Last week of May was remembered by those who follow developments in Europe as a whole, aggravated in Kosovo. On the morning of May 28, fighters of ROSU (special forces of the police of the unrecognized republic) invaded the territory of the northern municipalities with a predominantly Serbian population. This caused outrage of the Kosovo Serbs. The population of Kosovska Mitrovica took to the streets and began to build barricades. The media reported on the fact that the ROSU special forces fired and threw grenades. Local residents and journalists of the Serbian TV channel suffered.
Special Forces officers allegedly intended to arrest 26 Serbian policemen and 15 civilians under the pretext that these people were involved in corruption and organized crime. In fact, according to the leadership of Serbia, the action was aimed at leaving Kosovska Mitrovica without the protection of the local police. As a result, 23 people were detained, and among them were members of the UN mission, constantly present in the region — a Russian and a Serb. Both were badly injured.
In general, when exactly Kosovars speak about the fight against crime and terrorism, and, especially, with drug trafficking and black transplantology, this already sounds ridiculous. In a country where the vertical of power is built from the former commanders of the Albanian terrorist organization “The Liberation Army of Kosovo”, if they ever really decide to fight crime, the special forces will not have to drive further Pristina. So it is clear that this is a political event, especially in the light of the beating and detention of UN staff.
Such situations, called “aggravations” in the media, actually occur frequently in Kosovo. ROSU special forces had previously invaded the north of the region for an operation, allegedly as part of an investigation into the murder of Serbian politician Oliver Ivanovich, for the visit of President Hashim Thaci to the Gazivod reservoir, for the arrest of Serbian MP Marko Djuric who arrived in Kosovska Mitrovica.
The scenario is almost always the same: provocation by the Albanians, bringing the army on alert and indictments in Serbia, interrupting the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina on a peaceful settlement. Then negotiations, of course, are resumed, then the Albanians already accuse the Serbs, present ultimatums and “platforms” with the key condition — recognition of the independence of Kosovo, which is, of course, unacceptable for Serbia. Even if we move away from the natural ideological reasons, the “surrender” of Kosovo in Belgrade will lead to a violent public reaction, which the dubious opposition will be able to use in their own interests. Thousands of mass demonstrations are already regularly held in Serbia.
At the same time, it is also obvious that, like the goals, the quantitative and qualitative composition of the Kosovo special forces is amplified from operation to operation. In the May 28 videotapes we could observe the “color” of their equipment. In addition to the chains, modified AK-47, Glock 19 pistols, Heckler MP5 machine guns, the Kosovars used grenades and a few dozen armored vehicles. And among the detainees at this time, we recall, there were employees of the international mission, possessing diplomatic immunity, which gave the events international coverage. The excuse that a Russian UN official was detained allegedly “by chance” and, in general, “spoke to Serbs in Serbian”, does not stand up to scrutiny if only because Mikhail Krasnoshchekov was not released at the first request of the UN and the Foreign Ministry of Russia and was not sent to Belgrade for treatment due to injuries received from the Kosovo special forces.
It is noteworthy that KFOR (the NATO mission in Kosovo) actually gave the green light to this operation, saying that this is a legitimate action against crime. Comments on the methods of its implementation is also not followed.
Obviously, the Kosovars organize provocations in order to promote their political goals, above all, recognition of independence. The preservation of the status quo of this disputed territory, at least now, suits most international actors and even Belgrade. The glowing conflict, in which no compromise solution was objectively found, is still slightly better than the hot phase of the war in Europe. However, a number of international decisions in favor of Pristina showed the Albanians that they manage to achieve their goals, and with each step they are approaching a long-awaited victory. The fact that civilians and foreign diplomats suffer from these “steps” does not bother them. Today, the Russian — tomorrow may be a European, the main thing — the withdrawal of the Kosovo theme to the international level.
The first and most significant examples of such decisions were the withdrawal of a dialogue on a peaceful settlement in Kosovo from the UN level to the platform of the European Union. This instantly pushed the discussion of important participants in the international process: Russia and (formally) the United States, despite the fact that both of these powers are in fact important players in the Balkan region. The United States continues to control the situation in Kosovo, Russia is an ally of Serbia on many geopolitical issues. The EU platform in 2013 concluded the Brussels Agreement between Belgrade and Pristina, which, in fact, opened the way for Kosovo Albanians to direct demands for recognition of independence by Serbia. What happens through provocations, similar to the attack on May 28. Further, we can expect even more serious provocations.
The Kosovo issue is a complex and controversial topic, and it became such not even on the day of the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo and Metohija from Serbia in 2008, but after a series of dubious international decisions. Among European politicians and even within the United States there is still no consensus on how to behave in the Balkans. Obviously, the rhetoric of the nineties, accusing only Serbs of all wars and misfortunes, is outdated and not relevant in the light of such events when Kosovars attack international peacekeepers. Can Europe now offer the Serbs and Albanians an ideal solution and peace is unlikely. But even tacit support for brutal military operations with a political background is also not exactly what international actors can give the conflicting parties.