Serbian president compares Croatians with Hitler

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has compared Croatia with Nazi Germany, saying that "Hitler wanted a world without Jews, Croatia wants a Croatia without Serbs". The statement was made at a ceremony commemorating Operation Storm, in which Croatian troops recaptured Serb-occupied territories in 1995. Commentators in Croatia and Serbia note that the past is still very present in the country.

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Danas (RS) /

Victory celebrations insulting for Serbia

The Serbian newspaper Danas is appalled by the celebrations in Croatia:

“All over Europe, May 8 (in western Europe) and May 9 (in Russia and Serbia) are celebrated as Victory Day marking the end of the Second World War. But it's not about: 'That's the day we crushed the Germans', but about a victory against a national socialist regime that deserved to be defeated. When Croatia celebrates the day of its victory according to the motto: 'That's the day we whupped the Serbs' it's unacceptable and degrading for Serbia. No matter who started the conflict or bears more or less of the blame. ... You can't fraternise with people who 23 years after their victory and the fulfilment of their political and nationalist goals (at the expense of expelling an entire minority) still feel an undiminished hatred for those who were defeated and deserve sympathy.”

Večernji list (HR) /

Vučić's real problem is Kosovo

With his tirades against Croatia, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić merely wants to divert attention from other issues, Večernji list comments:

“Vučić's problem isn't Croatia or the Croatians, but Kosovo and the Albanians. This is very symbolic, because to all intents and purposes Yugoslavia's collapse began in Kosovo at the end of the 1980s, when it became clear that even a state like Yugoslavia wasn't able to control the rebellious Albanians in Kosovo. When Milošević tried to solve the problem by expelling millions of Albanians, Nato bombed Serbia in 1999. Since then the problem that Vučić has now been landed with has only grown worse. It's ironic that such an important Serbian statesman as Vučić will end up having to sign a treaty with Priština which will eternally be a thorn in the Serbians' side.”

Jutarnji list (HR) /

Serbian pathology

Serbia must finally come to terms with the role it played in the Yugoslav Wars, Jutarnji list demands:

“No one is expecting Serbia to celebrate Operation Storm, nevertheless with his comparison President Aleksandar Vučić reaffirms the dominant pathology in Serbia society. He compares today's Croatia with Nazi Germany, because 'Hitler wanted a world without Jews, and Croatia wants a Croatia without Serbs'. ... Certainly: two sides are needed for any conflict. Nevertheless in this case the responsibility lies with Serbia that 23 years after the end of the war, Belgrade is still playing down what happened and even lying about it. As long as that doesn't change, relations between the two countries can never be normalised.”

Novi list (HR) /

Vučić bears part of the blame

Serbia's President Vučić is the last person who should be criticising Operation Storm because he is one of the initiators of the war, Novi list comments:

“Vučić is the foster son of Slobodan Milošević and Vojislav Šešelj and he can't shed his skin - and why should he if that's where he feels most comfortable? Vučić knows perfectly well that Operation Storm didn't begin in 1995 but in August 1990, when tree trunks blocked Croatian streets and roads and the Serbian flag was hoisted up at Knin Fortress, sending the clear message from the robber bands: this is Serbia! ... Vučić knows all this and if justice existed in this world he would long since have gone on trial for his crimes in Serbia and his war-mongering in Croatia and Bosnia.”