced the following
demands: immediate peaceful reintegration of the occupied areas; immediate opening
of all communications across the occupied areas, especially the Zagreb-Split railway via
Knin; opening of the pipeline within 24 hours of the end of negotiations, with Croatian
control throughout the pipeline route; immediate enforcement in the occupied areas of
the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia and of the provisions of the Constitutional Law
on the Rights of the Serbian Ethnic Community guaranteeing political, civil and ethnic
rights; surrender of weapons to the Croatian authorities witnessed by UNCRO within 3
120

HDA, HUPMEZ: Message of the President of the Republic Dr. Franjo Tuđman, 3 May 1995.
For basic information about the actions of the Croatian forces in the spring of 1995 see A. Gotovina, “Napadajni bojevi i operacije HV i HVO” (Offensive HV and HVO Battles and Operations), Knin 1996. 37-56.
122
N. Barić, “Srpska pobuna u Hrvatskoj 1990-1995.» (Serb Rebellion in Croatia 1990-1995), 514-516.
121

65

to 8 days; guarantee of civil safety and general amnesty to all persons other than perpetrators of
war crimes. At the same time, the Croatian authorities offered to the rebel Serbs from Croatia the
holding of free elections for local self-government, and participation in civil authorities and civil
police structures on the basis of the ethnic breakdown of the population according to the 1991
census, and the implementation of all the other provisions of the Constitutional Law. The answers
of the rebel Serb delegation - which consisted of the General Mile Novaković, Milivoj Vojnović,
Ilija Prijić and Lazo Macura - were not deemed to be satisfactory by the Croatian side.123 The
mission of reintegrating the occupied areas was entrusted to the Croatian Army, especially after
the Serb artillery attack, on the very same day, from eastern Herzegovina against the Dubrovnik
area, in which three civilians were killed and three wounded, two of them severely.124

Croatian
forces
in na
Grahovo
Polje,
Hrvatske
snage
Grahovskom
polju,
ljeto
summer1995.
1995
123

«Kronologija rata 1989-1998.» (Chronology of the War 1989.1998), Hrvatski informativni centar, Zagreb 1998, 502;
HMDCDR: Collection of copies of Homeland War documents; Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia.
124
HMDCDR: Collection of copies of Homeland War documents; Office of the President of the Republic of
Croatia, 2.

66

THE KRAJINA IN ANTICIPATION OF STORM

A

fter the operation Summer ‘95 the RSK found itself in a very precarious position,
the worst since its foundation. The state of war was proclaimed throughout the
RSK on 28 July.125 All SVK units were forbidden rest periods based on shift duty.
The troops were allowed to rest only on their order of battle positions.126 On 30 July
General Ratko Mladić stated in Knin that the Croatian forces had committed a decisive
mistake by capturing Glamoč and Grahovo, and that it would cost them dearly.127 On
the same day General Milovanović, Chief of the General Staff of the Army of Republika
Srpska, declared that he had received from the President of Republika Srpska Radovan
Karadžić the order to stop the breakthrough of the Croatian forces and mount a
counterattack in order to free Grahovo and Glamoč: «I do not known whether the army
will accomplish its mission within 24 hours or 24 days, but it is clear that it will free the
occupied territories very soon».128 On 31 July Martić also held a press conference: he
stated that he had talked to the President of the Republic of Serbia Slobodan Milošević and
obtained from him the promise that «Serbia could not be indifferent» if Croatia attacked
Knin.129 Speaking on behalf of the Supreme Defence Council of the Republika Srpska
and the Republika Srpska Krajina, which met on 2 August in Drvar, Radovan Karadžić
urged the international community to sanction the Croatian conduct. Yugoslavia was
called upon to help, Karadžić claimed, because the conflict was no longer a civil war but
the continuation of World War Two and an attempt to create a Greater Croatia.130
All these media appearances were focused on the same goal - boosting the morale of
the Krajina Serbs which was at a very low ebb. The HV operation intended to achieve a
link-up with the ARBiH 5th Corps had been announced since early July.131 On 25 July the
command of the 39th Corps informed the subordinate units that the HV would “almost
certainly” attack the 27th Corps on 26 or 27 July, and probably, at approximately the
same time, land airborne troops in the area of Bihać or Brekovica.132 The daily report of
the Sector for Military and Civilian Affairs of the RSK Ministry of Internal Affairs of 31

125

RSK Supreme Defence Council; no. 020/1-846/95 of 28 July 1995; Decision.
RSK, GŠ SV; str. conf. no. 3-470 of 31 July 1995; Order.
127
D. Radišić, “Hronologija 1990-1005.” (Chronology 1990-1995), 605.
128
Ibid., 605.
129
Ibid., 605.
130
Ibid., 608.
131
Command of the 24th infantry brigade, no. 32-81 of 5 July 1995; Order.
132
Command of the 39th Corps; str. conf., no. 64-185 of 25 July 1995; Intelligence information.
126

67

July noted that on the previous evening someone in the village of Strmica “had spread
the rumour that the ustashi had broken through the defence line and were entering
Strmica, causing panic and uncontrolled movement of the population. Owing to the
timely intervention of the head of the Municipal Civil Defence Headquarters in Knin
and of his staff the panic was averted, and the people remained in their homes”.133
On 2 August the RSK Civil Defence Headquarters ordered all subordinate units to
start preparing for the evacuation of material assets, archives, birth, death and marriage
registers, records and confidential documents, movable cultural assets, cash assets,
securities and other documents.134 The implementation of the order had already been
prepared in advance. On 31 July the head of the municipal civil defence headquarters
in Drniš informed his superiors in Knin that his staff was informed about the current
situation, and about the measures and actions “which they were obliged to take, with
particular focus on providing shelter and evacuation-related preparatory actions”.135
The order of the civil defence headquarters of the municipality of Dvor na Uni, one
day before the start of Storm, indicates how quickly the order of the RSK Civil Defence
Headquarters began to be implemented.136
According to the report of the HV electronic reconnaissance unit, which followed
intensively the Krajina radio traffic in late July, “all civilian telephone conversations in
Lika reflect fear among the civilian population in the area, one could almost say panic
caused by the possible attack of Croatian forces. In line with this, evacuation routes have
also allegedly been set; however, just as shown by all other conversations, there is nothing
significant in terms of intelligence, and it all boils down to hearsay. People are said to be
physically and mentally exhausted by the continuous psychosis and expectation of the
attack, and at the end of their tether”.137 The attack of the HV was expected at Sunja and
Glina in the night of 28 July. On 29 July reports listed thousands of women and children
being bussed out of Knin in the direction of Belgrade.138 A day later, on 30 July, the state
of war was proclaimed in the RSK. Alarm and panic were reported on the same day (part
of the population began to prepare for escape in the village of Krnjak near Karlovac).139
One day before the start of the operation, on 3 August, Radio Petrinja announced the HV
attack on the RSK.140 On 4 August at 0030 the SVK Kordun Corps reportedly possessed

133

RSK, Ministry of Defence, Sector for Military and Civilian Affairs; str. conf. no. 403-201/95 of 31 July;
Regular daily report.
134
POA: RSK, Republican Civil Defence Headquarters; str. conf., no. 01-83/95 of 2 August 1995; Preparations for the evacuation of material, cultural and other assets.
135
POA: RSK, Drniš Municipality, Ministry of Defence, Drniš Department; str. conf. no.01-10/95 of 31 July
1995; Report on steps taken with regard to the new developments.
136
POA: Dvor na Uni, civil defence headquarters; str. conf. no.270/1-95 of 3 August 1995; Order.
137
MORH GSHV: ED-1 Centre; cl. 833-05/95-01, reg. no. 105/3-12711-95-218 of 1 August 1995; Intelligence
report.
138
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, Intelligence Dept., cl. 81/95-02/01, reg. no. 1075-10/95-53 of 29 July 1995.
139
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, Intelligence Dept., cl. 81/95-02/01, reg. no. 1075-10/95-54 of 30 July 1995.
140
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, Intelligence Dept., cl. 81/95-02/012, reg. no. 11075-10/95-56 of 3 August
1995.

68

information that the HV attack would start at 5 a.m. The preparations for the evacuation
of the population continued and RSK police officers were reportedly moving their
families to Bosnia&Herzegovina.141 Only women and children were allowed to cross the
bridges to Bosnia&Herzegovina. On the same day the inhabitants of Dvor na Uni were
ready for evacuation.142

141

MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, Intelligence Directorate., cl. 804-08/95-172/02, reg. no. 512-06-06/1-951924 of 4 August 1995.
142
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, Intelligence Dept., cl. 81/95-02/01, reg. no. 1075-10/95-58 of 4 August
1995.

69

WAR PLANS
(DEFENCE PLANS AND PLANS FOR THE LIBERATION
OF THE OCCUPIED TERRITORY)

S

erious planning for Operation Storm started in December 1994.143 After the
significant success scored by the Split Corps District on Mount Dinara and
in Livanjsko Polje, the HV General Staff drafted a new plan and directives
codenamed Flash (Bljesak). The plan was partly tested in Western Slavonia, and part
of uncommitted forces was used to reinforce the Split, Osijek, Zagreb, Karlovac and
Gospić Corps Districts. In mid-May the name of the operation was changed from Flash
into Storm.144 The directives were attuned to the conditions on the ground and signed
in the HV General Staff on 26 June 1995. As decided by the Chief of the HV Staff, the
available forces of the Zagreb, Karlovac, Gospić and Split Corps Districts were given
orders to start intensive preparations, “along with the required regrouping and additional
mobilization”, for bringing forces to a state of readiness guaranteeing the execution of the
operation in accordance with the directives.145 The remainder of the Croatian Army, the
forces of the Southern Theatre and of the Osijek Corps District, with the support of the
Croatian Navy and the Croatian Air Force, were to secure the successful execution of the
operation by steady and decisive defence. The mission of the Bjelovar Corps District was
the defence of the border along the river Sava. All the units were supposed to be ready
for the operation by 15 July.146
The mission of the Zagreb Corps District (ZP Zagreb) was to break through the
defences of the SVK Banija Corps, free Banovina and link up with the ARBiH 5th Corps
in the area of the villages of Obljaj and Žirovac. The Corps was to be reinforced with the
following General Staff units: the 81st Guards Battalion, the 16th Artillery-Rocket Brigade
(without the 2nd and 3rd Battalions), the 2nd Battalion of the 15th Anti-Armour ArtilleryRocket Brigade, the 2nd Battalion of the 33rd Engineer Brigade, and special MUP units.
The 125th Home Guard Regiment from Novska, attached to the Bjelovar Corps District,
was reallocated back to the Zagreb Corps District. In order to reinforce other corps
143
Work on plans for the liberation of the occupied territory of the Republic of Croatia started already in late
1991 and early 1992. Over the years the plans were updated. The last plan for Storm was modified a few days
before the operation, and provided for the simultaneous attack of Croatian forces in all operational and tactical directions, and advance to the border between the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina, over
a period of up to seven days. This achieved a strategic surprise to which the enemy had no valid response.
HMDCDR: Review of General Antun Tus for the text about the Military-Police Operation Storm.
144
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02-08, reg. no, 512-06-05/01-95-213 of 16 May 1995; Order.
145
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, RP/12-1-95 of 26 June 1995; Attack directive, Op.no. 12-1/95, Storm-1. Published
in J. Bobetko, “Sve moje bitke” (All My Battles), 422-432.
146
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, RP/12-1/95 of 26 June 1995; Attack directive Op. no 12-1/95, Storm-1.

70

districts ZP Zagreb shifted the 99th Brigade to ZP Karlovac, the 150th Brigade to ZP
Gospić, the 145th Brigade to ZP Split and the 144th Brigade to the Southern Theatre.147
The task of the Karlovac Corps District was to crush the SVK Kordun Corps and
free Kordun. It was to receive reinforcements comprising the HV 99th Brigade from the
Zagreb Corps District, the HV 104th Brigade, the 13th Anti-Armour Artillery-Rocket
Battalion, a tank company (of six tanks which never arrived), all from the Bjelovar Corps
District, a company from the 33rd Engineer Brigade, and special MUP units from the
Karlovac Police Department (which never arrived because they were transferred to
Lika).148
The mission of the Gospić Corps District was to smash the SVK Lika Corps, free Lika
and link up with the ARBiH 5th Corps at Korenička Kapela - Tržačka Raštela. According
to the plan, the corps was to be reinforced with the HV General Staff 1st Guards Brigade,
the HV 150th Brigade, the 2nd Company of the ABKO 50th Battalion from ZP Zagreb, and
special MUP units from the Rijeka-Senj and Istria police departments.149
In cooperation with special MUP forces, ZP split was to deal with the SVK North
Dalmatian Corps and free the occupied parts of Dalmatia. Planned reinforcement
comprised the HV General Staff 7th Guards Brigade, the 2nd Battalion of the ZP Gospić
9th Guards Brigade, the 145th ZP Zagreb Brigade (which did not arrive and remained
within ZP Zagreb), a 203 mm howitzer battery from ZP Zagreb and MUP units.150
The Osijek Corps District supported the operation as provided for by Directive Feniks
(Phoenix) of the Chief of the HV General Staff. Its mission was to be monitored by
the forward command post of the HV General Staff set up in Đakovo with LieutenantGeneral Petar Stipetić in command, appointed to the post on 3 August 1995, one
day before the start of the operation.151 The Southern Theatre was responsible for the
defensive operation codenamed Maestral (Breeze).152

147

MORH, GSHV: GS HV, RP/12-1/95 of 26 June 1995; Attack directive Op. no 12-1/95, Storm-1.
SVA MORH, GSHV: GS HV, RP/12-2-95 of 26 June 1995; Attack directive, Op. no. 12-2/95, Storm-2. Published
in J. Bobetko, “Sve moje bitke” (All My Battles), 441-451.
149
SVA MORH, GSHV: GS HV, RP/12-3-95 of 26 June 1995; Attack directive, Op.no. 12-3/95, Storm-3. Published
in J. Bobetko, “Sve moje bitke” (All My Battles), 462-475.
150
SVA MORH, GSHV: GS HV, RP/12-4-95 of 26 June 1995; Attack directive, Op. no. 12-4/95, Storm-4. Published
in J. Bobetko, “Sve moje bitke” (All My Battles), 448-491. In commenting on the mission of ZP Split as defined in
the GSHV Directive of 26. June 1995, General R- Rakić noted that the foregoing was at the time one of the variants for ZP Split which was not implemented after 4 August 1995 because major and essential changes had taken
place in the meantime, both for ZP Split and for the HV in general (the Srebrenica massacre, the Split Declaration,
the military-police operation Summer ’95 which freed Grahovo and Glamoč); he also noted that ZP Split was
reinforced by the HV 144th Brigade rather than by the HV 145th Brigade, and Special MUP RH forces on Mount
Velebit were only present on the left flank of ZP Split (their zone of responsibility having been between ZP Split
and ZP Gospić), that the main route of attack of ZP Split in Storm was different than planned, Velebit-Otrić, and
that due account needs to be taken of the fact that the Directive under consideration was written 35 days before
the well-known meeting at Brijuni, and that on 29 July 1995 that Directive could have been “shelved or modified”.
HMDCDR: General Rajko Rakić’s comments on the text about ZP Split in the military-police operation Storm.
151
GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-3512 of 3 August 1995; Order.
152
MORH, GSHV: Southern Theatre Comm., cl.8/95-02/115, reg. no. 3105-01-01-95-103 of 7 August 1995; Report. Southern Theatre Comm., cl. 8/95-02/115, reg. no. 3105-01-01-95-127 of 10 August 1995; Excerpt from the
defence order of the Southern Theatre commander.
148

71

Under the pressure of Croatian attacks, the Krajina Serbs prepared in February 1995 a
new plan for the commitment of their armed forces called Gvozd. They anticipated Croatian
attacks to come in segments and believed that the HV did not have the strength for the radical
option - attack on the entire occupied area - and that it would attack instead the edges of the
Krajina, northern Dalmatia and Western Slavonia in order to crush the North Dalmatian
and Western Slavonian Corps. Only then, after it had demonstrated its superiority, the
Croatian army would attack the Lika and Kordun corps in cooperation with the ARBiH 5th
Corps. The SVK intended to apply decisive defence, followed by “offensive operations, also in
cooperation with forces of the VJ and the VRS, focused on crushing ustashi forces along the
lines of attack in Eastern Slavonia, Dalmatia and Gorski Kotar, thus creating conditions for
subsequent offensive actions in order to establish control and prevent the communication
and supply of the Croatian armed forces and population in Gorski Kotar and Dalmatia”. In
their anticipated counterattack the Krajina Serbs saw an opportunity to seize the Spačva
Forest in Eastern Slavonia and advance to the coast between Šibenik and Biograd.153

Special
RHRH
forces
Specijalne
snageMUP
MUP-a
na
Velebitu
on Mount Velebit
153

VSA MORH: Directive for the commitment of the Serb Army of the Krajina; Op. no. 1, “GVOZD”, February 1995. Annex to the plan of SVK commitment, ˝GVOZD”.

72

FINAL HV PREPARATIONS FOR THE OPERATION

A

fter the drafting of the HV General Staff Directive on 30 June 1995, the General
Staff signed the first orders regulating the operational subordination of the units
attached to the commands of the corps districts. This was completed by 3 July.154
The implementation of these orders and the deployment of units to the assembly areas
started with the Serbian attacks on Bihać and the Croatian operation Summer ’95.155 On
30 July all holidays and furloughs of HV members were revoked and orders issued for
their immediate reporting to their units and assignments.156 The last major innovation
in the plan of the operation was introduced on 2 August, when ZP Bjelovar was included
into offensive operations although it had previously been designated exclusively for
support and defence of the state border.157
On 2 August the HV General Staff established the Staff Operational Centre (SOC)
responsible for data collection, processing and analysis, and for the control of “units and
commands at the operational strategic level”. The operational team of the Centre was
expected to suggest force deployment to the HV General Staff and it was responsible
for monitoring and overseeing the situation in the individual corps districts. The SOC
was divided into two groups. Major-General Pavao Miljavac was the leader of the first
and Major-General Vinko Vrbanac of the second group. The advance command post of
the HV General Staff in Ogulin was staffed with additional officers, and a special group
of the Chief of the HV General Staff for overseeing special missions and orders was
also set up. In accordance with the war plan and the directive of the Chief of the HV
General Staff the GSHV Advance Command Post was set up in Đakovo.158 On 3 August
the Command of the Southern Theatre war ordered to mount Operation Maestral.159
154

MORH, GSHV: GSHV, cl. 08-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-256, 258, 260, 261, 265 and 266 of
30 June 1995; Order. MORH, GSHV, cl. 08-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-259, 270, 273-277 of 3
July 1995; Order.
155
MORH, GSHV: GSHV, cl.08-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-05-314 of 24 July 1995, 325 of 28 July
1995, 331 and 333 of 30 July 1995, 337 and 338 of 31 July 199, 339 of 1 August 1995, 342, 343, 346, 347 and
348 of 2 August 1995, 354 and 360 of 3 August 1955; Order. Some of the ZP Karlovac units, noted General
M. Crnjac, only arrived in the assembly area one day before the start of Storm, and one battalion arrived
with almost no weapons. HMDCDR: comments by General Miljenko Crnjac on the text about ZP Karlovac
in the military-police operation Storm.
156
MORH, GSHV:GSHV, cl. 8-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-330 of 30 July 1995; Order.
157
MORH, GSHV: Command of ZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-04-95-1285 of 13 September
1995; Assessment of execution of the offensive operation Storm.
158
MORH, GSHV: GSHV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-340 of 2 August 1995; Order. MORH,
GSHV: GSHV, cl. 08-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-351 of 3 August 1995; Order.
159
MORH, GSHV: GSHV, cl.08-01/95-02-08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-349 of 3 August 1995; Order.

73

Croatian Navy units received orders for an active naval defence of the Republic of Croatia
focused on “anti-naval, anti-submarine, anti-mine operations, and anti-sabotage and air
defence”. Naval defence in the South Adriatic area was incorporated into the overall defence
operations in the Southern Theatre.160
Military police units were issued orders related to their domain of activity with the
additional obligation to cooperate with civil police.161 Reporters were “forbidden all access
to areas of responsibility of Croatian army units without a special permission issued by the
MORH Political Directorate”. HV members were forbidden to give “any statements to (national
and foreign) media without the express approval of the MORH Political Directorate”.162
On 3 August at 2115 hours the Chief of the HV General Staff issued battle readiness orders
to units of the Bjelovar, Zagreb, Karlovac, Gospić and Split Corps Districts, and to the special
units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Croatia; units of ZP Osijek, the
Southern Theatre and of the Croatian Navy received defence readiness orders at 0300 hours
on 4 August. Battle readiness for the Croatian Air Force was set at 0500 hours on 4 August.163
The first air strike was scheduled for 0600 hours, the second one to follow “depending on
weather conditions”.164 At 0700 the Croatian Army was to “repossess Croatian materiel from
the UNCRO depots”, where it was stored under the provisions of the Zagreb Agreement
concluded in the spring of 1994.165

The political and
military leaders
of the Republic
of Croatia watch
the progress of
Operation Storm.

160

MORH, GSHV: GSHV, cl. 08-01/95-02/08. reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-350 of 3 August 1995; Order.
MORH, GSHV: MORH, Military Police Directorate, cl. str. conf. 80-01/95-158, reg. no. 512-19/01-95-474
of 3 August 1995.
162
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, cl. 818-04/95-01/02-03, reg. no. 1075-04/95-17 of 3 August 1995; Order.
163
MORH, GSHV: GSHV, cl. 08-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-364 of 3 August 1995; Order.
164
MORH, GSHV: GSHV, cl.08-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-0605/01-95-365 of 3 August 1995; Order.
165
MORH, GSHV: GSH, cl. 08-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-368 of 3 August 1995; Order. Because of
the impression that the preparation of Storm (unit mobilization, their assembly and deployment, order reception, knowledge of the terrain and briefing, assessment of the situation and battle order of the enemy) unfolded
in a disorganized way or in the nick of time, General Petar Stipetić believes that the overall conduct and command of the GSHV needs to be analyzed in particular, including the selection of people for key positions. HMDCDR: comments of General Petar Stipetić on the text about ZP Zagreb in the military-police operation Storm.
161

74

75

76

THE STORM

77

SPLIT CORPS DISTRICT

U

nlike other corps districts, the Split Corps District (ZP Split) mounted Operation
Storm under the code name Kozjak-95. It is not clear why that was done, and
that is not the first instance involving the change of the name of an HV General
Staff operation at the local level. In January 1993 the Command of the Split Operational
Zone had mounted in the hinterland of Zadar the operation Winter-93, codenamed
Gusar (Pirate) by the HV General Staff and popularly called Maslenica.166 The order for
the offensive action was written by the Command of ZP Split on 1 August 1995. The idea
of the ZP Split commander was to crush Serbian forces in the greater area of northern
Dalmatia, cut the communications leading from Knin to the north, and surround and
free Knin. The main objective of ZP Split was the town of Knin, and the main forces
of the Corps were concentrated along the lines Bosansko Grahovo - Knin, Jasenice Muškovci and Uniški Doci - Kijevo. In the remaining part of the theatre auxiliary forces
were supposed to roll back Serbian forces and penetrate the territory, thereby facilitating
the mission of the main forces. The operation was planned in two to three phases and
in the duration of three to four days. In the first phase, which was to last one day, the
plan envisioned the smashing of the Serbian forces along the first line of defence and the
capture of important landmarks and communications in the tactical depth of the enemy.
In the second phase, also planned for execution in a single day, the main forces of the
North Dalmatian Corps had to be cut up, and conditions created for engaging the second
combat echelon. The plan for the third, two-day phase included the elimination of the
main enemy forces, gaining control over key defence points, and establishing a situation
in which hostile units could only surrender or pull out. As provided for by preparations
for the operation, some forces were to strike along the Glamočko Polje - Vitorog line in
order to tie down the operational reserve of the Army of Republika Srpska. The overall
operation was entrusted to operational groups Sjever, Sinj, Šibenik and Zadar.167
OG Sjever (North) was the main force of the operation. It comprised the HV 4th and 7th
Guards Brigades, the 81st Guards Battalion with the First Tactical Group, the 1st Croatian
Guards Brigade. the HVO 2nd Guards Brigade with the Third Tactical Group, and the
166

According to some views, the switching of the code names Storm and Kozjak could have been the consequence of the wish to provide additional cover for the planning of Storm; it is also possible that the officers
responsible for drawing the orders in ZP Split simply did not know that the operation already had a code
name. Of course, there is no doubt that Kozjak was part of Storm executed by ZP Split.
167
SVA MORH, GSHV: ZP Split Command; cl. DT 8/95-01/01. reg.no. 1080-01-95/2 of 1 August 1995;
Order for offensive operation.

79

HVO 3rd Guards Brigade with the Second Tactical Group. The HVO Tomislavgrad Corps
District under the command of the OG Sjever IZM (advance command post) in the
village of Vrba near Glamoč was responsible for supporting the assault.168
The 4th and 7th Guards Brigades were to crush Serbian forces along the Dinara - Knin
line and gain control of Knin. The previous battle line of the 4th Guards Birgade and
part of the line of the 7th Guards Brigade from Mačja Greda to Veliki Kik were taken
over by the 81st Guards Battalion which switched to decisive defence. The 1st Croatian
Guards Brigade was the operational reserve for intervention along jeopardized defence
lines or for assault commitment. HVO forces, the 2nd and 3rd Guards Brigades and the
Tomislavgrad Corps District were to attack along the line Glamočko Polje - Mount
Vitorog in order to gain control of Vitorog and the Mlinište pass and thereby facilitate
advance towards Jajce.
The mission of Operational Group Sinj was to mount the attack at Dinara - Kijevo and
Svilaja - Kozjak, encircle and eliminate Serbian forces in the valley of the Peruča, gain
control of Kozjak and stand ready for sustaining the advance towards Knin. It comprised
the HV 6th Home Guard Regiment from Split, the HV 126th Home Guard Regiment from
Sinj and the HV 144th Sesvete Brigade. The task of the 126th Home Guard Regiment was
to crush Serbian forces by a spirited pincer movement in the greater area of Uništa along
the line of attack, gain control, as quickly as possible, over the Kijevo - Polača area, and
thereby support the assault of the 6th Home Guard Regiment on Mount Kozjak. During
its attack the regiment was responsible for protecting the left flank of the 4th and 7th
Guards Brigade. Along the Vještića Gora - Bravčev Dolac - Vinalić axis the 144th Brigade
was supposed to eliminate the Serbian forces in the area of Bravčev Dolac and sustain the
attack towards the village of Vinalić in order to effect linkup with the 126th Home Guard
Regiment. The 6th Home Guard Regiment was to break down the Serbian units along
the attack line, gain control of Ivova Glavica, Lisin, Konjska Glava and Razvale Otišićke;
following that, it was to continue its attack towards the village of Maovice and advance
towards Mount Kozjak together with the 126th Home Guard Regiment.
Attack along the lines Miljevci - Promina, Skradin - Plastovo - Tomasovića Stanovi
and Dragišići - Brbir was entrusted to Operational Group Šibenik, which comprised
168
As an addition to the foregoing, General R. Rakić observed: «In the military-police Operation Storm ZP
Split had two front-lines: 1) from the Velebit range to Mount Dinara (more precisely, to Bosansko Grahovo)
- and all its units were to attack and liberate the hitherto occupied region of Northern Dalmatia (territory
of the Republic of Croatia up to the border with neighbouring Bosnia&Herzegovina); 2) the front-line from
Bosansko Grahovo to Kupreška Vrata (about 100 km) was operationally subordinated, and all the HV and
HVO units in the area were engaged in active defence, protecting the rear of HV units advancing towards
Knin. The ZP Split IZM for Operation Storm was in the village of Sajković (Livanjsko Polje), and it controlled offensive and defensive units. The attacking forces were controlled by the commands of the operational
groups Sjever (village of Sajković), Sinj (Sinj), Šibenik (Šibenik) and Zadar (village of Poličnik). It should be
noted that the ZP Split IZM in Zadar was also functional, overseeing and commanding operational groups
Zadar and Šibenik. Defence units, made up mainly of HVO formations - with the exception of the 81st
Guards Brigade at Bosansko Grahovo, were under the command of IZM ZP Tomislavgrad in the village of
Vrba near Glamoč. HMDCDR: Comments of General Rajko Rakić on the text about ZP Split in the militarypolice operation Storm.

80

the 142nd Home Guard Regiment, the 15th Home Guard Rgiment and the 113th Infantry
Brigade. After breaking down the Serbian forces at Miljevci - Promina - Vrbnik, the 142nd
Home Guard Regiment had to gain control of the greater area of the villages of Žitnić,
Trbounje, Oklaj, Promina and Vrbnik. The task of 15th Home Guard Regiment was to
eliminate the Serbian forces along the Skradin - Plastovo - Kistanje line, gain control of
Velika Glava, Sonković, Bratiškovci and Laškovica, and continue to advance along the
left bank of the river Krka up to the village of Radučić. The 113rd Infantry Brigade had
to eliminate the Serbian forces along Dragišići - Bribir and gain control over Ždrapanj,
Međare, Žažvić, Vaćani, Bribir and Ervenik.
Operational Group Zadar, which comprised the 2nd Battalion of the 9th Guards
Brigade, the 112th Brigade, and the 7th and 134th Home Guard Regiments, had to roll back
the Serbian forces along the lines Novigrad - Donji Karin - Kaštel Žegarski, Suhovare Smiljčić - Benkovac, Prkos - Nadin, Gorica - Raštević, Vrana - Miranje, Pristeg- Cerane
Gornje and Bila Vlaka - Vukšić - Mandino Selo. The 2nd Battalion of the 9th Guards
Brigade and the 2nd Battalion of the 134th Home Guard Regiment had to cut the Gračac
- Obrovac communication and seize the area of Muškovci. The 112th Brigade had to
gain control in the greater area of Karin - Smiljčić - Kaštel Žegarski, and the 7th Home
Guard Regiment, advancing towards Vrčevo - Vinterinci - Vijenac - Šopor, was to take
the village of Veljane, Ražovljeva Glavica, Nadinski Vijenac and Benkovac. The 134th
Home Guards Brigade (minus one battalion) ome GuaedHomeHiwas to capture Miranje
Gornje and Vukšić, and continue to advance towards the village of Parčić.
The Special MUP units left of ZP Split were responsible for the operation along the
general Velebit - Gračac axis and for cutting the communications connecting Knin and
Obrovac with Gračac. The commander was Lieutenant-General Mladen Markač.
The attacks of Operational Groups Sjever, Šibenik and Zadar were supported by five
artillery-rocket and artillery groups: the HVO 10th Artillery-Rocket Regiment, the
14th Artillery Battalion, the 20th Howitzer Battalion and part of the composite artillery
battalion of the HV 5th Guards Brigade and howitzers of the HV 112nd Infantry Brigade.
All units were required to possess organic anti-armour capability. An exception was
the Anti-Armour Unit, formed out of the 11th Anti-Armour Artillery-Rocket Battalion
for the requirements of OG Zadar. Antiaircraft artillery was responsible for protecting
artillery and rocket groups, major industrial plants, important communications and the
towns of Šibenik, Zadar and Biograd. It was implemented by organic components of
the engaged forces and the 204th Air Defence Artillery-Rocket Brigade. The primary
responsibility of the engineer units was the securing of passages through mine fields.
Forward advance posts were set up in Zadar and the village of Sajković in the lower part
of Livanjsko Polje. The commander of the Split Corps District was Lieutenant- General
Ante Gotovina.169
The units of the Split Corps District were opposed by the SVK North Dalmatian Corps
headquartered in Knin. The Corps comprised the 75th and 92nd Motorized Brigades, the
169

SVA MORH, GSHV: ZP Split Command, cl. DT 8/95-01/01, reg. no. 1080-01-95-75/2 of 1 August 1995;
Order for offensive operation.

81

1st and 4th Light Brigades, the 2nd and 3rd Infantry Brigades, the 7th Composite Artillery
Regiment, the 7th Composite Anti-Armour Artillery Regiment, the 7th Light ArtilleryRocket Regiment and the 7th Rear Base. The Corps commander was Major-General
Slobodan Kovačević.170 According to the war plan, in the first stage of the operation
the Corps had to prevent HV breakthrough along the axes Zadar - Benkovac - Knin,
Šibenik - Drniš - Knin, Sinj- Velika Vrlika - Knin and on the Velebit range. In the second
part of the operation the Corps had to redeploy its forces, advance to the Adriatic
coast between Šibenik and Biograd, and fortify the achieved line. The 105th Air Force
Brigade, and the Republika Srpska air force and air defence were allocated for support.171
As compared with the defence plan of February 1995, by early August the situation
changed substantially. The Corps did not get the envisioned two brigade reinforcements,
the VRS 2nd Krajina Corps which was to guard the left flank was knocked out, and the
Knin - Bosansko Grahovo route had to be closed by a provisional tactical and combat
unit. In the period under consideration the Corps was reinforced with a 130 mm gun
battalion and an SVLR Oganj battery. The Corps included the 2nd Guards Brigade of
the SVK Special Unit Corps. On the eve of the Croatian attack the brigade pulled back
from Mount Dinara to Knin. A military police battalion was also present in the Knin
greater area. Knin was also the headquarters of the SVK General Staff and of some units
subordinated to it - the 101th Intelligence Centre and the 75th Rear Base.172
As the political and military centre of the RSK, Knin had a great moral significance, and
its liberation would certainly motivate Croatian troops to fight on, just as its successful
defence would provide an analogous motivation to the rebel Serbs. Quite logically, the
Split Corps District committed its most successful units, two Guards brigades, to the Knin
operation. Although tired because of the just completed battles for Bosansko Grahovo,
the two brigades were ready to liberate Knin. That was certainly a special task in their
battle record, and for the 4th Brigade an appropriate conclusion of its war path which had
started four years earlier precisely by the defence of parts of Northern Dalmatia from the
threat posed by the JNA and the rebel Serbs from Knin.173

170

HDAS, RSK: 7th Corps Command; DT no. 37-3of 13 February 1995; Order of the 7th Corps Commander
for defence and offensive operations, Op.no.1; M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade),
188-202.
171
VSA MORH: Directive for the commitment of the Serb Army of the Krajina, Op. no.1, “GVOZD”, February 1995.
172
VSA MORH MORH: GŠ TO RSK, DT no. 947-2/1 of 27 November 1992; Overview of the mobilization
and deployment of the units of the Serbian Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina; M. Sekulić, “Knin je
pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 223, 239.
173
In discussing the issue of which Guards brigade (the 4th or the 7th) entered Knin first, General Rakić
believes that “this is not a formal matter but rather a point of prestige”. However, as a witness and a person
involved in planning the attack on Knin, he also noted: “After the liberation of Bosansko Grahovo, the 4th
Brigade, which had attacked Grahovo on the right of the 7th Brigade, turned in preparation for the advance
towards Knin via the Derala pass. At the same time, the 7th Brigade, which had advanced towards Grahovo
left of the 4th Brigade, turned with the same goal in mind towards Knin across Crvena Zemlja. At the time
no rotation of the two brigades was possible, and they just remained in position after the taking of Grahovo.
At the ZP Split command post in Sajković the two brigade commanders (Ivan Korade and Damir Krstičević)

82

The operation started early in the morning of 4 August. After artillery preparation,
the 7th Guards Brigade set off towards Knin along the axis Risovac - Golubićko Suvo
Polje - village of Kovačić. In its offensive path was the Third Battle Group (BG-3), a
unit scraped together from several parts of the North Dalmatian Corps and RSK militia
units. By the end of the day the 7th Guards Brigade gained control over the dominant
positions of Borova Glava, Visibaba, Badanj and Pitomi Vrh. This completed its mission
for the day, and opened up the avenue for the commitment of the 4th Guards Brigade to
the attack.174
Forces of the neighbouring Operational Group Sinj also achieved progress. Advancing
towards Uniški Doci - Uništa - Kijevo the 126th Home Guard Regiment took Uništa and
thereby created conditions for proceeding along the valley of the Peruča to Kijevo. Its left
neighbour, the 144th Brigade, descended from Vještića Gora and captured Bravčev Dolac.
In the Svilaja - Kozjak area the 6th Home Guard Regiment took Lisina, important for the
commitment and deployment of its main forces. By the end of the day the regiment
broke through the defence lines in three spots, and took Konjska Glava, the hamlets of
Strunje and Lunići, and the village of Gornji Baljci.175
Forces of Operational Group Šibenik faced one of the tougher units of the SVK North
Dalmatian Corps, the 75th Motorized Brigade and part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade. The
main mission of OG Šibenik was to push back the Serbian forces and it scored minor
advances along the line: during the day the 142nd Home Guard Regiment broke through
the Serbian defences along the section from the river Krka to Drniš; the 15th Home Guard
Regiment penetrated the line at the village of Laškovica while the 113th Infantry Brigade
was the most successful throughout the assigned area and reached the line Morpolača Čista Velika - Lađevci - Sveti Bartul by the end of the day.176
The units of OG Zadar were opposed by the best unit of the North Dalmatian Corps,
the 92nd Motorized Brigade, and by the 3rd Infantry Brigade which defended the routes

agreed that joint advance towards Knin would be the best option. The commander of ZP Split agreed. In
line with the foregoing, it would be correct to say that the town of Knin was liberated by the joint actions of
the 4th and 7th brigades, just as recorded on the photography showing the two commanders on Knin fortress. Of course, that was the subject of several proposals and variants, but there was no time for any formal
speculation”. HMDCDR: comments of General Rajko Rakić on the text about ZP Split in the military-police
operation Storm.
174
SVA MORH, 7th Guards Brig.: 7th Guards B., cl. str. conf. 8/95-01/01, reg. no. 3112-03-T-95-134 of 4
August 1995; Daily operational report. SVA MORH, GSHV: ZP Split Command, cl. str. conf. 81/95-01/19,
reg. no. 1080-01-95-96 of 15 August 1995; Analysis of the offensive operation Kozjak-95; M. Sekulić, “Knin
je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 189-190.
175
ZP Split Command; cl. str. conf. 81/95-01/16, reg. no.1080-01-95-226 of 4 August 1995; Daily report. SVA
MORH, ZP Split Command: 6th Home Guard Reg., IZM Gorje, cl. 8/95-01-88, reg. no 8311-01-01/95 of 12
August 1995; Report; SVA MORH, GSHV: ZP Split Command, IZM Zadar, cl. str. conf. 81/95-01/19, reg. no.
1080-01-95-56 of 15 August 1995; Analysis of Operation Kozjak-95.
176
SVA MORH, ZP Split Command, IZM Zadar, cl. 81/95-01/12, reg. no. 1080-01-95-267 of 4 August 1995;
Report. ZP Split Command, cl. str. conf. 81/95-01/126, reg. no. 1080-01-95-226 of 4 August 1995; Daily
report. SVA MORH, GSHV: ZP Split Command, cl. 81/95-01/19-35, reg. no. 1080/5-01-95-35 of 4 August
1995; Report. SVA MORH, GSHV: ZP Split Command, IZM Zadar, l. str. conf. 81/95-01/19, reg. no.108001-95-56 of 15 August 1995; Analysis of offensive operation Kozjak-95.

83

of access to Benkovac.177 Along the Miranje - Vukšić - Parčić line the 134th Home Guard
Regiment (minus one battalion) made no progress.178 The 7th Home Guard Regiment
was able to achieve some advances in the area of Zemunik Gornji: in the morning it
seized the line it had held before the signing of the Zagreb Agreement, then liberated
the hamlets of Goleš and Banići and almost reached Potkosa.179 In the Paljuv - Smiljčić
sector the HV 112th Brigade achieved a breakthrough at the village of Pridraga.180
The forces on the Velebit range - the 2nd Battalion of the 9th Guards Brigade, reinforced
with a company of the 7th Home Guard Regiment and the 2nd Battalion of the 134th Home
Guard Regiment - attacked along the lines Gornja Bukva - Modrići and Bukovo Pleće Tulove Grede - Bužanjkin Vrh. After stiff Serbian resistance the battalion seized the area
Dulibe - Tulove Grede thus facilitating the use of the communication Obrovac - Mali
Alan - Sveti Rok.181
In the night of August 4 there was no further movement of Croatian forces towards
Knin, in which the political and military leadership of the RSK was considering decisions
of fateful importance for the survival of their para-state. In order to stop the Croatian
attack towards Knin from Bosansko Grahovo one battalion of the 75th Motorized
Brigade was to be committed in the morning of 5 August. The Supreme Council decided
to evacuate the population from Dalmatia and the southern part of Lika. As it soon
turned out, it meant the withdrawal of the entire population and RSK troops, leading to
direct collapse. Late in the night of 4 August the SVK General Staff abandoned Knin and
moved to the village of Srb.182 The next day, on 5 August, the North Dalmatian Corps
almost ceased to exist, the first of the SVK operational formations to be eliminated. The
fate of the Corps and of its operations were described best in the assessment of the HV
6th Home Guard Regiment, which states that “hostile forces no longer exist and are not
active; remnants of hostile forces in the form of individuals or more or less organized
groups are no longer present as a collective enemy”.183
The assault of Croatian forces continued in the morning on 5 August. For the second
time in less than ten days the Split Corps repeated the successful model applied in
the fighting for Bosansko Grahovo, seized by the parallel action of the HV 4th and 7th
Brigades. The route towards Strmica was blocked by the Third Tactical Group of the SVK
North Dalmatian Corps which had begun to crumble the night before. The 4th Guards
177

M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 196-197, 201.
SVA MORH, ZP Split Command, IZM Zadar, cl. 81/95-01/12, reg. no. 1080-01-95-267 of 4 August 1995;
Report. SVA MORH, GSHV: ZP Split, cl. 81/95/01/19, reg. no. 1080/5-01-95-35 of 4 August 1995; Report by
1200 hours; SVA MORH, ZP Split Command: ZP Split, cl.81/95/01/16, reg. no. 1080-01-95-226 of 4 August
1995; Daily report.
179
MORH, GSHV: APO 8312 Zadar, cl. str. conf. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 8312-01-95-443 of 4 August 1995;
Report. MORH, GSHV: APO 8312 Zadar, cl. str. conf. 81/95t-01/12, reg. no. 8312-01-95-03 of 4 August
1995; Report.
180
SVA MORH, ZTP Split Command: APO 3178/9 Zadar, cl. 818-04/95-01/18, reg. no. 3178/9-31-95-29 of
11 August 1995; Report.
181
SVA MORH, ZP Split Command: APO 3178/9 Zadar, cl. 818-04/95-01-01/18, reg. no. 3178/9-31-95-29
of 11 August 1995; Report.
182
M. Sekulić, «Knin je pao u Beogradu» (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 178-182.
183
MORH, GSHV: APO 8311 Split, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 8311-01-01/95-464 of 5 August 1995; Regular
daily report.
178

84

Brigade captured Golubić, Vrpolje and Kninsko Polje, and advanced to Debelo Brdo
from which it secured the left flank of the 7th Guards Brigade in the area of Biskupija. The
Brigade was engaged more heavily in the area of Golubić and in the villages of Radijevci
and Očestovo.184 The 7th Guards Brigade met with no significant opposition along its
line of attack and at 1100 hours it entered Knin “with minimum losses”.185 The liberation
of Knin was the main event in the theatre, not only on 5 August but also throughout
the operation. On the same day the President of the Republic of Croatia F. Tuđman
appointed Reserve General Ivan Čermak as commander of the Knin Assembly Point,
responsible for the organization of life and of the garrison service in the town.186 One day
later President Tuđman visited Knin, accompanied by the Speaker of the Parliament of
the Republic of Croatia Dr. Nedjeljko Mihanović, and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs,
Defence and Internal Affairs, Mate Granić, Gojko Šušak and Ivan Jarnjak, resp. The
liberation of Knin, the centre of the Serbian rebellion in the Republic of Croatia, held
a great symbolic significance because it spelt the collapse of the Serbian rebellion in
Croatia. Tuđman’s arrival in Knin symbolically marked the end of the Serbian para-state
in Croatia and the start of the restoration of sovereignty of the Republic of Croatia over
the area liberated in Operation Storm.187
Operational Group Sinj - the HV 126th Home Guard Regiment, the HV 144th Brigade
and the HV 6th Home Guard Regiment - completed its battle mission by establishing
control over the area of Polača and Kozjak. It liberated the villages of Kijevo and Vrlika,
the known Croatian strongholds from 1991.188 There was little fighting because in the
night of 4 August the units of the 1st Light Brigade pulled back to Polača (Sivo Brdo),
where they disintegrated, and the remnants withdrew to Knin and farther off to Lika.189
The SVK 75th Motorized Brigade, deployed in the line of attack of OG Šibenik, began
to pull back towards Brljan - Pađene - Srb - Bosanski Petrovac in the morning of 5
August.190 By 2000 hours the HV 113th Brigade reached the Žažvić - Bribirska Glavica -

184

SVA MORH, ZZPS: ZP Split Command, cl. 032-01/95-01/12, reg. no. 1080-01-03-95-34 of 5 August
1995; Daily report. SVA MORH, 4th Gbr: 4th Gbr; cl. str. conf. 8/95/01/17, reg. no. 1114-01-02-95-371 of
14 August 1995; Analysis of offensive operation Storm 95. M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell
in Belgrade), 192.
185
SVA MORH, ZZPS: 7th Guards Brigade, cl. str.- conf. 8/95-01/05, reg. no. 1080-01-95-138 of 13 August
1995; Analysis of the offensive actions of the 7th Guards Brigade during the offensive operation Storm. SVA
MORH, GSHV: ZP Split Command, IZM Zadar, cl. str. conf. 81/95-01/19, reg. no. 1080-01-95-56 of 154
August 1995; Analysis of the offensive operation Kozjak-95.
186
MORH, GSHV: Republic of Croatia, the President, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-388/2 of
5 August 1995; Decision.
187
A. Gotovina, «Napadajni bojevi i operacije HV i HVO» (HV and HVO Offensive Battles and Operations),
80. MORH, GSHV: 7th Gbr, cl. str. conf. 8/95-01/01, reg. no. 3112-03-T-95-136 of 6 August 1995; Daily
operational report.
188
SVA MORH, ZZPS: 6th Home Guard Reg., IZM Gorje, cl. 8/95-01-88, reg. no. 8311-01-01/95-1170 of 12
August 1995; Report. SVA MORH, GSHV: ZP Split Command, IZM Zadar, cl. str. conf. 81/95-01/19, reg. no.
1080-01-95-56 of 15 August 1995; Analysis of offensive operation Kozjak-95.
189
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 192-193.
190
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 193-194.

85

Bribirske Mostine line on the way to its objective, Poličnik and Đevrske; the 15th Home
Guard Regiment reached Vačani - Bratiškovci and Smrdelji en route to Kistanje, and
some units of the 142nd Home Guard Regiment, after liberating Drniš, seized the village
of Siverić and - having captured Velika Promina - advanced to the villages of Zvjerinjac
and Vrbnik. The other units of the Regiment advanced from Oklaj to Mala Promina
and the village of Lukar in order to effect linkup, at Vrbnik, with forces advancing from
Siverić.191
OG Zadar met with no resistance along its line of advance. Early in the morning on
5 August the SVK 3rd Infantry Brigade began to pull back towards Srb, followed by the
92nd Motorized Brigade.192 Units of the HV 7th Home Guard Regiment freed Zemunik
Gornji, Biljane Donje, Škabrnja, Nadin and entered Benkovac in the evening;193 the HV
112th Brigade freed the village of Smilčić, continued to advance towards Debelo Brdo,194
and entered Karin - Debelo Brdo - Biljane Gornje by the end of the day.195 The second
battalion of the HV 9th Guards Brigade reached Golovro - Pećica, and some units entered
Obrovac during the night.196
The liberation of Knin on 5 August accelerated the collapse of the North Dalmatian
Corps which had started the night before. It could almost be said that the Corps was
“eliminated” by that time, although on that day some of its units were still in the
territory of the Republic of Croatia close to the border with Bosnia&Herzegovina - from
D. Tiškovac to the Una railway station at Martin Brod. However, in the report on the
execution of the operation the HV General Staff reproached the Split Corps District for
having ground to a standstill for two days because of the celebration.197 According to
an opposite view, this report is the result of ignorance about events round and in Knin
because, it is claimed, the operational break in the activity of the Split Corps District was
due to security reasons, i.e., preparations for the arrival of the President of the Republic
of Croatia Dr. Franjo Tuđman in Knin on 6 August. Thus, as reported, most of the units
of the Split Corps District present in the area of Obrovac, Benkovac, Kistanje, Drniš and
Vrlika on 6 August were engaged in “sweeping and mopping up the liberated territory”
in order to make it free in the full sense of the word and secure from possible surprises.
On the same day the 2nd Battalion of the HV 9th Guards Brigade combined with the 1st
191

SVA MORH, ZZPS: ZP Split, IZM Zadar, cl. 032-01/95-01/01, reg. no. 1080-03-954812 of 5 August 1995; PD
Service report. ZP Split, IZM Zadar, cl. 81/95-01/12, reg. no. 1080-01-95-269 of 5 August 1995; Daily report.
192
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 196-201.
193
SVA MORH, ZZPS: ZP Split, cl. 032-01/95-01/12, reg. no. 1080-01-03-95-34 of 5 August 1995; Daily report.
SVA MORH, ZZPS: ZP Split, IZM Zadar, cl. 032-01/95-01/01, reg. no. 1080-03-95-481 of 5 August 1995; PD
Service report. SVA MORH, 7th dp: APO 8312 Zadar, cl.032-01/95-01/01, reg. no. 8312-05-95-73 of 10 August
1995; Report on Operation Storm.
194
SVA MORH, ZZPS: ZP Split, cl. 032-01/95-01/12, reg. no. 1080-01-03-95-34 of 5 August 1995; Daily report.
195
SVA MORH, ZZPS: ZP Split, IZM Zadar, cl. 032-01/95-01/01, reg. no. 1080-03-95-481 of 5 August 1995; PD
Service report.
196
SVA MORH, ZZPS: ZP Split, IZM Zadar, cl. 032-01/95-01/01, reg. no. 1080-03-95-481 of 5 August 1995; PD
Service report. SVA MORH, ZZPS: ZP Split, APO 3178/9 Zadar, CL. 818-04/95-01/18, REG. NO. 3178/9-31-9529 of 11 August 1995; Report.
197
GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-505 of 21 August 1995; Report on Operation Storm.

86

Croatian Guards Brigade and an ATG squad of the 72nd Military Police Battalion seized
Muškovac and Kaštel Žegarski.198
After the President of the Republic of Croatia left Knin, the commander of the Split
Corps District singled out the units for the push from the Otrić - Gračac communication
towards Srb and the border between the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina.
On 7 August units of the 4th and 7th Guards Brigade, the 2nd Battalion of the 9th Guards
Brigade and the 1st Croatian Guards Brigade prepared for the advance to the state border,199
and, after reaching the jump-off positions, reconnoitred the ground. The commander and
part of the command of the Split Corps District moved after the operational break to the
northern barracks in Knin from which they issued orders and monitored the action on
8 August. The mentioned units accomplished their mission on 8 August and established
defence positions along the axis Kuk - Biljeg - Rodića Plećina - Lička Kaldrma - Dolovi
- Bosanski Osredci - Begluci. In its daily report to the HV General Staff the Command
of the Split Corps District wrote: “With this mission the Split Corps District has fully
(100%) accomplished all its offensive combat actions”.200

Croatian troops in Knin, 5 August 1995 (photograph by Josip Bistrović)

198

SVA MORH, GSHV: ZP Split Command, IZM Zadar; cl. str. conf. 81/95-01/19, reg. no. 1989-01-95-56 of 15
August 1995; Analysis of the offensive operation Kozjak-95. The 1st Croatian Guards Brigade, notes General R.
Rakić, formerly in reserve and responsible for possible defensive or offensive intervention (as required), was airlifted
via helicopter, by order of the ZP Commander, from Livanjsko Polje to the area of the village Rovanjska (near the
Maslenica bridge) and ordered to attack towards Obrovac - Kaštel Žigarski. HMDCDR: comments of General Rajko
Rakić on the Split Corps District in the military-police operation Storm.
199
SVA MORH, ZP Split Command, IZM Sajković; cl. str. conf. 8/95-01/17, reg. no. 1080/01-95-348 of 7 August
1995; Order.
200
SVA MORH, GSHV: ZP Plit Command, IZM Knin; cl. str. conf. 81/95-01/19, reg. no. 1080-01-95-47 of 8 August
1995; Report.

87

Conclusion
The Split Corps District (ZP Split, ZPS) had more combat experience than any other
operational HV unit. It began to enjoy relative peace only in the second half of 1993. In
late 1994 it was engaged again in the fighting on Mount Dinara and in Livanjsko Polje, and
Storm was only one in the series of operations in which it was committed, although the
most demanding one. Its main strength lay in the 4th and 7th Guards Brigades, then among
the best professional units of the Croatian armed forces. These brigades were entrusted with
the main part of the mission, which was facilitated by the order of battle of the SVK North
Dalmatian Corps. Along the line of attack of the two Croatian brigades the SVK had two
groups, scraped together from different units, which were no match in any respect for the
Croatian forces. That was only one of the problems of the North Dalmatian Corps. Literally
on the eve of Storm it got a new commander, General Slobodan Kovačević, formerly head
of the armoured-mechanized units in the General Staff of the Yugoslav army. M. Sekulić
claims that he did not even have the time to meet with the commanders of the subordinate
units, but that this fact does not clear him of responsibility. According to the same source,
Kovačević did not organize his command, and sent the chief of his staff to command a
combat group instead of keeping him in the Corps command.201 The decision of the SVK
Supreme Defence Council to “cut down” the front by pulling back from Knin was the last
straw in the poor performance of the command of the North Dalmatian Corps.202 Because
of this the Split Corps District accomplished the first stage of the operation very quickly
and with unexpectedly little effort. However, in the report on the subsequent engagement
of the ZP Split, addressed to the President of the Republic of Croatia, the Chief of the
HV General Staff wrote: “In the second phase, intended to exploit the breakthrough, the
Split Corps District - which could have proceeded even to pursuit - having halted the
attack, for reasons unknown, of its main units for 2 days and having falsely reported the
achieved line - did not cut off203 the communications in due time allowing the enemy
to pull out a considerable share of the materiel of the 7th Knin and the 15th Lika Corps”.
According to the same report, the units of the Split Corps District reached the state border
on 8 August 1995, two days later than it had been objectively possible. In the opinion of
General Rajko Rakić, the report was improper, and the conduct of the commander of the
Corps justified and better for everyone concerned; he also supported this belief by the fact
that “the President did not react at all to such a tendentious report”.204
200

SVA MORH, GSHV: ZP Plit Command, IZM Knin; cl. str. conf. 81/95-01/19, reg. no. 1080-01-95-47 of
8 August 1995; Report.
201
M. Sekulić, «Knin je pao u Beogradu» (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 188-189.
202
After the fall of Knin and Gračac on 5 August, notes the CIA analysis, the SVK commander General
Mile Mrkšić and the commander of the SVK North Dalmatian Corps General Kovačević were faced with
a difficult choice: withdraw entirely from the Benkovac - Obrovac - Kistanje pocket or face defeat and the
destruction or surrender of the entire 7th Corps. Of course, they chose to pull out, with the Serbian population. Balkan Battlegrounds: A Military History of the Yugoslav Conflict 1990-1995, 371-372.
203
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02-08, reg. no. 412-06-05/01-95-5o5 of 21 August 1995; Report on
Operation Storm.
204
HMDCDR: Comments of General Rajko Rakić on the text about the role of ZP Split in the military-police
Operation Storm.

88

According to the data in the analysis of 15 August 1995 the casualties of the Split
Corps District in the operation totalled 5 dead and 21 wounded.205

Serbian document on the shelling of Knin, 4 August 1995
SVK General Staff
Intelligence Department
Str. conf. No. 2/31/3110-1
4 August 1995

Intelligence report
The attack of the Croatian Army on the RSK started on 4 August 1995 at 05.00 with the shelling of the towns
of Knin, Drniš, Benkovac, Karin, Obrovac, Gračac, Korenica, the Udbina airstrip, Vojnić, Vrginmost and
Petrinja. The artillery preparation lasted until 05.30, followed by engagement of individual weapons of 130,
152 and 152 mm calibre and multiple rocket launchers.
The ustaše infantry attack started at about 06.00 from Sunja towards Kostajnica, with the engagement of
tanks, but units of the 39th Corps successfully repelled the attack. Another infantry attack was mounted from
the village of Brlog (Otočac) - Drenov Klanac - village of Glavace, but it was also successfully beaten back.
Knin was shelled from Livanjsko Polje and from several directions, and by the time of this report the
town has been hit by 200 to 300 projectiles of different types and calibres. The target of the first strike
was the building of the General Staff of the Serbian Army of Krajina, which sustained considerable
damage and the almost complete loss of the motor pool. Subsequently the fire was focused on the ‘1300
Corporals’ barracks, the TVIK plant, the railway junction and housing below the Knin fortress [area of
the residence of the “RSK president” Mile Martić - author’s note] and other targets.
At 10.00, as this report is being written, hostile forces continue to attack Knin alternately with guns and
multiple rocket launchers, shell the Udbina airstrip continuously, and occasionally open fire on other
settlements in the RSK.
By monitoring the radio links of the Croatian Army and their mobile telephones we have been able to
establish that the ustaše are sustaining considerable losses at Dubrovnik, Biograd-na-Moru, Gospić, Otočac,
Sisak ad Sunja. You will be duly informed of all the latest information.
Head of Department
Lieutenant Colonel Mihajlo Knežević
Copy to:
7th, 11th, 21st, 39th Corps, Special Unit Corps
General Staff of the Yugoslav Army - Second Directorate
General Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska in Bosnia
and Herzegovina - Intelligence Directorate
Command of the 1st and 2nd Krajina Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina

205

SVA MORH, GSHV: Split Corps Command, IZM Knin, cl. str. conf. 81/95-01/19, reg. no. 1080-01-95-56
of 15 August 1995; Analysis of the Operation Kozjak-95. General Gotovina’s book, referring to information
provided by the head of the medical corps of the ZPS Command, lists 20 killed, 47 severely wounded and
141 lightly wounded, and 1 missing in action for the period from 4 to 12 August 1995. (Cf. A. Gotovina,
“Napadajni bojevi i operacije HV i HVO” /Offensive HV and HVO Battles and Operations/, 187). However,
this probably includes the troops of the 14th Brigade killed in action at the Derala Pass on 12 August 1995,
i.e., four days after Operation Storm was formally over also for the Split Corps District.

89

SPECIAL MUP RH UNITS IN OPERATION STORM

F

orces of the MUP [Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia] Special
Police were present on the Velebit range from 1992. By the time Storm set off they
had enough time to adjust to living in mountain conditions, sometimes to the limit
of endurance. While in the area the members of the Special Police gained substantial
information on the routes of movement and order of battle of Serbian forces in the Lika
valley, kept in top shape and acquired specific combat experience. These were the main
reasons why the HV General Staff decided to commit the Special Police units to Operation
Storm: from their jump-off position on Velebit they were supposed to cut the Medak Gračac communication, free the northern Velebit foothills (Sveti Rok, Lovinac) and link
up with HV forces at Lički Ribnik. Before that, they were to cut the Gračac - Obrovac
communication, and seize the dominant points on Velebit above Obrovac, especially the
Ćelavac communications centre, the main communications node of the Serbian forces.
Further objectives of the MUP special units included seizure of the strategic road hub
at Otrić, linkup with HV forces and penetration towards the international recognized
border of the Republic of Croatia with Bosnia&Herzegovina in the area of Donji Lapac,
Gornji Lapac and Borićevac (Kulen Vakuf).206 The composite MUP Special Police force
was assigned a special mission in the area between the Split and Gospić Corps Districts,
and was directly subordinated to the Chief of the HV General Staff. Their commander
was Lieutenant General Mladen Markač.
On the first day of the operation, at 0500 hours on 4 August, the composite Special
Police force attacked from its positions on the Velebit range - from Ivine Vodice and Sveto
Brdo in the western to Bukva and Tulove Grede in the eastern part of the Velebit range.
Their main and auxiliary objectives were the Serbian forces fortified on Mali Alan pass
and deep in the northern Velebit foothills, and the Medak - Sveti Rok - Gračac - Obrovac
communication. The Special Police units were deployed to their jump-off positions
covertly (on foot) with all the required logistic and medical support, which is indicative
of the high level of motivation and organization, and of the stamina and discipline of the
troops. Particular skill was required in the covert deployment of artillery-rocket units
- six 120 mm mortar batteries, a VRL 128 mm battalion and other weapons, together
with the required ammunition. The Serbian units in all the positions along the Velebit
range were at the highest level of combat readiness, and immediately after 0500 hours
they opened heavy rocket and artillery fire on the positions of the MUP units which had
come close to their forward battle line.

206

90

HMDCDR: Ž. Sačić, «Specijalna policija u Oluji» (Special Police in Storm).

After heavy and strenuous fighting the special units broke through the defence lines
of the 4th Light Brigade and parts of the 9th Motorized Brigade of the SVK Lika Corps.
The Light Brigade was rolled back to the Oščenica - Bolič - Osmatračnica line. At about
1300 hours the MUP units seized from the 9th Motorized Brigade the first strategic point
on the Velebit range - the Mali Alan pass, and at about 1700 hours also took the village of
Sveti Rok.207 Before nighfall, at about 2000 hours, the Special Police also gained control
over the Medak - Sv. Rok road up to Ričice. Along the Mali Alan - Ćelavac axis the
Special Police units reached the area of Male Žuljine and Velike Žuljine, where it faced
extremely tough resistance until 2100 hours.208 Combat action of the MUP units ceased
on 2200 hours, when the units regrouped for defence of the achieved lines, while the
majority of the force rested, under heavy guard, in field conditions until 0500 hours. On
the first day casualties totalled 5 dead and more than 30 wounded (of varying severity;
some of the troops were dehydrated because of an insufficient quantity of drinking
water). The casualty toll was substantially reduced by the presence of surgical and
anesthesiological teams in the first line of battle, which promptly provided the necessary
medical assistance to the wounded. One company of the Grom (Thunder) Special Police
unit from the Karlovac Police Department, whose members were from the area of Slunj,
was attached to the HV 1st Guards Brigade advancing towards Plaški - Saborsko - Slunj;
two of its members were wounded in the operation.209
After losing its position on the Velebit range, part of the SVK 9th Motorized Brigade
started to abandon other positions as well in order to secure withdrawal towards Udbina
because the Medak - Gračac road was cut. At midnight on 4 August the HV General Staff
ordered the MUP special force to take Gračac “by a vigorous attack and manoeuvre”.210
In the morning of 5 August the SVK General Staff planned to halt the Croatian advance
by committing part of the 2nd Guards Brigade of the Special Unit Corps and, later on, by
deploying one battalion from the 92nd Motorized Brigade and another from the 4th Light
Brigade.211
However, on 5 August in the morning (at about 1030 hours) the Special Police units
freed the village of Lovinac at the foot of Mount Velebit, cut the Gospić - Gračac road and
entered Gračac at about 1115 hours. After entering Gračac they continued to advance
towards Čolovac - Brezić. This brought the police troops into the area of the Gospić
Corps District, i.e., the Lika theatre.212 On its western front the Special Police liberated

207

According to the CIA analysis, the HV’s greatest success on 4 August came in the Velebit range and Northern Dalmatia. The pace of the MUP advance, stresses further the analysis, left the SVK 9th Motorized Brigade
no time to regroup or consolidate its defences. Balkan Battlegrounds: A Military History of the Yugoslav
Conflict, 1990-1995, Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Russian and European Analysis, Washington DC
20505, May 2002, 371.
208
MUP, Command, 4 August 1995; Report MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/0195-381 of 4 August 1995; Report. HMDCDR: Ž. Sačić, «Specijalna policija u Oluji» (Special Police in Storm).
209
HMDCDR: Ž. Sačić, «Specijalna policija u Oluji» (Special Police in Storm).
210
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95.02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-384 of 5 August 1995; Order.
211
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 223-224.
212
SVA MORH, ZZPS: ZP Split, cl. 032-01/95-01/12, reg. no. 1080-01-03-95-34 of 5 August 1995; Daily report.
HMDCDR: Ž. Sačić, «Specijalna policija u Oluji» (Special Police in Storm).

91

Medak at about 2000 hours and then, at about 2130, linked up with units of the Gospić
Corps District at Lički Ribnik. Combat action and advance of the Special Police units
- whose casualties on that day totalled one killed, 12 severely wounded and 5 injured stopped at 2300 hours in order to give the troops a chance to rest.213
In view of such favourable developments in the Velebit theatre, the Chief of the
HV General Staff General Zvonimir Červenko ordered two Special Police battalions
to proceed deep into enemy territory in order to prevent regrouping and a possible
counterattack. One of the battalions advanced towards the crossroads at the village of
Bruvno (at the point where the road leads from Gračac to Udbina and from Gračac to
Gornji Lapac and Donji Lapac), while the second one proceeded on foot towards the
village of Otrić and the strategic hub of roads leading to Knin, Srb and Gračac. The
next morning (6 August) at about 0700 hours the special MUP units seized the Bruvno
crossroads and, a few hours later, Malovan and the crossroads at Otrić (at about 1100).214
Two men were severely and three lightly wounded on that particular day.215
Pursuant to the order of the Chief of the HV General Staff regarding the continuation
of combat operations focused on exploiting the success achieved, the MUP Special Police
units were to sustain the attack towards Donji Lapac and, in cooperation with units of
the Gospić Corps District on the left flank and of the Split Corps District on the right
flank, capture the greater area of Donji Lapac.216 Accordingly, at 0930 on 7 August the
MUP Special Police liberated the village of Mazin on the road to Gornji Lapac and Donji
Lapac, and continued to advance towards these localities, taking them in the afternoon
(Gornji Lapac at 1300 and Donji Lapac at 1400 hours). At the same time they established
contact with UN troops stationed in the area. At Otrić, along the Gračac - Otrić axis,
the Special Police established tactical contact with units of the 4th Guards Brigade of the
Split Corps District at 1430 hours, and with units of the Gospić Corps District at Udbina
(1500) and Donji Lapac (1930). At about 1600 hours a battalion-strong Special Police
unit advanced from Gornji Lapac towards Boričevac and Kulen Vakuf and crushed
the resistance points along the state border in the greater area of Kulen Vakuf.217 On 7
August two Special Police men were severely wounded. Combat activities ceased and
most of the committed Special Police forces switched to night rest and guarded the
achieved positions along the state border under continuous attack, along with the village
of Boričevac, of artillery-rocket fire from neighbouring Bosnia&Herzegovina.
On the next day, 8 August 1995, regular police units entered Gornji Lapac, Donji
Lapac and Udbina in order to safeguard public peace and order, and prevent all violations

213

HMDCDR: Ž. Sačić, «Specijalna policija u Oluji» (Special Police in Storm).
MORH, GHSV: War diary GS OS RH, note 258 of 6 August 1995. MORH, GSHV: GS HV cl. 80-01/9502/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-413 of 6 August 1995; Report. HMDCDR: Ž. Sačić, «Specijalna policija u
Oluji» (Special Police in Storm).
215
HMDCDR: Ž. Sačić, «Specijalna policija u Oluji» (Special Police in Storm).
216
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-409 of 6 August 1995; Order.
217
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-431 of 7 August 1995; Order.
MORH, GSHV: SJP MUP RH. MUP, Special Police Sector, no. 511-01-VT-106/95 of 8 August 1995; Report
on achieved line; HMDCDR: Ž. Sačić, «Specijalna policija u Oluji» (Special Police in Storm).
214

92

of Croatian laws. Even on that day two Special Police men were wounded and several
injured. On 9 August 1995 the Special Police units turned over the achieved line on the
border with Bosnia&Herzegovina to HV forces. In the afternoon of the same day most of
the Special Police units returned to their headquarters throughout Croatia for a several
days’ rest.218
Conclusion
As a group which accomplished its mission with the least problems and reproaches, the
composite forces of the MUP RH Special Police - equal in terms of strength to a light
reinforced shock brigade - contributed extraordinarily to the success of Storm. Their
troops covered, practically on foot, more than 100 kilometres, liberated a number of
towns and settlements in the occupied parts of the Republic of Croatia, and carried on
their back everything they needed in order to survive and wage war in the extremely
difficult conditions such as prevailed on the Velebit mountain range. Special Police
casualties totalled 6 killed and about 60 wounded men.219

From the diary of an officer of the Army of Serbian Krajina on the shelling of Knin,
4 August 1995
Marko Vrcelj, then Artillery Chief of the SVK General Staff was present in Knin when
Storm started:
The drumfire barrage started all over Krajina. Everything had been planned from the
smallest detail. Every shell and every artillery attack. Several days ago observers and
gunners were infiltrated in order to direct fire. The most important targets in the town
include the General Staff building, the residence of the president of the state, the
northern barracks, the Senjak barracks and the main crossroads in Knin... I jumped
over the fence of the northern barracks and entered the building in which I had worked
four months ago... The barracks was being hit by quite a few shells, but we were lucky and
avoided shells falling on our head... We got into a Golf and set off towards the General Staff.
Shells were still falling, this time less frequently. We arrived at the Dešlić crossroads. The
area round the General Staff was hit more heavily. I stopped the driver and told him to
return to the barracks, and proceeded on foot... Seeking shelter behind trees I reached the
General Staff. I entered the building: what a sight. Two shells had hit the parking space
between the buildings and destroyed the entire motor pool. That must have been quite a
gunner, to land them right there. (Marko Vrcelj, Rat za Srpsku Krajinu, 1991-1995/War
for the Serbian Krajina, 1991-1995/; Belgrade, 2002, pp. 212-213).

218
219

HMDCDR: Ž. Sačić, «Specijalna policija u Oluji» (Special Police in Storm).
HMDCDR: Ž. Sačić, «Specijalna policija u Oluji» (Special Police in Storm).

93

Special Police units of the Croatian Ministry of the Interior

94

Special Police units of the
Specijalne
postrojbeofMUP-a
RH
Croatian Ministry
the Interior

95

THE GOSPIĆ CORPS DISTRICT

T

he mission of the Gospić Corps District (ZP Gospić) in Operation Storm was to
crack and split the forces of the Lika Corps in the greater area of the Plitvice Lakes
with the support of the Croatian Air Force, and link up, along the Korenička
Kapela - Tržačka Raštela axis, with the ARBiH 5th Corps. For this purpose the ZP was
reinforced with the HV General Staff units: the 1st Guards Brigade, a company of the
50th ABKO Battalion and the HV 150th Brigade from Zagreb.220 The envisioned special
MUP units from the Rijeka-Senj and Istrian Police Departments were not subordinated
to the ZP Gospić Command. It only coordinated with the Lika-Senj Police Department
the engagement of civil protection teams responsible for looking after livestock in the
liberated areas.221
According to the plan of the ZP Command, in the first stage of the operation the 138th
and 133rd Home Guard Regiments were to push on the Glibodol - Saborsko - Drežnik
Grad line, gain control of the Saborsko area and the Pavlovac hill, facilitating thereby the
commitment of the 1th Guards Brigade along the Saborsko - Selište Drežničko - Drežnik
Grad - Sadilovac axis. The 128th Brigade and the 154th Home Guard Regiment were to
crush the Serbian forces along the Čanak - Korenica line, and capture the village of
Homolje and Homoljački Klanac; this would support the commitment of the 8th Home
Guard Regiment towards Homoljac - Čujića Krčevine - Prijeboj - Ličko Petrovo Selo.
Along with the 9th Guards Brigade, the 118th Home Guard Regiment and the 3rd Battalion
of the 111th Infantry Brigade, the Croatian forces were to rout the hostile units at Perušička
Kosa - Ljubovo, take Ljubovo, roll back Serbian forces from Lički Osik and Gospić, and
establish a defence line at Počitelj - Barlete - Svračkovo Selo - Bunić. After that, the units
would regroup, the majority of the HV 9th Guards Brigade held in the Corps reserve, and
prepare for pushing on towards Korenica or Krbavsko Polje.
The plan for the second phase of the operation involved the continuation of the assault
and the crushing of Serbian forces, linkup of the main forces with the ARBiH 5th Corps,
while auxiliary forces would encircle hostile units and force their unconditional surrender
or annihilate them. After linkup with the ARBiH 5th Corps, the ZP Gospić units would
liberate the region of Lika north of Gospić - Korenica, regroup and proceed to clearing the
rest of Lika, break out to the state border and establish a defence line at Plješivica - Panos.
220
ZZPGospić, cl. 80-02/95-02/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of the offensive operation Storm.
221
SVA MORH, GSHV: GS HV, RP/12-3/95 of 26 June 1995; Attack directive, Op. no. 12-3/95, Storm-3,
published in J. Bobetko, “Sve moje bitke” (All My Battles), 462-475.

96

Artillery support was to be provided by two artillery&rocket groups from the 12th
Artillery Battalion, the 1st Guards Brigade and the 9th Brigade. The artillery groups would
provide support along the axes Glibodol - Lička Jesenica - Drežnik - state border, Čanak
- Homoljačko Polje - Prijeboj - Ličko Petrovo Selo and Lički Osik - Ljubovo - Bunić. The
artillery of the brigades and regiments engaged targets along the lines of attack of the
parent units or of the units to which they were attached.
The brigades and regiments were responsible for anti-armour combat with their own
capabilities and attached reinforcements. Thus, three anti-armoured groups and one
anti-armour company were formed. The first group comprised the anti-armour rocket
artillery of the 1st Guards Brigade for anti-armour operation along the Glibodol - Lička
Jesenica - Drežnik Grad line. The second included the 100 mm anti-armour gun battery
of the 9th Anti-Armour Artillery-Rocket Battalion responsible for action along the Čanak
- HomoljačkoPolje - Prijeboj - Ličko Petrovo Selo line. The third anti-armour group,
consisting of weapons of the 111th Infantry Brigade and an anti-armour gun battery from
the 9th Anti-Armour Rocket-Artillery Battalion, was to operate in the Begluk - Bilaj - Lički
Osik area. The 9th Guards Brigade line anti-armour company was the corps reserve. A task
force of two Mi-24 helicopter gunships was added to the forces for anti-armour combat.
The air defence artillery was responsible for protecting artillery&rocket units, armour,
command posts, major industrial facilities, airports and important communications. It
was provided by units of the committed forces and by the 203rd Air Defence ArtilleryRocket Brigade. The engineers’ missions included securing free movement and manoeuvre,
construction of obstacles along the achieved lines and interdiction of enemy counterattacks.
The command post of the Gospić Corps District was in Gospić, and local command posts
in the villages of Lipice and Obućine. The commander of the Corps District was MajorGeneral Mirko Norac.222
The Gospić Corps District faced forces of the SVK Lika Corps headquartered in
Korenica. It comprised the 9th Motorized Brigade, the 18th, 50th and 70th Infantry Brigades,
the 103rd Light Brigade, the 37th Infantry Battalion, the l5th Composite Artillery Battalion,
the 15th Composite Anti-Armour Artillery Battalion and the 81st rear base. The Corps
commander was Major General Stevo-Ševo.223 The mission of the Corps was to prevent,
along the Ogulin- Plaški - Plitvice Lakes, Otočac - Vrhovine - Korenica, Perušić - Bunić Udbina and Gospić - Medak - Gračac lines, all deeper penetrations and flanking thrusts
of the HV intended, as it was believed, to gain control over Kapela, Velebit and Novi Lički
Osik. The plan for the second phase of the operation envisaged attack and destruction of
the HV wedges. The Corps was supported by the General Staff SVLR 262 Orkan Artillery
Group, and by the SVK air force and air defence.224

222

ZP Gospić Command, cl. DT 80-02/95-01, reg. no. 1043-04-95-27 of 8 July 1995; Attack order. ZP Gospić
Command, cl. DT 80-02/95-01, reg. no. 1043-04-95-27/1 of 3 August 1995; Attack order (annex); ZP Gospić
Command, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of the offensive operation Storm 95.
223
VSA MORH: APO 9065 Korenica; str. conf. no. 546-1 of 12 June 1995; additional 15th Corps complement, order. M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 202-214.
224
Directive for the commitment of the Serbian Army of the Krajina, Op. No.1, “GVOZD”, February 1995.

97

Execution of the Operation
The assault of the 138th Home Guard Brigade together with the 1st Battalion of the 1st
Guards Brigade started on 4 August in the morning hours from Dubrava via Danguba Osmagino Brdo towards Veliki Lisac, and along the communication Glibodol - Glibodolski
Križ - Lička Jesenica railway station. Notwithstanding the stiff resistance of parts of the
SVK 70th Infantry Brigade, the Regiment cut the Dabar - Lička Jesenica communication
and captured the dominant points of Danguba. Konjska Glava, Osmagino Brdo and Mala
Kapela.225 After its engagement the 1st Guards Brigade broke through the Serbian defence
line and reached the Podgradak - Glibodolski Križ - Potkapela line by nightfall.226
The main body of the 133rd Home Guard Regiment advanced towards Letinac - Dabar
- Vrhovina, and the auxiliary units towards Sinac - Zalužnica - Crni Tavan. The mission of
the regiment was to crush Serbian forces along the axis of the attacks, capture dominant
heights and envelop Serbian forces in the greater area of Dabar, Glavace and Doljani.227 It
advanced against the 50th Infantry Brigade and smaller forces of the SVK 103rd Infantry
Brigade.228 Along its main attack axis one of the regiment line battalions took the village
of Dabar, but the second battalion was halted at the Budimka point of defence. Along
its secondary line of attack the regiment entered the village of Zalužnica, where it was
halted after suffering losses. While withdrawing the regiment entered a mine field, and
several of its troops were killed and wounded. The regiment’s casualties totalled 15 killed
and 46 wounded, “resulting in failure of the action”.229
By 4 August in the evening, in spite of strong Serbian resistance at Cicer and Mali
Cicer, the 128th Brigade liberated the village of Trnavac, reached Homoljačko Polje and
cut the Vrhovine - Korenica communication at Homoljački Klanac - Pogledalo. Its left
flank was protected by the 3rd Battalion of the 8th Home Guard Regiment. Advancing
towards Stipanov Grič - Hinići - Božića Brod the battalion intersected the Vrhovine Turjanski communication.230
The HV 9th Guards Brigade faced the toughest part of its mission on the first day of
the operation. It was opposed by the sturdy SVK 18th Infantry Brigade of the Lika Corps.
The 9th Guards attacked towards Perušića Kosa - Ljubovo and took Trla and Čukovac.
After running into strong opposition at Tepsija and Griči, a battalion of the 118th Home
Guard Regiment was brought in as reinforcement. By the evening the Brigade took the
225

SVA, MORH, GSHV: 138th Home Guard Reg., cl. str. conf. 035-01/95-01/01, reg. no. 1089-01-95-314 of
16 August; Action report.
226
ZZP Gospić, cl. 818-01/95-01/02, reg. no. 1043-05-95-434 of 4 August 1995; Daily report. ZZP Gospić,
cl.80-02/9501/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of offensive operation Storm 95.
227
ZZP Gospić, cl.80-02/95/01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of the offensive operation Storm 95.
228
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 209-210.
229
MORH, GSHV: 133rd Home Guard Reg., cl. 80.01/95-01/01, reg. no. 2155-03-95-24 of 22 August 1995;
Analysis of the Storm action.
230
ZZP Gospić, cl. 818-01/95-01/02, reg. no. 1043-05-95-434 of 4 August 1995; Daily report. ZZP Gospić,
cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of the offensive operation Storm 95.
HMDCDR, comments of the Association “HV 128th Brigade - Sveti Vid” on the text about ZP Gospić in the
military-police operation Storm.

