Why is Dodik in a hurry to form the Republic of Srpska army?

By: Dženana Karup Druško

Before the adoption of the conclusions of the National Assembly that the Republika Srpska should start forming its army, serious preparations were made: investments were made in strengthening the Ministry of internal affairs of Republic of Srpska by procuring weapons, renovating the Zalužani barracks, forming a police reserve, establishing and developing an intelligence structure within the police, and all with the logistical and professional assistance of Belgrade and Moscow; the Council for the Protection of the Constitutional Order of the RS was formed; activities on strengthening civil protection have been accelerated (which has good preconditions for the creation of a future army); A civil protection training center was established on Zelengora, a training center near the Vardiste border crossing, and within the planned airport in Trebinje, according to Western intelligence, there will be a center similar to the Russian humanitarian center from Niš which is already called by some people a Russian military base which will be strategically directed against NATO.

The conclusions voted by the National Assembly of Republic of Srpska last week - which means the exit of this Bosnian entity from the state judiciary, indirect taxes, security and defence, and the formation of entity institutions that will take over these tasks, for which the RS Government Laws should be made to regulate all this - Milorad Dodik has started implementing his plans to withdraw the Republic of Srpska from the constitutional order of Bosnia and Herzegovina, thus striking at the BiH Constitution and the Dayton Peace Agreement, seriously violating peace and security.

The beginning of secession

Milorad Dodik did nothing that he had not announced and implemented for a long time - from the referendum on the jurisdiction of the state judicial system in 2011, the referendum on the jurisdiction of the BiH State Court in 2016, the referendum on Republic of Srpska Day 2016, then the Declaration on the Survival of the RS Serb People and Serbia, as well as the 2015 Declaration on Free and Independent RS, which envisions a 2018 referendum on independence "unless the powers taken away from the High Representative by RS are restored" in which the Federation is "democratically" offered (after the referendum results). ) a “Peaceful separation and mutual simultaneous recognition“,, blockades of state institutions, etc. 

Immediately after the inauguration in the Presidency of BiH, in 2018, Dodik was more than clear: "I love Serbia more than BiH. BiH is just my job and nothing more, and I will travel with a Serbian passport, which I have done so far. " He then announced his action plan: the abolition of the OHR, the persecution of foreign judges from the BiH Constitutional Court, and new attacks on the BiH Armed Forces and the BiH Intelligence and Security Agency. 

The difference between the mentioned and the last conclusions adopted by the National assembly of RS is that Dodik and his followers are now claiming that Republic of Srpska does not want to exit Bosnia and Herzegovina, even though the adopted conclusions are nothing else but the beginning of secession of RS, as it was commented by the prominent Sarajevo lawyer Nedim Ademović, i.e. the continuation of what was started by the Dodik's predecessors in the Presidency of BiH in 1990, Biljana Plavšić and Nikola Koljević, which was in May 1992 made official in the National assembly of RS by the adoption of the strategic goals including the first one which is the taking control of the territory and formation of the Serbian country on the territory of BiH and defence of the borders of that „country“, which  implied secession of Serbs from the other two nations, Bosniaks and Croats in BiH. At that session of the Assembly, the Army of the Republic of Srpska was founded and Ratko Mladic was appointed its commander. An army that will commit the most horrific crimes known to international humanitarian law (from ethnic cleansing to genocide) from 1992 to 1995 in pursuit of adopted political / strategic goals. 

According to Dodik's statements, immediately after the conclusions are voted on, RS will first resolve the issue of state property, on which laws are also being prepared that will be in conflict with both the Dayton Accords and the BiH Constitutional Court ruling. However, let us remind you that Dodik is also destroying that pillar of power, that is, the Constitutional Court of BiH. There is no doubt that Dodik, given RS's indebtedness and the fact that he sold and indebted RS public goods (it is enough to look at the list of burdens on public companies, even the pension fund and health care on behalf of bonds placed by RS in previous years) now needs state property for further implementation of plans. 

