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Some aspects of activity of the Army of Yugoslavia in the aggresion against Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina on the territory of Central Podrinje in the beginning of 1993

Journal: Historijski pogledi//Historical Views (Vol.IV, No. 5)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 217-234

Keywords : Bosnia and Herzegovina; Army of Yugoslavia; aggression; Podrinje; Srebrenica; Udar (Assault);

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The presence of regular Yugoslav military forces in central Podrinje and their participation in the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina have been evident from the very beginnings. As there were no significant forces of the Yugoslav People's Army in Bosnian Podrinje, in the beginning of April 1992 the 336th Motorized brigade was dislocated from the area of Tuzla and it established its command post in Šekovići, thus becoming the bearer of battle activities and organization of the Army of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in this region, including in its organic composition all Serb armed formations from Zvornik, Kalesija, Šekovići, Vlasenica, Milići, Bratunac and Skelani. In the attacks during which the Serb forces gained control over a broader area of Central Podrinje, and the Bosniak population, which constituted a pronounced majority of the overall population, was suppressed and reduced to three isolated enclaves on the territory of Cerska, Konjević Polje and Srebrenica, the function of leading and commanding these forces, as well as other regular and irregular units which were directed or acted from the territory of Serbia, was conducted by the Operative group “Drina”, a formation under the command of the Belgrade military zone, later the 1st Army of the Yugoslav Army. In the attacks on the remaining enclaves of Podrinje during the summer and autumn of 1992 the aviation of the Yugoslav Army was employed along with lighter jets of agricultural aviation, as well as artillery from the firing positions of the Yugoslav Army on the territory of Serbia. The contents of the Wance-Owen peace plan, according to which the greater part of the Bosnian Podrinje was supposed to be included into one of the provinces with a Bosniak ethnic majority, which would have spelt the end of the Serb national policy in Podrinje, represented an announcement of a large winter offensive of the Serbian forces. With a directive issued on 19 November 1992 the Drina corps of the Army of Republika Srpska was ordered to defend Višegrad, Zvornik and the corridor towards Serbia with its main forces, to deblock the communication on the line Milići – Konjević Polje – Zvornik, and to exhaust the enemy on the broader area of Podrinje, inflict upon him as much loss as possible, and force him to “leave the areas of Birač, Žepa and Goražde together with the Muslim population”. On the basis of this directive act, the planned offensive military activities of the Serb forces in Central Podrinje, initiated during November and finished with the agreement on the demilitarization of Srebrenica in April 1993, according to the documents of the Army of Republika Srpska, had three successive phases codenamed: “PROBOJ” (Breakthrough), “PESNICA” (Fist) and “UDAR” (Assault). Despite the significant engaged forces, the offensive “PROBOJ” did not go according to plan, and in the counterattacks during December the forces of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina liberated a large number of settled places, and until 9 January 1993 gained control over Serb strongholds in the communication region of Bratunac – Kravica, and thus physically connected all parts of the liberated territory. Then a new offensive was launched, codenamed “PESNICA”, which, aside from the stabilization of the Serb defence of Bratunac, did not achieve its stated goals, while on the other side the forces of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina arrived to the part of the state border with Serbia in the region of Skelani. In the final phase of the offensive, that bore the code name of “UDAR”, the Army of Yugoslavia directly joined the fighting in Central Podrinje on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Last modified: 2021-06-22 05:49:34