98

Repetitor (repeater) point of resistance and reached the Kriva Gliva - Stanići - Čukovac
line.231
The 118th Home Guard Regiment and the HV 111th Infantry Brigade were supposed
to liberate the greater area of Novi Lički Osik. They were opposed by parts of the SVK
18th Infantry Brigade.232 The Regiment attacked towards Alivojvodići - Murgići - Serdari
and Bukovac - Lisina - Široka Kula. “After breaking through the enemy defence line
our forces ran against very stiff resistance. In dealing with the problem at Bukovac
the Regiment commander Major General Ivan Čanić was killed. On the first day, in
spite of stiff resistance, the Regimen broke through the defence line in both directions
and reached the Podovi - Varošina - Vujatovo Brdo line by the evening hours”.233 With
artillery and tank support one battalion of the 111th Infantry Brigade advanced towards
Stari Budak - Novoselija - Zubar. By the end of the day the batallion broke through the
first line of Serbian defence up to Urija - Nikšić - Rujnica - Novoselija. The fighting was
heavy, as borne out by the casualties suffered by the Brigade: five killed (including the
battalion commander) and 29 wounded.234
In the first day of the operation the Gospić Corps District failed to achieve all its
planned missions. Its attacks were mounted in eight directions with eight brigades and
regiments. The SVK Lika Corps had expected the assault, and the factor of surprise
was therefore missing, but did not succeed in withstanding the attack from so many
directions. The Corps put up the stiffest assistance at Ljubovo, Novi Lički Osik and in the
area of Otočac. At Zalužnica near Vrhovina the Corps halted the assault of a battalion
of the HV 133rd Home Guard Regiment, while the defence line was breached at other
points. The rate of HV advance was somewhat slower than anticipated because of strong
resistance at Gliodol - Lička Jesenica attacked by the 1st Guards Brigade. However, in
spite of difficulties Dabar was taken by the end of the day, and control gained over the
greater part of Ljubovo threatening Novi Lički Osik.235
At 2400 hours on 4 August the HV General Staff ordered the Gospić Corps District to
seize the area of Ljubovo with the 9th Guards Brigade and to place the Udbina Air Base
under control. The 1st Guards Brigade was ordered to commit the majority of its forces
and intersect the Slunj - Plitvice Lakes road.236
On the second day of the operation, 5 August. units of the 138th Home Guard Regiment
advanced towards the railway stations of Lička Jesenica and Javornik. By the end of the
231

MORH, GSHV: ZP Gospić, cl. 818-01/95-01/02, reg. no. 1043-05-95-434 of 4 August 1995; Daily report.
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-01/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-012/06 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of
offensive operation Storm 95.
232
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 205-206.
233
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of
the offensive operation Storm 95.
234
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of
the offensive operation Storm 95. HMDCDR: comments on the text about the Gospić Corps District in the
military-police operation Storm.
235
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-46 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of
the offensive operation Storm 95.
236
GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512.96-05/01-95-384 of 5 August 1995; Order.

99

day they reached the planned line: village of Živice - Markovac (tp 1081) - southern
slopes of Veliki Javornik - Dobri Vrh - Lička Jesenica - Javornik railway line - Lička
Jesenica railway station. The first stage of the mission was thereby fully completed.237
The HV 1st Guards Brigade entered Lička Jesenica, continued to advance towards
Saborsko - Sertić Poljana - Poljanak and reached by the evening the area of Selište
Drežničko. In cooperation with the 2nd battalion of the Brigade, the 2nd battalion of the HV
119th Brigade was committed in the drive towards Glibodol - Lička Jesenica - Saborsko,
and seized Tisovi Vrh, Pištenica and Deriguz. In the early evening, one battalion and the
General Staff units of the HV 119th Brigade were committed in the area of the village of
Saborsko.238
After the unsuccessful first day, in the morning of 5 August the HV 133rd Home Guard
Regiment was reinforced with one battalion of the HV 150th Brigade.239 After regrouping
and the commitment of the battalion of the HV 150th Brigade, the 133rd Home Guard
Regiment liberated Petrinić Polje and encircled from the north and south the Serbian
forces at Vrhovine, Doljani, Škare and Glavace.240 The 8th Home Guard was also committed
in the same action. Its 1st Infantry Battalion was engaged in the advance towards Turjanski
- Obljaj with the mission to seize the Vrhovine - Korenica communication and encircle
the Serbian forces at Vrhovine from Kangrgino Brdo - Veliki Obljaj. By the evening the
battalion liberated the area of Turjansko Polje and Sječevice. After taking Donji Babin
Potok the battalion intersected the Vrhovine - Korenica road.241
During 5 August the HV 128th Brigade advanced to Homoljačko Polje and intersected
the Vrhovine - Korenica road at Homoljački Klanac - Pogledalo. After mobilization the
154th Home Guard Regiment was deployed in the greater area of Ličko Lešće.242
The HV 9th Guards Brigade routed the Serbian forces along its line of attack, liberated
Ljubovo, intersected the Lički Osik -Korenica road and advanced to Svračkovo Selo and
Bunić.243 After the Croatian units broke through the Serbian defence line the Serbian
237

MORH, GSHV: 138th Home Guard Reg., cl. str. conf. 035-01/95-01/01, reg. no. 1089-01-93314 of 16
August 1995; Action report.
238
MORH, GSHV: ZP Gospić, 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-08 of 5 August 1995; Regular daily report. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis
of the offensive operation Storm 95. HMDCDR: comments of Mirko Vuković, commander of the 119th
Brigade, on the text about the Gospić Corps District in the military-police operation Storm.
239
MORH, GSHV: ZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-03 of 5 August 1995; Order.
240
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of
the offensive operation Storm 95. MORH, GSHV: APO 3007 (150th Brigade) cl. 8-/95-01/4, reg. no. 300702/1-95-32 of 5 September 1995; Analysis of battle actions in operation Storm.
241
MORH, GSHV: 8th Home Guards Reg., cl. 035-01/95-01/01, reg. no. 8313-02-95-253 of 30 August 1995;
Analysis of the offensive operation Storm 95.
242
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of
the offensive operation Storm 95.
243
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis
of the offensive operation Storm 95. According to the CIA analysis, the 9th Guards Brigade of the Gospić
Corps District achieved on 5 August some notable successes at Ljubovo, while the MUP Special Forces
seized Gračac and Medak. This chopped the 15th Corps into three pockets: one centered on the 50th Brigade at Vrhovine, another around the remnants of the 18th Brigade at Bunić, and the third around the 103rd
Light Infantry Brigade at Donji Lapac - Korenica onthe Bosnian border. Balkan Battlegrounds: A Military
History of the Yugoslav Conflict, 1900-1995, 372.

100

system was destabilized and reduced to unconnected resistance of groups which slowed
down along certain lines of advance the progress of the HV. Deep in Lika the Serbian
forces began to evacuate the Udbina Air Base.244
In the middle of the day the HV 111th Brigade crushed the Serbian forces at Urija Nikšić - Rujnica - Novoselija, liberated part of Novi Lički Osik and linked up with forces
of the HV 118th Home Guard Regiment. Part of the Brigade sustained its assault on
Ostrovica - Barlete. Advancing towards Alivojvodići - Murgići - Serdar and Bukovac Lisina - Široka Kula the 118th Home Guard Regiment liberated Klenovica, Široka Kula,
Nikšić and part of Novi Lički Osik, in which it linked up with the 111th Brigade.245
In the southern part of the Lika theatre, special police forces advanced downhill from
the Velebit Massif, and liberated Lovinac and Gračac in the morning hours. Late in the
evening they linked up with the units of the Gospić Corps District at Lički Ribnik.246
The SVK 9th Motorized Brigade retreated from the greater area of Gračac, Ploče, Bruvno
and Mazin towards Mazin - Dobroselo - Bosanski Petrovac.247 At the order of the Chief
of the HV General Staff pursuit was mounted by the MUP RH Special Forces, with one
battalion advancing towards Bruvno and the other towards Otrić.248
On the third day of the operation, 6 August, the HV 1st Guards Brigade reached
Rakovica and linked up with the ARBiH 5th Corps at Drežnik Grad and Vaganac.249
After linkup the Brigade disengaged from the Gospić Corps District and returned under
the command of the HV General Staff.250 The HV 119th Brigade was committed in its line
of action and took over its positions at Tržačka Raštela - Kordunski Ljeskovac - Ličko
Petrovo Selo, while one battalion pushed on to Čorkova Uvala.251 At Trnavac - Brzovac Čujića Krčevine - Prijeboj one battalion of the 154th Home Guard Regiment “reached the
state border at Ličko Petrovo Selo - Vaganac - Pešina Luka and linked up with the units
of the ARBiH 5th Corps and the 119th Brigade”.252

244

MORH, GSHV: ZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-03 of 5 August 1995; Regular daily report
No. 3. .
245
In the analysis of the Gospić Corps District the HV 111th Brigade liberated the area of Zubar and Oštrica, and the
118th Home Guard Regiment the area of Široka Kula, Klenovac, Nikšić and Novi Lički Osik. MORH, GSHV: ZZP
Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of the offensive operation Storm 95.
HMDCDR: comments on the text about the Gospić Corps District in the military-police operation Storm.
246
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-05/01-95-400 of 5 August 1995; Report. HMDCDR: Ž.
Sačić, «Specijalna policija u Oluji (Special Police in Storm).
247
M Sekulić,”Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 205.
248
HMDCDR: Ž. Sačić, «Specijalna policija u Oluji (Special Police in Storm).
249
MORH, GSHV: ZP Gospić, 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-23 of 6 August 1995; Regular daily report No. 6.
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of the offensive
operation Storm 95.
250
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-46 of 26 September 1995; Analysis of the
offensive operation Storm 95.
251
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of the offensive operation Storm 95.
252
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of the offensive operation Storm 95.

101

The 138th Home Guard Regiment pushed on from the north, from Lička Jesenica,
liberated Rudopolje and intersected at Gornje Vrhovine the Vrhovine - Korenica road.
After linking up with the 8th Home Guard Regiment Vrhovine was completely encircled.253
Units of the 8th Home Guard Regiment cracked the disorganized Serbian defences at
Gornji Babin Potok and reached Trtice and Plitvički Ljeskovac by the evening.254
The main body of the HV 133rd Home Guard Regiment reinforced with one battalion
of the HV 150th Brigade and supported by one battalion of the HV 8th Home Guard
Regiment advanced towards Runjevica - Naprte - Marjani. By the end of the day it
liberated the encircled area of Vrhovine - Doljani - Škare and Glavace.255
At Homoljački Klanac - Pogledalo the HV 128th Brigade crossed the Pogledalo pass
and entered Korenica from Vrelo.256
At about 1100 hours on 6 August the HV 9th Guards Brigade seized Bunić and
continued to advance via Svračkovo Selo to Udbina. The Bunić - Lički Osik road was fully
freed and ahead of the village of Medak tactical contact was established with the MUP
Special Forces. The Gospić - Gračac road was also under HV control and it was used for
combat action.257 The Chief of the HV General Staff ordered sustained assault focused
on exploiting the success achieved. The MUP Special Forces were to carry on with their
attack towards Donji Lapac and, in cooperation with units of the Gospić Corps District
on their left flank and the Split Corps District on their right flank, seize the greater area
of Donji Lapac.258
On 9 August in the morning the 9th Guards Brigade entered Udbina. Following that,
units of the Gospić Corps District continued to advance in several directions towards Donji
Lapac, to which Special Police units were also pushing. Part of the forces was committed to mopping
up, terrain sanitization and collection of war booty.259 The main body of the HV 154th Home Guard
Regiment linked up at Bunić - Debelo Brdo - Pećani - Jošani - Udbina Air Base with the 9th Guards

253

MORH, GSHV: 138th Home Guard Reg., cl. str. conf. 035-01/95-01/01, reg. no. 1089-01-95-314 of 16 August
1995; Action report. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995;
Analysis of the offensive operation Storm 95.
254
MORH, GSHV: 8th Home Guard Reg., cl. 035-01/95-01/01, reg. no. 8313-02-95-253 of 23 August 1995;
Analysis.
255
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of the
offensive operation Storm 95.
256
MORH, GSHV: ZP Gospić, c. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-17 of 16 August 1995; Regular daily report No. 5. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995. Analysis
of the offensive operation Storm. After the liberation of Korenica on 6 August units of the 128th Brigade pulled
back to the outskirts of the town, while part of the forces proceeded to the state border and the top of Mount
Plješivica, where contact was established with the Army of BiH. From its jump-off position in the village of
Čanak to Korenica the Brigade had covered on foot about 40 km of mountainous and difficult terrain. HMDCDR: comments of the Association “HV 128th Brigade - Sveti Vid” on the text about the Gospić Corps District
in the military-police operation Storm.
257
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-17 of 6 August 1995; Regular daily report.
258
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-409 of 6 August 1995; Order.
259
MORH, GSHV: ZP Gospić, 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-28 of 7 August 1995; Regular daily report.

102

Brigade, which had been advancing from the southern edge of Krbavsko Polje. In the evening forces
of the Gospić Corps District entered Donji Lapac, liberated a few hours before by the Special Police.260
Already in the morning special police units liberated the village of Mazin, and established control over
Gornji Lapac and Donji Lapac in the afternoon. Special Police forces one battalion strong overran by
1900 hours the points of resistance along the state border in the greater area of Kulen Vakuf.261
Drive to the state border
Forces of the Gospić Corps District drove to the state border between the Republic of Croatia and
Bosnia&Herzegovina on 6 August. The first units to reach the border were the HV 119th Brigade
and the HV 154th Home Guard Regiment.262 The other units reached the border a day later. The
daily report of the Command of the Gospić Corps District of 7 August, which reached the HV
General Staff at about 2000 hours, stated that the Corps’ mission in the operation had been
accomplished and that “the entire area in the zone of the Gospić Corps District was liberated”.263
V General Staff G During 8 August defence was organized along the state border of the Republic
of Croatia in the zone of responsibility of the Gospić Corps District. The main body of artillery
and armoured units was deployed along the Udbina - Donji Lapac - Kulen Vakuf line. The zone
of responsibility was divided into five parts, each covered by one reserve infantry battalion. The
units engaged from the north to the south, from left to right, were the following: the 138th Home
Guard regiment from Savina Glava to Gola Plješivica; the 128th Brigade from Gola Plješivica
to Snjevita Glava; the 154th Home Guard Regiment from Snjevita Glava to Demirovića Brdo;
the 118th Home Guard Regiment from Demirovića Brdo to Pilipovići; and the 8th Home
Guard Regiment from Pilipovići to the Una railway station. The 9th Guards Brigade was
deployed in the area of Gospić as reserve, and the 111th Infantry Brigade was pulled back
to its former deployment at Klanac - Studenci - Donje Pazarište.264

260

MORH, GSHV: MUP, Special Police Sector, no. 511-01-TV-196/95 of 8 August 1995; Report on achieved line.
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of offensive operation Storm 95.
261
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 8o-01/95-02/o8, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-431 of 7 August 1995; Order. MORH, GSHV:
SJP MUP RH, MUP, Special Police Sector, no. 511-01-VT-106/95 of 8 August 1995; Report on achieved line. HMDCDR:
Ž. Sačić, “Specijalna policija u Oluji” (Special police in Storm).
262
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of the offensive
operation Storm 95. The wartime commander of the HV 119th Brigade, Mirko Vuković, noted that the 3rd Battalion
of the 119th Brigade was the first unit to reach the state border in that area, and that the remaining units of the Brigade
were deployed along the border later on; he also noted that the HV 119th Brigade had accomplished its mission in Storm
according to plan. Furthermore, according to Vuković, the 154th Home Guard Regiment did not mobilize in time, and
appeared two days after these events and took over the points in the villages of Prijeboj and Ličko Petrovo Selo; because
of its later commitment the mission of the 8th Home Guard Regiment was changed in the last moment. HMCDDR:
comments of the wartime commander of the HV 119th Brigade Mirko Vuković on the text about the Gospić Corps
District in the military-police operation Storm.
263
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-31 of 7 August 1995; Regular daily report.
264
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-33 of 8 August 1995; Regular daily report No. 10.
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, 80-02/95-01/01, reg. no. 1043-04-95-106 of 9 August 1995; Proposal.

103

Croatian soldiers (Guardsmen)

Conclusion
The balance of forces and the features of the theatre under consideration warrant the
conclusion that the Gospić Corps District had the advantage of the most favourable
conditions for the operation.265 The Corps District was opposed by two infantry brigades
and part of one motorized brigade. On its left flank, the SVK 50th Infantry Brigade of
the Lika Corps was deployed along the assault axis of the Karlovac Corps District, and
on the right flank the MUP Special Forces faced part of the SVK 9th Motorized Brigade.
Considering the engagement of two Guards brigades, and MUP Special Forces the quality
of which matched (if not even exceeded) that of the Guards brigades, it can be concluded
that the HV enjoyed the best balance of forces for the operation in the region of Lika.

265

The review received by the Centre regarding the text about the Gospić Corps District in the Operation
Storm notes that preparations of the final operations for the liberation of the occupied areas in the zone
of the Gospić Corps District started in mid-October 1994 through battalion live fire exercises in areas resembling the envisioned assault lines, and that until the start of the operation exercises were carried out in
all battalions within the scope of their parent brigades/regiments. It also points out that the quality of the
preparations, i.e., the fact that the units were adapted to the lines of commitment, contributed substantially
to the speed of the operation, its momentum and dynamics. HMDCDR: comments on the text about the
Gospić Corps District in the military-police Operation Storm.

104

The front was elongated and of small depth - less than 20 km from the village of Čanak
to the border with Bosnia&Herzegovina on Mount Plješivica. An additional problem
for the Lika Corps were the forces of the Army of BiH in the “Bihać pocket” because of
which it also committed part of its forces in that area. It is no surprise, therefore, that the
Gospić Corps District was among the first to complete the operation and advance to the
state border.
The Serbian line of defence was breached already on the first day of the operation by
attacks from eight directions. In this way the Gospić Corps District tried and succeeded in
compensating for the surprise factor on which it could not count.266 The SVK defence line
on the Velebit range was also penetrated on the same day. The Serbian forces responded
on 4 August by an air raid on Gospić in which civilians were killed and wounded, with
extensive material damage.267 That was the major Serbian action in the theatre.268 In
the night of 4 August the Serbs were also affected by the syndrome of line “reduction”,
due among other things, according to post-war reports, to the decisions of the Chief of
the SVK General Staff.269 After the penetration of the Serbian defence line the Serbian
system was destabilized and reduced to unconnected resistance by individual groups
“which slowed down the rate of HV advance”.270 There was no significant opposition and
already on 6 August the Gospić Corps District started to control the state border. An
extremely important contribution was provided by the MUP RH Special Police, a group
that accomplished its share of the mission in Storm with least problems and objections.
Operation Storm-3 liberated the entire zone of responsibility of the Gospić Corps
District. Its casualties totalled 68 killed and 298 wounded. Seven officers were killed,
among them the commander of the 118th Home Guard Regiment and the commander of
one battalion of the 111th Brigade. The heaviest losses were sustained while penetrating
the first line mine fields. Three armoured vehicles were destroyed, and 17 tanks and
armoured vehicles damaged.271 The Special Police had three men killed and about 60
wounded.272 According to Serbian sources, by 8 August the casualties of the Lika Corps
totalled 65 killed, 300 wounded and 110-120 missing.273

266

MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-43 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of
offensive operation Storm 95.
267
As reported by the Vjesnik daily (Zagreb), 3 persons were killed and 15 severely wounded in the Serbian
air raid on Gospić.
268
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/02, reg. no. 1043-04-95-434 of 4 August 1995; Daily report.
269
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 202-203.
270
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-03 of 5 August 1995; Regular daily
report.
271
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Gospić, cl. 80-02/95-01/06, reg. no. 1043-04-95-46 of 30 August 1995; Analysis of
offensive operation Storm 95.
272
HMDCDR: Ž. Sačić, “Specijalna policija u Oluji” (Special Police in Storm).
273
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 204.

105

KARLOVAC CORPS DISTRICT

A

ccording to the order of the HV General Staff, the Karlovac Corps District (ZPK)
was responsible for the execution of the operation in its zone of responsibility the greater area of Karlovac, Ogulin and Kordun. The overall objective did not
differ from the missions of the other corps districts engaged in the operation. After fullscale mobilization and along with the attached reinforcements and the support of the
Croatian Air Force (HRZ), the initial phase called for neutralizing the Serbian artillery
and rocket systems and quick penetration of the defence line of the SVK Kordun Corps in
order to prevent Serbian artillery from shelling urban and industrial areas in the zone of
responsibility of the Corps. As planned, Turanj was to be cut off after the forced crossing
of the river Korana, and enemy forces annihilated along the Karlovac - Babina Gora Vojnić axis. Plaški was to be outflanked on both sides, and Primišlje - Obljajac - Veliki
Pištenik seized. The last but not least important mission involved, in coordination with
the Gospić Corps District, the protection of the left flank of the HV 1st Guards Brigade at
Saborsko - Selište Drežničko. The reinforcements to be attached to the Corps included the
HV 104th Brigade, the 13th Anti-Armour Artillery&Rocket Battalion, a tank company (6
tanks), all from the Bjelovar Corps District, the HV 99th Brigade from the Zagreb Corps
District, one company of the HV General Staff Engineer Brigade and MUP special units
from the Karlovac Police Department.274 Except the Special Police and the tank company
from the Bjelovar Corps District all the reinforcements were duly allocated.275
Pursuant to the order of the HV General Staff, the Command of the Karlovac Corps
District drafted in mid-July the order for the attack. The forces were grouped for the
initial action from the area of Karlovac and Ogulin. The units committed in the former
area included the 104th Brigade and the 110th and 137th Home Guard Regiments. The 14th
and 143rd Home Guard Regiments, and the HV 99th Brigade, were engaged for action from
Ogulin towards Plaški. One battalion of the HV 148th Brigade was kept in reserve.276

274

GS HV, RP/12-2/95 of 26 June 1995. Attack directive Op. No. 12-2/95, Storm-2. Facsimile published in J.
Bobetko, «Sve moje bitke» (All My Battles), 441-451.
275
MORH, GSHV: ZPP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-143 of 24 July 1995; Excerpt from the
Attack Order Op. No. 1. MORH, GSHV: ZPP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-265 of 29 July
1995; Modification of attack order Op. No. 1. MORH, GSHV: ZPP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no. 107803/1-95-557 of 4 September 1995; Analysis of Storm-2.
276
MORH, GSHV: ZPP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-143 of 24 July 1995; Excerpt from
attack order Op. No. 1. MORH, GSHV: ZPP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-265 of 29 July
1995; Change of attack order Op. No. 1.

106

Artillery support was to be provided by the organic and attached artillery units in
the brigades and regiments. The Karlovac Corps District formed two artillery&rocket
groups out of artillery units of the 10th Artillery Battalion and the HV General Staff
16th Artillery&Rocket Brigade. The groups had to neutralize Serbian artillery at Brezova
Glava, the villages of Vukmanić, Veljun, Egići, Latin, Latasi, Kukići, Lončari and
Karajlovići, and prevent, by barrage fire, possible Serbian counterattacks from Vojnić Brezova Glava, Vrginmost - Skakav and Primišlje - Poloj - Perjasica. It was also supposed
to support the attack of the 110th Home Guard Regiment at its request or at the order to
the commander of the Corps District.
The brigades and regiments also had to provide anti-armour capability with organic
units and attached reinforcements. At Corps level an anti-armour detachment and an
anti-armour company were formed from the 7th and 13th Anti-Armour Artillery-Rocket
Battalions. Both anti-armour systems were deployed in the areas of Mrežnički Brest,
Grginčići, Siča - Cerovac, ready for anti-armour defence and intervention as ordered by
the commander of the Corps District.
Air defence artillery was responsible for protecting the artillery&rocket groups,
armoured units, depots for the storage of ammunition, mines and explosive devices,
command posts, crossings of the Kupa and Korana, and towns. Two Mi-24 helicopter
gunships for air support were available to the Corps on call for anti-armour actions and
destruction of major centres of resistance. Every unit was responsible for its own RBKO
(radio-biochemical protection) capability. The engineer part of the operation focused
on the forced crossing of the rivers Kupa, Korana and Mrežnica, manoeuvring support
at Rečica - Bođani - Vukmanić, and obstructions placement at the achieved positions.
The Command of the Corps District was in Karlovac, and the Advanced Command in
Ogulin. The commander of the Corps District was Major-General Miljenko Crnjac.277
The enemy forces in the zone of responsibility of the Karlovac Corps District were
the Kordun Corps and the 70th Infantry Brigade of the SVK Lika Corps. The Corps was
headquartered on (mount) Petrova Gora and comprised the 11th, 13th and 19th Infantry
Brigades, the 21st Border Detachment, the 21th Reconnaissance&Sabotage Department,
the 21st Composite Artillery battalion, the 75th Composite Anti-Armour Artillery
Battalion, the 75th Engineer Battalion and the 85th Rear-Echelon Base in Slunj. The
Corps commander, Colonel Veljko Bosanac, was replaced by Colonel Čedo Bulat on
5 August in the evening.278 According to the commitment directive of February 1995,
the Kordun Corps was to draw out and destroy HV forces by persistent defence along
the Gradac- Lasinja - Vrginmost, Karlovac - Vojnić and Generalski Stol - Slunj lines,

277

MORH, GSHV: ZPP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-143 of 24 July 1995; Excerpt from
attack order Op. No. 1. MORH, GSHV: ZPP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-265 of 29 July
1995; Modification of attack order Op. No. 1.
278
HDA, RSK; Kordun Corps Command, conf. no. 160-556/2 of 15 November 1994; War manning report.
VSA MORH: 21th Corps Command, conf. no. 308 of 27 July 1995; Information to subordinate units. M.
Sekulić, «Knin je pao u Beogradu» (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 214-223.

107

and prevent deeper penetration on the main thrusts. In the second part of the operation,
by offensive action at Vojnić - Banjsko Selo the Corps would reach the river Mrežnica
and switch to active defence. Support would be provided by the 75th Composite Artillery
Brigade, and the air force and air defence. The mission of the 70th Infantry Brigade was
to prevent by persistent defence the penetration of HV forces along the Ogulin - Plaški Plitvice Lakes Line.279 The 75th Composite Artillery Brigade - a 130 mm gun battalion, a
SVLR Oganj battery and an Orkan battery - and the SVK Special Unit Corps (KSJ) without
the 2nd Guards Brigade were also present in Kordun.280 The task of the last Corps, formed
later, is not known. It can be assumed that it was not supposed to hold the line but, rather,
for manoeuvring purposes in the theatre. The KSJ Corps commander was Major-General
Milorad Stupar.281

Execution of the Operation
The attack of the HV 99th Brigade and the attached Saborsko Company (of the 143rd Home
Guard Regiment) started at 0500 from the village of Vera towards the village of Varići,
towards the Plaški - Plavča Draga road and from the village of Prodanić towards Plaški.
After a slight advance, the attack of the Brigade ground to a halt. Following the evaluation
of the ZPK Command of 1800 hours on the same day, the Brigade retreated to its kickoff position in complete disarray. In order to avoid possible encirclement the Saborsko
Company stopped after seizing Trntor hill.282
In spite of running into mine fields and stiff Serbian resistance from Josipdol towards
Plaški, the HV 143rd Home Guard Regiment controlled by the end of the day the Veliki
Humac - Sekulića Poljane - Sekulića Vršak - Drenovica - Kameniti Vrh line.283
The task of the 14th Home Guard Regiment was to liberate Slunj, the small native town of
most of its members. The Regiment advanced towards the village of Barlovići - Kosijersko
Selo while its left flank, after the successful forced crossing of the river of Mrežnica, pushed
on to Primišlje. On its right flank, after seizing Glavičurak - Simića Brdo - Ravidjenica Gornji Tržič the Regiment linked up with units of the 143rd Home Guard Regiment.284

279

Directive for the commitment of the Serbian Army of the Krajina, Op. No. 1, Gvozd, February 1995.
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 224, 227, 239.
281
«New SVK Generals and Colonels», Vojska Krajine, 11, july 1995, 6.
282
APO 2121 (99th Br.), cl. 81-95-01/01, reg. no. 2121-02/2-95-28 of 5 September 1995; Analysis of offensive operation Storm. SVA MORH, GSHV, ZZPK: ZPP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/81, reg. no. 1078-IZM-1/95-25 of 4 August
1995. SVA MORH, GSHV, ZZPK: ZPP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-IZM-1/95-25 of 4 August 1995.
283
SVA MORH, ZZPK: ZPP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-IZM-1/95-25 of 4 August 1995. APO 110 Ogulin of 3 September 1995; Analysis of combat action of the 143rd Home Guard Regiment in Operation Storm.
284
SVA MORH, ZZPK: ZPP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-IZM-1/95-25 of 4 August 1995. General M.
Crnjac noted that the liberation of Slunj, the task of the 14th Home Guard Regiment, was planned in the second
phase of the operation, provided the necessary conditions were met; he also added that the Regiment had fulfilled
its task entirely and on foot because of the demanding terrain and forced crossing of the river. HMDCDR: Comments of General Miljenko Crnjac on the text about the Karlovac Corps District in the military-police operation
Storm.
280

108

In the Karlovac theatre the 137th Home Guard Regiment infiltrated four
reconnaissance&sabotage groups into the rear of the SVK 13th Infantry Brigade - at the
village of Oreško, Kestenak, the Bosiljevac forest and Kozlinska Glavica - at midnight on
3 August. After artillery preparation which started at 0500 hours and the forced crossing
of the river Korana, a bridgehead was established at Šćulac.285 At Šćulac - Skradska Gora
- Dugi Dol and at Mateško - Oreščani - Perjašica the SVK 13th Infantry Brigade put up
stiff resistance and tried to recover the lost positions by committing armoured units. The
assault was halted at the approaches to Koransko Selo. After one killed and three wounded
members the regiment fully completed the first part of its task by reaching the line village
of Oreščani - Bosiljevac forest - village of Milinkovići - village of Grubješići - Kestenak hill
- Donji Skrad - Kozlinska Glava.286
The HV 110th Home Guard Regiment with the attached company of the HV 137th Home
Guard Regiment mounted its attack from the village of Zastinje across Slunjska Brda
towards Cerovac Tušilovački and Babina Gora, and from Selište via Podrijevci towards
Brezova Glava. The attack was mounted with no artillery support in order to achieve
surprise. After the 2nd battalion reached the Karlovac - Tušilović road, it came under heavy
infantry and artillery fire. In the ensuing panic some of the troops ended up in a mine
field in which 6 men were killed and 52 wounded. The casualties had a disastrous effect
on the morale of the regiment, and its condition did not guarantee any further success.
The attached company of the HV 137th Home Guard Regiment did not accomplish its
mission and that left open the flank of the 2nd battalion towards Babina Gora. A similar
situation developed on the left flank of the regiment, where the HV 10th Brigade also failed
to perform as planned. These developments exposed the flank of the regiment to a possible
counterattack from Popović Brdo and Štrekovac.287
At 0500 the HV 104th Brigade attempted a forced crossing of the Korana.288 The attempt
failed and after 0800 the brigade returned to its jump-off position.289 According to the
opinion of the brigade commander, the failure was due to stiff resistance, reinforcements
engaged in the form of four troop truckloads, good fortifications and the unexpectedly
higher number of Serbian troops. The attached company of the 110th Home Guard
Regiment has two men killed and two wounded.290 As a result of the failed mission of the

285

SVA MORH, ZZPK: IZM 136th Home Guard Reg., cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 2159-01/95-25-1 of 4 August 1995;
Operational daily report.
286
SVA MORH, ZZPK: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/110, reg. no. 1078-03/2-95-25-2 of 4 August 1995; Action report.
MORH, GSHV: Command of the 137th Home Guard Reg., cl. 8/95-01/110, reg. no. 2159-01-95-103 of 28 August
1995; Analysis of the results accomplished by the 137th Home Guard Reg. in Operation Storm. SVA MORH, ZZPK:
ZPP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-IZM-1/95-25 of 4 August 1995. M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu”
(Knin Fell in Belgrade), 215, 218.
287
SVA MORH, ZZPK: 110th Home Guard Reg., cl.8/95-01/29, reg. 3333-01/1-95-95-27 of 4 August 1995; Report.
288
SVA MORH, ZZPK: APO 2126 Varaždin, K. str. conf. 803-02/95-06/1, reg. no. 2126-01-95-4 of 4 August 1995;
Daily operational report.
289
MORH, GSHV: War Diary, GS OS RH, note 99 of 4 August 1995.
290
SVA MORH, ZZPK: APO 2126 Varaždin, K. str. conf. 803-02/95-06/1, reg. no. 2126-01-95-4 of 4 August 1995;
Daily operational report. The commander of the Karlovac Corps District noted that the 104th Brigade was not prepared for combat, particularly not for a forced crossing. HMDCDR: comments of General Miljenko Crnac on the
text about the Karlovac Corps District in the military-police operation Storm.

109

104th Brigade, the Serbs committed additional reinforcements - an infantry company and
a tank platoon, which opened fire on the left flank of the 110th Home Guard Regiment
from Jelaš and Latković.291
After this setback the Command of the Karlovac Corps District desisted from
committing the 104th Brigade to the mission, and decided to attempt a breakthrough
towards Turanj - Slunjska Brda with the 110th Home Guard Regiment.292 In the judgment
of the HV General Staff the attack was to be sustained with the 104th Brigade in the zone
of responsibility of the 110th Home Guard Regiment. At Ogulin the HV 14th and 143rd
Home Guard Regiments were to sustain their assault.293 Because of ineffectiveness of the
99th Brigade one of its companies was attached to the 143rd Home Guard Regiment for
action on 5 August. At the same time a combat group was formed with about 250 troops
from the same brigade and subordinated to the advance command post at Karlovac.294
On the second day of the operation (5 August), in the Ogulin theatre the 143rd Home
Guard Regiment seized Mount Hum and pushed on to Plaški and Plavča Draga. During
the night the regiment pushed back the Serbian forces towards Vrelo Mrežnice, gained
control of the Plavča Draga - Tobolić road and Plaščanska Dolina, liberated Plaški and
advanced towards Vrelo Mrežnice.295 “With major efforts” the main body of the HV 99th
Brigade was shifted towards Sabljaki - Plaški - Plavča Draga in order to follow the 143rd
Home Guard Regiment and protect the right flank of the thrust.296
In the night of 4 August the 14th Home Guard Regiment committed new forces and
mounted the attack in the morning. Having gained control of Raletina - Kurjevac Primišlje - Glumačka Glavica and liberated Primišlje, the regiment accomplished fully
its mission for the first phase of the attack.297
In the Karlovac theatre, in the night of 4 August (half an hour after midnight) the
Serbian 13th Infantry Brigade reinforced with a company of the SVK 19th Infantry Brigade

291

SVA MORH, ZZPK: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-IZM-1/95-25 of 4 August 1995, 2240
hours.
292
MORH, GS HV: War diary GS HV RH, note 191, 4 August 1995. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 8/9501/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-557, 4 August 1995; Analysis of Storm-2.
293
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 8o-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-384 5 August 1995, 0000 hours;
Order.
294
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no., 1078-03/1-95-557 of 4 September 1995; Analysis
of Storm-2. MORH, GSHV: APO 2121,cl. 81/95/010/01, reg. no. 2121-02/22-95-28 of 5 November 1995;
Analysis of the offensive operation Storm.
295
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, ZZP Karlovac, cl. 80/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-557 of 4 September
1995; Analysis of Storm-2. MORH, GSHV: APO 1110 Ogulin, cl. 8/95-01-475, reg. no. 1110-01-954410 of 5
August 1995; Unit action report. MORH, GSHV: recce. platoon of the 143rd Home Guard Reg., reconnaissance platoon report for 4 to 8 August,1995. MORH, GSHV: APO 1110 Ogulin, 3 September 1995; Action
analysis for the 143rd Home Guard Reg. in operation Storm-2. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, IZpM Ogulin, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-IZM-1/95-27 of 5 August 1995, 1915 hours; Report.
296
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 85-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-55-557 of 4 September 1995; Analysis of
Storm-2.
297
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl.8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-557 of 4 September 1995; Analysis
of Storm-2.

110

counterattacked, with artillery, tanks and infantry, the 137th Home Guard Regiment which
secured the bridgehead at Kozlinska Glavica - Gradina. Three members of the 137th Regiment
were killed and several wounded in the very strong attack. The main body, which held the
bridgehead, pulled back because of the force of the assault and panic. Only one platoon held
its ground at Kozlinska Glavica. The attack stopped in the morning, the Serbian forces did
not exploit their success, and the line held by the 137th Home Guard Regiment remained
under its control. The regiment was reinforced with a combat group from the 104th Brigade
(350 troops), a company from the 148th Brigade (operational reserve of the Karlovac Corps
District), a tank platoon (3 tanks) and an RAK-12 multiple rocket launcher squad from
the 104th Brigade.298 After artillery preparation at 0700, the infantry attack started at 0800
hours; the regiment advanced from Mateško - Perjasica to Martinović - Mandika, while
the attached combat group of the 104th Brigade supported by the tank platoon reached
Maurovići. Having concurrently swept the area, the units reached Perjasica and Gornji
Poloj by 1600 hours, where they stopped and consolidated their positions for defence. The
casualties of the regiment included one wounded and one slightly damaged tank, and those
of the HV 104th Infantry Brigade three wounded.299 In the night of 5 August the SVK 13th
Infantry Brigade was ordered to withdraw to the right bank of the Korana and take up
positions from Donji Skrad to Slunj.300
On 5 August the 110th Home Guard Regiment held the positions it had achieved in its
attack. During the day it attempted to break through at Turanj - Slunjska Brda with tank
support, but the well-fortified Serbian forces repelled the attack. The regiment lost one man
and 26 were wounded; two tanks were damaged.301
After two days of combat, the units of the Corps District had 14 men dead and 86
wounded. The Command of the Karlovac Corps District decided to commit units of the
14th and 143rd Home Guard Regiments, the 99th Brigade and one battalion of the 148th
Brigade in order to sustain the attack with artillery support, liberate Slunj, intersect the
Slunj - Rakovica road at Broćanac and link up with units of the Gospić Corps District
at Plitvice - Cetingrad. The Home Guard regiments with reinforcement were ordered to
push on towards Slunj: the 14th Regiment along the Plitvice - Slunj axis, the 143rd Regiment
towards Vrelo Mrežnice and on to Slunj, while the 99th Brigade had to focus on mopping up
operations in Plaščanska Dolina.302 In the Karlovac theatre the Corps District Command

298

SVA MORH, ZZPK: IZM, 137th Home Guard Reg., cl. 81/95-01/1, reg. no. 2159-01-95-3 of 5 August 1995;
Operational daily report. MORH, GSHV: Command of the 137th Home Guard Reg., cl. 8/95-01/110, reg. no.
2159-01-95-103, 28 August 1995; Analysis of mission accomplishment for the 137th Home Guard Reg. in
operation Storm. M Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 218-219.
299
SVA MORH, ZZPK: IZM, 137th Home Guard Reg., cl. 81/95-01/1, reg. no. 2159-01-95-3 of 5 August 1995;
Operational daily report. MORH, GSHV: Command of the 137th Home Guard Reg., cl. 8/95-01/110, reg.
no. 2159-01-95-103, 28 August 1995; Analysis of mission accomplishment for the 137th Home Guard Reg.
in operation Storm. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac,cl.8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-557 of 4 September
1995; Analysis of Storm.
300
M. Sekulić, »Knin je pao u Beogradu» (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 218.
301
SVA MORH, ZZPK: 110th Home Guard Reg., cl.81/95-01/01, reg. no. 3333-01/1-95-1 of 5 August 1995;
Operational report- MPRH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-557 of 4 September
1995; Analysis of Storm-2.
302
MORH, GSHV: ZP Karlovac. IZpM Karlovac-Ogulin, cl. 8/95-01/19, reg. no. 1078-IZM-1/95-1 (no date).

111

decided to engage units of the 110th Home Guard Regiment and 104th Brigade in order to
reinforce the 137th Home Guard Regiment and exploit the bridgehead established on the
river Korana.303
On 6 August in the morning, after regrouping, the HV 143rd Home Guard Regiment
mounted an assault from Vrelo Mrežnice towards Slunj. At Broćanac the regiment linked
up to forces of the HV 1st Guards Brigade and in the afternoon, in cooperation with parts
of the 1st Brigade and the 14th Home Guard Regiment, it entered Slunj.304 During the day
the HV 99th Brigade, after mopping up along the Božić - Komadine - Plavča Draga line,
advanced by 1400 hours to the planned line in the area of Vrelo Mrežnice, where it blocked
the Slunj training site. After 1400 hours it was in reserve of the Corps commander at Plavča
Draga.305
Pushing on from Primišlje via Mrzlo Polje and Zečja Varoš, the 14th Home Guard
Regiment entered and liberated Slunj at about 1500 hours. The regiment was reinforced
with two companies of the HV 148th Brigade, which had to exploit the success and protect
the flanks of the regiment.306 The crumbling forces of the SVK 13th Infantry Brigade pulled
back with civilians towards Topusko.307
The attack of the 137th Home Guard Regiment with the attached reinforcements along
the Barilović - Dugi Dol - Krnjak axis had to start on 6 August at 0500 hours. It started at
about 0800 because of the delayed arrival of the battle group from the 110th Home Guard
Regiment and of a tank platoon, and of the battle group from the HV 104th Brigade. After
initial success, the assault ground to a halt because of the strong resistance on the right
flank at Skradska Gora. In the village of Kurepi and Kurepić Glavica the Serbs had several
tanks which stopped the advance of the Croatian forces.308 Progress was resumed after an
Mi-24 helicopter gunship attacked at 1800 hours the Serbian positions at Kurepi. On the
left flank of the 137th Home Guard Regiment, the battle group of the 148th Brigade liberated
Kosjersko Selo and reached the Bolići - Kosjersko Selo road. Together with the battle groups
of the 104th and 148th Brigades the regiment pushed on towards Gornji Poloj - Primišlje,
linked up with the 14th Home Guard Regiment and seized the village of Veljun.309

303

MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-01/1-95-368 of 6 August 1995; Action report
for the zone of responsibility of the Karlovac Corps District. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88,
reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-557 of 4 September 1995; Analysis of Storm.
304
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac. IZpM Karlovac-Ogulin, cl. 8/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-IZM-1/95-1-29 of 6
August 1995; Report. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1/95-557 of 4 September 1995; Analysis of Storm.
305
MORH, GSHV: ZP Karlovac. IZpM Karlovac-Ogulin, cl. 8/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-IZM-1/95-29 of 6
August 1995, 1700 hours; Report. MORH, GSHV: APO 2121, cl. 81-/95-01/01, re. go. 2121-02/2-95-28 of 5
September 1995; Analysis of operation Storm.
306
ZP Karlovac, IZpM Karlovac-Ogulin, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-IZM-1/95 of 6 August 1995; Report.
307
M. Sekulić, «Knin je pao u Beogradu» (Knin Fell in Belgrade).
308
SVA MORH, ZZPK: IZM, 137th Home Guard B., cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 2159-01-95-4 of 6 August 1995;
Operational daily report.
309
MORH, GSHV: Comm. of the 137th Home Guard Reg., cl. 85/95-01/110, reg. no. 2159-01-95-103 of 28
August 1995; Analysis of mission accomplishment by the 137th Home Guard Reg. in operation Storm.

112

For the purpose of subsequent operation, on the order of the HV General Staff the
149th Brigade minus one battalion from the Zagreb Corps District (Ivanić Grad) was
allocated to the Karlovac Corps District and ordered to prepare for combat commitment
by 1000 on 7 August.310 The brigade joined the Karlovac Corps District during the night,
and in the morning it formed a battle group which was attached to the 137th Home
Guard Regiment.311
In the meantime, the 1st Guards Brigade, which had linked during the day to the
units of the ARBiH 5th Corps, entered the zone of responsibility of the Karlovac Corps
District. General Mareković (head of the advance command post of the HV General
Staff ) was responsible for the organization of the link-up of the Croatian Army and the
Army of Bosnia&Herzegovina. The two armies linked up at the crossroads of the roads
Slunj - Ličko Petrovo Selo and Slunj - Plitvice (MG Motel) and at the village of Prijeboj.
In the afternoon a media-covered link-up was organized at Tržačka Raštela.312
The arrival of the 1st Guards Brigade changed the plans of the HV General Staff in
Kordun. The General Staff had intended to commit the forces of the Karlovac Corps
District in order to seize the area of Piljak - Brezova, push on and liberate Vojnić.313 After
the arrival of the 1st Guards Brigade the HV General Staff ordered the brigade to pursue
attack on the Cetingrad - Johovo - Vojnić axis and, “in cooperation with the forces of the
Karlovac Corps District”, crush the enemy, liberate Vojnić, rush on to Topusko and set
up active defence. The Karlovac Corps District was ordered to provide artillery support
for the assault of the 1st Guards Brigade, protect its rear and left flank and exploit its
success by following up. The Croatian Air Force was to provide support as required and
called for. General Mareković took over the command of the 1st Guards brigade and
coordination of its action with the Karlovac Corps District.314
During 7 August the forces of the 1st Guards Brigade, the 14th Home Guard Regiment
and the 99th Brigade were operationally subordinated to the advance command post of
the HV General Staff, which was transferred to Slunj. Reserve units were engaged for
the protection of the state border, relieving the 1st Guards Brigade for the anticipated
attack.315 Units of the 14th Home Guard Regiment secured the area of Slunj and searched
the ground on the left bank of the Korana along the line of attack of the Special Police
from the Karlovac Police Department. The regiment also took over the defence of the state

310

MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-415 of 6 August 1995; Order.
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-557 of 4 September 1995; Analysis
of Storm-2.
312
MORH, GSHV:IZM GSHV. cl. str. conf. 80-01/95-02/12, reg. no. 512-06-1095-04 of 15 August 1995; Analysis of unit combat action in the IZM GSHV zone of responsibility, Ogulin - Slunj, in operation Storm.
313
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-410 of 6 August 1995, 134o hours;
Order.
314
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-411 of 6 August 1995, 1340 hours;
Order.
315
MORH, GSHV: IZM GSHV, cl. str. conf. 80-01/95-02/12, reg. no 512-06-10-95 of 15 August 1995; Action
analysis.
311

113

border from Pašin Potok to the village of Basara, while the HV 99th Brigade was responsible
for the same mission from the village of Gejkovac to the village of Pašin Potok.316
The Karlovac Corps District committed its main body towards the interior of Kordun.
Part of the 143rd Home Guard Regiment secured the Slunj training site and Primišlje, while
another part was shifted from Poloj and committed at Veljun - Vojnić. At about 1540 the
unit entered Vojnić, and part of it was engaged for sweeping the villages on the right bank
of the river Korana.317 After entering the village of Zagorje part of this group was ordered to
let through the 1st Guards Brigade, and then proceeded to Krnjak and entered Vojnić after
the Brigade late in the afternoon.318
The 137th Home Guard Regiment had advanced to Vojnić via Dugi Dol - Krnjak with
reinforcements from the 110th Home Guard Regiment, and the HV 149th and 104th Brigades.
The group entered Krnjak at about 1200 without encountering any resistance. After
sweeping the area of the village the group pushed on towards Krnjak - Grabovac Vojnićki Kolarić - Vojnić. At Kolarić Križ the group captured a group of members of the Army of the
Republic of Western Bosnia, whose main body was at Miholjsko.319 “Encountering almost
no resistance, in the early afternoon”, after advancing from Mekušje - Kamensko - Popović
Brdo, Turanj - Cerovac Tušilovački - Vukmanić and Turanj - Tušilović - Brezova Glava, the
110th Home Guard Regiment entered Vojnić together with the attached reinforcements,
parts of the HV 104th Brigade and an armoured platoon of the Karlovac Corps District.320
Vojnić was empty, and a small number of civilians found refuge in the centre of the
International Red Cross. In the evening the command of the 137th Home Guard Regiment
and other HV units also arrived at Vojnić.321
After the liberation of Vojnić part of the forces of the Karlovac Corps District was engaged
for the sweeping of the liberated area.322 In one of such actions units of the 104th Brigade

316

MORH, GSHV: ZP Karlovac, cl.81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-02/2-95-565 of 7 August 1995; Operational
report. MORH, GSHV: IZM GSHV, cl. str. conf. 80-01/95-02/12, reg. no. 512-06-10-95-04 of 15 August
1995; Action analysis.
317
MORH, GSHV: ZP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-02/2-95-565 of 7 August 1995; Operational
report. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, IZpM Karlovac-Ogulin, cl. 8/95-01/478, reg. no. 1110-01-95-4782
of 7 August 1995; Report. MORH, GSHV: APO 1110 Ogulin, cl. 8/95-01-46, reg. no. 1110-01-95-4791 of 7
August 1995; Report.
318
MORH, GSHV:: Report of the 143rd Home Guard Regiment; Report of the reconnaissance platoon for
4 to 10 August 1995.
319
MORH, GSHV: ZP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-02/2-95-565 of 7 August 1995; Operational
report. MORH, GSHV: Command of the 137th Home Guard Reg., cl. 85-01/110, reg. no. 2159-01-95-103
of 28 August 1995; Analysis.
320
MORH, GSHV: ZP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-02/2-95-565 of 7 August 1995; Operational
report.
321
MORH, GSHV: ZP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-02/2-95-565 of 7 August 1995; Operational
report. MORH, GSHV: Command of the 137th Home Guard Reg., cl. 85-01/110, reg. no. 2159-01-95-103
of 28 August 1995; Analysis.
322
MORH, GSHV: ZP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-02/2-95-566 of 8 August 1995; Operational
report. MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06/05/01-95-438 of 8 August 1995; Report.

114

were ambushed on 8 August by the Serbs at the village of Križ south of Banski Kovačevac.
In the bus carrying the troops of the brigade four men were killed and 20 wounded by
infantry fire. One Serbian soldier was also killed in the exchange of fire.323 Part of the
forces was also committed towards the SVK Kordun Corps which was negotiating its
surrender.324 Because of this the planned attack of the 1st Guards Brigade towards Slavsko
Polje was called off. The other forces subordinated to the advance command post of the
HV General Staff - the 14th Home Guard Regiment and the 99th Brigade - were deployed
along the state border.325
On 9 August the HV 1st Guards Brigade entered Vrginmost, followed by other units.326
During the day units of the Karlovac Corps District were engaged in sweeping the liberated
area: the 110th Home Guard Regiment covered the Vrginmost - Lasinja area, the 137th
Home Guard Regiment the Vojnić area, the 143rd Home Guard Regiment the Vrginmost Lasinja - Skakavac area, and the 14th Home Guard Regiment the area of the town of Slunj,
Cetingrad and Rakovica up to the state border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.327

Photograph by Michael Sharp

323

MORH, GSHV: ZP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-02/2-95-567 of 8 August 1995; Operational report.
MORH, GSHV: ZP Karlovac, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-02/2-95-566 of 8 August 1995; Operational report
325
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-434 of 8 August 1995; Order. MORH,
GSHV: IZM GSHV, cl. str. conf. 80-01/95-02/12, reg. no. 512-06-10-95-04 of 15 August 1995; Action analysis.
326
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/2-95-407 of 9 August 1995; Analysis of offensive
Vrginmost action.
327
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-03/2-95-568 of 9 August 1995; Operational report.
324

115

Conclusion
The mission of the Karlovac Corps District was very demanding. It was one of the small
corps districts and it was given a more demanding mission than other corps districts. It
faced the complete Kordun Corps, one brigade of the Lika Corps, an artillery brigade
of the SVK General Staff and the main body of the SVK Special Unit Corps. The corps
had no professional troops, and the brunt of its mission rested on reserve units. The
reinforcements it received were also from the reserve. This made the mission of the Corps
even more difficult because it included the forced crossings of the rivers Kupa, Korana
and Mrežnica. The operation showed that some of the attached units were not up to
the task assigned them and that they were not a match for the Corps’ line units. In this
regard command during the operation was demanding and had a significant impact on
the outcome of the operation.328 The Serbian defence was very strong, and their forces
even mounted several counterattacks with some success. Strong defence was the only way
out for the Kordun Corps because it was the only formation with no direct link to the
Bosnian&Herzegovinian Serbs. The ARBiH was in its rear, and it did not crumble to the
extent observed with the other corps. It can be assumed that the fighting in the region of
Kordun was the closest to what might have been expected throughout the theatre if the
RSK Supreme Defence Council had not ordered the evacuation of the population from
Dalmatia. M. Sekulić speculates that Kordun should have been exploited to demonstrate
the “Croatian genocidal character” because the Serbian population, allegedly, had not been
informed about the decision to withdraw from Krajina.329 Because of this the operation
developed differently as compared to the other theatres. The Special Units Corps and
its armoured brigade played no role of any significance.330 During the operation up to 8
August the casualties of the Karlovac Corps District totalled 33 killed and 262 wounded,
106 of them severely.331

327

MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-03/2-95-568 of 9 August 1995; Operational
report.
328
According to the CIA analysis the role of the Karlovac Corps District under Major-General Miljenko
Crnjac was a minor one compared to the other three HV corps. Crnjac’s mission was to conduct a holding
attack against the SVK Kordun Corps to pin it down and keep it away from the flanks of the Zagreb and
Gospić Corps Districts. His forces would also try to capture SVK-held areas south of Karlovac, around the
town of Vojnić, to limit Serbian shelling of Karlovac. On 4 August the Karlovac Corps District succeeded
in its primary mission of pinning down the Kordun Corps, but fared poorly in terms of ground gained. The
Kordun Corps, continues the analysis, held fast on 5 August as well at Slunj and south of Karlovac, where
the HV was not able to wrest much from the SVK, with the exception of Primišlje, seized by the 14th Home
Guard Regiment. Nevertheless, concludes the analysis, the days of the SVK Kordun Corps were numbered,
especially when the Karlovac Corps District, now reinforced and led by the 1st Guards Brigade, mounted on
7 August a concentric attack on the SVK 21st Corps around Vojnić and when, on the same day, the ARBiH
5th Corps overwhelmed the forces of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia and marched into Velika
Kladuša. Balkan Battlegrounds: A Military History of the Yugoslav Conflict, 1990-1995; 368-369, 371.
329
M. Sekulić, «Knin je pao u Beogradu» (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 220-221.
330
Ibid., 222-223.
331
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl. 8/95-01/88, reg. no. 1078-03/1-95-557 of 4 September 1995; Analysis
of Storm-2.

116

THE ZAGREB CORPS DISTRICT

P

ursuant to the Storm-1 directive of the HV General Staff, the Command of the
Zagreb Corps District (ZZP) completed on 1 August its attack order. The plan
of the operation involved two stages to be carried out with existing forces and
envisioned reinforcements. In the first, two-day stage, the main body of the Corps was
to cut off Petrinja, eliminate the encircled Serbian forces or force their unconditional
surrender, and liberate Petrinja. The auxiliary forces were to advance from Sunja via the
village of Mračaj and liberate Kostajnica. In the second stage, the main body of the Corps
was to advance from the village of Maja and liberate Glina, and push on to the villages
of Obljaj-Žirovac in order to link up with the ARBiH 5th Corps. After regrouping and
destruction of the remnants of the Banija Corps in the area of Zrinska Gora the Corps
would reach the state border and set up defensive positions.332
The mission clearly outlined three lines of action: towards Kostajnica, towards Petrinja
and towards Glina. For the attack towards Kostajnica the units assembled at Sunja
included the line 17th Home Guard Regiment and the 103rd and 151st Brigades. Petrinja
would be cut off and liberated by the HV 2nd Guards Brigade, the HV 57th Brigade, and the
HV 12th and 20th Home Guard Regiments. The HV 153rd Brigade and the HV 20th Home
Guard Regiment were engaged for the attack on Glina. The plan for the second phase of
the operation involved the commitment of the second combat echelon and exploitation
of the achieved success: the 1st and 140th Home Guard Regiments and the 3rd Battalion of
the HV 102nd Brigade from Sunja to Kostajnica, and the HV 101st, 102nd, 148th and 149th
Brigades towards Glina and Dvor na Uni.333 The order planned the commitment of the
HV 125th Home Guard Regiment, but it received a day later its combat mission from the
Command of the Bjelovar Corps District and was therefore subordinated to it.334
The other forces of the Zagreb Corps District - the 202nd Artillery-Rocket Brigade,
the Reconnaissance-Sabotage Company, the 67th Military Police Battalion, the 252nd
Independent Communications Company, the 502nd Mechanized ABKO Company, a
battalion of the 33rd Engineer Brigade, the 31st Engineer Battalion, the 36th Engineer-

332

MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, cl. 8/95-0174, reg. no. 1075-12/95-171 of 1 August 1995; Order. MORH,
GSHV: ZP Zagreb Command, cl. 81-95-01/3, reg. no. 1075.-12/95-213 of 22 August 1995; Analysis.
333
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, cl. 8/95-0174, reg. no. 1075-12/95-171 of 1 August 1995; Order. General
Stipetić noted that the HV 101st Brigade was committed at the last moment at Komarevo-Mađari. HMDCDR: Comments of General Petar Stipetić on the text about the Zagreb Corps District in the military-police
operation Storm.
334
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-04-95-1053. Operational order.

117

Pontoon Battalion and the 1st Sisak Composite River Task Force - were committed to
other missions within the scope of the operation, from air defence of the vital military
facilities and infrastructure in Zagreb and Sisak to engineer support of the operation.
Three artillery-rocket groups were formed for artillery support, including the 6th
Artillery Battalion, the 8th Howitzer-Artillery Battalion, one battalion of the 16th ArtilleryRocket Brigade, some artillery units of the 2nd Guards Brigade and the 202nd Air Defence
Artillery-Rocket Brigade. They were to provide artillery support along the axes Sunja Kostajnica, Madžari - Blinja, the village of Brkiševina - the village of Viduševac - Glina
and Sisak - Petrinja - Maja - Obljaj.
Two anti-armour detachments were formed from the 5th Anti-Armour ArtilleryRocket Brigade and two platoons of the 33rd Engineer Brigade. Their mission was antiarmour combat at Glinska - Polaja - Nebojan, Župić - Nebojan and Petrinja - Moščenica,
and defence against attacks from Vedro Polje and the village of Novoselci. In the second
phase they were responsible for anti-armour action at Kostajnica - village of Panjani and
the village of Volinja - Kostajnica, and direct engagement of targets on the right bank
of the river Una in order to prevent traffic between Bosanska Kostajnica and Bosanski
Novi. Two Mi-24 helicopter gunships would provide air support. The command post
was in Zagreb, and advance command posts in Sisak and Sunja. The commander of the
Zagreb Corps District was Major-General Ivan Basarac.335
The temporarily occupied area of Banovina was defended by the SVK Banija Corps,
headquartered in Glina. It included the 24th, 26th and 33rd Infantry Brigades, the 31st
Motorized Brigade, the Caprag and Obljaj detachments and the 87th rear base. The Corps
commander was Major-General Slobodan Tarbuk.336
The mission of the Banija Corps was to stop the HV breakthrough to Glinska Poljana
- Glina, to the village of Farkašić - Petrinja - Dvor and from Sunja to Kostajnica, break
the attack and create conditions for offensive actions. Following that, after regrouping
the Corps would counterattack, crush the HV forces and set up defensive positions along
the rivers Kupa and Sava. The artillery group of the SVK General Staff, the 105th Air
Brigade and the Air Force of Republika Srpska were earmarked for support.337
Execution of the Operation
The HV 20th Home Guard Regiment set off towards Glina as planned on 4 August. After
the successful forced crossing of the river Kupa at the village of Brkiševina, it pushed
on to Stražišće and Gornje Jame. The assault ground to a halt because of stiff Serbian
resistance and heavy casualties; many members of the regiment were killed or wounded.
The regiment retreated to the village of Slana and held on to the bridgehead at the village of

335

MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, cl. 8/95-0174, reg. no. 1075-12/95-171 of 1 August 1995; Attack order.
HDA, RSK: APO 9136 Glina, conf. no. 31-247 of 15 November 1994; Manning as per wartime complement. M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade).
337
VSA, MORH: Directive for the commitment of the Serbian Army of the Krajina, Op. no. 1, “GVOZD”.
February 1995. M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 239.
336

118

Stankovac.338 The HV 153rd Brigade attacking towards Pokupsko - Šišinec - Brkiševina fared
no better. Two of its battalions crossed the Kupa and returned to their jump-off positions.
One battalion remained on the left bank of the Kupa at the village of Gornja Bučica and the
hamlets of Božurići - Kaurići.339 Although Glina was not seriously threatened, late in the
evening the SVKJ General Staff ordered the commander of the Special Unit Corps to shift
the 2nd Armoured Brigade from the Slunj training site to the greater area of Glina in order
to prevent a quick breakthrough of Croatian forces towards Topusko and Dvor na Uni.340
The liberation of Petrinja was the main objective of the Zagreb Corps District in the first
stage of the operation. Strong forces were assembled for the mission - the envelopment and
the liberation of the town. Along the western axis the main body of the 12th Home Guard
Brigade attacking via Konjska Glava was stopped in front of mine fields, and forced to
retreat by mortar and artillery fire. At its right flank the regiment succeeded in seizing the
greater part of Župić Brdo by nightfall.341 The main body of the 2nd Guards Brigade liberated
the villages of Sibić, Gora, Graberje and part of the village of Strašnik. Because of five men
killed in action, including one company commander, the brigade had a passing crisis,
reflected in the incomplete capture of the village of Strašnik.342 There was also panic on the
other side in the ranks of the SVK 31st Motorized Brigade, which managed to stabilize its
position by bringing in reinforcements as well as owing to reduced Croatian pressure.343
The main role along the eastern axis of the attack of Petrinja was entrusted to Tactical
Group 2 (TG-2), which comprised a reinforced battalion of the HV 2nd Guards Brigade, some
smaller units of the HV 12th Home Guard Regiment, the 5th Anti-Armour Artillery-Rocket
Battalion and the 31st Engineer Battalion. After artillery preparation, TG-2 pushed on via
Moščenica towards Petrinja, liberated the hamlet of Kolonija Češkog Sela and eliminated
the Serbian forces in the Finel plant. After this it was stopped with heavy casualties in the
centre of Češko Selo. Six Guardsmen were killed in action, including the commander of
the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Guards Brigade, Colonel Predrag Matanović, ten were severely
and twenty lightly wounded. Two T-55 tanks and one M-80 infantry fighting vehicle were
destroyed, one T-55 tank with mine clearance gear got stuck, and one armoured fighting
vehicle was captured.344 After receiving reinforcements the command of the SVK 31st
Motorized Brigade stabilized its position.345

338

MORH, GSHV: APO 8259, cl. 81/95-01/08, reg. no. 8259-01/95-40 of 5 September 1995; Action analysis.
MORH, GSHV: APO 3010, cl. 81/95-01/08, reg. no. 3010-01/95-40 of 4 August 1995; Report for 4 August.
340
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 182.
341
MORH, GSHV: APO 8252, cl. 81/05-95/02, reg. no. 8258-06/95-60 of 5 September 1995; Action analysis.
342
MORH, GSHV: deputy commander of the 2nd Guards Brigade of 12 August 1995; data concerning action
along the main attack line. MORH, GSHV: APO1112/10, cl. str. conf. 8/95-01/30, reg. no. 1112-30/01-95-86
of 31 August 1995; Report. MORH, GSHV: APO 1112/30, cl. 8/95-01/32, reg. no. 1112-32/01-95-175 of 4
September 1995; Action analysis.
343
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade).
344
MORH, GSHV: TS-2 commander, 12 August 1995; Report on TS-2 action. MORH, GSHV: APO 1112/20
(2/2nd Guards Brig.), c l. str. conf. 030-03/95-01/6, reg. no. 1112-31/01-95-1 of 3 September 1995; Action
analysis.
345
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 234.
339

119

Before the start of the operation, in the night of 3 August the HV 57th Brigade had
some problems at its jump-off positions as it turned them over to the 101st Brigade.346 This
is why the entire brigade reserve and the reserve of the 1st battalion were kept as defence
of the villages of Komarevo and Vučjak. After artillery preparation parts of the brigade
attacked at Novo Selo - Moštanica in order to cut the Petrinja - Kostajnica road. Some
units of the brigade reached the village of Stražbenica and Bijela Cesta, where they were
halted by deep mine fields. On the order of the Corps District commander the brigade
sent help to TG-2 at Bijela Cesta - Slatina. The brigade commander, Major Stjepan Grgac,
and the deputy commander of the 2nd battalion were killed in the action, and this had a
detrimental effect on the morale and combat readiness of the unit.347 The action of the
101st Brigade did not succeed because it failed to take over completely the line from
the 57th Brigade and because of the strong Serbian artillery attack. During the advance
from Blinjski Put to the Sokolovac trigonometrical point five men were killed and seven
wounded by Serbian artillery fire. The casualties and the strong artillery fire had an
adverse effect on the morale and combat readiness of the brigade, which had advanced
200 to 500 metres.348
In the Sunja theatre the HV 17th Home Guard Regiment attacked in the morning the
positions of the SVK 26th Infantry Brigade in the villages of Vedro Polje, Novoselci, Staza
and Strmen, and along the Strmen - Slovinci road. It was allocated one company of the
151st Brigade for the assault towards Strmen. The regiment failed to break through the
Serbian defence line and returned to its jump-off position early in the evening.349 It failure
upset the action of the HV 151st Brigade because it could not be committed. One battalion
of the brigade attempted to attack the village of Šaš, but it was stopped by Serbian forces at
the Sunja canal and withdrew to its jump-off position.350 The main body of the HV 103rd
Brigade attacked the village of Petrinjce intending to push on to Drljača - Četvrtkovec. It
reached the Sunja - Sisak railway and withdrew because of strong Serbian fire.351
On the first day of the operation the Zagreb Corps District scored no success. The main
body of the SVK Banija Corps on the main assault axis was not crushed, Petrinja was not
cut off, and the Serbian forces along the auxiliary lines of attack Sunja - Mračaj - Kostajnica
and Pokupsko - Glina were not eliminated either.352 The overall progress towards the

346

MORH, GSHV: APO 2123, cl. 85-01, reg. no. 2123-02/2/2-95-733/2 of 6 September 1995; Action analysis.
MORH, GSHV: APO 3099, cl. 119-01/95-01, reg. no. 3099-01/95-092/1 of 13 August 1995; Analysis.
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. 512-06-05/01-95-391 of 5 August 1995; Report on the situation in the Zagreb Corps District.
348
MORH, GSHV: APO 2123, cl. 8/95-01, reg. no. 2123-02/2-95-733/2 of 6 September 1995; Action analysis.
General Stipetić noted that the HV 101st Brigade was not originally planned for action along that line, and
that an explanation is called for of the reasons why it was deployed there. HMDCDR: Comments of General
Petar Stipetić on the text about the Zagreb Corps District in the military-police operation Storm.
349
MORH, GSHV: APO 8314, cl. 81/95-01, reg. no. 8314-01/01-2-95-184 of 5 September 1995; Action analysis.
350
MORH, GSHV: APO 3008, cl. 818-01/95-01, reg. no. 3008-01/95-559 of 4 August 1995; Action comments.
351
MORH, GSHV: APO 2125, cl. 8/95-01/95, reg. no. 2125-02-95-66 of 1 September 1995; Action analysis.
352
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, cl. 81/95-01/3, reg. no. 1075-12/95-213 of 22 August 1995; Analysis.
347

120

liberation of Petrinja on the first day of the operation was below expectations; only the
main body of the HV 2nd Guards Brigade was able to advance, but that was not judged
to be sufficient by the HV General Staff.353 The tactical departure from the assault plan
caused a crisis along the TG-2 axis, slowed down the action of the main body of the 2nd
Guards Brigade and thereby set the rate of action for the whole Corps District. The moves
of the Zagreb Corps District demonstrate that its command blamed subordinates and
insufficient manpower for the failure. The HV General Staff was requested to mobilize
the HV 102nd Brigade and the HV 1st and 2nd Home Guard Regiments.354 The HV 2nd
Guards Brigade was reinforced with a part of the 1st battalion of the HV 149th Brigade.
The main body of the brigade was still at Ivanić Grad ready for commitment.355
On the second day of the operation, 5 August, part of the 2nd Guards Brigade was
committed for the attack towards Glina. By joint action with the 20th Home Guard
Regiment it liberated Glinsko Novo Selo; part of the regiment still held defence positions
in the villages of Slana and Glinska Poljana.356 Its neighbour on the right, the HV 153rd
Brigade, pulled its third battalion as well to the left bank of the Kupa and ended up, on
the second day of the operation, in the same spot where it had started.357
No anticipated advance towards Petrinja was achieved on 5 August either. Along
the western attack axis the 12th Home Guard Regiment seized Župić Brdo, pushed on
between the villages of Gora and Župić, and cut the Glina - Petrinja road.358 During
the day the HV 2nd Guards Brigade took the villages of Šanja, Vilusi, Pecki and half of
the village of Luščani. One armoured vehicle was damaged in the action.359 The first
battalion of the 140th Home Guard Regiment, until then the operational reserve of the
Zagreb Corps District, was committed at the brigade flanks.360
In the morning parts of TG-2 repeated their attack on Češko Selo. One T-55 tank
was destroyed in the attack, and the unit returned to its jump-off position. The Serbs
counterattacked Kolonija; the attempt was repelled with the help of the MUP special
unit, and the attack on Češko Selo was resumed. Several men were killed and wounded
in the Croatian counterattack, and one T-55 tank was destroyed along with one infantry
armoured vehicle of the 2nd Guards Brigade. All further action was halted by General
Petar Stipetić, appointed commander of the Croatian forces in the Banovina region by

353

MORH, GSHV: War diary GS OS RH, note 116 of 4 August 1995.
MORH, GSHV: War diary, GS OS RH, note 116 of 4 August 1995.
355
MORH, GSHV: APO 3006, cl. 803-02/95-06, reg. no. 3006-07/95-56 of 4 August 1995; Daily operational
report. MORH, GSHV: APO 3006, cl. 8/95-01/4, reg. no. 3006-07-95-1059 of 4 August 1995; Action analysis.
356
MORH, GSHV: APO 1112/30, cl. 8/95-01/32, reg. no. 1112-32/01-95-175 of 4 August 1995; Action analysis. MORH, GSHV: APO 8259, cl. 81/95-01/08, reg. no. 8259-01/95-40 of 5 August 1995; Action analysis.
357
MORH, GSHV: APO 3010, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 3010-01/95-05 of 5 August 1995; Report for 5 August
1995.
358
MORH, GSHV: APO 8252, cl. 81/05-95/02, reg. no. 8258-06/95-60 of 5 Septeember 1995; Action analysis.
359
MORH, GSHV: Deputy commander of the 2nd Guards Brigade, 12 August 1995; combat information for
the main attack axis.
360
MORH, GSHV: War diary, 140th Home Guard Reg., 5 August 1995. MORH, GSHV: APO 1106, cl. 8/9501/49, reg. no. 1106-02-95-2 of 5 September 1995; Action analysis report.
354

121

order of the President of the Republic Dr. Franjo Tuđman. General Stipetić regrouped the
153rd Brigade and the Glina Regiment and ordered the commitment of the 102nd Brigade
on the Glina axis. Darkness and the lack of a reserve for TG-2 frustrated the intention. At
the left flank of TG-2 two infantry platoons of the HV 2nd Guards Brigade and 12th Home
Guard Regiment attacked the Hunting Lodge. The commander of a company of the 12th
Home Guard Regiment was killed in the attack, which was discontinued and the units
withdrew, partly in a disorganized fashion, from the area.361
East of Petrinja units of the HV 57th and 101st Brigades held their positions set up the
day before,362 while the 57th Brigade was reinforced in the morning by the commitment
of the second battalion of the HV 149th Brigade in order to protect the flanks of the
achieved line in the envelopment of the Komarevo - Blinja road.363
In the Sunja theatre, after failure on the first day of the operation and regrouping, the
17th Home Guard Regiment again tried at noon to break through the Serbian defence
line. After artillery preparation and with the support of two tanks of the 2nd Guards
Brigade it attacked and captured the village of Strmen and then seized the Strmen village of Slovinci road. In the evening part of the regiment attacked Vedro Polje but
gained no ground.364 The 151st Brigade also achieved some progress. By pushing on from
Bobovac towards the bridge on the river Sunja in reached by early evening the village
of Slovinci, while some of its units set up the position for sustaining the assault west
of the same village in front of the railway.365 During the day the HV 145th Brigade was
transferred by order of the commander of the Zagreb Corps District from Popovača to
the villages of Bobovac, Stremen and Kratečko. In the evening the brigade was ordered
to mount the attack towards Selište Kostajničko through the battle formation of the HV
151st Brigade.366 By 2200 it seized the Sunja railway station at the entrance to the village
of Drljače. The attack was not continued because of the dark.367

361

MORH, GSHV: TG commander, 12 August 1995, report on TG action. According to other sources, TG-2
units did not «engage in combat actions» on 5 August, and the commander of the Moščenica company,
Lieutenant Božan Martan, was killed on 4 August. Domagoj Bernić, Hrvoje Bešlić, Vladimir Krpan, «Katalog izložbe ‘Pobjeda’: Povodom 10. obljetnice vojno-redarstvene operacije ‘Oluja’. 1995-2005» (Catalogue of
the Exhibition ‘Victory’: On the Tenth Anniversary of the Military-Police Operation ‘Storm’, 1995-2005),
Petrinja 2005. Comments of General Petar Stipetić on the text about the Zagreb Corps District in the military-police operation Storm.
362
MORH, GSHV: APO 3099, cl. 119-01/95-01, reg. no. 3099-01/95-092/1 of 13 August 1995; Analysis. MORH,
GSHV: APO 2123, cl. 8/95-01, reg. no. 2123-02/02/2-95-733/2 of 6 September 1995; Action analysis.
363
MORH, GSHV: APO 3006, cl. 803-02/95-06, reg. no. 3006-07-95-0927 of 5 August 1995; Daily operational report.
364
MORH, GSHV: APO 8314, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 8314-01/01-2-95-184 of 5 September 1995; Action
analysis.
365
MORH, GSHV: APO 3008, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 3008-01/95-559 of 4 August 1995; Action comments.
366
MORH, GSHV: AP0 3002, cl. 030-01/95-01, reg. no. 3002-01/95-1451 of 6 September 1995; Analysis.
367
MORH, GSHV: APO 2125, cl. 8/95-01/951, reg. no. 2125-02/95-66 of 1 September 1995; Action analysis.
On 5 August, comments the CIA analysis, the Zagreb Corps District was still making heavy weather against
General Tarbuk’s SVK Banija Corps, but the weight of the HV was beginning to wear down the Serbs. The

122

Petrinja was finally liberated on 6 August, and the main body of the SVK Banija Corps
withdrew towards Dvor na Uni. After vigorous artillery preparation TG-2 mounted its
attack, captured Martinovo Vrelo and, via Češko Selo, reached at 0700 the entrance
to Petrinja.368 The 12th Home Guard Regiment entered Petrinja from the west and was
deployed in and around the town.369 The 57th Brigade seized the greater area of Petrinja
with no major resistance, took the villages of Stražbenica and Blinja and gained by noon
total control of the Petrinja - Kostajnica road.370 The second battalion of the 149th Brigade
was left in charge of the Komarevo - Letovanci communication.371
After the liberation of Petrinja and the withdrawal of the Serbian forces towards
Dvor na Uni, the liberation of Glina became a matter of hours in spite of stiff Serbian
opposition encountered by the 20th Home Guard Regiment in some places, e.g., at
Marinbrod, Prekopa and Hađer.372 Nevertheless, parts of the regiment entered Glina in
the evening,373 along with police units and part of the HV 153rd Brigade, which had been
transferred to the village of Gora after two days of aborted actions via Pokupsko and
Hotnja.374 There it received the order to assist with part of its units the advance of the
20th Home Guard Regiment towards Glina.375 The Brigade seized Graberje - Novo Selo
Glinsko - Brkići in order to push on towards the village of Maja with the 2nd Guards
Brigade.376 Glina was liberated in the night of 6 August, and units of the 20th Home
Guard Regiment took over control of the surrounding villages.377
After the liberation of Petrinja and during the capture of Glina the main body of the
Zagreb Corps District was engaged in the liberation of the Banovina region and the
mopping-up of the region, especially of the Zrinska Gora massif. The main role was
played by the 2nd Guards Brigade by enveloping the Glina - Dvor na Uni communication.
By 6 August at noon the main body of the brigade seized Gornja Bačuga and Donja

first break against the SVK came was the loss of Hrvatska Dubica, liberated by the 125th Home Guard Regiment. A renewed drive from the Sunja area forced the SVK to begin falling back towards Kostajnica. The
breakout of the ARBiH 5th Corps from the Bihać enclave early on 5 August forced the SVK to use its only
reserve unit - the 33rd Infantry Brigade - to block this drive into the corps’ rear area. This was particularly
important because without this reserve the SVK was unable to stop the tenacious HV 2nd Guards Brigade
from grinding down the SVK 31st Brigade troops around Petrinja. Balkan Battlegrounds: A Military History
of the Yugoslav Conflict, 1990-1995, 371.
368
MORH, GSHV: TG commander, 12 August 1995. TG action report.
369
MORH, GSHV: APO 8252, cl. 81/05-95/02, reg. no. 8258-06/95-60 of 5 September 1995; Action analysis.
370
MORH, GSHV: APO 3099, cl. 119-01/95-01, reg. no. 3099-01/95-092/1 of 13 August 1995.
371
MORH, GSHV: APO 3006, cl. 8/95-01/4, reg. no. 3006-07-95-1059-01 of 4 September 1995; Action analysis.
372
MORH, GSHV: TG commander, 12 August 1995; TG action report.
373
MORH, GSHV: APO 8259, cl. 81/95-01/08, reg. no. 8259-01/95-06 of 6 August 1995; Action analysis.
374
MORH, GSHV: APO 3010, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 3010-01/95-06 of 6 August 1995; Operational daily
report.
375
MORH, GSHV: APO 3010, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 3010-01/95-07 of 7 August 1995; Operational daily
report.
376
MORH, GSHV: APO 3010, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 3010-01/95-06 of 6 August 1995; Operational daily
report.
377
MORH, GSHV: Command of the 20th Home Guard Reg., 7 August 1995; Battle report no. 07.