This is supported by the move of the RS Government, which immediately after the adoption of the conclusions in the Assembly, made a proposal for a decision which in the next year RS plans to borrow an additional over one billion KM, of which more than half by placing bonds. The last issue of RS bonds, made on the London Stock Exchange, triggered a series of speculations that Dodik pledged state property, which was warned a few days ago by the Vice President of the European Green Party, Thomas Waitz, in an interview with Austrian DerStandar. that one part of the country can issue government bonds at all (especially if it is state property such as forests), and called on the competent European institutions to check how and to whom they are sold, emphasizing that there are suspicions that Russian capital is involved, which, having in mind the geopolitical situation, can have a significant impact on security issues.

Precisely because of the usurpation of state property, Dodik is concerned with two major projects he planned to implement with Serbia: as many as three hydropower plants in Gornji Podrinje, which Dodik largely left to Serbia, are the subject of a dispute before the BiH Constitutional Court because the Drina River is state property; Trebinje Airport will also need to obtain the consent of the state (Council of Ministers).

Dodik's strategic goals

From the above, it is clear how and how much the state of BiH bothers Dodik and why he is in a hurry to establish an army that will "guard" the territory of RS, because that is the basic job of all armies in the world, i.e. property that Dodik plans to steal from the state. On the other hand, Dodik's strategic goals perfectly match the political goals of the Russian Federation in the Western Balkans, and Vladimir Putin's support is necessary for Dodik to maintain his position, to maintain his policy and secure his wealth, especially after being on thin ice for signing. AMP, the Program of Reforms and the Icon Affair, and that is why he set out on a path from which there is no return: he destroys the state from within and produces crises and legal chaos, which completely blocks BiH's European and Atlantic integrations, bringing the country into a frozen conflict. 

In addition, Dodik's strategic goals continue the realization of Radovan Karadzic's strategic goals on the formation of the Serbian state in BiH and its connection with Serbia and other Serbian territories in the Western Balkans, thus realizing the (Belgrade) dream of a Greater Serbia for which Dodik has open support and assistance from Russia and Serbia. Weak and divided BiH responds to Russia, which has launched perhaps the largest offensive since the end of the Cold War on the EU and NATO by acting in Ukraine, Belarus, the Western Balkans, and supporting all European right-wingers. Aleksandar Vučić, as well as Dodik, has support for his autocratic policy and the dream of a "Serbian world" based on the reputation of the "Russian world" (which includes Ukraine), only in Putin and because he managed that Serbia has strong strongholds from which they operate jointly in the region causing crisis in North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with which they keep the West Balkans in the state of insecurity and on the edge of conflict for years.

The fact that those are the long-lasting and strategic plans for which Dodik himself does not have any knowledge and sources, and in which he would not certainly enter without the support of Kremlje and Beograd is confirmed by the thing that the beginning of secession (secession of Republic of Srpska), which was, by adoption of conclusion, made official by the National assembly of RS, was preceded by serious preparations (which was supported logistically and professionally by Russia and Serbia): strengthening of the Ministry of internal affairs of the Republic of Srpska in which scope the (para)military formation was established and formation of the spare composition of police, with the already well-organized intelligence structure inside police which operates in the formations for the alleged battle against terrorism, and the system of the hunting and security agencies, and formation of the Council for the protection of the constitution order of RS as the (para)intelligence structure, and strengthening civil protection (which is a good basis for creating a future army given its organization and logistics). Individuals from these paraintelligence structures, with the help of retired generals of the Army of the Republic of Srpska and some high-ranking Serbian officers of the Armed Forces of BiH are already working on drafting a new law on the RS Army. 

Dodik's Plan A, as the most important precondition for the realization of other conclusions of the RS National Assembly, is the establishment of the Republic of Srpska Army, which is why numerous activities have already been launched, including the establishment of civil protection training centers, one of which will be in the National Park Sutjeska, i.e. on Zelengora. Insiders claim that the instructors have already been trained at the Russian humanitarian center in Nis, with which the RS civil protection is closely connected. It is interesting that there was a headquarters on Zelengora, where GRU intelligence officers often stayed at a time when litias were organized in Montenegro with the aim of removing Milo Đukanović and his party from power, which they succeeded in doing. 

In addition, a training center is being established near the Vardiste (Visegrad) border crossing between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is linked to the Serbian Interior Ministry. It was this border crossing that was mentioned as one of the most important in the Open Balkans project imposed on BiH. Given this information, the statements of the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, are clearer, who , by protesting to any sanctions on Dodik, said that there will be no blockades on Drina ever again, clearly indicating that there are no borders on Drina any more (which was one of the strategic goals adopted by the RS National Assembly in 1992).

