Milovic denies the presence of the Wagner and criminal groups: We want to resolve the situation peacefully

The former mayor of Zvecan, Dr. Dragisa Milovic, who was injured during Monday’s incident, addressed a large number of citizens gathered near the Zvecan municipal building today: „Our only two demands are that the special units with firearms, armored vehicles move away and leave the Zvecan municipal building,“ Milovic said.

Milovic denied that the members of the so-called Wagner group or any criminal structures are present in the north.

„Before I present our already well-known demands, for the sake of the truth, and the journalists here, let me say that there are no illegal structures here among you; no criminal gangs, no members of the so-called Wagner group, no young men who want to burn everything that is not Serbian,“ he emphasized, noting that only citizens of Zvecan and North Mitrovica rallied today.

„The citizens of our most beautiful municipality, Zvecan, are here, who have lived here for years and centuries. Our brothers from North Mitrovica are also here. We’ve been living here since the 11th century, this is the medieval town of Zvecan, the walls of the town bear witness.“

The former mayor of Zvecan underscored that these protests are not against KFOR, that is, NATO, adding that everyone feels remorse over the „imposed conflicts“ and those who suffered injuries during those conflicts.

„To our Dragisa Galjko and everyone else, we wish them a speedy recovery and that what happened in Zvecan is never repeated again.“

He recalled what exactly happened on Friday:

„We should remind ourselves because we Serbs are quick to forget – on Friday the 26th, by force, brutally, unilaterally, special units from Pristina occupied the Zvecan municipal building. They did this, as they say, so that the mayors who received 100 votes after some container voting could come, who want to represent the people and be the mayors of the municipality of Zvecan.“

Milovic further pondered whether or KFOR aware of this, and if they provided assistance:

„We are looking for an answer, and our only two demands are that those special units with firearms, armored vehicles move away and leave the Zvecan municipal building.“

They are not accepted here, they are not welcome, that is our message.

Citizens want to resolve the situation peacefully, he added.

„That’s why those who take care of our health daily are with us today, who helped our injured, of which there were more than 50. We want to thank those who provide help to everyone who needs it. We also successfully provided medical aid to members of KFOR, EULEX, and UNMIK, and received certificates of appreciation,“ Milovic said, referring to health workers.

„Here among us are the heroes who led the fight against COVID-19. There are doctors, nurses, medical technicians, drivers, paramedics, support staff, from the North Mitrovica Medical Center, the Health Centers in Zvecan and Mitrovica“.

According to Milovic, those rallying today are ordinary, concerned citizens who want to live peacefully: „For their future, for the future and safety of their children.“

„Here are the people who say – Stop Pristina’s terror, Kurti’s terror. We see special units on the Bistrica bridge, throughout the north,“ he added.

Halt the occupation of the north – that is our demand.

The former Zvecan mayor once again told the gathered citizens that they must be united – not divided, especially not based on the party they may belong to.

He once again requested the withdrawal of the special forces and recalled the pending decision on whether or not the custody of the two arrested ethnic Serbs would be terminated or extended.
That decision is being made today, as their 48-hour detention is about to end.

Finally, Milovic thanked the world’s best tennis player, Novak Djokovic, who is also an honorary citizen of Zvecan:
„We have a moral obligation to thank one of the greatest among us, an honorary citizen of our municipality, Novak Djokovic, and to thank him for representing Serbia superbly.“
As a sign of gratitude, Zvecan locals will send the Serbian flag to Novak.
„We’ll give him the flag of the most beautiful country of Serbia, we are sending it to Novak to display in Paris when he wins Roland Garros,“ said Milovic.

Tensions have been running extremely high in the north since Friday when the special units of the Kosovo Police forcibly installed three ethnic Albanian mayors into Serb-controlled municipal buildings in Zvecan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic.

Local Serbs objected to these actions and have been protesting in front of the municipal buildings since Friday. All-day negotiations between the citizens and the Kosovo police, in which a US representative of KFOR served as a mediator, failed and ended in a clash between local protestors and KFOR. The conflict broke out after KFOR announced that it would push the protestors off the street, to remove two armored police vehicles which were blocked by the crowd.

More than a dozen Serbs were injured, one seriously, as were 30 KFOR soldiers, three of whom sustained serious injuries. At the same time, the Kosovo police arrested five Serbs in connection with these riots, then released two.

Both sides are asked to take responsibility for the latest escalation. ”The situation to be immediately de-escalated“ – reads the message which was repeatedly sent to Kurti starting from Friday.

US officials are particularly vocal on the matter. They called on the Kosovo PM to ensure that elected mayors carry out their duties from alternate locations and withdraw police forces from municipal buildings.

Kurti, on the other hand, persistently accuses „extreme masked right-wing groups, who vandalize, attack, burn everything they don’t consider Serbian and who display nationalist and chauvinist symbols, such as the four ‘S’ and ‘Z’ – Russian aggression to Ukraine“.

The Kosovo PM also accused the vice-president of Srpska Lista Milan Radoicic, as well as Zvonko Veselinovic, of setting off these protests.

As “instigators,” he cited Aleksandar Vucic, Aleksandar Vulin and Ivica Dacic.

Read more:

State Department: The Government of Kosovo’s decision to force access to municipal buildings unnecessarily escalated tensions

Conflict in Zvečan between KFOR members and Serbs, there are casualties

Protests Break Out in Three Municipalities in Northern Kosovo, KFOR secures the scene

KFOR: Both Sides Must Refrain from Actions that Could Incite Violence and Cause Escalation

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