123

Bačuga. On the Petrinja - Jabukovac road the brigade linked up with some of its units
in the Second Tactical Group, and pushed on to Hrvatski Čuntić, Prnjavor Čutnićki and
Jabukovac. By nighfall the brigade liberated Veliki Šušnjar and Majski Trtnik. During its
advance the Group clashed with the Serbian rearguard covering the withdrawal of its main
body and of civilians towards Glina. Part of the rearguard was destroyed, and the remainder
pulled back with the main body of the Banija Corps. The 2nd Guards Brigade reached by
nightfall the Majski Trtnik - Banski Grabovac - Veliki Šušnjari line.378 A battalion of the
140th Home Guard Regiment also reached Banski Grabovac in the early evening and took
up positions in the villages of Vlahović and Veliki Šušnjar.379 TG-2 reached Blinja with no
major effort and, by the evening, seized the village of Umetić together with part of the HV
57th Brigade, and set up defensive positions there.380
During 6 August the forces in the Sunja Theatre also began to achieve success. The
HV 103rd Brigade seized the area around the villages Drljača and Radonja Luka. After
regrouping and running into weak Serbian resistance along a 3 km stretch between the
villages of Prevršac and Panjani the brigade reached the Kostajnica - Petrinja road.381 Units
of the 17th Home Guard Regiment and the HV 151st Brigade advanced along Slovinci village of Timarci - Selište Kostajničko - village of Rosulje - Hrvatska Kostajnica. In the
afternoon hours a reinforced battalion of the HV 145th Brigade was committed along the
same line. At 1200 hours the HV 151st Brigade linked up with the units of the Bjelovar
Corps District on the Dubica - Sunja road. In the evening these forces reached Kostajnica
liberated at noon by units of the Bjelovar Corps District, and secured the communications
in the liberated area.382
On 7 August in the morning the HV 2nd Guards Brigade advanced towards Maja - Donji
Klasnić - Donji Žirovac - Dvor na Uni. Up to the crossroads at the village of Januzi it was
opposed by small enemy groups which were eliminated without halting the advance. At
Januzi and the village of Grabno the Serbian forces set up defensive positions acting as a
rearguard for the troops and civilians withdrawing via Veliki Obljaj and Mali Obljaj from
Vojnić and Vrginmost. The brigade blocked the area with part of one of its battalions,
while the main body pushed on to Brezovo Polje - Donji Žirovac. At the foot of the Vratnik
pass its advance was halted by a Serbian tank platoon from Gornji Žirovac, which engaged
targets on Vratnik and controlled the road to Donji Žirovac with its fire. The brigade
fortified the achieved line and mopped-up the villages of Čavlovica, Brđane and Ličine.383

378

MORH, GSHV: 2nd Guards Brigade, 12 August 1995. Action report for the main line of attack.
MORH, GSHV: War diary, 140th Home Guard Reg., 6 August 1995. MORH, GSHV: APO 1106, cl. 8/9501/49, reg. no. 1106-8/95-01/49 of 5 September1995; Report.
380
MORH, GSHV: TG commander, 12 August 1995; TG action report.
381
MORH, GSHV: APO 2125, cl. 8/95-01/95, reg. no. 2125-02/95-66 of 1 September 1995; Action analysis.
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, cl. 81/95-01/03, reg. no. 1075-12/95-213/1 of 13 September 1995; Analysis.
382
MORH, GSHV: APO 8314 Sunja, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 8314-01/01-2-95-184 of 5 September 1995;
Analysis. MORH, GSHV: APO 3008, cl. 818-01/95-01, reg. no. 3008-01/95-559 of 4 August 1995; Observations. MORH, GSHV: APO 3002, cl. 030-01/95-01, reg. no. 3002-01/95-1451 of 6 September 1995; Analysis.
383
MORH, GSHV: 2nd Guards Brigade, 12 August 1995; Action report for the main line of attack. MORH,
GSHV: APO 1112/30, cl. 8/95-01/32, reg. no. 1112-32/01-95-175 of 4 September 1995; Action analysis.
379

124

The small town of Dvor na Uni was the scene of the last major battle in the Banovina
region. From 4 to 7 August the SVK 33rd Infantry Brigade confronted the ARBiH 5th Corps.
Its most important mission was to hold the bridgehead on the river Una towards Republika
Srpska, used after 5 August for troop withdrawal from deep inside the Banovina. The
brigade began to crumble after the Croatian forces liberated Petrinja and Kostajnica. On 7
August the brigade withdrew across the Una. According to Serbian data, units of the SVK
13th Infantry Brigade and civilians from Kordun also reached the proximity of Dvor.384 East
of Dvor, at the village of Rosulje, parts of the 17th Home Guard Regiment, and of the 145th
and 151st Brigade, advanced from Dubica on the approaches to Kostajnica.385 In the middle
of Dvor Croatian forces clashed with Serbian troops mixed with civilians and crossing the
river into Bosnia. According to Serbian sources, HV units ran up against the remnants
of the SVK 13th Infantry Brigade and troops assembled from other Serbian units. i.e., the
Glina 24th Infantry Brigade, and six tanks of the 2nd Armoured Brigade of the Special Unit
Corps, which attacked from Bosanski Novi and the village of Vanjići. After a night battle the
Croatian forces were thrown back to the outskirts of the place and to the village of Zamlača,
because they could not manoeuvre and regroup in the town. Moreover, Serbian forces from
the surrounding hills held the access road from Kostajnica under fire. The civilians were
pulled out during the fight. A column of refugees at Žirovac was intersected for a short time
by the ARBiH 5th Corps. After deblocking, the withdrawal of the civilians and troops across
the bridge continued, and was completed in the late evening on 9 August. Soon thereafter
Croatian forces entered Dvor and linked up with units of the ARBiH 5th Corps.386
While the fighting for Dvor was going on, the 2nd Guards Brigade advanced on 8 August
to the Galijaši - Donji Žirovac line, where it linked up with part of the 505th Brigade of
the ARBiH 5th Corps. Its tactical group cut the Glina - Obljaj - Žirovac road and pushed
on to Šibine - Hajetić - Donja Buzeta - Svračica.387 On 10 August, after the official end of
the operation, parts of the brigade advanced without combat via Donji Žirovac - Komora
- Grmušani to Dvor na Uni.388 On the following day parts of the brigade, after passing
through Donji Dobretin and Gornji Dobretin, linked up at the village of Ivanjska with the
ARBiH and thereby practically completed their involvement in the operation.389 During

384

M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (KninFell in Belgrade), 218-219, 236.
According to the data of the ZZP Zagreb Intelligence Department, the HV 151st and 145th Brigade entered Dvor between 1800 and 1900 hours. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, Intelligence Dept., cl. 81/95-02/01,
reg. no. 1075-10/95-63 of 8 August 1995.
386
MORH, GSHV: APO 8314, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 8314-01/01-2-95-184 of 5 September 1995; Action
analysis. MORH, GSHV: APO 3002, cl. 030-01/95-01, reg. no. 3002-01/95-1452 of 6 September 1995; Analysis. MORH, GSHV: APO 3008, cl. 818-01/95-01, reg. no. 3008-01/95-559 of 4 August 1995; Observations.
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, cl. 81/95-01/03, reg. no. 1075-12/95-213/1 of 13 September 1995; Analysis. M.
Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 218-219, 227.
387
MORG, GSHV: 2nd Guards Brigade, 12 August 1995; information on combat along the main line of attack. MORH, GSHV: TG commander, 12 August 1995; TG action report.
388
MORH, GSHV: 2nd Guards Brigade, 12 August 1995; information on combat along the main line of attack.
389
Ibid.
385

125

advance the flanks and the rear of the 2nd Guards Brigade were occasionally secured by the
140th and 12th Home Guard Regiments and the HV 148th Brigade. From 6 August to the
end of the operation two battalions of the 140th Home Guard Regiment were continuously
subordinated to the 2nd Guards Brigade and responsible for holding the battle position and
securing the flanks.390
After its involvement in the liberation of Petrinja, the 12th Home Guard Regiment was
engaged in the securing of the area along the line of advance of the HV 2nd Guards Brigade.
During 8 August the regiment was transferred to the Vratnik pass - village of Žirovac, and
along the Dragotina- Donji Klasnić road. Over the next two days the regiment pushed on to
the state border at Donji Žirovac - Matijevići, where it established contact with the ARBiH
5th Corps.391
During the greater part of the operation the HV 148th Brigade (minus one battalion) was
in the HV General Staff reserve. On 9 August it was deployed in the villages of Veliki Šušnjar
and Martinovići, where one battalion was subordinated to the 2nd Guards Brigade in the
village of Donji Klasnić. Until 11 August it was engaged in the mopping-up and sweeping of
the villages of Donji Klasnić, Kozaperovica and Gradac Mali, after which it was pulled back
from the Banovina and demobilized.392
Most of the units committed to the liberation of Petrinja and Kostajnica were engaged
in the sweeping of (mount) Zrinska Gora. On 8 August units of the 57th Brigade reached
via Moštanica, Jabukovac and the village of Miočinovići the area of Zrinska Gora at the
Šamarica Lodge. Because of about 20,000 refugees on the Žirovac - Dvor road the brigade
halted its advance. One day later it liberated the villages of Rujevac and Bešlinac and on 10
August reached the state border at Majdan - Kolabin Jarak - Makarovača.393
After crossing the Knezovljani - Kostajnica road, the 101st Brigade swept the north-eastern
slopes of Zrinska Gora. By 1900 hours on 9 August it reached Trgovi - Grmušani - Vanjići,
and one day later Ljubina - Sočanica - Kotarani and linked up with the ARBiH 5th Corps
at Kotarani.394 The 103rd Brigade was also engaged several days in sweeping operations of
Zrinska Gora. After the mopping up of the eastern part of Zrinska Gora the brigade was
deployed along the state border on the river Una from the village of Zamlača to Volinje.395
After the liberation of Dvor na Uni units of the 17th Home Guard Regiment and of the
145th and 151st Brigades were responsible for the sweeping of the area, linkup with the ARBiH
5th Corps and securing the state border in the area of the Municipality of Dvor na Uni.396

390

MORH, GSHV: APO 1106, cl. 8/95-01/49, reg. no. 1106-02-95-2 of 5 September 1995; Report. MORH,
GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, cl. 81/95/01/3, reg. no. 1075-12/95r-213 of 22 August 1995; Analysis.
391
MORH, GSHV: APO 8252, cl. 81/05-95/02, reg. no. 8258-06/95-60 of 5 September 1995; Action analysis.
392
MORH, GSHV: APO 3005, cl. 81/95-01, reg. no. 3005-01/1-95-80 of 4 September 1995; Action analysis.
393
MORH, GSHV: APO 3099, cl. 119-01/95-01, reg. no. 3099-01/95-092/1 of 13 August 1995; Analysis.
394
MORH, GSHV: APO 2123, cl. 8/95-01, reg. no. 2123-02/95-733 of 6 September 1995; Analysis of action
in operation Storm.
395
MORH, GSHV: APO 2125, cl. 8/95-01/95, reg. no. 2125-02-95-66 of 1 September 1995; Action analysis.
396
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, cl. 81/95-01/3, reg. no. 1075-12/95-13 of 22 August 1995; Analysis. MORH,
GSHV: APO 8314, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 8314-01/01-2-95-184 of 5 September 1995; Action analysis.
MORH, GSHV: APO 3002, cl. 030/95-01, reg. no. 3002-01/95-1451 of 6 September 1995; Analysis.

126

5th Corps and HHAnother group of units from the 153rd Brigade, the 20th Home
Guard Regiment, the 102nd Brigade and the 140th Home Guard Regiment swept the
greater area of Glina, fronting the encircled Kordun Corps, and (mount) Petrova Gora.
After 11 August the 153rd Brigade and the 20th Home Guard Regiment secured the state
border.397
On 10 August in the afternoon the command of the Zagreb Corps District reported to
the HV General Staff that its forces “had fully accomplished their missions and reached
the state border of the Republic of Croatia”.398 On 11 August the positions of the 1st
Guards Brigade were also taken over.399 The two-day mopping up action of Zrinska Gora
in order to eliminate SVK remnants started on 12 August.400 Some of the ZP Zagreb units
mopped up the area along the state border and secured the liberated area.401 (Mount)

Croatian troops (Guardsmen) at Budičina

397

MORH, GSHV: War diary of the 140th Home Guard Reg. after 8 Aug. 1995. MORH, GSHV: HV 102nd
Brigade CP, D cl. 8/95-01/36, reg. no. 2124-03/1-95-21 of 17 August 1995; Action report. MORH, GSHV:
ZZP Zagreb, cl. 81/95-01/03, reg. no. 1075-12/95-213 of 22 August 1995; Analysis. MORH, GSHV: APO
8259, cl. 81/95-01/08, reg. no. 8259-01/95-40 of 5 September 1995; Action analysis.
398
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, IZpM-1-Sisak, cl. 8/95-01/49, reg. no. 1075-IZpM- 1-95-139 of 10 August
1995; Report.
399
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80/-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-464 of 11 August 1995; Order.
400
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, IZpM-2 Dvor, cl. 8/95-01/12, reg. no. 1075-NZpM-2/95-11 of 12 August
1995; Order.
401
MORH, GSHV: APO 3010, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 3010-01/95-014 of 12 August 1995; Operational daily
report. MORH, GSHV: APO 8252, cl. 81/05-95/02, reg. no. 8258-06/95-28 of 5 September 1995; Action
analysis. MORH, GSHV: APO 2121, cl. 81/95-0/01, reg. no. 2121-02/2-95-28 of 5 September 1995; Action
analysis. MORH, GSHV: APO 2123, cl. 81/95-01, reg. no. 2123-02/2-95-733/2 of 6 September 1995; Order.

127

Petrova Gora, swept by the MUP RH Special Police, was blocked jointly with the forces of
the Karlovac Corps District until 14 August.402 After mopping up, on 13 August some units
began to leave the former battlefield and return to their home stations, where they were
given a hearty welcome followed by demobilization.403
Conclusion
In terms of its place in the theatre, the Zagreb Corps District (ZZP) occupied a special
place in the Croatian Army. It was larger and stronger than the other corps districts and,
because of the large number of its units, part of them was attached to other corps districts.
According to the order of battle, it was to be reinforced with several HV General Staff units,
among which the 81st Guards Battalion was particularly significant. However, the Corps
did not receive this and some other reinforcements. The plan had to be modified, and units
of the Bjelovar Corps District committed on the Jasenovac - Hrvatska Kostajnica axis as
compensation for the missing reinforcements.
The success of the Zagreb Corps District in operation Storm was below expectations.
However, the blame does not seem to lie only with the missing reinforcements. On the very
first day of the operation parts of the 2nd Guards Brigade got stuck in the assault on Petrinja.
The halt of the brigade had an adverse effect on the subsequent course of the operation for
the whole Corps District.404 The magnitude of the crisis called for the personal intervention
of the President of the Republic who appointed a new commander of the Croatian forces in
the region of Banovina. The report sent by the Chief of the HV General Staff to the President
of the Republic stated that “in breaking through the defences along the Sisak - Petrinja axis,
wrong judgments and wrong manoeuvring decisions of the ZZP commander occasioned
unnecessary casualties and disrupted morale. The subsequently achieved success after the
arrival and decisions of General Stipetić was not fully exploited because the two-day delay
allowed the withdrawal of a considerable part of the materiel of the 39th Banija Corps and
the SVK Special Unit Corps”.405

402

MORH, GSHV: APO 2121, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 2121-02/2-95-28 of 5 September 1995; Analysis.
MORH, GSHV: APO 2125, cl. 8/95-01/95, reg. no. 2125-02-95-66 of 1 September 1995; Analysis. MORH,
GSHV: APO 3002, cl. 8/95-01/10, reg. no. 3002-01-90/95-64 of 12 August 1995; Daily report. MORH, GSHV:
ZZP Zagreb, IZpM-Sisak cl. 8/95-01/10, reg. no. 1075-IZpM-1/95-189 of 13 August 1995; Order. MORH,
GSHV: APO 3002, cl. 8/95-01/10, reg. no. 3002-01-90/95-67 of 14 August 1995; Order. MORH, GSHV: ZZP
Zagreb, cl. 801-02/95-02/76, reg. no. 1075-11/95-2 of 13 August 1995; Order. MORH, GSHV: APO 3008,
cl. 818-01/95-01, reg. no. 3008-01/95-559 of 4 August 1995; Observations. MORH, GSHV: APO 2123, cl.
8/95-01, reg. no. 2123-02/2-95-733/2 of 6 September 1995; Action analysis. MORH, GSHV: APO 3006, cl.
8/95-01/4, reg. no. 3006-07-95-1059 of 4 September 1995; Action analysis.
404
CIA analysts find the cause of HV’s problems in the assault on Petrinja in the decision of the ZPZ commander to use the 2nd Guards Brigade in order to attack the town directly instead, as originally planned, to
have it bypass and encircle the town. Because of this several HV tanks were knocked out on the approaches
to Petrinja by the SVK 31th Infantry Brigade and thus barred infantry from gaining any significant footholds in the town. According to the Americans, the secondary attack towards Kostajnica also gained little or
no ground, and only the 125th Home Guard Regiment did a better job as it pushed towards Hrvatska Dubica
along the Una river. Balkan Battlegrounds: A Military History of the Yugoslav Conflict, 1900-1995; 370.
405
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-595 of 21 August 1995; Report.
403

128

As a whole, all its initial problems notwithstanding, ZP Zagreb accomplished its
mission. During Storm it was probably the weakest operational unit of the HV.406 Poor
and uncoordinated command also distinguished the other side, the SVK Banija Corps.
Because of Croatian oversights in the fighting around Petrinja the general impression
of the worth of the Banija Corps and its 31st Motorized Brigade is higher than its actual
performance.407 During the operation the casualties of the Zagreb Corps District totalled
80 dead, 380 wounded and 16 missing men.408
The Encirclement and Surrender of the Kordun Corps
On 5 August in the early evening the main body of the Kordun Corps along with part of
the population of the Kordun region was semi-encircled by the Croatian forces. The road
towards Lika was cut, and the communication leading via Glina to Dvor na Uni could
be easily threatened. General Mile Novaković, commander of the Serbian forces in the
regions of Kordun and Banovina, ordered the command of the Kordun Corps to reduce
its defence lines and set up positions on the right bank of the river Koran from Skrad to
Tržić. The Kordun Coordinating Committee, which sat in session since 4 August as the
government authority, decided to evacuate the population towards Vojnić - Vrginmost Glina - Dvor, fearing that Croatian forces could enter Glina and cut the road. As planned,
Glina would be protected by deploying the 2nd Armoured Brigade of the Special Units
Corps and one company of the 19th Infantry Brigade at Viduševac. Only the company
executed the order, while the armoured brigade proceeded towards Dvor na Uni. During
the day Croatian and Bosniak forces split the SVK Kordun and Lika Corps entirely at
Rakovica and the Plitvice Lakes. Late on 6 August the Croatian forces entered Glina, and
the main body of the Kordun Corps with about 35,000 civilians remained encircled in
the greater area of Topusko. The Corps command applied to UNCRO for protection.409
The HV General Staff intended to commit the 1st Guards Brigade against the Kordun
Corps. On 6 August in the afternoon the brigade was ordered to prepare for the assault
along the Cetingrad - Johovo - Vojnić axis in order to crush Serbian forces, liberate
Vojnić and push on to Topusko, and set up active defence there.410 The Chief of the HV
General Staff halted all offensive operations against the Serbian forces after midnight

406

General Stipetić does not agree with this assessment before thorough research required for it is carried
out. HMDCDR: Comments of General Petar Stipetić on the text about ZPZ in the military-police operation Storm. In evaluating the action of ZPZ in Storm, believes General Tus, due account should be taken of
the fact that the mistakes committed on the first day were corrected the next day and had no effect on the
course of the operation or on its outcome, because by the end of the second day the situation proceeded as
planned in the region of Banovina as well. HMDCDR: General Tus’s review of the text on the military-police
operation Storm.
407
M. Sekulić, «Knin je pao u Beogradu» (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 239-240.
408
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, cl. 81/95-01/3, reg. no. 1075-12/95-213/1 of 13 September 1995; Analysis.
409
M. Sekulić, «Knin je pao u Beogradu» (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 216-217.
410
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08 reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-420 of 6 August 1995; Order.

129

in the night of 6/7 August and ordered Croatian forces to establish a cease-fire at 0600
hours in the area of Vojnić - Vrginmost - Glina - Kostajnica - Dvor na Uni. On the
basis of contacts with UNCRO representatives, it was felt that the surrender of Serbian
forces in the Banovina region was a matter of course. According to sources, the Zagreb
Corps District was ordered to prepare a brigade-strong unit, to seize Dvor na Uni
by 0700 accompanied by UNCRO, and to allow only unarmed persons - officers and
non-commissioned officers would be allowed handguns - to cross into Bosnia and
Herzegovina. All other weapons and materiel were to be handed over to the HV in the
presence of UNCRO.411
Soon it transpired that this ‘scenario’ would not get off the ground. The Serbian side
did not “respect the agreed conditions related to the cease-fire in the region of Banovina
and the surrender of weapons and military equipment”, and on 7 August in the morning
the Chief of the HV General Staff revoked the cease-fire order and ordered continuation
of action “in order to eliminate the enemy in Banovina and push on to the state border
of the Republic of Croatian in accordance with earlier orders”. The order called attention
to the observance and respect of the Geneva Convention in the treatment of POWs and
civilians. The commanders of the Karlovac and Bjelovar Corps Districts, and General
Stipetić, were to be responsible for the execution of the mission.412 Croatian forces were
prepared to negotiate only in the case of unconditional surrender.413 However, on the
basis of the order of the President of the Republic of Croatia Dr. Franjo Tuđman, combat
actions by the Croatian forces were halted in the afternoon of 8 August.414 Soon thereafter
the news was received that the Kordun Corps had agreed to unconditional surrender
and that General Stipetić was “engaged in technical preparations for the surrender”.415
Negotiations on the surrender of the Corps started at 1320 hours in the command of the
Ukrainian battalion in Glina, in the presence of UNCRO representatives. Surrender was
signed at about 1400 hours in the Brijuni hotel near Topusko. Croatia was represented by
General Petar Stipetić, and the Serbian side by Colonel Čedo Bulat and Tošo Pajić, RSK
minister of the interior.416 On the same day in the evening a second meeting was held

411

MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08 reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-420 of 7 August 1995; Order. General Stipetić noted that he had never received such an order and that the surrender of all weapons of the
defeated adversary was insisted upon in the negotiations. HMDCDR: Comments of General Petar Stipetić
on the text about the Zagreb Corps District in the military-police operation Storm.
412
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08 reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-421 of 7 August 1995; Order. Contrary to the source, General Stipetić stated that he had not been informed about the order and that it could
have been received by General Basarac. HMDCDR: Comments of General Petar Stipetić on the text about
the Zagreb Corps District in the military-police operation Storm.
413
MORH, GSHV: OS RH General Staff, War diary, note 347 of 8 August 1995. Just as in the case of the previous order, General Stipetić claimed that he had never received such an order. HMDCDR: Comments of
General Petar Stipetić on the text about the Zagreb Corps District in the military-police operation Storm.
414
MORH, GSHV: OS RH War diary, note 350 of 8 August 1995.
415
MORH, GSHV: OS RH General Staff, War diary, note 353 of 8 August 1995.
416
MORH, GSHV: Minutes of the surrender of the 21st Kordun Corps, 8 August 1995.

130

in Glina in order to specify the obligations of both sides and details of the surrender.417
It was agreed that the Kordun Corps would hand over all its weapons and equipment;
however, officers of the defeated army were allowed to retain their hand arms in order to
keep order in their ranks. Withdrawal was agreed along the line Topusko - Glina - Sisak
- Lipovac (motorway). Croatian authorities were obliged to ensure undisturbed and safe
passage.418
The surrender of the Corps was completed on 8 August, and weapon collection began
on 9 August at 0800.419 The undisciplined behaviour of some HV troops at Topusko
hampered surrender, but they were quickly put in order.420 After the surrender of the
Corps, Military Police units in cooperation with the MUP RH civil police secured the
line of movement for the troops of the Corps and civilians from Topusko via Glina Petrinja - Sisak - Popovača - Lipovac (motorway) from 1500 hours on 9 August until
1615 on 12 August. There were 16 columns with 1600 cars, 129 trucks, 30 buses, 1436
tractors and about 13,000 persons. In Sisak stones were thrown on the column on two
occasions and, according to the analysis, one HV soldier used his weapon - with no
consequences.421

417

MORH, GSHV: Minutes of the meeting between the representatives of the Croatian Army and civil authorities with the representatives of the 21st Kordun Corps in the presence of UNCRO, EM and UNHCR
representatives on 8 August 1995.
418
MORH, GSHV: Agreement on the surrender of the 21st Corps, 8 August 1995.
419
As recorded in the war diary, surrender started at 0920 on 9 August, and lasted through the next day.
MORH, GSHV: OS RH General Staff, War diary, note 371 of 9 August 1995; MORH, GSHV: OS RH General
Staff, War diary, note 399 of 10 August 1995.
420
MORH, GSHV: OS RH General Staff, War diary, note 399 of 10 August 1995.
421
MORH, GSHV: Military Police Directorate, cl. SP-80-01/95-158, reg. no. 512-19-01-95-632 of 16 September 1995; Analysis.

131

Colonel Čedo Bulat, commander of the 21st Kordun Corps of the so-called Army of the Serbian Krajina
(SVK) signs the surrender to the Croatian armed forces on 8 August 1995.

REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
SERBIAN SIDE

REPRESENTATIVES OF
OF THE CROATIAN ARMY

1. Commander of the 21st
Kordun Corps
Colonel Čedo Bulat

1.Lieutetant General Petar
Stipetić

2. Tošo Pajić

2. Brigadier Vlado Hodalj

3.Commander of the 11th Brig.
of the 21st Kordun Corps
Colonel Dragan Kovačić

3. Lieutenant Miroslav Vidović

WITNESSED BY:
Commander of UNCRO, Sector North
Colonel Col Mokrents

Glina, 8 August 1995

Signatures on the “Agreement on surrender of the 21st Corps”

132

Croatian troops pushing on towards Dubica, 4 August 1995 (photograph by: Željko Gašparović)

133

BJELOVAR CORPS DISTRICT

A

fter successful participation in Operation Flash (Bljesak) the Bjelovar Corps
District (ZP Bjelovar) was committed to the protection of the state border of the
Republic of Croatia along the rivers Una and Sava. The latest defence order was
signed in mid-July 1995.422 The defence mission was in force until 2 August when the Chief
of the HV General Staff issued a verbal order concerning the engagement of the Bjelovar
Corps District in the liberation of the Banovina region within the scope of Storm.423
For this mission the Bjelovar Corps District was reinforced with the 121st Home Guard
Regiment from the Osijek Corps District, the 125th Home Guard Regiment and a battalion
of the 202nd Artillery-Rocket Air Defence Brigade from the Zagreb Corps District. After
the forced crossing of the river Sava with strong artillery support, the ZPB was to eliminate
the enemy on the right bank and push on with its main body to Jasenovac - Dubica; an
auxiliary line of advance, Orahova - Dubica, was supposed to liberate Dubica and reach
the Dubica - Sunja road. After the commitment of the operational reserve, the assault was
to be sustained in the valley of the river Una along the Dubica - Kostajnica and Dubica Sunja axes until linkup with forces of the Zagreb Corps District. In the first stage of the
operation the Sava was crossed by the HV 125th Home Guard Regiment, the main body
of the 52nd Home Guard Regiment and the HV 34th Engineer Battalion. The plan for the
second phase of the assault envisioned the commitment of a battle group comprising the
24th Home Guard Regiment and a battalion of the 52nd Home Guard Regiment. The 121st
Home Guard Regiment was to organize persistent and decisive defence of the state border
from the confluence of the Mali Strug canal with the river Sava to Davor. One battalion
would be kept in reserve for other combat missions.
Field guns from the 18th Artillery Battalion and a 105 mm howitzer battery from the
121st Home Guard Regiment were engaged as the artillery support group. It was deployed
in the Plesmo - Sušije - Orahovo Polje area for the neutralization of hostile artillery,
manpower and fire systems. The organic units of the committed forces were responsible
for anti-armour combat. A battalion of the 202nd Air Defence Artillery-Rocket Brigade
and air defence platoons in the Home Guard regiments provided air defence. All the units
were responsible for engineer operations, in particular the 34th Engineer Battalion, with
focus on security of movement, placement of obstacles and fortification of the state border.
The commander of the Corps District was Major-General Luka Džanko.424
422

MORH, GSHV, ZZP Bjelovar, Bjelovar, 14 July 1995 - Operational defence order.
MORH, GSHV: Zap. ZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-04-95-1285 of 13 September 1995; Assessment.
424
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-04-95-1053 of 2 August 1995; Operational order.
423

134

The opponent of ZP Bjelovar in the Banovina region was the main body of the
26th Infantry Brigade of the SVK Banija Corps, and in Bosnia&Herzegovina the 11th
Dubica Brigade of the Army of Republika Srpska which, according to the promise of
its commander before the operation, was supposed to provide help in the form of one
company at Dubica - Rosulje.425
After receiving the operational order the ZP Bjelovar Command and its line units
had only 30 hours to prepare for action. After two mobilization runs in the evening of 3
August the units were deployed in the planned area.426 At 0300 on 4 August all the units
to be committed in the first and second echelon were ready for their missions.427 The
signal at 0530 marked the start of artillery preparation engaging the Serbian front and
in-depth line of defence, after which the units mounted their assault as planned.428
After the successful forced crossing of the river Sava at Krapje and Klenov Bok near
Jasenovac, two battalions of the HV 125th Home Guard Regiment pushed on towards
Višnjica - village of Uštica - village of Tanac - Dubica and the village of Predore - village of
Donji Cerovljani - Dubica. At Višnjica Serbian forces halted for a short time the advance
of part of the regiment. After breaking down Serbian resistance, the regiment liberated
the villages of Višnjica, Predore, Uštica and Tanac. This allowed the commitment of the
second battle echelon, a company of the 125th Home Guard Regiment, a battalion of
the ome Huard Rgime52nd Home Guard Regiment, the 265th Reconnaissance-Sabotage
Company and, somewhat later, the battle group of the 14th Home Guard Regiment.
By the evening parts of the 115th Home Guard Regiment reached the village of Donji
Cerovljani and the railway, where they were stopped and set up defensive positions.429
The 52nd Home Guard Regiment had to tie up parts of the forces of the Army of
Republika Srpska, leaving one battalion in reserve for ZP Bjelovar. The reconnaissance
platoon of the regiment crossed the river Sava at Mala Ciperna, cut the Orahova - Bosanska
Dubica road and allowed the commitment of two infantry companies towards the village
of Orahova. After intersecting the Bosanska Gradiška - Orahova - Bosanska Dubica road
these forces withdrew to the territory of the Republic of Croatia.430 In the assessment of
the ZPO Bjelovar Command this manoeuvre “misdirected the attention of the enemy,
which failed to detect the main line of our attack”.431 In the region of Banovina, after

425

M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade).
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-02, reg. no. 1077-04-95-1072 of 3 August 1995; Report.
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-04-95-1285 of 13 September 1995; Evaluation
of performance in the offensive operation Storm.
427
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, IZpM Novska, cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-04/95-510 of 4 August 1995.
428
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, IZpM Novska, cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-04/95-512 of 4 August 1995.
429
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-04/95-518 of 4 August 1995; Report. MORH,
GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-04/95-520 of 4 August 1995; Report. MORH, GSHV:
ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-04/95-526 of 4 August 1995; Report. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, APO 2147, cl. 8-/95-01/140, reg. no. 2147-01-95-39/1 of 14 August 1995; Analysis.
430
MORH, GSHV: APO 4822 Daruvar, cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 8222-02-95-19 of 14 August 1995; Analysis.
431
MORH, GSHV: APO 2147, cl. 8-/95-01/40, reg. no. 2147-04/95-526 of 14 August 1995; Analysis.
426

135

the 125th Home Guard Regiment captured the villages of Uštica and Višnjica, at 1600
a battalion of the 52nd Home Guard Regiment and the 265th Reconnaissance-Sabotage
Company were committed at Tanac - Dubica. By 21.00 hours these units seized the Jelas
and Željezara (ironworks) plants east of Donji Cerovljani.432
In the first phase of the operation the battle group of the 24th Home Guard Regiment
was part of the ZP Bjelovar reserve, while in the second it was to secure the left flank of
the 52nd Home Guard Regiment in the assault against Jasenovac - Hrvatska Dubica. The
group was committed at 1930 from Jasenovac towards Tanac, linked up at about 2100
with one battalion of the 52nd Home Guard Regiment and stopped for the night along
the Tanac - Crne Grede road.433
ZP Bjelovar completed the first day of the operation in an impressive way. That was
undoubtedly the reason why it was ordered by the HV General Staff, in the night of
4 August, to liberate Hrvatska Dubica the following day and support, “by vigorous
intervention along the valley of the river Una and the Dubica - Rausovac road”, the
assault of ZP Zagreb towards Sunja - Kostajnica.434 At the time it was already clear that
the Jasenovac - Dubica - Kostajnica assault axis pursued by ZP Bjelovar had become the
central line of action of the Croatian forces in the Banovina region because of the hitch
in the zone of responsibility of the Zagreb Corps District.435
“Driven back by strong artillery fire” in the night of 4 August the enemy withdrew
together with civilians from Hrvatska Dubica across the river Una to Bosanska Dubica.
A battalion of the 52nd Home Guard Regiment and the battle group of the 24th Home
Guard Regiment entered the empty and undefended town from the northeast, and
the 125th Home Guard Regiment from the north. A battalion of the 52nd Home Guard
Regiment and the battle group of the 24th Home Guard Regiment sustained their attack,
while security and the defence of Dubica and the state border on the river Una were
taken over by the HV 125th Home Guard Regiment.436
The battalion of the HV 52nd Home Guard Regiment pushed on from Dubica towards
Živaja - Šaš, the area of planned linkup with forces of the Zagreb Corps District. There
was no linkup, and later in the evening the battalion reached the access to the village of
Šaš.437
The battle group of the 24th Home Guard Regiment advanced from Dubica towards
Rusovac and Kostajnica. The group reached the village of Baćin, where it ran into stiff

432

MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-04/95-518 of 4 August 1995; Report.
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-04/95-5268 of 4 August 1995; Report.
MORH, GSHV: APO 2147, cl. 8/95-01/140, reg. no. 2147-01-95-39/1 of 14 August 1995; Analysis.
434
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-384 of 5 August 1995; Order.
435
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-505 of 21 August 1995; Report.
436
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-02/01, reg. no. 1077-04-95 of 5 August 1995; Report. MORH,
GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-505 of 21 August 1995; Report.
437
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-02/01, reg. no. 1077-04-95 of 5 August 1995; Report. MORH,
GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-02/01, reg. no. 1077-04-95-534 of 5 August 1995; Report.
433

136

resistance and fire from Bosnia&Herzegovina; “it returned fire, but was unable to continue
and fortified the achieved line”.438
Because of the lost momentum in the attack from Dubica towards Baćin - Kostajnica the
command of the Bjelovar Corps District decided to use one battalion and the reconnaissance
platoon of the HV 121st Home Guard Regiment for the liberation of Kostajnica. In the
afternoon these forces were transferred from Nova Gradiška to Hrvatska Dubica, where
they rested for the night.439
The ZP Bjelovar objective for 6 August was Hrvatska Kostajnica. The brunt was to be
borne by a reinforced battalion of the 121st Home Guard Regiment attacking towards
Rosulja - Čaire - Kostajnica and Kaluđer - Tadić Kosa - Kostajnica. After liberating the
village of Slabinje the battalion battled its way through the village of Čaire, and entered
Kostajnica at about 1700 hours after running into “weak but constant resistance of the
remaining” Serbian forces.440
The battalion of the 121st Home Guard Regiment was followed by the battle group of
the 24th Home Guard Regiment which seized and secured the state border from Hrvatska
Dubica to Šuplji Kamen.441
At 1200 on 6 August parts of the 52nd Home Guard Regiment linked up by the Slovinci
railway station with units of the Zagreb Corps District. After linkup the regiment pushed
on from Slovinci towards Raušovac - Selište - Kostajnica, its objectives being the liberation
of Kostajnica and the securing of the state border on the river Una. In the afternoon it took
the village of Utolica and Rausovac, and linked up with ZP Zagreb at Selište Kostajničko. In
the evening the regiment entered Kostajnica and spent the night there.442
By liberating Kostajnica ZP Bjelovar completed the offensive part of its operation. It
now had to consolidate the achieved line, secure the state border and mop up the liberated
areas between the rivers Sava and Una. During its three-day action the Bjelovar Corps
District had 7 men killed, 7 severely wounded and 15 lightly wounded.443 After the offensive
operations the Corps District took over the securing of the state border with its 125th Home
Guard Regiment from the village of Uštica to Dubica; the battle group of the 24th Home
Guard Regiment secured the Čaire - Rosulja line, and the 52nd Home Guard Regiment
was pulled back from Kostajnica to the Šaš - Živaja area where it was stationed as the
operational reserve of ZP Bjelovar.444

438

MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-02/01, reg. no. 1077-04-95-532 of 5 August 1995; Report.
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 818-01/95-02/01, reg. no. 1077-05-95-435 of 21 August 1995; Report.
440
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, IZPM Novska, cl. 80-01/95-02/01, reg. no. 1077-04-95-547 of 6 August 1995;
Report. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, IZPM Novska, cl. 80-01/95-02/01, reg. no. 1077-04-95-550 of 6 August
1995; Report. MORH, GSHV: cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06--05/01-95-505 of 21 August 1995; Report.
441
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-505 of 21 August 1995; Report.
442
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, IZPM Novska, cl. 80-01/95-02/01, reg. no. 1077-04-95 of 6 August 1995;
Report. MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-505 of 21 August 1995; Report.
443
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, IZPM Novska, cl. 80-01/95-02/01, reg. no. 1077-04-95-558 of 6 August 1995;
Report.
444
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar IZpM Novska, cl. 8J0-01/95-02/02, reg. no. 1077-04-95-564 of 7 August 1995;
Report. MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-505 of 21 August 1995; Report.
439

137

Conclusion
The Bjelovar Corps District was not originally planned for Operation Storm. After
Operation Flash it was entrusted with the organization of the system for state border
defence on the river Sava. It received its mission concerning involvement in Storm on 2
August. The time was not sufficient for adequate troop preparation, and the execution
implied a high degree of risk. The precondition for the successful start of the mission
was the forced crossing of the river, which posed an additional difficulty for the Corps
District. In spite of all this, the HV 125th Home Guard Regiment crossed the Sava
successfully. “The forced crossing was executed disregarding all rules by using a small
number of assault craft”. That was the hardest part of the mission after which the Corps
District, notwithstanding the problem of its exposed flanks, penetrated 43 km into enemy
territory. Since it was committed at the eleventh hour and since it performed almost the
major role in the Banovina theatre although it was originally envisioned as an auxiliary
force, the Bjelovar Corps District is one of the most gallant units in Operation Storm. In
the operation 8 HV troops were killed and 42 wounded.445

445

MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, cl. 80-01/95-02/01, reg. no. 1077-04-05-95-1285 of 13 September 1995;
Assessment.

138

THE AIR FORCE IN STORM

T

he basic mission of the Croatian Air Force (HRZ) in the offensive operation was air
defence, focused particularly on the Zagreb -Karlovac - Sisak - Kutina area, air support
of ground forces of the committed corps districts, reconnaissance, and airlifting of
troops and wounded HV members.446 The entire Air Force was engaged in the operation: 17
combat aircraft, 5 combat helicopters, 9 transport helicopters, 3 transport aircraft, one An-2
aircraft and one Mi-24 helicopter for electronic-thermovision action. The forces were deployed
at the air bases of Pleso, Pula, Divulje and Lučko, and the helidromes in Sinj and Požega. The
situation in the air space was monitored by ZMIN (Air Surveillance and Guidance System)
units, particularly in the sectors Kutina - Okučani - Banja Luka; Zagreb - Kupčina - Vrginmost
- Udbina; Valtura - Crna Punta - Udbina; and Zemunik - Bruška - Otočac - Udbina.447
Execution
The first HRZ combat mission was the air strike against fortified Serbian objectives, to be
carried out at exactly 0600 hours on 4 August.448 On the first day of the operation the HRZ,
according to its own assessment, knocked out the Ćelavac radio-relay node and damaged the
Magačevac radio-relay node, destroyed the command post of the 18th Infantry Brigade of the
SVK Lika Corps at Bunić, destroyed the command post at Banski Grabovac and neutralized
the Serbian positions at point 160 near Petrinja and point 206 near the confluence of the
rivers Glina and Kupa. Thirteen MIG-21s were committed in the strikes. Four MIG-21s were
committed to the air defence of the Ivanić Grad - Kutina zone and Sinj. Three Mi-8 helicopters
transported 5 severely and 15 lightly wounded troops. Four MIG-21s were damaged in action,
three of them lightly.449
On 5 August, the second day of the operation, the HRZ knocked out the communications
centre on the Zrinska Gora mountain, neutralized Serbian positions on the hill Generalovo
Brdo near Petrinja, attacked hostile positions and armour at Turanj, destroyed several tanks
and motor vehicles west of Knin on the road near Biovičino Selo, put out of action part of
the equipment in the Udbina Air Base, destroyed a larger number of motor vehicles on the
446

MORH, GSHV: HRZ and PZO command, cl. 813-07/95-01/04, reg. no. 3044-14-95-192 of 26 September
1995; Report.
447
MORH, GSHV: HRZ and PZO command, cl. 813-07/95-01/04, reg. no. 3044-14-95-192 of 17 August
1995; Analysis.
448
GSHV, cl.08-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-365 of 3 August 1995; Order.
449
MORH, GSHV: HRZ and PZO command, cl. 8/95-01/09, reg. no. 3044-14-95-54 of 4 August 1995; Analysis.

139

Batnoga - Cetingrad road and hit the “Stara Straža” depot near Knin. Eleven MiG-21s were
committed in the strikes. An Mi-24 helicopter was engaged successfully for anti-armour
combat: it attacked Serbian positions and armour along the Sisak - Moščenica road. The effect
of the strike against Serbian armour at Kamensko is not known. Three MiG-21s were engaged
for air defence in the Ivanić Grad and Sinj zone. Five Mi-8 helicopters transported 7 wounded
men, 231 troops and 15.5 tons of payload. Five MiG-21s were lightly damaged in action.450
On 6 August HRZ aircraft destroyed a multiple rocket launcher and several tanks in the
area between Babina Gora and Velika Brda, neutralized a number of tanks at Marinbrod,
neutralized a command post and mortar positions at Brezova Glava, and destroyed a bridge at
Mala Glina. An Mi-24 anti-armour helicopter destroyed 2 tanks north of Slunj at the hamlet
of Kozlina. Two MiG-21s patrolled the Ivanić Grad zone, but failed to intercept two lowflying Republika Srpska aircraft because of heavy haze. Three Mi-8 helicopters transported 19
wounded troops and 2.5 tons of payload.451
On the fourth day of the operation, 7 August, the HRZ reported the neutralization of the
command post at Srb, the destruction of several tanks at Medeno Polje near Bosanski Petrovac
and the destruction of a depot in Lička Kaldrma.452 The aircraft also carried out a demonstration
overflight of Serbian units refusing to surrender in the area of Topusko - Žirovec.453
The last HRZ action took place on 8 August. It reported the destruction of several tanks on
the Bosanski Novi railway station and the destruction of a small armoured column at Svodne
on the Bosanski Novi - Prijedor road. Two MiG-21s were lightly damaged.454
The impact of the SVK Air Force and Air Defence was insignificant. Its main units were the
105th Air Brigade and the Air Defence 44th Rocket Brigade. The Air Brigade was supposed to
support the North Dalmatian and the Lika Corps. Helicopters were prepared for anti-armour
action on call. On the first day of Storm the brigade carried out several strikes against Croatian
forces on Mount Dinara and against Gospić. On 5 August it began to move to the VRS Zalužani
airport near Banja Luka and completed the operation by the evening on 6 August.455
The SVK Air Force and Air Defence focused on protecting Knin, the Udbina airbase and the
Special Unit Corps at Slunj. One rocket battalion of the Air Defence 44th Rocket Brigade was
deployed in the area of Šamarica and prepared the attack on Sisak, Sunja and Nebojan; after
the start of Storm, it fired eight rockets on these localities. Those were also the last rockets
fired. According to Serbian sources, the Croatian Air Force did not manage to reach the
area protected by the KUB-M rocket system.456
450
MORH, GSHV: HRZ and PZO command, cl. 8/95-01/09, reg. no. 3044-14-95-62 of 5 August 1995; Regular battle
report.
451
MORH, GSHV: HRZ and PZO command, cl. 8/95-01/09, reg. no. 3044-14-95-81 of 6 August 1995; Regular battle
report.
452
MORH, GSHV: HRZ and PZO command, cl. 813-07/95-01/04, reg. no. 3044-14-95-192 of 17 August 1995; Analysis.
453
MORH, GSHV: HRZ and PZO command, cl. 8/95-01/09, reg. no. 3044-14-95-101 of 7 August 1995; Report.
454
MORH, GSHV: HRZ and PZO command, cl. 8/95-01/09, reg. no. 3044-14-95-106 of 8 August 1995; Analysis. MORH,
GSHV: HRZ and PZO command, cl. 813-07/95-01/04, reg. no. 3044-14-95-192 of 17 August 1995; Analysis.
455
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 240-245.
456
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 242-246. In his overview of Storm Sekulić frequently
claimed that NATO had helped the Croatian armed forces. There is no proof supporting such a claim, and it only reflects
a world view which saw an anti-Serbian conspiracy in everything.

140

Conclusion
The Croatian Air Force and Air Defence participated in Operation Storm with “all
their forces, and operated from all airports and air strips in the Republic of Croatia”.457
In its combat overview, the Air Force Command stated that “the Air Force had a decisive
and in some parts of the theatre even a crucial impact on the outcome of operation by its
actions against enemy communications centres, command posts and depots, and, later
on, by fire support of HV and police units”.458
The assessment may appear to be exaggerated, but the main mission was accomplished
because the Air Force prevented all significant action by Serbian aircraft from the air
bases at Udbina and Mahovljani near Banja Luka.
Both the Air Force and the Air Defence had no losses either in manpower or aircraft.
Eleven planes were damaged, one of them heavily and disabled for a longer time. The
other damage was slight and the aircraft soon resumed their mission. Planned fire
support was provided by twelve attack MiG-21s and one anti-armour Mi-24; the aircraft
flew altogether 67 sorties and delivered 8.6 tons of weapons. Fifteen MiG-21s flew fire
support missions on call with 55 sorties and 27.4 tons of weapons. The Mi-24 helicopter
flew three sorties and delivered seven anti-armour guided rockets, 30 non-guided
rockets and 400 machine-gun rounds. One Mi-24 helicopter, two MiG-21s and one
An-2 flew seven air space reconnaissance sorties. Four fighter MiG-21s flew 50 sorties
on air defence missions. Eleven transport Mi-8 helicopters flew 111 sorties, transporting
84.7 tons of payload and 485 troops.459

MiG-21 of the Croatian Air Force

457

MORH, GSHV: HRZ and PZO command, cl. 813-07/95-01/04, reg. no. 3044-14-95-192 of 17 August
1995; Analysis.
458
MORH, GSHV: HRZ and PZO command, cl. 813-07/95-01/04, reg. no. 3044-14-95-192 of 17 August
1995; Analysis.
459
Ibid.

141

ARBiH FIFTH CORPS IN STORM

W

ith their operation Summer-95 the Croatian forces relieved the position of
the ARBiH 5th Corps. The Serbian offensive in July did not continue over
the first three days in August. Attacks were still mounted, but of a much
lower intensity, and 5th Corps forces began to mount counterattacks. The 5th Corps also
provided its own contribution on the first day of Storm. Part of its forces was also engaged
towards Croatian territory at Bugar - Rakovica and Glodina - Ivanjska - Dvor na Uni.
Two battalions were committed along the Plitvice - Korenica axis with the objective to
link up as quickly as possible with Croatian forces.460
At the request of the HV General Staff, on 5 August the HVO General Staff informed
the Joint Staff of the Army of the Federation of Bosnia&Herzegovina that ARBiH and
HV forces would link up at the intersection of the Slunj - Ličko Petrovo Selo and Slunj
- Plitvice roads.461 One day later, on 6 August in the morning, ARBiH and HV forces
linked up for the first time at Rakovica. On the same day, in the confusion created by
Storm the ARBiH dealt for good with the autonomist ambitions of Fikret Abdić and his
armed forces, and thus remained the only Bosniak political and military option in the
theatre.462
It is advance towards Dvor na Uni the ARBiH 5th Corps attacked along the Čokovača Visoka Glava - Kotorani axis and point 551 - Hleb. Dvor na Uni was defended by the SVK
3rd Infantry Brigade. Until 6 August it put up an organized defence, which was disrupted
after reports that Petrinja and Kostajnica had been liberated. Until late afternoon the
brigade held the Žirovac - Dvor line. On 7 August part of the brigade was engaged in the

460

B. Felić, «Peti korpus 1992-1995» (The Fifth Corps 1992-1995), 518-520.
HR HB, GS HVO, cl. str. conf. 80-01/95-02/03, reg. no. 02-10-03-95-01 of 5 August 1995. According
to the HVO report on Storm, troops of the ARBiH 5th Corps passed Nebljuse and entered the village of
Kruge, 10 km from Donji Lapac, already on 4 August (The Military Operation ‘Storm’ and Its Aftermath,
Croatian Helsinki Committee, Zagreb 2001, 16). After the linkup between the HV 1st Guards Brigade and
the ARBiH 502nd Mountain Brigade at Rakovica on 5 August, states the CIA analysis, on 6 August the two
formations were directed to press north towards Slunj, liberated by Croatian forces in the afternoon hours.
Petrinja, Kostajnica and Glina were liberated on the same day. Balkan Battlegrounds: A Military History
of the Yugoslav Conflict, 1990-1995, 373. Of course, the ARBiH 502nd Brigade did not participate in the
liberation of Slunj.
462
B. Felić, «Peti korpus 1992-1995» (The Fifth Corps 1992-1995), 523-525.
461

142

defence of the bridgehead on the river Una and withdrawal to Bosnia&Herzegovina.463
There was fierce fighting between the ARBiH and the SVK remnants on 8 August at
Žirovac -Dvor na Uni during the withdrawal of the Serbian population and some units
from Kordun and Banovina to Bosnia&Herzegovina.464

5.
Armije
BiH
Thkorpus
e ARBiH
5th Corps

HV General Marijan Mareković and ARBiH
General HV-a Marijan Marekovi} i general
General
Dudaković
at Tržačka
Raštela
ABiH
AtifAtif
Dudakovi},
6. kolovoza
1995.
kod
on 6 August
1995.
Tr`a~kih
Ra{tela

463

M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 236. According to CIA analysts, the ARBiH
5th Corps also deserves credit for the Croatian breakout at Petrinja because the ARBiH attack deprived the
SVK Banija Corps of reserves which could have been fed to the Petrinja battle. Of course, they admit that
in time the HV would have broken through the SVK positions even without the help of the ARBiH, but at a
greater cost in manpower and time. Balkan Battlegrounds: A Military History of the Yugoslav Conflict 19901995, 370. CIA analysts neglected the situation in the remaining parts of the theatre and the fast withdrawal
of other SVK corps, which certainly had a bearing on the action of the SVK Banija Corps. They also underestimated the performance of the SVK 33rd Infantry Brigade, which held back ARBiH forces for three days.
Accordingly, their assessments about a major contribution of the ARBiH in Banovina are unfounded. Cf. M.
Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 218-219, and B. Felić, «Peti korpus 1992-1995»
(The Fifth Corps 1992-1995), 520-521.
464
B. Felić, «Peti korpus 1992-1995» (The Fifth Corps 1992-1995), 523-525.

143

The Joint Staff of the Army of the Federation of Bosnia&Herzegovina asked the HV
General Staff not to insist on the immediate withdrawal of ARBiH units from the territory
of the Republic of Croatia “until interstate commissions define the state borders, the
future use of the Plješivica radio-relay facility, the Željava airport and other possible
controversial issues”, and to provide, “as early as feasible, an overland corridor for the
delivery of materiel and supplies for the units of the ARBiH 5th Corps, and to reduce the
required procedure to a minimum”.465

Conclusion
From the standpoint of Croatian state interests the role of the ARBiH 5th Corps in Storm
was determined by its advantageous position. With its very existence the Corps hampered
the defence of the RSK and facilitated the implementation of Croatian strategic ideas.
In the operation the Corps took advantage of the disarray in Serbian ranks for several
breakthroughs with a promotional rather than a military impact if the overall scope of
the operation is taken into account. The only exception was the opportunity to eliminate
Fikret Abdić’s autonomist political and territorial option. The 5th Corps did not miss it.

465

HR HB, GS HVO, cl. str. conf. 818-01/95-02/03, reg. no. 02-10-03-95-143 of 7 August 1995; ARBiH request.

144

SUPPORT OF THE OPERATION

Osijek Corps District
The Osijek Corps District (ZP Osijek) was responsible for the defensive operation
codenamed Fenix. It was supposed to prevent the breakthrough of Serbian forces along the
Šid - Županja and Ernestinovo - Čepin lines, and create conditions for a counteroffensive
towards Borinačka Kosa - Bobotski Kanal - Trpnja. Almost all the units of the Corps
District - the 3rd and 5th Guards Brigades, the 106th, 108th, 122nd, 127th and 132nd Brigades,
and the 5th, 9th, 10th, 107th, 109th, 131st and 136th Home Guard Regiments - were deployed
in two defence echelons. The HV 105th Brigade was also allocated from ZP Bjelovar to
Osijek, along with parts of the following HV General Staff units: the 16th Artillery-Rocket
Brigade, the 15th Anti-Armour Artillery-Rocket Brigade, the 33rd Engineer Brigade, the
50th ABKO Battalion, and part of the anti-armour combat helicopter squadron.466
Prior to the operation the units of ZP Osijek were placed in a state of full combat
readiness. The 108th and 132nd Brigades, the Air Defence 201st Artillery-Rocket Brigade,
the 121st Home Guard Regiment, the 2nd River Task Force, the 68th Military Police
Battalion, the 32nd and 37th Engineer Pontoon Battalions and the 501st ABKO Company
were mobilized to their full complement; the 127th Brigade and the 136th and 157th Home
Guard Regiment were mobilized partly. The following units were mobilized on 2 August:
the 106th and 122nd Brigades, the 5th, 9th, 10th and 109th Home Guard Regiments, the 261st
Reconnaissance-Sabotage Company and the 251st Communications Company.467 On 2
August the 122nd Brigade and the 5th and 107th Home Guard Regiments were deployed in
their zones of responsibility; the remaining units followed suit on 3 August,468 and police
units on 5 August.469 During the operation there was an exchange of fire with units of
the Slavonia-Baranja Corps, but there were no attempts to mount a serious operation.
As regards its responsibility, the Osijek Corps District accomplished its mission with full
success.

466

MORH, GSHV: GDHV, RP/115 of 19 June 1995; Defence directive Op. no. 11/95, Fenix.
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Osijek, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1076-02/2-95-518 of 2 August 1995; Daily operational report.
468
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Osijek, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1076-02/2-95-519 of 3 August 1995; Daily operational report.
469
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Osijek, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1076-02/2-95-528 of 5 August 1995; Daily operational report.
467

145

Southern Theatre
During Storm the forces in the Southern Theatre were deployed in a state of preventive
combat readiness on the first line, facing the VRS Herzegovinian Corps and units of the
Yugoslav Army. In line with the plan for Operation Maestral, the units committed to
the mission were the 114th, 115th Brigades, the 116th and 156th Home Guard Regiments,
the 1st Dubrovnik Home Guard Battalion, composite naval infantry detachments from
Korčula, Brač and Hvar, the 16th Artillery Battalion, the 39th Engineer Battalion, the 415th
mobile coastal artillery battery and MUP Special Police units; air forces included two
MiG-21s and two M-24 anti-armour helicopters in Split.470 After its participation in
the first stage of Storm, the HV 144th Brigade was pulled back from the Sinj section of
the North Dalmatian theatre and subordinated on 8 August to the Southern Theatre.471
The VRS artillery engaged occasionally targets in the Dubrovnik area, but there were no
infantry or other movements.472
Croatian Navy
Like the Southern Theatre, the Croatian Navy was also in a state of high combat
readiness during Storm. It was prepared for active naval defence focused on anti-naval,
anti-submarine and countermine warfare. Naval defence in the Northern and Central
Adriatic was implemented in line with order Turs-2, and in the Southern Adriatic within
the scope of the defensive operation Maestral in the Southern Theatre.473 Committed
to the mission were primarily rocket-artillery fleet forces, a mixed naval battalion for
antisubmarine warfare, a composite battalion for countermine warfare, assault vessels
and commandos. The coastal artillery batteries of Šipan, Gruž and Molunat were
mobilized, and the Fleet brought up to its full complement along with the Hvar and Brač
composite naval infantry detachments.474

470
MORH, GSHV: Southern Theatre Command, cl. 8/95-02/115, reg. no. 3105-01-01-95-77 of 5 August
1995; Report. The report also refers to the participation of the naval infantry detachments of Pelješac and
Dugi Otok - Ugljan; however, the text acknowledged the comment of Admiral Vid Stipetić that the units
involved were actually the Brač and Hvar naval infantry detachments, and that due mention should also be
made of MUP Special Police units, and air forces (two MiG-21s and two M-24s).
471
MORH, GSHV: Southern Theatre Command, cl. 8/95-02/115, reg. no. 3105-01-01-95-109 of 8 August
1995; Report. MORH, GSHV: APO 3001, Command, cl. 031/09/95-02, reg. no. 3101-03/1-95-1-1104 of 8
August 1995; Daily operational report.
472
MORH, GSHV: Southern Theatre Command, cl. 81/95-02-01, reg. no. 3105-03-02-95-252 of 5 August
1995; Daily operational report.
473
MORH, GSHV: Southern Theatre Command, cl. 8/95-01/01, reg. no. 6030-03-95-7 of 3 August 1995;
Order.
474
MORH, GSHV: APO 6030 Split, cl. str. conf. 813-07/95-01/02, reg. no. 6030-11/95-434 of 5 August 1995;
Daily operational report. The report also refers to the participation of the Korčula and Pelješac naval infantry detachments; however, the text acknowledged the comment of Admiral Vid Stipetić that the units
involved were actually the Brač and Hvar naval infantry detachments.

146

Croatian Defence Council
The role of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) in Storm is generally speaking not mentioned,
giving rise to the impression that there was none - which, of course, is not true. During Storm some
HVO units committed in Livanjsko Polje were already under the commander of the Split Corps
District.475 After operation Summer-95 two HVO Guards Brigades were engaged in the defence
of Livanjsko Polje and Glamoč, and the forces of the Tomislavgrad Corps District endeavoured to
exploit the success achieved during the operation in order to gain better positions in the Kupres
theatre.476 For the accomplishment of the mission in Glamočko Polje and Kupreško Polje OG
North set up an advance command post in the village of Vrba near Glamoč. The mission included
the seizure of dominant points, the placing of the Kupres - Šipovo area under fire control and
creation of conditions for advance towards Šipovo and Jajce.477 Accordingly, on 4 August the
advance command post North ordered the HVO 2nd and 3rd Guards Brigades to mount the attack
on the following day.478 Over the following days the units were able to make some advances,
drawing attention to their action and tying down units of the VRS 2nd Krajina Corps.479

Croatian Guardsmen
475

A. Gotovina, “Napadajni bojevi HV i HVO” (Offensive HV and HVO Battles), 47.
MORH, GSHV: OG North Command, cl. str. conf. 8/95-01/17, reg. no. 1080-01-95-307 of 29 July 1995;
Active defence order.
477
MORH, GSHV: OG North Command, cl. str. conf. 8/95-01/17, reg. no. 1080-01-95-307, reg. no. 1080-0195-324 of 1 August 1995; of 29 July 1995; Attack order.
478
MORH, GSHV: OG North Command, cl. 8/95-02-03, reg. no. 1402/95-03-25 of 4 August 1995; Order.
479
MORH, GSHV: OG North Command, cl. str. conf. 81/95-01/19, reg. no. 1080/5-01-95-36 of 4 August
1995; Operational report. MORH, GSHV: OG North Command, cl. 818-01/05-02/05, reg. no. 1402-05-9539 of 5 August 1995; Daily operational report. MORH, GSHV: OG North Command, l. 818-01/95-02/05,
reg. no. 1402-05-95-71 of 5 August 1995; Daily operational report.
476

147

RESPONSE OF THE SVK SLAVONIA-BARANJA CORPS,
THE VRS AND THE VJ

A

lthough the SVK commitment plan clearly regulated the mission and
commitments of the Slavonia - Baranja Corps, it failed to produce any impact on
developments in the theatre. The Corps was fully mobilized, but did not pursue
its war plan mission for political reasons. The position of the Corps was specific. It was
physically separated from the other parts of the SVK and leaned directly on the Yugoslav
Army, i.e., on its Novi Sad Corps. According to the war plan they were supposed to act
together. That did not take place because the Yugoslav leadership, S. Milošević, did not
approve offensive action. Because of this the Slavonia - Baranja Corps focused on decisive
defence and occasional provocative artillery and infantry fire against Croatian positions.
The Intelligence Directorate of the HV General Staff was fully right in its assessment that
“there was no major commitment of the 11th Corps because of the lack of any decision
by the SRJ leadership” and that “the artillery attacks and minor assaults along the front
were geared to providing ‘moral support’ rather than being actual endeavours to carry
out offensive operations”.480
Until 1700 hours on 5 August two civilians were killed, 12 persons were wounded
(out of whom 5 civilians), and one soldier went missing between Nuštar and Marinci,
because of the fire from the 11th Corps. Serbian artillery caused great material damage
because it did not attack only HV positions but settlements as well. The HV responded
with artillery fire.481 On 5 August a plane out of Vukovar rocketed Nuštar on three
occasions.482 On the same day an attempt was made to mount an infantry and armour
assault towards Cerić - Nuštar and Jankovac - Hendrikovac.483 There were no further
attacks. As M. Sekulić noted bitterly, the Slavonia-Baranja Corps “behaved as if it were
part of the Yugoslav Army rather than of the Serbian Army of the Krajina.484
The agreed action of the Army of Republika Srpska also failed to materialize. During
Storm it was undergoing a serious internal crisis due to the conflict between Radovan
Karadžić, RS President and VRS Commander-in-Chief, and General Ratko Mladić, Chief
480

SVA MORH, ZZPS: Intelligence Directorate, cl. 804-08/95-172/02, reg. no. 512-06-06/1-95-1953 of 5
August 1995; Intelligence information.
481
MORH, GSHV: ZO Osijek Command, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1076-02/2-95-527 od 5 August 1995;
Report. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Osijek, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1076-02/2-95-528 of 5 August 1995; Daily
operational report.
482
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Osijek, cl. 81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1076-02/2-95-525 of 5 August 1995; Report.
483
MORH, GSHV: IZM GSHV Đakovo, cl. str. conf. 80-01/95-02/119, reg. no. 512-06-04-95-09 of 5 August
1995; Daily operational report.
484
M. Sekulić, ”Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade).

148

of the General Staff. On 4 August Karadžić tried to assume command of the armed forces
and offered General Mladić the post of “special adviser to the commander-in-chief for
the coordination of joint RS and RSK defence”. However, General Mladić turned down
the offer and kept his position with the support of the army.485
Actions of the VRS land forces intended to help the SVK were negligible. On 7 August
in the morning two VRS aircraft attacked the village of Mačkovac in the municipality of
Nova Gradiška, zone of responsibility of the 121st Home Guard Regiment. Three cluster
bombs were dropped on the village church and a near-by house; one HV soldier was
killed and seven wounded. One civilian was also killed in the raid, and five wounded, out
of whom two children.486 Altogether 5 people were killed and 38 wounded by Serbian
attacks in the area under consideration.487

Banovina, 7 August 1995

485

“General Mladić na čelu vojske” (General Mladić at the Head of the Army); Krajiški vojnik, August 1995,
19-22; “Hronologija” (Chronology), 255.
486
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, IZpM Novska cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-04-95-573 od 7 August 1995;
Report. MORH, GSHV: ZZP Bjelovar, IZpM Novska cl. 80-01/95-01, reg. no. 1077-06/03-95-575 of 7 August 1995; Report.
487
MORH, GSHV: ZP Osijek Command, cl. 560-01/95-01/01, reg. no. 1076-02/5-95-02-3 of 7 August 1995; Report.

149

UNCRO, UN AND INTERNATIONAL REACTIONS

E

arly in 1992 the internationalization of the Yugoslav crisis brought the UN
peacekeeping forces to Croatia. They were a compromise, and the Republic of
Croatia was not satisfied with their performance; neither were the rebel Serbs.
The Croats expected the full reintegration of the occupied areas, the demilitarization of
Serbian forces, the return of displaced persons and the establishment of the constitutional
order throughout the territory of the Republic of Croatia. On the other side, the rebel
Serbs experienced the plan as a recognition of their sovereignty over the territory in
which they revolted and which the JNA had conquered for them. In their view the
international forces were to play the role of the JNA, of an armed force separating them
from the Croatian armed forces.
Nothing significant happened even after the redefinition of the role of the peacekeeping
forces in the spring of 1995. UNCRO was as inefficient as UNPROFOR had been. In the
second half of July 1995 the Serbs expected a Croatian attack every day, and the view
prevailed among them that UNCRO was pro-Croatian and against the RSK.488 Some
commanders, e.g., the commander of the 11th Infantry Brigade of the SVK Kordun Corps,
even ordered, as a precaution, on 1 August the blockade of UN forces: their crossing
into the Republic of Croatia was to be prevented, and the troops disarmed and held as
hostages. They were not to be insulted or mistreated.489 It can be assumed that the order
was not an isolated event but rather a response to a circular memo.
On the Croatian side, e.g., in the case of the Karlovac Corps District, officers in
charge of liaison with UN forces transmitted to the UN personnel the “recommendation
concerning risk of movement in the zone of responsibility of the Corps”. After this notice
“UNCRO, UNMO and ECMM activities ceased and the personnel withdrew to their
bases”.490 The concentration of Croatian forces for Storm did not go unnoticed. On 4
August, at 0200 hours, Hrvoje Šarinić, Chief of Staff of the Republic of Croatia, personally
called the UNCRO commander, the French General Bernard Janvier, and informed him
about the impending action.491 Furthermore, one hour before the start of the operation
liaison officers informed the commanders of the UNCRO sectors about the impending

488

M. Sekulić, «Knin je pao uBeogradu» (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 44.
Command of the 11th Inf. Brig., str. conf. no 230/1, 1 August 1995; Order.
490
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Karlovac, cl.81/95-01/01, reg. no. 1078-02/2-95.558 of 3 August 1995; Daily operational report.
491
H. Šarinić, “Svi moji tajni pregovori sa Slobodanom Miloševićem 1993-95(98)” (All My Secret Negotiations with Slobodan Milošević 1993-95/98), 262.
489

150

start of combat operations by the Croatian armed forces. They were asked to acknowledge
in writing that they had received “from the Government of the Republic of Croatia the
written notice about the start of the assault by our forces”.492 In this way UNCRO received
the information from two levels, from its commanders and from Croatian army officers.
UNCRO officers informed the Serbs about the start of the assault.493
Operation Storm passed in an atmosphere of raised voices in the communication between
the international community and the Croatian armed forces. Reciprocal accusations
ensued from the very start. One Home Guard regiment complained that a UN unit, which
had remained on its position behind it, was illuminating its troops, allowing the Serbs to
open fire on them.494 At 0710 hours on 4 August the Split Corps District informed the HV
General Staff that “UNCRO was sending information to its superiors by open line” and
General Gotovina urged his superiors to file an official protest.495 During the operation
UNCRO members frequently objected claiming that Croatian forces were attacking their
observation points. “”As a rule, on the basis of feedback information from the battlefield
all these allegations were false”, as filed by the Head of the MORH UN and EC office in his
daily report for 6 August.496 The MORH UN and EC Office also complained because of
the incorrect conduct of certain UNCRO units (e.g., the Czech battalion), whereas it had
only words of praise for other units. Some UNCRO troops requested withdrawal from the
battlefield, which was regularly granted by HV units.497
International reactions to Storm had a much greater weight. The UN Security Council
received the information about the operation on 4 August. The Croatian side promised
that it would take due account of civilian life and UN personnel security. On the same day
the Security Council adopted a presidential statement deploring the Croatian offensive
and requesting the cessation of all military actions. Russia and the nonaligned movement
protested against the operation. The EU Presidency deplored on 5 August the Croatian
assault and suspended a number of important agreements with Croatia. There were similar
reactions on the following days. However, after 7 August they became irrelevant. The SVK
was crushed and the RSK became a matter of the past. On 10 August the Security Council
recognized these facts with its Resolution 1009 which did not question the legitimacy
of Storm. Requests for the safeguarding of human and minority rights moved to the
forefront.498

492

MORH GSHV: GSHV, cl. 08-01/95-2/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-368 of 3 August 1995; Order. MORH,
GSHV: GS OS RH War Diary, note 31 of 4 August 1995.
493
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 173.
494
MORH, GSHV: APO 8312 Zadar, cl. str. conf. 81/95-01/12, reg. no. 8312-01-95-03 of 4 August 1995;
Report.
495
MORH, GSHV: GS OS RH War diary, note 88 of 4 August 1995.
496
MORH, GSHV: MORH, UN and EC Office, cl. 018-04/95/151/01, reg. no. 512-01-04/95-183 of 6 August
1995; Daily report.
497
MORH, GSHV: MORH, UN and EC Office, cl. 018-04/95/151/02, reg. no. 512-01-04/95-69 of 6 August
1995; Extraordinary report.
498
M- Nobilo, «Hrvatski feniks: diplomatski procesi iza zatvorenih vrata 1990-1997.» (The Croatian Phenix:
Diplomatic Processes behind Closed Doors 1900-1997), 483-487.

151

OVERVIEW OF THE OPERATION

A

proposal sent to the RSK Supreme Defence Council described the fundamental
tasks of the armed forces of the rebel Croatian Serbs: “The strengthening of
the RSK and its assertion are based primarily on the existence and continuous
development of the armed forces, the SVK, whose major task has been defence from
Croatian aggression. This task requires the existence of a powerful and well-organized
armed force, which is continuously upgraded and whose combat capability is improving
and does not lag substantially behind the combat capability of the Croatian Army”.499
According to Serbian assessments, in terms of manpower the ratio was 3:1 to the
advantage of the HV. In terms of heavy weapons (artillery, armour) the ratio was even or
to the favour of the SVK.500 If the SVK could be expected to put up a fierce and protracted
resistance, the HV mission would have been a very demanding one. Protracted defence
was exactly what the HV wanted to avoid. Because of the criminal conduct of the VRS
in Bosnia&Herzegovina, Croatia could count on the tacit support of an influential part
of the international community. Therefore, time was the crucial consideration for the
Croatian armed forces. The directive of the HV General Staff for the operation - the part
providing for the use of helicopter manoeuvres - suggests the requirement to be met,
that is, gain speed by committing all available armaments and equipment. This is also
borne out by the idea about the grouping of Guards and Special Police units. During the
actual operation helicopter assault had a negligible effect on the course of the action.
Some corps districts did not get the Special Police units envisioned in the early plans of
the operation. The Zagreb Corps District mounted its assault without the 81st Guards
Battalion and assault helicopters. Part of the explanation for the failure of the Zagreb
Corps District may be gained from the examination of the helicopter mission as outlined
in the attack order for the Zagreb Corps District, the idea to commit the 81st Guards
Battalion at Sunja and the Special Police in the rear of Petrinja.501
In the preparatory phase of the operation the Operations Centre of the HV General
Staff formed two operational teams and two forward command posts (IZMs): IZM Lika

499

HDA, RSK: Condition of the SVK and problems in the competence of the RSK Supreme Defence Council.
Material for the Supreme Defence Council.
500
Boško Todorović, Dušan Vilić, “Gubitnička strategija” (Loser Strategy), Vojska, 24 Aug. 1995, 10-11.
501
MOPRH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, cl. 81/95-01/3. reg. no. 1075-12/95-213 of 13 September 1995; Analysis.
Since no corps district had any major helicopter assault forces, the question is how realistic it would have
been to expect the implementation of such a demanding and extremely difficult action such as a helicopter
assault.

152

in Ogulin headed by Major General Marijan Mareković and IZM Slavonia in Đakovo
headed by Lieutenant General Petar Stipetić. The Information&Propaganda Headquarters
of the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff was also established. At the operational
level, advance command posts were formed by the general corps district commands.
Units and materiel were deployed and echeloned in line with the plans, mobilization
started and units brought up to the planned complement, and the respective measures
were taken with regard to UNCRO members.502
The General Staff also provided assistance by sending officers to corps districts and
some lower echelon units. Their stationing was mainly received without special comments
and their engagement posed no particular problems, although in one case troops
disobeyed these officers.503 General Stipetić rightfully questioned the purpose of their
engagement considering the existing commands of the corps districts and brigades.504
After the start of the operation, the General Staff issued new orders on a daily basis in line
with developments on the battleground.505 The Chief of the HV General Staff regularly
informed the President of the Republic about the course of the operation.506 When the
hitch along the line of attack of the 2nd Guards Brigade began to affect the overall situation
in the Banovina region, the President of the Republic responded. General Petar Stipetić,
Assistant Chief of the HV General Staff for the Combat Sector was pulled back from the
HV General Staff IZM at Đakovo and appointed commander of the sector covered by
the Zagreb and Bjelovar Corps Districts. The previous commanding officers remained
on their duties and “were subordinated in every respect, together with the units of the
corps districts, to the sector commander”.507

502

MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01502-08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-505 of 21 August 1995; Report.
MORH, GSHV: IZM GSHV Ogulin, cl. 813-01/95-02/14, reg. no. 512-06-10-95-06 of 5 August 1995;
Extraordinary report.
504
HMDCDR: Comments of General Petar Stipetić on the Zagreb Corps District in the military-police
operations Storm.
505
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-384 of 5 August 1995; Order.
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-404 of 6 August 1995; Order. MORH,
GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-409 of 6 August 1995; Order. MORH, GSHV:
GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-411 of 6 August 1995; Order. MORH, GSHV: GS HV,
cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-420 of 7 August 1995; Order. MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 8001/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-421 of 7 August 1995; Order.
506
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-373 of 4 August 1995; Report.
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-400 of 5 August 1995; Report. MORH,
GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-413 of 6 August 1995; Report. MORH, GSHV:
GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-427 of 7 August 1995; Report. MORH, GSHV: GS HV,
cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-438 of 8 August 1995; Report. MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 8001/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-438 of 8 August 1995; Additional report at 19.45 hours.
507
MORH, GSHV: President of the RC, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-388 of 5 August 1995;
Order. MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-388 of 4 August 1995; Order.
MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-389 of 5 August 1995; Order. General
Stipetić noted that this did not refer to the previous commander of the Zagreb Corps District. HMDCDR:
Comments of General Petar Stipetić on the text about the Zagreb Corps District in the military-police operation Storm.
503

153

On 10 August the Chief of the HV General Staff presented to the President of the
Republic a summary report on the execution and course of the operation. The report
also referred to certain conduct and command problems.508 During the operation major
problems were observed in the organization and security of communications systems
and equipment. The insufficient availability of communications facilities in the units,
particularly in the mobilized brigades and regiments, complicated and hampered the
organization of communications, which directly influenced the possibility of having a
timely insight into the situation on the battleground and slowed down decision-making
and command.
On the Serbian side the command system was disrupted by force division into two
groups, one comprising the Lika and North Dalmatian Corps under the command of the
SVK General Staff, and the second the remaining forces under the command of General
Mile Novaković.509 The real threat strategy turned out to be a complete failure, apart
from the fact that the SVK did not have the capability for its implementation. The same
applied to the SVK trusted Special Unit Corps, the worst of all SVK corps committed in
Storm.
In the initial part of the operation the main task of the HV was the disruption of the
Serbian communications system and pushing back Serbian artillery and rocket systems
within range of Croatian towns and industrial plants. The next step involved control over
the approaches to Knin, the passes on Mount Velebit and at Ljubovo, the penetration of
the 1st Guards Brigade from Lika towards the Bihać area and of the 2nd Guards Brigade
across the Banovina region. The first day of the operation was not so efficient, perhaps, in
terms of advance on the ground, but the concurrent pressure along the entire front line
had a bearing on the decision of the RSK Supreme Defence Council on front “reduction”.
One of the rare accessible SVK documents on events on that particular day states that
the HV attack on the SVK started at 0500 hours “by the shelling of the towns of Knin,
Drniš, Udbina, Benkovac, Karin, Obrovac, Gračac, Korenica, the Udbina airstrip,
Vojnić, Vrginmost and Petrinja ... At about 0600 the ustashi mounted an infantry attack
from Sunja towards Kostajnica involving tank commitment, but the 39th Corps repulsed
successfully the assault. The infantry attack started from Brlog - Drenov Klanac - village
of Glavace, but it was beaten off ”.510
The situation did not change substantially by the end of the day. The HV score some
tactical successes, the major one being the forced crossing of the river Sava in Banovina.
At that point it turned out that the weakest link of the RSK (and the SVK) was its
President and Commander-in-chief M. Martić. In the night of 4/5 August he literally
broke down the SVK by his decision to cut down the front in Northern Dalmatia, even
if the SVK had already been dented by the HV operations on Mount Dinara and was not

508

MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-456 of 10 August 1995; Summary
report.
509
M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 175-176.
510
Command of the 11th Infantry Brigade, str. conf. 23972-95 of 4 August 1995; unit briefing.