Russian "humanitarian" centers

Even at the time when the former military barracks Zalužani, which was given to the RS Ministry of the Interior, was being renovated in Banja Luka in 2018 - the Special Police of the RS Ministry of the Interior, the Support Unit and the Training Center were located on about 55 hectares, it was said that Dodik agreed on the construction of a Russian base in RS at one of his meetings with Putin, and that the Russians were interested in Mahovljane near Banja Luka, Sokolac and Trebinje, from where Putin would have the whole of Europe on his missile systems. 

At the beginning of this year, Dodik and Aleksandar Vučić announced a big project, the construction of an international airport in Trebinje, although it is difficult to explain economically, considering that there are already four international airports within a hundred kilometers. However, in April, an international tender was announced (announced by the Serbian state company Airports of Srbia, which will fully dispose of the planned airport) for the preparation of project-technical documentation according to which the airport will be able to receive wide fuselages, something which cannot do Split, Pristina , Skopje, Sarajevo, and Podgorica. 

The construction of this international airport has caused concern in Western intelligence services, because according to their information, a center modeled on the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center in Nis, which is officially engaged in civil protection, and unofficially a Russian military base within which is also an airport and in which paramilitary units that operate freely in Serbia, Republic of Srpska and Montenegro have been trained for years. In addition, this Nis center is positioned near Bulgaria. Ivica Dacic, at the time when he was the Minister of Police of Serbia, boasted that he founded this center in Nis together with Russian General Sergei Shoigu.

When Serbia signed the Agreement with NATO, the spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marija Zaharova, commented: "We notice that Serbia is developing relations with NATO. We start from the premise that Belgrade will adhere to the policy of neutrality. Russia is ready for a dialogue with Serbia on signing an agreement on the Russian-Serbian humanitarian center in Nis. It is exclusively a civilian structure, and speculations about its alleged military, and even mentioning its spy character somewhere, are malicious fabrications. "

The "malicious fabrications" are that members of the "humanitarian" Serbian unit have been practicing shooting at the humanitarian center in Nis for years, boasting about their posts on Facebook. Let us remind you, the association Serbian Honour is connected with Putin's Night Wolves, which are on the black list of the USA due to terrorist actions in Ukraine, and it was Dodik who received the Night Wolves in Banja Luka and decorated them with an order. 

Organized crime, corruption and security

The construction of the airport in Trebinje will be managed, as officially announced, by the newly formed company Airport Trebinje, in which Mladen Stanković from Niš, former director of Niš Airport Konstantin, who is part of the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center, has been appointed as a director. The beginning of construction is still "only" the consent of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Namely, although Dodik announced it as a big project of Republic of Srpska with Serbia, the draft memorandum prepared by the BiH Ministry of Transport and Communications headed by Vojin Mitrovic (SNSD) says that the project must be approved by the state, i.e. the Council of Ministers. The problem arose because the land on which the airport is planned to be built seems to be agricultural, i.e. state-owned. 

There is no doubt about the strategic importance of the announced project for Dodik, Vučić and Russia. However, in addition to the strategic, the construction of the airport also has an economically important role because, according to those sent, it is already known who will be the contractor estimated (so far) at around 150 million euros, and the company is in contact with brothers from Nis who have been repeatedly linked to organized crime, and even BIA has been reporting on it. However, as people trusted by Ivica Dačić, who have the protection of Aleksandar Vučić, they have never been officially prosecuted for anything. Their lucrative business is also linked to the former Bulgarian ambassador to Serbia, who has tried to establish himself in BiH, and the group has developed businesses in Bulgaria, Serbia, northern Kosovo and the Republic of Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is interesting that the company is brought into connection with the building of the hydropower plant on Drina.

Having all this in mind, it is clear how important the sanctions announced for Milorad Dodik and the individuals around him would be, covering all matters, from political, through security, to economic. As he disturbed the peace and security in BiH with his moves, sanctions against him could mean the eventual stopping of (international) organized criminal groups which, through "large interstate projects", extract millions of marks from the already poor Western Balkan countries and which behind the "higher interests" and "protection of the Serbian people" constantly produce chaos and insecurity, with threats of some new conflicts. 



Obavezna polja su markirana*