Introduction & Updates in National Landscape
The New Year in Serbia began where the old one ended, with the tensions in Kosovo and the attempt by international institutions to reach an agreement. On January 6, citizens of Kosovo of Serbian nationality aged 11 and 21 were wounded. Because of this, the Serbs in Štrpac protested, although the attacker was soon arrested. The United States of America and the European Union started a diplomatic offensive, a kind of pressure on the institutions of Serbia and Kosovo, so the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, met with the EU’s special representative for dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and other regional issues of the Western Balkans, Miroslav Lajčak, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and the US Special Envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, the foreign and security policy advisers of the President of the Republic of France and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Emanuel Bonn and Jens Plettner, and the diplomatic adviser to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Italy, Francesco Tala. After the meeting in Belgrade, a meeting was held in Pristina with the officials of the Government of Kosovo. On January 20, President Aleksandar Vučić addressed the nation and informed them of what was agreed. This is a proposal that the government in Belgrade is pushing and insisting on, but it would have the implication of the eventual division of Kosovo into a northern part inhabited by Serbs and a southern part that would belong to Albanians. That would create the impression that there are no losers even though, in practice, the majority has recognized the state of Kosovo for 15 years. However, the content of what Vučić said hints that an agreement would be reached soon. Parliament discussed the proposal and confirmed that it agreed with what is popularly called the German-French proposal. On the other hand, those who are interested in prolonging the tensions, especially Russia, launched a broad campaign to mobilize supporters of the non-recognition of Kosovo, although this was not announced. So that led to the mobilization and actions of the extreme right, both institutional and non-institutional, against this proposal.
Transnational Activities & Group Interactions
The far-right continued its activities after the unsuccessful march to the North of Kosovo in mid-December 2022. Already on January 4, the People’s Patrol and Serbian Action organized a protest against the construction of the Mosque in Mladenovac, a town not far from Belgrade. About 50 people attended the protest full of anti-Islamic slogans. In Kosovska Mitrovica, the People’s Patrols organized a protest together with local Serbs on January 8, and the reason was the wounding of Kosovo Serb citizens in Štrpac on January 6. The protest was called “Stop the Betrayal of Kosovo and Metohija,” and the leader of this group Damjan Knezevic, among others, spoke in front of several hundred people. As the most active far-right group in the last few months, the People’s Patrols painted a mural of the Russian mercenary group Wagner in Belgrade. An advertisement for recruitment by this group appeared on the website of the Russian media “Russia Today Balkan,” but it was soon removed after public protests. The mural painted by the People’s Patrons with the symbol of this extreme right-wing group was destroyed after two days by a local anti-fascist group. Tensions between anti-fascists and far-right groups have increased in recent months, and clashes have become more frequent. On January 16, three members of the far-right group Zentropa tried to attack the owner and guests of the Crni Ovan cafe in Novi Sad, which is a well-known meeting place of Novi Sad anti-fascists. The shop window was smashed, and the right-wingers were taken into custody, but they were soon released, and the prosecution refused to characterize this attack as inciting racial, national, and religious hatred, openly siding with the extreme right. This will certainly cause a further escalation of the conflict that has been going on for some time between the extreme right and the organized anti-fascist movement in Novi Sad. Responding to the address of the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, on January 22, all far-right groups and organizations started a campaign called “Declare the occupation”. Their intention is to force the institutions in Serbia to declare the occupation of Kosovo and to send the Serbian Army to Kosovo under that pretext. That is, the intention is to provoke a conflict at any cost that would decide the signing of any agreement. Propaganda actions of the extreme right are limited to several largest cities in Serbia: Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš. And a large “nationwide protest” due to the signing of the agreement was announced for Serbia’s statehood day on February 15. Zentropa Group continues with international activities after commemorating the anniversary of the death of three Italian fascists 43 years ago, which is an activity within the scope of the international commitment of that day which was celebrated throughout Europe. The owner of Club 451 and Zentropa activist Marko Gajinović was a guest on country currents radio, where he spoke about the history of the far right in Serbia and current campaigns. At the same time, Serbian Action published an interview with the activists of the Polish National Revival they interviewed in December when activists from Poland visited this far-right organization.
Stop the construction of the mosque in Mladenovac http://t.me/narodnapatrola https://t.me/narodnapatrola
Protest against the betrayal of Kosovo and Metohija Kosovska Mitrovica https://t.me/narodnapatrola
Wager Mural in Belgrade https://t.me/narodnapatrola
Attack of the far-right on the anti-fascist pub Crni Ovan in Novi Sad https://www.slobodnaevropa.org/a/napad-crni-ovan-antifasizam/32230696.html
Campaign declare occupation http://t.me/hrabrozakosmeta
Marko Gajinović’s guest appearance on The Writers’ Bloc radio https://odysee.com/@countercurrents:6/ccradio:e
Interview Serbian Action National Revival of Poland – https://akcija.org/intervju-sa-nacionalnim-preporodom-poljske/