154

capable of longer resistance. The Serbs did not expect a radical HV attack, and that was
the problem. They expected an HV attempt to cut across the Krajina and link up with
the ARBiH 5th Corps. Two days before the start of Storm the Intelligence Department of
the SVK General Staff anticipated that the HV would attempt to attack towards SunjaKostajnica - Dvor na Uni - valley of the river Una, and to break through from Ogulin
via Slunj to Cazinska Krajina. It was believed that the HV objective was intersecting the
Krajina and lifting the blockade of the ARBiH 5th Corps, thereby creating a new situation
“which they would offer to the international community as a matter of fact and propose
a decision on its acceptance”.511
After the decision to “reduce” the front the SVK began to fall apart. The process spread
from Dalmatia through Lika to Kordun and Banovina. At the end of the second day of
the operation the Intelligence Directorate of the HV General Staff rightly assessed that
all the planned objectives in the area of Dalmatia and Lika had been accomplished: the
North Dalmatian and Lika Corps were crushed, the liberation of Knin totally disoriented
the “state” and “military” structure, and led to a substantial decline of morale in the
population and military units, the corridor towards Western Bosnia was opened and
the blockade of the ARBiH 5th Corps lifted. The final conclusion was that the command
system was broken up and that the SVK no longer existed as an organized opponent.
It was acknowledged that during the first two days of the operation no SVK brigade in
Banovina and Kordun was routed, although the defence line was penetrated at several
points.512
After that the situation in the theatre depended entirely on HV actions. In the second
stage of the operation attack momentum was lost along some lines. The already mentioned
halt of the Split Corps District allowed Serbian forces to withdraw from Northern
Dalmatia and Lika, but this helped to avoid civilian casualties because HV units would
have pressed against them along the Knin - Gračac - Srb line. The second important
delay occurred in Banovina where the 2nd Guards Brigade could not be exploited for
breaking through from Petrinja to Dvor na Uni. Because of this the brunt of the fighting
for Dvor na Uni was borne by less prepared reserve units. In this way the main body of
the SVK Banija Corps and part of the Kordun Corps managed to pull out.
By effecting the linkup of the HV with the ARBiH in Lika on 6 August Storm
accomplished one of its strategic objectives - the lifting of the blockade of Gospić and
of the ARBiH 5th Corps. Since the rebel government had already been brought down by

511

VSA MORH: SVK General Staff, Intelligence Dept., str. conf. no. 2/307-4 of 2 August 1995; Intelligence
information. CIA analysis: Operation Storm started at 0500 with immediate effect throughout the Krajina.
One of the HV’s key undertakings was a program of coordinated airstrikes and sabotage missions by ground
forces against the SVK’s command and control facilities across the RSK. It was a stunning success, disrupting the ability of the SVK General Staff to coordinate the overall defence of the RSK and interfering with
operational communications down to the brigade level. Balkan Battlegrounds: A Military History of the
Yugoslav Conflict, 1990-1995, 370.
512
SVA MORH, ZZPS: Intelligence Directorate, cl. 804-0895-172/02, reg. no. 512-06-06/1-95-1953 of 5 August 1995; Intelligence information.

155

the liberation of Knin, all that remained was the liberation of the entire occupied area
of the Republic of Croatia. Some of the corps districts accomplished this goal already
on 7 August by gaining control of the state border, while others followed suit within a
few days. But those were tactical developments which had no bearing on the strategic
mission.513
The many problems associated with the execution of Storm were superseded by its
success. In practice successful operations are analyzed in a different way as compared
with failures, although that is not correct. The major undeniable problem was the
undisciplined conduct of some troops, which affected unit combat readiness and tarnished
the overall success of the operation. This was most conspicuous in the reserve units.
Thus, according to reports, discipline in some units was mediocre and more difficult to
enforce with respect to troops who had taken part in the war in 1991 and claimed greater
rights than just mobilized troops;514 some were also occasionally found to be drunk, and
posed difficulties when they had to be prevented from abusing discovered weapons and
wasting ammunition in great quantities.515 Reports also noted the “selective torching and
devastation of buildings” even after combat, with the questionable conclusion that it had
been done by “local inhabitants who had fled into the woods” and deliberately “set fire to
farm buildings in order to discredit the HV” or by “HV troops who had fled the chetnik
terror in 1991 and sought revenge”.516 Furthermore, reports recorded “an invasion of
late liberators” with comments that “plundering and torching had been prevented to a
considerable extent”, at least in part of the liberated area.517
The most serious forms of undisciplined conduct involved incidents, which obviously
could not be avoided in spite of all the emphasis placed on the respect of the Geneva
Conventions, occasioned largely by revenge because of the conduct of the rebel Serbs
and the Serbian paramilitary units in Croatia since early 1990, but also by gain. Thus,
unfortunately, some Croatian soldiers or civilians murdered part of the remaining
Serbs, and torched and destroyed part of the property of Serbs who had fled Croatia.518

513

CIA analysis: the Croatian Defence Minister Gojko Šušak pronounced the operation complete as of 1800
on 7 August. There remained, however, a few pockets of resistance for the HV to stamp out on the next day.
In the south the Gospić and Split Corps Districts, the MUP Special Police and the 1st HGZ coordinated a
drive against the last major SVK pocket of resistance around Donji Lapac - Srb. The action was complete by
2000 hours. Balkan Battlegrounds: A Military History of the Yugoslav Conflict, 1900-1995, 374.
514
MORH, GSHV: APO 1106, cl. 8/95-10/10, reg. no. 1106-140.dp-1/95/137/1 of 12 August 1995; Report.
515
MORH, GSHV: APO 2121, cl. 81/95-01/01, REF. NO. 2121-92/2-95-28 of 5 September 1995; Analysis.
516
MORH, GSHV: ZZP Zagreb, IZpM-1 Sisak, cl. 8/95-01/10, reg. no. 1075-IZpM-1/95-96 of 8 August 1995;
Report.
517
SVA MORH, ZZPS: 6th Home Guard Reg., IZM Gorje, cl. 8/95-01-88, reg. no. 8311.01-01/95-1170 of 12
August 1995; Report.
518
N. Barić, “Srpska pobuna u Hrvatskoj 1900-1995.” (Serbian Rebellion in Croatia 1900-1995), 559. Cf.
“Izvještaj vojna operacija “Oluja” i poslije, I. dio: bivši sektor Jug” (Report: The Military Operation ‘Storm’
and Its Aftermath; Part I. Former Sector South); Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Zagreb,
1999.

156

Therefore, the Croatian forces were not immune either to problems which are practically
part of everyday wartime events during offensive and especially “final” operations. While
such crimes deserve every condemnation, in past military history serious incidents
and crimes committed by the victors have not so far been prosecuted. In the Banovina
region some of these crimes were committed by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.519 The
undisciplined conduct of ARBiH troops was also confirmed on 8 August by UNCRO.520
Similarly, during Storm some Serbs were killed by their fellow-countrymen during
withdrawal from Croatia, and some of the Serbian houses were set to fire before the
arrival of Croatian forces to the area.521
During the operation the Military Police established in cooperation with the civil
police 80 check-points along the lines of advance of the Croatian armed forces. As the
HV advanced, new points were set up in the liberated area. Thus, as reported, Military
Police units “organized the patrol service in order to take control over the liberated
settlements and towns, controlled military and road traffic, prevented arson, uncontrolled
misappropriation and collection of war booty, and secured vital facilities in the liberated
area. After deployment the MUP RH regular police assumed responsibility for securing
such facilities and for the patrolling service. The check-points established immediately
after the liberation of larger settlements were in operation for 3-4 days in order to prevent
civilian entry and uncontrolled misappropriation of war booty. Immediately after the
passage of HV troops all the villages, towns and the areas along the main communications
were mopped up and swept by anti-terrorist and military police units in order to create
conditions for normal living in the liberated villages and towns, and secured traffic safety
in the liberated areas”.522
By 10 September 1995 the Military Police apprehended and investigated 1,576 persons.
“After duly recorded investigation and in cooperation with SIS and MUP RH, 659 persons
were turned over to the judiciary authorities and charges filed on suspicion of indictable
offences against the Republic of Croatia”.523 In the area reinstated into the constitutional

519

SVA MORH: SIS Directorate, Karlovac Dept.-Sisak Section, reg. no. 512M5-01¸/05-06-99-239; Official
note (undated).
520
MORH, GSHV: UN and EC Office, cl. str. conf. 018-04/95-151/02, reg. no. 512-01-04/95-73 of 8 August
1995 (UNCRO, Zagreb Hq., no. 1000-2(MA) of 8 August 1995, 1447 hours; Activities in Ostojići.
521
This is borne out by statements of Serbian refugees from Croatia in the Serbian press after Storm: Naša
borba, 12-13 1995; Vreme, 14 Aug. 1995; “Oluja pobjede” (The Storm of Victory) - photomonograph, HMDCDR, Zagreb, August 2007, 178. Furthermore, according to other statements by Serbian refugees, buildings and other property were torched “not to leave them to the Croats”. Thus, before leaving Donji Lapac
the Serbs set fire to the Kamensko Hotel, he police station and “at least 3-4 other buildings”. “Vojna operacija ‘Oluja’ i poslije” (Military Operation ‘Storm’ and Its Aftermath), Croatian Helsinki Committee, Zagreb,
2001, 25 (note 23), 25. Cf. “Žene Krajine - rat, egzodus i izbeglištvo” (The Women of the Krajina - War,
Exodus and Exile), Vesna Nikolić-Ristanović, Slobodanka Konstantinović-Vilić, Nataša Mrvić-Petrović,
Ivana Stevanović, Branislava Knežić; Institute for Criminological and Sociological Studies, Belgrade, 1996,
127-128.
522
MORH, GSHV: Military Police Directorate, cl. str. conf. 80-01/95-158, reg. 512-19-01-95-632of 16 September 1995; Analysis.
523
Ibid.

157

order of the Republic of Croatia the Military Police apprehended 558 HV members for
undisciplined conduct; 262 were detained. It filed 445 charges for breach of discipline,
searched 1,059 HV members and seized property stolen in the liberated area from 669.
In cooperation with the MUP Crime Police the Military Police investigated 321 offences
and other cases as follows: 13 murders; 18 cases of accidents involving HV members; 191
cases of arson; 13 cases of blasting; and 86 other offences (mainly misappropriation of
property). “Among the known perpetrators of these offences 79 were HV members and
274 civilians”.524
In many respects Storm was a classic land force operation with air force involvement.
The actual execution departed considerably from the original idea. In branch terms, it
was an infantry operation with strong artillery support. Penetration of enemy lines was
followed by enhanced commitment of armoured and mechanized units for pursuit and
exploitation of achieved success. Although all the brigades contributed to the success
of the operation, the brunt was borne by the professional HV units and special MUP
RH forces. They accomplished their mission, breaking through enemy lines along the
most demanding axes and then, relying on armoured and mechanized units, exploited
their initial success very quickly. This operation also showed that offensive combat, as a
more demanding form of action, was mainly too challenging a task for the reserve units,
brigades and Home Guard regiments - with some exceptions, of course.525
Almost all the corps districts took part in the offensive actions during Storm except
the Osijek Corps District and the Southern Theatre, which were responsible for the
defensive part of the operation. The units committed in the offensive part of the operation
included five HV Guards brigades, the 1st Croatian Guards Corps, one Guards battalion,
23 Home Guard regiments, 18 HV brigades (16 reserve and one conscript brigade), three
Air Defence brigade, 4 electronic surveillance units, parts of an artillery-rocket brigades,
a communications regiment, parts of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence, parts of
the Croatian Navy (for unit transport) and 2500 members of the MUP RH units.526 The
total number is 127,000. Some of the committed forces had several months of combat
experience on Mount Dinara, in Livanjsko Polje and Glamočko Polje, and in Western
Slavonia.
The Serbian side had about 40,000 troops organized in five corps and comprising 21
infantry brigades, 4 motorized brigades, 3 light brigades, 1 armoured brigade, 1 special
brigade, 1 independent infantry battalion, two detachments (1 border detachment and

524

Ibid.
CIA analysis (conclusion on execution of Storm): With no reserves the SVK static infantry brigades were
unable to counter the HV high-tempo operations and, in particular, were unable to stop the HV Guards
brigades. However, the attacks by HV Home Guard and reserve formations, which had far less training, less
discipline and lower motivation than the Guards units, were repelled almost routinely by the SVK, and it
probably could have contained an HV offensive employing only those types of formations. Balkan Battlegrounds: A Military History of the Yugoslav Conflict, 1990-1995), 375.
526
According to General Željko Sačić, M.S., ret. 3,100 members of the Special Police took part in Storm.
HMDCDR: Ž. Sačić, “Specijalna policija u ‘Oluji’” (The Special Police in Storm).
525

158

one reconnaissance-sabotage detachment), 1 composite artillery battalion, 1 composite
anti-armour artillery regiment, 1 light air defence artillery-rocket regiment, 2 composite
artillery battalions, two composite anti-armour artillery battalions, 1 engineer battalion,
5 rear bases, and air force and air defence units.
Operation Storm liberated 10,400 sq. km. or 18.4 % of the total area of the Republic of
Croatia. Losses totalled 0.12% or 1,314 persons: 196 killed, 1,100 wounded (572 severely
and 528 lightly), 3 taken prisoner, 15 missing in action. By 21 August 1995 five hundred
and seventy SVK members killed in action were duly recovered and buried.
The war booty consisted of 54 armoured combat vehicles, 497 military motor vehicles,
6 combat aircraft, 22 engineer machines, 4,112 infantry weapons, 159 bazookas, 120
mortars of different calibre, 98 field 76 to 152 mm guns, 6 multiple 128 rocket launchers,
59 anti-aircraft guns, and other weapons.527

War booty

527

MORH, GSHV: GS HV, cl. 80-01/95-02/08, reg. no. 512-06-05/01-95-505 of 21 August 1995; Report. On
29 August 1995 Dr. Ivica Kostović stated that 211 Croatian soldiers and policemen had been killed in Storm.
«Vojna operacija ‘Oluja’ i poslije» (Military Operation ‘Storm’ and Its Aftermath), Croatian Helsinki Committee, Zagreb 2001, 17 (note 14).

159

“ETHNIC CLEANSING” OR SELF-WILLED DEPARTURE

T

he most intriguing part of Operation Storm and one that still causes most
controversies is the following question: did the rebel Serbs abandon the occupied
area of the Republic of Croatia (UNPA Sectors North and South) of their own
free will or were they expelled, i.e., did Croatia carry out ethnic cleansing of the rebel
Serbs with its Operation Storm? Some people blame Croatia on the basis of the “Brijuni
transcript”, which is interpreted in different ways. Some interpretations are so radical that
they actually demonstrate total ignorance of the issue; thus, some individuals lay stress
on the “conspiracy theory” and experience war as a deal between Croatia’s and Serbia’s
leaders.528 Actually, the issue cannot be reduced to the year 1995, but regarded instead
in the context of the historical process since the start of the Serbian rebellion in Croatia
up to the end of the war. The very first statements of the rebel Serbs’ representatives
clearly expressed their position and refusal to recognize the lawfully elected Croatian
authorities, which soon spilled over into the position that coexistence with the Croats
would be impossible. The claim that life with the Croats was impossible dominated,
five years after the breakout of the rebellion, in the RSK and in the public appearances
of its inhabitants, known and unknown alike.529 Considering their mass turnout at the
plebiscite on the “autonomy of the Krajina” and their mass participation in the armed
rebellion, the massive departure of ethnic Serbs from Croatia was logical.
The departure of the Serbs from Croatia in large numbers was announced in the early
and in the final phase of the war. Thus, in late September 1991 the JNA 169th Motorized
Brigade from Loznica was transferred to Kordun within the scope of the offensive of the
main body of the SFRY armed forces against Croatia. The brigade soon fell apart, and
it was decided to pull it back to Serbia. The decision provoked the response of the local
rebel Serb leadership: The news that you are withdrawing the 169th Motorized Brigade
from the Karlovac position has spread across Kordun like wildfire. People have started to
evacuate spontaneously, and there was anxiety, confusion and desertion among the troops.
If you let the 169th mtbr leave its position before being replaced by another JNA unit, you
will be responsible for the disastrous consequences. Because of this, before you pull back the

528

Thus, the ease with which journalist A. Dragojević identifies the Brijuni meeting with the Nazi plan for the
extermination of Jews in the Second World War demonstrates her total ignorance of the issue and concepts
at stake. Andrea Dragojević, “Brijunski protokol” (The Brijuni Protocol), Zarez, Zagreb 21, Oct. 204, 9.
529
For more see Nikica Barić, “Je li 1995. godine Hrvatska počinila ‘etničko čišćenje’ Srba?” (Did Croatia
Carry out ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ of the Serbs in 1995?), Časopis za suvremenu povijest, 36/2, 2004, 441-446.

160

169th mtbr we are again asking you to bring in another unit which will protect this people
together with our TO units.530 There was no justification for such a view, because Croatian
forces were on the defensive and the JNA in one of the better phases of its war against
Croatia.
Similarly, the combat readiness report of the Knin Corps Command of January 1992
stated that the people of the Krajina were absolutely against the JNA leaving the area: The
Serbian people would leave together with the Corps units because they did not trust the UN
peacekeeping force without the JNA in Krajina.531
A similar case refers to the response of the RSK population and political parties after
Operation Flash, as reported by the Security Department of the General Staff of the
Serb Krajina Army to the SVK commander: The view prevails among the people that
Western Slavonia was sold out by Serbia and Slobodan Milošević, and that the consequence
of this new situation is a more intensive exodus of the population of this part of Krajina
mainly to the SRJ, that is, Serbia.532 After that the president of the Krajina Serbs wrote,
in his letter to the President of the Republic of Serbia: Mr. President, the tragedy which
struck the Serbian people by the latest Croatian aggression against Western Slavonia has
grave and incalculable consequences for the solution of the overall Serbian issue. Not only
has territory been lost, not only have hundreds of civilians come to grief; what enhances
anxiety even more in this terrible moment is the widespread popular belief that the Serbian
issue has been betrayed by the very Serbs. Rumours about its surrender are spreading
across the Krajina; people claim in disbelief that we have been forgotten both by Serbia
and by Republika Srpska. In many villages and towns people are packing and preparing to
leave.533
At the time Milošević was requested to send, on a temporary basis, about two thousand
troops of the Yugoslav Army and the Serbian Ministry of the Interior to garrisons in the
Krajina in order to restore the psychological stability of the population with their presence
and give the rebel Serbs in the RSK time to improve and stabilize the situation.534 Because
of Operation Flash the RSK Republican Civil Defence Staff ordered the mobilization of
all regional and municipal civil defence units with the following tasks: continuous duty
service; “organized and preparatory measures and actions for the implementation of all
protection and rescue steps with particular focus on securing shelter, evacuation and
relief of the population”; determination of the condition and capability of enterprises
and organizations of interest for protection and rescue.535

530

VSA MORH: OpŠTO Vojnić, 11 Oct. 1991; Request.
HDA, RSK: 9th Corps Command, str. conf. no. 23-34 of 22 Jan. 11992; Report on the Corps’ combat
readiness for 1991.
532
POA: SVK General Staff, Security Dept., str. conf. 33-136 of 5 May 1995; Reactions of the population and
of the political parties to the loss of Western Slavonia.
533
POA: RSK, President of the Republic, 6 April 1995; Request. The context obviously demonstrates that the
date is wrong. A letter with the identical contents was also delivered to the SRJ President Zoran Lilić.
534
Ibid.
535
POA: RSK, Republican Civil Defence Staff, no. str. conf. 01-44/95 of 1 May 1995; Order.
531

161

On the first day of Storm the decision of the RSK Supreme Defence Council led to the
exodus of the majority of the Serbian population from the occupied part of Croatia. It
was made public on 4 August at 2000 hours. According to the Decision, the evacuation
of the civil population of Northern Dalmatia and the southern part of Lika was being
organized for preventive and security reasons... The Supreme Council has chosen this
option in order to protect the civil population from possible further attacks by the Croatian
artillery and to relieve the Serbian fighters holding the defence lines of the burden of care for
their families.536 One hour later the electronic surveillance platoon of the HV 1st Guards
Brigade intercepted the information that ... the organized evacuation of women, children
and old people had started at the order of Milan Martić.537 The events that followed are
well described by Jagoda, a 45-year-old mother of two minor children, in her account
of the suffering of the people led by its leaders into exile: On that day, when Krajina fell,
on 4 August, I was still working. We were then in a barracks, in the shelter. I just heard
people talking about who had died. When things calmed down, I went home. We asked our
commander whether we would run, retreat? He said we were not going anywhere. I came
home, put the children to bed. We had three blankets in the cellar. There were also some
neighbours. Then a man came and told us to get going. Out of fear and panic we forgot to
take some clothes. We just cared the children, because they said that bombing was expected
in the morning. I just took those blankets to tuck in the children. The countryside was
desolate, and houses were burning by the road. My cousin was left behind. The column was
intersected, and he walked on corpses, for 9 kilometres, from Topusko to Dvor na Uni. The
Muslims had cut the column and slaughtered everyone. My children were terribly afraid...
As we approached Topusko we heard shelling. We passed a bend, and there was a nice small
house by the road. The shell struck it. It was horrible. The house was burning, with people
in it. Before that we had still been able to see children playing outside... There were pieces
of sheet metal all over the road. We heard moans, cries... They formed columns. Some went
faster, others lagged behind. But nobody paid any attention to others, to the sick and the
dying. One of my neighbours, a cousin of mine, died on the road. Her son drove her, dead,
for a while. But then he had to stop, because the children panicked, and just tipped her into
the roadside ditch, covered her with some branches and went on. You can imagine how that
man has felt since. And he had no opportunity to do anything. To bury her. Children were
also dying. The heat was terrible.538
When Storm started, Croatian media published on 4 August in the morning the
message of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tuđman, to ethnic Serbs,
Croatian citizens. He called upon members of the Serbian paramilitary to surrender

536

M. Sekulić, “Knin je pao u Beogradu” (KninFell in Belgrade), 179.
MORH, GSHV: 1st Guards Br., Electronic Surv. Platoon, cl. 804-08/95-022, reg. no. 1111-11-95-215, 4
Aug. 1995; Daily report.
538
«Žene Krajine - rat. exodus i izbeglištvo» (The Women of the Krajina - War, Exodus and Exile), Vesna
Nikolić-Ristanović, Slobodanka Konstantinović-Vilić, Nataša Mrvić-Petrović, Ivana Stevanović, Branislava
Knežić: Institute for criminological and sociological studies, Belgrade, 1996, 127-128.
537

162

weapons and guaranteed amnesty pursuant to Croatian laws. All persons who had not
committed any war crimes during the rebellion were urged to remain at home and
expect Croatian authorities without any fear.539 Some people believe that the message
was not sincere540, and refer in most cases to the Brijuni transcript as proof. However,
that particular transcript, as well as others occasionally released in public, can be refuted
with other transcripts - which, of course, have not been published. Thus, in one of the
transcripts, recorded in November 1991, a few days before the fall and the occupation
of Vukovar, in a serious and agonizing stage of the war, with no end in sight, Franjo
Tuđman said, in a discussion on extremist behaviour in Croatia, that he opposed all
ideas according to which “no Serb should remain in Croatia”.541 Why should he have
changed his mind on the eve of victory? After all, available sources also demonstrate that
the Croatian side did not plan and implement the banishment of the rebel Serbs.542

Serbian refugee column

539

“Kronologija rata 1989.-1998.” (Chronology of the War 1989-1998), Hrvatski informativni centar, Zagreb, 1998, 504.
Cf. N. Barić, “Je li 1995. godine Hrvatska počinila ‘etničko čišćenje’ Srba?” (Did Croatia Carry out ‘Ethnic Cleansing’
of the Serbs in 1995?), 442-443.
541
Minutes of the meeting held in the Office of the President of the Republic on Thursday, 14 November 1991.
542
N. Barić, “Je li 1995. godine Hrvatska počinila ‘etničko čišćenje’ Srba?” (Did Croatia Carry out ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ of
the Serbs in 1995?), 461.
540

163

To Croatian citizens of Serbian nationality from the occupied areas
of Knin, Gračac, Lapac, Korenica, Slunj,
Glina, Dvor and Petrinja,

Whereas all past attempts, including yesterday’s negotiations in Geneva, between the
Croatian authorities and the international communities concerning the peaceful reintegration of
the occupied Croatian areas have failed;

Whereas the instigators of the rebellion in Croatia, Martić and others, instead of
responding to the call for peaceful reintegration, continue to wage war against the Croatian State
and, together with the leaders of the rebellion in Bosnia, Karadžić and others, devise new plans for
the joint conquest of the Bihać safe area, which Croatia cannot tolerate;
Whereas the Croatian and Bosnian Serbs not only prevent the return of refugees but also continue
to persecute the non-Serbian population;

Whereas the Serbian extremists, from the very beginnings of the rebellion to this very
day, appeal for help to the remnants of Italian fascism, offering a division of Croatian territory
between Italian and Serbian imperialism;

Whereas unrestrained paramilitary Serbian units still engage in terrorist attacks on the
civil population from Slavonia to Dalmatia, shell Croatian regions and the towns of Otočac, Gospić
and Karlovac, and even while conducting in Geneva political talks about peaceful reintegration
continue to shell Dubrovnik causing new casualties;

And whereas all the attempts of the Croatian State and of the international community
to restore in a peaceful way the seized parts of Croatian territory under Croatian sovereignty
have been rejected and thwarted, the Croatian State is forced to take military-police steps for the
reintegration of these occupied areas into its constitutional and legal system.

We are forced to such a decision in order to put an end, after four years of futile
negotiations, to the outmanoeuvring of the Croatian and international public, and in order to
ensure the start of displaced person return to their homes.

164

Therefore, on behalf of the democratic government of Croatia:

I call upon all members of the Serbian paramilitary units, whether mobilized into
such units of their own free will or by force, to hand in their weapons to the Croatian authorities
with the guarantee that they will be granted amnesty pursuant to Croatian laws.

I urge the initiators of the rebellion to grasp the futility of their enterprise and its
detrimental effect on the Serbian community in Croatia if they should persist in their rebellion, to
surrender to Croatian authorities and accept pardon or a fair trial for their offences.

I call upon Croatian citizens of Serbian nationality who have not taken active part
in the rebellion to remain at home and, without any fear for their life and their property, wait
for the arrival of Croatian authorities, with the guarantee that they will be granted all civil rights
and the possibility of holding elections for local self-government, in accordance with the Croatian
Constution and the Constitutional Law. and in the presence of international observers.

I urge the representatives of Serbia and Montenegro (and their Yugoslavia) to
stop providing support to the extremists in the occupied Croatian areas, manifested also during
yesterday’s negotiations in Geneva, at which the Yugoslav chargé d’affaires was also present, when
the Croatian Serbs refused to accept the peaceful reintegration of the occupied areas. That would
have been the first step towards the overall solution of Croatian-Serbian relations throughout the
area of interest of the two neighbouring peoples and towards the normalization of relations based
on mutual recognition.

We are determined to put an end to the suffering and uncertainty of Croatian displaced
persons from the occupied areas, and to guarantee to the Croatian Serbs human and ethnic rights
in the constitutional and legal order of democratic Croatia.

The President of the Republic of Croatia

Dr Franjo Tuđman
Zagreb, 4 August 1995

Original, typewritten, Latin script
HDA-1741, National minorities, file 902/17.

165

CONCLUSION

T

here have been quite a few speculations about the political background of Operation Storm.
The criminal conduct of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serb army in the Srebrenica safe area
followed by their joint assault on Bihać together with the Croatian rebel Serbs had a bearing
on Croatia’s position. It became a factor which could help to resolve the Bosnian-Herzegovinian
crisis with, of course, a price - understanding for Croatia’s interests in the area not controlled by the
legal government. There was obviously a tacit agreement of an influential part of the international
community to a quick liberating operation. In addition to liberation, Operation Storm also had a no
less important humanitarian feature, the lifting of the blockade of the Bihać area, and this point must
not be forgotten.
The SVK was on the defence and in this respect compensated for the numerical superiority of
the Croatian forces. In terms of armaments and military equipment it was a match for the HV, and
it was even superior in armour. Its weakness lay in the fact that it was the military force of a system
which no grounds for independent existence. The RSK was a creation emerged from the unrealized
pan-Serbian plans about a similar state. The political and territorial entity which gave birth to SAO
Krajina was only a tactical step supposed to give the Serbs in Croatia legality and legitimacy as
the SFRY broke apart and to get them the international “green light” for remaining in the rump
Yugoslavia. However, the project failed, i.e., the JNA did not defeat the Croatian army - that being the
only way in which Croatia could be forced to accept the Serbian diktat concerning borders. Therefore,
SAO Krajina became the RSK, an attempt to create a state, after the autonomy project failed, which
would join up with the Serbian-Montenegrin part of Yugoslavia. After that it tried to maintain a
kind of political-territorial organization through UNPROFOR and UNCRO, and succeeded in the
effort for several years although the rebel Serbs harboured doubts about the international forces. But
time worked against the RSK and its position and internal political conditions deteriorated because
it had no material base, just as it did have the human and in particular the intellectual potential to
create something more organized than a region with few laws, a lot of autocracy and, perhaps most
accurately, rule of the stronger. An illustrative assessment was provided in mid-July 1995, on the
eve of Storm, by a Yugoslav Army colonel engaged in the SVK Air force and Air Defence: As you
travel across the RSK and visit its towns, you can easily note that nothing has been done in terms of
development. The existing resources are being exploited and the outcome is sought from some other side.
There is no normal objective such as required for every organized society. All social wealth is stagnating.
Popular culture has taken a wrong turn. All sense of reality in time and space has been lost... The
people of the RSK are exhausted by the condition which stifles every initiative. Fear from the ustashi
killers has gradually and systematically prevailed. Because of “destroy everything Croatian” people live
in fear of the ustashi doctrine of “kill everything Serbian”. And when the self-preservation instinct is not
channelled, it is clear what manifestations are possible.543

543

M. Sekulić, «Knin je pao u Beogradu» (Knin Fell in Belgrade), 232.

166

Todorović and Vilić, well-known experts of the JNA and, later, the Yugoslav Army,
“found” the roots of the SVK defeat in the anticommunism of the SDS, which rejected the
partisan strategy and imposed on the population the “loser chetnik strategy and tactics of
Pop Đujić”.544 This interpretation is valuable merely as an example of a line of thought which
expired with the disappearance of the SFRY.
Krajina disappeared because it was a delusion eventually abandoned even by those who
had contributed to its creation. The last days of the RSK showed that its weakest point was its
political and military leadership. On 4 August in the evening, the Supreme Defence Council
dominated by Martić decided to reduce the front in Northern Dalmatia. In the night of 4/5
August this led to the breakdown and withdrawal of the North Dalmatian Corps towards
Bosanska Krajina. As if by a domino effect the same fate befell the other SVK corps. Krajina
disappeared much more quickly than expected considering the strength of its armed forces.
After five years Croatia reincorporated more than 18% of the rebel-controlled and occupied
area into its constitutional and legal order. Eastern Slavonia still remained out of Croatian
control. Time soon showed that these areas and Serbian policy did not want a rerun of
Storm on the western borders of SR Yugoslavia. With the good offices of the international
community the representatives of the rebel Serbs from Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and
Western Sirmium agreed to peaceful and gradual reintegration, and signed in Erdut the
“Basic Agreement on the Region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium”.545

Photograph by Davor Višnjić, 7 August 1995
544
545

Boško Todorović, Dušan Vilić, «Gubitnička strategija» (Loser Strategy), Vojska, 24 Aug. 1995, 10-11.
“Kronologija rata” (War Chronology), 536.

167

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PHOTOGRAPHS:
- HMDCDR
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Central Military Archives
- MORH Military Museum
- MORH, Croatian Military Press Dept.
- Večernji list daily, Zagreb - photodocumentation
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169

AUTHOR’S BIOGRAPHY
Davor MARIJAN (1966) completed his education in Livno and
in Zagreb where he graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Letters
(history and archaeology) in 1994. In 2005 he also won at the
same Faculty his MS degree in 2005, and in 2006 his Ph.D. degree
on the theme The Yugoslav National Army and the Disintegration
of the Socialist Republic of Croatia 1987-1992. Since 2001 he has
been engaged, in the Croatian Institute of History, in the project
“The Creation of the Republic of Croatia and the Homeland War
1991-1995-1998”. He studies the military history of Croatia and
Yugoslavia in the period between 1941 and 1995. He has published
four books and more than twenty papers and articles.
Books:
“Borbe za Kupres” (The Battles for Kupres), AGM, Zagreb, 1999
“Smrt oklopne brigade” (The Death of the Armoured Brigade), Naklada Zoro, ZagrebSarajevo, 2002
“Bitka za Vukovar” (The Battle for Vukovar), Hrvatski institut za povijest: Podružnica
za povijest Slavonije, Srijema i Baranje, Zagreb - Slavonski Brod, 2004
“Graničari: Prilog za ratni put 108. brigade Zbora narodne garde Republike Hrvatske”
(The Frontiersmen: History of the War Path of the 108th Croatian National Guards
Brigade), Hrvatski institut za povijest: Podružnica za povijest Slavonije, Srijema i
Baranje, Zagreb - Slavonski Brod, 2006
... The key point is that Storm could not be avoided. Storm cannot be regarded outside the
context of developments in 1990-1991. The purpose of SAO Krajina emerged in 1990, and
the self-proclaimed Republic of the Serbian Krajina in late 1991 was not the creation of an
independent state in Croatia, and that is the issue. The goal of the rebel Serbs was integration
with Serbia... Some call it Yugoslavia, others Greater Serbia, ultimately it boils down to a state
in which all the Serbs live. When the project failed in 1991, the RSK was created in order to save
the day. Negotiations with the leadership of the rebel Serbs went on for three-four years... They
were really offered everything that could be offered, and they turned down the lot. All that was
left was the military option, which dealt with the issue...
... However, when a war starts, it has to be won. What is essential in the whole story, and
documents are truly convincing in this regard... is that Croatia endeavoured to avoid war in
every possible way. Even in the context of war within its borders Croatia did not attack. It was
attacked, and that should be borne in mind.
Matters came to a head with the first Bihać crisis in late 1994, which marked the start of the
Croatian cycle of operations from Livanjsko Polje up to assuming control on Mount Dinara. It
was a long process, and a chapter which needs to be taken into account in the story about the
crushing of the RSK... There are myths also about this war. Everybody has his own myths...
There is a famous myth about Serbian invincibility... In this context due consideration needs to
be taken of the fact that the Krajina Serbs were watching for seven months how the Croatian
170

army was taking over Dinara. I was born in the area, and I know how harsh winters can be
there. Practically, the entire Dinara range was slowly taken away from the Serbs by two units
which were not from that area, with the help of reserve units. One of them, the 7th Guards
Brigade, originated from north-western Croatia, where the climate and the configuration of the
ground are totally different; the second, the 4th Guards Brigade, came from the southern part
from Croatia... its headquarters was in Split... therefore, a warm-bloodied brigade faced with
brutal winter. They froze up there, but accomplished their mission. And that had an effect on
morale... Thus, practically speaking, the Split Corps District appears to have had the easier part
of the mission - Winter ’94, which was very tough, then two brief operations, Leap l and Leap
2, followed by the great Summer ’95 - the taking of Bosansko Grahovo and Glamoč.
... The degree of discrepancy between idea and execution will certainly be determined over a
longer term. One of the issues is the reason why attacks ground to a halt. The best known case
refers to the assault on Petrinja, and there are still some loose ends in that respect, related more
to the professional, military aspect rather than to reasons aired in the public, although that is
not particularly important because the operation was successful. And when the operation is
successful, all the other shortcomings become secondary. The saddest part of the story involves
the loss of several well-known and popular officers of the 2nd Guards Brigade (also known as
Gromovi, Thunders), e.g., Predrag Matanović, battalion commander, one of the symbols of
the Brigade. All the soldiers who fought with them and knew them mourned their loss. The
question which is eventually raised is a matter of pure tactics: why a frontal assault and not
encirclement? The question will be debated for quite some time. General Basarac, in charge of
the Zagreb Corps District, died recently, and we shall never hear certain things from that side.
He had his own vision, others had their own...
... Reporters have now focused on Gotovina’s alleged two-day celebration in Knin. Whatever
may have happened, it is a fact that the Split Corps District ceased all offensive operations
during those two days. Accordingly, it appears that the mission in the area under consideration
could have been accomplished earlier. Yet, whoever has ever visited the area and observed its
geographical features knows what would have happened if the two Guards brigades had pushed
on to Pađene and to Srb. Whatever anyone may think, the casualty toll would have been very
high. When the case is considered dispassionately and comprehensively, there are no major
objections. The brigades may have captured some more weapons, but a dozen old tanks possibly
won by the HV were not worth the cost in human lives. And there is no doubt that the casualty
list would have been high, because that was a bottleneck in which the two brigades would have
been trapped.
... The major issue about Storm relates to what happened later. This is a vast area, and a
more detailed analysis will certainly be required. MUP documents will facilitate the task, but, I
must admit, I had no access to them... Some 550 or 600 people are being mentioned, but, when
you remember what other armies did when they seized an area and how they behaved.... Then,
all kinds of people came in, others returned to their destroyed homes, some thirsting for revenge.
But, and that is the essential point, there are no indications that this was the plan of the state.
Unlike the planned Greater Serbian project which caused the war. That is essential. There was
no state plan, at the highest level of government in Croatia, to burn, destroy and kill, as is being
continuously imputed, now also in The Hague, there was no criminal enterprise. There are no
indications for such claims...
From Marijan Davor’ interview for Radio Zagreb
(2nd Programme, 4 October 2007),
after the publication of his book Storm.
171

172

APPENDICES
(edited by Mate Rupić)

173

174

FOREWORD TO THE APPENDICES

I

n addition to Dr. Davor Marijan’s scholarly study, the book Storm is enriched by
Appendices, documents selected and edited by Mate Rupić, Senior Archivist at the
Croatian Memorial-Documentation Centre of the Homeland War. These documents
refer to major political and military events which influenced the decision to mount
Operation Storm (the process of annexation to Serbia and of unification of the so-called
Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska, i.e., of the Serbs from Croatia and
Bosnia&Herzegovina into a single state, and the Bihać crisis), and to its aftermath (the
exodus of the Serbs from the occupied area). These developments, and the respective
selected and chronologically ordered documents, show why the issue of the occupied
territory of the Republic of Croatia could not be solved by diplomatic and peaceful
means, why Storm could no longer be delayed, and why the claims that the Croatian
leadership had banished the Serbs from the so-called Krajina are historically unfounded.
The documents in the Appendices to this book span the time from 1991 to 1995 in
order to draw attention to the fact that mounting Storm was not a sudden whim of the
Croatian leadership but rather the consequence of a long process of futile negotiations
with the leadership of the rebel Serbs on the peaceful reintegration of occupied Croatian
territory and of inefficient moves by the international community, and to emphasize that
the operation in question cannot be considered only in terms of the events in July and
August 1995. In the English translation of the documents in the Appendices some parts
have been considerably abridged and others omitted [the omitted parts are marked by
three points in brackets (...)] in order to facilitate the understanding of the documents by
the foreign readers and focus on parts important for the appreciation of the circumstances
which led to Storm. However, in order to provide the readers of the English translation
an overview of all the documents published in the Croatian edition, the description of
their contents is given at the beginning of the Appendices.
The first chapter of the Appendices comprises 30 documents testifying to the intensive
efforts of Serbian politicians focused on preparing the unification of Serbs from the
Republic of Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina (that is, the so-called Republic of Serbian
Krajina and Republika Srpska) in a single Serbian state. Thus, the Appendices list in
chronological sequence documents showing that the Serbs from Croatia and Bosnia
and Herzegovina continued to draft bills for the proclamation of the “United Serbian
Republic” even after their defeat in Operation Flash in which the Croatian armed
forces liberated part of Croatia (in early May 1995), and that the process, a step away
from becoming reality, was interrupted by the victory of the Croatian armed forces in
Operation Storm.
175

The documents in the second chapter of the Appendices cover the Bihać crisis, caused
by the assault of the Serbs from Bosnia&Herzegovina and Croatia on the UN safe area
of Bihać. They start with a memoir piece - the memories of Lieutenant General Krešimir
Ćosić, Ph.D. on the negotiations in the United States with American political and military
officials, which resulted in Operation Winter ’94 mounted by the Croatian armed forces
and the resolution of the first Bihać crisis. There follow 44 documents, largely of Serbian
origin, on the events at Bihać from 27 October 1994 until 3 August 1995, showing that
Bihać was an extraordinarily important objective in the Serbian plans. However, it could
not be achieved because of the tough resistance of the 5th Corps of the Army of B&H
and the 101st Regiment of the Croatian Defence Council (unit composed of Croats from
the Bihać area), supported by assistance from Croatia. Documents testify that Serbian
strategists shrunk from no means in their attempts to take Bihać, and even mounted a
covert operation involving the use of biological agents in poisoning food smuggled into
Bihać and intended to cause widespread disease among the troops of the ARBiH 5th
Corps but also among the population of Bihać.
The third chapter of the Appendices includes 22 documents showing that plans of
the rebel Serbs concerning evacuation of the population form the occupied territory of
Croatia in case of any assault by Croatian armed forces such as Storm existed already in
1993. They include the “Decision of the RSK Supreme Defence Council on the evacuation
of the population from the municipalities of Benkovac, Obrovac, Drniš, Gračac and
Knin towards Srb and Lapac” issued in the afternoon hours in Knin on 4 August 1995.
At the end, the Appendices present in a separate section the contents of the socalled Plan Z-4, which the rebel Serbs in Croatia did not even want to consider, and the
memories of the representatives of the international community involved in the attempts
to implement the plan. Their statements describing the way in which the representatives
of the Serbs in Croatia refused to accept the offered Plan as a platform for talks clearly
confirm that any attempt to achieve a peaceful reintegration of the occupied areas into
the constitutional and legal system of the Republic of Croatia was doomed to failure
because of the intolerant position of the Serbian leaders.
The documents presented in the Appendices can be said to be a direct and argumentsupported response to questions why, unfortunately, there was no alternative to the
military option, why the Croatian leadership could no longer delay Storm, and who was
responsible for the exile of Croatia’s ethnic Serbs on the eve of and after Storm. The
following facts also show how unconvincing are the claims that Croatia was hasty in
mounting a military solution, and that more time should have been left for negotiations
- the condition of Bihać’s defences was dramatic and the fall of Bihać would
considerably, even decisively improve the position of the Serbian armed forces;
- the leadership of the rebel Serbs turned down all peace initiatives - by the Government
of the Republic of Croatia and by the international community - and even Plan Z-4
which envisioned an extremely broad autonomy for the Serbs in Croatia, almost “a state
within the state”;
- the continuous endeavours of the Serbs from Croatia and from Bosnia&Herzegovina
focused since 1991 on the creation of a single Serbian state in the occupied parts of
176

the Republic of Croatia and of Bosnia&Herzegovina - the “United Serbian Republic” entered the final stage, the adoption of the joint constitution, just on the eve of Storm.
Considering the experience, the course of the negotiations on the peaceful reintegration
of the occupied Croatian territory into the constitutional and legal system of the Republic
of Croatia, it would really be difficult to argue that the rebel Serbs, had they succeeded in
taking Bihać and significantly improving their strategic position with respect to Croatia,
would have agreed to negotiate peaceful reintegration.

177

CONTENTS

APPENDIX 1 - PLANS OF THE REBEL SERBS FROM CROATIA REGARDING THE SECESSION
OF TERRITORY FROM THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA AND UNIFICATION WITH THE SERBS IN
BOSNIA&HERZEGOVINA AND SERBIA
1 1991, 1 April, Titova Korenica: Decision of the Executive Council of the Serbian Autonomous Region of
Krajina on the annexation of part of the territory of Croatia to the Republic of Serbia .............185
2 1991, 30 April, Knin: Decision of the Assembly of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina on the
appointment of the central commission for the referendum on unification with the Republic of
Serbia and staying in Yugoslavia .........................................................................................................186
3 1991, 16 May, Knin: Decision of the Assembly of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina on
annexation to the Republic of Serbia and staying in Yugoslavia with Serbia and Montenegro and
others willing to preserve Yugoslavia .................................................................................................188
4 1991, 27 June, Knin: Declaration on the unification of the Association of Municipalities of Bosnian
Krajina and the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina ............................................................... 189
5 1992, 1 May, Knin: Declaration of the Assembly on the political goals of the Republic of Serbian Krajina ........ 190
6 1992, 22 September, Banja Luka: Protocol on Cooperation between the governments of Republika Srpska
and the Republic of Serbian Krajina .................................................................................................. 194
7 1991, September, Knin: basic programmatic principles and goals of the Serbian Democratic Party .. 197
8 1992, 31 October, Prijedor: Declaration on the Unification of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and
Republika Srpska ................................................................................................................................. 198
9 1993, 24 April, Banja Luka: Decision on the constitution of the joint national assembly of the Republic of
Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska .............................................................................................. 200
10 1993, 19 July, Knin: Minutes of the session of the governments of Republika Srpska and the Republic
of Serbian Krajina, which agreed on unification in one state and appointed a commission for the
drafting of the constitution and other legal documents related to unification ............................ 201
11 1993, 10 August, Belgrade: Proposal of the foreign minister of the Republic of Serbian Krajina on the
selection of current war objectives related to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina .............. 203
12 1994, 1 February, Knin: Press release of the Serbian Democratic Party of the Krajina on its coalition
agreement with the Serbian Radical Party and on the common goal - the unification of all Serbian
lands and foundation of a single Serbian state ................................................................................. 204
13 1994, 5 July, Belgrade: Congratulatory message of Jovica Stanišić, head of the State Security Service of
the Republic of Serbia, to the minister of the interior of the Republic of Serbian Krajina on the
occasion of the “Security Day”
14 1994, 4 August, Plitvice Lakes: Minutes of the extraordinary session of the Assembly of the Republic of
Serbian Krajina which adopted the proposal on unification with Republika Srpska as the first step
towards a single Serbian state ............................................................................................................. 205
15 1994, 4 August, Knin: Press release of the Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina concerning the motion
to include unification of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska with Serbia and
Montenegro in the agenda of the extraordinary session of the Assembly ................................... 206
16 1994, 15 August, Knin: Statement of the Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina after the talks of the party
delegation with the leadership of Republika Srpska ....................................................................... 207
17 1994, 18 August: Proposal of the Assemblies of Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina to
the Assemblies of Serbia and Montenegro concerning unification in a single state .................. 208
18 early 1995, [Knin]: Proposed plan for the commitment of the Serbian Army of Krajina in the conflict
with the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia ......................................................................... 209

178

19 1995, 8 February (Knin): Speeches by Milan Martić, Borislav Mikelić and Milan Babić at the session of
the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina which discussed the process of negotiation with
the Republic of Croatia and Plan Z-4 ............................................................................................... 221
20 1995, 10 February [Knin]: The General Staff forwards to the corps commands and senior officers the
summary of President Milan Martić’s speech on combat readiness ............................................ 223
21 1995, 30 March, Knin: Conclusions of the Government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina following the
amended mandate of the United Nations Protective Force in the occupied area of the Republic of
Croatia ................................................................................................................................................... 227
22 1995, 6 May [Knin]: Letter of RSK President Milan Martić to Slobodan Milošević, President of the
Republic of Serbia, after the liberation of Western Slavonia by the armed forces of the Republic of
Croatia ................................................................................................................................................... 228
23 1995, 18 May, Borovo Selo: part of speech of the RSK President Milan Martić on the state crisis after the
Croatian Army liberated Western Slavonia, and plans of unification with Republika Srpska as the
first step towards the unification of all Serbian lands ..................................................................... 230
24 1995, 20 May, Borovo Selo: Decision of the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina on starting the
implementation of unification with Republika Srpska ................................................................... 233
25 1995, 29 May, Knin: Minutes of the session of the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina which
approved the decision on state unification with Republika Srpska ............................................... 234
26 1995, 29 May, Knin: Decision of the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina concerning the
preliminary agreement to the decision of state unification with Republika Srpska
27 1995, 29 May, Knin: Decision of the Assembly of the Republika Srpska concerning agreement to the
constitutional law on the interim constitutional arrangement of the United Republika Srpska
28 1995, 2 June, Knin: Press release of the Serbian Democratic Party of the Krajina concerning the
appointment of the new government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
29 1995, 29 June, Knin: Opinion of the cabinet of the RSK president concerning the preliminary draft of the
law package for the preparation of the legislation of the United Republika Srpska ................... 235
30 1995, 30 July: from the decisions of the RSK Supreme Defence Council on the proclamation of the state
of war ..................................................................................................................................................... 236

APPENDIX 2 - ASSAULT OF THE REBEL SERBS FROM BOSNIA&HERZEGOVINA AND FROM THE
OCCUPIED TERRITORY OF CROATIA ON THE UN SAFE AREA OF BIHAĆ
Ćosić, Krešimir: How we changed the course of the war; Operation Winter 94 (memoir notes) .............. 239
1 1994, 27 October: The General Staff of Republika Srpska requests from the Supreme Command of the
Armed Forces of the Republic of Serbian Krajina help in the Western Bosnian Theatre - the
Drvar Krajina - and against the ARBiH 5th Corps ........................................................................... 249
2 1994, 30 October - 23 December, Knin: from the war diary of the General Staff of the Serbian Krajina
Army on assault on the Bihać safe area
3 1994, 7 November, Nebljusi: Order of the Command of Tactical Group 1 to subordinate units for attack
on HVO forces and the ARBiH 5th Corps defending Bihać
4 1994, 10 November, Knin: Letter of the SVK General Staff to the UNPROFOR Command in Zagreb
denying charges of attacks on and shelling of the Bihać safe area
5 1994, 13 November, Grahovo: Daily report of the VRS 2nd Krajina Corps on fighting in the Krupa and
Kupres battlefields, and attack on the Bihać safe area ..................................................................... 250
6 1994, 18 November: Combat report of the 21st Corps Command to the GŠ SVK Forward Command Post
in Korenica on the pressure of Croatian armed forces along the line of disengagement and the
commitment of forces to the attack on the Bihać safe area
7 1994, 20 November: Report of the VRS Security&Intelligence Sector to General Milovanović concerning
the letter of the International Red Cross on the situation in Bihać after the assault of Serbian
forces ...................................................................................................................................................... 252
8 1994, 20 November, Petrova Gora: Report of the 21st Corps to the GŠ SVK on the blocking of UNPROFOR as
a response to possible NATO air strikes because of the assault of Serbian forces on the Bihać safe area

179

9 1994, 20 November: Regular combat report of the 2nd Krajina Corps to the VRS General Staff concerning
fighting at the routes of access to Bihać
10 1994, 21 November, Knin: Notice of the MUP Public Security Directorate to the RSK MUP Brigade on
the dispatching of additional reinforcements of 100 troops, and on the final attack on Bihać being
prepared by the forces of Republika Srpska
11 1994, 27 November, Oštrelj-Petrovac: Daily report of the Command of the VRS 2nd Corps to units
involved in the assault on the Bihać safe area concerning the fighting and the refusal of the ARBiH
5th Corps to surrender, and the lack of materiel for sustaining the assault .................................. 254
12 1994, 28 November, Petrova Gora: Report of the 21st Corps Command to GŠ SVK IKOM Korenica on the
commitment of troops and materiel in the assault on the Bihać Safe Haven
13 1994, 2 December: Report of the VRS 2nd Corps Command to the SVK General Staff on the advance of
Croatian forces in Livanjsko Polje and Glamočko Polje, and of Serbian forces towards Krupa Bihać
14 1994, 5 December: Report of the 2nd Corps Command to the VSK General Staff on the breakthrough of
Croatian forces in the Kupres battlefield .......................................................................................... 254
15 1994, 6 December: Report of the 2nd Corps Command to the SVK General Staff on assault actions in the
Bihać - Krupa battlefield and on the pressure of Croatian forces in the Livno - Glamoč battlefield
16 1994, 15 December: Report of the 15th Corps to the SVK General Staff on the troops and materiel
committed to the assault on the Bihać safe area
17 1994, 16 December [Knin]: Analysis of SVK material consumption in Operation Spider, and plan of
material procurement for continued assault on the Bihać safe area ............................................. 255
18 1994, 18 December: Progress report of the Spider Command to the SVK General Staff on the assault on
the Bihać safe area and new offensive lines
19 1995, 6 January: Communication of the Command of the SVK 15th Infantry Brigade to subordinate units
on the current situation in the battlefield and the reasons underlying the gridlock in the assault on
the Bihać safe area ................................................................................................................................ 257
20 1995, 17 February: Oštrelj-Petrovac: Summons requesting corps commanders and representatives of the
VRS and SVK General Staff to attend the meeting of the Spider Command in order to analyze the
gridlock in the assault on the Bihać safe area ................................................................................... 258
21 1995, 1 March, Petrinja: Letter of SO Petrinja to the RSK Ministry of Defence requesting an analysis
of developments in the battlefield in Western Bosnia, where the Petrinja Brigade suffered great
losses, and answers to questions concerning loss of territory between 1992 and 1994 .............. 258
22 1995, 10 April: Report of the SVK General Staff to Slobodan Milošević, Milan Martić and Momčilo Perišić
on Croatian force activities, the situation in Western Bosnia, unit morale, personnel problems and
relations with UNPROFOR in the first quarter of 1995 ................................................................. 259
23 1995, 5 May, Oštrelj-Petrovac: Report of the 2nd Corps Command to the VRS General Staff on the
meeting in Knin which considered the situation at Bihać and decided to commit RS MUP units in
the assault on Bihać instead of the SVK Lika Corps because the latter lacked the required forces
24 1995, 27 May, Oštrelj-Petrovac: Report of the 2nd Corps Command to the VRS General Staff concerning
the meeting with Mile Mrkšić, commander of the Spider Operational Group, which considered
operations against the ARBiH 5th Corps and Croatian forces on Mount Dinara and in Livanjsko
Polje ........................................................................................................................................................ 263
25 1995, 9 June, Knin: Information of the SVK General Staff Intelligence Department on the breakthrough
of Croatian forces towards Mount Šator, the situation in the Bihać theatre and overflights of aircraft
supplying the Bihać safe area and the ARBiH 5th Corps from Croatia
26 1995, 11 June, Knin: Extraordinary operational report of the SVK General Staff to S. Milošević, M. Martić
and M. Perišić on the situation in the Bihać theatre, in Livanjsko Polje and on Mount Dinara, SVK
restructuring and anticipated officer reinforcements from the VJ ................................................ 264
27 1995, July, Knin: Plan of counterintelligence security for Operation Sword-1 staged by the Serbian Army
of the Krajina and the Yugoslav Army: the use of biological warfare (poisoning) against the troops
of the ARBiH 5th Corps ....................................................................................................................... 267
28 1995, 23 July, Bihać: Report of the ARBiH 5th Corps and the GS HVO Bihać to the RBiH Embassy in
Zagreb on the powerful breakthrough of SVK forces threatening to rout the defences of Bihać ..... 268

180

29 1995, 23 July: Report of the GŠ SVK Intelligence Dept. on the mobilization and movements of Croatian
forces along the confrontation line and the humanitarian disaster in the Bihać safe area
30 1995, 24 July, Petrinja: Communication of the SVK 39th Corps Command to subordinate unit commands on
the possible aggression by Croatian forces intended to relieve the threatened ARBiH 5th Corps ..... 269
31 1995, 25 July, Petrinja: Communication of the SVK 39th Corps Intelligence Dept. to subordinate units on
the possible Croatian airborne assault at Bihać ................................................................................ 270
32 1995, 25 July, Knin: Report of the SVK General Staff to the RSK president on Croatian Army pressures at
Grahovo and along the confrontation lines in Croatia
33 1995, 26 July, Bihać: Report of the Command of the ARBiH 5th Corps to the R BiH Embassy in Zagreb
on the difficult situation in the field and linkup with Croatian forces as the only solution ....... 271
34 1995, 26 July, Knin: Report of the SVK General Staff to the RSK president on the breakthrough of
Croatian forces on Mount Dinara, fighting at Bihać and the situation in the zones of other corps
35 1995, 26 July, Knin: Report of the Intelligence Dept. of the SVK General Staff to the Security Directorate
of the VJ General Staff on the implementation of the covert operation Sword-1 - the use of
biological agents to be added to foodstuffs delivered under cover to the ARBiH 5th Corps and
intended to cause mass poisoning of the troops and knocking them out of action ................... 272
36 1995, 26 July, Knin: Communication of the RSK MUP to the special unit commander on the advance of
Croatian forces which broke the defence line at Grahovo and its imminent fall ....................... 276
37 1995, 26 July: Report of Operational Group 1 Command to the Advance Command Post of the VRS
General Staff on the advance of Croatian forces in the action at Grahovo ................................. 276
38 1995, 28 July, Bihać: Report of the ARBiH 5th Corps to the BiH Embassy in Zagreb on chetnik breakthrough
at Bugari and heavy attacks from mounts Plješivica and Grmeč ................................................. 277
39 1995, 29 July, Korenica: Report of SUP Korenica to RSK MUP on the deployment of a unit at Resanovo
in Republika Srpska after the Croatian forces took Grahovo ....................................................... 278
40 1995, 30 July, Knin: Communication of the RSK State Information Agency Iskra on the visit of Ratko
Mladić, VRS commander, to Knin and on his statement concerning the assault on Bihać ..... 279
41 1995, 31 July, Vrhovine: The command of the 50th infantry brigade forwarded to all subordinate units the
information received from the SVK 15th Corps on the situation after the breakthrough of Croatian
forces and the taking of Grahovo and Glamoč, the deployment of HV forces along possible attack
positions and proclamation of the state of war .............................................................................. 280
42 1995, 1 August: Order of the command of the 11th infantry brigade to subordinate units to block
UNPROFOR units, in case of a Croatian attack, disarm them and keep them as hostages .... 281
43 1995, 3 August: Report of the Security Department of the 15th Corps Command to the GŠ SVK Security
Department on the increased pressure by Croatian forces which hampers the deployment of fresh
forces for the Grahovo operation, and daily exodus of non-combatant population to the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia ...................................................................................................................... 282

APPENDIX 3 - EVACUATION OF THE POPULATION FROM THE OCCUPIED TERRITORY OF CROATIA
BEFORE AND DURING “STORM”
1 1993, 27 January, Benkovac: Report of Autotransport Benkovac to the Benkovac Municipal Crisis Centre
on the participation of the company in the plan for the evacuation of the civil population
2 1993, 18 February, Petrinja: Evacuation plan of the Petrinja Civil Defence Centre forwarded by the
command of the SVK 31st Brigade to subordinate unit commands
3 1993, 4 March, Jasenovac: Evacuation plan for the civil population of Jasenovac
4 [1993, 23 March]: Report on civil defence inspection in the municipalities of Vrginmost and Vojnić ...... 287
5 [1993, July; Okučani]: Letter of the Western Slavonia Directorate of the RSK Ministry of Defence to the
command of the SVK 18th Corps requesting, in line with the plan for the evacuation of the population
to Republika Srpska, the specifications of the routes and crossings on the river Sava .................. 290
6 1993, 5 August, Pakrac: Report of the Pakrac municipal civil defence centre to the district civil defence
headquarters in Okučani concerning the population evacuation plan in the event of a Croatian
offensive

181

7 1994, 1 February: Report of the Okučani police station to the Okučani Secretariat for Internal Affairs on
the plan of evacuation of the population from Western Slavonia ................................................. 291
8 1994, 26 March, Knin: Response of the Ministry of Defence to the RSK Assembly to the member’s question
concerning the provision of sufficient quantities of fuel for the evacuation of the population .... 294
9 1995, 7 February, Krnjak: Plan for the evaluation of the population from the local communities of Donji
Skrad, Tušilovićki Cerovac, Tušilović and Brezova Glava
10 1995, April, Knin: RSK Civil Defence Headquarters - assessment of threat and protection and rescue
possibilities ............................................................................................................................................ 295
11 1995, 11 May, Knin: Report of the Security Department of the SVK General Staff to the Security
Directorate of the VJ General Staff on enhanced HV propaganda activities, losses sustained in the
assault on the Bihać safe area and civilian exodus from Benkovac ............................................... 308
12 1995, 30 May, Knin: Order of the SVK General Staff concerning measures for the elimination of
weaknesses in the armed forces and other developments underlying the loss of territory ....... 310
13 1995, 6 June, Knin: Communication of the military cabinet of the RSK president to the SVK General Staff
concerning the visit of the delegation from Obrovac which reported an alarming military&security
situation threatening to develop into spontaneous or organized exodus of the population ..... 312
14 1995, 29 July, Knin: Order of the RSK Civil Defence Headquarters to regional civil defence centres
concerning the implementation of evacuation, relief and care plans ........................................... 313
15 1995, 31 July, Knin: Order of the RSK Ministry of the Interior to the secretariats of internal affairs to
prepare for speedy evacuation of files and records because of the proclaimed state of war
16 1995, 31 July, Drniš: Report of the Drniš dept. of the Ministry of Defence to the Northern Dalmatia
Directorate on measures for the preparation of the evacuation ................................................... 315
17 1995, 31 July, Knin: Report of the Military and Civil Affairs Sector of the RSK Ministry of Defence
concerning mobilization and bringing of the units to full wartime complement, and spontaneous
evacuation of the population after the news that Croatian forces had broken through the defence
lines at Strmica .................................................................................................................................... 316
18 1995, 2 August, Knin: The RSK Civil Defence Headquarters requests from the regional centres reports on
the implementation of civil defence plans, evacuation and relief ................................................ 318
19 1995, 2 August, Knin: Order of the RSK Civil Defence Headquarters instructing all regional civil defence
centres to proceed immediately to the implementation of evacuation plans ............................ 319
20 1995, 3 August, Korenica: Instructions of the regional civil defence centre in Korenica to municipal civil
defence departments concerning preparations for the evacuation of material and cultural assets,
and evacuation of the population
21 1995, 3 August, Knin: Daily report of the Security Dept. of the SVK General Staff to the Security
Directorate of the VJ General Staff concerning the request of the General Staff to have the SVK air
force bombard Split because of the attack on Drvar, the spreading of rumours about the HV attack
on RSK, situation in SVK units, situation in the Grahovo - Glamoč theatre, and prevailing public
opinion that the SVK could not defend itself, and that it would be better for the people to move
out than to become encircled and perish ....................................................................................... 321
22 1995, 4 August, Knin: Decision of the RSK Supreme Defence Council on the evacuation of the population
from the municipalities of Benkovac, Obrovac, Drniš, Gračac and Knin towards Srb and Lapac .... 325

APPENDIX 4 - PLAN OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
PEACEFUL REINTEGRATION OF OCCUPIED CROATIAN TERRITORIES INTO THE CONSTITUTIONAL
AND LEGAL SYSTEM OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA, EARLY 1995

182

APPENDIX 1
PLANS OF THE REBEL SERBS FROM CROATIA
ON THE SECESSION OF TERRITORY FROM THE REPUBLIC
OF CROATIA AND UNIFICATION WITH THE SERBS IN
BOSNIA&HERZEGOVINA AND SERBIA

183

184

APPENDIX I

1
1991, 1 April
Titova Korenica
Decision of the Executive Council of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina on the
annexation of part of the territory of Croatia to the Republic of Serbia
____________________
On the basis of the previous Decision on the Secession of the Serbian Autonomous
Province of the Krajina1 from the Republic of Croatia, at its meeting held on 10 April
1991 the Executive Council of the Serbian Autonomous Province of the Krajina has
adopted the following
DECISION
on the annexation of the
Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina to the Republic of Serbia
Article 1
The Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina is herewith annexed to the Republic of
Serbia.2
1

The “Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina” (“SAO Krajina”) was founded by the rebel Serbs in Croatia on 21
December 1990. The so-called “Serbian National Council” and the “Executive Council of SAO Krajina enacted
on 28 February the “Resolution of Disassociation of the Republic of Croatia and SAO Krajina”. The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia annulled the decision of the self-styled leadership of the rebel Serbs. See:
Davor Pauković, Uspon i pad “Republike Srpske Krajine”, dokumenti (Rise and fall of the “Republic of Serbian
Krajina”, documents), CPI, Zagreb, 2005, pp. 38-40.
2
At the time the decision did not suit S. Milošević’s plans or R. Karadžić’s schemes to keep Bosnia&Herzegovina
within Yugoslavia. This is how Karadžić commented on the decision: “Milan (Babić) is lying. He wouldn’t listen
to anyone. His moves destroy him and aggravate the position of Serbia. He should have held a referendum on
staying in Yugoslavia rather than a referendum on annexation to Serbia. And he has been told so. I told him, and
so did Milošević and Rašković. He ignores everybody, thinks he is a genius and just carries on”. See Milošević
vs Yugoslavia; Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, Belgrade, 2004, pp. 503-504. In order to correct the political mistake the Krajina leadership held on 12 May 1992 a referendum and “plebiscite” at which
the Serbs from Croatia were to decide on annexation to the Republic of Serbia and “staying in Yugoslavia”. See
Appendix I, doc. nos 2 and 3, Republic of Croatia and the Homeland War; documents, vol. 2, Documents of the
institutions of the rebel Serbs (1990-1991), Zagreb - Slavonski Brod 2007, doc. nos. 79,81 82, 89 and 100.

185

Article 2
As of the date of entry into force of the present Decision the territory of the Serbian
Autonomous Region of Krajina shall become an integral part of the integral state territory
of the Republic of Serbia.
In accordance with the previous paragraph hereof, the Constitution of the Republic
of Serbia, the laws of the Republic of Serbia and the constitutional and legal system of
the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia shall apply throughout the territory of the
Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina.
Article 3
The Statute of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina and other legal regulations in
force on its territory shall be harmonized pursuant to this Decision with the Constitution
of the Republic of Serbia within 30 days of the adoption of this Decision.
Article 4
The territories of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina which become pursuant
to this Decision part of the integral state territory of the Republic of Serbia comprise
the municipalities of Knin, Benkovac, Obrovac, Gračac, Donji Lapac, Korenica, Vojnić,
Vrginmost, Glina, Dvor na Uni, Kostajnica, Petrinja and Pakrac.
Article 5
This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption.
EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
OF THE SERBIAN AUTONOMOUS REGION OF KRAJINA
No. 32/91-1
Korenica, 1 April 1991

PRESIDENT OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
OF THE SERBIAN AUTONOMOUS REGION OF KRAJINA
Dr. Milan Babić3
____________________

Copy; typewritten; Latin alphabet
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 232

2
1991, 30 April
Knin
Decision of the Assembly of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina on the
appointment of the central commission for the referendum on unification with the
Republic of Serbia and staying in Yugoslavia
3

From August 1991 until February 1992 prime minister of the self-proclaimed “SAO Krajina” and first president of the
Republic of Serbian Krajina, later minister of foreign affairs and prime minister of the RSK (1995). On 29 June 2004 he
was sentenced by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to 13 years in prison for crimes against
humanity (political, racial and religious persecution). He committed suicide in prison on 5 March 2005.

186

___________________
Pursuant to Article 19 of the Law on the Referendum and other Forms of Public Decision,
and to the Decision on the Referendum on Unification of SAO Krajina to the Republic
of Serbia, at its first meeting held on 30 April 1991 the Assembly of SAO Krajina has
adopted the following
DECISION
on the appointment of the Central Commission for the holding
of the referendum in SAO Krajina on annexation of SAO Krajina
to the Republic of Serbia, and
on Krajina staying in Yugoslavia with Serbia and Montenegro
and others willing to preserve
Yugoslavia
1. The Central Commission is appointed herewith for the holding of the referendum
in SAO Krajina on annexation of SAO Krajina to the Republic of Serbia, and on Krajina
staying in Yugoslavia with Serbia, Montenegro and others willing to preserve Yugoslavia,
consisting of;
1. Ljubica Vujanić
2. Borka Lalić
3. Dušan Vještica

chairperson
member
member

1. Risto Matković
2. Nikica Šaškić
3. Zdravko Zečević

deputy chairperson
deputy member
deputy member

2. Secretary of the commission: Borka Lalić
3. The Central Commission for the holding of the referendum will appoint municipal
commissions for the implementation of the referendum.
The municipal commissions will appoint electoral committees.
4. This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption.
No. 54791-2

PRESIDENT OF THE ASSEMBLY
(signed) Velibor Metijašević
(stamp)4

Copy, typewritten, Latin alphabet
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 480
4

Round stamp with the inscription: SFRY, SAO Krajina, Assembly of the Krajina

187

3
1991, 16 May
Knin
Decision of the Assembly of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina on annexation
to the Republic of Serbia and staying in Yugoslavia with Serbia and Montenegro and
others willing to preserve Yugoslavia
____________________
Pursuant to Article 9 of the Statute of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina (Official
Gazette of the Municipality of Knin, 1, 1991) and to the referendum held on 12 May 1991,
at its meting on 16 May 1991 has adopted the following
DECISION
on the annexation of SAO Krajina to the Republic
of Serbia, and on its staying in Yugoslavia with Serbia and Montenegro
and others willing to preserve Yugoslavia
Article 1
It is herewith being established that the citizens in the territory of SAO Krajina have
declared themselves, at the referendum held on 12 May 1991, in favour of annexation
of SAO Krajina to the Republic of Serbia, and of staying in Yugoslavia with Serbia,
Montenegro and others willing to preserve Yugoslavia.
Article 2
The territory of SAO Krajina comprises the municipalities of Knin, Benkovac,
Obrovac, Gračac, Donji Lapac, Korenica, Kostajnica, Vojnić, Vrginmost, Glina, Dvor na
Uni, the Association of Local Communities with a majority Serbian population in the
municipalities of Petrinja and Sisak, and all Serbian settlements which have chosen to
unite with one of these municipalities and intend to do so in the future.
Article 3
The territory of SAO Krajina is an integral part of the state territory of the Republic of
Serbia.
Article 4
The Constitution and the law of the Republic of Serbia shall apply in the territory of
SAO Krajina.
Article 5
The Statute of SAO Krajina and other legal provisions applied in its territory shall be
harmonized with the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia.
Article 6
This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption and it shall be published
in the Krajina Gazette.
No. 70/2-91
188

PRESIDENT OF THE ASSEMBLY
(signed) Velibor Matijašević
____________________
Krajina Gazette: Official Gazette of SAO Krajina and of the municipalities of Benkovac,
Donji Lapac, Gračac, Knin, Korenica and Obrovac. Knin, 17 May 1991, No.2.

4
1991, 27 June
Knin
Declaration on the unification of the Association of Municipalities of Bosnian Krajina
and the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina
____________________
The unification of the Serbian people is an imperative of our times. After all the ordeals
suffered in their history by the Serbian people in their struggle for freedom, for life in
the independent Serbian state and life in Yugoslavia together with other peoples, today,
after the dissociation of Yugoslavia through the secession of Slovenia and Croatia, the
Serbian people are faced by a new historic challenge in the quest for their state unity and
constitution.
The substance of that state is expressed by the principle of “all Serbs living in one state”,
and it accepts two options regarding its future form: Yugoslavia as a federation of Serbia
and Montenegro and others willing to live in it, or an independent Serbian state.
An important step in the process of Serbian state unification after the dissociation of
Yugoslavia is the uniting of the two Serbian Krajinas, the Association of Municipalities
of Bosnian Krajina5 and of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina. Accordingly, the
ASSEMBLY OF THE ASSOCIATION OF MUNICIPALITIES OF BOSNIAN KRAJINA
and the ASSEMBLY OF THE SERBIAN AUTONOMOUS REGION OF KRAJINA have
adopted, at their joint session held in Bosansko Grahovo on the eve of St. Vitus’ Day,
1991, the following
DECLARATION ON THE UNIFICATION
OF THE ASSOCIATION OF MUNICIPALITIES OF BOSNIAN KRAJINA
AND THE SERBIAN AUTONOMOUS REGION OF KRAJINA
1. By virtue of the Declaration on Unification the Association of Municipalities of
Bosnian Krajina and the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina are constituted as
5

Following the example of the rebel Serbs in Croatia, the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina also founded their
autonomous regions in order to annex the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Republic of Serbia. Thus, on 26 April 1991 they founded the “Association of municipalities of Bosnian Krajina”.

189

a single political and territorial entity. The unification of Krajina will involve a fuller
political&legal subjectivity and a fuller sovereignty in decisions regarding the character
of ties with other nations in Yugoslavia whatever the name may imply.
2. The Declaration on Unification is a political act because it represents the expression of
the will of the Serbian people of the Association of Municipalities of Bosnia Krajina and
of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina to live together. It also represents a legal
act binding all subjects in accordance with its tenor and essence.
4. The Declaration on Unification makes up the legal and political foundation of
integrative cooperation in the spheres of the economy, politics, culture, education, health
care and welfare, transport and communications, information, police, defence and other
sectors of life and work presenting the need for such cooperation as anticipated by the
Agreement on Cooperation.
5. In its relations with other subjects the United Krajina will appear as a single entity and
will focus its political activity on its own integration and the integration of the Serbian
people as a whole, all with the goal of achieving a single state in which all the Serbs in
the Balkans will live.
No. 139/91-2
Knin. 27 June 1991
ASSEMBLY OF THE ASSOCIATION OF MUNICIPALITIES
BOSANSKA KRAJINA
PRESIDENT
(signed) Vojo Kuprešanin
ASSEMBLY OF THE SERBIAN AUTONOMUS
REGION OF KRAJINA
PRESIDENT
(signed) Velibor Matijašević
____________________
Krajina Gazette: Official Gazette of SAO Krajina and of the municipalities of Benkovac,
Donji Lapac, Gračac, Knin, Korenica and Obrovac. Knin, 2 July 1991, No.6.

5
1992, 18 May
Knin
Declaration of the Assembly on the political goals of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
____________________

190

104.
Pursuant to Article 68, par. 2, of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
(Official Gazette of the RSK; 1, 1992; 2, 1992), at its meeting held on 18 May 1992
the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina has adopted and promulgated the
following
DECLARATION
ON THE POLITICAL GOALS
OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
I
Having assembled at this regular session, we, the members of this assembly, representing
the will of the people of all the Serbian regions of our Republic, having considered current
issues and bearing in mind the developments and changes in the area of the former
SFRY, and the international position and security of the Republic, remaining committed
to a peaceful and just resolution of the Yugoslav crisis and proceeding from the right of
every people to self-determination, have concluded to proclaim in his Declaration our
views on the present and future goals of the Republic and its relations with the renewed
Yugoslavia and neighbouring states.
II
The Serbian people in the Republic of Serbian Krajina, expressing their respect to the
victims fallen for the cause of freedom and independence, will defend their acquired
freedom with all means.
III
The Republic of Serbian Krajina welcomes the formation of the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia and will do everything in its power, together with the Serbian people in other
republics, to realize with them their right to live united by common interests and goals
regardless of current difficulties.
IV
In this regard the Republic of Serbian Krajina, after the regulations of the Republic
of Croatia have become invalid following the armed conflict, will continue to respect its
obligations and rights as related to Yugoslavia, to which it remains committed and from
which it expects the fulfilment of its obligations assumed with regard to the Republic of
Serbian Krajina, that is, to the area under the protection of the United Nations within the
scope of the peacekeeping operation.
V
In accepting the peace plan after the arrival of the United Nations forces in the Krajina
the Republic of Serbian Krajina has also expressed its commitment to pursuing its internal
development and external relations on the basis of equality of nations, parliamentary
democracy, market economy development and the respect of human and minority rights
as envisioned by the UN Charter, the Paris Charter and the Helsinki documents.
191

VI
Therefore, after the failed attempts of the neo-ustashi authorities under the aegis of
the HDZ to deprive the Serbian people of their constitutional rights, the Republic of
Serbian Krajina is not prepared to accept any proposals, from whatever quarter, which
would impose upon the Serbian people in the Republic of Serbian Krajina a minority
position, because they were compelled to oppose such attempts by force of arms in order
to preserve their independence. Therefore, the Republic of Serbian Krajina hopes that
in future negotiations solutions will be sought only with its legitimate representatives
on the basis of the principles embodied in the UN Charter and the Helsinki documents,
and on the basis of equality and full appreciation of the legitimate interests of the Serbian
people.
VII
Therefore, the Republic of Serbian Krajina and the Serbian people are not prepared to
accept any ready-made solutions or any status which would deprive them of their acquired
independence. However, the Republic will be ready, once the conditions for that are
mature, to engage in negotiations concerning conditions of good-neighbourly relations
and cooperation with the republics along its borders, guided by its own aspirations and
the aspirations of the Serbian people concerning the integration of interests but also the
respect of the personality of each people, and their historic, political, cultural and other
traditions, rights and interests.
VIII
The Republic of Serbian Krajina wants the United Nations, and it stresses its interest
in this regard, to complete as soon as possible and in accordance with it obligations the
process of deployment of the peacekeeping forces both in the zone under their protection
and other areas with Serbian population, so that it does not remain unprotected, because
the Serbian people in the other parts of the Republic could not permit the persecution
of their compatriots such as the Serbs in the region of Gorski Kotar.
IX
Therefore, the Republic of Serbian Krajina welcomes the recommendation of the
Security Council of 13 May concerning continued negotiations in order to arrive at
a satisfactory solution of the issue. Until then, the Republic will be forced to stop the
process of unit demobilization and withdrawal of military equipment from its territory,
a move nobody can dispute, among other things also because of earlier commitments
related to the defence of the Republic in the event of any possible surprises due to the
development of the situation in Yugoslavia or to the failure to implement or respect the
agreed international commitments of Yugoslavia and of the United Nations.
X
Because of the current uncertainty regarding the changes within Yugoslavia, and
particularly the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in view of the impact of these
developments on the security of the Republic, the Republic of Serbian Krajina calls on all
its citizens hitherto on duty in the units of the Yugoslav Army to return to the Republic
192

and report to the authorities. The Republic also calls on all its other citizens to return to
their homeland and share with their fellow citizens the burden of the difficulties facing
the Republic and of its defence, which is also the legal obligation of all citizens fit for
military service. The humanitarian and other aid they are now receiving outside the
Republic will be forwarded to the places to which they are returning, i.e., to all free
towns, villages and settlements in the Republic.
XI
In particular, the Republic of Serbian Krajina calls on all professionals to place
themselves at the disposal of their municipalities in order to provide assistance in the
reconstruction project plans to be presented to international organizations, friendly
states and others willing and interested to provide help.
XII
The Republic of Serbian Krajina calls on all authorities to establish order, support the
functioning of the administration and rule of law, because current conditions in certain
places will no longer be tolerated.
XIII
All legitimate representatives of the authorities are also called upon to put an end to
the practices of irresponsible individuals who are harassing the innocent population, and
to fully cooperate with UNPROFOR representatives and the representatives of UNHCR
and the International Red Cross in all zones in which the peacekeeping forces have taken
over responsibility for the functioning of local authorities and citizen security.
XIV
The Republic calls on all chairmen of municipal assemblies to set up offices of
commissioners for the reception of refugees, distribution of aid and liaison with the
representatives of the aforementioned international organizations.
XV
Municipal authorities shall report to the Government and to the Assembly all
irregularities related to the presence of international bodies for the purpose of eliminating
in due time any misunderstandings because the future of the Republic also depends
on our capacity to accept the principles of well-intentioned international factors and
develop relations based on mutual understanding.
XVI
The Republic of Serbian Krajina wants to stress once again that only its legitimate
representatives may negotiate questions regarding the interests of the Republic with
international factors. The responsibility of Yugoslavia and of its bodies refers only to
mutual commitments, but no future new commitments may be assumed in the name of
the Republic regarding its future without the prior agreement of its bodies.
XVII
The representatives of local authorities may not assume obligations concerning the
international commitments of the Republic, and affiliation with different political parties
193

should not give cause to conflicts detrimental to the general interests of the Republic as
a whole.
XVIII
All citizens and friends of the Republic are called upon to exert through their personal
involvement every effort in order to strengthen its defence capability and to maintain its
independence and acquired freedom.
XIX
This Declaration will be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbian
Krajina.
Knin
18 May 1992
Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
The President
Mile Paspalj
____________________
Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbian Krajina; Knin, 19 May 1992; No. 9.

6
1992, 22 September
Banja Luka
____________________
PROTOCOL
ON COOPERATION BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENTS
OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA6 AND THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
The joint session of the Governments of Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian
Krajina, with Branko Đerić and Zdravko Zečević, Prime Ministers, resp., attending, was
held in Banja Luka on 22 September 1992.
The subject of the talks was cooperation of the two Republics in all areas of economic
and social life. Agreement was achieved on all the subjects discussed.
(...)
6

As a response to the recognition of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the European Union (6
April 1992) the Bosnian Serbs, after proclaiming secession from Bosnia and Herzegovina in early March
1992, proclaimed on 7 April 1992 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Radovan Karadžić was
elected president.

194

III
Both parties have agreed that there would be no borders or border crossings between
the Republics. Commodity trade between business partners will not be encumbered by
customs duties.
Customs records and formalities in commodity trade with SR Yugoslavia and other
countries will be discharged for both parties by the customs authorities of Republika
Srpska.
IV
The payments agreement will regulate all details concerning financial operations, and
the relations of the two national banks and the relations of both with the National Bank
of Yugoslavia.
V
Both Governments have charged the respective line ministries with drafting a detailed
analysis of existing industrial facilities, assessing the conditions, possibilities and terms of
their rehabilitation, and the procurement of production materials and finished product
marketing.
As priority objectives, sections of the Benkovac - Bijeljina highway and the railway will
be rehabilitated for traffic, a single electric power transmission system will be developed,
and a joint public company established for oil and oil derivative supply.
The joint concept of future economic development will be developed bearing also
in mind privatization and methods of its implementation, and demographic, physical,
regional-urban and other forms of development.
VI
In war and all other cases in which the interest of the Serbian people would
be jeopardized both Republics will jointly organize and defend their sovereignty,
independence, territory and constitutional order through integrated organization and
development of the air force, anti-aircraft defence, formation of joint forces for the
protection of state borders and establishment of a joint command.
The measures and solutions embodied in development plans, defence plans and
other documents shall be harmonized in order to create conditions for efficient defence.
Immediate consideration will be given to the requirements and possible relocation of
special industries to safe sites and to starting their production.
The ministries of the interior shall cooperate in matters of state and public security,
exchange of information and provision of legal assistance. The education, manning and
deployment of police units shall be planned jointly.
VII
The cooperation between the two Republics in education, science and culture must be
the fundamental factor in the spiritual bond of the people now living in two states.
This implies first and foremost the establishment of a joint educational system,
the planning of networks of schools of higher learning and university departments,
cooperation in publishing, film and theatre production, art galleries, art associations,
scientific institutions and archives, sports and physical culture.
195

VIII
Cooperation in health and welfare implies first and foremost the development of a
system of health care and health insurance based on identical principles, providing for
system compatibility, possibility of accommodation and closer ties in the provision of
health care and welfare, and validity of health records and personal health documents in
both Republics.
Both Republics shall help each other in caring for injured and ill people in war zones,
in organizing joint medical care, collection and distribution of drugs and medical
supplies through humanitarian organizations, the organization and implementation of
preventive medical measures, etc.
IX
Both Governments emphasize the establishment of an integral information system with
well-developed software providing for free flow of information. Technical assistance
shall be provided for the development of a technologically integrated radio and TV
broadcasting system. The paper Srpski glas (Serbian voice) from Banja Luka and the
Sunday paper Javnost (The public) will become joint media. Conditions will be provided
for combining the news agencies of the two Republics into a single agency.
X
The implementation of cooperation in all areas defined by this Protocol shall be the
responsibility of the line ministries, public companies, national banks and the social
accounting service.
XI
This Protocol shall enter into force immediately.
GOVERNMENT
OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA

GOVERNMENT
OF THE REPUBLIC OF
SERBIAN KRAJINA

(...)
Prime Minister
Branko Đerić

Prime Minister
Zdravko Zečević
____________________

Copy, typewritten, Cyrillic script
Croatian Information Centre, A-173/101

196

7
1992, September
Knin
Basic programmatic principles and goals of the Serbian Democratic Party
____________________
SERBIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY
REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAAJINA
Executive Committee
BASIC PROGRAMMATIC PRINCIPLES AND GOALS OF THE PARTY
The Serbian Democratic Party (Srpska demokratska stranka, SDS) of Krajina,7 as the
political organization of the Serbian people which rallies members and fellow-travellers in
the Republic of Serbian Krajina, has particularly ... (...)
... and always advocated the unification of the Republic of Serbian Krajina with other
Serbian lands, primarily Republika Srpska, from which it was separated in the recent past
by unnatural administrative boundaries.
Since the Serbian people also took part, as a constitutive nation, in the establishment
of Yugoslavia in 1918 as well as in the creation of Federal Yugoslavia and, as a people
fully equal with the Croatian people, in the creation of the federal unit of the Republic of
Croatia (Art., 1 of the ZAVNOH Declaration, Art. 1 of the Constitution of Croatia of 1947,
1963, 1974),8 the current international conferences on the former Yugoslavia without the
equal participation of the Serbian people are a violation of international conventions.
7

The Serbian Democratic Party was founded in Knin on 17 February 1990. Jovan Rašković was elected
president. At the first democratic multi-party elections in Croatia the party won 5 seats in the Parliament of
the Republic of Croatia. At the same time it seized power at the local level in Knin, Gračac and Donji Lapac,
the very places where armed rebellion of the Serbs started in August 1990.
8
The Historical Foundations of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia of 22 December 1990 state that
“the Republic of Croatia is hereby established as the national state of the Croatian nation and the state of
members of other nations and minorities who are its citizens: Serbs, Muslims, Slovenes, Czechs, Slovaks,
Italians, Hungarians, Jews and others, who are guaranteed equality with citizens of Croatian nationality and
the realization of ethnic rights in accordance with the democratic norms of the United Nations Organization
and the free world countries”. In commenting the claims of some authors that the Constitution in question
was the first “to remove overtones of dual sovereignty and unequivocally proclaimed the Croatian nation as
the holder of the sovereignty of Croatia”. Z. Radelić notes that already the wording of the 1974 Constitution
of the Socialist Republic of Croatia - “the Socialist Republic of Croatia is the national state of the Croatian
nation, the state of the Serbian nation in Croatia and the state of other nations and minorities living in it”
does not permit the unequivocal interpretation that the Serbs were elevated to the status of a constituent
nation in Croatia, and that it is obvious “only that they were recognized a special status in relation to other
nations and minorities”. Cf. Zdenko Radelić, Davor Marijan, Nikica Barić, Albert Bing and Dražen Živić,
“Stvaranje hrvatske države i Domovinski rat” (The Creation of the Croatian State and the Homeland War),
Školska knjiga, Hrvatski institut za povijest, Zagreb, 2006, 94.

197

Such an act violates the basic internationally accepted principle whereby peoples and
not administrative units are entitled to self-determination. Because of this the SDS opposes
the participation of the Republic of Serbian Krajina in all international conferences at
which the Serbian people of the RSK is treated as a national minority.
As a democratically oriented party the SDS will continue to advocate the promotion
of democratic relations and a multi-party parliamentary system, and develop in line with
these democratic principles its relations with other parties in the RSK and with similar
democratic oriented parties in other Serbian lands and worldwide. In particular, it will
focus together with democratic parties in Serbian lands on the union of the Serbian people
and on the creation of a single Serbian state or a federation of Serbian states.
One of the basic goals of the Krajina SDS involves efforts focused on establishing ties
and reconciliation with the Serbian people outside Serbian lands. This implies primarily
expatriate Serbs regardless of their ideological commitment or past. It is the position of the
Krajina SDS that all expatriate Serbs, regardless of their possible participation in military
formations condemned by the past communist regime, are welcome in the RSK. (...)
Copy, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 442

8
1992, 31 October
Prijedor
Declaration on the unification of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika
Srpska
____________________
(...)
The Assembly of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina and the Assembly of Republika
Srpska, at their joint session held in Prijedor on 31 October 1992, have adopted the
following
DECLARATION
1) The two Assemblies hereby announce that the legal systems in the Republic of
Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska will be identical.
2) The two Assemblies hereby announce that the citizens of Republika Srpska and of
the Republic of Serbian Krajina will have Serbian citizenship, and that their state symbols
are the same and in accordance with the historic continuity of the Serbian people and the
existing Constitution and laws.
The coat of arms is the traditional coat of arms of the Nemanjić dynasty with the
crown; the flag is the red-blue-white Serbian flag, and the anthem “Lord of Justice”.
198

3) The two Assemblies hereby announce that any attack on one of the Republics shall
concurrently be considered as an attack on the other Republic, because of which they
will enter a defensive alliance the task of which is the mutual protection of the achieved
freedom and integrity of both Republics.
4) The two Assemblies hereby announce that the respective bodies and institutions
need to insure a single educational system, including a single spelling, language and the
Cyrillic script.
5) The two Assemblies hereby announce their readiness to implement all forms of ties
between the two Republics in foreign affairs, information, communications, transport,
culture, welfare and health care, economic activities, domestic and foreign trade, energy,
ecology etc.
6) The two Assemblies hereby announce that Republika Srpska and the Republic
of Serbian Krajina will regulate their common customs, credit-monetary, fiscal and
payments regulations.
7) The Assembly of Republika Srpska and the Assembly of the Serbian Republic of
Krajina will decide to hold elections for their common constituent assembly as soon as
possible, but not later than 90 days after the end of the war.
8) The Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and the Assembly of Republika
Srpska have charged the respective authorities of the two Republics to establish
immediately the agencies required for the accomplishment of the goals of the present
Declaration. All forms of cooperation and association will be initiated and integrated by
the coordinating committee consisting of the presidents of the Republics, the presidents
of the Assemblies of the Republics, and the prime ministers of the Republics.
9) The Assemblies of both Republics will hold joint sessions in order to develop and
coordinate the mentioned forms of cooperation.
10) All the forms of cooperation from this Declaration will also be offered to other
Serbian states.
11) The initiative will be set in motion for convening all Serbian assemblies (of the
Republic of Serbian Krajina, Republika Srpska, the Republic of Serbia and the Republic
of Montenegro) in order to discuss political, economic, cultural and other issues of
general interest for the Serbian people.
12) The Assembly of Republika Srpska and of the Republic of Serbian Krajina are
committed to the unification of the two states. This commitment will be tested by a
plebiscite to be held in these Republics within the shortest possible time.
Unification will be postponed until the expiration of the UN plan for the protection of
the Republic of Serbian Krajina (the Vance Plan) and will be implemented on the basis
of the results of the plebiscite.
13) This Declaration will be published in the official gazettes of the two Republics.
President of the Assembly
of the Republic of Serbian
Krajina
Mile Paspalj

President of the Assembly
of Republika Srpska
Momčilo Krajišnik

199

____________________
Official Gazette of the Republic Serbian Krajina, 2 November 1992, No. 17.

9
1993, 24 April
Banja Luka
Decision on the constitution of the joint assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
and Republika Srpska
____________________
Pursuant to the Declaration (Official Gazette of Republika Srpska, No. 17, 1992),
the Assemblies of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska as legitimate
representatives of the Serbian people in the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika
Srpska, at their joint session held on 24 April 1993, have adopted the
DECISION
ON THE CONSTITUTION OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA AND REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
I
The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska
(hereinafter: National Assembly) is hereby constituted as the joint body of the Republic
of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska.
The National Assembly will meet in Banja Luka.
II
The National Assembly is being constituted on parity basis from deputies of the
Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska.
The National Assembly in the foregoing paragraph will be constituted with 82 deputies
from the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and 82 deputies from the National
Assembly of Republika Srpska.
III
The National Assembly will harmonize and enact the constitution, laws and other
legislative provisions concerning areas pursuant to the authority granted it by the
Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and the National Assembly of Republika
Srpska.
The National Assembly shall harmonize legislative provisions in the fields of foreign
policy, defence and security, justice, regional and population planning, the rights and
status of companies and other organizations, the financial system, credit-monetary
200

policy, customs and payments system, veterans’ and disabled persons welfare, education,
science, culture and the protection of cultural assets, information systems and other
areas of activity pursuant to the authority granted it by the assemblies of the Republics.
(...)
Chairman of the National Assembly
Prof. Milovan Milovanović, Ph.D.
____________________
Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska, 28 April 1993,
No. 1

10
1993, 19 July
Knin
Minutes of the session of the governments of Republika Srpska and the Republic of
Serbian Krajina, which agreed on unification in one state and appointed a commission
for the drafting of the constitution and other legal documents related to unification
(...)
MINUTES
of the joint session of the Governments of Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian
Krajina, held in Knin on 19 July 1993. (...) The sesssion was chaired by the Prime Minister
of the Republic of Serbian Krajina Mr. Đorđe Bjegović.
P r o p o s e d a g e n d a:
1. Agreement on unification - appointment of the commission for the drafting of the
Constitution and discharge of all other activities related to unification.
2. Agreement on the creation of a single legal system and preparation of legislative
provisions in accordance with the decision on the establishment of a joint assembly.
3. Agreement related to the constitution of common credit-monetary, fiscal, tax,
foreign exchange and customs policies.
4. Agreement on joint appearances before third states. (...)
6. Agreement on the realization of common objectives and tasks in the field of defence
and internal affairs. (...)
7. Assessment of natural resources and agreement on the drafting of the physical plan
of Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
8. Agreement on the joint provision, linking and utilization of energy-related activities
in trade and supply, and on the provision of strategic stockpiles.
9. Agreement on the joint solution of problems affecting veterans and war victims,
and problems related to migration of the population.
201

10. Agreement on the realization of a single system of education, and integration in the
field of science, culture and physical culture. (...)
The agenda was approved unanimously.
Before turning to the agenda, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
Đorđe Bjegović welcomed the participants. After his speech the floor was given to the
President of Republika Srpska Radovan Karadžić, the President of the Assembly of
Republika Srpska Momčilo Krajišnik, the President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
Goran Hadžić, the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina Mile
Paspalj, the Vladika9 of Dalmatia Longin, the President of the Municipal Assembly of Knin
Milan Babić, and the Prime Minister of Republika Srpska Vladimir Lukić.
All the participants expressed their satisfaction over the presence of the highest officials
of the two states, expressed the wish and hope for early unification, and wished successful
work to the Governments of Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina. (...)
Minister Slobodan Jarčević:10 At present only Republika Srpska can appear before third
states because of its status as a constituent entity. Unfortunately, we lack that, but the RSK
is being accepted worldwide as a reality at an ever increasing rate. Our place is among
the group of successors to the SFRY. Joint appearance with Republika Srpska would help
us because of the constituent nation status enjoyed by the Serbian people in Republika
Srpska. I think the seat of our ministry should still be in Belgrade, and needs to remain
there after our unification, with departments in Banja Luka and Knin. For the next session
I and Mr. Buha will propose a platform for our joint international appearance.
Minister Aleksa Buha:11 Over the next month or two, while negotiations are under way
on the BiH confederation, we must make no false move that would give an alibi to the
other side. We shall prepare a platform, but we shall not flaunt it. (...)
Minister Dušan Kovačević:12 I think the time has come for the Serbs to realize their
goal, because there will never be another chance if we don’t do it now. We must act fast
regardless of what the world will say. We have been given a task by the people at the
referendum, and we must not let them down. We must set up a supreme command and
choose its members, and determine the basic organization and formation of our common
army. (...) We must draw up one law on defence and the armed forces, the military judiciary
and prosecution authorities, and all other matters related to the army and defence. At the
same time we must develop an integrated system for the production of ammunition and
weapons. This is already under way, and weapons are being distributed from factories in
Republika Srpska.
Minister Milan Martić:13 We have very good cooperation with the internal affairs
authorities in Republika Srpska, we have laws, but they must be integrated. We need a
group to do that, including one representative from Republika Srpska.

9

The highest dignitary of the Serbian Orthodox church in Dalmatia.
Minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
11
Minister of foreign affairs of Republika Srpska.
12
General, minister of defence in the Government of Republika Srpska.
13
Minister of the interior of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
10

202

Deputy prime minister Stojan Španović: Things are not so simple as they look. In terms
of the legislation of the SRY, the SVK is part of the Army of Yugoslavia. The position of
Republika Srpska is different. I agree we need to do something immediately regarding
the commander-in-chief. In this regard we have to cooperate with the armed forces of
the SRY. (...)
Copy, typewritten, Cyrillic script
Croatian Information Centre, A-156/3

11
1993, 10 August
Belgrade
Proposal of the foreign minister of the Republic of Serbian Krajina on the selection of
current war objectives related to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
____________________
REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
______________________________________________________
Knin, Kralja Petra I oslobodioca 27
Belgrade Office
Terazije 3/1
(...)
Republic of Serbian Krajina
STATE SECRET
SELECTION OF CURRENT WAR OBJECTIVES
OF THE RSK AND THE RS
One of the options
The war is now in its third year. Today many things are clearer than they were in 1991
and 1992. The world is getting used to the statehood of the Serbs west of the Drina. The
alliance of the Muslims and the Croats can no longer be restored. The Muslims have
no corridor to the world. Their objective is obviously gaining access to the sea, along a
stretch broader than the one they are being offered at present. In their stride they want
to take Mostar and control the valley of the Neretva. If they succeed, this would deal a
death blow to Croatia. It would also get the most dangerous enemy off the Serbs’ back.
Therefore, the Muslims should be helped to achieve this strategic idea. The Croatian
obstinacy and their assault on the RSK need to be exploited, and as many of their units
in the field as possible tied up at Maslenica, Gospić, Drniš and Peruča. As a sign of
solidarity, the RS could revive the action at Grahovo, Glamoč and Kupres. In that case
the Muslims could easily break down the last line of Croatian defence in Bosnia along
203

the Gornji Vakuf - Konjic axis, and threaten Croatian positions at Trebinje. This would
help the Serbian Herzegovinian Corps to free the Serbian parts of Herzegovina and
reach the AVNOJ boundary of Croatia. As the Muslims reach the Adriatic coast, all
the Croats south of the Neretva would seek rescue in escaping to Montenegro or seek
protection from the Serbian forces. The Serbian forces would then stop the Muslim
advance along the coast and leave them about 50 km of coastline. In political terms, one
could immediately allow Dubrovnik to proclaim its independence provided it partly
denies hospitality to newcomers from ustashi areas, e.g., Imotski, Livno, Duvno etc.
The Muslim capture of the coast will alarm Europe which will oppose that. Of course,
it will be opposed in turn by Arab capital and the United States. That would provide an
extraordinary opportunity for the Serbs. In that case, we could bring up our historic title
to the Adriatic by invoking the medieval Serbian states in Dalmatia. Russia would finally
have to side with the Serbs because it could not side with either Europe or the United
States.
It is difficult to forecast events, particularly in war conditions, and I therefore put
forward this idea for consideration of the RSK and RS leaders and officers.
Belgrade, 10 August 1993
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Slobodan Jarčević
(stamp)14
____________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 5010

12
1994, 1 February
Knin
Press release of the Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina on its coalition agreement
with the Serbian Radical Party and on the common goal - the unification of all Serbian
lands and foundation of a single Serbian state.
(...)
PRESS RELEASE
Today, 1 February 1994, the Coalition Agreement between the Serbian Democratic
Party of Krajina and the Serbian Radical Party was signed in Belgrade.
The Agreement was signed for the Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina by its President,
Dr. Milan Babić, and for the Serbian Radical Party by its President Dr. Vojislav Šešelj and
14

Text on the stamp: RSK - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Knin

204

the President of the executive committee of the Serbian Radical Party for the Republic of
Serbian Krajina Mr. Rade Leskovac.
The text of the Agreement reads as follows:
1. On the basis of their freely expressed political will, the Serbian Democratic Party
of Krajina and the Serbian Radical Party have entered into a coalition of political parties
for the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
2. The coalition is being formed in order to achieve the common political goals
asserting the priority national, state and political interests of the Serbian people in
the Republic of Serbian Krajina, and provide stable and democratic conditions for the
functioning of its authorities. The basic goal of the coalition partners is the unification of
all Serbian lands and the founding of a single Serbian state.
3. In political terms the coalition will be jointly active in the National Assembly of the
Republic of Serbian Krajina as a parliamentary coalition, it will form the government
and take jointly part in the constitution of other authorities. (...)

15

(stamp)
____________________

Information service
Drago Kovačević

Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 442

14
1994, 4 August
Plitvice lakes
Minutes of the extraordinary session of the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
which adopted the proposal on unification with Republika Srpska as the first step
towards a single Serbian state
____________________
(...) Parts of the welcoming address of Branko Simić, vice-president of the Assembly
of Republika Srpska: “Mr. President of the National Assembly, Mr. President of the
Republic, Prime Minister, brothers, Serbian deputies, let me welcome you in my own
name and on behalf of the delegation of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska. I
also bring you the warm and brotherly greetings of the President of Republika Srpska,
Dr. Radovan Karadžić, and of the President of the National Assembly Mr. Krajišnik. (...)
We certainly understand the difficulties affecting our brothers in Serbia. We understand
the disastrous consequences of the sanctions imposed on Serbia. (...) Are we guilty for
the imposition of those sanction? We are not angry, but we feel hurt when we expect the
15

Text on the stamp: Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina, Knin

205

best from our brothers and not what we got now. I hope that this is only a moment of
weakness affecting our brothers and that we shall soon overcome it, carry on as brothers
and realize our basic and main goal - a single Serbian state. We convened the National
Assembly and adopted the following decisions. We stand by the declaration. I hope you
are all fully familiar with its contents. Nevertheless, let me present here some of the
positions included in the declaration. Thus, we seek minimum corrections on the maps
offered by the Contact Group. We demand, with every right, access of Republika Srpska
to the sea; we demand the partitioning of Sarajevo and we demand convincing guarantees
for the lifting of sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. (...) Brothers, the
third decision of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska... please, take into account
the seriousness of the moment, the seriousness of our common destiny... states that the
assemblies of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska ought to sent a
joint proposal to the national assemblies of Serbia and Montenegro on unification into
a common, single Serbian state. Please... [applause in the hall]... Please, let us include
this motion into our agenda and let the National Assembly of Republika Srpska speak its
mind. Thank you very much, and all the best.”16 (...)
____________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 491

15
1994, 4 August
Knin
Press release of the Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina concerning the motion to
include the unification of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska with
Serbia and Montenegro in the agenda of the extraordinary session of the Assembly
____________________
Pursuant to Article 74 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, today the
deputies of the Serbian Democratic Party requested that the unification of the Republic
of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska with Serbia and Montenegro be included in the
agenda of the extraordinary session of the Assembly.
This request is in accordance with the basic political commitment of the Serbian
Democratic Party of Krajina and of the whole Serbian people as declared at the two
referendums.
Accordingly, it has also been decided to accept the proposal of Republika Srpska to
forward, through the joint request of the assemblies of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
and Republika Srpska, the motion for unification to the assemblies of Serbia and
Montenegro for their consideration.
16

HR-HMDCDR, Video-record collection, no. 26.

206

The Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina also sent its delegation to Pale.17
(...)
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 422

16
1994, 15 August
Knin
Statement of the Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina after the talks of the party
delegation with the leadership of Republika Srpska
____________________
(...)
STATEMENT
The Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina expresses its full understanding for the
complex and difficult situation of Republika Srpska after the National Assembly of
Republika Srpska rejected the plan of the Contact Group, and after the manifest
misunderstandings in the relations between the leadership of the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the leadership of Republika Srpska.
The Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina supports the initiative of the National
Assembly of Republika Srpska on the unification of all Serbian lands in a single Serbian
state.
Over the past four years the Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina has initiated and
sponsored a number of declarations, assembly decisions and two referendums focused
on bringing the Republic of Serbian Krajina into the fold of a single Serbian state;
unfortunately, and against the will of the Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina there was
no unification. (...)
____________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 422

17

Seat of the «Republika Srpska» (Serbian parastate in Bosnia and Herzegovina).

207

17
1994, 18 August
Proposal of the Assemblies of Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina to
the Assemblies of Serbia and Montenegro concerning unification in a single state
REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
ASSEMBLY

TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA
TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF MONTENEGRO
(...)
Having established that the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska are
state entities emerged after the secessionistic fragmentation of the SFRY through the
materialization of the right to self-determination and of the principle of permanent
sovereignty of the people and the nation, and that they are entitled to take decisions on
their own state, the assemblies of Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina
have decided to send the following
PROPOSAL
ON THE UNIFICATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA, THE REPUBLIC OF
MONTENEGRO, REPUBLIKA SRPSKA AND THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN
KRAJINA INTO ONE STATE
1. The assemblies of the Republic of Serbia and of the Republic of Montenegro are
hereby invited to accept the Proposal on Unification into One State, and to consider the
procedure and the conditions under which unification could be effected.
2. The joint delegation of the assemblies of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika
Srpska is entrusted with starting, as soon as possible, talks with the representatives of the
assemblies of the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Montenegro in order to prepare
the declaration on unification and the drafts of other relevant documents. (...)
President of the National Assembly
President of the Assembly
Momčilo Krajišnik
Branko Vojnica
(stamp)19
(stamp)18
__________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 5006
18
19

Text: Republika Srpska, National Assembly – Sarajevo
Text: Republic of Serbian Krajina, Assembly of the Republic – Knin

208

18
early 1995
[Knin]
Proposed plan for the commitment of the “Serbian Army of Krajina” in the conflict
with the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia
____________________
REPORT TO THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
ON THE PLAN OF SVK COMMITMENT
Introduction
The current plan for the commitment of the Serbian Army of Krajina (Srpska vojska
Krajine, SVK) became effective in late 1993. The plan was drawn up in accordance
with conditions in 1992 and 1993, and on the basis of the expected development of
the military and political situation in 1994. Owing to developments in the former
Republic of Bosnia&Herzegovina and in the Republic of Croatia, certain solutions in the
Commitment Plan are no longer adequate. The experience acquired in combat actions
in 1994 and the problems encountered also suggest the need to amend the Commitment
Plan on a more realistic basis, and to draft several variants of the Plan. Particular attention
needs to be devoted to relatively fast changes occurring or likely to occur in the overall
environment of the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK), which may affect the security of
RSK and thereby SVK commitment.
Our analyses have highlighted the extremely important need to focus on the variant of
the Plan based on our own potential without greater reliance on the help of the Army of
Yugoslavia (Vojska Jugoslavije, VJ) and the Army of Republika Srpska (Vojska Republike
Srpska, VRS).
This does not exclude variants according to which defence of the RSK would also
be organized in cooperation and through joint combat operations with the VJ and the
VRS.
We proceed from the following fact: if the plan of SVK commitment were to be
based predominantly on the assistance and engagement of the VRS and the VJ, and if
for any reason such planned assistance and engagement should fail to take place, the
consequences would be grave, especially at the start of aggression.
Proceeding from the foregoing we decided to draw up the Commitment Plan in
three variants. The first variant is the existing Plan, which recognizes the VJ obligations
under the Vance Plan and foresees the involvement of VRS units in the RSK. The second
variant, the most important one in our view, involves the Commitment Plan without
major reliance on the VJ and the VRS. The third variant should anticipate the possibility
of real commitment of VJ and VRS forces in terms of supporting the SVK in case of a
radical Croatian aggression.
209

1. CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE EXISTING SVK COMMITMENT PLAN
The existing Commitment Plan has been drawn up as a plan for the defence of Serbian
lands - the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SRJ), Republika Srpska (RS) and the Republic
of Serbian Krajina (RSK). It anticipates considerable involvement of VJ and VRS forces.
In present conditions the commitment of VJ and VRS forces in case of aggression against
the RSK cannot realistically be planned. Thus, for illustration sake, the existing Plan
foresees the commitment of eight VRS brigades to the defence of the RSK, which is truly
impossible in current conditions.
According to the existing plan, the deployment and grouping of SVK forces are linear,
with available forces in position in contact with the enemy. The SVK brigades, corps
and General Staff do not have forces for holding territory in depth. Such a shortage
of forces calls into question the possibility of combat against air-borne and helicopterborne assault, and infiltrated groups. The major weakness of the existing deployment
and grouping is the low active operation capacity.
If the existing Commitment Plan were to be realized, the General Staff and the corps
commands would need at least minimum reserves capable of having a bearing on the
course of operations. Along with all this, there is a manifest lack of physical connection
between our units (separation of the 11th and 18th corps).
2. VARIANT INVOLVING NO MAJOR VJ AND VRS INVOLVEMENT
This variant of the Commitment Plan has been developed as the basic option, but
also as the mainstay of the plan for the possible involvement of parts of the VJ and the
VRS. Proceeding from the estimated action of the Croatian armed forces for the variant
according to which the SVK would defend the Republic of Serbian Krajina relatively
independently, the General Staff has formulated the following tasks of the SVK as follows
below.
Effect grouping along lines of action and installations in the territory of the RSK
with the following mission: prevent sudden aggression; thwart by persistent defence the
seizure of vital installations in the territory; prevent deeper penetration along the lines
of attack of Croatian armed forces; free occupied territories by energetic counterstrikes
along specific lines of action, and seize the largest possible part of the territory of Croatia
inhabited by Serbian population. Defence operations and counterstrikes would also
involve VJ and VRS elements, and volunteer units.
Operational implementation of the mission:
a) in case of limited aggression:
Decisive defence of front lines and installations by SVK forces along the axes of enemy
assault; attack along selected lines with main forces and seize areas and installations of
particular importance for the enemy in order to capture as much space as possible and
recover territories seized earlier.
210

CP20 in the Knin area
ACP21 in the Petrova Gora area
b) in case of radical aggression:
The Serbian Army of Krajina, with the maximum involvement of all the resources of
the state and by decisive defence along with active operations, in cooperation with VRS
and VJ elements, must prevent the occupation of territory and defend the integrity of
the RSK.
Prepare and execute active operations in central Dalmatia, in the area between the
rivers Kupa and Mrežnica, and eastern Slavonia. Focus on severing communications in
Gorski Kotar and Dalmatia.
CP in the area of Petrova Gora
ACP in the Knin area
On the basis of the foregoing mission, I put forward the following decision for the
commitment of the SVK:
In coordination with official authorities and organizations, and in cooperation with
MUP RSK units and elements of the VRS and the VJ, prevent by decisive defence and
application of various forms of armed combat the splitting of the SVK, the carving up or
occupation of RSK territory, in order to preserve territorial integrity.
a) in case of limited aggression:
In case of HV aggression against the RSK, resort to decisive defence along the lines of
enemy assault and, through active operations along other lines, with focus on eastern
Slavonia, Kordun and Dalmatia, restore the territory lost earlier, prevent the cutoff
of smaller parts of the RSK, inflict losses, spread hostile forces and, through artillery
and rocket strikes on selected targets in the territory of the Republic of Croatia, deter
radical RH aggression, thus preserving the territorial integrity of the state and creating
conditions for continued negotiation in terms of RSK recognition.
b) in case of radical aggression:
During initial operations prevent by decisive defence deeper enemy penetrations along
the lines of attack and the carving up of RSK territory and, with the concurrent VJ
commitment in eastern Slavonia and Western Srem, inflict appreciable losses, break
down the assault and create conditions for offensive action.
After taking over the initiative, turn to offensive action in eastern Slavonia, Kordun
and central Dalmatia, cut off parts of RH territory in eastern Slavonia, Gorski Kotar
and central Dalmatia and thereby link up SVK and RS forces, prevent communications
with the central part of RH and the regular supply of Gorski Kotar and Dalmatia, and
thus disrupt the planned commitment and deployment of Croatian armed forces. Mount
active defence operations in other areas.

20
21

Command post (CP)
Advance command post (ACP)

211

This will create favourable conditions for the continued and definitive solution of
the position of the Serbian people. In case of extremely unfavourable developments
on the battlefield, sustain operations and turn to specific forms of armed struggle and
resistance.
Carry out the operation in two stages:
Stage one: maintain by decisive defence the territorial integrity of the RSK, prevent
surprise actions and cutting off of parts of RSK territory, spread out enemy forces, inflict
losses and create conditions for offensive action. Duration 15-20 days.
Stage two: after taking the initiative, rout by offensive action and in cooperation with VJ
and VRS forces the ustashi forces along the lines of attack in eastern Slavonia, Dalmatia
and Gorski Kotar, and create conditions for continued offensive action in order to
establish control and prevent communications and the supply of RH armed forces and
the population in Gorski Kotar and Dalmatia. Duration 10-15 days.
Readiness for the first stage immediately, and for the second one after the detection of
certain indications for a radical HV aggression against the RSK.
In terms of operational deployment group the forces as follows:
- defence forces;
- active operation and infiltration forces;
- PDB22 forces;
- forces for strikes against selected targets;
- support and PVO23 forces;
- forces for the control of territory, protection of installations and anti-DTG24 action,
and forces for the protection of settlements;
- rapid intervention forces and forces for the prevention of desertion.
Main CP in the Knin area, ACP in the area of Petrova Gora
FEATURES OF THE DECISION AND ARGUMENTATION
The proposed decision calls for concurrent defence and offensive action in case of
aggression. Defence operations would be waged at points of assault by Croatian armed
forces (in a limited aggression, at Vrlika and western Slavonia; in radical aggression, at
Slunj). Offensive operations would be mounted along specially selected lines of action
threatening vital RH interests (offensive action by the 11th Corps towards MirkovciŽupanja; attack of the Operative Group from Kordun across the river Korana towards
Croatia’s border with Slovenia; attack in Dalmatia towards Kakma - Biograd-na-Moru
and Čista Mala - Vodice).
22

antisabotage action
antiaircraft defence
24
sabotage-terrorist group
23

212

Free forces would become available by regrouping existing forces and their in-depth
deployment; this would also deal with the problem of hostile air-borne assault and
infiltrated reconnaissance-sabotage groups, and allow active operations at General Staff,
corps and brigade levels.
The proposed Decision calls for the defence of towns and larger settlements. The
brigades will start preparing for defence immediately and, after fortification and
obstruction, designate the forces for the defence of settlements.
This Decision envisions the training of forces for rapid intervention and prevention
of desertion. This is a must particularly in view of the 1994 experience. Initial grouping
must provide the basis for offensive action. Major redeployment from one area to
another at the start of aggression has proved to be a poor solution. Any plan involving
the redeployment of major forces from the 11th Corps area to the areas of other SVK
corps would pose particularly great difficulties.
The directive for SVK commitment specifically regulates the assembly, preparation
and engagement of volunteers and volunteer units in the fight against the Croatian
armed forces. Volunteer preparation needs to be dealt with before aggression. The
Yugoslav Army has designated a reception centre for volunteers from the SRJ (Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia); in the RSK Erdut and Bruška have been designated as points
for the reception of volunteers and their preparation for integration in the SVK system.
According to our estimate, in the first ten days of the war we could accept and train for
combat a number of volunteers equivalent to 3 or 4 brigades.
Let me draw attention to the main features of the force ratio for the variant according
to which SVK would engage in defence without substantial reliance on the Army of
Yugoslavia and the Army of Republika Srpska.
The total manpower ratio would be 1.4 to 1 to the advantage of the HV (100,000 to
69,000). The tank ratio also amounts to 1.4 to 1 (425 to 301), the ratio for armoured
personnel carriers 2 to 1 (223 to 111), while the 60 to 120 mm mortar ratio is to our
advantage, 1 to 0.3. The HV enjoys the greatest advantage in antiaircraft rockets, 6.5 to 1,
and 155 mm howitzers, 5.5 to 1. The HV also enjoys a significant advantage in multiple
rocket launchers and 130 mm field guns, 2.6 to 1.
In terms of these ratios, the proposed Decision can be realized provided we have the
required ammunition.
The commitment plan according to the variant involving RSK defence by reliance on
our own forces implies struggle for survival and the highest casualty toll.
Success calls for the preparation of all other forces of the state and society for war. And
that cannot be achieved if the Plan of RSK Defence is not prepared immediately. The
commitment plan is a part of that plan.
The defence plan must provide for the changeover of all state organizations and
businesses to a wartime regime.
The RSK defence plan must regulate the obligations of all persons responsible for
specific missions and specify their mandatory preparations for defence mission
accomplishment. Immediate steps are required in order to improve the conscripts’
attitude towards their military obligations.
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The commitment of SVK forces under the proposed Plan depends essentially on the
provision of ammunition and fuel. According to the plan, the first stage would last 1520 days and the second 10-15 days. Therefore, war with the HV could last 25-35 days.
Calculations have turned up the following basic load requirements for a 30-day war:
a) Armoured-mechanized units: basic combat load (b/l) 4.5; available 2.5 b/l; shortage 2
b/l. Fuel requirement: 8 full charges (f/c); available 0.2 f/c; shortage 7.8 f/c or 2,400 tons
of fuel.
b) Artillery: the situation for artillery ammunition varies depending on the type of the
weapon. Availability is the best for B-176 mm field guns (7.05 b/l), 152 mm field guns
(8.73 b/l), D-20 122 mm howitzers (4.05 b/l) and 130 mm field guns (5.32 b/l). Supply
is the lowest in the company and battalion fire groups, brigade artillery groups and the
corps artillery group (128 mm Oganj).
Reserves for a 30-day war call for the following supplies: 82 mm mortars, 3 b/l; 120
mm mortars, 2.88 b/l: 128 mm Oganj, 2.13 b/l; 105 mm howitzers, 1.16 b/l; 9M 14 antitank guided missiles, 0.74 b/l. The calculations are based on target estimates and actual
available ammunition supplies.
c) Infantry weapons: with respect to issue requirements (4.5 b/l), the shortages are the
following: automatic rifle, 3.336 b/l; semiautomatic rifle, 2.95 b/l; M-84 machine gun,
3.82 b/l; 7.9 mm machine gun, 3.75 b/l; sniper rifle, 2.27 b/l; 12.7 mm Browning machine
gun, 2.59 b/l; hand grenades, 2.20 b/l.
Conclusion:
In case of aggression after the possible withdrawal of UNPROFOR and in conditions
where the RSK would only be defended by the SVK without the help of the VJ and VRS,
success is possible only with a total involvement of all state resources and readiness to
accept a high casualty toll and accommodation to the most rigorous conditions of a
struggle for survival. Moreover, due attention should be paid to the fact that the SVK
cannot deal on its own with problems such as the readiness of the troops and officers to
withstand all the hardships imposed by the war, and the provision of required materiel,
primarily ammunition, weapons, equipment etc. The current military and political
situation and the actions of the Croatian army require a high degree of combat readiness,
and that in its turn implies the recruitment of a high number of conscripts for SVK units.
On the other hand, this does not match the requirements of the economy and its efforts
to revive production. This contradiction must be resolved jointly in a way which will not
disrupt SVK combat readiness.

3. VJ INVOLVEMENT
The third variant of the Plan considers defence by the SVK with some commitment of
the Army of Yugoslavia, primarily in Baranja, Eastern Slavonia and Western Srem. It has
been developed in a special Appendix which will be filed along with the Plan of SVK
Commitment.
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CONCLUSIONS AND PROPOSALS
1. At present and in the immediate future there are no imperative conditions allowing
for a major involvement of the Army of Yugoslavia (VJ) and the Army of Republika
Srpska (VRS) in this area in case of an aggression of the Croatian Army (HV) on the
Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK).
2. The current situation calls for a commitment plan according to which the Serbian
Army of Krajina (SVK) will only defend the RSK without direct help from the VJ and
the SVK25. Because of this, preparations for defence need to be focused primarily on
enhancing SVK capability and on preparing the state and its bodies for total war.
3. Urgent resupply of key materiel, weapons and ammunition should be requested from
the VJ. The situation must be considered jointly with the VRS, and cooperation and
possible joint action agreed.
MISSION PROPOSAL
1. Proceed immediately to the drafting of the RSK Defence Plan and its harmonization
with the requirements of the SVK Commitment Plan.
2. Rely on our own potential in resisting HV aggression and preparing for the successful
waging of war for a minimum period of 30 days.
3. Start recruiting and training volunteers immediately in accordance with the mission
laid down in the SVK Commitment Directive.
***
2. OUR FORCES
The actions and activities of the advocates of the war option in dealing with the problems
arising from the collapse of the former SFRY both in the territory of the former B&H
and in the relations between the RSK and the RH demand the maximum readiness of
all state bodies and organizations, and particularly of the Serbian Army of Krajina, in
countering any threat to the sovereignty of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Bearing this
in mind, the mission of the Serbian Army of Krajina is the following:
Carry out grouping along the main defence axes and structures in the territory of the RSK
in order to prevent sudden aggression, thwart by determined defence the seizure of vital
installations, prevent deeper penetration along the lines of attack of the Croatian army,
and be prepared, by vigorous counterattacks along specific lines, to free occupied territory
and capture, as much as possible, Croatian territories with a Serbian population.
Defence actions and counterattacks will include the involvement of VJ and VRS
elements, and volunteer units.

25

What is probably meant is the VRS, the Army of Republika Srpska.

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Operational implementation of the mission:
a) in case of limited aggression:
Decisive defence of all points and installations by SVK forces along the lines of enemy
assault; attack along selected lines with main forces and seize areas and installations of
particular importance for the enemy in order to capture as much space as possible and
recover territories seized earlier.
CP in the Knin area
ACP in the Petrova Gora area
b) in case of radical aggression:
The Serbian Army of Krajina, with the maximum involvement of all the resources of the
state and by persistent defence along with active operations, in cooperation with VRS
and VJ elements, must prevent the occupation of territory and defend the integrity of
the RSK.
Prepare and execute active operations in central Dalmatia, in the area between the
rivers Kupa and Mrežnica, and eastern Slavonia. Focus on severing communications in
Gorski Kotar and Dalmatia.
CP in the area of Petrova Gora
ACP in the Knin area
3. In case of a general attack of the Croatian army on the RSK, the VJ will discharge
its obligations under the Vance Plan by engaging units and recruiting volunteers from
the SRY. The main reception centre (Bubanj Potok) in Belgrade (Serbia) will be the
responsibility of the First Army, and all liaison shall be effected through it.
The VRS will engage in defence and active action with respect to the Corridor,26 the
Cazin Krajina and Livanjsko Polje, and thereby tie up elements of the HVO27 and the
Muslim army and prevent their engagement against the RSK.
4. I HAVE DECIDED, in coordination with official authorities and organizations, and
in cooperation with MUP RSK units and elements of the VRS and the VJ, to prevent by
decisive defence and resorting to various forms of armed combat the routing of the SVK,
the carving up or occupation of RSK territory, in order to preserve territorial integrity.
a) in case of limited aggression:
In case of HV aggression against the RSK, resort to determined defence along the lines
of enemy assault and, through active operations along other lines, with focus on Eastern
Slavonia, Kordun and Dalmatia, restore the territory lost earlier, prevent the cutoff
of smaller parts of the RSK, inflict losses, spread hostile forces and, through artillery
and rocket strikes on selected targets in the territory of the Republic of Croatia, deter

26

A thin line of territory in Bosnian Posavina which connected the occupied parts of Bosnia&Herzegovina
(western area) and of Croatia (the so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina) with Serbia.
27
Hrvatsko vijeće obrane (Croatian Defence Council) - armed forces of the Croats in Bosnia&Herzegovina.

216

radical RH aggression, thus preserving the territorial integrity of the state and creating
conditions for continued negotiation in terms of RSK recognition.
b) in case of radical aggression:
During initial operations prevent by decisive defence deeper enemy penetrations in
the lines of attack and the carving up of RSK territory and, with the concurrent VJ
commitment in Eastern Slavonia and Western Srem, inflict appreciable losses, break
down the assault and create conditions for offensive action.
After taking over the initiative, turn to offensive action in Eastern Slavonia, Kordun
and central Dalmatia, cut off parts of RH territory in Eastern Slavonia, Gorski Kotar
and central Dalmatia and thereby link up SVK and RS forces, prevent communications
with the central part of RH and the regular supply of Gorski Kotar and Dalmatia, and
thus disrupt the planned commitment and deployment of Croatian armed forces. Mount
active defence operations in other areas.
This will create favourable conditions for the continued and definitive solution of
the position of the Serbian people. In case of extremely unfavourable developments
on the battlefield, sustain operations and turn to specific forms of armed struggle and
resistance.
Carry out the operation in two stages:
Stage one: maintain by determined defence the territorial integrity of the RSK, prevent
surprise actions and cutting off of parts of RSK territory, spread out enemy forces, inflict
losses and create conditions for offensive action. Duration 15-20 days.
Stage two: after taking the initiative, rout by offensive action and in cooperation with VJ
and VRS forces the ustashi forces along the lines of attack in Eastern Slavonia, Dalmatia
and Gorski Kotar, and create conditions for continued offensive action in order to
establish control and prevent communications and the supply of RH armed forces and
the population in Gorski Kotar and Dalmatia. Duration 10-15 days.
Readiness for the first stage immediately, and for the second one after the detection of
certain indications for a radical HV aggression against the RSK. (...)
Main CP in the Knin area
ACP in the area of Petrova Gora
UNIT MISSION
1) 11th Corps: in limited aggression and in the first stage of the operation prevent by
decisive defence the breakthrough of ustashi forces in Baranja; in Eastern Slavonia and
Western Srem turn to offensive action, block Osijek and Vinkovci and create towards
Mirkovci-Županja a bridgehead at Andrijaševci - Pritoka - Otoka.
In the second stage of the operation, together with Operational Group 2 (18th and
138th motorized brigades, 453rd and 1st armoured battalions, 51st mechanized brigade,
16th motorized artillery brigade, 12th composite anti-armoured artillery battalion, 1/240th
self-propelled PVO rocket regiment and 155th light infantry brigade), turn from the
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bridgehead created earlier to offensive action - towards Privlaka-Županja with its main
forces and towards Babina Greda - Nijemci-Posavski Podgajci with auxiliary forces in order to rout ustashi forces along the lines of assault; cooperate with VRS forces in
routing and destroying ustashi forces in the greater area of Orašje, advance to the river
Sava and secure the Corridor from the north. Follow up by routing the cut-off forces in
the greater area of Spačvanske Šume and set up defence positions at Gradište - Štitor.
Be prepared to repulse counter-attacks by ustashi forces.
Support provided by RV (air force) and PVO (anti-aircraft defence).
Command post: Vukovar.
2) 18th Corps: in all conditions prevent by decisive defence the breakthrough of ustashi
forces into the corps defence zone, particularly at Novska - Okučani, Nova Gradiška Okučani and Pakrac - Okučani.
Support provided by the VRS air force and anti-aircraft defence.
CP at Okučani.
3) 39th Corps: In all conditions, prevent by persistent defence in cooperation with the 21st
and 18th Corps the breakthrough of ustashi forces along the lines Glinska Poljana - Glina,
Farkašić - Petrinja - Dvor and Sunja - Kostajnica - Dvor, rout and destroy enemy forces,
advance to the line Dvorište - Hrastovica (hill 415) - Hrvatski Čuntić - Dejanović - hill
262 - Šamarice, break the enemy assault and create conditions for offensive action.
Regroup and counter-attack, rout ustashi forces at the lines of action on the rivers Kupa
and Sava, and turn to defence.
CP in the Šamarica Area.
4) 21st Corps: in limited aggression and in the first stage of the operation, in cooperation
with the 39th and 15th Corps prevent the breakthrough of ustashi forces along the axes
Gradac - Lasinja - Vrginmost, Karlovac - Vojnić and Generalski Stol - Slunj, spread by
persistent defence and destroy enemy forces, and prevent deeper penetration along the
main lines.
Part of the forces must be ready for anti-sabotage action, and persistent and active
defence along the line of contact with the 5th Corps.
In the second stage of the operation be ready with noncommitted forces for offensive
action towards Vojnić - Banjsko Selo, advance to the river Mrežnica and turn to active
defence.
Defence focus on the Generalski Stol - Slunj - Rakovica line.
Support provided by the ORKAN rocket system, the air force and SVK anti-aircraft
defence.
CP in Vojnić, ACP in Slunj.
5) 15th Corps: by persistent defence and in cooperation with the 21st and 7th Corps prevent
the breakthrough of ustashi forces along the axes Ogulin- Plaški - Plitvice Lakes, Otočac
- Vrhovine - Korenica, Perušić - Bunić - Udbina and Gospić - Medak - Gračac in order to
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prevent flank action, challenge control over Mount Kapela, Mount Velebit and T. Grad.28,
and forestall deeper penetrations along the foregoing lines by spreading enemy forces
and inflicting substantial manpower and materiel losses.
Use uncommitted forces to counterattack and destroy the ustashi wedge.
Part of the forces must remain ready for anti-sabotage action and defence along the line
of contact with the 5th Corps.
Support provided by the 75th composite anti-armour artillery brigade, the ORKAN rocket
system, and the SVK air force and anti-aircraft defence.
CP in Korenica.
6) 7th Corps: in limited aggression and in the first stage of the operation prevent the
breakthrough of ustashi forces along the axes Zadar - Bankovac - Knin, Šibenik - Drniš
- Knin, Sinj - Vrlika - Knin and on Mount Velebit; commit part of the forces to offensive
action and recover territory lost earlier.
In the second stage, sustain defence, regroup forces and recover by offensive action the
territory lost earlier along the Šibenik - Biograd-na-Moru - Zadar line, advance to the
sea and fortify the attained line. Sustain readiness for offensive action.
Support provided by the 105th air brigade, and the VRS air force and anti-aircraft
defence.
CP Knin.
7) Mission of the SVK air force and anti-aircraft defence
In an HV aggression against the RSK, commit all SVK air force and anti-aircraft defence
units, in cooperation with the VRS and VJ air force and anti-aircraft defence, to antiaircraft defence of major targets in the territory and SVK groups, and provide air support
to SVK forces in the defence of major lines and areas of action in the RSK.
(1) 45th aerial reconnaissance, reporting and guidance battalion:
Observe from its basic radar positions the air space and deliver enemy information to
the users via operational main staff and corps centre lines, conventional channels and
EDP systems.
Be ready for relocation to reserve radar positions.
(2) 44th rocket brigade:
1st rocket battalion: anti-aircraft fire action in the area of deployment of the 39th Corps
CP; after HV aggression against the RSK and securing specific conditions, effect strikes
on major enemy ground facilities and troops.
Fire action by field batteries against enemy combat aircraft along the most probable air raid
and attack lines against the Udbina air base and the surface-to-surface artillery&rocket
unit.
CP: Petrova Gora

28

Teslingrad, as the rebel Serbs renamed Lički Osik in 1991.

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(3) 105th air brigade:
Collect by air reconnaissance information on enemy grouping and forces along the
communication routes, and enemy reserves beyond the border.
- Provide fire support to SVK defence efforts by fighter and bomber aircraft along the
main lines of enemy attack.
After enemy action and the knocking of the Udbina air base out of commission, transfer
the aircraft to the airfields Petrovac, Banja Luka and Glamoč.
- Engage enemy armoured and mechanized forces along the most critical lines of action
by attack helicopters in the corps zones.
- Transport and evacuate the wounded, reinforcements and materiel in the theatre by
transport helicopters.
Mission load: - 2-4 sorties by reconnaissance and light combat aircraft
- 4-6 sorties for nuclear&chemical weapons
- 4-6 hours for transport helicopters
CP: Udbina air base
(4) In case of a helicopter-borne assault, engage all air and ground forces in order to
rout and destroy the enemy.
(5) The air fire support of the 18th corps is provided by the VRS air force and antiaircraft defence. The VJ air force and anti-aircraft defence will provide fire support to the
11th corps according to a separate plan.
___________________
Copy, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 6, no number/1995

220

19
1995, 8 February
Knin
Speeches by Milan Martić, Borislav Mikelić and Milan Babić at the session of the
Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina which discussed the process of negotiation
with the Republic of Croatia and Plan Z-4
____________________
(...)
The first and the only item on the agenda:
THE PROCESS OF NEGOTIATION WITH CROATIA
IN THE LIGHT OF THE CROATIAN DEMAND FOR THE CANCELLATION OF
THE UNPROFOR MANDATE AND THE POLITICAL&SECURITY CONDITIONS
IN THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
(...)
MILAN MARTIĆ (RSK president):
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the assembly,
Just as many times so far, and that will also frequently be the case in the future, the
Serbian people and the Republic of Serbian Krajina are finding themselves in the position,
against their will and wish, to say a determined “no” to the international mediators and
to their attempts to force us to accept an international peace plan which does not meet
even a minimum of our national and human rights and interests. As you know quite
well, the Republic of Serbian Krajina did not even consider the plan of the Z-4 group29
(...)
The possible estimate of certain international subjects and of Croatia according to
which the threat of cancellation of the UNPROFOR mandate is an ideal situation for
deceiving the scared Serbs is just a mistaken estimate and nothing else. The Serbs are not
scared by the possible departure of the peacekeeping force and they cannot be tricked.
(...)
As for accepting the concept of so-called peaceful reintegration of Krajina into Croatia,
can we accept that? Can we defame all the victims of this war? Can we agree to our own
death? Life in Croatia would be worse than any death. Life in Croatia - would that be any
life?
[...]
BORISLAV MIKELIĆ ((RSK prime minister)

29

See Appendix IV, doc. no. 1.

221

[...] To put it simply, the peacekeeping force arrived in this area which was proclaimed a
protected zone until a solution is found between the two warring sides. We have not yet
come up with a solution or initiated talks about possible political solutions with which
we can also disagree, but we can start talking. Therefore, to say the least, the decision
of the Z-4 group, which was also involved in the cease-fire agreement and economic
negotiations, is provocative for our side, for the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Their
decision to deliver this officially to us prompted consultations of our leadership at all
levels; thus, the president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina officially informed them
that we cannot even consider such a document before the definition of the position of
the United Nations and the Security Council, that is, before their decision whether or
not UNPROFOR, the peacekeeping force, will remain in the territory of the Republic of
Serbian Krajina, and whether Krajina will remain a protected zone [...]
MILAN BABIĆ (foreign minister in the RSK government)
[...] As regards Republika Srpska, I had the opportunity to visit Pale [seat of the Serbian
para-state in Bosnia&Herzegovina] with the state delegation, and they promised us that
the plans which have been agreed will be realized if we are militarily threatened. As
regards the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, I did not get any guarantees of that kind maybe some other people in the state leadership have some information - other than
the promise that we shall get I don’t know how many tons of food and ammunition.
What other intervention is possible? In our public appearances we even tried, gently,
in this period of crisis set off by UNPROFOR, to draw attention to our situation, and
to prompt a greater response of the leaderships of Serbia and Yugoslavia. The refusal of
the president of Serbia [Slobodan Milošević] to accept the Z-4 plan of the mini-contact
group was a great encouragement for everyone. However, I would also like to see a real
relation and not just a political possibility. [...]
____________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 3, box 2.

222

20
1995, 10 February
[Knin]
The general staff of the “Serbian Army of Krajina” forwards to the corps commands and
senior officers the summary of president Milan Martić’s speech on combat readiness
____________________
MILITARY SECRET
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
EXCERPT FROM THE PRESENTATION OF THE
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC MR. MILAN MARTIĆ
DURING THE BRIEFING ON THE
COMBAT READINESS OF THE SVK
(...)
In addressing the officers the President clearly and unequivocally pointed out the
characteristics of the current conditions in the country and the seriousness of the
imminent ustashi aggression.
Particular stress was laid upon the role and mission of the SVK, and its preparations
to meet the aggression well-prepared, and upon the importance of combat morale and
the bond between the army and the people. Bearing in mind the importance of the
questions, evaluations and positions presented by the President of the state, the General
Staff has decided to forward to corps commands and most responsible officers an excerpt
from the President’s presentation. The excerpt is enclosed to the SVK Combat Readiness
Conclusions and Mission Statement.
*
The destiny of the Serbian people and of our state is in the hands of the SVK. The
command cadre is particularly responsible. An organized and efficient army cannot exist
without good command. Without good command the SVK would be doomed to failure
in advance.
The people and the SVK: the eyes and ears of the people are on the SVK.
The development of the army is a process. A less trained and weaker army can deliver
a lot with capable command. Commanding means dealing with problems. Today the
people of Krajina have their own army, a Serbian army, with its own officer corps. I
am against any mud-slinging at the SVK and its officers. Our goal is to strengthen the
people’s confidence in its officer’s corps.
A question is circulating in public: the JNA left us in 1991, will the army [i.e., the SRY
officers] run away again? All the officers who did not run away in 1991 are here, and will
certainly not run away now - that is the answer of your commander, general Čeleketić.30
30

Milan.

223

(...)
The SVK is expected to inspire trust among the people continuously, trust that the
territory of the RSK is secure and safe. Without a well-organized and strong SVK
everything else in our state will collapse. There will be no legal system or welfare system.
And defence is the condition for that. Defence is the number one priority for our present
and future. It must be. (...)
Any doubt in the good intentions with negative consequences is human and needs
to be understood. That should have been avoided. Inertia and the evasion of defence
commitments are also confirmed by the fact that state assets are used for other purposes,
primarily personal gain, rather than for defence. The example of forest exploitation is
more than convincing. The “Timber” programme of planned logging could have provided
for the SVK and defence. Unfortunately, that has not been the case, and individuals and
profiteers have relentlessly usurped a national resource. The parliament must oppose
such policies more resolutely.
We expect the aggression of the Croatian army in 1995. We must be ready for it. That
will be the decisive battle, not only for the RSK but also for the entire Serbian people. The
existing military intelligence and state security bodies must provide information on the
start of aggression at least 10 or 15 days in advance. We are certain that the aggression
will take place, but it is difficult to determine its start, which will occur between April
and July 1995.
The war between the RH and the RSK must end with the victory of one side and the
defeat of the other. Until that takes place, the war will not and cannot end. (...)
We have accepted negotiations with the Croatian side brokered by the international
community, but nothing much can be expected from them. Nevertheless, negotiations
are useful for us because they give us more time for preparing defence from the Croatian
aggression. We must be prepared for the final showdown with Croatia. In his policy
Tuđman31 does not make his moves by heart. The statements of Kohl32 and Kinkel33
urging Tuđman to withdraw his decision on denying hospitality to UNPROFOR are
just a cover calculated to achieve specific goals, through pressure on the Serbs and
the Security Council, and influence the SRY to recognize the Republic of Croatia and
Bosnia&Herzegovina within their AVNOJ frontiers. The pressure on Serbia and the SRJ
was meant to force the SRJ into renouncing the obligations it had accepted under the
Vance Plan, and isolating the RSK people and leaving it helpless. In the evaluation of
Croatia and Germany that should have led to the defeat of the Krajina Serbs. (...)
All the parties [in Croatia] are united where the RSK is concerned. The armed option is
also present in the programmes of all the opposition leaders. (...) The Croatian Parliament
is completely in agreement with the policy towards the RSK, which is no particular
surprise. There is also in Croatia an increasing fear from UNPROFOR withdrawal.

31

Franjo, President of the Republic of Croatia.
Helmut Kohl, German Chancellor.
33
Klaus Kinkel, German Foreign Minister.
32

224

Even Tuđman finds it hard to conceal it. With great pomp and at the request of the
international community Tuđman might withdraw his demand on UNPROFOR leaving
Croatia, and that possibility is not to be excluded. Of course, that could only occur with
certain concessions at the expense of the RSK and the SRJ. Croatia will not and may not
wage war against all Serbs, and that is a realistic option if UNPROFOR leaves.
In case of Croatia’s aggression on the RSK, we must be prepared to wage war, for a shorter
or longer time, without the direct help of the VJ and the VRS. This is why we must be
prepared to the utmost. This is also important because it makes Croatia’s position easier
with respect to the RSK. Should the situation require it, all the Serbian people will defend
Krajina. We are brothers, and mutual help in the life-and-death struggle will be up to the
task of our time. Food, ammunition and manpower are guaranteed as help for the SVK.
Help will be provided without the SRJ being directly involved in the war.
Independently of the help and involvement of the SRJ and the RS, we must be totally
prepared for opposing Croatian aggression. We must be able to wage war independently
for a longer period. The degree of our readiness must allow us to deter Croatia from
aggression on our own, or, should aggression take place, to break it down even in its
worst variant even without any help... (...)
We must make use of all the information gained from knowledge on the combat action of
the 5th Corps [of the ARBiH] and the Croatian army, and particularly on the commitment
of HV forces in the Livno - Grahovo theatre. We can expect a tough and a long battle. We
must meet the start of aggression with an organized defence and fire system for breaking
down the attack and survival, and protection from murderous artillery fire. Blocking and
fortification must be completely coordinated with the defence and fire system plans. The
defence areas of lower echelon units must allow every soldier and squad to oppose the
enemy with at least three lines of defence. Along every line the soldier must have a full
profile shelter, reserve positions for all weapons, observation posts etc. In places where
the terrain does not allow for concealing troop or weapons movement, communication
trenches must be provided between the defence lines. It would be unrealistic to expect
successful defence if it is based on a single line, however well-prepared it may be. A
combat ready corps must have a reserve, however small it may be. An available reserve
allows a fast response to sudden changes of the situation.
Command practices must avoid repeating the mistakes of 1993. Maslenica, the Medak
pocket, Divoselo must not happen again. The loss of these points is the result of singleline defence and lack of proper action. We cannot give combat only at points of ustashi
assault. In addition to defending the area in which we are attacked, we must turn to
assault in places where the enemy is the weakest and where he does not expect our
counter-attack. We must be ready for attack. We must attack with our reserves, and carry
our determined strikes with new forces (volunteers etc.). We must not attack at points
where the ustashi outnumber us, but there where they are “the thinnest”.
Our combat actions must not be reduced merely to restoring what the Croatian army
has captured. That would be a utopia which would not have a favourable impact on the
ultimate outcome of the war. We must resort to defence in order to stop Croatian forces
at the points of their attack, and attack ourselves where the ustashi are the weakest. We
225

shall operate throughout Croatia. We have the initiative in our strikes. We choose the
place, time and way of the strike. Nobody can stop us from shelling Zagreb, Osijek,
Vinkovci, Zadar, Karlovac, Split... We must have an action plan and prepare for its
thorough implementation. Croatia can be carved up and that would settle our fight
against them for all time. The carving up and cutoff of parts of Croatia at several points
would have a devastating effect on the ustashi and they would never recover from it. We
must seek ways to link up with the part of the RSK made up by Eastern Slavonia, Western
Srem and Baranja. In case of our victory Croatia would be finished. Nobody could ever
again back Croatia. Not officially, anyway. That would also be for us the shortest route to
international recognition and unification in a single Serbian state.
We must win the battle against Croatia. We cannot afford to lose it. We are not even
entitled to that. This is a battle which will require the last atom of our strength. We must
mobilize all healthy and able-bodied persons, eliminate everything negative, thwart
defeatism. We must enhance battle morale to the highest point.
The commander-in-chief is in command of the entire armed forces. Nobody shall be
allowed to interfere in the command. Attempts by profiteers to relieve commanders have
been prevented. As a whole the command effort must focus on preparations of the SVK
units and commands for defence. The army and its command are always expected to be
up to their mission. Decisive battles must not be lost. And our army faces the decisive
battle. I was personally very dissatisfied when I saw how little attention was devoted to
preparing for defence, and how casually and reluctantly people go about doing everything
that can and has to be done for adequate defence. I even thought of introducing military
rule. But results can also be achieved by relying on our parliament and its members. We
strive to put an end to the practice of everybody going his way. I am aware of intentions
and moves that are not at all benevolent towards the SVK. The army cannot and shall
not take dirt from anybody. I will do everything granted me by the constitution and
the law to save this people. I count on the readiness and high combat readiness of our
armed forces. The army must look after the interests of the people. Obviously, we cannot
wage war and win without the economy, and we must all bear this in mind and help the
economy to get professional and qualified people without whom there is no production.
In the economy the state must open the door to women and all those who can work and
who cannot fight in the war. Quite illogically, in kitchens and near the kitchens, on the
factory grounds you find young and healthy men, whereas are positions are manned by
elderly or sickly people. Retired and disabled persons, women and others not fit to bear
arms must take up all the jobs held by young people capable of bearing arms and fighting
in the war.
Our judiciary is stating to deal with matters in its competence. Military justice bodies
have been formed, but do not operate. For all practical purposes civil justice does
not discharge its functions. All illegal gains will be seized from the persons operating
beyond the law. Seized property must be used for the requirements of the SVK: trucks,
vehicles, cigarettes, goods... All surpluses are to be handed over to the financial police.
All operations of this kind are focused on saving our state, the RSK. Crime and blackmarketeering destroy the combat morale of our troops and officers in the front lines.
226

Honest people cannot accept any protection of black-marketeers and criminals. If blackmarketeers get back their goods on the basis of court rulings, then something is wrong
with the honesty and intentions of the courts.
This is a crucial moment for the entire Serbian people. We must not lose the battle we
are waging. (...) It is being assumed, and certain information also suggest the same,
that aggression could possibly start about 31 March 2009. We must achieve full combat
readiness for aggression if we find out that it is going to take place in five days or even
before. We must not be caught off-guard. We must use every day and hour before
aggression for preparation, particularly with regard to the boosting of combat morale and
getting our positions ready. We must enhance propaganda, win even better recognition
of the armed forces and their bond with the people. In addition to the “Liberty Front”
broadcast we also need to organize round tables with the participation of our soldiers
and officers, and increase TV coverage of the trenches. Psychological preparations must
improve the willingness and morale of the army and of the people. When I visit your
corps I would like to see much better conditions as compared with what I saw recently.
____________________
Copy, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 265

21
1995, 30 March
Knin
Conclusions of the Government of the “Republic of Serbian Krajina” regarding the
negotiations on the amendment of the mandate of the United Nations Protective Force
in the occupied parts of the Republic of Croatia
____________________
In accordance with its constitutional powers, the Government of the Republic of Serbian
Krajina, at its extraordinary session held on 30 March 1995, has considered the draft of
the UN Security Council Resolution suggested to the Security Council by the Contact
Group, and adopted the following positions: (...)
The Government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina estimates that there is no reason to
terminate the current mandate of the United Nations Protective Force laid down by the
UN Security Council in Resolution No. 743 of 21 February 1992, and expects the UN
Security Council to extend the current mandate of the protective force.
The Government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina considers that the newly proposed
UN operation (UNCRO) can contribute to the stabilization of peace if it is determined
as the continuation and extension of the UN peacekeeping operation as established by
Resolution 743 of the UN Security Council, i.e., in line with the principles and basic
terms of the current protective force mandate in the Republic of Serbian Krajina and
zones under UN protection.
227

The proposal according to which the UN operation, pursuant to paragraph 5 of the
proposed draft of the Resolution, ought to be “a provisional arrangement for the creation
of conditions leading to an agreed solution which will be in accordance with the territorial
integrity of the Republic of Croatia” is absolutely unacceptable if it refers to the territory
of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
The Republic of Serbian Krajina, the sovereign state of the Serbian people and of all its
citizens, is not part of any Croatian state, and it will not accept any UN arrangement
which would bring it into such a position against its will.
The Government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina considers the engagement of UN
peacekeeping forces in its territory unacceptable if their name implies prejudiced
political solutions to the disadvantage of the Serbian people and the Republic of Serbian
Krajina.
The Government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina cannot permit the blockade of the
borders of the Republic of Serbian Krajina by any armed forces which would be contrary
to the principles of the current mandate of the UN protective force.
The Government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina has decided to inform the UN
Security Council about its foregoing conclusions. (...)
___________________
Copy, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR- HMDCDR, 4, 06-5-340/95

22
1995, [6 May]34
Letter of the President of the “Republic of Serbian Krajina” Milan Martić to Slobodan
Milošević, President of the Republic of Serbia, after the liberation of Western Slavonia
by the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia
____________________
From:
REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
To:
Mr. SLOBODAN MILOŠEVIĆ
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA

34

The date on the original letter is wrong, because its contents shows that it was written in early May, after
the liberation of Western Slavonia by Croatian forces.

228

6 April 1995
Mr. President,
The tragedy which has befallen the Serbian people through the latest aggression of
Croatia against Western Slavonia has grave and immeasurable consequences for the
overall Serbian cause. Territory was lost, hundreds of civilians were killed35, but what at
the present terrible moment gives rise to even greater anxiety is the widespread belief
of the people that the Serbian cause has been betrayed, betrayed moreover by the very
Serbs. Rumours are spreading throughout Krajina that it was sold down the river, and
people conclude with disbelief that we have been forgotten by both Serbia and Republika
Srpska. In many villages and towns people are packing and preparing to leave.
In view of this newly arisen disbelief in the possibility of survival in the RSK, caused by
the manifested doubt that we have been left to our own resources, this doubt must be
urgently dispelled. The only way to achieve this in an efficient way would be the prompt
interim deployment of about two thousand troops of the Yugoslav Army and Serbian
MUP police in the Krajina garrisons. They would not be deployed along the front line
but would rather, with their presence in Gračac, Petrinja, Benkovac, Slunj and Knin,
restore the psychological stability of the population and give the RSK authorities time to
improve and stabilize the situation. Unless this step is taken right away, I believe it will
be late for anything else. All the representatives of the RSK authorities are in agreement
with this matter. Mr. President. I am convinced you fully understand the situation
and our difficulties, and would therefore kindly ask you to take immediately the steps
required for the realization of our demand. I look forward to discussing all other forms
of assistance with you personally before long.
The Krajina needs you.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
Milan Martić
(stamp)36
____________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 229

35
36

Untrue, usual Serbian propaganda.
Round stamp with the text: RSK, President of the Republic, Knin

229

23
1995, 18 May
Borovo Selo
Part of the speech of the RSK President Milan Martić on the state of the crisis after the
Croatian Army liberated Western Slavonia, and on plans of unification with Republika
Srpska as the first step towards the unification of all Serbian lands
___________________
TAPE RECORDING
OF THE THIRD MEETING OF THE REGULAR SESSION
OF THE ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA,
HELD IN BOROVO SELO ON 18 MAY 1995
[...]
Distinguished assemblymen,
I shall obviously have to present once again the causes and the scope of the crisis which
has befallen us, and to offer ways and means to overcome it.
Before I speak up directly and concretely about certain segments of the events in and
around Western Slavonia, I must briefly review the following problems and dilemmas,
and raise the following question: what is the Serbian national goal, and has it changed?
What is our position with respect to war and peace, to Serbia (Yugoslavia) and Republika
Srpska? How do authorities function in Krajina? What is our position with respect to UN
and Croatia? Let me reiterate once again: Western Slavonia fell because of inadequate
responses to all these questions, and military defeat is the logical aftermath.
On the national goal and its implications for the state crisis
(...) Tragically enough it [the creation of a single common state of Serbs in the area of
the former Yugoslavia] has not happened yet. Western Slavonia would not have fallen,
probably, had there been a single state. However, to make misery and tragedy even worse,
unification has not been accomplished owing primarily to internal Serbian quarrels and
lack of understanding.
Without entering into the underlying reasons of the differences, their dual consequences
are noticeable: first, the national cause is being treated as a partial issue - separately
for Serbia, separately for Republika Srpska, separately for the RSK; second, correlated
with the first, is the transfer of the Serbian national cause from the constitutive to the
democratic sphere. Both have had a dramatic and lethal effect on the overall national
interest, and have clearly shown that some of the subjects involved have amended the
goals of their struggle. They have uncritically abandoned the programme focused on
the creation of a common Serbian state in the belief that it could not be realized at this
time. As opposed to this concept, they advocate the solution of the issue through the
achievement of democratic rights of the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina.
230

Quite clearly, this turn in the national goal has a direct bearing on the efficient functioning
of government in Republika Srpska and the RSK, making it less free to meet all the
challenges with which it is faced. The transfer of the national goal from the constitutive to
the democratic sphere results in a planned destruction of attempts to develop an efficient
government machinery. That is, the Serbian cause regarded as a democratic issue does
not seek its own state subjectivity, it opposes it. The so-called democratic solution sees
the Serbs in Croatia and in Bosnia&Herzegovina. This is why its champions swoop down
on both Serbian states and try to make them inefficient and incapable of responding to
the requirements of the time.
One of the by-products of such a policy is the forced division, i.e., trialism of power in
the RSK. (...)
However, let me stress once again that the conflict of concepts is the fundamental
current conflict in Serbian lands, one that deliberately brings about the destruction of
the state apparatus and is the true culprit for the fall of Western Slavonia. A strong state
is an obstacle to the realization of the concept of coexistence between the Serbs and the
Croats. Moreover, the weakening and the mutilation of the Krajina state have become
the goals of some former Serbian nationalists. The destruction is to be wrought from
within, by creating the illusion of an insatiable struggle for leadership and power which
destroys everything around it; a struggle which is an end in itself.
Distinguished assemblymen,
This Assembly must once again clearly and publicly state which concept of solution of
the issue it accepts: the so-called democratic or the constitutive one. On that basis, it
should once again determine its position with respect to both Serbia (Yugoslavia) and
Republika Srpska, but also with respect to war and peace, and the concept of its position
in negotiations with Croatia and the international community. As far as I am concerned,
I have declared by choice a long time ago, and I only accept the constitutive solution
which is also the highest degree of achievement of the democratic right of the Serbian
people. Anything else should proceed without me.
On Serbia (Yugoslavia) and Republika Srpska
Distinguished assemblymen, (...)
Hence, I have never faced the dilemma of Belgrade vs. Pale. I have always chosen both
Belgrade and Pale. I have never made any essential differences between the two, and do
not intend to make any in the future either. Krajina cannot survive without Belgrade,
but it cannot survive without Pale either. Let us start, for example, with geostrategic
considerations. Any lay person knows that Eastern Slavonia and Baranja cannot survive,
in military terms, without Yugoslavia, just as the western parts of Krajina cannot
survive without Republika Srpska, with which they make up an integral strategic whole.
Insisting on the censure of Pale within the scope of the internal Serbian squabble means
at the same time condemning Krajina to military defeat and disappearance. I think that
Western Slavonia could have been saved if Republika Srpska and the RSK had united
before the aggression, as precursors of overall Serbian unification.
231

Therefore, territorial integrity, i.e., the safeguarding of all Serbian territories, does not
allow any partition into Belgrade, Pale and Knin. If the argument is pursued further, in
this forced analysis Belgrade has a much higher economic and political weight than Pale.
In Krajina we recognize this fact and, therefore, accept Belgrade as a go-between in most
of our international political activities. Therefore, whoever is against Belgrade is against
Krajina. (...)
That is my decision. My concern is Krajina, and it cannot be preserved by mere
demagogical claims about the so-called peaceful solution of the issue which sees Krajina
as an autonomous entity in Croatia and - mind you! - exclusively in the area of the
so-called Knin and Glina districts. Krajina can be safeguarded only by insisting on the
unification of Serbian states. Anything else would lead to a massive exodus of Serbs
west of the Drina to its eastern bank. All ill-intentioned people will then conclude with
satisfaction, but they will not be alone, that the Serbs are finally in one state.
The unification of Serbian lands is the only way to preserve Krajina. The attacks on the
champions of unification are a good indicator that there are also people who do not
care for Krajina any longer. They are prepared to promote and cultivate, as an infectious
disease, the germ of defeatism and disbelief in the possibility of its survival. They are
prepared to glorify the strength of the enemy and underrate their own power. They are
prepared to provoke and speed up internal Serbian quarrels by trying to cause anarchy
and chaos in the state with accusations of individual leaders. Among other reasons,
Western Slavonia also fell because of this anarchic situation in our country. If we do not
oppose this imported chaos as well as the chaos being regerenerated within Krajina itself,
we shall soon face a destiny like the one which befell Western Slavonia. The unification
of the RSK and Republika Srpska must become a matter of hours and no longer a
matter of days or months. Anything else will take Krajina down the road to ruin.
On the advocates of war and peace, warmongers and peacekeepers
(...) The integral Serbian state is the solution of our problem. If we cannot achieve it in
one piece, we can do it partially, if not momentarily, then gradually, but we must not lose
any part of our national territory. Those who advocate this programme, which does not
call for war but only for Serbian unity, are being labelled as warmongers and attacked,
which is not only sad but also untrue...
What are we to do? These are my suggestions:
- embrace the Serbian cause as a constituent issue and, within that context, urgently
proceed to unification with Republika Srpska (in Bosnia&Herzegovina);
- cancel until further notice all economic and other negotiations with Croatia until all
past implications of such negotiations are examined;
- reinforce state power substantially by relieving all those who block it (in this regard,
demand the immediate relief of the prime minister);
- the government must hold its sessions in Knin;
- eradicate crime by amending and adopting stricter criminal justice;
- urgently reorganize the army; this has not been done so far because of obstruction; the
specific plans exist, the dominant issue is the required funding;
232

- amend the assembly procedures; the members of the assembly must answer to the
people and not to individuals or specific parties;
- provide adequate accommodation for refugees from Western Slavonia;
- during talks with international mediators insist on the protection of the entire Serbian
population left in Western Slavonia, and re-establishment of Serbian authorities after the
departure of Croatian forces;
- freeze the activities of all parties for at least 6 months or until this situation is
overcome;
- let us all unite in a single Serbian bloc. (...)
____________________
Copy, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 3, box 291

24
1995, 20 May
Borovo Selo
Decision of the Assembly of the “Republic of Serbian Krajina” on starting the
implementation of unification with Republika Srpska
____________________
Pursuant to Article 123 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and to the
results of the referendum held in June 1993 on the unification of the Republic of Serbian
Krajina with Republika Srpska and other Serbian states, and in accordance with the
project of the Serbian Federation accepted by the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian
Krajina at its session on 10 November 1994, and accepted by the Assembly of Republika
Srpska on 15-16 April 1995, at its third meeting of its first regular session held in Borovo
Selo on 20 May 1995 the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina has adopted the
following
DECISION
on the start of unification of the Republic of Serbian
Krajina and Republika Srpska
The realization of unification of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska
shall proceed. An inter-republican commission is being appointed, consisting of three
members from each Republic, in order to prepare the concrete Plan of Unification of the
Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska. (...)
The process of unification shall not be pursued contrary to the interests of other Serbian
states, primarily the SRJ, and it will be harmonized with all Serbian states. (...)
233

No. 01-02-41/1-95
Borovo Selo, 20 May 1995

President of the Assembly
Rajko Ležajić, B.S.
(stamp)37
____________________

Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 3, box 2

25
1995, 29 May
Knin
Minutes of the session of the Assembly of the “Republic of Serbian Krajina” which approved the decision on state unification with Republika Srpska
(...)
AGREEMENT WITH THE DECISION ON STATE UNIFICATION OF THE RSK AND
THE RS
Minister MILAN BABIĆ presented the chronological sequence of the work of the state
commission, and the variants of the name of the future state. The common position was
that it ought to be called UNITED SERBIAN REPUBLIC.
After the debate, the other members of the Assembly also unanimously agreed with the
Decision.
AGREEMENT WITH THE DRAFT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW ON INTERIM CONSTITUTIONAL UNIFICATION
Accepted unanimously along with the statement of reasons. (...)
____________________
Copy, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 3, box 407

37

Round stamp with the text: RSK, Assembly of the Republic, Knin

234

29
1995, 29 June
Opinion of the cabinet of the president of the “Republic of Serbian Krajina” concerning
the preliminary draft of the law package for the preparation of the legislation of the
“United Serbian Republic”
__________________
(...)
Subject: Preliminary draft of the legislation of the United Serbian Republic
This is to inform you that we have examined a package of sixteen laws drafted by the
joint commission for the preparation of the legislation of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
and Republika Srpska, submitted for our consideration and, accordingly, for presenting
our suggestions or amendments.
Having compared the existing laws and legal solutions, the organization and mechanism of functioning of state administration and other key state institutions in the Republic of Serbian Krajina, with the principles and solutions envisioned in the preliminary
drafts of the laws, we have concluded that the organization, functioning and concentration of authority are almost identical with the existing legal solutions in the Republic
of Serbian Krajina, with the understanding, of course, that the new laws will be implemented throughout the territory of the United Serbian Republic.
Therefore, the draft envisions a centralized form of government with a minimum degree of local self-government.
We find that the offered laws are justified, of substantially and normatively high quality, and mainly have no particular comments in their regard.
The President of the Republic Mr. Milan Martić has been informed about the preliminary drafts and offered no major comments.
However, he stressed that, in the talks with the highest government officials of Republika Srpska, it was agreed in principle that the future administrative centre of the United
Serbian Republic would be Banja Luka. (...)
The president believes that there is no need to emphasize in particular the interest of
the citizens of the Serbian Republic of Krajina in having the administrative centre of the
United SerbianRepublic in Banja Luka.
Thank you for your cooperation (...)
__________________
Copy, typewritten, Cyrillic script
Croatian Information Centre, A-159/075

235

30
1995, 30 July
Knin
From the decision of the Supreme Defence Council of the “Republic of Serbian Krajina”
on the proclamation of the state of war
___________________
Decision of the RSK Supreme Defence Council
STATE OF WAR PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE RSK
Knin, 30 July. At its meeting held on Friday evening the RSK Supreme Defence Council
has decided, considering the latest developments after the occupation of Grahovo and
possible Croatian aggression against the RSK, to proclaim the state of war throughout
the RSK in accordance with Article 102 of the Constitution.
[...]
The government has heard and accepted the information of the minister of defence
Milan Šuput on the steps taken with regard to the defence of the borders and civil defence activities. RSK President Milan Martić visited yesterday the area of the shelled village of Strumica, some twenty kilometres north of Knin towards Grahovo together with
the SVK commander Lieutenant General Mile Mrkšić, and stated on RSK Radio&TV
that the Krajina defence lines in the area were stabilized.
“We cannot believe that Croatia could decide to carry out an insane venture such as
the attack on Knin”, said he, but added that the possibility was not to be excluded.
According to his words, the Serbian President Slobodan Milošević, with whom he
spoke yesterday on the phone, assured him that Serbia could no longer be indifferent.
Speaking about the alliance with Republika Srpska, President Martić said that the
RSK and the RS would act jointly, and that the presidents of the two states and the their
military commanders were in continuous contact.
“We have the strength to recoup what the Croatian army has seized”, stressed Martić,
and urged citizens to be disciplined and comply with the instructions of the authorities.
____________________
Copy, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 4207

236

APPENDIX 2
THE BIHAĆ CRISIS THE ASSAULT OF THE REBEL SERBS FROM
BOSNIA&HERZEGOVINA AND THE OCCUPIED
PARTS OF CROATIA
ON THE BIHAĆ SAFE AREA

237

Chief of the HV General Staff General Janko Bobetko and HV General Krešimir Ćosić with General Gordon
Sullivan, Chief of Staff of the Army; Pentagon, Washington, D.C., first half of November 1994.

238

Lieutenant General Krešimir Ćosić
HOW WE CHANGED THE COURSE OF THE WAR
Operation WINTER ‘94
(memoir notes on the first Bihać crisis - memories of a participant)

T

he historical events linked with the so-called First Bihać Crisis and its connection
with Operation Winter ’94 of the Croatian Army are almost totally unknown to the
Croatian public. However, it can be claimed without any exaggeration that it was
precisely the Croatian Army and its operation that indirectly prevented the fall of Bihać
and a tragedy of the civil population comparable to the Srebrenica tragedy already in the
winter of 1994, and the probable end of the war in neighbouring Bosnia&Herzegovina,
in which the war criminals Karadžić and Mladić could have become victors. Memories,
facts and original documents bear witness to the fact that the Croatian Army, as far
back as late 1994, while defending Croatia successfully defended Bosnia&Herzegovina
in cooperation with the Fifth Corps of the BiH Army. The Serbs knew that the conquest
of Bihać would leave Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina in an almost hopeless military
and political situation. At the time they did everything they could in order to achieve
that goal. At the time many people in the international community thought that the fall
of Bihać was only a matter of days. However, Operation Winter ’94 reversed the course
of the war both in Croatia and in Bosnia&Herzegovina. The Croatian Army was not
impressed or confused by the deceits and threats about the might of the Serbian army
palmed off by Karadžić, Mladić and Martić, with which they had too long deluded the
international community, in particular the Contact Group led by Lord Owen. Operation
Winter ’94 waged by the Croatian Army opened up the way, through Crni Lug, to Grahovo and Knin, and Bihać was saved. The events that followed in the summer of 1995
were almost identical to those in late 1994, because the Second Bihać Crisis in the summer of 1995 was also linked with Croatian operations Summer 95 and Storm.
THE STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE OF BIHAĆ IN NOVEMBER 1994
FOR THE OUTCOME OF THE WAR IN THE
REPUBLIC OF CROATIA AND BOSNIA&HERZEGOVINA
In late 1994 the war crisis in Bosnia&Herzegovina reached its climax. The organized
and coordinated siege of Bihać by Serbian forces from Bosnia&Herzegovina and the
temporarily occupied parts of Croatia, with the logistic support of the Yugoslav Army,
was focused on the final conquest of Bihać, followed by the establishment of total control
over almost the entire territory of Bosnia&Herzegovina. The Serbian attacks on Bihać - a
UN safe area - reached their peak on 29 November 1994. The fall of the town seemed to
be imminent; it had been totally surrounded for months, with many people killed and
wounded, weary and exhausted defenders and citizens. The efforts of the international
community were largely limited to providing emergency relief for refugees and humani239

tarian aid for the survivors. Through the Contact Group news about the imminent fall of
Bihać spread from London and Paris all the way to Washington. In such a situation, taking advantage of UNPROFOR and the ceasefire agreement in Croatia, Milan Martić, the
leader of the rebel Serbs in Croatia, mobilized the rebel Croatian Serbs and called them
into play. They crossed the Croatian state border into neighbouring Bosnia&Herzegovina
and participated in the onslaught on Bihać together with Milošević’s, Šešelj’s and Arkan’s
volunteers. It was quite clear to us that after the fall of Bihać these forces would regroup
and redeploy in the occupied Croatian areas, particularly along the line of disengagement at Karlovac. If that were to happen, many vital communications with the southern
parts of Croatia would be within range of mortar fire by the rebel Serbs. In such a case
Croatia would face the most difficult situation since the start of the Homeland War. The
Croatian Army could not just look on Serbian aggression against Bihać and had to react
in order to prevent its fall and the subsequent military and political linkup of the occupied territories of the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina into a single state
entity of the rebel Serbs.
Similarly, the rebel Serbs knew that the Bihać-Cazin area, totally surrounded by their
forces for months and successfully defended at a high cost by the 5th Corps of the BiH
Army and the 101st HVO regiment, represented the main obstacle to the complete military, political and economic linkup of the RSK and the RS. Because of that the final
destruction of the 5th ARBiH Corps was the main military and political objective of
the rebel Serbs on either side of the border. In November 1994 Bihać became the key,
decisive issue determining the outcome of the war both in the Republic of Croatia and
in Bosnia&Herzegovina. The destruction of the 5th ARBiH Corps and the fall of Bihać
would have had a direct effect on the line of disengagement between the Croatian Army
and the rebel Serbs, and particularly on the vital logistic routes via Karlovac and Maslenica to southern Croatia. The Croatian Army would be faced with a very tough situation.
As a matter of fact, with the fall of Bihać the Republic of Croatia would find itself in a
totally lost military position, and negotiations at the Contact Group level would simply
become meaningless. Of course, there would have been no Flash or Storm in 1995 without the successful termination of the first Bihać crisis and the prevented fall of Bihać in
1994. Because of all this, Operation Winter ’94 was without any exaggeration the turning
point in the operations in this theatre, and Operations Summer ’95 and Storm its logical
conclusions. In a nutshell, the Croatian Army was forced to a vigorous active defence,
which started with Operation Winter ’94 in the harshest winter conditions.
At the same time Croatia’s political leaders very intensively sought diplomatic avenues
for resolving the crisis affecting the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina. After
the signing of the Washington Agreement (18 March 1994) the United States became
more strongly involved in the resolution of this, the most complex and most serious international crisis. That was a major challenge for the US administration, which endeavoured once again to demonstrate and prove its pivotal role on the global political scene.
However, that only took place one year later, in Dayton. But at the time Dayton was far,
very far away.
At the time many serious international military analysts claimed, for very pragmatic
reasons, that objective and realistic political solutions must take into account realities on
240

the ground, meaning, as they emphasized, the actual balance of the military forces of the
warring sides. Due account needs to be taken of the fact that at the time under consideration the rebel Serbs still controlled about 25% of territory of the Republic of Croatia and
almost 70% of the territory of Bosnia&Herzegovina. In such circumstances no realistic
or objective international politician believed in political solutions acceptable to both
belligerent sides. We knew that Karadžić, Mladić and Martić would never agree to political concessions found satisfactory by the Croats and Bosniaks until forced to do it by
military force. Therefore, everything was clear! Only a new balance of military forces on
the ground could lead to new, acceptable political solutions. In this context the Serbian
positions were stated most clearly by Lord Owen, Chairman of the Contact Group, who
often pointed out: Don’t hope that you’ll get at the green table what you have not been able
to win by military means. However, Lord Owen forgot that the Serbs, initially with the
help of the JNA, had disarmed already in 1990 all the other republics and peoples in the
former common states, and only then, together with the JNA, waged war on Slovenia,
Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina in order to demonstrate their military power and “gallantry”. Unfortunately, just as Lord Owen did, the international community forgot all
that. This applies in particular to the Contact Group, which was very inclined to accept
the right of the stronger party to impose political solutions. And everything was clear! In
the war-time conditions of the early nineteen-nineties, that was the will of the international community, and the political position of the warring sides was proportional only
and exclusively to their military might and convincing performance on the ground. In
keeping with this, having inherited from the JNA all the occupied parts of the Republic
of Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina, Martić and Karadžić held - very long and too long
- a highly important role in all negotiations with the international community, and particularly during the negotiations in Geneva. This lasted until their brutality, arrogance
and intolerance was reduced to the proper political scale and position by the operations
of the Croatian Army and the BiH Army in 1994 and 1995.
Aware of such rules of the game, Karadžić, Mladić and Martić did their best to obtain
fresh forces for the final assault on Bihać through follow-on mobilization of rebel Serbs.
Tension and danger of escalation and spreading of the conflict - not only at Bihać but
also along almost every front line - grew daily and hourly.
The gravity of the situation was also confirmed by the report of the US Ambassador
in the UN, Mrs. Madeleine Albright, presented to the Security Council on 29 November
1994 at the height of the first Bihać crisis: The Bosnian Serbs started the war, and they
are the only ones to reject the Contact Group Plan on the cessation of hostilities. Karadžić’s
and Mladić’s aggression on the UN safe area at Bihać is also supported by the Serbs from
the so-called Krajina, who freely attack the sovereign territory of Bosnia&Herzegovina
ignoring the internationally recognized border bwtween the Republic of Croatia and
Bosnia&Herzegovina. Such conduct, focused on linking and uniting the areas held by the
Serbs from the so-called Krajina with the areas controlled by the Bosnian Serbs could also
ignite a broader Balkan war. In the same report, Mrs. Albright stressed in particular: It is
a fact that the attacks on the UN safe area at Bihać originate from the Udbina air base in
Croatia controlled by the rebel Croatian Serbs. All this poses a great security threat to the
241

UNPROFOR units on the ground, and has caused immense civilian casualties in the Bihać
pocket. Because of all this the US administration believes that such an aggression also calls
for an appropriate military response by NATO.
US INVOLVEMENT IN THE RESOLUTION OF THE
CRISIS AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE
WASHINGTON TALKS IN NOVEMBER 1994
In order to prevent further escalation of the conflict at Bihać, which threatened to result
in many refugees, huge civilian casualties and a humanitarian crisis of unforeseeable
scale, the US administration began to be involved in the solution of that global crisis.
Since the UN intelligence system simply did not function and more often than not provided disinformation rather than reliable information, confusing the representatives of
the international community and thwarting the search for acceptable political solutions,
the American administration first endeavoured to establish its own intelligence system
in order to gain a better and fuller insight of the actual balance of forces on the ground.
The harmonization of political solutions with the actual balance of forces on the ground
was almost impossible without the availability of reliable and timely information in real
time.
In early 1994 I visited Washington again, this time together with General Janko Bobetko, Chief of the HV General Staff. In the State Department we talked with Ambassador Holbrooke and then, in the Pentagon, with General Shalikashivili, Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff and members of his staff, General Sullivan and General Wesley
Clark. I still remember quite well Holbrooke’s reaction: he began to fidget nervously
in his chair after General Bobetko’s determined statement: We will attack on all fronts!
I believe that was truly one of the most critical moments during the Homeland War.
General Bobetko made the following point: Croatia will not be on the sidelines and just
look on at what is happening at Bihać. We will be forced to react. We simply have to do
it so that, if Bihać falls, we can prevent the penetration of the Bosnian Serb army into the
temporarily occupied Croatian areas and prevent the massacre of the civil population in
Bihać by the Serbs. Holbrooke retorted: You cannot go ahead. In such a large scale operation one could not avoid huge victims and a new large refugee wave. I still remember quite
well the reaction of General Bobetko. Vividly surprised by Holbrooke’s answer, he said:
That is your position. We are now going to the Pentagon and there I shall talk to General
Shalikashvili. He certainly understands the seriousness and the complexity of the situation
from the military standpoint. Half an hour later General John Shalikashvili, Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met us with the same words: The Croatian Army must not mount
a large scale military operation. Having said that, he did not accept Bobetko’s explanation
that it was the only way to prevent genocide in Bihać. As it turned out, Holbrooke had
called Shalikashvili and “prepared” him for the talk with the Croatian delegation.
That was the first in a series of talks that followed, focused on identifying acceptable
solutions for the Bihać crisis. The Croatian official position was clear and determined:
if the Serbs from the temporarily occupied territories of the Republic of Croatia should
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continue to attack Bihać, freely crossing the internationally recognized border between
the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina, the Croatian Army would mount attacks along all the lines of disengagement in order to protect its internationally recognized borders. The Croatian position caused the concern of the US administration, but
also of the international community. Nobody wanted a new, unwanted and even greater
escalation of the conflict.
Two days later, on 29 November 1994, I again came to Washington, D.C., this time
with the Croatian Defence Minister Gojko Šušak. We stayed at a hotel a hundred yards
away from the Pentagon. While talking on the phone with President Tuđman, Minister
Šušak said: President, more and more people over here claim that the fall of Bihać cannot be prevented and that, thereby, the war in Bosnia&Herzegovina has practically ended
with the victory of Karadžić amd Mladić. We were surprised to see that Karadžić’s influence on the Contact Group had spread to Washington as well. According to confidential
intelligence, the fall of Bihać appeared to be a matter of hours and not any longer of
days. President Tuđman’s voice was excited, high-pitched but determined: Our position
is clear. The Croatian Army will not calmly look on as the rebel Serbs from Croatia and the
Croatian areas participate in the aggression against Bosnia&Herzegovina while UNPROFOR is safeguarding their back. The international community must prevent the escalation
of the conflict, new tragedies, new refugees... there are already more than 600,000 refugees
in Croatia...
The key meeting started at 11 o’ clock in the Pentagon, in the main meeting room of
the US Department of Defense. I sat by Minister Šušak; our Ambassador Petar Šarčević
and Robert Hranj, the Croatian military attaché, were also present. On the US side, next
to Dr. W. Perry (who was awarded a honorary doctoral degree by the University of Zagreb), US Secretary of Defense, sat General Wesley Clark, former NATO Commander
and Democratic Party candidate at the 2004 presidential elections, Ambassador Holbrooke, and CIA, DIA and NSC representatives. The topics on the agenda included ways
to avoid a new escalation of the conflict, a new humanitarian crisis, the fall of Bihać,
and the promotion of military cooperation between the US and Croatia which was also
signed formally on the same morning.
Minister Šušak presented the Croatian position and emphasized that Croatia did not
require any military assistance, but sought understanding if it was forced to attack in
order to protect its internationally recognized borders. After the Director of the Defense
Intelligence Agency General Hughes presented the situation on the ground, I personally
explained on the map the way in which the UN safe area in Bihać could be helped, and
a new humanitarian crisis of incalculable scale prevented. In military term, the position
of the ARBiH 5th Corps was extremely serious but, as I emphasized, the Croatian Army
had a complete grasp of the conditions on the ground and it would, if required, force
by its action the Serbian forces attacking Bihać from the temporarily occupied parts of
the Republic of Croatia to withdraw and, thus, protect Bihać from further destruction.
Ambassador Holbrooke did not participate in the discussion, and Secretary Perry, as the
talks continued in the Pentagon, expressed “the full understanding of the US administration for all the problems encountered by Croatia, from the hundreds of thousands of
243

refugees to the fact that rebel Serbs holding one-fourth of Croatian state territory did
not recognize Croatian authorities, as well as the fact that in those hard wartime years
Croatia was faced with the very difficult challenge of creating its own armed forces”.
However, he stressed, they found, “in spite of Serbian provocations, Croatian restraint to
be extremely important at this current juncture in order to prevent further escalation of
the conflict which might destabilize the whole region”.

Presentation on the Bihać crisis by General Patrick Hughes, Director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency,
during the meeting with the Croatian delegation led by the Croatian Defense Minister Gojko Šušak; Pentagon (Washington, D.C.), 29 November 1994.

In such circumstances, the friendly exchange of positions and views between the
Croatian state leadership and the US administration was particularly significant in order
to examine all the possibilities for the peaceful solution of the crisis and identify acceptable political solutions. But we always had in mind a statement made by Lord Owen
already in early 1993: What is lost militarily cannot be regained any longer at the green
table. At that time the Republic of Croatia also demonstrated full cooperativeness with
the international community, but also its absolute determination to avoid ending up in
an almost lost position through the fall of Bihać. It must be remembered that 25% of
Croatia’s state territory was still temporarily occupied at the time. On the other hand,
from the military standpoint the opportunities for liberating the temporarily occupied
Croatian territories were almost ideal because the rebel Serbs had transferred all their
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forces from the so-called Krajina to the Bihać area. Therefore, the Croatian Army could
liberate its temporarily occupied territory without major problems, because it was almost without any forces or defence, and protected and defended by UNPROFOR instead
of the rebel Serbs. Nevertheless, in order to arrive at a peaceful solution of the crisis,
the Republic of Croatia kept on the diplomatic talks and sought appropriate avenues to
achieve acceptable solutions.

Croatian delegation in the Pentagon (Washington, D.C.), 29 November 1994; (from the left), the legendary
Croatian basketball player Krešimir Ćosić, then Minister Counsellor at the Croatian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Chris Hill, General Wesley Clark, General Krešimir Ćosić.

THE START - OPERATION WINTER ‘94
Unfortunately, no competent or objective person in the broader international community had any illusions about possible political agreements and peaceful solutions with
Karadžić, Mladić, Martić and Milošević. We do not believe in any political solution which
would not be combined with corresponding solutions on the battlefield. The Serbs will never
agree to any concessions which would satisfy the Bosnian or Croatian government until
forced to do so, emphasized an eminent American military analyst and expert. The international community had quite a few different, divergent and sometimes even conflict
solutions, and there were also some very open supporters of Karadžić and Milošević.
245

That was certainly one of the most critical periods throughout the Homeland War. At
the time Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina faced the almost greatest military, but also
political crisis, because of the policy of the Contact Group, Lord Owen in particular. The
alarm bells rang. What to do? There where only two options - wait or attack!
Waiting would open to the Serbs the road to Bihać and seizure of the town. The fall
of Bihać would definitively mean defeat, both militarily and politically. Defeat without a
fight was out of the question, in spite of all the opposition of the Contact Group which,
on the one hand, barred to the Croatian leadership all military action and, on the other, tacitly opened to Karadžić and Mladić the route to Bihać. That was unacceptable
for Croatia’s state policy. On the other hand, an assault could very quickly relieve the
siege of Bihać, especially from the Croatian side, because the border of the temporarily occupied Croatian parts was guarded (in Croatia) by UNPROFOR, while the Serbs
from Croatia attacked Bihać in neighbouring Bosnia&Herzegovina. At the same time
Karadžić, Mladić and Martić, with Milošević’s support, deluded the international community with their peace offers. At the Geneva negotiations they demonstrated peacekeeping and cooperativeness, and at Bihać brutal aggression, shelling of the town and
thousands of civilian casualties. At the time the prudent and determined Croatian state
policy and the strength of the Croatian Army played the key role in the solution of all
these problems. In those moments the Croatian state leadership demonstrated all the
required boldness, courage, determination and wisdom. Of course, all these facts do not
support those people in Croatia who still claim that Croatia waged an aggression against
Bosnia&Herzegovina.
It its official policy the Republic of Croatia refrained from an all-out assault and from
an escalation of the conflict, but its concentrated attack across Mount Dinara and Livanjsko Polje on 30 November 1994 provided the conditions for halting the siege of Bihać.
The arrogance and brutality of Karadžić, Mladić and Martić, and their unwillingness to
engage in any serious political talks and negotiations could not be tolerated indefinitely.
Refusal to accept the peaceful reintegration of the temporarily occupied Croatian territories into the constitutional and legal system of the Republic of Croatia and the attack of
the rebel Serbs on Bihać from Croatian territory were sufficient reasons for the Croatian
state leadership to mount Operation Winter ’94. Karadžić, Mladić and Martić soon felt
quite well the impact of the only possible response to the situation.
The operation was mounted in the nick of time! A snow storm broke on that day,
30 November 1994 - a mark of the real, well-known harsh winter typical of the area.
The opening of the avenue towards Knin across Mount Dinara in the middle of winter
was a goal bordering on insanity. But it was the only way to help Bihać. In a spirited attack across Mount Dinara and along Livanjsko Polje Croatian forces broke through the
Čelebići - Rujani line. While the Serbs from Knin were attacking Bihać, Croatian forces
opened up the route of advance towards Grahovo and Knin. When the rebel Serbs finally grasped, several days later, what was going on, it was too late. Croatian troops were
already on top of Mount Dinara, and Knin was also in plain view. The rebel Croatian
Serbs had to forget Bihać, and its siege soon came to an end. Bihać was saved. That was
a turning point during the war in Bosnia&Herzegovina. The chief commanders of the
operation were the Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Tihomir Blaškić.
246

HV General Krešimir Ćosić and General Wesley Clark, Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J5) on the JCS
staff.

Operation Winter ’94 turned out to be a total surprise for Karadžić, Mladić and Martić,
and provoked their total mental and military insanity. On Christmas Eve, 24 December
1994, the Chief of the HV General Staff General Bobetko summoned me to his cabinet:
Ćosić, we have information that rebel Croatian Serbs are planning an air raid from the
Udbina air base on the church in Livno during the Christmas Eve Mass in order to force the
Croatian leadership, by causing mass civilian and believer casualties, to withdraw Croatian
troops from Mount Dinara and Livanjsko Polje. We took all the necessary steps in order
to prevent the insane and brutal bloodshed planned by Karadžić, Mladić and Martić.
The military leadership of the rebel Croatian Serbs was prepared to commit even such a
heinous crime in order to stop operation Winter ’94 and the breakthrough of Croatian
forces across Mount Dinara and along Livanjsko Polje via Crni Lug towards Grahovo
and Knin. Actually, the Serbian plan came as no surprise considering all their bestial
crimes from Vukovar, Škabrnja, Dubrovnik and Ravno to the rocketing of downtown
Zagreb with missiles carrying banned cluster bomb warheads, fired from multiple rocket
launchers in 1995.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF OPERATION WINTER ‘95
What would have happened if the Croatian forces had not set off? The total exhaustion
of the ARBiH 5th Corps, which had a great number of troops killed and wounded, the
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blockade of Bihać over several months, continuous artillery shelling and air raids would
have brought about the fall of Bihać and a humanitarian tragedy in the UN safe area
equal to the one at Srebrenica. Had the ARBiH 5th Corps been annihilated at the time,
that would have marked the end of the war from the military bus also from the political
aspect considering the positions of the international community and, in particular, of its
chief negotiator Lord Owen. The Croatian Army would objectively find itself in a very
difficult situation, and its main logistic routes, especially via Karlovac and Maslenica,
would be totally jeopardized. Let me stress once again: from the military standpoint, in
late 1994 Bihać was the key of the war crisis in the former state. After the fall of Bihać
Croatia would have found it extremely difficult to establish a serious but also a political balance, and would simply be forced to accept almost every term tabled by Martić,
Karadžić and Mladić. All these points must be highlighted because of the present and future generations. During the Homeland War the political position of the Croatian people
was exclusively and solely dependent upon and proportional to the military strength of
the Croatian Army. In the early nineteen-nineties we were reminded periodically of that
fact by Lord Owen himself and his cynical remarks such as What is lost militarily, is also
lost politically! That was Croatian reality during the Homeland War.
If the Croatian forces had not mounted operation Winter ’94, there would have been
no Flash or Storm. Without any exaggeration, the operation changed the course of the
war. The delusions of the international community about the Serbian strength and power
came to an end. Operation Storm would not have been so successful without the major
efforts in operation Winter ’94 and subsequent operations. It created almost all the necessary preconditions for the success of the military operations in the spring and summer
of 1995 - from Flash through Summer ’95 to Storm.
Soon after the start of operation Winter ’94 chaos and disorder swept the Serbian
ranks, as demonstrated by the records of the Army of Republika Srpska. This is also illustrated by the transcripts of Karadžić’s talks with the mayors of many municipalities (Grahovo, Glamoč, Drvar, Prijedor, Šipovo, Ključ, Kupres...), mentioning “misinformation
and rumours, and denouncing of authorities... the lack of fuel, ammunition, clothing,
footwear”. Reference was made to rumours that “General Milovanović was paid millions
of Deutschmarks not to seize Bihać; that military and state security was not functioning, that some persons were deliberately and systematically spreading misinformation
among the people and the troops with terrible consequences; that the authorities and the
SDS were being undermined; that court-martials were being set up; that there were enemies in the Serbian ranks”. “Ustashi forces and the ARBiH 5th Corps were being accused
of coordinated activities”, and stress was laid on the “necessity to suppress rumours and
misinformation because of their destructive effect on troops morale”. Records also emphasized the high number of wounded and sick persons, the high casualty rate of 20%,
missions mounted with only a half of required forces, the lack of fuel for the medical
corps let alone tanks, etc. (See Command of the 2nd Krajina Corps/Str. Conf. No. 3-36/16
Feb. 1995).
The meeting held in the Command of the 2nd Krajina Corps with the presence of “the
President of Republika Srpska Karadžić, President Krajišnik and General Ninković, and
248

the President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina Martić, General Čeleketić etc.”, highlighted the problems on Mount Dinara, in Livanjsko Polje, on Mount PLješivica, the
danger of ustashi linkup with the ARBiH 5th Corps, and the lack of materiel, fuel and
manpower. Karadžić stressed in particular: Personally I think the Serbian Army of Krajina is in a knockdown, while at the same time the Muslims are redeploying al their forces
towards Izačić. If the ustashi attack in order to link up with the 5th Corps, they [Krajina]
will have a lot of problems and will not be able to defend themselves. (See Republika Srpska/Army of Republika Srpska/Command of the 2nd Krajina Corps/Str. Conf. No. 66-62/5
May 1995; to the General Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska).
In spite of all that, Karadžić and Mladić again arrogantly boasted about the imminent
victory of the Serbian army while in Geneva in the summer of 1995. Unfortunately, the
tragedy prevented for the first time in Bihać by operation Winter ’94 occurred several
months later in Srebrenica. A similar tragedy in Bihać was prevented for the second time
on 4 August 1995 with the start of operation Storm.

1
1994, 27 October
The General Staff of the «Army of Republika Srpska» requests from the Supreme
Command of the Armed Forces of the «Republic of Serbian Krajina» help in the western
Bosnian theatre - the Drvar area - and against the ARBiH 5th Corps
___________________
(...) The northwestern theatre of Republika Srpska (zone of responsibility of the 2nd
Krajina Corps) is seriously threatened from the Cazin area in the northwest and on the
Kupres plateau in the southeast. It is the intention of our common enemy to split by
coordinated action from the southeast and northwest the zone of responsibility of the
2nd Krajina Corps and thereby physically separate the Republic of Serbian Krajina from
Republika Srpska.
You need to understand that these are in this war the most critical moments for the
Serbs west of the Drina. Minor efforts of the Serbian Army of Krajina and the Army of
Republika Srpska are required to eliminate the danger. For that purpose the following
steps are indispensable:
1. The Army of Republika Srpska needs to stop further hostile penetrations from the
northwest and southeast. In the southeast (Kupres plateu) we have already been successful
and mounted offensive action along the Zlosela - Kupreška Vrata - Bugojno axis, and we
are prepared for the defence of the Kupres plateau from the attack of Croatian forces
from Livno, Šujica, Tomislavgrad, Prozor and Gornji Vakuf.
249

However, we find it difficult to hold out against the attacks from the Cazin area towards
Petrovac because of the obstructive behaviour and fear of the local population, and of
the greater part of the troops of the Army of Republika Srpska (from the area under
consideration).
We have done everything in order to bring manpower from other parts of Republika
Srpska and have succeeded to the extent permitted by the situation in other theatres in
which we are engaged. At present we are preparing a combined unit of brigade rank from
all parts of Republika Srpska and we intend to commit it to a counter attack towards
Cazin. We shall need 3-4 days for that.
We are asking you to use the forces of your Lika, Kordun and Banija Corps in order to
exert pressure from a semicircular perimeter on the Cazin area, i.e., on the forces of the
5th Corps of the so-called Army of BiH. You must also intersect all supply (smuggling)
channels through which the 5th Corps is re-supplied with manpower and materiel (as
agreed on December 1993).
Thank you for the assistance given us so far by deploying units in the threatened areas
and for the presence of President Martić38 and the Commander of the SVK General
Staff39 in the threatened areas on 27 October 1994.
We expect that we shall be able, by joint efforts, to eliminate also this danger for the
Serbian people west of the Drina. (...)
_________________
Original, typewritten Latin Script
HR-HMDCDR, 6, str. conf. 02/2-140

5
1994, 13 November
Grahovo
Daily report of the 2nd Krajina Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska on fighting in the
Krupa and Kupres theatres, and attack on the Bihać safe area
____________________
In the Krupa - Radjić part of the front the enemy has fortified its positions and did
not mount any active operation against our forces. At Grabež and Ripač the enemy is
fortifying and has tried to infiltrate sabotage&terrorist units in our rear at Gorijevac, but
the attempt was prevented. Hostile forces are putting up tough resistance at Tihotina Pritočki Grabež.

38
39

Milan
Milan Čeleketić

250

In the southeastern part of the front the enemy has attacked the positions of the 5th
Light Infantry Brigade in the Procip and Rujeva Glava areas.
In the Kupres threatre the enemy artillery has engaged the entire defence line of the
th
7 Motorized Brigade. During the night the enemy has retaken Opaljenica because of
the irresponsible conduct of some officers commanding the Mrkonjić Battalion and the
7th Motorized Brigade. Our units are preparing for further offensive action. At Ripač Grabež the enemy has attempted to attack several times, but the line has shifted only
slightly. At Krupa - Radjić our units have not been able to score major success because of
poor weather conditions.
Along the Kupres front our units are fortifying and occupying more favourable tactical
positions. Adequate action was taken against some commanding officers of the Mrkonjić
Battalion because of their irresponsible conduct and unnecessary relinquishment of
positions at Opaljenica.
The situation on the ground has not changed substantially as compared to the day
before. The damaged and burnt family homes are being repaired and the population is
gradually returning to them.
The condition of morale provides for the accomplishment of the tasks at hand.
Rear security is functioning in spite of well-known problems such as the lack of
munitions and fuel.
The enemy will put up strong resistance along the current lines in order to defend
Bihać.
NATO aircraft have overflown our positions forty times. According to information
from the RSK, the air force of the Republic of Croatia has been placed on the highest
state of combat readiness.
All the indispensable activities started with the proclamation of the state of war are
continuing in the zone of responsibility of the Corps in order to service the requirements
of the armed forces in an efficient and stable way.
____________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 4284

40
Fikret Abdić’s forces defected from the central government of Bosnia&Herzegovina in Sarajevo and fought
as allies of the Serbian forces against the ARBiH 5th Corps. The dots are part of the original.

251

7
1994, 20 November
Report of the VRS Security&Intelligence Sector to General Milovanović concerning the
letter of the International Committee of the Red Cross on the situation in Bihać after
the assault of Serbian forces
___________________
(...)
The reports read:
Situation in the Bihać pocket, 09.00 a.m., Friday 18 November
1. Military situation:
If the RSK should continue to interfere the situation will remain disastrous. At 11.00
hours two Serbian aircraft again fired two rockets on the town of Bihać. Yesterday we
had a meeting with Colonel Lemieux. The situation is not too optimistic, and the next
move is the carving up of the pocket into three parts, which would result in a disastrous
humanitarian situation for the civil population.
1.1. Northern border: Abdić’s forces on both sides of Kladuša.
The road to Gradina cut off. The road to Pećingrad is not yet cut off, but is being shelled.
The town of Kladuša has not fallen yet. That could be the first next pocket.
The 505th ARBiH Brigade has pushed Abdić’s forces back to Bojna. The withdrawal might
have been planned in order to gain better positions for the assault on Kladuša.
1.2. Western border: this is a new combat site. This morning the area of Cazin was hit
by two missiles, and shelling continues at Gata. If the RSK manages to get to Gata first,
Ostrožac, Cazin and Bihać will be cut off.
Bihać will be isolated and its water supply cut off because the springs are close to Serbian
troops and RSK borders (the main springs are Klokot and Privilica); its power supply
would also be cut off because the hydropower plant is on the river Una.
1.3. Southern border: 285 rockets (shells) fell yesterday along the southern front line. At
Grabež the VRS is getting closer and closer to the former borders. The Grabež plateau is
apparently still controlled by the 5th Corps (of the ARBiH). No information is available
on Ripač.
2. Political situation
ICRC units cannot protect the civilian population or the Bangladesh battalion (620 men
in Cazin, 346 in Kladuša and 280 in Bihać). [The only way to do it] would be to drive
back the RSK units from Gata with the help of NATO (UN has no mandate for it).
3. Safety
The Bihać - Gata - Cazin road cannot be used for already 4 days because it can be shelled
at any time, and the risk to get to it and cross is getting higher.
252

4. Humanitarian situation and aid
About 2000 people fled from Izačić (Ličko Petrovo Selo checkpoint) and found refuge
with relatives in Bihać.
The food supplies can last only until the end of the month. UNHCR will deliver its last
supplies over the next few days, and only hospitals will get some supplies for December.
The ICRC is delivering the last personal packages to the most endangered inhabitants
through the local Red Cross. This leaves about 800 packages for potential refugees from
Kladuša or some other villages.
Situation in the Bihać pocket, 09.00 a.m., Saturday, 11 November.
1. Military situation:
Last night there was some shelling outside the town. In the town of Bihać the night
and the morning were relatively calm. Apparently the positions have not changed since
yesterday. In the 5th Corps (of the ARBiH) there is a strong feeling that they have been
left to their own resources. Aggression from the RSK with such an unprecedented
intensity had never been expected. The 5th Corps is very motivated and convinced that
it can withstand the current pressure from three sides. From the military standpoint the
situation could stabilize. The first offensive was of primary importance and the outcome
is becoming less predictable as time goes by. A high casualty rate can be expected.
- Fighting is still going on north of Kladuša. Abdić’s forces have seized ... 40 and intersected
communications with Cazin.
This morning UN military observers managed to get from Cazin to Kladuša by car and
reach the Bangladesh battalion at Polje.
- Western border: no change since yesterday’s report.
- Southwestern border: VRS could return to the old border (Ripač and Pritoka have been
taken), but nobody can confirm it. There is fighting on the Grabež plateau.
What is going to happen next? Will the VRS stop or go on and enter Bihać? Everybody
is afraid to answer that question. (...)
____________________
Original, typewritten , Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 4043.

40
Fikret Abdić’s forces defected from the central government of Bosnia&Herzegovina in Sarajevo and fought
as allies of the Serbian forces against the ARBiH 5th Corps. The dots are part of the original.

253

11
1994, 27 November
Oštrelj - Petrovac
Daily report of the Command of the VRS 2nd Krajina Corps to units involved in the
assault on the Bihać safe area concerning the fighting and the refusal of the ARBiH 5th
Corps to surrender, and the lack of materiel for sustaining the assault
___________________
(...) In spite of the ultimatum of the VRS Command in the Bihać theatre to the
Muslims concerning their surrender until 20.00 hours last night, their futile resistance
continues with no chance of success. Even the commander of the UNPROFOR forces in
Bosnia&Herzegovina, General Michael Rose, stated that the UN and NATO would not
militarily intervene in the fighting at Bihać unless the civil population and UNPROFOR
troops were endangered, and that the Muslim government in Sarajevo needed to abandon
all illusions in that regard. (...)
Rear security is functioning with the well-known difficulties. A considerable shortage
of munitions is felt, especially for larger calibres, and shortage of motor petrol. That can
considerably slow down the accomplishment of combat missions unless it is dealt with
in an adequate way.
On the basis of available facts we estimate that the enemy will keep on trying to hold
back our forces along the northwestern part of the front by decisive defence of its current
positions. (...)
____________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 4284

14
1994, 5 December
Report of the VRS 2nd Corps Command to the VSK General Staff on the breakthrough
of Croatian forces in the Kupres battlefield
____________________
(...) During the day the ustashi army has succeeded in pushing back our units at Čaprazlije
- Sajković. By nightfall the ustashi entered Sajković.
We are taking steps to stabilize defence at Kazanac by bringing in forces in the night
of 5/6 Deceember 1994, and their commitment early in the morning on 6 December
1994.
254

We are asking you to assess the situation, consider all the possible implications of the
ustashi breakthrough and take immediate steps to engage the ustashi flank with your
units. (...)
__________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 6, str. conf., 5 Dec. 1994

17
1994, 16 December
[Knin]
Analysis of SVK materiel consumption in Operation “Spider” and plan of materiel
procurement for continued assault on the Bihać safe area
____________________
(...) The planned operation “Military defeat of the 5th Corps” is very complex, in military
terms, and requires a large quantity of materiel.
So far we have spent more than 6 million rounds of ordnance, e.g.:
- 6 million rounds for infantry weapons;
- 24,000 mortar shells;
- 11,300 artillery shells;
- 4,700 tank shells;
- 110,000 rounds for AA weapons;
- 183 rockets
(...) Since the reserves of some types of munitions are fully spent, their renewal and the
continuation of the operation require the procurement of the following:
- 6 million rounds for infantry weapons and other infantry
ordnance;
- 65,000 mortar shells;
- 11,500 artillery shells;
- 7,000 tank shells;
- 500,000 rounds for AA weapons;
- 5,100 rockets (for multiple rocket launchers and self-guided).
(...) The operation alone will require, without the renewal of critical war supplies and
munitions:
- 5.8 million rounds for infantry weapons;
- 65,000 mortar shells;
- 18,500 artillery and tank shells;
255

- 60,000 rounds for AA weapons;
- 5,100 rockets for multiple rocket launchers and self-guided rockets.
So far Operation Spider has used up 756 tons of fuel over and above routine consumption
(581 tons of D-2 and 175 tons of motor petrol), and 9 tons of lubricants. (...)
The SVK fuel reserves have practically hit rock bottom. (...)
The troops of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia (Fikret Abdić’s followers)
were delivered 7,260 infantry weapons. (...)
Munitions must be procured for completing the operation if the ARBiH 5th Corps is to
be definitively defeated in the field within two months:
- infantry weapons, 9,055,314 rounds;
- field guns and howitzers, 36,059 shells;
- tanks and self-propelled artillery, 7,191 shells;
- rounds for AA weapons, 164,022;
- rockets, 275.
The total cost (basic materiel, munitions, fuel and lubricants) so far amounts to 28.6
million dinars; if the operation is completed in two months, the additional cost will be
26 million ND.(...)
The total outstanding debt to the army suppliers exceeds 4.7 million dinars. This indicates
a very marked lack of liquid funds which creates additional problems because some
companies have already announced they would discontinue supply because of unpaid
bills.
Professional soldiers have not yet received their pay for November; the sum required is
1,750,000 dinars, with a very low point value (average pay 181 dinars). Compensations
have not yet been paid either to reservists and conscripts in military service; the necessary
amount is 3,137,305 dinars (average 94 dinars for conscripts and 20 dinars for soldiers),
bringing up the total to 4,887,306 dinars.
Moreover, and that is a separate problem, one-off cash payments cannot be paid in
cases of death or physical injury. This would require 140,000 dinars. The response of the
families of the people killed or disabled is extremely unfavourable.
Out of the total amount allocated from the General Staff budget (32,095,689 dinars),
59.68% was spent on personal and 40.32% on material expenditure. Average monthly
allocations amounted to 2.6 million dinars or 66.87 dinars a month per soldier. Material
expenditure per soldier for the entire period from 1 January to 12 December 1994
amounts to 376.14 dinars. (...)
Let me note that, in the case of total aggression on the RSK, the VSK lacks the required
munitions, fuel, clothing, footwear and food reserves. (...)
___________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 371

256

19
1995, 6 January
Communication of the Command of the SVK 15th Infantry Brigade to subordinate units
on the current situation on the battlefield and the reasons underlying the gridlock in
the assault on the Bihać safe area
___________________
(...) 1. All sorts of rumours are circulating among the troops about Bihać, about what
will happen and how it will happen. The Bihać operation and the collapse of the 5th
Corps are deadlocked because of the fighting at Glamoč - Grahovo. The Bihać action
and the defeat of the 5th Corps will follow after the situation in that theatre has been dealt
with. Therefore, we are not giving up Bihać. The achieved positions must be held firmly,
especially in the area of responsibility of our brigade, because our positions provide the
best prospects for pushing on to Bihać. Therefore, we must not budge an inch.
(...) 2. Wilful abandoning of positions by individual soldiers is becoming increasingly
more frequent. It weakens the line and more soldiers are being wounded or killed. The
responsibility for our losses rests first of all with the deserters and all others avoiding the
front line because the enemy attacks the weakest spot in the defence line. In the future
all deserters will be sent to other, most dangerous battlefields, and will be rigorously
punished for the casualties sustained by our troops, being directly responsible for them.
3. We are aware of the situation and of the need to hold the achieved defence lines firmly.
We also have great problems with providing rest for our troops and arranging visits to
their families. We shall arrange a short rest period, about 3-5 days, and family visits
for up to 10% of the troops per shift. However, before that we have to bring in all the
deserters and other, less engaged brigade troops, primarily from the rear, in order to
strengthen the defence lines and allow more troops in the first front line to get proper
rest. (...)
4. As regards the transport of furniture collected for the soldiers’ families, we shall have
the municipality, this being in its competence, transport the rest. However, this regards
only items such as wood-burning stoves, couches, bedding, tableware and the like; the
transport of machines, attachments and similar items will not be permitted. Individual
transport requests and applications are forbidden. (...)
___________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
Republic of Croatia, General Staff of the Croatian Army, 1995

257

20
1995, 17 February
Oštrelj - Petrovac
Summons requesting corps commanders and representatives of the VRS and SVK
General Staff to attend the meeting of the Spider Command in order to analyze the
gridlock in the assault on the Bihać safe area
____________________
From the Republic of Serbian Krajina, Spider Command, we have received a document,
marked strictly confidential, No. 197-170, of 16 February 1995, summoning the following
persons to a meeting focused on further coordination and combat action:
- the Commander of the SVK General Staff,
- the commanders of the 21st, 15th and 39th SVK
Corps, and
- the Commander of the 2nd VRS Krajina Corps.
1. As specified in the document, action against the 5th Corps has been going on for more
than three months, and we are still short of controlling the greater part of the territory
and the 5th Corps has not yet been knocked out of action. (...)
___________________
Copy, typewritten, Latin script
In possession of the editor

21
1995, 1 March
Petrinja
Request of SO Petrinja to the RSK Ministry of Defence concerning an analysis of
developments in the Western Bosnian theatre, where the Petrinja Brigade suffered
great losses, and answers to questions concerning loss of territory between 1992 and
1994
__________________
(...) The first item on the agenda concerned the tragedy incurred by the members of
the 31st Infantry Brigade in the Western Bosnian theatre, the third in a line. Between
November 1994 and late February this year five members of the Brigade were killed,
26 are reported missing and more than 20 (according to incomplete data) have been
wounded.
258

(...) During the debate, which lasted four hours, many issues were raised:
- Who issued the order to deploy the troops of the Serbian Army of Krajina, including
the 31st Infantry Brigade, to the Western Bosnian Theatre? The military and political
goals of the action in Western Bosnia were clear to the councilmen. What was not clear,
however, was the reason why the action was not completed within the planned time, and
how long the troops would have to hold positions 2-3 km deep in the Western Bosnian
territory controlled by the forces of Fikret Abdić’s People’s Defence.
- Why are civilians assumed to pass relevant information to the enemy also present next
to the troops on the achieved positions?
- Who is responsible for the widespread and almost legal black market along the RSK
borders with Western Bosnia?
- Why are troops sent to the front untrained, physically unprepared, ill and underequipped (cell phones)?
- Why has the Serbian Army of Krajina only lost territory since the arrival of UN forces
(Maslenica, Miljevac plateau, Medak pocket and, in the zone of responsibility of the 31st
Infantry Brigade, Pribilović Brdo), and why is it in disarray?
- The mobilization on 19 November 1994, which led to the collapse of the economy, was
based on what assessment? (...)
__________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 5, reg. no. 156-3/1995

22
1995, 10 April
Report of the SVK General Staff to Slobodan Milošević, Milan Martić and Momčilo
Perišić on Croatian force activities, the situation in Western Bosnia, unit morale,
personnel problems and relations with UNPROFOR in the first quarter of 1995.
____________________
(...)
Regular operational report of the SVK General Staff
Copy to:
CABINET OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA
(Att. Mr. Slobodan Milošević)
CABINET OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
(Att. Mr. Milan Martić)
CHIEF OF THE GENERAL STAFF OF THE ARMY OF YUGOSLAVIA
(Att. Colonel General Momčilo Perišić)
259

1. Hostile forces
The Croatian Army (HV) continues to mobilize and engage in training activities on
RH territory. It is also preparing to stage an inter-branch exercise in the territory of the
Osijek Corps District. For that purpose they have also mobilized part of the MUP RH
special units and deployed them to the staging areas.
Intensive reconnaissance and intelligence activities have been observed along the axis
Marinci - Jarmina - Kortina - Hrastin - Vladislavci. HV units have entered the buffer
zone and are fortifying.
Over the past few days the HV has mobilized and deployed troops opposite the zone of
responsibility of the 18th Corps, i.e., in the greater area of Nova Gradiška - Psunja, and
partly in the UNPA zone around Pakrac.
More intensive grouping of ustashi forces and materiel has been observed opposite the
zone of responsibility of the 15th and 21st Corps. The presence of a part of the 4th Guards
Brigade (Split) has also been noted in the past few days in the greater area of Perušić
(zone of responsibility of the 15th Corps).
In the zone of responsibility of the 7th Corps the ustashi have sustained their engagement
and seizure of dominant heights on Mount Dinara and their artillery is engaging the area
of Uništa every day. The ustashi are undertaking more intensive reconnaissance actions
along the line Pakovo Selo - Žitnić - Dabar - left shore of lake Peruča. (...)
The efforts and the engagement of all command bodies are focused on combat training.
A joint tactical exercise, Counterstrike, was carried out late in March, involving some
units of the Kordun Corps, the air force and the 44th Rocket Brigade. It included live
firing drills with artillery, tanks, 2M ground-to-air rockets and direct fire weapons. A
live firing battle drill was carried out involving one reinforced infantry unit from the
13th infantry brigade. Similar exercises are being planned in the greater area of Mount
Dinara.
The March recruits are undergoing training. After a month of training the young soldiers
are fit for combat as infantrymen.
The first generation of the (infantry and artillery) reserve officers’ school graduates is
undergoing its postgraduate training, and at the training centre courses are under way
for company and battery commanders and brigade commanders.
In line with combat readiness requirements the current system of enhanced and
continuous combat readiness steps is being upgraded along with changes in the alert,
readiness and operational duty plans.
Seven hundred SVK troops (from the 21st and 39th Corps) are engaged in operation
Spider in the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia (Fikret Abdić’s followers).
The necessary preparations for the reception, training and planned commitment of
volunteers in RSK territory have been completed. (...)
2.1 Morale
Morale in the SVK meets the combat readiness requirements. The malfunctioning
of agencies intended to uphold the rule of law and the sluggish solution of problems
affecting the functioning of the defence system have a negative effect on morale. The
260

Ministry of Defence cannot provide the money for the payroll and for the supply of the
SVK with fuel and other materiel.
Resolution 981 of the Security Council has largely provoked a negative response,
particularly the part according to which international forces are to be deployed along
the borders between the RSK and the RS, and the border between these two republics
and Serbia. (...)
Between 1 January and 10 April 1995 the SVK casualty toll included 41 killed, 39
wounded and 28 missing in action. Most of these relate to units committed to operation
Spider. (...)
Personnel issues:
(...) (b) Transfer of officers (from the Army of Yugoslavia) for temporary duty in the
SVK
In early March 1995 the 40th Personnel Centre of the General Staff of the Army of
Yugoslavia called in officers born in the territory of the former SR of Croatia in order to
interview them about their voluntary transfer to temporary duty in the SVK.
Out of the total 600 officers interviewed, 112 officers expressed their wish to be transferred
to the SVK. After additional processing and preparations for departure 66 officers agreed
to leave. On the date of departure by bus, after further hesitation and withdrawal, only
15 officers and 15 non-commissioned officers left for the SVK. Such an attitude by some
of the officers left a negative impression on those present.
We believe that a professional analysis should determine the true reason underlying the
poor officer response. Was it fear from military conflict in the RSK, uncertain return,
personal problems or something else? Information gained in this way would benefit
both the Army of Yugoslavia and the SVK in their future work with human resources
and personnel analyses.
2.4 Security in the units and in the territory
1) Counterintelligence support
Security conditions in the RSK are still very complex, affected largely by foreign
intelligence services and their intelligence, psychological-propaganda and criminal
actions. (...)
After the change of the UNPROFOR mandate they are engaged in psychological
propaganda actions along the following lines: Krajina will be an integral part of Croatia;
the Croats do not need war, and economic measures and the closing of the RSK border
to the RS and the SRJ will force the Krajina leadership to accept the solution offered by
the West. (...)
2) Crime, black-marketeering and robbery
Problems giving cause for particular concern include crime of all kinds, arrogant
and violent behaviour, and attacks on security officers. Fuel, lubricants, batteries,
communications equipment, munitions and mines and explosive devices are mainly
being stolen in the units, and that reduces combat readiness, while combat vehicles
cannot be used.
261

Black market trade with the (Army of BiH) 5th Corps, Muslim authorities and Croats
is widespread and growing continuously. Their authorities support such practices in an
organized way because they also obtain intelligence information along with the illegally
marketed goods.
Black-marketeering is mainly kept at bay by the military police, while most police
(militia) officers tolerate it. Some high level officials are exerting pressure to legalize
such practices and avoid any involvement by security and police officers. Some corps
and security department commanders are even being discreetly advised not to interfere
with the black market because they could be liquidated.
Because of the lack of active officers in lower echelon units control and command does not
function, and the result is negligence. No security steps are being enforced. Materiel and
confidential information are poorly protected, and hardly at all in some units. Weapons
are being used in uncontrolled ways. A typical case regards a group of 12 soldiers from
the Obrovac brigade which deserted their positions on Mount Dinara and robbed at
gunpoint private cafés along the Obrovac - Dinara road. The same group wasted a large
quantity of ammunition in Knin. Large quantities of weapons, ammunitions and other
goods intended for the black market were found in the apartments of arrested conscripts.
After disciplinary and legal action 8 conscripts were sentenced to several months in
prison.
The poor security conditions in the SK units and throughout the territory are also
aggravated by the poor functioning of military tribunals and civil justice, which do not
enforce any repressive measures against perpetrators of hostile actions, crime, the black
market etc.
In most cases, repressive measures are enforced by brigade and corps commanders.
However, that is not enough, because the entire government apparatus is not involved,
and the overall impression is that everyone can behave as he pleases. (...)
THE COMMANDER
Lieutenant General
Milan Čeleketić
(stamp)41
____________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 6, str. conf., 3-171/1995

41

Round stamp with the text: RSK, General Staff of the Serbian Army

262

24
1995, 27 May
Oštrelj - Petrovac
Report of the 2nd Krajina Corps Command to the VRS General Staff concerning the
meeting with Mile Mrkšić, commander of the Spider Operational Group, which
considered operations against the ARBiH 5th Corps and Croatian forces on Mount
Dinara and in Livanjsko Polje
___________________
(...) I have immediately reported verbally on the meeting. I did not forward any written
documents because General Mrkšić said he would meet on 25 May 1995 with the
Commander of the VRS General Staff and present the conclusions of the meeting. I
informed General Mrkšić about the operational-tactical position of our forces with
respect to the ARBiH 5th Corps after their offensive and stressed that the conduct of the
SVK and of the NDWB [National Defence of Western Bosnia - Fikret Abdić’s followers]
cannot be sustained any longer. I also highlighted the fact that the totally encircled
Muslim corps is successfully holding its own against three SVK corps, the 2nd Krajina
Corps and NDWB troops. I supported that by noting that even now, while the Muslim
offensive is on, the SVK or the NDWB are not even staging demonstrations against the
ARBiH 5th Corps.
I also warned him about the ustashi intentions on Mount Dinara, i.e., sstressed that their
main goal was to cut off Knin and threaten the RSK capital.
General Mrkšić agreed that we did not work together and in an organized way regarding
the ARBiH 5th Corps. He pointed out that the Spider command was now subordinated to
him, that we need to mount a fast and well-organized operation to crack the ARBiH 5th
Corps, because of which he was to see you. He mentioned 28 May 1995 as the start of the
joint assault for routing the ARBiH 5th Corps. After the operation against the 5th Corps,
the same system would be applied in mopping-up Livanjsko Polje and Mount Dinara
and clear them of the ustashi. (...)
____________________
Copy, typewritten, Latin script
In possession of the editor

263

26
1995, 11 June
Knin
Extraordinary operational report of the SVK General Staff to S. Milošević, M. Martić
and M. Perišić on the situation in the Bihać theatre, in Livanjsko Polje and on Mount
Dinara, SVK restructuring and anticipated officer reinforcements from the VJ
___________________
(...)
Extraordinary report of the SVK General Staff
- forwarded to
The Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Serbia
(att. Mr. Slobodan Milošević)
The Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
(att. Mr. Milan Martić)
The Cabinet of the Chief of the VJ General Staff
(att. Colonel General Momčilo Perišić)
1. HOSTILE FORCES
(...) Encouraged by the tacit agreement of the international community regarding the
action in Western Slavonia, Tuđman [President of the Republic of Croatia] continued
to highlight the reintegration of the RSK. He accused Serbia of supporting the “war
option” in the resolution of the crisis in the RS and the RSK because of the engagement of
Serbian generals and selected VJ cadres for leading positions in the VRS and the SVK.
In particular he stressed Croatia’s determination to reintegrate the RSK in the speech
held at the opening of a new bridge in Osijek across the Drava.
Political and diplomatic activities are followed by military activities as well. All the
professional units in Western Slavonia have been shifted to the north-western borders
of the RSK focusing on Banija and Kordun. At the same time, HVO forces are being
reinforced along the Livno - Glamoč - Grahovo axis. By gradual advance they intend to
separate partly the RS and the RSK up to the line Knin - Grahovo - Drvar and, by assault
on Banija and Kordun up to Prijedor and across Lika, cut up the RSK in cooperation
with the 5th Corps (in Bihać).
In the next phase the entire area of this part of the RSK would be integrated into
Croatia.
There are indications that Tuđman got the German approval for such an action.
At present the HV and the HVO (Croatian Defence Council) are engaged more intensively
at Livno - Grahovo, their goal being seizing control of Mount Šator, which would cut off
Knin from Republika Srpska.
NATO aircraft flew more sorties above the Adriatic and the territory of the former
Bosnia&Herzegovina under the control of the so-called Muslim-Croatian Federation.
264

No helicopter over-flights have been observed in RH territory across the RSK to Cazin.
On 7/8 June pilotless planes (“drones”) were observed above the line of disengagement
with the RH in Sectors “North” and “West”42. At about 02.03 hours the NATO air task
force established contact with the pilot of the downed F-16 plane.
The pilot rescue operation was carried out by 20 combat F-16, F-28 and F-111 aircraft
with AWACS support, and four helicopters (two attack APACHE helicopters and two
transport helicopters).
2. OUR FORCES
Over the past seven days the SVK commands and units focused on the formation of the
Special Unit Corps. The implementation faces certain personnel and materiel problems
which do not for the time being affect the planned formation of the units
The advance of the enemy along the Dinara ridge has been stopped, and the VRS was
provided assistance in preventing the enemy from establishing control over the Grahovo
area. (...)
Intensive preparations are under way for the review of the Special Unit Corps on St.
Vitus day.
Direct air fire support was provided to army units committed to gaining control over
Mount Dinara on 9 June 1995 at 09.30 hours.
The US helicopters participating in the rescue of the downed F-16 pilot were attacked
with S-2M rockets and PAT-20 mm antiaircraft guns, but were not shot down because of
IR decoy flares and helicopter armour.
3. MORALE
The measures and activities taken to stabilize and build up the Army of Serbian Krajina
have had a very positive effect on the morale of the troops and of the population.
These measures include first of all the stabilization of defence lines, which improved
trust in our defence potential.
Trust has also been enhanced by our latest combat actions.
As opposed to past views, the presence and the assistance of VJ officers is interpreted in
positive terms, and this awareness has contributed to the optimism of the troops and of
the population.
The most negative impact on morale is still due to irregular disbursement of monthly
pay and the very low pay.
All the steps taken by the SVK commander are received with approval and a feeling of
greater certainty regarding the potential to defend RSK territory.
The feeling about the SRJ has also changed along positive lines bearing in mind the
overall assistance we are receiving and, first and foremost, the mobilization of combat
capable persons who fled this country and their dispatch to Krajina.

42

Occupied territory of the Republic of Croatia controlled by UNPROFOR (United Nations Protection
Force).

265

(...)
6. PERSONNEL AND ORGANIZATIONAL-FORMATION PROBLEMS
The organizational conditions have been provided, and all documentation prepared, for
the formation of the Special Unit Corps (SUC). This includes interim SUC command
and unit rosters. In the formation of the Special Unit Corps the SVK is faced with a
pressing problem, the selection and shortage of the required number of professional
soldiers from the Army of Yugoslavia in order to meet the requirements of existing and
newly-formed units because the current deficiency rate is 23%.
(...)
Since we have planned to include in the SVK SUC all the graduates of VJ military
academies and secondary military schools hailing from the RSK, we must examine
the possibility of speeding up their education in line with the proposal of the SVK
commander.
Moreover, the SRJ Supreme Defence Council needs to consider, as soon as possible, and
resolve positively the questions raised a long time ago, such as the recognition of VJ
officer and non-commissioned officer status for SVK officers and non-commissioned
officers graduating from military schools at the Military School Centre of Republika
Srpska (two officer school classes and four non-commissioned officer school classes,
altogether 250). All these officers and non-commissioned officers are earmarked for the
SVK Special Unit Corps.
The troop manning concept has been prepared and is already being implemented
according to the plan and the respective criteria.
Organizational steps have been taken and plans prepared for assembling RSK servicemen
and transferring them from the SRJ to the RSK.
According to estimates and approximate indicators of the RSK Ministry of Defence,
there are more than 10,000 servicemen from the RSK in Serbia and Montenegro, who
went there after 17 August 1990.
We consider the persistent assembling of RSK servicemen, their transfer to the RSK and
integration into SVK units to be extremely important. The manning of the Special Units
Corps with younger men of higher quality is particularly important.
(...)
8. DECISION
I have decided that the engagement of the commands and units subordinated to the
SVK General Staff should focus on the formation of the Special Unit Corps. As regards
combat activities, the focus in the commitment of our forces should be operation Spider
intended to knock out the ARBiH 5th Corps, while part of the 7th Corps has to be engaged
in the area of Mount Dinara and along the Grahovo - Livno axis in order to seize the area
and the facilities temporarily controlled by the HV and the HVO.
Part of the forces will support, reinforce and cooperate with the VRS in its operation at
Grahovo - Livno. (...)
266

THE COMMANDER
Lieutenant General
Mile Mrkšić
(stamp)43
__________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 6, str. conf., 3-322/1995

27
1995, July
Knin
Plan of counterintelligence support for Operation Sword-1 staged by the Serbian Army
of Krajina and the Army of Yugoslavia - the use of biological warfare for the poisoning
of the troops of the ARBiH 5th Corps
____________________
APPROVED
THE COMMANDER
Colonel General
Mile Mrkšić
PLAN
of Counterintelligence Support for Operation “Sword-1”
July 1995
1. OBJECTIVE
Provide by combined actions through the SVK Intelligence Service complete
counterintelligence and physical protection of the convoy from Glina - Ličko Petrovo
Selo to the Cazin area intended for a strategic strike against the units and commands
of the 5th Corps (of the BiH Army) by biological weapons, i.e., by poisoning consumer
goods to be delivered through underground channels to the 5th Corps.
- After incubation and the outbreak of dysentery, use the fact intensively for psychological
propaganda by spreading misinformation and false data as envisioned by Operation
“Sword”.
2. TIMING
11 to 13 July 1995, after which Plan Sword-1 becomes part of the Sword counterintelligence
support operation.
3. PLACE
- Along the route Glina - Ličko Petrovo Selo - Japanska Krivina and back (...).
43

Round stamp with the text: RSK, General Staff of the Serbian Army

267

__________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 5007.

28
1995, 23 July
Bihać
Report of the Command of the ARBiH 5th Corps and the Command of the HVO Bihać
General Staff to the Embassy of the Republic of Bosnia&Herzegovina in Zagreb on the
powerful breakthrough of SVK forces threatening to rout the Bihać defences
____________________
23079500
COMMAND OF THE 5TH CORPS
COMMAND OF THE HVO BIHAĆ
GENERAL STAFF

DEFENCE OF THE
REPUBLIC
MILITARY SECRET
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
“URGENT”
__________________

Bihać, 23 July 1995
Information on the situation in the
zone of responsibility of the 5th
Corps and HVO Bihać,
forwarded to:

EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF
BOSNIA&HERZEGOVINA IN
ZAGREB
MILITARY ATTACHÉ
(Att. Zijah Poprženović)
Forward to
General
Zvonimir Červenko44

Since the early morning hours the situation in the zone of responsibility of the 5th Corps
and HVO Bihać has changed radically. Strong armoured-mechanized and infantry
44

At the time Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia.

268

forces of the aggressor are making energetic headway from Pećigrad and Tržačka Raštela
towards Cazin. The situation can no longer be controlled, and by the evening the territory
could be split into two parts and the 5th Corps routed.
We have many casualties because of the intensity of the assault, and we also running
short of supplies and materiel. At the same time the aggressor is attacking along the axes
Ličko Petrovo Selo - Bihać and Gorjevac - Ripač - Bihać.
The population is panicking and there is a heavy loss of life. Along the lines of its attack the
aggressor applies the “scorched earth” policy and is using poisonous chemical agents.
We are urging you to take immediate steps.
COMMANDER OF THE 5TH CORPS
Brigadier General
Atif Dudaković
COMMANDER OF THE
HVO BIHAĆ GENERAL STAFF
Colonel
Ivan Prša
__________________
Copy, typewritten, Latin script
In possession of the editor

30
1995, 24 July
Petrinja
Communication of the SVK 39th Corps Command to subordinate unit commands
on possible aggression by Croatian forces intended to help the threatened ARBiH 5th
Corps
______________________
(...) 1. The unfavourable development of the situation for the 5th Corps of the so-called
Army of BiH in Western Bosnia is used by the Croatian Army as a motive for aggression
against the RSK.
2. So far the Croatian Army has grouped its main forces in the greater area of Brinje,
Otočac and Ogulin. Their main effort is expected from Plaški - Slunj - Šturlić, with a
possible airborne assault in the Rakovica area and along positions east of the Slunj Plitvice road. Demonstrations are possible along several axes, first of all along the line
Sunja - Kostajnica - valley of the Una. The attack will be supported by the air force.
In case of aggression all the commands and units will follow the Annex to Plan Sword
and specific orders. The General Staff will forward the necessary orders as required by
the situation in due time.
269

3. Other issues:
1) Uncontrolled use of some munitions categories has been observed during past
combat action. This refers first of all to 130 and 105 mm munitions. At the same time,
the consumption of mortar 60 and 82 mm shells is low, although we have large quantities
of such munitions. In this regard the corps and brigade commands will take due action
in order to promote efficient munitions consumption.
2) During action over the next day it should be borne in mind that units of the 5th Corps
(of the ARBiH) are not in shelters or trenches, and are therefore particularly vulnerable.
Additionally, the balijas [insulting name for the Muslims] are grouped in a small territory,
and this facilitates action against them and the use of fire from all types of weapons.
(...)
The Commander
Major General
Slobodan Tarbuk
(stamp)45
___________________
Copy, typewritten, Latin script
Republic of Croatia, Counterintelligence Agency

31
1995, 25 July
Petrinja
Communication of the SVK 39th Corps Intelligence Dept. to subordinate units on the
possible Croatian airborne assault at Bihać
___________________
(...) The SVK General Staff calls attention to the almost certain Croatian aggression in the
southern sector on 26 or 27 July 1995. Action is also possible in our zone. The airborne
assault of Croatian special forces is being planned within the scope of direct support to
the 5th Corps (of the ARBiH).
One assault route would be from [the island of] Krk and on south of the Udbina air base,
and the other from Pleso [Zagreb], to the area of Bihać or Brekovica. The assault would
be carried in the night of 25/26 July or 26/27 July 1995. (...)
___________________
Copy, typewritten, Latin script
Republic of Croatia, Counterintelligence Agency
45

Text: Command of the 24th Infantry Brigade; str. conf., 39-158, 25 July 1995.

270

33
1995, 26 July
Bihać
Report of the Command of the 5th ARBiH Corps to the Embassy of the Republic of
Bosnia&Herzegovina on the difficult situation on the ground and linkup with Croatiuan
forces as the only way out
___________________
5th CORPS COMMAND
Str. conf. no. 01-2/873-1
Date: 26 July 1995

26079501
DEFENCE OF THE REPUBLIC
MILITARY SECRET
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
URGENT
Embassy of the Republic of Bosnia&
Herzegovina in Zagreb
Att. Zijo Poprženović
FOR FRIENDS
Att. Breza

I just spoke with General Delić.46 He is meeting Blaškić47 today to talk about Bihać. Let
me inform you that over the past few days 700 of my troops were put out of action and
only linkup with the Croatian Army holds any realistic prospects regarding our survival.
You must present this fact to the relevant bodies.
Are they taking any steps? Do they know our possibilities?
THE COMMANDER
Brigadier General
Atif Dudaković
____________________
Copy, typewritten, Latin script
In possession of the editor

46
47

Rasim
Tihomir

271

35
1995, 26 July
Report of the Intelligence Dept. of the SVK General Staff to the Security Directorate of
the VJ General Staff on the implementation of the covert operation Sword-1 - the use of
biological agents for the poisoning of foodstuffs delivered under cover to the ARBiH 5th
Corps and intended to cause mass disease of its troops and knock them out of action.
____________________
INFORMATION
Execution of mission during Operation Sword
In early July the Command of the SVK General Staff issued a directive on the execution
of Operation Sword related to offensive action against the ARBiH 5th Corps in order to
crush the latter. The start of Operation Sword is planned on 15 July in the early morning
hours.48
The forces of Spider Command, parts of the 21st and 39th Corps, and the Special Units
Corps will be committed to the operation.
Within the scope of the operation (during its preparation) the SVK commander has
decided to use biological agents by poisoning consumer goods (flour, sugar, oil, liquid
dish-washing detergent) to be sold through underground channels to the 5th Corps (of
the ARBiH) in order to cause mass sickness of the troops and knocking them out of
action.
The incubation lasts 5-7 days. [The normal dose was tested, by injection into liquid food,
on a defector from the ustashi49 army, M.G., not known to the international humanitarian
organization. Three days later the symptoms listed below appeared, and lasted 6 days. He
was medically treated, which probably reduced the duration of the reaction.]50 The agent,
a powder, is produced in Republika Srpska. If taken in larger quantities, depending on
the resistance of the body, it can cause a lethal outcome. In normal use it causes stomach
diseases, diarrhoea, headache and cramps in the stomach. No disease cases have been
recorded until 22 July 1995.
The provision of the goods for sale to the 5th Corps and the injection of the agent meant
to put personnel out of action was entrusted to the Intelligence Centre of the VJ General
Staff Intelligence Directorate in Topusko. Colonel NIKOLA ZIMONJA and lieutenant
colonel MILAN KRKOVIĆ, and the businessman NENAD MIŠEVIĆ from Glina, were
involved in the mission.
The Security Department of the SVK General Staff was responsible for preparing the plan
for the counterintelligence support of the operation (Sword-1) and, after that, providing
48

For the plan of the operation see Appendix II, doc. no. 27.
In Serbian sources members of the Croatian armed forces are mainly called ustashi (after the allies of the
Germans in World War Two).
50
The notes from the original document are given in square brackets.
49

272

for the safe passage of the convoy across the border at Ličko Petrovo Selo and back to
base by ensuring checkpoint clearance and patrol escort, i.e., operational support of the
mission by military police and security forces.
The convoy comprised five trailer trucks. It left Glina on 12 July at 18.00 hours and was
supposed to cross the border at Ličko Petrovo Selo between 21.30 and 22.00 hours.
However, that night NENAD MIŠEVIĆ could not establish contact and make the
necessary arrangements with the assistant rear commander of the (ARBiH) 5th Corps, a
certain ŠANTIĆ, and the entry of the convoy had to be postponed for the following day,
13 July 1995.
According to MIŠEVIĆ’s statement, someone hampered and disputed the action from
Belgrade, and since communications were jammed in the Cazin area, MIŠEVIĆ could
not contact Šantić by cellular phone.
The convoy spent the night and the following day in a lumber plant in Korenica, and its
entry in the Cazin area was planned for 13 July between 22.00 and 23.00 hours at the
same border crossing. The return was planned at 04.00 hours on 14 July.
The convoy crossed into the Cazin area with no problems. However, on the return
trip, the vehicles carrying Mišević and the foreign currency were spotted by the unit
controlling the border crossing. Some drunken soldiers intervened and even opened
fire, alarming the other soldiers and even the local villagers (of Ličko Petrovo Selo), who
wanted to intercept the convoy, search it and find out who was engaged in illicit dealings
with the (ARBiH) 5th Corps.
As the situation at the border crossing became increasingly serious and threatened
to develop into an armed conflict, colonel Zimonja contacted general Stevo Ševo and
lieutenant colonel Petar Borić, and asked them to intervene personally through the line
of command and let the convoy return safely to the RSK. After lengthy persuasion, the
furious soldiers and villagers finally let the trucks, the drivers and Mišević to cross into
the RSK at about 13.00 hours.
The trucks drove on to Glina, and Mišević with the foreign currency, Zimonja and
Krković came to see me and lieutenant colonel Mihajlo Knežević [lieutenant colonel
Knežević and myself were at the same time engaged for the operational cover of the
members of the European Community who visited Plitvice on July 14 and 15 1995; I had
Knežević with me on purpose because Zimonja and Krković could not stand him] in a
facility equipped for security services at Plitvice.
Mišević brought into the room in which we were assembled a briefcase full of foreign
currency, emptied the money on a desk and began to divide it into amounts due to the
parties involved. Most of the money were 500 and 1000 Deutschmark (DM) notes, plus
several thousand Austrian schillings.
Amazed by the amount of foreign currency, I realized that this was again a black market
operation and not any action included in the planned operation against the (ARBiH) 5th
Corps. I tried to follow the proceedings as carefully as I could because it was impossible
to record all that,
Mišević had written some notes in ballpoint on paper. The price of the goods sold was
specified, and the balance read 1,237,000 DM on one paper and 1,000,000 DM on the
273

other. Therefore, the total value of the sold goods was 2,237,000 DM. According to colonel
Zimonja they had paid a total of 50,000 DM for the goods. He gave me that information
when complications arose and they did not know whether they would succeed in selling
the goods to the (ARBiH) 5th Corps, and added that the SVK had no grounds for making
up the loss if the deal failed (because the goods were “poisoned”).
While separating the DM in new notes (he counted and set apart 37,000 DM) Mišević
was verbally attacked by lieutenant colonel Krković who wanted to know why Mišević
was separating the new notes. Mišević told him that his boss had expressly ordered him
to bring back new notes. Krković said “so what if he is a general, let him too find a place
where he can exchange them, and let him have a part in schillings”. Mišević countered
that it had to be that way. Colonel Zimonja immediately wrote the name of general
Mrkšić51 on a sheet of paper, folded it, put 37,000 DM into the folded sheet and placed
the lot into his briefcase with the promise that he would deliver the package.
Interestingly enough, Knežević and myself were present during this exchange for the
first time, but they were not embarrassed at all.
In the meantime, while the money was being counted and split, lieutenant colonel
Krković pointed out several times that we should be rewarded as participants in the action
with two to three thousand DM, and that general Mrkšić would approve that. Hearing
Krković’s proposal, Zimonja and Krković fell silent, while I responded immediately by
saying that I did not consider the whole thing to be a trade deal but a “serious mission”,
and that I did not want to be part of it. Lieutenant colonel Knežević supported me, and
we did not mention the proposal any more. Mišević then joined in and said that Knežević
and myself were right and that, if required, he could let a trailer truck through specially
for us and we could then split the proceeds. We turned the offer down a priori.
I drew Mišević aside and talked about the situation. Interestingly enough, that was
my first meeting with the man, and he was very outspoken. He is about 35 years old,
and moves exclusively in high society. He referred to Lilić52 and Milošević53, and said
they knew him. He also mentioned the Serbian Secretariat of International Affairs and
State Security Service. He said that in his illicit trade he fared best when his deals were
approved by B.54 Mikelić (about twelve times) and the crossing secured by the Krajina
Ministry of the Interior and State Security Service for Kordun and Banija. Business had
become extremely difficult, he remarked, since the army took over the control of the
border. He was intensively involved in this business since 1992, when he started it with
M.55 Martić, and has changed several bosses in the meantime.
Out of the mentioned foreign currency amount the SVK General Staff will get about
400,000 DM. They did not get it yet because the Deutschmarks were in old notes and were
sent to Belgrade to be exchanged. After that we shall send you the respective records. On

51

Mile
Zoran
53
Slobodan
54
Borislav
55
Milan
52

274

18 July I reported to general Mrkšić in the advance command post of the SVK General
Staff in Slunj. Before the report he asked me whether Aco Dimitrijević had called me
about the convoy. When I answered that he had not, the general said he would certainly
call because someone had blown the deal in Belgrade and misinterpreted it.
The conclusion is clear. The ultimate goal of this convoy and of many others so far has
been material gain of certain individuals, including undoubtedly the SVK commander
General M. Mrkšić. General Mrkšić is closely related to colonel M. Zimonja and he has
allegedly brought Zimonja, through colonel Krga56, head of the Intelligence Directorate,
to form the Intelligence Centre in Kordun (everybody is asking now why Kordun and
Topusko were chosen), which is a cover for his organizing and personally managing
illicit trade of goods with the (ARBiH) 5th Corps. As far as the security bodies of the SVK
General Staff are aware - and lieutenant colonel Mihajlo Knežević can say much more
about the subject - the Centre in question has not by any means justified its existence.
Some people think (this is a reliable piece of information) that Mrkšić promised Krga he
would bring him to the RSK and make him a general, a rank Krga could not get in the
SRJ because he comes from this region and had no combat experience.
On 21 July 1995 colonel Zimonja and lieutenant Krković left the RSK and returned to
the VJ.
We are forwarding this information in order to brief you and for your operational use.
We urge you to pay due attention to the confidential character of this letter considering
the high officials involved and their illicit dealings.
ASSISTANT COMMANDER
for Security Affairs
Colonel Rade Rašeta
(stamp)57
__________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 5007

56
57

Branko
Text: Serbian Army of Krajina, General Staff, Security Department

275

36
1995, 26 July
Communication of the RSK MUP to the special unit commander on the advance of
Croatian forces which broke through the defence line at Grahovo and on its imminent
fall
_________________
(...) Here at Grahovo the situation is truly serious and I am committing the last reserve
troops and sending them there because the front line is broken and Grahovo could fall
any moment. I know you are having a hard time, but please bear with the situation. I
shall keep trying to get you out of this tight spot, but here things are maybe even worse.
ACTING MINISTER
PAVKOVIĆ NEBOJŠA
(stamp)58
____________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 361.

37
1995, 26 July
Report of the Operational Group 1 Command to the Advance Command Post of the
VRS General Staff on the advance of Croatian forces in the action at Grahovo
____________________
(..)
ROUTINE COMBAT REPORT
1. In the morning the ustashi continued their artillery and infantry attacks on the defence
zone of Operational Group 1 and succeeded by 15.00 hours in seizing Golo Brdo and Hill
1056. At about 14.30 an ustashi helicopter overflew Grahovo. During the day Grahovo
was hit by about 150 different projectiles.
2. Our forces have given combat and their tough resistance prevented a deeper
breakthrough of ustashi forces.(...)
Casualty figures: 4 killed, 12 wounded and 6 missing in action. (...)
58

Confirmation of receipt: Telegram received on 26 July at 21.20 hours by Jelinić.

276

3. Troop and officer morale is good although the troops are hard-hit by yesterday’s
situation.
(...)
6. Numerical strength: 550.
____________________
Original, handwritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 4284

38
1995, 28 July
Bihać
Report of the ARBiH 5th Corps to the BiH Embassy in Zagreb on the chetnik breakthrough
at Bugar and heavy attacks from mounts Plješivica and Grmeč
____________________
COMMAND OF THE
5TH CORPS

DEFENCE OF THE
REPUBLIC

Str. conf. No. 02/4-3-64
Bihać, 28 July 1995

MILITARY SECRET
STRICTLY CONF.
“URGENT”

Information on aggressor action
in the zone of responsibility of
the 5th Corps of the ARBiH
To: EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF
BOSNIA&HERZEGOVINA (RBiH)
IN THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA
MILITARY ATTACHÉ
(Att. Zijah Poprženović)
The aggressor has sustained combat operations in the zone of responsibility of the 5th
Corps. On 27 July 1995 the aggressor has succeeded in breaking through at Bugar and
hill 373, supported by strong tank fire and artillery of all calibres.
In the night of 27/28 July our forces counterattacked along the same line, partly drove
back the aggressor, but did not succeed in holding the achieved positions because of the
extremely strong artillery fire and tenacious resistance of the chetniks. In the morning
hours on 28 July, after a strong artillery preparation, the aggressor forces attacked along
277

the line Brkića Koplje - Visoka Glavica - Kapan and succeeded in taking Visoka Glavica.
Attacks followed on Kestenovačka Glavica and Varmansko Selo, but our forces were
successful in stopping them. The aggressor sustained strong shelling of these areas and
of the civil settlements deep in our free territory. At the same time the aggressor attacked
in the Grmeč and Plješevica areas. The targets were Vidov Vršak on Mount Grmeč and
Gričine on Mount Plješevica. Aggressor’s reconnaissance groups were more active in the
Majoruša area. The logistic supply of our forces was heavily shelled at Veliki Radić.
Drawn up in one copy and delivered to
- RBiH Embassy - Military Attaché
Att. Zijah Poprženović
- shelve
THE COMMANDER
Brigadier General
Atif Dudaković
___________________
Copy. typewritten, Latin script
In possession of the editor

39
1995, 29 July
Korenica
Report of SUP Korenica to RSK MUP on the deployment of a unit at Resanova after the
Croatian forces took Grahovo
__________________
(...)
From the police station in Donji Lapac we have received the following message:
The “b” complement of the Donji Lapac police station has been dispatched on a combat
mission at the village of Resanovci, 15 km from Grahovo captured by the ustashi regular
RH and HVO units, in order to prevent further advance of the latter. As we arrived at
the front line of our defence in the village of Resanovci, we found the unit supposed to
take up its positions, in cooperation with RS and the RSK units, towards Mount Ilica
and further on towards Strmica, Tiškovci etc. By 12.00 hours these forces were not yet
deployed along the allegedly agreed positions. RS units were deployed on the left flank
of the “b” complement of the Donji Lapac police station. There were no offensive actions
on either side during that time. (...)
278

__________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, MUP RSK, 08/4-16279/2-95.

40
1995, 30 July
Knin
Communication of the RSK State Information Agency Iskra on the visit of Ratko Mladić,
CRS commander, to Knin and on his statement concerning the assault on Knin
__________________
(...)
Knin, 30 July (Iskra) - The Commander of the General Staff of the Army of Republika
Srpska, Lieutenant Colonel Ratko Mladić, today stated in Knin that Serbian forces would
quickly regain Grahovo and Glamoč, and other occupied territories.
Stressing that Croatian aggression is aimed at cutting off the Republic of Serbian
Krajina (RSK), in which effort the Croats are supported by their political brokers, General
Mladić said that the Croats had made, with this move, the decisive mistake in this war, a
mistake which will cost them dearly.
Referring to the situation in the so-called Bihać pocket, he said that the Muslims
would continue to provoke until they were defeated as in Srebrenica and Žepa, and those
provocations would have stopped a long time ago, he added, but for their helpers in our
own ranks.
“The time has come for our people to grasp fully the fact that the war is not over yet, a
fact which was clear to some people a long time ago. Let me give our people the following
message: be determined in the defence of your homes and don’t fall for any propaganda”,
said General Mladić, adding that he hoped the people would find the strength to repel
this Croatian aggression as well.
“We must put in extra effort and hold out until the end of this war”, concluded the
commander of the RS Army. (...)
___________________
Copy, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 4207

279

41
1995, 31 July
Vrhovine
The command of the 50th infantry brigade forwarded to all subordinated units the
information received from the SVK 15th Corps on the situation after the breakthrough
of Croatian forces and the taking of Grahovo and Glamoč, deployment of HV forces
along possible attack positions and proclamation of the state of war
___________________
(...)
On the basis of information received from the command of the 15th Corps, conf. no. 24043, this is to inform you as follows: After the latest aggression of the HV and the HVO
on the RS and parts of the RSK, the security situation in the RSK has become extremely
complex. It has called for a number of radical measures which the RSK state and military
leadership has had to take in order to thwart in time the general HV attack and to gear all
human and material potentials to defence requirements. As it is already known, the RSK
president M.59 Martić has proclaimed the state of war.60 The same decision was made
for the entire area of the RS by the RS president. Grahovo and Glamoč are occupied
after the latest aggression by regular HV units. All the population from these towns and
surrounding villages fled to Drvar, Petrovac and Banja Luka. Encouraged by its very
rapid advance the HV continues to advance towards Strmica and along Grahovsko Polje
towards Resanovci, probably intending to block all routes linking Knin with the RS.
Along these lines VRS and RSK units have stabilized their defence lines and stopped
further advance by the aggressor. In other areas along the border of the RSK with Croata
mobilization is in its final stage and HV units deployed along the possible lines of attack.
On the basis of heavy traffic along the communications and enhanced reconnaissance
activities it can easily be concluded that Croatia is preparing a large-stale assault on the
RSK from several directions. The announced help to the forces of the 5th Corps (of the BiH
Army), probably agreed with Croatia, is only a cover for a large-scale offensive prepared
by Croatia and already under way against the RS. The ultimate objective is gaining the
most favourable operational position for the attack on the RSK, and helping HV and
“BiH army” forces for second phase operations towards Jajce, Mrkonjić, Srbobran and
via Petrovac towards Bihać. The fall of Grahovo and subsequent HV actions towards
Strmica and Resanovci have also directly jeopardized part of RSK territory in the zone of
responsibility of the Lika Corps. Within the shortest possible time the Corps commander
has committed the available reserves from the 103rd infantry brigade, military police and

59

Milan
The proclamation of the state of war was decided by the RSK Supreme Defence Council on 30 July. See
Appendix I, doc. 30.

60

280

MUP and established control over all routes leading from the jeopardized zone towards
Dugopolje, Kaldrma and Tiskanovac - Drenovac, in order to thwart in time any possible
advance of the aggressor along these lines. Contact was established with VRS units, and
the command of the 103rd infantry brigade has set up an advance command post along
this line where part of the brigade command is stationed continuously. The fact is that
this Croatian action has “saved” the 5th Corps of Alija’s [Izetbegović, BiH President] army
for the second time because it forced the Serbian army to regroup its forces from the
Bihać theatre in order to halt deeper HV penetrations along the already mentioned line
of attack. (..)
___________________
Copy, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 5006

42
1995, 1 August
Order of the command of the VRS 11th infantry brigade to subordinate units to block
UNPROFOR units in case of a Croatian attack, disarm them and keep them as
hostages
__________________
(...)
During the imminent ustashi assault the blockade of the UN is an essential part of the
defence of the Serbian people. Therefore, I am issuing the following order:
Block the UN forces and prevent their leaving for the Republic of Croatia, disarm them
and keep them as hostages.
Treat the UN troops correctly, without any mistreatment or insult, and leave them their
vehicles and equipment. (...)
The commanders of the subordinate units shall be personally responsible to me for the
execution of this order.
THE COMMANDER
Lieutenant Colonel
Dragan Novačić
61
(stamp)
____________________
Copy, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 595
61

Round stamp with the text: Army Post Office 9106, Vojnić

281

43
1995, 3 August
Report of the Security Department of the 15th Corps Command to the Security
Department of the SVK General Staff on the increased pressure of Croatian forces
which hampers the deployment of fresh forces for the Grahovo operation, and on the
daily exodus of non-combatant population to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
____________________
To the
General Staff of the Serbian Army of Krajina
- Security Department
1. Hostile activity
Our deep tactical reconnaissance units have detected, along the entire line of
disengagement with the 15th Corps, intensive HV motor vehicle traffic from the rear,
primarily during the night. More intensive traffic and the approach of motor vehicles
to our border have been recorded from Gospić towards the line of disengagement with
the 9th, 18th and 70th infantry brigades (towards Medak, Teslingrad and Plaški). The
number of newly-arrived HV vehicles is not matched by corresponding manpower and
equipment figures, and we have therefore estimated that they are concurrently engaged
in deception and demonstration in terms of bringing in new troops in order to force us
to commit our units along the border and keep them in a state of readiness, and prevent
us from committing fresh forces to the Grahovo operation.
(...)
We have also confirmed information that the HV is mobilizing in Gospić, Perušić,
Otočac, Brinje, Josipdol, Ogulin and other places, and keeping troops in readiness in the
staging areas.
We have no coordinates for the elements of the HV order of battle opposite the zone
of the 15th Corps, and this can have negative implications for the units and for the
local population in our zone. If you have the exact coordinates of the HV fire support
positions, we urge their urgent delivery in order to complete our defence system and
prepare the initial data tables for counter-fire or preemptive strikes for the elimination
of HV fire capabilities early during the attack.
We have also recorded the completion of the HV fire system, primarily in engineering
terms, and the extensive use of engineering machinery.
On 2 August 1995 a pilotless aircraft overflew the zone of defence of the 18th infantry
brigade (Bunić) and Teslingrad at the altitude of about two thousand metres. Croatian
MIG-211 aircraft also overflew Gospić.
The scouts of our units have not detected any hostile presence or activity on Mount
Velebit from Sveto Brdo to Visočica.
282

On 2 August in the morning the HV launched an infantry attack on the zone of defence
of the 70th infantry brigade (Plaški), which was repulsed with success. We have had no
casualties of any kind.
The 5th Corps of the Muslim army has consolidated its ranks and is steadily holding the
line opposite the zone of the 15th Corps. We have had no casualties from occasional rifle
fire.
We have also observed enhanced demand for foodstuffs among the local population, and
for war materiel, in the zone under the control of the 5th Corps.
According to still unconfirmed information the 501st brigade of the 5th Corps of the
Muslim army is planning an assault from Ripač towards Spasovo intended to deter the
commitment of our 103rd light infantry brigade in the Grahovo theatre.
2. Security situation
All the units are in position ready for decisive defence. In the assessment of the 15th
Corps command the Corps can successfully oppose ustashi aggression.
(...)
The intervention battalion to be set up from the 15th Corps has not yet been formed. In
the 9th motorized brigade we have identified a person with a destructive attitude who
was publicly spreading defeatism, disrupting the combat readiness of the entire brigade
and thwarting the formation of the mentioned unit. The same person publicly opposed
the commander of the 9th motorized brigade regarding the formation of the intervention
battalion, and verbally attacked active officers saying “you officers are to be blamed for
all this; you are incapable; I wonder who is leading us, we will drive you all out of the
RSK”. Those present did not stand against him, which was a sign of approval. He has been
brought to the command of the 9th motorized brigade, which has taken the respective
measures along with the security bodies. You will be informed in due time.
In the villages of Lički Tiškovac, Drenovac and Ševina Poljana 30 soldiers have deserted
and found refuge in the woods. Some people are helping them to survive. According
to operational information, they fled in order to avoid combat actions of the 103rd light
infantry brigade. The necessary steps to bring them in and other measures are under
way. We could not locate two soldiers of the 15th light infantry brigade, who probably
deserted.
3. Situation in the territory
A feeling of fear is present. The local population is very eager to fight. The number of
requests for departure to the SRJ has decreased. Most of the persons unfit or partially
unfit for military service have been mobilized, and are holding out well. Some soldiers
were allowed to go home because of farming chores. Women and children are leaving
daily for the SRJ.
We are taking the required measures with regard to suspects in Teslingrad. Vedrana Biga
(a Croat) was released from isolation.
283

Dmitar Obradović, former security officer of the 70th infantry brigade, who deserted
from the security section of the Special Unit Corps, is hiding in Plaški. Search and
apprehension is under way.
(...)
6. Conclusion
As a whole, security conditions allow for successful decisive defence from possible HV
aggression on our zone of defence. (...)
___________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 4118

284

APPENDIX 3
EVACUATION OF THE POPULATION FROM
THE OCCUPIED TERRITORY OF CROATIA
BEFORE AND DURING STORM

285

286

(...)

4
[1993, 23 March]
Report on civil defence inspection in the municipalities of Vrginmost and Vojnić
____________________
REPORT
on the condition of civil defence and problems in its functioning
in the territory of Kordun
on 23 March 1993
A group of Ministry of Defence officials inspected the Ministry of Defence Directorate for
Kordun and the defence department responsible for that territory in order to gain insight
into the condition of civil defence and problems in its functioning in the municipalities
of Vojnić and Vrginmost.
The condition and the problems were examined by Sava Milović, civil defence officer in
the Republican Civil Defence Headquarters.
The briefing on the purpose and objective of the visit was held in the Directorate of the
Ministry of Defence in the presence of the head of the Directorate Boro Vorkapić and of
Dušanka Ivošević, head of the District Civil Defence Staff. It included the definition of the
basic points to be inspected and problems. The inspection was to provide instructions,
depending on conditions, on how to overcome the difficulties.
1. Situation in the Vrginmost Civil Defence Staff
The situation was established during the briefing with Stevan Kajganić, head of the
Municipal Civil Defence Staff, and Mile Stanojčić, officer responsible for preparations in
industry and social activities, in the presence of Dušanka Ivošević, head of the District
Civil Defence Staff.
The inspection established the following:
The municipality of Vrginmost has 14,000 inhabitants living in 34 local communities.
The municipal civil defence staff includes 7 persons covering the basic civil defence and
rescue measures. They are under compulsory work orders and are engaged as required.
The staff also has two couriers and a typist.
The civil defence staff cooperates fully with the municipal authorities.
In the local communities there are 66 civil defence wardens, elderly people of authority
among the population, who are successfully coping with their mission.
The civil defence units formed so far include the following:
- The veterinary unit with six civil defence members (there is a
veterinary station with two veterinary surgeons).
- The fire-fighting unit with 13 members. The basic equipment is available, but the fire287

fighting tank and the combi-van have no batteries and cannot therefore be used. The
problem becomes even more pressing because the municipality has no professional or
volunteer fire-fighting units.
- The first medical aid unit had 15 women trained for the mission, but they joined the
SVK.
- The unit for rescue from ruins has 9 members; however, their engagement is questionable
because they are under compulsory work orders and are responsible for the protection of
buildings and facilities. The problem of their engagement is made more difficult because
they are also incorporated into operational SV RSK units.
In keeping with the mission statement of the Civil Defence HQ of the Republic, shelter
facilities were inspected and their selection reviewed.
There are no built shelters, and the most suitable cellars and similar facilities in the local
communities have been selected for providing shelter for 8,341 persons. The population
has been informed about the locations of such facilities, and the civil defence wardens
have the lists of persons to be taken care of in them.
Evacuation has been planned from 11 outlying local communities along the boundary
with the Cazin area. The plan covers 1,213 persons who will be housed in 10 loyal
communities. It has been worked out in great detail, including the specific persons to
be transported by specific vehicles. The planned evacuation will require the provision of
fuel - 1,670 litres of d2 diesel and 150 litres of 98 petrol.
In the territory of the municipality there are at present 2,751 refugees housed in private
homes. Most of them have been taken in by relatives.
Food relief for the refugees and for about 5,000 socially handicapped persons, including
the families of soldiers killed or wounded in action, is provided by the municipal branch
of the Red Cross, which has established good cooperation with the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees.
A particular problem in the distribution of humanitarian aid is the availability of the
required quantities of fuel.
2. Situation in the Vojnić Civil Defence Staff
The situation was established during the briefing with the head of the Defence Dept.,
who is also responsible for civil defence because the head of the civil defence staff has
been mobilized into a combat unit. Dušanka Ivančević, head of the District Civil Defence
Staff, was also present during the briefing.
The municipality of Vojnić has 9,500 inhabitants in 61 settlements, organized territorially
in 14 local communities.
The municipal civil defence staff includes 6 members, 3 on a permanent basis.
There are 90 civil defence wardens in the local communities. They are coping well with
their mission, but most of them are also responsible for other local activities.
The following civil defence units have been organized so far:
- One veterinarian platoon with a sanitation squad comprising 15 persons (there is also
a veterinarian station with a staff of 4, 3 of whom are qualified).
- One fire-fighting platoon, mobilized together with the available equipment (two tank
288

trucks and one fire attack vehicle) into an SV RSK brigade. Forest fires can also be
handled by including 19 workers of the Forestry Office equipped among other things
with motor saws.
- A platoon for rescue from ruins with 18 members left out of 30; the remainder were
mobilized into combat units.
The provision of shelters for the population has been handled in a way similar to that in
Vrginmost.
Evacuation is planned for four outlying villages close to Kladuša. The transportation plan
and organization are good. However, the plan does not foresee the provision of quarters
in public facilities or private homes but refuge in the open on (mount) Petrova Gora.
Enterprises, organizations and services of interest for protection and rescue are
undermanned. Thus, the water supply department of the public utility company has only
one employee (!?).
3. Problems observed
- Many persons originally assigned to the civil service have been mobilized into combat
units; in some cases this involved complete units (e.g., the emergency medical aid unit
in Vrginmost and the fire-fighting unit in Vojnić).
- The head of the civil defence staff in Vojnić was mobilized into a combat unit, and this
has had a considerable bearing on the quality of actions carried out by the service.
- A particular problem is the assignment of people under compulsory work orders (who
could be used for protection and rescue) to other local actions followed also by their
mobilization into combat units of the SV RSK.
- Other problems include: availability of fuel for regular activities; implementation of
protection and rescue actions; evacuation and distribution of humanitarian aid; lack of
veterinarian drugs; etc.
Prepared by:
Sava Milović
___________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
Croatian Information Centre, A 044-015/01

289

5
[Okučani, July]
Letter of the “Western Slavonia” Directorate to the Command of the SVK 18th Corps
requesting, in line with the plan for the evacuation of the population to Republika
Srpska, the specifications of the routes and crossings on the river Sava
__________________
No. 1

CONFIDENTIAL
To
Command of the 18th Corps
Okučani
Att. lieut. colonel
Marinko Gajić

The evacuation of citizens can be ordered in the event of immediate danger, e.g., war,
in accordance with the plan of defence or protection from natural disasters. According
to the evacuation plan, evacuation teams in the municipalities must proceed with their
mission as momentarily required.
In the case of major combat operations the population of our area would be evacuated
to Republika Srpska. Therefore, we urge you to send us the routes for evacuation and
the points for crossing the river Sava into Republika Srpska. We imperatively need this
information in order to update our evacuation plans.
Respectfully yours,
Assistant Head of Department
for Civil Affairs
Nikola Brujić
__________________
Original, handwritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 595

290

7
1994, 1 February
Okučani
Report of the Okučani police station to the Okučani Secretariat for Internal Affairs on
the plan of evacuation of the population from Western Slavonia
__________________
REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
SECRETARIAT OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS IN OKUČANI
OKUČANI POLICE STATION
(stamp)62
No. 08-05-1-38/94.
3 February 1994
SECRETARIAT OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS IN
OKUČANI
Enclosed please find the evacuation plan for the Okučani Police Station.
The Commander
Rade Španović
63
(stamp)
----------REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
OKUČANI POLICE STATION
No. 08-05-1-38/94.
1 February 1994
Pursuant to the official letter of SUP Okučani No. 08-05-str. conf. 1-3-120/2-93 of 3
January 1994 related to the possible evacuation of the population from the region of
Western Slavonia in case of an emergency caused by the possible renewed aggression
against this area, the following
PLAN OF EVACUATION
of the population from the municipality
of Okučani
is hereby adopted.
62
63

Confirmation of receipt: RSK, MUP, SUP Pakrac, no. 08-05/1-2-1-270/1-94.
Round stamp with the text: RSK, MUP, SUP, Okučani Police Station.

291

1. Inform all authorized persons about the plan through the duty service.
2. In case of evacuation, agree and coordinate all measures and actions with the
municipal civil defence staff, which will manage the evacuation. To be carried out by the
commander with the duty service.
3. In accordance with the daily assignment the duty officer shall immediately designate
a car with three persons carrying long arms for escorting and protecting the column
along the planned route. The column is to be escorted to the next organizational unit,
which should be contacted and to which the column needs to be handed over for further
protection. To be carried out by the duty officer with patrols.
4. Be in touch with organizational units of the adjacent areas (Daruvar and Pakrac) in
order to take over the columns at the boundary line and escort them along the planned
route. To be carried out by the duty service.
5. In case of a larger number of columns in one direction, reroute the traffic, after
assessing the load on a particular route, to another possible facility in agreement with
the municipal civil defence headquarters. To be carried out by the commander with the
duty service.
6. In supporting and securing column movement use older and more experienced
officers, and utilize available equipment (vehicles and communications equipment) as
required by the situation. To be carried out by the commander, the duty service and the
engaged officers.
7. Planned routes of column movement:
- Okučani - Stara Gradiška - Uskoci
- Okučani - Gređani - Međustrugovi - Mlaka
- Okučani - Borovac - overpass - Mlaka
The columns need to be channelled along these routes.
8. The plan is subject to change and amendment depending on problems during
preparation or actual evacuation, and it will be updated accordingly.
Encl.: SUP letter
(stamp)64
Plan prepared by:
Rade Španović
--------PLAN OF EVACUATION OF THE POPULATION OF THE
“WESTERN SLAVONIA” REGION
Pursuant to Article 64, heading 5, par. 4 of the Defence Law of the Republic of Serbian
Krajina of 1993, the evacuation of the population or of specific categories of the population
(children, the elderly, the infirm etc.) from a specific territory, and the evacuation of
government bodies, companies and other juridical bodies together with the respective
64

Ibid.

292

assets, can be ordered in the event of immediate war danger, state of war or state of
emergency in accordance with the defence plan for the country.
Evacuation under this article is ordered by the government, which specifies the
territory for the deployment of the evacuated population and the assets.
The evacuation of civil population shall be organized and implemented by government
bodies responsible for civil defence and protection.
The evacuation of the population threatened by or involved in military action can
also be ordered by an officer commanding a brigade or regiment, or of higher rank.
Evacuation and relief are the responsibility of municipal civil defence and protection
staffs as coordinators, civil defence and protection units in the local communities and
neighbourhoods (Okučani), and civil defence and protection wardens responsible for
evacuation. The main evacuation route would be the river Sava with four main crossings
- villages of Uskoci, Jablanac, Mlaka and Jasenovac, by ferry or pontoon bridges. The
convoys of the population envisioned for evacuation would be protected by troops or
by police officers from the Pakrac and Okučani police stations. The evacuation of the
population would start from the outer fringes of the municipality of Okučani - East +
West (Paklenica, Rajić and Medari-Okučani) and the municipality of Pakrac along the
north-south route (Brdske Kričke - Gornja Šumetlica - Trnakovac).
Two alternative routes for the evacuated population convoys are available for the
municipality of Pakrac:
1. Rogoljica - Trnakovac - Donji Okučani - Gređani - forest road to the village of of
Mlaka or Jablanac.
2. Bijela Stijena - Rađenovci - villages of Rajić, Mlada or Jablanac.
Several routes are available for the municipality of Okučani:
1. Okučani - Strug - Stara Gradiška - Uskoci (forest roads).
2. Okučani - Gređani - confluence of the river Strug - Jablanac.
Alternative : Okučani- Borovac - Mostine Mlaka.
3. Okučani - Borovac - Mostine Mlaka.
The route of the evacuee convoy has been worked out in detail in the plan of evacuation
in case of aggression. Three buses, one passenger van, and a sufficient number of cars and
private tractors have been requisitioned for the evacuation of the population of Pakrac
municipality. Main route for the municipality of Pakrac: village of Rogolji - Trnakovac Okučani - Gređani - Mlaka.
- village of Rogolji - Trnakovac - Benkovačko Brdo - Rajić - Mlaka or Jablanac
Pursuant to Article 12 of the Decree on civil defence organization and functioning the
following categories are eligible for evacuation:
1. mothers with children up to 10 years of age having no wartime posting under a military
or compulsory work order, or not subject to duty in civil defence units or bodies, and
other persons legally responsible for caring and looking after children under 10;
- children up to 14 years of age if school evacuation has been planned;
- pregnant women;
- elderly and infirm persons requiring help and care.
293

The population eligible for evacuation from the region of Western Slavonia”, the
municipalities of Pakrac and Okučani, is shown in the tabular review of the categories.
The persons in charge of evacuation in the event of immediate war danger have been
supplied, in all local communities in the municipalities of Pakrac and Okučani, with
fuel and indispensable medical supplies and food, kept in appropriate storage facilities.
In case of evacuation along the east-west or north-south route deep into the territory of
the municipality of Okučani, the population would be housed in the local communities
of Lađevac and Bodegraj, respectively. The population of these communities has been
informed and is responsible for providing quarters for the evacuees. The population of
the municipality of Pakrac will be housed in the villages of Rogolji, Bobare, Lještani and
Čaprginci.
____________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 10, box 8

8
1994, 26 March
Knin
Response of the Ministry of Defence to the RSK Assembly regarding a member’s question
on the provision of sufficient quantities of fuel for the evacuation of the population
____________________
REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
No. 01-1020-2/94
Knin, 26 March 1994
To:
ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC
OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
The Secretariat
Re: Response to member’s question
This Ministry has received under document no. 02-34/94 the question by member
Branko Babić, “when will fuel be provided for evacuation?”, raised at the meeting of the
Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina held on 21 March 1994.
We are herewith responding as follows:
Municipal civil defence headquarters have prepared plans for the evacuation of the
population, and stated their requirements in terms of fuel required for the operation.
294

The total fuel requirements for evacuation have been forwarded by the Civil Defence
Headquarters for the Republic, which has requested on several occasions the resolution
of this highly important issue. However, because of the well-known difficulties regarding
the provision of fuel and higher demand for current functional activities, this Ministry
has not been able to provide the total required quantity. The quantity secured so far is
preserved and will be made available, when the situation demands it, to all municipal civil
defence staffs which will be ordered to proceed with evacuation. In such a situation, fuel
would be delivered immediately after the decision on the evacuation of the population
from a specific territory.
In this regard, the Ministry will do its best to provide the overall quantity of fuel required
for evacuation, after which fuel will be distributed to the municipal civil defence staffs
and to the persons responsible for evacuation.
SM/MB
(stamp)65
THE MINISTER
Rear-admiral
Dušan Rakić
__________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 3, reg. no. 01-1020-2/1994

10
1995, April
Knin
RSK, Civil Defence Headquarters, assessment of threat and protection and rescue
possibilities
____________________
REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
CIVIL DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS OF THE REPUBLIC
DEFENCE
STATE SECRET
“DINARA”66
Copy No. ____
65
66

Round stamp with the text: RSK, Ministry of defence III, Knin
Added by hand

295

ASSESSMENT
OF THREAT AND OF PROTECTION AND
RESCUE POSSIBILITIES
Head of the Republican Civil
Defence Headquarters
Lieut. Colonel
Duško Babić67
Knin, April 199568
I. ASSESSMENT OF THREAT AND EXPOSURE TO COMBAT OPERATIONS
1. The Position of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
The Republic of Serbian Krajina, part of the former SFRY, is a non-compact area
comprising, conditionally speaking, two entities.
One territorially linked entity is made up of Northern Dalmatia, Lika, Kordun, Banija
and, conditionally, Western Slavonia, which can also be treated as a separate territorial
entity considering its communications. This territorial entity is situated between today’s
Republic of Croatia and the Cazin area, while parts of Northern Dalmatia, Bosnia and
Western Slavonia are connected with Republika Srpska.
The second territorial entity comprises Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem,
bordering in the west on the Republic of Croatia, in the north on Hungary, and linked in
the east with the Republic of Serbia (SR Yugoslavia).
The total length of the border with the Republic of Croatia is 923 km, with the Cazin area
118 km, and with Hungary 79 km.
The area of the Republic of Serbian Krajina (without parts under UN protection and
parts occupied by the Republic of Croatia) is 17,028 sq.km., and its population totals
430,000, out of whom 120,000 are refugees (partly war-stricken people who fled from
the Republic of Croatia to the Republic of Serbian Krajina).
The average population density is 25 per sq.km., and it is rather uneven, ranging from 54
per sq.km. in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem to 10 per sq.km. in Lika.
The form of the Republic of Serbian Krajina is particularly characteristic because of its
great length and small depth (width). The greatest depth is 63.1 km. (between the villages
of Škabrnja and Tiškovac), and the smallest at Jasenovac - 2.5 km., between Vedro Polje/
Sunja and Kostajnica - 12.5 km., and between the village of Čanak and the border on
Mount Plješevica - 19.5 km.

67
68

Ibid.
The original read: Knin, August 1994. The new date was added by hand.

296

2. Characteristics and degree of threat for specific parts and for the entire Republic of
Serbian Krajina
The territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina is generally at risk because of its form and
position, great length and small depth, and because of the possibility of its being cut up
into several parts and of being caught unawares, bearing in mind the very pronounced
aggressive intentions and constant threats of the militarily strengthened Republic of
Croatia.
Because of these features, in addition to possible surprise and bearing in mind the
military potential of the enemy, the entire territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina can
be threatened at the same time.
However, in strategic terms penetrations along given lines are more likely, as well as the
cutting-off of parts of the territory of the Republic. An offensive along the entire front is
less probable.
In view of the foregoing, the following lines of hostile action are possible:
- Possible tactical lines of action in the Northern Dalmatian operational zone:
- Zadar- Knin (Zadar - Benkovac - Knin),
- Split - Knin (Muć - Drniš - Knin),
- Šibenik - Knin (Šibenik - Oklaj- Knin),
- Sinj - Knin (Sinj- Vrlika - Knin),
with, most probably, a concurrent strike from the slopes of Mount Velebit and Skradin
(via Bribirske Mostine) focused on cutting off Benkovac and Obrovac from Knin, with
linkup in the Bruška area.
Towards Knin the enemy will most probably attempt to advance via Oklaj, followed by
Moseć and Petrovo Polje, which would cut off the greater area of Drniš. This would allow
hostile forces to reach Mala Promina and put Knin at great risk.
- Possible tactical lines of action in the Lika operational zone:
- Gospić - Gračac
- Gospić - Teslingrad - Ljubovo - Udbina
- Otočac - Vrhovine - Plitvice
- Brinje - Plaški- Plitvice
- Tactical lines of action in the Kordun and Banija operational zone:
- Ogulin- Slunj - Plitvice
- Karlovac - Vojnić - Velika Kladuša- Sisak -Petrinja - Topusko
- Sisak - Kostajnica - Dvor
The Slunj line is the most sensitive because it could involve splitting the Republic of
Serbian Krajina into two parts.
- Possible lines of hostile action in Western Slavonia:
- Kutina - Novska - Okučani,
297

- Pakrac - Okučani,
the most likely objective being to cut off Western Slavonia from Novska - Gradiška.
- Tactical lines of action in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem:
- Vrpolje - Vinkovci - Vukovar
- Budimci - Osijek - Kopačevski Rit or
- Budimci - Osijek - Bijelo Brdo - Bogojeno
- Valpovo -Beli Manastir - Batina
Along these lines one expects action by strong land forces with armoured and
mechanized units and powerful artillery support. The use of short-acting agents is not
to be excluded.
In terms of the foregoing, the threat for specific parts of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
can conditionally be determined in three degrees.
The zone of the first degree of threat includes the following:
- settlements in the zone between the current lines of disengagement (the so-called
buffer zone);
- border settlements and settlements up to 10 km from the current line of
disengagement;
- settlements in the wider zone of the mentioned tactical lines.
Towns at particular risk include Drniš, Benkovac, Obrovac, Teslingrad, Plaški, Slunj,
Petrinja and Pakrac.
If air raids are expected, the following towns in this zone would also be threatened: Knin,
Gračac, Udbina, Korenica, Vojnić, Vrginmost, Glina, Kostajnica, Okučani, Beli Manastir
and Vukovar.
The zone of the second degree of threat comprises settlements up to 20 km from the
line of disengagement and settlements between the wider zones of tactical action. They
would be at risk in case of successful initial actions by hostile forces along specific tactical
lines and artillery engagement.
The zone of the third, the lowest degree of threat includes small enclaves between tactical
lines linked with peripheral parts deep in the territory. The wider area of Srb - Donji
Lapac is of the greatest importance in this zone.
In the event of concurrent Muslim action, the threat in this zone would increase
considerably and the part along the line of contact with the Cazin area would become a
first degree zone.
3. Assessment of the consequences of hostile action
The consequences, effects of destruction and human and material losses are assessed in
terms of the type, quantity and use of weapons, and depend on the following:
298

- the degree of territory vulnerability in the combat area;
- functioning of the observation and information services, and timely alarming of the
population;
- degree of shelter completion;
- preventive protection measures.
The most intensive action and the largest quantity of weapons will be focused on
settlements in the zone of the first threat degree and along the approved tactical lines of
assault.
The consequences of artillery and aircraft action will involve the following:
- destruction, knocking out or damage of industrial, traffic, residential and other
facilities;
- congestion of traffic facilities, particularly in larger urban settlements - towns;
- damage of public utilities, plants and installations (water supply facilities, pumping
stations and storage reservoirs; water supply, sewage, power, postal, telephone and
telegraph networks);
- fires of varying scope in residential and industrial facilities; fires set by incendiary
weapons in woods and crops;
- blasting and torching of facilities in parts of the territory possibly taken by the enemy,
including the destruction of cultural and material goods.
The extent of destruction, knocking out or damage of residential buildings in the zone
of most intensive action (peripheral villages and towns) may reach 80%, with 20-40% of
units sustaining damage preventing their use.
Air raids against towns can be expected to cause a 5-15% rate of destruction of up to 5%
of affected residential units, possible damage or knocking out of vital public utilities, and
considerable damage of the municipal infrastructure.
The town streets would be congested and according to estimates a maximum of about
20% would be rendered unserviceable because of caving-in. Considerable damage would
also be wrought on industrial facilities, food warehouses, silos and reservoirs.
The destruction of facilities/buildings will regularly be associated with a number of small
fires (non-extinguished burners, ranges etc., burning electrical installations), some of
which may develop into major fires depending on timely intervention and the quantity
of inflammable material present on the site of the fire. Larger fires are more likely if
incendiary weapons are used, or if petrol stations or inflammable material storage
facilities catch fire.
Experience acquired during previous actions by the Croatian army and occupation of the
Republic of Serbian Krajina warrants the conclusion that the possibly occupied places
will be totally destroyed.
The population will suffer owing to the use of various weapons. A higher number of
casualties among the population can be expected because of
- lack of basic shelters;
- inadequate number of auxiliary shelters, cellars and other suitable facilities;
- delayed warning (no automatic activation of alarm sirens; limited time of seeking
refuge in shelters);
299

- inadequate preparation and equipping of the population for personal and mutual
protection.
In view of the foregoing, the following consequences for the population are estimated:
In the zones of intensive action (peripheral settlements, wider areas of tactical lines of
assault), 3-5% killed and 10-15% lightly and severely injured. Injuries may involve first
and second degree burns.
Because of the greater concentration of population, higher building density and, as a
rule, higher fire risk, casualties in towns - possible air raid targets - could amount to
5-10% lightly and 20% severely injured, out of whom up to 5% with first, second and
third degree burns.
Depending on the features of the settlement/town, building density and type, and floor
number, part of the population would also be buried under ruins: according to estimates,
about 15% would be shallowly, 10% moderately and up to 5% deeply buried.
In the zones of a second threat degree the consequences would amount to 20-40%
of those in the first degree zones, while third degree zones would not, conditionally
speaking, sustain any consequences.
It has already been mentioned that settlements possibly taken by the enemy would be
totally destroyed. Accordingly, and on the basis of previous experience, mass killings
can be expected along with, to a smaller extent, arrests and detention of the remaining
population.
In addition to these consequences, the population will also be at risk because of the
following:
- Munitions and explosives of concern (unexploded ordnance) such as artillery shells,
aerial bombs etc.. Their number can be estimated at 5% of the total.
- Since residential buildings will be damaged and ruined, part of the population will
be left roofless. Along with the current 120,000 refugees and displaced persons, and
possible future relocation of the population through organized and planned evacuation
or self-initiated departure from the zone of intensive action, this will make relief of the
population a much more complex mission.
- The declining standard of living and living conditions, lack of products for personal
and general hygiene and extensive migration will further aggravate the already poor
hygiene-epidemiological situation.
The situation will also deteriorate because of difficulties or complete breakdown of water
supply due to the destruction of water supply facilities, damage on the water supply and
power network, and possible spills of fecal water. Such conditions will favour the spread
of infectious diseases and epidemics.
The damage or burning of certain industrial facilities containing hazardous material can
lead to chemical accidents posing a particular risk for the population.
Every municipality needs to determine such facilities and the types of hazardous materials
liable to develop and propagate in specific circumstances, prepare special estimates
300

of risk in specific weather, and plan the measures and procedures for protection and
mitigation of possible consequences.
Livestock and crops, and products therefrom, will be particularly jeopardized. Livestock
diseases (zoonoses) are likely to develop in such conditions. Therefore, particular care
is required in protecting animals, foodstuffs of animal origin, and crops and plant
products.
The overall consequences will become additionally serious if combined with natural
disasters such as earthquakes, floods or drought. They would further complicate
protection and rescue operations.
Therefore, every municipality also needs to prepare appropriate protection assessments
and plans for specific natural disasters liable to affect it.
II ASSESSMENT OF NEEDS AND POSSIBLE PROTECTION AND RESCUE OPERATIONS
1. Preparation and organization of personal and mutual protection
Out of the total population (430,000), 60% or 260,000 are able-bodied. If about 20%
of the total can be engaged in SVK and MUP units, agencies and services, and about
5% (110,000) in civil defence, this leaves about 150,000 persons who can be organized,
prepared and trained for personal and mutual protection measures.
Even if part of the population has attended earlier training courses for general purpose
or specialized civil defence units, and first aid courses (school programmes, drivers
etc.), the population is not adequately prepared for personal and mutual protection. The
possible involvement of the population in implementing personal and mutual protection
is hampered by the lack of standard personal and collective protection equipment.
Owing to this degree of preparation and equipment, the population can be employed for
preventive measures such as guiding people to shelters, blacking out and fire protection,
and use of materials and equipment available at hand for first-aid (personal and mutual),
fighting initial and small fires, rescuing shallowly buried people and general care. Wellorganized personal and mutual protection along with well-trained civil defence wardens
can mitigate the overall consequences by about 40%.
2. Organization and functioning of protection and rescue measures - needs and
possibilities
About 490,000 shelter places would have to be provided, out of which:
- in residential areas
- in companies and institutions (including kindergartens and schools)
- in public areas

340,000
105,000
45,000

With respect to the estimated zones at risk and the degree of protection offered by specific
shelter facilities, the population will require
301

- 120,000 places in basic protection shelters;
- 170,000 places in auxiliary protection shelters;
- 200,000 places in trench shelters.
The already built shelters do not meet the requirements. However, cellar and other
premises matching needs can also be used extensively in addition to the limited number
of basic and auxiliary protection shelters. Such facilities could cover about 60% of the
requirements. Solutions for the remaining population need to be sought in transferring
population to less threatened parts in which trench shelters would be provided.
The possibilities for providing trench shelters are minimal because of limited availability
of construction machinery, shelter decks and fuel. The problem is particularly pronounced
in peripheral settlements where the availability or non-availability of shelter facilities
may affect the decision of the population whether to stay or leave.
The evacuation of the population needs to be planned from the zones affected by the first
degree of threat, and especially from peripheral settlements and places along a specific
tactical line of action.
Evacuation plans need to include pregnant women, women with children up to ten years
of age, and elderly, sick and infirm persons.
In larger towns which can be air raid targets evacuation should cover part of the above
mentioned evacuation-eligible persons for whom at least auxiliary shelter facilities
cannot be provided.
The general position is that the population should leave the settlements, borderland
ones, in particular, only in cases of immediate danger. Accordingly, evacuation plans
must exclude timely evacuation.
This also means that the sending of transport means to settlements from which evacuation
is envisioned can be planned only in extremely favourable circumstances.
This principle, i.e., evacuation only in specific, well-assessed situations and on decision
of responsible bodies, means that the material required for evacuation (especially fuel)
must be secured in time and made available to civil defence headquarters and officers,
or even vehicle owners.
The evacuees need to be quartered in less jeopardized zones. The quarters must be
prepared in detail in due time, and basic necessities for the evacuees provided.
In addition to citizens these activities need to involve companies and organizations
in industry, health care, municipal services, construction, factory&office canteens,
humanitarian organizations and societies, educational institutions, etc.
In addition to planned and organized evacuation, in some situations the population
will leave on their own initiative. Such situations require appropriate panic-prevention
measures, and the population needs to be directed to places intended for reception and
relocation.
When planning relief of the affected population the needs should be assessed in terms of
the degree of destruction or unhabitability of residential buildings as follows:
- 20-40% in the areas of most intensive action;
- up to 5% in towns subject to air-raids.
302

Accommodation possibilities need to be examined in terms of the place of residence or
adjacent settlements. Maximum use needs to be made of the citizens’ residential space
and material goods, and public facilities along with planning and preparing special
locations. Preparation must be detailed (including inspections of households and their
potential and identifying appropriate solutions in cooperation with local authorities).
This is required because the number of affected persons - population to be evacuated
and the existing 120,000 refugees and displaced persons - may exceed 50% of the total
population. Companies, authorities and organizations need to be involved in the overall
relief of evacuees.
Possible air-raids call for blackout in order to reduce bombing efficiency.
Auxiliary power sources need to be provided by electric power producing and distribution
companies and through internal power sources (for companies which cannot stop
production in spite of total blackout), while strictly observing this protection measure.
Apart from short-acting agents, this assessment does not foresee the use of other, nuclear/
chemical/biological weapons. Attention is drawn nevertheless to the need for specific
radiological-chemical-biological protection. This need will be particularly pronounced in
municipalities threatened by possible chemical accidents as well as municipalities likely
to feel the effect of such accidents.
This protection and rescue measure requires in particular the planning of
- chemical and biological control (reconnaissance) of the territory;
- laboratory analyses;
- personal and collective protection measures;
- protection of animals and foodstuffs of animal origin;
- DDDD69 measures.
All these measures include the check-up of equipment and resources for their
implementation.
In such conditions, no special preventive protection is possible from destruction. Instead,
special units need to be organized for rescue from ruins and for the clearing of ruins.
Fire protection measures in both preventive and operational terms are particularly
important because of the fire load of specific buildings and spaces, possible fire breakout
and propagation and, especially, in cases where incendiary weapons are used. Considering
the relatively limited possibility to organize fire-fighting units because of the small
number of professional and voluntary firemen, and properly trained persons, the small
number and obsolescence of fire-fighting engines, equipment and fire extinguishing
agents, particular attention needs to be paid to fire prevention measures. They include,
conditionally, the storage of inflammable and explosive materials in residential, industrial
and other buildings, the removal of unnecessary inflammable materials from cellars
and attics, provision of barrels filled with soil and water reserves, regular filling and
maintenance of fire-extinguishing equipment, and preventive operations in forests. All
these steps can be implemented by citizens through personal and mutual protection,

69

Decontamination

303

specific services and employees in companies, MUP inspection services, and firemen members of professional and volunteer fire departments.
Protection from unexploded ordnance is to be organized by informing the population
about the procedures to be followed when coming across unexploded ordnance and by
forming detection, inactivation and destruction units.
Depending on the assessment of needs, the provision of first medical aid may require
considerable resources. This can be done through self-help and mutual help within
the scope of personal and mutual protection, and by general protection civil defence
units, specialized emergency medical units, Red Cross first-aid units and health care
organizations.
The scope of emergency medical aid could be limited because of the shortage of
medical supplies and equipment, and solutions need to be found in the use of auxiliary
resources.
All available efforts and resources are required in the rescue and protection of animals and
foodstuff of animal origin because of possible livestock risks and diseases. This includes
livestock owners, veterinary companies and services, livestock breeding companies,
slaughterhouses and companies engaged in the protection and storage of foodstuffs of
animal origin.
Crops and plant products (720,000 of arable area and about 540,000 hectares of forests)
will need protection in terms of protective agents, hailstorm protection and other forms
of protection, especially regarding plant products.
The assessment and the number of the people and animals killed, their identification,
transport and burial, the removal of waste and other hazardous materials along with
decontamination will determine the sanitization requirements.
These protection measures, focused on preventing the spread of infectious diseases,
epidemics and other consequences, will demand the involvement of municipal services,
construction and transport companies, health care and veterinarian institutions. If they
should fall short of the needs, civil defence and sanitization units can be included.
According to estimates, the organization and implementation of protection and rescue
measures can mitigate overall consequences by 20-25%.
3. Needs and possibilities in the organization of civil defence units and agencies for the
management of protection and rescue actions
The described consequences and the assessment of the possible threat for the population
and material goods draw attention to the necessary implementation of preventive
protection measures and operational protection and rescue actions. In addition to
companies and other entities equipped and qualified for protection and rescue the
implementation of operational measures will require the organization of civil defence
units and bodies for the management of protection and rescue actions.
As shown in the preceding assessments of the needs and possibilities, personal and
mutual protection (along with efficient civil defence wardens) can help to mitigate overall
consequences by about 40%, and the organization and implementation of protection and
304

rescue measures by about 20-25%. The remaining 35-40% need to be dealt with by the
organization of civil defence units.
The prospects of organizing and manning civil defence units and headquarters are
realistic if they would require the involvement of about 5% of the population, i.e., slightly
in excess of 20,000 able-bodied persons, taking due account of the requirements of the
SVK, MUP, republican bodies and organizations, local government bodies, companies
and other legal entities. Manning problems can occur with respect to units requiring
mentally and physically healthy persons, i.e., conscripts (units for rescue from ruins,
fire-fighting units, units for radiological-chemical-biological protection, and units for
the inactivation and destruction of unexploded ordnance). This problem can be resolved
by double assignment - the person involved can be under a compulsory work order and,
if required, assigned to a protection and rescue civil defence unit or supervisory body.
A similar problem can be expected in the supply of standard materiel (intended mainly
for SVK units).
Solutions need to be sought in cooperation with the respective commands and agencies
supervising persons under compulsory work orders.
Depending on the assessment of consequences, municipalities should try to organize
universal civil defence units in every settlement.
Units responsible for rescue from ruins need to be set up on the basis of the assessed
number of persons buried in ruins and of the quantity of material to be cleared or
removed from the roads or streets. Due regard should be taken of the fact that the period
of 3 days (72 hours) is the optimum time for purposeful and efficient rescue. Moreover,
rescue operations must not be interrupted but carried out on a continuous basis, i.e., in
three shifts.
The calculation of the necessary number of rescue workers is based on the conditional
time required for rescuing one person:
- shallowly buried
two hours
- moderately buried
five hours
- deeply buried
twelve hours
The calculated needs with regard to the number of rescue workers will influence the kind
and composition of the civil defence unit to be organized. In principle, universal civil
defence units will be used in the rescue of shallowly and moderately buried persons, and
specialized units for rescue from ruins in rescuing deeply buried persons. The training of
units for rescue from ruins (and ruin clearance) will depend on the availability of local
construction enterprises, municipal services or similar companies with the required
number of skilled employees (masons, carpenters, electricians, joiners, plumbers,
construction machine operators, drivers etc.) and the respective equipment and tools,
and on the number of craftsmen and other citizens who could be engaged in ruin
clearance.
The organization of radiological-chemical-biological protection units needs to be considered
primarily in terms of the consequences of a possible chemical accident in a specific
305

municipality. In other municipalities at least squad strength units will be organized with
elements for chemical reconnaissance and decontamination; laboratory facilities will be
organized separately as feasible, as well as facilities for the decontamination of persons,
materiel and weapons, clothing, equipment and specific surfaces.
Considering the possible number and magnitude of fires, in most municipalities it will
not be possible to organize civil defence fire-fighting units which would meet requirements
in terms of protection and rescue in the event of fire. Therefore, maximum use should be
made of available and trained manpower and fire-fighting equipment.
Moreover, in order to ensure timely intervention, the territory must be covered as much
as possible by universal civil defence units which can be used in fighting initial and
smaller fires.
Because of the shortage of qualified personnel and its impact on the training of units
for the inactivation and destruction of unexploded ordnance, at least one team ought
to be organized, conditionally, in every municipality. The training of such units will
depend on the availability of appropriately trained persons, mine clearance experts and
specialized members of MUP units. Such units need to be manned on a voluntary basis.
In addition to difficulties in ensuring the necessary personnel, a specific problem will
be the provision of appropriate instruments, material and equipment for discovering,
inactivating and destroying unexploded ordnance.
The training requirements for first medical aid units will be assessed on the basis of the
number of injured persons, preparation and qualification of the population for self-help
and mutual help, organization and equipment of universal units, numbers of Red Cross
first aid units and degree of development of the health care service. In the assessment
due attention needs to be paid to the fact that about 60% of the total number of injured
persons are light cases who can be dealt with through self-help, mutual help and with the
help of universal civil defence units. Medical aid for the remaining 40% more seriously
injured persons will be provided by first aid units, bearing in mind the calculation that a
team can take care of 25 seriously injured persons over a period of eight hours. Such units
will be manned by drawing on already qualified personnel and students of secondary
medical schools, possibly also by using unemployed health care workers. Other citizens
can also be called to help as stretcher-bearers, drivers etc.
Sanitation units will be formed in municipalities in which municipal services,
construction companies, health care and veterinary services are not capable, in terms
of their organization and human resources, of meeting the requirements regarding
protection and rescue measures.
Every municipality will assess on its own the needs and possibilities of organizing water
rescue units, veterinary units (for rescuing animals and saving foodstuffs of animal
origin) and, possibly, crop and plant product protection.
Depending on needs and possibilities, and on the degree of organization of the civil
defence in specific municipalities, special civil defence units can be organized at the
regional level as intervention protection and rescue forces covering specific regions.
Successful management of protection and rescue actions demands proper training for
such activities according to the following sequence:
306

- republican civil defence headquarters;
- regional civil defence staffs;
- municipal civil defence staffs;
- local civil defence units (for parts of municipalities);
- civil defence wardens in larger residential buildings, blocks, streets, settlements,
companies and other legal entities.
Appointments need to be considered with regard to the following:
- civil defence officers in the Ministry of Defence;
- expertise in specific forms of protection and rescue;
- previous experience (and training) in civil defence bodies
4. Needs and possibilities of implementing protection and rescue missions by companies
equipped and qualified for such actions
The degree of threat and the assessed consequences highlight the need for the full
engagement of companies equipped and qualified for protection and rescue, particularly
in the field of construction, municipal services, health care, veterinary services,
factory&office canteens, hotels&restaurants, fire brigades etc. Their regular activity
implies the need for their engagement in the protection and rescue of people, property
and cultural assets.
In order to ensure successful preparation, civil defence bodies covering all companies
equipped and qualified for protection and rescue will prepare specific tasks on the
basis of which these companies, depending on their resources, will plan (upscale) their
wartime job specification and carry out the necessary preparations, with the help of civil
defence bodies, in providing the necessary personnel and equipment.
The current organization of such companies falls short even of minimum requirements,
and efforts are required in order to boost their capacity and make them roadworthy for
the extensive protection and rescue missions.70
__________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 265.

70

The same assessment was adopted by the Republican Civil Defence Headquarters on 14 July 1995.

307

11
1995, 11 May
Knin
Report of the Security Department of the SVK General Staff to the Security Directorate
of the VJ General Staff on enhanced HV propaganda activities, losses sustained in the
assault on the Bihać safe area and civilian exodus from Benkovac
_________________
General SVK Staff
Security Department
Str. conf. 37-403
11 May 1995
To
Security Directorate
Daily report
1. Hostile activities:
Intensive HV propaganda continues to spread, among other things, many contradictory
information on the time and lines of attack on the RSK, which makes it very difficult to
separate genuine data from false ones. The campaign waged by the propaganda battalion
of the HV General Staff over the past dozen days has been given the highest ratings, and
they were extensively assisted by experts from the US, Germany and Austria.
2. Situation in the units and in the territory
The situation in the units with respect to morale and motivation has not changed
substantially as compared with previous reports. Rumours are still being propagated
intensively; for instance, an HDZ branch has allegedly been set up in Petrinja, with about
1,000 members, Croats and Serbs, with a Serb at its head.
In some places along the line of disengagement of the 39th corps the HV has been
broadcasting PA messages calling our troops to surrender and promising them
amnesty.
In order to prevent the leaking of secret military information the intelligence department
of the 39th corps has initiated, in cooperation with the State Security Service (SDB) and
MUP, the seizure of illegal radio stations and cellular telephones. So far 4 cellular phones
have been seized from
- D.B., entrepreneur from Glina,
- N.N., private entrepreneur from Glina,
- M.B., manager of NIK, Petrinja,
- C.D., owner of Drvoplast, Petrinja.71
71

The document lists the full names.

308

All these persons are already known to the authorities for their illicit trade and links with
persons in the Republic of Croatia.
During the action taken to recoup specific hills from the ARBiH 5th corps, SVK and VZB
[Abdić’s] units have sustained the following casualties: three killed and five wounded, and
3 killed and six wounded, respectively. Additionally, it is almost certain that the Muslims
have captured 9 men, black marketeers (now reported as missing), and 20 women.
Encouraged by their relatives and other Serbs in France, the population in Benkovac and
its surroundings is intensively preparing to leave the area for the SRJ. As reported by our
sources, over the past two weeks or so three busloads of women and children have left
for Belgrade because they are afraid of being cut off from the rest of the RSK like Western
Slavonia.
The Minđušari group, occasionally engaged in combat within special militia units, has
announced that it could break into the Ministry of Defence and arrest everybody there,
with Tanjga72 at their head, because they consider them guilty of the fall of Western
Slavonia.
Rade Čubrilo, president of the 1991 veterans’ association, known for his paramilitary
ambitions and pro-chetnik orientation, during the day intercepted SVK officers in
Knin, including major general Lončar73, and provoked them by relaying greetings from
Okučani and Western Slavonia, asking them why they were not there, what gave them
the right to receive pay in the amount of 3,000 dinars, etc.
Having heard of the incident President Martić74 ordered his arrest, but nothing has been
done until tonight and the man still walks around freely.
Members of the RSK Assembly from Western Slavonia intend to step down from the
Assembly at its first meeting because Western Slavonia does not exist any more in the
RSK. They intend to do it out of protest for the fall of Western Slavonia.
Assistant commander for
security affairs
Colonel Rade Rašeta
(stamp)75
___________________
Original, typewritten Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 6, Security Department, 37-403/1995

72

Rade
Dušan
74
Milan
75
Receipt stamp: telegram no. 177, 11 May 1995
73

309

12
1995, 30 May
Knin
Order of SVK General Staff concerning measures for the elimination of weaknesses in
the armed forces and other developments underlying the loss of territory
____________________
REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
GENERAL STAFF OF THE SERBIAN ARMY
MILITARY SECRET
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
30 May 1995
Problems in the military organization
and the elimination of negative developments
as one of the causes underlying defeat and
loss of SVK territory
Order
Our young state, the RSK, is being created at the wish of all its citizens as a guarantee of
their life in freedom.
Unfortunately, in spite of many efforts, many functions of the state have not come
alive. We are witnessing lack of unity in our leadership, poor functioning of the legal
system, black-marketeering and war profiteering. All these developments have had a
negative effect on the functioning of the command system. Weaknesses in the military
organization have demoralized both our troops and our citizens.
Owing to weaknesses in the state and in the SVK, so far the Miljevac plateau, Maslenica,
Divoselo and Western Slavonia have been lost.
In order to put an end to such unwanted developments and prevent continued threat to the
state and to the people, a number of actions have been taken, focusing on the integrated
functioning of the state and of its bodies, including the SVK, in the strengthening of our
defence.
The SVK General Staff is busy upgrading military organization. The first professional
units are being formed. We are on the way to establishing, within a short time, an army
of which our people and the Serbs worldwide will be proud.
We shall be capable of preventing and punishing every ustashi attack if we eliminate
indiscipline, black market practices, arbitrariness and abandonment of positions before
the enemy.
In line with the foregoing, and in order to eliminate all major shortcomings and
indiscipline in the SVK, I am hereby
310

ORDERING
as follows:
1. All black market traffic with hostile forces must be discontinued because we have
lost people and territory owing to such practices. Places used by black-marketeers for
the exchange of goods with the enemy must be engaged by fire as decided by the corps
commander.
2. Prevent escape during combat, uncontrolled abandonment of positions and spreading
of panic among the troops and the population. Rules of engagement must be respected
in combat. I am hereby permitting the use of firearms in preventing indiscipline.
3. Corps commanders are hereby authorized to prevent, in their zone of responsibility,
the destructive action of individuals and groups intended to weaken defence and spread
panic among the people.
4. Troops shall be duly issued ammunition, and any carousing shall be punished and
duly reported; moreover, any lack of discipline shall be punished by transfer according
to a special schedule.
5. The corps commands shall elaborate in their zones of responsibility the measures for
civil defence, and entrust municipal bodies and local communities with organizing the
withdrawal, quartering and feeding of the population (women, children and the elderly)
from areas of possible action.
6. In their conduct in and off combat all officers and non-commissioned officers need
to set an example to the troops, and see to the implementation of this order. Due steps
need to be taken against individuals failing to abide by these positions as provided for
by the order.
7. The Serbian army of the RSK shall be informed about this order after the previous
analysis of the situation in the corps and brigades, and the highlighting of specific
problems in units and zones of responsibility.
This order does not penalize past but future mistakes, and shall enter into force on 2 June
1995 at 12.00 hours.
RSK soldiers and officers, we are entering the final stage of accomplishment of our
national goals, and we can no longer allow any future loss of RSK people and territory.
The RSK is more important than any individual interest or right, and I am therefore
aware of my own responsibility and of the measures I am taking.
With trust in the Serbian fighter and his bravery, I am placing myself at the service of
my people.
The Commander
Lieutenant General Mile Mrkšić
(stamp)76

76

RSK, General Staff of the Serbian Army

311

_____________________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 6, str. conf., 30 May 1995

13
1995, 6 June
Knin
Communication of the military cabinet of the RSK president to the SVK General
Staff concerning the visit of the delegation from Obrovac which reported an alarming
military&security situation threatening to develop into a spontaneous exodus of the
population
________________________
REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
MILITARY CABINET
No. 020/8-513/2/95
Knin, 9 June 1995
SVK General Staff
Re: Official meeting with the delegation
of the Municipality of Obrovac, information
The head of the military cabinet of the president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina,
lieutenant general Milan Čeleketić, received on 8 June 1995, at the suggestion of President
Martić77, the delegation of the municipality of Obrovac including Mr. Vukčević78, mayor
of Obrovac, Mr. Macura79, member of the RSK Assembly and Mr. Dopuđ80 former
commander of the Obrovac brigade.
As reported by the mentioned gentlemen, the military&security situation in Obrovac
is alarming, and if radical and concrete steps are not taken immediately in order to
strengthen defence capability in the area, the population will start to leave either
spontaneously or in an organized fashion. We believe that their serious concern needs
to be recognized, and that the noted military organization weaknesses should be duly
analyzed.
77

Milan
Mirko
79
Lazar
80
Jovan
78

312

In this regard, we suggest that the situation in the zone of responsibility of the 4th light
infantry brigade needs to be ascertained on the spot, and that the most responsible
officers of the SVK General Staff ought to receive the Obrovac delegation, this having
been requested by the delegation.
Enclosed please find the report on the tour of the positions of the 4th light infantry brigade
in the Velebit area handed us by the members of the Obrovac delegation.
Respectfully yours,
Lieutenant Colonel
Žarko Novaković
_______________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 340

14
1995, 29 July
Knin
Order of the RSK Civil Defence Headquarters to regional civil defence staffs concerning
the implementation of evacuation and relief plans
________________________
REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
REPUBLICAN CIVIL DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS
No. nov. 01-78/95
Knin, 29 June 1995
DEFENCE
OFFICIAL SECRET
REGIONAL CIVIL
DEFENCE STAFFS
To whom it may concern
Pursuant to the Decision on the proclamation of a state of war, and in accordance with the
latest situation, the Republican Civil Defence Headquarters hereby issues the following
ORDER
1. Regional Civil Defence Staffs need to be activated immediately, a continuous tour of
duty established and, as required, some staff members kept continuously available on
call.
313

2. Municipal civil defence staffs shall be ordered to:
- organize a continuous tour of duty and staff member activity
with respect to evacuation and relief;
- update relief and evacuation plans, including the
putting of persons responsible for specific assignments on
standby;
- put organized civil defence units on standby;
- through civil defence wardens animate citizens to prepare
relief facilities and implement other measures and procedures
for personal and collective protection;
- determine the potential of enterprises considering integration
into the implementation of protection and rescue measures.
3. Monitor the situation through SVK commands and take the necessary steps.
4. Monitor the activities of municipal civil defence staffs, and offer professional and other
assistance in developing appropriate solutions.
5. Daily report all measures and activities, and possible problems, to this Headquarters
as of 30 July 1995 at 13.00 hours.
Copy to:
1. Regional civil defence staffs in Northern Dalmatia, by
messenger
2. Lika, Kordun, Banija,
Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem, by fax
3. Records, here
(stamp)81
HQ Head
Duško Babić
Memo to
1. Ministry of defence
2. Chief of the SVK General Staff
3. Prime minister
________________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 265

81

RSK, Republican Civil Defence Headquarters, Knin

314

16
1995, 31 July
Drniš
Report of the Drniš Dept. of the Ministry of Defence to the Northern Dalmatia
Directorate on measures for the preparation of evacuation
_______________________
Republic of Serbian Krajina
Municipality of Drniš
Ministry of defence
Drniš Dept.
No. str. conf. 01-10/95
Drniš, 31 July 1995
Ministry of defence
“Northern Dalmatia” Directorate
KNIN
Re: Report on steps taken with regard to the new situation
In line with the new situation, the Municipal Civil Defence Staff (MCDS) has taken the
following steps:
- Continuous duty of the MCDS has been introduced for the civil defence staff members
and employees of the Ministry of Defence Dept.
- The wardens of all local communities in the territory of the municipality of Drniš
were visited except the warden in the local community of Baljci, with whom we are in
continuous contact. We are planning to visit Baljci on 1 August 2009. We informed the
wardens about the new situation, and about the measures and steps they were supposed
to take. Particular focus was placed on shelters and evacuation related preparations.
The wardens completed their assignments and reports from all local communities
arrived at the MCDS during the day. Lists of persons envisaged for evacuation were
updated, and fuel issued in November 1994 and vehicles were checked.
Apart from problems in the town of Drniš, where two vehicles (one tractor and one
truck) were found to be malfunctioning, throughout the municipality there were no
problems either with vehicles or with fuel. The unserviceable vehicles will be replaced as
soon as possible in agreement with the manager of DP Drništrans.
- Branka Ćakić, member of the MCDS, shall organize as soon as possible a first aid
course, this being one of our top priorities.
You will be duly and timely informed about all changes.
Respectfully yours,
(stamp)82
82

RSK, Municipal Civil Defence Staff, Drniš

315

Head of the Municipal Civil
Defence staff
Ana Mirković
__________________
Original, typewritten, Latin script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 265

17
1995, 31 July
Knin
Report of the Military and Civil Affairs Sector of the RSK Ministry of Defence concerning
mobilization and bringing of the units to full wartime complement, and spontaneous
evacuation of the population after the news that Croatian forces had broken through
the defence lines at Strmica
______________________
REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
Military and Civil Affairs Sector
Official secret
Strictly confidential
No. 403-201/95
Knin, 31 July 1995
Regular daily report
1. Mobilization and wartime complement
During general public mobilization focus was placed on achieving full strength in SVK
war units with conscripts and materiel. Mobilization is carried with the assistance of
the military police and the conscripts are immediately transferred to war units. Since
there are no conscripts without specific assignments, the conscripts transferred to war
units are those who most frequently abandon the units. Between 17 July and today 2,850
conscripts were transferred from compulsory work order status to war units. By order
of the Ministry of Defence 51 employees of the Ministry were transferred to SVK war
units.
In the Knin area 30 motor vehicles are being requisitioned for the requirements of
the SVK General Staff. Also in the Knin area, 4 pack horses were requisitioned for the
requirements of the 7th Rear Base. Nine doctors have returned from specialization in the
SRJ, and will be assigned to war units and to the Sveti Sava Hospital in Knin.
316

In the Lika area mobilization is completed, and motor vehicles, tractors etc. are being
requisitioned as required by war units. Both are proceeding smoothly. In the Plaški area
6 tractors have been mobilized for the howitzer battalion. Six nurses were mobilized
for the medical unit of the Plaški brigade. Six trucks were requisitioned at Plaški for the
103rd light infantry brigade.
Kordun
Eight trucks were requisitioned for SVK requirements.
Banija
Seventeen volunteers, persons declared unfit for military service, applied to SVK units.
Second recruitment and peacetime complement
The following persons were recruited for military service:
- Northern Dalmatia
38 conscripts
- Lika
61

- Kordun
23

- Banija
68

Total
90

Civil defence
Civil defence units, staffs and wardens are updating plans for protection, rescue,
evacuation, relief and shelter. During aggression on Grahovo civil defence staffs in
Northern Dalmatia and Lika provided relief to 220 refugees.
Civil defence wardens were particularly involved in preventing movements of the
population caused by rumours.
Last night someone in Strmica spread the rumour that the ustashi had broken through
defence lines and were entering Strmica, causing panic and uncontrolled movement.
Panic was dealt with and the population remained in their homes after the timely
intervention of the head of the municipal civil defence staff in Knin and civil defence
wardens.
4. Defence preparations
Activities focused on continued downsizing of the number of persons temporarily
employed in government bodies through compulsory work orders. Thus, the persons
under compulsory work orders in the ministries include the ministers, their assistants
and one driver per ministry. Other administrative personnel are persons not eligible for
military service (women and persons unfit for combat duty).
Compulsory work order units are being formed at brigade level in order to prepare the
territory for combat operations. So far four such units, 30-50 person strong, have been
established in the Knin area.
317

5. Surveillance and reporting service
The service monitors the situation on the front, on land and in the air space, and is on
alert status in order to inform the population about imminent danger and respond to
orders by competent officials.
Copy to:
- Ministry records
- Ministry of defence
- SVK General staff, general Sekulić
ASSISTANT MINISTER
Colonel Duško Babić
___________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 291

18
1995, 2 August
Knin
The RSK Republican Civil Defence Headquarters requests from the regional staffs
reports on the implementation of civil defence plans, evacuation and relief
REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
REPUBLICAN CIVIL DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS
No. conf. 01-82/95
Knin, 2 August 1995
DEFENCE
OFFICIAL SECRET
CONFIDENTIAL
To
REGIONAL CIVIL DEFENCE
STAFFS
To Whom It May Concern
Pursuant to order conf. no. 01-78/95 of 29 July 1995, IMMEDIATELY, and not later than
3 August 1995 by 19.00 hours, forward r e p o r t s as follows:
1. Shelters (plan update, preparation of facilities, animation of the population).
2. Evacuation (plan update, material support, preparation of persons in charge, formation
of committees/teams for reception, distribution etc.).
318

3. Relief (accommodation facilities; provision of equipment and material, food, personal
and general hygiene agents).
4. Preparation and organization of protection and rescue steps (individually; steps taken
and organized activities including possible integration of enterprises into protection and
rescue operations).
5. Presence of hazardous materials and protection steps taken.
6. Activated protection and rescue forces, and forces on alert.
7. Problems: functioning, material supply.
Copy to:
1. “Northern Dalmatia” regional civil defence staff, by messenger
2. “Lika”, “Kordun”, “Banija”, and “Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem”, by fax
3. Records
Memo to:
1. Minister of defence
2. Chief of SVK General Staff
3. Prime minister
(stamp)83
HQ Head
Duško Babić
___________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 265

19
1995, 2 August
Order of the RSK Republican Civil Defence Headquarters to regional civil defence
staffs to proceed immediately to the implementation of evacuation plans
___________________
REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
REPUBLICAN CIVIL DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS
No. str. conf. 01-92/95
Knin, 2 August 1995
DEFENCE
OFFICIAL SECRET
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
ENCODED
83

RSK, Republican Civil Defence Headquarters

319

To
REGIONAL CIVIL DEFENCE STAFFS
To Whom It May Concern
Preparation for the evacuation
of material, cultural and other
assets
Order IMMEDIATELY, through municipal civil defence staffs, bodies and organizations,
enterprises and other juridical persons, the implementation of preparations for the
evacuation of
- material assets,
- archives, civil registers, records and confidential papers,
- movable cultural assets,
- money, securities and respective records.
In preparing evacuation the responsible entities are required to
- prepare lists - reviews of material assets in terms of type and
quantity, and prepare such assets for evacuation;
- determine the sites - facilities for their storage on the
new location (in cooperation with Ministry of Defence
directorates and departments);
- provide vehicles for transport (if short of requirements,
try to obtain vehicles through Ministry of Defence bodies);
- form (un)loading teams;
- form commissions responsible for implementation.
As a rule, the evacuation of material assets should not be carried out simultaneously with
the evacuation of specific categories of the population (if ordered in time), exception
being made for articles, means and equipment used for relief purposes.
The course of preparations must be reported daily to this Headquarters starting from 4
August 1995 by 20.00 hours.
HQ Head
Duško Babić
(stamp)84
Copy to:
1. “Northern Dalmatia” regional civil defence
staff, by messenger
2. Regional civil defence staffs “Lika”,
“Kordun”, “Banija” and “Eastern
84

ibid.

320

Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem”,
encoded
3. Records
Memo to:
1. Minister of defence
2. Chief of SVK General Staff
3. Prime minister
____________________
Original, typewritten, Cyrillic script
HR-HMDCDR, 2, box 265

21
1995, 3 August
Knin
Daily report of the Security Dept. of the SVK General Staff to the Security Directorate
of the VJ General Staff concerning the request of the General Staff to have the SVK air
force bombard Split because of the attack on Drvar, the spreading of rumours about the
HV attack on the RSK, the situation in SVK units, the situation in the Grahovo-Glamoč
theatre, and prevailing public opinion that the SVK could not defend itself, and that it
would be better for the people to move out than to become encircled and perish.
SVK GENERAL STAFF
Security Department
Str. conf. no. 37-616
3 August 1995
Daily report to:
SECURITY DIRECTORATE OF THE VJ GENERAL STAFF
Att. General A.85 Dimitrijević
During the day our units have kept their positions, with the engagement of the air force
and artillery, and there has been no major shift of the front line from Mandići - Dubrave
- Mount Brežine - Koščica hill - Ograci hill - Javorov Vrh - Veliki Mračaj- Mali Mračaj Javorova Glava - Samar, - Igla - Bezdan - Grgić - Suvi Vrh - Dinara- Razvale -Unište - the
large cave right.
During the day the chief of the SVK General Staff visited the forward command post of
the VRS General Staff in order to arrange cooperation and further offensive action at
85

Aleksandar

321

Grahovo - Livanjsko Polje. Specific tasks were agreed, but we do not know when they
will be accomplished because the impression is that in the western part the RS has hardly
any forces capable of offensive action. The VRS is concealing this fact. At the meeting
of the chief of the SVK General Staff at the forward command post of the VRS General
Staff the SVK was requested to carry out air raids on Split as a reprisal for the shelling if
Drvar.
During the meeting the SVK was also blamed for the fall of Grahovo and Glamoč.
1. Foreign factor
The analysis of information obtained from different sources on HV aggression on the
SVK warrants the following conclusions.
The Croatian Intelligence Service or Western intelligence services (certainly within the
scope of their global policy towards Krajina) have been spreading, several times a day
and from different sources, misinformation about the unconditional HV aggression on
the RSK.
As established, more than 80% of misinformation has been spread through UNPROFOR,
in most cases through liaison officers or friends, always taking into account that such
misinformation should reach the highest levels (brigade and corps commanders, and
senior officers in the SVK General Staff ). False and misinforming written material was
given to persons believed that they would pass it on to such officers.
The second category of sources used by foreign intelligence services to launch
misinformation were telephone communications between intelligence agencies and the
republican state security officers abroad.
The third channel used by the Croatian Intelligence Service were radio communications
intercepted and recorded by the radio tapping service.
The fourth group of misinformation - or half-truths - includes data obtained from sources
sent by different services to the Republic of Croatia or the 5th Corps, not qualified for
proper appraisal of what they saw or heard.
Finally, intelligence services in the units do not function at all, and our units do not have
any tactical depth information about hostile forces and do not monitor the situation.
The foregoing considerations obviously show how realistic and timely are the decisions
made from the highest down to the lowest echelon.
Yesterday (2 August) the European Community RC and teams in the RSK were ordered
by the UN High Command in Zagreb to establish the following:
- Air raids on Mount Dinara and facilities in the Grahovo area: did the planes take off
from the Udbina airstrip or from Mahovljani near Banja Luka? If from Udbina, are the
planes and pilots from the air force of Republika Srpska?
- Number of SVK troops killed and wounded? On which sites and where are they taken
care of? Can the ICRC visit them and talk to them?
- Artillery and rocket positions? Did the VRS take part in artillery support?
- Response of the military and state leadership to the negotiations in Geneva? What is
the response of the citizens?
322

2. Situation in the units
After the proclamation of the state of war, alcohol abuse among the troops is on the
rise, resulting in ever more frequent injuries, killings, verbal and physical quarrels,
obstruction of commands and serious disruption of combat readiness.
After the decision of the SVK High Command to launch an offensive at Grahovo
- Livanjsko Polje, parts of the Special Unit Corps, MUP units and part of the special
“Captain Dragan’s”86 unit were committed to the operation. In our assessment, the units
did not accomplish the mission; the authority of certain persons had to be saved and,
accordingly, the units were withdrawn from action.
The fact is that the 2nd brigade under the command of “colonel” MILOŠ CVJETIČANIN
did not accomplish the mission except some minor operations of no significance for
further action. MUP units which were included into the Special Unit Corps after the
“Vidovdan [St. Vitus] parade” not only failed to accomplish their mission but even
abandoned their positions. They were returned to their positions but refused to remain
within the Special Unit Corps. “Captain Dragan”, supposed to be responsible for deep
reconnaissance of enemy deployment, reconnoitred instead the positions of our forces.
What is only true is that military police units at all levels, including the military police
battalion, are fighting properly, with no hesitation or fear, and have not abandoned a
single position.
In connection with the current situation the commander has made the following
moves:
On 2 August he recalled “general” Stupar from the Grahovo theatre, formed a strategic
reserve out of the uncommitted forces of the Special Unit Corps and attached units in
Kordun.
During the day the 2nd brigade was pulled out of combat and redeployed to Bruvno
(municipality of Gračac) to be in readiness for “special action” in all directions.
During the day “captain Dragan” left the SVK, disgruntled because he had requested to be
appointed commander of the 92dn motorized brigade of the 7th Corps and promised that
he would bring it to full combat readiness within a month. When the SVK commander
disagreed, Dragan demonstratively left Krajina.
Let me note that “captain Dragan” was ‘nominated’ commander of the 92nd brigade by the
Republican State Security Service of Serbia (MILAN KNEŽEVIĆ, aka “Nedo”) because
they persistently tried to present the current commander of the 92nd motorized brigade,
lieutenant colonel JANKO ĐURICA, as incapable of commanding the unit.
This has become a fairly complex internal problem with, so far, an uncertain outcome.
If our internal political and the external environments are added, the case is more than
serious.
As reliably verified there is other than lip service no practical cooperation with the VRS.
Untruths and lies are paid with human lives.
As offensive operations against the 5th Corps have come to a standstill, illicit trade is
flourishing and threatens to assume uncontrollable dimensions.

86

Dragan Vasiljković

323

The security system at all levels is geared to the same function as the leadership and
command system. However, in spite of all problems, the counterintelligence service is
functioning and unity within the service is still at a high level.
An attempt to disrupt the system was made in the Special Unit Corps and in the 15th
Corps. Lieutenant colonel PETAR BORIĆ has totally identified himself with “general”
STEVO ŠEVO, who has no tolerance for the security service. Together they often exert
pressure on specific security departments and brigades. However, the counterintelligence
service has remained functional thanks exclusively to the sound, professional and
responsible efforts of the 15th Corps security department (captain POTKONJAK and
lieutenant LONČAR), with whom I am in continuous contact.
Ref.; your information str. conf. no. 33-226 of 26 July 1995.87
The sum of 37,000 DEM is mentioned on page three (3), paragraph four. Additionally
we received the information that the sum involved was 190,000 DEM, which he received
subsequently.
3. Situation in the territory
On 3 August 1995 the impression was gained, in contact with citizens, of elements of
panic, although still controlled. Citizens are mainly accusing the authorities, i.e., the
political leaders of the SVK, and believe that the situation is due to their carelessness and
negligence. They hope that we have not been betrayed and believe, as the last resort, that
the SRJ will help.
Furthermore, citizens think that we are not able to defend ourselves and that, if no
substantial help is provided by the SRJ, it is better for the people to move elsewhere
rather than to be encircled and perish.
According to reliable information received during the day, RSK prime minister M.88
Babić told the ministers to pack up and be ready for moving to Donji Lapac. He asked
Nikola Štrbac, secretary of the government, whether he was sure that those in Knin
would defend Knin in the event of an attack. Štrbac replied that he (Babić) should know
the answer having spent some time there. Babić did not continue the conversation on
the subject.
ASSISTANT COMMANDER
for security affairs
Colonel Rade Rašeta
(stamp)89
____________________
Copy, typewritten, Latin script
Copy in possession of the editor
87

See Appendix II, doc. no. 35.
Milan
89
text illegible
88

324

22
1995, 4 August
Knin
Decision of the RSK Supreme Defence Council on the evacuation of the population
from the municipalities of Benkovac, Obrovac, Drniš, Gračac and Knin to Srb and
Lapac
_________________________
REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA
SUPREME DEFENCE COUNCIL
Knin, 4 August 1995
16.45 hours
No. 2-3113-1/95
Because of the new situation caused by the open general aggression of the Republic of
Croatia on the Republic of Serbian Krajina, and after the first, initial defence success, a
large part of Northern Dalmatia and part of Lika are threatened. Accordingly,
WE HAVE DECIDED
1. to proceed with planned evacuation of all persons unfit for combat from the
municipalities of Knin, Benkovac, Obrovac, Drniš and Gračac;
2. to implement evacuation according to prepared plans and routed from Knin via Otrić
towards Srb and Lapac;
3. request assistance from the UNPROFOR Command, Sector South, with headquarters
in Knin.
Knin, 4 August 1995
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
Mile Martić
90
(stamp)
CERTIFIED IN THE SVK GENERAL STAFF at 17.20 hours and filed under the above
number.
___________________________
Žrtve agresije Hrvatske vojske na Republiku Srpsku Krajinu - Sjeverna Dalmacija, Lika,
Banija i Kordun (Oluja) - avgust 1995 (Victims of the aggression of the Croatian Army
on the Republic of Serbian Krajina - Northern Dalmatia, Lika Banija and Kordun /
Storm/ - August 1995); published by Savo Štrbac, edited by Jovo Rašković; www.veritas.
org.you/srpski/publikacije.htm

90

RSK, General Staff of the Serbian Army

325

326

APPENDIX 4
PLAN OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PEACEFUL
REINTEGRATION OF OCCUPIED CROATIAN TERRITORIES
INTO THE CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL SYSTEM
OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA,
EARLY 1995

327

328

1
18 January 1995
“PLAN Z-4”
DRAFT AGREEMENT ON KRAJINA,
SLAVONIA, SOUTHERN BARANJA
AND WESTERN SIRMIUM
Part One
CONSTITUTIONAL AGREEMENT ON THE KRAJINA
I

Establishment of the Serbian Krajina
I.1
I.2
I.3
I.4
I.5

II

Boundaries
Applicability of Laws and Governmental Acts
Flags and Emblems
Language
Domicile
Division of Governmental Responsibilities between the Central and
Krajina Governments in respect of Krajina

II.1
II.2
II.3
II.4
III

General Division
International Agreements and Representation
Currency
Taxation
Structure of the Krajina Government

III.1
III.2
III.3
III.4
III.5
IV

Legislature
President
Courts
Independence of Officials
Transitional Arrangements
Participation of Krajina in the Central
Government

IV.1
IV.2
V

Elections
Appointments to Central Government Offices
Demilitarization

V.1
V.2

Demilitarization of Krajina
Border with Bosnia and Herzegovina
329

VI

Police Forces in Krajina
VI.1
VI.2

Regular Police
Border Police

Part Two
ARRANGEMENTS CONCERNING SLAVONIA, SOUTHERN BARANJA, WESTERN
SIRMIUM AND OTHER AREAS
VII
VII.1
VIII
VIII.1
VIII 2
VIII.3
IX

Governance
General
Transitional Provisions
International Forces and Monitors
Demilitarization
Monitoring of Police
Special Governance and Power-Sharing for Eastern Slavonia, Southern
Baranja and Western Sirmium

IX.1
IX.2
X

Special Governance
Power-Sharing
Police Forces

X.1

Composition and Weapons

Part Three
COMMON PROVISIONS
XI

Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
XI.1
XI.2
XI.3
XI.4
XI.5
XI.6
XI.7
XI.8

XII
XII.1
330

General
Return of Refugees and Displaced Persons
Citizenship
Restoration of or Compensation for Lost Property
Compliance of Governmental Organs
Human Rights Treaties
Human Rights Court
Ombudsmen
Self-Government and Administration of Areas with Minority Populations
Minority Populations Areas

XII.2
XII.3
XIII

Boundaries of Minority Population Areas
Provisions Governing Minority Population Areas
Special Constitutional Court for Krajina and Part Two Areas

XIII.1
XIII.2
XIV

Establishment, Competence and Procedures
Composition
Prosecutions Relating to Present Conflict

XIV.1
XIV.2
XV

Domestic Prosecution
International Prosecution
Amendment of Constitution and Laws of Croatia

XV.1
XV.2
XVI

Adoption of Amendments
Further Changes in Amendments
Indivisibility of Croatia

XVI.1
XVII

No Change Intended
Final Clauses

XVII.1
XVII.2

Entry into Force and Implementation
Languages

Annexes
A

Boundaries:
1. Of Krajina
2. Of the Eastern Area

B

List of International Human Rights Instruments to be
Incorporated into the Present Agreement

C

Composition and Competence of the Human Rights Court of Croatia

D

Initial Appointment and Functions of the Ombudsmen

E

Texts of Agreed Amendments to the Croatian Constitution and of
Legislation to implement the present Agreement

F

Transitional Governance of the Eastern Area
331

DRAFT AGREEMENT ON KRAJINA, SLAVONIA, SOUTHERN BARANJA
AND WESTERN SIRMIUM

The representatives of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the representatives
of the Entity designated as the Republika Srpska Krajina (RSK)
Hereby agree as follows:

PART ONE:
CONSTITUTIONAL AGREEMENT ON KRAJINA
Chapter I Establishment of the Serbian Krajina
Article I: 1 Boundaries
1. There shall be established the autonomous Serbian Krajina (herein referred to as „
Krajina“), to consist of the territory indicated on Map 1 in Annex A1.91 [1This territory
will be a single continuous territory comprising the Serb majority areas of the United Nations
Protected Areas (UNPAs) Sectors North and South, as defined in the 1001 census, with due
consideration to geographic and economic factors.]

2. At any time after the entry into force of the present Agreement, the boundaries of Krajina
may be changed by agreement between the Government of the Republic of Croatia (to
be reflected in appropriate legislation) and the Legislature of Krajina. During a period
of six months from the entry into force of the present Agreement, the Implementation
Commission provided for in paragraph 2 of Article XVII.1 is empowered to change the
boundaries for a distance not exceeding two kilometers from their location in accordance
with Map 1 in Annex A, provided that it acts by consensus after hearing representatives
of the Governments of the Republic of Croatia and of Krajina.
3. There shall be no border controls at boundaries between Krajina and other parts of
the Republic of Croatia.

Article I.2 Applicability of Laws and Governmental Acts
1. Laws adopted by the Croatian Sabor shall apply in Krajina only to the extent that
they fall within the exclusive responsibility of the Central Government as specified in
paragraph 1 of Article II.1 or are delegated to the Government pursuant to paragraph 3
of that Article, or they are approved by the Legislature of Krajina.

91

Notes which are integral parts of documents are given in square brackets

332

2. The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia and any laws applicable to Krajina in
accordance with paragraph 1 shall be faithfully enforced and applied by the competent
organs of the Krajina Government.
3. All actions taken by a competent governmental authority of the Republic of Croatia
shall be accepted as valid by the competent governmental authorities of Krajina, and
all actions taken by a competent governmental authority of Krajina shall be accepted as
valid by the governmental authorities of the Republic of Croatia.
Article I.3 Flags and Emblems
1. Krajina may adopt its own emblem and flag, which may be displayed on its territory,
including at all its boundaries, in accordance with laws adopted by the Legislature of
Krajina.
2. The flag and emblem of the Republic of Croatia may be displayed within Krajina
on or at premises occupied by institutions of the Croatian Government, as well as at
international borders.
3. Individuals within any part of the Republic of Croatia shall be free to display the
emblem and flag of the Republic of Croatia and of Krajina.
Article I.4 Language
The Legislature of Krajina may provide for the use of the Serbian language and the
Cyrillic script, provided that the interests of minorities in Krajina are duly protected in
accordance with chapter XI.
Article I.5 Domicile
Any citizen of the Republic of Croatia who is domiciled in Krajina shall be entitled to
receive from the Krajina Government documentation recording such domicile, to be
issued in accordance with regulations agreed to with the Government of the Republic
of Croatia.

Chapter II Division of Governmental Responsibilities between the Central and Krajina
Governments in respect of Krajina
Article II.1 General Division
1. The Government of the Republic of Croatia (herein sometimes the „Central
Government“) shall in respect of Krajina have exclusive responsibility for the following,
except as otherwise specified in or allowed by the present Agreement:
(a) Conducting foreign affairs, taking into account
Article II.2;
333

(b) The defence of the Republic of Croatia against
external threats;
(c) Citizenship of the Republic of Croatia, subject to
Article XI.3;
(d) Regulating, provided that Krajina shall not be
treated less favourably than other parts of
Croatia:
(i) international commerce, including customs;
(ii) domestic trade across the boundaries of Krajina, including the use of
principal road arteries and the railroads;
(iii) finance;
(iv) intellectual property;
(v) product standards;
(vi) communications;
(e) Issuing and regulating currency, subject to Article II.3;
(f) Allocating electronic frequencies for radio, television and other purposes,
provided that there shall be allocated to Krajina at least as many frequencies
as it currently uses as well as for least one television station.
(g) postal activities;
(h) protecting the environment, except to the extent that there are no impacts
beyond the boundaries of the Krajina.
2. The Government of Krajina shall have all responsibilities with respect to Krajina that
are not covered by paragraph 1 above, and in particular the following, except as otherwise
specified in or allowed by the present Agreement:
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)
(g)
(h)
(i)
(j)
(k)
(l)
(m)
(n)
(o)
(p)
(q)
334

Education;
Culture;
Housing;
Public services;
Business;
Charitable activities;
Energy;
Local land use;
Protection of the environment of Krajina, subject to subparagraph 1 (h);
Natural resources;
Radio and television;
Social welfare;
Tourism;
Certificates of Domicile in Krajina, subject to Article I.5;
Creation of corporations and other juridical persons;
Police, subject to Chapter VI;
Taxation, subject to Article II.4.

3. The Central and the Krajina Governments may agree to delegate to each other other or
to administer jointly or in a coordinated manner any of their respective responsibilities.
They may establish joint commissions for this purpose.
Article II.2 International Agreements and Representation
1. The Government of Krajina may enter into agreements relating to education, culture,
charitable activities, radio and television, and tourism with other entities or states with
predominantly Serb populations and may enter into trade and business agreements with
such entities or states subject to subparagraphs 1(d) (i-ii) of Article II.1, provided any
such agreements are not inconsistent with the interests of the Republic of Croatia.
2. The Government of Krajina may enter into other international agreements with
the approval of the Central Government; which approval shall not be withheld
unreasonably.
3. The Government of Krajina may send representatives to states and international
organizations.
Article II.3 Currency
1. The Central Bank of Croatia shall issue special currency (notes and coins) for Krajina,
whose value shall be on par with the currency it issues for the rest of the Republic of
Croatia and whose designation and design shall be determined by the Government of
Krajina.
2. Banks and other financial institutions throughout the Republic of Croatia shall be
required to accept both forms of currency issued by the Central Bank of Croatia. Legal
tender for payments due within Krajina shall be the currency issued for Krajina, and
for payments due within other parts of Croatia shall be the other currency issued by the
Central Bank. Individuals shall, subject to any contractual or other requirements, be free
to use either or both forms of such currency.
Article II.4 Taxation
1. The Central Government shall not impose and the Krajina Government may impose
taxes on:
(a) property located in Krajina (including estate and inheritance taxes);
(b) transactions carried out within Krajina (including sales, value added and
excise taxes)
(c) income earned within Krajina by natural persons domiciled therein
(including social insurance taxes);
(d) income earned within Krajina by juridical persons established under the
laws of the latter.
2. The Central and the Krajina Government may enter into agreements to prevent or
335

to mitigate the evasion of taxes and double taxation consequent on the provisions of
paragraph 1.
3. The Central and the Krajina Governments may enter into agreements for transferring
between them any taxing authority specified in paragraph 1 and for the corresponding
transfer of governmental responsibilities pursuant to paragraph 3 of Article II.1.

Chapter III Structure of the Krajina Government
Article III.1 Legislature
1. The Legislature of Krajina shall be elected democratically on a proportional basis, for
a period of 4 years. All citizens of the Republic of Croatia domiciled in Krajina who are
over the age of 18 may vote in elections for the Legislature and may be candidates for
seats in the Legislature.
2. The Legislature may adopt laws relating to:
(a) Matters that are within the responsibility of the Government of Krajina;
(b) The organizations and functioning of all organs of the Krajina
Government, including all necessary budgetary arrangements and
the raising of taxes required therefor.
Article III.2 President
1. The President of Krajina shall be elected democratically for a period of 5 years. All
citizens of the Republic of Croatia domiciled in Krajina who are over the age of 18 may
vote in elections for the President and may be candidates for that office.
2. The president of Krajina shall be responsible for the execution of:
(a) Those provisions of the present Agreement that are within the responsibility
of the Government of Krajina;
(b) All laws and decrees of the Central Government that are applicable to Krajina;
(c) All laws adopted by the Legislature of Krajina;
(d) All decrees promulgated by the President of Krajina.
3. The President of Krajina may promulgate decrees as authorized by laws of the Central
Government applicable to Krajina or by laws adopted by the Legislature of Krajina.
4. The President of Krajina shall appoint such Ministers as provided for in laws adopted
by the Legislature of Krajina, who shall be approved by that Legislature and shall have
duties, responsibilities and powers as provided in such laws. Any Minister may at any
time be removed by the President, and shall be so removed on a vote of no confidence by
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the Legislature. The Minister shall form the Cabinet of Krajina, which shall meet under
the chairmanship of the Minister designated by the President and shall have duties,
responsibilities and powers as provided by law or decree.
Article III.3 Courts
1. The judicial power in Krajina shall be vested in such courts of first instance and such
appellate courts as are specified in laws adopted by the Legislature of Krajina, which laws
shall specify the respective jurisdictions of these courts, as well as the salaries and other
terms of service of the Judges. The Judges of all courts of Krajina shall be nominated by
the President of Krajina and approved by a majority of the Legislature, and shall serve
until age 70 unless they resign or are removed for cause by the Judges of the same court
acting by consensus.
2. Decisions of the appellate courts of Krajina may be appealed to a special chamber
of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia whose members shall be appointed
by the President of the Special Constitutional Court from among the Judges of the
Supreme Court of Croatia and of the highest appellate court of Krajina, in consultations
with the President of the High Judiciary Council of Croatia and the President of any
corresponding body of Krajina.
Article III.4 Independence of Officials
No members or officers of the Legislature, the President, the Ministers, the Judges or any
other organs of Krajina Government shall require for their appointment the approval
of any officer or organ of the Central Government, and no such officer or organ may
remove any member, officer or official of the Krajina Government, provided that they
may be removed by the Special Constitutional Court on conviction of a crime resulting
in imprisonment.
Article III.5 Transitional Arrangements
1. The elections provided for in paragraph 1 of Articles III.1 and in paragraph 1 of
Article III.2 shall be held no later than one year from the entry into force of the present
Agreement.
2. For a transitional period until the elections referred to in paragraph 1 have been
held, but in no event for more than one year from the entry into force of the present
Agreement, the functions of the organs and officials provided for in Articles III. 1-3 shall
be performed by the corresponding organs and officials now performing such functions
in Krajina.

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Chapter IV Participation of Krajina in the Central Government
Article IV.1 Elections
1. Citizens of the Republic of Croatia who are domiciled in Krajina shall participate in the
same way as all other citizens in the selection of members of the Central Government,
including the elections to the Croatian Sabor and of the President.
2. For the purposes of elections to the Chamber of Counties of the Croatian Sabor,
Krajina shall consist of two counties, whose boundaries and designation¸2 [2Although the
Croatian term for „county“ is „županija“ the Krajina Government shall not be obliged to use the
latter term] shall be established by the Legislature of Krajina.

3. Until new elections to the Croatian Sabor, the Legislature of Krajina shall appoint ten
members to the House of Representatives of the Sabor and nine3[3 In accordance with
paragraph 2 of Article VI, Krajina will be entitled to six members of the Chamber of Counties;
the transitional arrangement here proposed would temporarily add two seats for Sector East and
one seat for Sector West.] members to the House of Counties.

4. All persons serving in either Chamber of the Croatian Sabor who declare themselves
as having Serb nationality shall constitute the Serb Caucus of the Sabor.
Article IV.2 Appointments to Central Government Offices
In appointments to any offices and posts of the Central Government, including that to
Minister and of Judges, citizens of the Republic of Croatia who are Serbs domiciled in
Krajina shall be considered on the same basis as all other citizens of Croatia, and such
domiciliaries shall be represented in such offices and posts in the same proportion as
they constitute of all citizens. At least one member of the Krajina Government shall
be named a member of the Central Government.4 [4This provision conforms to the final
paragraph of Article 18 of the Constitutional Law on Human Rights, etc. of Croatia.]

Chapter V Demilitarization
Article V.1 Demilitarization of Krajina
1. Krajina shall not establish, maintain or permit the formation of any military force.
2. The demilitarization of Krajina shall start no later than three years after the entry into
force of the present Agreement, and shall be completed no later than five years after such
entry into force. All weapons removed from Krajina shall be destroyed by or under the
supervision of UNPROFOR.
3. Except as provided in paragraph 3 of Article V.2, the military forces of the Central
Government shall not enter into any part of Krajina, except at the specific invitation of
the President of Krajina.
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Article V.2 Border with Bosnia and Herzegovina
1. The Government of the Republic of Croatia shall endeavor to enter into an agreement
with appropriate authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the demilitarization of their
mutual border.
2. Until an agreement for the demilitarization of the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina
has been concluded, the Security Council of the United Nations may decide to station
forces of the United Nations on that portion of the border that constitutes a boundary of
Krajina.5 [5It is understood that neither the Croatian Government nor that of Krajina can object
to the deployment of UN forces.] With the approval of the Governments of the Republic of
Croatia and of Krajina, the forces of other international organizations or of states may be
stationed on that portion of the border.
3. Should it not be possible to arrange for either the demilitarization of or the stationing
of any international or foreign forces on any part of the Krajina portion of the Croatian
border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Government of the Republic of Croatia may
station its military forces along such part of the border, provided that such forces shall
not be stationed more than 5 kilometers from the international border.
Chapter VI Police Forces in Krajina
Article VI.1 Regular Police
1. The police force of Krajina shall be established in accordance with laws adopted by the
Legislature of Krajina and shall be under the control of the President of Krajina through
a Minister designated by the President.
2. The ethnic composition of the police force shall reflect that of the population of
Krajina, as indicated in the 1991 census until a later country-wide census has been
completed, and any police units stationed in particular communities shall reflect the
ethnic composition of these communities.
3. The police force shall be equipped with arms and vehicles of the same or equivalent
types used by police in other parts of the Republic of Croatia.
Article VI.2 Border Police
Posts at official crossings along the border of Krajina with Bosnia and Herzegovina shall
be manned by border police of the Republic of Croatia. Patrols along that border shall be
carried out by joint units of Croatian and Krajina border police.

339

PART TWO:
ARRANGEMENTS CONCERNING SLAVONIA, SOUTHERN BARANJA,
WESTERN SIRMIUM AND OTHER AREAS
Chapter VII Governance
Article VII.1 General
All areas, except for those covered by Part One, that are under United Nations protection
pursuant to resolutions 743 (1992) and 762 (1992) of the Security Council of the United
Nations (herein the „Part Two Areas“) shall be subject to governance by the Government
of the Republic of Croatia in accordance with the provisions set out or referred to in this
Part.
Chapter VIII Transitional Provisions
Article VIII.1 International Forces and Monitors
1. Subject to decisions of the Security Council of the United Nations, or of the competent
organs of other international organizations acceptable to the Governments of the
Republic of Croatia and of Krajina, UNPROFOR or other international forces, as well
as civilian monitoring units, shall be stationed in all or parts of the Part Two Areas
for a transitional period of at least five years, for the purpose of ensuring the full and
faithful implementation of Part Two and of the applicable provisions of Part Three of the
present Agreement, as well as of the „Vance Plan“ as set out in Annex III to the SecretaryGeneral`s report to the Security Council of 11 December 1991 (S/23280).
2. The Government of the Republic of Croatia shall cooperate fully with the international
forces referred to in paragraph 1, for the purpose of facilitating the accomplishment of
their functions.
Article VIII.2 Demilitarization
1. During the transitional period specified in paragraph 1 of Article VIII.1 the Part Two
Areas shall be demilitarized, except that military forces of the Republic of Croatia may
be stationed within 5 kilometers of international borders, and may use access routes to
such borders in agreement with and under the supervision of the international forces
referred to in that paragraph 1.
2. The demilitarization of the Part Two Areas shall start no later than one month after
the entry into force of the present Agreement, and shall be completed no later than
three months after such entry into force. All weapons removed from the Areas shall be
destroyed by or under the supervision of UNPROFOR.

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Article VIII.3 Monitoring of Police
During the transitional period specified in paragraph 1 of Article VIII.1 the composition
and operations of all police forces operating in the Part Two Areas shall be monitored by
a police component of the international forces referred to in that paragraph.

Chapter IX Special Governance and Power-Sharing
for Eastern Slavonia, Southern Baranja and Western Sirmium
Article IX.1 Special Governance
1. During the first two years of the transitional period described in this parts, unless
another period is determined by the Security Council of the United Nations, Eastern
Slavonia, Southern Baranja and Western Sirmium (herein the „Eastern Area“), to
consist of the territory indicated on Map 2 in Annex A, shall subject to the approval
of the Security Council be administered by the United Nations in accordance with the
provisions of Annex F.
2. In addition to ensuring the peaceful governance of the Eastern Area and the
implementation of the transitional arrangements in this part, the special task of the
United Nations administration shall be to:
(a) Encourage and facilitate the return of persons who were forced to leave
their homes in the Eastern Area after 1 July 1991;
(b) Arrange for elections of officials and legislators who will, in accordance
with the law of the Republic of Croatia, govern or represent the Eastern
Area after the end of the special transitional period specified in paragraph 1.
Article IX.2 Power-Sharing
At the end of the period of United Nations administration in accordance with paragraph
1 of Article IX.1, any villages, towns or municipalities within the Eastern Area that
constitute Serb majority areas within the meaning of Article XI.1 shall have selfgovernment in accordance with Article XI.3.
Chapter X Police Forces
Article X.1 Composition and Weapons
1. All police forces in the Part Two Areas shall have an ethnic composition reflecting
that of the areas in which the force is operating, as indicated in the 1991 census until a
later country-wide census has been completed.
2. The police force shall be equipped with arms and vehicles of the same or equivalent
types customary for police forces in European states.
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PART THREE:
COMMON PROVISIONS

Chapter XI Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Article XI.1 General
The application of the highest level of internationally recognized human rights and
fundamental freedoms provided in the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, in the
Constitutional Law on Human Rights and Freedoms and the Rights of National and
Ethnic Communities or Minorities in the Republic of Croatia, and in the instruments
listed in Annex B shall be ensured throughout Croatia. In particular:
1. All persons within the Republic of Croatia shall enjoy the rights:
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)
(g)
(h)
(i)
(j)
(k)
(l)

(m)
(n)
(o)
(p)
(q)
(r)

To life;
To liberty, with arrest and detention authorized only by law;
To equality before the law;
To freedom from discrimination based on race, colour, sex, language,
religion or creed, political or other opinions, and national or social origin;
To fair criminal proceedings;
To freedom from torture and cruel or inhuman treatment or punishment;
To privacy;
To freedom of movement;
To asylum;
To protection of the family and of children;
To property;
To fundamental freedoms: free speech and press; freedom of thought,
conscience, and belief; freedom of religion, including private and
public worship; freedom of assembly; freedom of association, including
freedom to form and belong to labour unions and the freedom not to
associate; and freedom to work;
To education;
To welfare;
To health;
To nutrition;
To shelter; and
To protection of minorities and vulnerable groups.

2. All citizens of the Republic of Croatia shall enjoy the rights:
(a) To form and belong to political parties;
(b) To participate in public affairs;
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(c) To have equal access to public service; and
(d) To vote and stand for election.
Article XI.2 Return of Refugees and Displaced Persons
All refugees and displaced persons have the right to return freely to their homes of
origin.
Article XI.3 Citizenship
1. Any person who was a citizen of the Socialist Republic of Croatia within the Socialist
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 21 December 1990 shall as of that date be considered
as a citizen of the Republic of Croatia.
2. Dual citizenship shall be allowed:
(a)

No citizen of the Republic of Croatia shall, without his consent, be
deprived of that citizenship merely by acquiring the citizenship of
the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia;
(b) No citizen of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia shall solely by reason
of that citizenship be prevented from acquiring the citizenship of the
Republic of Croatia or be required to renounce the former citizenship
as a condition of acquiring the latter.
Article XI.4 Restoration of or Compensation for Lost Property
All persons shall have the right, to be implemented in accordance with legislation of the
Republic of Croatia and, as applicable, of Krajina, to have restored to them any property
of which they were deprived in the course of ethnic cleansing or other unlawful acts and
to be compensated for any property which cannot be restored to them. All statements
or commitments made under duress, particularly those relating to the relinquishment of
rights to land or property, shall be treated as null and void.
Article XI.5 Compliance of Governmental Organs
All governmental organs and administrative agencies of the Republic of Croatia and of
Krajina shall apply and conform to the rights and freedoms provided in the Constitution
and the Constitutional Law referred to in Article XI.1, and to those otherwise specified
in the present Chapter, or in instruments listed in Annex B.
Article XI.6 Human Rights Treaties
1. The Republic of Croatia shall as soon as possible become a party to each of the
international treaties listed in Annex B.
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2. All governmental organs and administrative agencies of the Republic of Croatia
and of Krajina shall cooperate with any supervisory bodies established by any of the
instruments listed in Annex B.
Article XI.7 Human Rights Court
The Republic of Croatia shall make arrangements with the Council of Europe for the
establishment of a Human Rights Court of Croatia in accordance with Resolution 93 (6)
of the Committee of Ministers of the Council and as specified in Annex C hereto.
Article XI.8 Ombudsmen
The Government of the Republic of Croatia shall provide for the appointment of
Ombudsmen to assist in implementing the rights and freedoms specified in this Chapter.
For an initial period of at least three years and as long as appropriate legislation has
not yet been adopted by the Croatian Sabor with the concurrence of the Serb Caucus
of the Sabor, the provisions relating to the initial appointment and functions of the
Ombudsmen shall be as set out in Annex D.

Chapter XII Self-Government and Administration of Areas with Minority Populations
Article XII.1 Minority Population Areas
Wherever in a village, municipality or town within Krajina the majority of the population
is Croat, or Serb within any Part Two Area (herein a „minority population area“), the
provisions set out in this Chapter shall apply in order to ensure the maximum degree of
self-government for such local majority.
Article XII.2 Boundaries of Minority Population Areas
1. Notwithstanding any provision of the Law on Local Self-Government and
Administration of 29 December 1992 (herein the „Self-Government Law“) or the Law
on the Territories of Counties, Cities and Municipalities of the Republic of Croatia of 29
December 1992, the boundaries of a minority population area shall be drawn so as to
include as many members of the group for which the area is to be established without
thereby reducing their proportion below 60%.
2. A minority population area may not consist of two or more non-contiguous areas.
3. In establishing the boundaries of minority population areas, account shall be taken of
the views of persons who might be included or excluded from the area in question.
4. The boundaries of minority population areas may be changed as a result of an official
census.
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5. Disputes concerning the boundaries of minority population areas shall be resolved
by the Special Constitutional Court established by Article XIII.1.
Article XII.3 Provisions Governing Minority Population Areas
1. The Self-Government Law shall apply to minority population areas, with the following
exceptions:
(a)

All minority population areas shall be considered as units of local
government and self-government;
(b) All references to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia shall be
deemed to be to the Special Constitutional Court established by Article XII.1.
(c) All appointment of officials of or serving in minority population areas,
including teachers, shall be made as specified in the Constitution and
applicable laws of Croatia, provided that when such appointments are
not made by the authorities of that area, such authorities may file a
reasoned objection to the body appointing such officials, and if a solution
has not been found satisfying both authorities, the matter may be referred
by either to the Special Constitutional Court. Appointments shall as far
as feasible be made from among domiciliaries of the minority population area
in which they are to serve, and the ethnic composition of each group of
such officials shall as far as feasible reflect that of the area.
(d) Article 65 of this Law shall apply only if the local unit is part of the same
minority population area as the municipality or town or city referred to in that
Article.
(e) Articles 71 and 82, and the third paragraph of Article 83, of the Law shall not
apply.
(f) The dismissal of the representative body of a local self-government unit
in accordance with Article 81 or of a municipal prefect or mayor in
accordance with the third paragraph of Article 83 may be appealed
by those concerned to the Special Constitutional Court and if so appealed
shall not take effect until that Court has so decided.
(g) The suspension of a general act pursuant to Article 80 of the Law may only
be ordered, as a provisional measure, by the Special Constitutional Court.
(h) Disputes referred to in the second sentence of the second paragraph of
Article 87 shall be submitted to the Special Constitutional Court.
2. Before submitting a dispute or matter to the Special Constitutional Court pursuant to
paragraph 1 above, the authorities or parties concerned shall make an effort to resolve
any difference by common agreement. The Court may at any time require that further
efforts be made that end.

345

Chapter XIII Special Constitutional Court
for Krajina and the Part Two Areas
Article XIII.1 Establishment, Competence and Procedures
1. There shall be established a Special Constitutional Court for Krajina and the Part
Two Areas (herein the „Special Constitutional Court“ or the „Court“) to which shall
be submitted for final disposition all disputes arising under the present Agreement
(excepting matters decided pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article XVII.1), including any
disputes relating to the interpretation or implementation of any of the provisions of
the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, the Constitutional Law on Human Rights
and Freedoms and the Rights of National and Ethnic Communities or Minorities in the
Republic of Croatia, or any other law and legislative decree amended or supplemented
pursuant to the present Agreement or required for its implementation.
2. Except as otherwise provided by the present Agreement, disputes may be submitted
to the Special Constitutional Court by the President of the Republic of Croatia or by its
Prime Minister, by the President or the Legislature of Krajina and by the Chairman of
the Serb Caucus of the Sabor.
3. The Special Constitutional Court shall establish its own procedures, which may
include provisions for the establishment of chambers and for the hearing of appeals from
the decisions of such chambers.
4. All costs of the Special constitutional Court, including that of the salaries of the
Judges, which shall not be lower than those of the judges of the Constitutional Court of
Croatia, shall be borne by the Republic of Croatia.
Article XIII.2 Composititon
1. The Special Constitutional Court shall consist of:
(a) Two judges of the Constitutional Court of Croatia, designated by the President
of that Court;
(b) Two judges of the highest or senior appellate court of Krajina, designated by the
President of that Court;
(c) Three judges who shall not be citizens of the Republic of Croatia or of any
neighboring state, appointed by the President of the Court of Justice of the European
Union6 [6The President of that Court would have to be approached before the present Agreement
is completed to determine whether he will assume that task. If not, other officials who might be
approached are the President of the ICJ, the President of the European Court of Human Rights or
the Chairman-in-Office of CSCE.]

2. The President of the Special Constitutional Court shall be elected by a majority of all
the Judges of the court, form among those appointed pursuant to subparagraph 1(c).

346

Chapter XIV Prosecutions Relating to Present Conflict
Article XIV.1 Domestic Prosecution

1. Neither the Republic of Croatia nor Krajina shall prosecute, except as provided in
paragraph 2, any person for crimes allegedly committed in connection with the conflict
in Croatia after 1 August 1990.
2. Subject to paragraph 2 of Article XIV.2, prosecutions shall, however, be undertaken
against any person accused of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949,
violations of the laws and customs of war, genocide or crimes against humanity 7[7These
are the same crimes to which the competence of the International War Crimes Tribunal for former
Yugoslavia extends pursuant to Articles 2-5 of the Tribunal`s Statute.] under any provisions of

domestic law that permit such prosecution.
3. Trials of persons accused pursuant to paragraph 2 shall exclusively be conducted in
a War Crimes Tribunal for Croatia which shall be established by and operate under the
supervision of the Special Constitutional Court. Prosecution in the Tribunal may be
conducted by prosecutors appointed for that purpose by either the Government of the
Republic of Croatia or of Krajina.
Article XIV.2 International Prosecution
1. All organs af the Governments of the Republic of Croatia and of Krajina shall cooperate
with the International Tribunal for the Prosecutiona of Persons Responsible for Serious
Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the former
Yugoslavia since 1991 established by resolution 827 (1993) of the Security Council of the
United Nations, in collecting or allowing the Prosecutor of the International Tribunal to
collect evidence of crimes within the jurisdiction of that Tribunal, in making available
witnesses and accused persons, and in any other way requested by the competent
authorities of the Tribunal.
2. Should the International Tribunal formally so request, the War Crimes Tribunal for
Croatia shall defer to the competence of the latter Tribunal in respect to any proceeding.8
[8Based on paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the Statute of the International War Crimes Tribunal for
Former Yugoslavia.]

Chapter XV Amendment of Constitution and Laws of Croatia
Article XV.1 Adoption of Amendments
1. The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, the Constitutional Law on Human Rights
and Freedoms and the Rights of National and Ethnic Communities or Minorities in
the Republic of Croatia, as well as other laws and legislative decrees shall be amanded
or supplemented as specified in Annex E, in order to implement the provisions of the
present Agreement.
347

2. The amendments and legislation required to be adopted by paragraph 1 shall enter
into force no later than six months after the signature of the present Agreement.
Article XV.2 Further Changes in Amendments
The amendments and legislation adopted pursuant to Article XV.1, as well as existing
provisions of the instruments referred to in paragraph 1 of Article XV.1 that are required
for the implementation of the provisions of the present Agreement, shall not be amended
or repealed without the approval of the Legislature of Krajina and the concurrence of the
Serb Caucus of the Sabor.

Chapter XVI Indivisibility of Croatia
Article XVI.1 No Change Intended
Nothing in the present Agreement shall be deemed to alter the indivisible nature of the
Republic of Croatia specified in Article 1 of its Constitution.

Chapter XVII Final Clauses
Article XVII.1 Entry into Force and Implementation
1. The present Agreement shall enter into force after its signature on behalf of both
parties, on a date one month after the entry into force of the amendments and legislation
required to be adopted by paragraph 1 of Article XV.1 and the completion of the
arrangements with the Council of Europe specified in Article XI.7.
2. Any questions concerning the time-table for or the methods of implementing the
provisions of the present Agreement may be decided by an Implementation Commission
consisting of one representative each of the Russian Federation, of the United States of
America, of the United Nations and of the European Union, the latter two to be appointed
by the Co-Chairman of the Steering Committee of the International Conference on
the Former Yugoslavia.9 [9It is envisaged that the Implementation Commission may be a
continuation of the existing group that cosponsored the 29 March 1994 ceasefire agreement
negotiations and the negotiating process for subsequent stages, including the preparation of this
text.]

Article XVII.2 Languages
The present Agreement shall be concluded in the English, Croat and Serb languages. In
cases of inconsistencies, the English text shall prevail.
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DONE THIS________________________day of___________________1995, at
___________________, in three copies.10 [10One each for the two parties and one for the
United Nations.]

ANNEX A
MAP 1: BOUNDARIES OF KRAJINA
Article 1 Map
The boundaries of Krajina shall be as indicated on the Map below.11 [11As indicated in
footnote 1, the territory of Krajina is to be a single continuous territory comprising the Serb
majority areas of UNPAs Sectors North and South, as defined in the 1991 census, with due
consideration to geographic and economic factors.]

Article 2 Boundary Demarcation Commission
1. A Boundary Demarcation Commission shall be established for the physical
demarcation of those parts of the boundaries of Krajina that do not constitute an
international border.
2. Not later than six months after the entry into force of the present Agreement, the
President of the Republic of Croatia and the President of Krajina shall each appoint one
member of the Boundary Demarcation Commission. A third member, who shall be the
Chairman of the Commission, shall be appointed by the two Presidents acting jointly or,
if they are unable to agree, by the President of the Special Constitutional Court at the
request of the President of either the Republic of Croatia or of Krajina; the Chairman of
the Commission shall not be a citizen of the Republic of Croatia.

MAP 2: BOUNDARIES OF THE EASTERN AREA
(Article IX.1, paragraph 1)
Article 1 Map
The boundaries of the Eastern Area shall be as indicated on the Map below.

349

ANNEX B

LIST OF HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS TO BE INCORPORATED INTO THE
PRESENT AGREEMENT
(Article XI.1)
1. 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
2. 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
3. 1949 Geneva Conventions I-IV on the Protection of the Victims of War, and the 1977
Geneva Protocols I-II
4. 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms, and the Protocols thereto
5. 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1966 Protocol thereto
6. 1957 Convention on the Nationality of Married Women
7. 1961 European Social Charter and the Protocol 1 thereto
8. 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness
9. 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination
10. 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its 1966 and 1989
Optional Protocols thereto
11. 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
12. 1979 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women
13. 1981 [UN] Declaration on the Elimination of all forms of Intolerance and of
Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief
14. 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment
15. 1987 European Convention on the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment
16. 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child
17. 1990 Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of their Families
18. 1990 Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human
Dimension of the CSCE, Part IV
19. 1990 Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation on the Rights of
Minorities, paras. 10-13
20. 1992 [UN] Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic,
Religious and Linguistic Minorities
21. 1992 European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages

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ANNEX C
COMPOSITION AND COMPETENCE OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COURT OF CROATIA
(Article XI.7)
Article 1 Council of Europe resolution
The Human Rights Court of Croatia (the „Court“) shall operate within the framework of
the mechanism established by the Council of Europe by resolution 93 (&) of its Council
of Ministers, as that resolution may be amended from time to time.
Article 2 Composition
1. The Court shall initially consist of nine Judges:
(a) Two of the Judges shall be appointed by the High Judiciary Council of Croatia;
(b) One of the Judges shall be appointed by the corresponding organ of Krajina;
(c) One of the Judges shall be appointed by the President of the Special
constitutional Court after consultation with representatives of other
national and ethnic communities or minorities.
(d) Five of the Judges shall be appointed by the Committee of Ministers
of the Council of Europe in accordance with the above-cited resolution. These
Judges may not be citizens of the Republic of Croatia nor of
neighbouring States.
2. The Judges appointed under sub-paragraphs 1 (a) – (c) shall serve until age 70 and
may only be removed, for cause, by a consensus of all the other Judges of the court.
3. If the Court concludes that its business requires the participation of more Judges
to avoid undue delays in the disposition of cases, the Government of the Republic of
Croatia shall make arrangements with the Council of Europe for the appointment of
additional Judges, in accordance with the above-specified procedures and proportions.
Article 3 Procedures and Organization
1. The Court shall regulate its own procedures and organization.
2. Each panel of the Court is to have the composition specified for the Court in
paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 2 of the present Annex.
3. The equality of the parties shall be ensured in every proceeding.
4. The Court shall allow written and oral pleadings in every proceeding pursuant
to Articles 5 to 7 of the present Annex.

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Article 4 Competence
The competence of the Court shall extend to any question concerning a constitutional
or other legal provision of the Republic of Croatia or of Krajina relating to human rights
or fundamental freedoms, including those in the present Agreement or in any of the
instruments listed in Annex B hereto.
Article 5 Submission of Appeals
Any party to a proceeding in which another court of the Republic of Croatia or of Krajina
has pronounced a judgement that is not subject to any other appeal (for a reason other
than the lapse of a time-limit for which the moving party is responsible), may appeal
such judgement to the Court on the basis of any question within its competence. The
decision of the Court on such an appeal shall be final and binding.
Article 6 Appeals of Protracted Proceedings
1. An appeal may also be taken to the Court if a proceeding is pending for what
it considers an unduly long time in any other court of the Republic of Croatia or of
Krajina.
2. The Court shall decide whether to accept such an appeal after a preliminary
consideration of whether the proceeding in such other court had been pending too long
and whether the subject of the appeal is within its competence.
Article 7 Stated Questions
Any appellate court of the Republic of Croatia or of Krajina may, at the request of any
party to a proceeding pending before it or on its own motion in relation to such a
proceeding, address to the Court a question arising out of the proceeding if the question
relates to any matter within the competence of the Court. The response of the Court is
binding on the requesting court.
Article 8 Duration
The Court shall continue to function until the Republic of Croatia becomes a party to
the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, unless the
Council of Europe mechanism referred to in article 1 of the present annex ceases at some
earlier date to be in force in respect of the Republic of Croatia.

352

ANNEX D
Initial Appointment and Functions of the Ombudsmen
(Article XI.8)
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1 Functions of Ombudsmen
1. The Ombudsmen are to protect human dignity, rights and freedoms as provided in any
constitutional or other legal provision of the Republic of Croatia or of Krajina relating
to human rights or fundamental freedoms, including those in the present Agreement or
in any of the instruments listed in Annex B hereto, and in particular shall act to reverse
the consequences of the violations of these rights and liberties and especially of ethnic
cleansing.
2. In carrying out their functions, the Ombudsmen must be guided by law and by the
principles of morality and justice.
Article 2 Individual Functioning
Each Ombudsman shall exercise his functions individually, except as otherwise
provided herein. Two or more Ombudsmen may cooperate in carrying out any of their
functions.
Article 3 Independence
The Ombudsmen are independent in carrying out their functions and no governmental
organ or any other person may interfere with such functions.
Article 4 Appointment
1. There shall be four Ombudsmen: two Croat, one Serb, and one for other national or
ethnic communities or minorities. Until the Croatian Sabor adopts, with the concurrence
of the Serb Caucus of the Sabor, a law relating to the appointment and functioning of the
Ombudsmen, these shall be appointed and may be removed by the Chairman-in-Office
of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE).
2. Each of the Ombudsmen shall with the approval of the High Judiciary Council of
Croatia appoint one or more deputies.
3. The terms of service of the Ombudsmen and their deputies shall be the same
respectively as those of the President and of Judges of the Supreme Court of Croatia.
4. Each Ombudsman shall also appoint additional staff within the framework of the
budget approved therefore by the High Judiciary Council of Croatia.
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II. THE COMPETENCE AND THE POWERS OF THE OMBUDSMEN
Article 5 Organs and Entities Subject to Monitoring
The Ombudsmen may follow the activities of any organ of the Government of the
Republic of Croatia and of the Government of Krajina, or of any governmental units
subordinate thereto, as well as of any other institution or person by whom human
dignity, rights or liberties may be negated or ethnic cleansing may be accomplished or
its effects preserved.
Article 6 Powers
In the course of carrying out his functions, an Ombudsman may examine all official
documents, including secret ones, as well as judicial and administrative files, and require
any person (including any official) to cooperate, in particular by transmitting relevant
information, documents and files. Ombudsmen may also attend court and administrative
hearings, as well as meetings of other organs and enter and inspect any place where
persons deprived of their liberty are confined or work.
Article 7 Maintenance of Confidentiality
The Ombudsmen, their deputies and any other person who carries out inquiries pursuant
to article 6 above are required to maintain the secrecy of whatever they learn in the
course of such inquiry, and must treat all documents and files in accordance with the
applicable rules.
III. REPORTS OF THE OMBUDSMEN
Article 8 Annual and Special Reports
1. Each Ombudsman shall present an annual report to the President of the Republic of
Croatia and to the President of Krajina, to the Co-Chairmen of the Steering Committee
of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia and the Chairman-in-Office
of CSCE. These reports shall be published.
2. An Ombudsman may also present at any time special reports to any competent
authorities.
IV. REGULATIONS OF THE OMBUDSMEN
Article 9 Adoption of Regulations
Each Ombudsman shall draw up, or the Ombudsmen may collectively draw up, regulations
that specify their organization and the method of exercising their functions, which shall
354

be promulgated in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia. These regulations may
be changed by a law adopted by the Croatian Sabor with the concurrence of the Serbian
Caucus of the Sabor.

ANNEX E
Texts of Agreed Amendments to Croatian Copnstitution and of Legislation to
Implement the Presen Agreement
(Article XV.1)
[To be prepared, in the course of negotiating the Agreement]

ANNEX F
Transitional Governance of the Eastern Area
(Article IX.1, para. 1)

1. No military forces except those of the United Nations or of any other international agency
invited by the Security Council shall be in the Eastern Area. Any military forces in the Area
at the time of the establishment of the UN administration shall immediately be disbanded.
The UN Administrator shall, in accordance with paragraph 7 below, organize the police to
function in the Area.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall, after consultation with the parties
hereto, appoint an Administrator for the Eastern Area, whom the Secretary-General may
replace at any time.
3. The Administrator shall exercise all executive functions in respect of the Eastern Area, in
addition to such other functions as are specified herein.
4. The Administrator shall establish an Advisory Council, to which he may initially appoint
local official functioning in the area and the representatives of refugees and displaced persons
from the area, which shall be replaced, as soon as feasible, by persons elected according to
a procedure that the Administrator shall determine. He shall consult with such Council in
carrying out his responsibilities.
5. The Administrator shall establish, and may from time to time change, the boundaries of
local administrative districts, as well as the system of local governance, including courts and
administrative agencies, taking account as far as he considers appropriate of the relevant
provisions of the Constitution and legislation of the Republic of Croatia.
6. Except as otherwise determined by the Administrator, the law applicable during the period
of UN administration shall be that applicable in other parts of the Republic of Croatia.
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7. In accordance with the provisions of the present Agreement, to help facilitate the
return of refugees and displaced persons in security, the Administrator shall organize
and control a uniformed police force, which shall as soon as possible come to have a
proportionally balanced ethnic composition; for this purpose the Administrator shall
employ, as soon as feasible, as many non-Serb (Croat and other) police as necessary. He
may in this respect be assisted by police forces or advisers made available at the request
of the United Nations.
8. The international border of the Eastern Area shall during the period of UN
administration be monitored by Croatian customs officials working in cooperation with
military and police forces under the control of the Administrator.
9. The costs of any international elements of the UN administration shall be borne by the
United Nations. All other costs of governance shall be borne by the Republic of Croatia
or by the resources of the Eastern Area, for which purpose the Administrator may raise
appropriate taxes and other revenues. During the period of UN administration, the
Republic of Croatia may raise, with the consent of the Administrator, taxes in the Eastern
Area and from its domiciliaries, for the expenses of the Eastern Area and for other
purposes, provided that the proportional tax burden in the Area and on its domiciliaries
does not exceed that in other parts of the Republic of Croatia.
HR - Ministarstvo vanjskih poslova RH
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia)

356

2
From the interview with Leonid Kerestedjiants, first Russian Ambassador to the
Republic of Croatia, on the Serbian refusal of “Plan Z-4”
In early 1995 you led the negotiations for Plan Z-4?
Yes, together with US Ambassador Peter Galbraith. We really sincerely wanted to put an
end to bloodshed and believed in Z-4 as a document preserving the territorial integrity
of Croatia and incorporating the “breakaway” regions, but also resolving on a long-term
basis the Serbian issue in Croatia. We tackled the task seriously. Of course, from this
perspective this looks more like a formality than it really was.
You think, therefore, that Z-4 was a very serious plan?
Of course, because we believed that it would also provide the basis for dealing with
all the other problems in the region. Minister Kozyrev told me that the international
community was taking Z-4 very seriously because it was actually drawn up as a kind
of an introduction for a similar plan in Kosovo. It is precisely this fact, which obviously
reached Milošević,92 that determined such an outcome of the war in Croatia.
How did the negotiations proceed?
Plan Z-4 was devised by the international representatives. When we received the plan,
Peter Galbraith and me had to present it to the Croatian and to the Serbian side. We were
in charge of the operational aspect and then went to present the plan to Tuđman93. We
had agreed that Galbraith would present the plan to the Croats and show by doing so
that Washington was behind it, while I would present it in Knin to let them know that
Russia agreed to the plan. When we came to Pantovčak, I remember, the top Croatian
leadership with Tuđman at their head were already sitting at the table. While Peter
talked, the room was uncomfortably silent, as during a funeral. One could feel that the
Croats resisted the plan, but everyone waited for Tuđman’s response. He was thoughtful
and worried. Then he started to talk, very nervously. He briefly said that he was not
enthusiastic and that for the Croats it was not a stimulating plan, but that he understood
that the plan was just the beginning of the search for a final resolution of the crisis, and
that the only positive thing about the document was the fact that it proceeded from “the
territorial integrity of Croatia”. However, he also said that the price of the plan was out
of proportion with what had happened in Croatia. He thought the plan was too proSerbian. After we left, Peter and I felt as if a weight was off our mind. We believed that the
hardest part of the job had been done and that the Serbs in Knin would accept the plan
without hesitation or discussion because we had “dented” the Croats. We talked how we
would start working, after the Serbian agreement, on “taking some things from the Serbs
and giving them to the Croats”.

92
93

Slobodan, President of the Republic of Serbia
Franjo, President of the Republic of Croatia

357

And you went to Knin?
Yes, we came to Knin and I presented the plan. They took us to the fortress, and they
had lambs roasting on the spit there. Peter and I thought it was an encouraging sign. As
we had agreed, I spoke Serbian and avoided Croatian terms. And, when I said, at the
end of my presentation, “when you look at this plan...”, and pushed the plan towards
Martić,94 everybody appeared to be shocked. As silence fell, Martić briefly said: “We will
not look at this”. He pushed the document away from him. Unpleasant stillness followed.
I changed my tone and began to threaten them openly. I told them that everything would
end “very poorly for them, the leadership, and for Krajina”, if they did not take look at
the plan. I even told them that I did not care for them personally and added that they
should at least think of the people they had led. They still refused. The meeting became
pointless, and we left. I approached Martić and said:” You have now signed the death
sentence for Krajina and Serbian presence in the area. You shall be held responsible for
that, and you can be sure that Russia will take care of that”. But he would not budge.
Then a member of their leadership approached me - I am not going to mention his name
yet - and said: ”Milošević ordered us to do so.” I immediately realized that he had done
it because of Kosovo, that is, because of the implementation of a similar plan in Kosovo.
Today the Serbs are losing Kosovo, and they missed the change of getting autonomy in
Croatia.
Vlado Vurušić, “Russia was on Croatia’s side”, Jutarnji list, Zagreb. 17 February 2007,
34-35

3
2003, 25 June
Testimony of Peter Galbraith on the Serbian rejection of “Plan Z-4” at the trial of
Slobodan Milošević
Prosecutor Nice: I turn now to the Z-4 process, something of which the Chamber
has heard from a couple of witnesses, substantially from the witness Babić. This was a
process, “Z” for “Zagreb,” and involving the United States, Russia, the European Union
and the United Nations. It lasted from when and until when?
Galbraith: From March 23rd, 1994, until Operation Storm, August 4th, 1995.
Prosecutor Nice: The overall intended structure of the process?
Galbraith: It was a three-stage process that began with the negotiation of a ceasefire in
Croatia between the Serbs - a Serb-held part of the country and the government-held

94

Milan, president of the «RSK»

358

part of the country. That was followed by economic and confidence-building negotiations
And then the third stage was to be a political settlement within Croatia.
Prosecutor Nice: How far did the process get?
Galbraith: We were able to negotiate a ceasefire agreement in the early hours of the
30th of March. We were, after much delay, able to achieve an economic and confidencebuilding agreement on the 2nd of December, 1994, which however was only partially
implemented. And we were unable to present the political plan and to initiate serious
negotiations on a political settlement.
Prosecutor Nice: I’ll turn to your overall assessment of the participants in a few minutes’
time. But at this stage, what was Martić’s revealed enthusiasm for the process?
Galbraith: He was, I think, supportive of the ceasefire and, I think, extremely reluctant
about any kind of economic and confidence-building measures, and opposed to any
kind of political settlement.
Prosecutor Nice: In your judgement, was his approach the result of his own independent
judgement or was he guided or driven from elsewhere?
Galbraith: I think he was heavily influenced by the defendant.
Prosecutor Nice: The accused’s attitude towards the Z-4 process and in particular
towards the economic and confidence-building measures, was that revealed to you? If
so, when and how?
Galbraith: The accused was actively involved in discussions on the economic and
confidence-building measures, not ones - I hasten to add - that I was involved in but
that Lord Owen and that Thorvald Stoltenberg were involved in. He offered a number of
positions, notably trying to avoid any kind of Croatian control of the borders between
Serbia and Eastern Slavonia or between the Krajina and Bosnian Serb territory. That was
one of his primary concerns. And in the end, he went along with the conclusion of this
agreement, which is why it actually happened.
Prosecutor Nice: Babić, did you meet Babić at all in 1994?
Galbraith: I did not.
Prosecutor Nice: Did you learn of his attitude to or reaction towards the Z-4 process or
not?
Galbraith: I did. I first met him on the 23rd of January, 1995...
Prosecutor Nice: Forgive my interrupting you. Did you learn anything about his reaction
in the course of 1994?
Galbraith: Well, yes. He was a leader in the RSK parliament, leader of the largest political
party, and actually he was often opposed to the economic and confidence-building
measures. I think he saw it as a useful political club against Martić.
359

Prosecutor Nice: You then met him on the 23rd of January of 1995, and that was your
first meeting, paragraph 4 I think it is of the perhaps oddly numbered summary. Yes?
Galbraith: Yes, I did.
Prosecutor Nice: What happened there?
Galbraith: I went down to Knin to brief him on the Z-4 political plan that we were
planning to present in the next week. We had lunch, and we had a very engaged
discussion. He was intrigued by the plan. He said that there were a number of features
of the plan that he thought were very interesting. He said that certainly there was room
for improvement. But his general approach was -- he was at least interested in it, and
seeming that this was something worth pursuing.
Prosecutor Nice: Can we look briefly at Tab 1 of the exhibit. Does this document,
Ambassador, set out the draft Z-4 agreement at that stage?
Galbraith: Yes, it does.
Prosecutor Nice: I don’t want to go through it in detail. You might, I think, express the
view that it was in some ways generous in its terms?
Galbraith: It allowed the Krajina Serbs very, very substantial self-government, indeed
almost total self-government in the territory of Croatia, where according to the 1991
census Serbs were a majority. So yes, it was extremely generous.
Prosecutor Nice: For those particular areas?
Galbraith: For those areas.
Prosecutor Nice: And we’ll just take a couple of examples using the page numbers at the
top. On page number 6 we have flags and emblems, its own flag.
Galbraith: That is correct. They could have their own flag and their own emblems.
Prosecutor Nice: Page 10 at the top, currency and taxation covered specifically.
Galbraith: Yes. The issue of the currency was a very important one, because they objected
to using the Croatian kuna, because they said this was the same currency that had been
used by the fascist Croatian state in the Second World War. And so this plan provided
that they could have their own bank notes. They would call ... they could call them the
dinar or whatever they wanted. They could have their own designs. Although, from a
monetary point of view, it would be the equivalent of the kuna and controlled by the
Croatian Central Bank.
Prosecutor Nice: I see at page 12, its own president, and so on. Yes?
Galbraith: Yes.
Prosecutor Nice: Well, thus you’re meeting with Babić on the 23rd of January. Had there
been a plan that you should meet Martić after meeting Babić?
360

Galbraith: Yes, there was. If I could just add one other thing to Babić’s reaction. In fact,
at one stage in that meeting, on the 23rd of January, he was concerned that the plan had
actually offered too much autonomy, had been too generous, because he was concerned
that it might make the Krajina Serb autonomous entity responsible for pensions and
other things, which he had hoped would be picked up by the central government in
Zagreb. I said of course that would not be a problem to have less autonomy. I was due
to meet Milan Martić in the afternoon, and Martić cancelled that appointment. He said
it was inappropriate for the ambassador ... and a breach of protocol for the ambassador
to have met the foreign minister ... the so-called foreign minister before meeting the
president.
Prosecutor Nice: We’ll move on in the meetings before we come back to the general
character assessment. On the 30th of January, did you and other sponsors of the plan
meet with Martić, Babić, and Mikelić?
Galbraith: We did.
Prosecutor Nice: Tell us about that in a sentence or so.
Galbraith: We had presented the plan as a basis for negotiation, not as a final document
... as a take-it-or-leave-it document to President Tuđman in the morning, and in
the afternoon we flew to Knin, where we met in the castle with the top Krajina Serb
leadership, including Martić, Babić, and Mikelić. We attempted to hand over the plan,
and Martić would not take it. He wouldn’t touch it.
Prosecutor Nice: How did the meeting end?
Galbraith: Well, of course we were somewhat shocked that he would actually not even
physically receive the plan, much less that he would ... that they would refuse to negotiate
on the basis of it. We attempted to persuade them in every possible way that this was not
in their interest, that if they refused to negotiate it would increase greatly the likelihood
that the Croatians would take military action, that it would be much harder for the
international community to prevent a military outcome. But none of these arguments
worked. At the end of the meeting Mikelić, the so-called Prime Minister, said to us,
he said, “You should be professional diplomats. You’re making a great mistake.” And I
replied, “A great mistake has been made, but we will see by whom.”
Prosecutor Nice: And I think you made an observation that relates to Babić and his
approach.
Galbraith: Yes. As we were leaving, Babić came up to me and he said in English, “I’m
sorry.”
Prosecutor Nice: Well, now, you’d seen Tuđman in the morning. Was Tuđman ever
prevailed upon to accept the proposal?
Galbraith: He agreed to negotiate on it but very reluctantly. However, given that the
Serbian side refused even to receive the plan, Croatia’s bona fides were simply not put
to test.
361

Prosecutor Nice: What about the accused?
Galbraith: Well, part of the plan was that we’d present it first to Tuđman, then to the
Krajina Serbs, and then we would go to Belgrade. The accused refused to see us.
Prosecutor Nice: On the 9th of March, did you meet Babić again?
Galbraith: I did.
Prosecutor Nice: On this occasion, the purpose of the meeting?
Galbraith: We had worked out an agreement in Copenhagen with Tuđman to extend
the United Nations’ mandate. It was going to be changed from being an UNPROFOR
mandate to being an UNCRO mandate with some essentially cosmetic changes that
would keep the UN there. And I went down for the purpose of persuading Babić that
they should be cooperative with this, but it also provided an occasion to discuss the Z-4
plan.
Prosecutor Nice: What, if anything, did he say about it?
Galbraith: Well, first he received a copy of the plan, and again he was very interested in
different aspects of it.
Prosecutor Nice: We’ll come a little later to something else he said about the plan and
the reactions to it, but let’s move on chronologically to Operation Storm. When did you
learn that Croatia was planning military action?
Galbraith: On or about the 21st of July, 1995.
Prosecutor Nice: The apparent reason for this?
Galbraith: It was because there was a combined attack by the Krajina Serbs and the
Bosnian Serbs on the Bihać enclave. This came shortly after the successful attack on
Srebrenica, which had cost 7,000 lives, and there was an ongoing attack on the enclave of
Žepa. And the Croatians were concerned that if Bihać fell, their strategic position would
become much worse because the Serb side would not have any internal lines to defend,
that is, they wouldn’t have to defend against the Bosnian 5th Corps that was in Bihać,
and that this then could lead to the creation of a western Serb state, a unified western
Serb state with the Bosnian Serbs and the Krajina Serbs. Second, they were concerned
that the survivors of Bihać would come to Croatia. And of course they’d already been
overwhelmed by several million refugees passing through Croatia during these war
years. And finally, they saw little prospect that there would be a peaceful solution to
the Krajina problem. They believed that this was an opportune time for them to retake
the area because with the events that had happened in Srebrenica, the international
community would be disinclined to take any action against the Croatian government for
doing something that essentially would save Bihać.
Prosecutor Nice: Did the failure of the Z-4 process, which had lasted some eight months
or thereabouts and was already a year old overall, did that play a part in all this?
362

Galbraith: It played a very significant part. The Croatian President Tuđman and his
colleagues in the government saw no prospect that there could be a negotiated settlement
that would bring about the return of this territory to Croatia or the return of Croatians
who had been driven out of the territory. So they felt that the military option was the
only one that was available to them. I think that they were contemplating doing it later
in the year, in December of 1995, when the UNCRO mandate expired. But the events in
Bihać ... in Srebrenica and the attack on Bihać provided a window of opportunity that
they decided to use.
Prosecutor Nice: Was the accused’s attitude to Z-4 process and settlement generally
understood, known, and discussed at this time?
Galbraith: It was discussed ... it was known at this time. It was continuously discussed by
those who were involved in the peace process. I think certainly the Croatian government
saw the accused as critical to any settlement. And when they saw no likelihood that he
would agree, this was an important factor in their decision to take military action.
Prosecutor Nice: Did you on the 25th of July send a cable to the United States Secretary
of State giving an account of a survivor from Srebrenica that you’d been provided with?
Galbraith: Yes, I did.
Prosecutor Nice: And although we haven’t time for material of this kind, interesting
though it is, I think that the material had been provided to you by your wife, is it, or
friend at the time, now your wife?
Galbraith: Now my wife.
Prosecutor Nice: And was an eyewitness account from a survivor.
Galbraith: That is correct; somebody who had been in a group of men and all the members
of the group but him were executed. So he was a survivor of a mass execution.
Prosecutor Nice: And was the account that you were given and that you were able to
draw on for your cable to the United States. Was the account detailed as to those involved
in the massacre?
Galbraith: Yes, it was. It specifically said that General Mladić had spoken to the group,
had told them that they could expect no comfort or help from their Alija, from the
president of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Prosecutor Nice: And as to any unit or troops involved, was the eyewitness detailed on
that?
Galbraith: Well, certainly he described the troops as being members of the Bosnian Serb
army. I don’t think in the account that I had that he listed specific units, but I haven’t
gone back and checked the cable.
Prosecutor Nice: Now, you sent that cable to the United States. Did the late-President
Tuđman consult you about what the United States’ position on military attack would be?
Galbraith: Yes, he did.
363

Prosecutor Nice: Did you respond to that? And if so, when?
Galbraith: I responded that ... we delivered several démarches to the Croatian
government in this period. The Croatians were concerned that if they took military
action, that they would face sanctions from the UN Security Council for having a wider
war. We responded by expressing understanding for the situation in which they found
themselves and understanding for the fact that they were prepared to expend blood and
treasure to save Bihać. We were deeply concerned that Bihać would fall, that it would
become another Srebrenica. It was four times as populous as Srebrenica, so we were
concerned that we could see 30 to 40 thousand people being massacred if Mladić and
the Bosnian Serbs did the same thing there. We did not approve any kind of military
action, and we pointed out that military action would have serious ... that it was always
a risky proposition, that if Croatia got into any difficulty, it certainly couldn’t expect any
help from the United States. And I warned Tuđman in the strongest possible terms that
should there be any kind of military action, that we would hold him accountable and
Croatia accountable for protecting the civilian population, Serb civilians, as well as for
making sure that UN peacekeepers in the area were not hurt.
Prosecutor Nice: Though you didn’t support, did you expressly oppose, or did you leave
that neutral?
Galbraith: We neither supported nor opposed.
Prosecutor Nice: Despite what must have seemed -- was to turn out to be an inevitable
war, did you make one last effort yourself to avert that consequence?
Galbraith: Yes. Our position on this, the US government position, was as I said - and
I just want to emphasize it - very much affected by what was happening in Bihać. We
recognised that a war was going to have terrible humanitarian consequences but that it
was a lesser evil than what we thought was the likely massacre of 40,000 people in Bihać
if the Serbs applied Srebrenica rules there. Nonetheless, we wanted to do everything
possible to try and find a peaceful settlement, and so when I spoke to President Tuđman
on the 1st of August in Brioni, on instructions from the State Department, I raised
with him the possibility of meeting Babić in Belgrade later that week. I should preface
this by saying that the previous weekend I had been in touch with Babić through the
United Nations and had proposed a meeting to try and see if we could head off the war.
He had said, “You’re not welcome to come to Knin, but I’d be prepared to meet you in
Belgrade.”
Prosecutor Nice: “Who had made you ... who had made you unwelcome in Knin?”
Galbraith: Martić.
Prosecutor Nice: But Babić was prepared to meet you in Belgrade?
Galbraith: Babić said I wouldn’t be welcome in Knin, but he wanted to meet me in
Belgrade. Tuđman initially said this would be an interesting idea but don’t wait until
the end of the week; do it right away. Incidentally, a few hours later he had his press
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secretary, his deputy press secretary call to say maybe it wasn’t such a good idea, but the
US government was determined to see if there was any hope for peace, so they instructed
me to go to Belgrade. I went there on the morning of the 2nd, and at 8.00 in the evening,
I met with Babić.
Prosecutor Nice: The 2nd of August, 1995 you met Babić. What did you tell him?
Galbraith: I told him that a catastrophe was about to overtake the Krajina Serbs, that
the Croatian military was poised for military action, that because of the attacks that the
Krajina Serb army had participated in into Bihać there was virtually no sympathy for
them in the international community, and that they would have to agree with terms
that President Tuđman had outlined to avoid military action. Those terms included a
withdrawal of all RSK forces from Bihać, the reopening of a pipeline through Sector North
that had been opened by the economic agreement but closed down by the Krajina Serbs,
the opening of road and rail links through Knin, and most importantly, an agreement to
begin immediate negotiations for political settlement within Croatia.
Prosecutor Nice: Do you remember roughly how many items there were in the
requirements?
Galbraith: I think there were seven.
Prosecutor Nice: What was Babic’ć general reaction to your proposal?
Galbraith: Babić came alone to this meeting which was held at the American Embassy
in Belgrade. His demeanour was extremely serious. He listened attentively to everything
I said. And then he replied in the following manner: He began by apologising by what
had happened on the 30th of January. He said that it was incomprehensible that the
Krajina Serb government should have received the representatives of the most powerful
countries in the world, that is, the United States, Russia, the European Union, and then
to have refused to receive the plan. He had said that this was something that was decided
by those higher than him, specifically Martić and Milošević. He then went on to say that
he could understand fully why the Croatians were attacking at Glamoč and Grahovo,
places in the Livno Valley that they that they’d taken, and why they were poised to attack
the Krajina region, that he could not understand the reasons why his government had
launched an attack into Bihać. He said that he would accept the conditions, at least all the
conditions but the last one, the political condition, where we had some more discussion.
He said that he didn’t feel that he could say that he would accept a settlement based on
reintegration into Croatia. He said, “No political leader could say that.” So I said, “Well,
as an alternative, why don’t you say that you will agree to negotiate on the basis of the Z-4
plan, which is in fact an arrangement to reintegrate the Krajina into Croatia.” We had a
back and forth about Eastern Slavonia. I said that it would be impossible to go beyond
the provisions of the Z-4 plan on Eastern Slavonia which would not have the special
autonomy, because it was not a Serb-majority area.

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Prosecutor Nice: Let’s pause there. And I may be allowing you to go just a little too fast.
You’d explained earlier that the Z-4 plan was going to provide autonomy for those areas
with Serb majority at the relevant census. Eastern Slavonia didn’t qualify?
Galbraith: Eastern Slavonia and Western Slavonia did not qualify, nor did all of the
sectors north and south.
Prosecutor Nice: Did Babić say anything to you at that stage about why it was that the
accused was opposed to this plan? And if not, did you discover from elsewhere why he
was opposed to this plan?
Galbraith: If I can just explain, I hope very briefly, what came out of the meeting was
in fact this agreement, that he would publicly state his acceptance of all these points,
but in lieu of saying he would negotiate on the basis of reintegration into Croatia he
would negotiate on the basis of the Z-4 plan. Further, I told him that the Z-4 plan was
unachievable at this point in time, that Tuđman had the upper hand, he would never
accept autonomy that extensive, and that the most that the Krajina Serbs could hope for
was something that was roughly based on Croatian constitutional law. He understood
that. He accepted that. I said, “I will convey this as a private message from you to Tuđman
that you understand this, that you’re not looking for ... you understand you’ll never get
the Z-4 plan.” He fully agreed. Then came the issue of whether this could be sold to the
leadership in Knin, and he said, “Well, my party has a majority in the assembly. I think I
can get them to go along.” The question was then: Would Martić go along? He said, “One
sentence from Milošević and we can get the agreement of Knin.”
Prosecutor Nice: And he was right about that. Things would not have unfolded in the
way they did.
Galbraith: That is right. In my view, the war could have been avoided and 180,000 Serbs
would not have become refugees.
Prosecutor Nice: Did Babić say anything about efforts he had made at the time to see
the accused?
Galbraith: He said that he had tried to see the accused and that the accused would not
see him.
Prosecutor Nice: On the occasion of this very visit to Belgrade or on some other
occasion?
Galbraith: On the occasion of this visit to Belgrade.
Prosecutor Nice: And was that account of his consistent with what you learnt of an
effort made by the United States chargé d’affaires?
Galbraith: Yes. After this agreement was concluded and given what Babić had said about
the decisive role of the defendant, and given what we understood to be the decisive role
of the defendant, the United States sought to make a démarche to the defendant. The
chargé tried to see him on the 3rd of August, the next day, to get Milošević to make a
statement of support for this deal, and he would not see the American chargé.
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Prosecutor Nice: And, of course, the chargé d’affaires was the principal, the senior
diplomat at the time, there being no ambassador in that post.
Galbraith: That is correct.
Prosecutor Nice: Very well. Babić made his public statement;
Galbraith: He did.
Prosecutor Nice: Did that attract any or any significant support?
Galbraith: He made a statement, and there was a meeting in Geneva on the 3rd of
August between the Croatian government delegation and a Krajina Serb delegation. The
idea was that the Krajina Serb delegation would be instructed to accept the full package
that Babić had accepted. They were certainly ambiguous in their statement. It was not
the clear-cut acceptance that was required, and again I think the reason they didn’t make
any clear-cut acceptance is that Babić alone - by this point, incidentally, he was the Prime
Minister of the RSK - didn’t have sufficient authority to command the delegation in
Geneva. Milošević, of course, was silent. I flew back to Zagreb, where I saw Tuđman. At
the meeting with Tuđman - this was at now 5. 45 on the 3rd of August - I urged him to
hold off on military action. I said that we would know within a matter of days whether
the Krajina Serbs were serious, because there were concrete steps that they had to take,
very quickly, and that it was important to give them a chance to see if they were serious,
because the alternative, war, would be so disastrous, particularly for the population of
the Krajina region. Tuđman didn’t believe that Babić had the clout to deliver the Krajina
Serbs, and so he listened, but basically he went ahead with his decision for war.
Prosecutor Nice: Can you look briefly at an existing exhibit, 352, tab 104, a British
code cable of August 1995 dealing with these matters. You’ve seen it before or had the
opportunity to see it before. I hope the Chamber has got it before. Have you reviewed
this code cable from your British counterpart?
Galbraith: I have reviewed it.
Prosecutor Nice: Is it accurate, subject to what must be said in paragraph 8?
Galbraith: It is accurate. He was a very skilled diplomat.
Prosecutor Nice: And at paragraph 8 he says this: “Commenting on his discussions,
Galbraith recognised that Babić might not have authority to conclude a deal on these
lines. He might be disowned by his RSK colleagues in Knin and by the Assembly, but
it was a last chance for peace. He, Galbraith, would be seeing Tuđman tonight at 5.45
local time to report the outcome of his talks with Babić in Belgrade. Milošević was being
briefed by the American Embassy in Belgrade. Comment?”
Galbraith: At the time, of course I had hoped that our chargé would be able to see
Milošević. I expected, given the imminence of war, given that the scale of the military
action which was going to be the largest military action in the conflict since 1992, that of
course Milošević would see the American representative, and I didn’t know at the time
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I briefed my diplomatic colleagues that that was not going to happen. So Ambassador
Hewitt accurately conveyed what I said, but of course what I had hoped and frankly
expected to happen didn’t happen.
Prosecutor Nice: You see, the document ends with the hope that Mr. Roberts can be
instructed to take action with Mr. Milošević. That would be then the British chargé
d’affaires, Ivory Roberts. Did he have easy access to the accused, to your knowledge?
Galbraith: Yes, I think he had good relations with the authorities in Belgrade.
Prosecutor Nice: So it should have been possible to communicate the state of play to the
accused had he been receptive at that time.
Galbraith: It certainly should have been.
Prosecutor Nice: Very well. Well, following these efforts, the attack began.
Galbraith: It did.
Prosecutor Nice: The consequences you’ve already summarised a little earlier. Perhaps
this would be a convenient moment for you to give your assessment from all your
experience of at least two, possibly three, of the figures you’ve referred to, in terms of
intelligence, ability, leadership, from what you saw. First of all, Martić.
Galbraith: Martić was a former policeman, I thought a man of very limited intelligence.
Although he was the president of the so-called Republika Srpska Krajina, I don’t think
that he had any particular interest in the people of that territory, and I thought he was
way out of his depth.
Prosecutor Nice: Influenced by . . . ?
Galbraith: Influenced by the defendant, by the government of Serbia, the Serbian
military, the Yugoslav military, certainly would be unwilling to act on a key matter on
his own without the approval from Belgrade.
Prosecutor Nice: Babić?
Galbraith: Babić was also a nationalist. And I don’t want to convey the idea that there are
any saints in this process. He was a nationalist, he was a participant in the creation of the
RSK and in the expulsion of the Croatian population. Nonetheless, I thought he was the
most charismatic of the politicians. I thought that he had the interests of the Krajina Serb
population much more at heart than any of them. I think he was the only one, actually,
who had any concern for the local population. I thought he was easily intimidated, both
by Martić and by Milošević.
Prosecutor Nice: For these two, was cohabitation, living together, a possibility?
Galbraith: Well, cohabitation with each other was extremely difficult.

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Prosecutor Nice: Living together, as between the ethnic groups.
Galbraith: For Martić, it was absolutely out of the question. He repeatedly told me that
Serbs and Croats could never live together and that if the area was reintegrated into
Croatia, that he would not stay. Babić I think was more open to the idea that Serbs and
Croats could live together.
Prosecutor Nice: Was he popular amongst the people of Krajina?
Galbraith: He was the most popular politician, particularly in Sectors North and South.
He had been the mayor of Knin. And in my judgement, of course, he was the man who
had actually won the election in 1994.
Prosecutor Nice: What, if any, control did he have of the army?
Galbraith: He had no control over the army. And of course that’s why he was capable of
being intimidated.
Prosecutor Nice: Moving forward. In the course of Operation Storm, did you take a
public position on human rights abuses committed by the Croatian army?
Galbraith: I was and the United States government was repeatedly and publicly critical
of Croatian human rights violations, which were severe and inexcusable.
Prosecutor Nice: How regularly, if at all, did you take these matters to Tuđman?
Galbraith: Well, I mean, I saw him on a number of occasions in this period, as well as
his chief of staff, Hrvoje Šarinić, and other officials of the Croatian government, and
on every one of these occasions I raised our concerns about what was happening to the
population in the Krajina, the human rights violations.
Prosecutor Nice: Did you almost famously on one occasion find yourself on a tractor,
preventing violations? And if so, in a summary, tell us how that came about.
Galbraith: Yes. There was a group of about 40,000 Serb refugees who had not been able
to escape to Bosnia and they’d been surrounded by Croatian forces near Topusko in
former Sector North. A ceasefire was negotiated which permitted them to leave, pass
through the town of Sisak and go onto the highway to Eastern Slavonia and possibly
then on to Serbia. When the first group of these refugees left and passed through the
town of Sisak, they were attacked by a Croatian mob, and it happened that there was an
AP - Associated Press - reporter there. And that was late in the evening. I think it was
the 9th of August. The next morning, early, I read the story. And it described the attack.
It described a mother whose car window had been smashed with a brick, pulling shards
of glass out of her baby’s blanket. And it described the Croatian policemen standing
around, laughing, and basically saying, “These people got what they deserved.” I thought
that was an outrage. I read the story over the phone to Hrvoje Šarinić, Tuđman’s chief
of staff. I said if they didn’t do anything about it, I would go down and join the convoy
myself. I made an appointment to see Tuđman at 12.30. I read him the story. I said that
this kind of thing would have a devastating impact on Croatia’s relations with the United
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States, and that he absolutely had to stop it. I said that in a normal democratic country,
the Minister of the Interior would have been sacked or resigned in light of this. Tuđman
got quite angry, and so I decided that I needed to follow through on my threat to join
the convoy.
Prosecutor Nice: And I think you went down in an armoured vehicle but...
Galbraith: I went down in an armoured vehicle to Petrinja, where, basically, there were
no Croatian civilians, it was a military zone. And the convoy was along the highway, and
it was stopped, and I so I walked along the convoy. My plan was to put my armoured car
into the convoy and drive along with the American flag flying, but I ran into a garbage
collector who was originally from Karlovac but had moved across the line into the
Serbian side. He was quite friendly, recognised me from television, and he invited me to
join him on his tractor with his wife and two small children, and so I decided to do that.
And I drove with him on the tractor through Sisak. There was a crowd along, jeering,
shouting insults, but the Croatian government had policemen every 10 metres and there
were no incidents.
Prosecutor Nice: One other detail from this period. You were, as you’ve indicated, on
television from time to time. You once gave an interview, I think where you made a
comment about ethnic cleansing which needs interpretation.
Galbraith: Yes. This was for British television. I think it was the BBC. I said that the
Croatians had not engaged in ethnic cleansing in Krajina, although they had engaged
in serious human rights abuses. And my point was that ethnic cleansing was where
the forces had come into a town, paramilitaries backed by the military, terrorised the
population, engaged in killings, rapes, and forced the population to leave. In this case,
the population had left before the Croatians arrived, probably rightly fearing what the
Croatians might do but nonetheless they were not there when the Croatians actually
arrived. And so therefore it wasn’t ethnic cleansing. The analogy that I would use is that
you might enter a room with intent to commit murder but if the individual whom you
intended to kill wasn’t in the room and had departed the scene, your bad intent probably
isn’t a crime.
Prosecutor Nice: Before we move on to Dayton, from the things that you had to deal
with him over, your assessment of Tuđman as a leader or strategist or tactician at the
time?
Galbraith: I thought Tuđman was an effective leader in the sense that he knew where he
wanted to take Croatia. He surrounded himself with some capable subordinates, such as
the Foreign Minister Granić and the Defence Minister Šušak. He was able to delegate to
them and they were able to negotiate on his behalf, and yet he remained in command.
To say that he was an effective leader is not to say that his motives were good. He was a
nationalist, he had a vision of Croatia that often struck me as being out of the nineteenth
century, and he had very little respect for fundamental human rights.

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4
2002, 21 November
Testimony of Milan Babić on the Serbian rejection of “Plan Z-4” at the trial of