Round-trip to Europe and back

While many are still celebrating the fall of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and a “velvet revolution”, few will remember that on November 18th, 1991, a city in Europe fell after an 87-day siege to chants of “There will be meat, we are going to cut the throats of Croats!”

Not even the tiniest of articles in the European press, no report on Euronews today.

“Vukovar is yesterday, today and tomorrow”, is the slogan chosen for this year’s commemoration of Vukovar’s sacrifice 18 years ago.

Yesterday, 1664 soldiers and civilians died in the defense of Vukovar.

Yesterday, 1, 5 million projectiles of over 100 mm, 5 million of less than 100 mm and 2500 bombs of more than 250 kg were dropped on Vukovar. Up to 12000 grenades fell on Vukovar daily.

Yesterday, 3000 civilians died within the city itself, a quarter of them Serbian nationals.

Yesterday, 1557 and 2000 civilians were emprisonned in prisons or camps in Serbia.

Yesterday, 5000 soldiers and civilians died or were executed in Vukovar. They represent one third of all the Croatian war casualties.

Yesterday, 10.000 civilians were expelled from Vukovar following its fall to the Yugoslav People’s Army and paramilitary militia.

Yesterday, 260 soldiers and civilians were executed in the Ovcara mass grave.

Today, 361 Vukovar residents are still missing.

Today, there are 938 white crosses at the Vukovar Memorial cemetary.

Up to Today, 1664 victims have been identified.

Today, former Colonnel of the Yugoslav People’s Army Mile Mrksic, is serving a 20-year prison sentence for for aiding and abetting the torture and assassination of 200 people at Ovcara.

Today, former Battalion Commander in the Yugoslav People’s Army Veselin Sljivancanin is serving a 17-year sentence for aiding and abetting the murder of prisoners of war after the fall of Vukovar, after the Appeals Chamber of the ICTY found that the Trial Chamber erred in originally acquitting Šljivančanin of aiding and abetting murder in Vukovar and convicting him to only 5 years in prison.

Today, former Captain of the Yugoslav People’s Army Miroslav Radic is living a free life, having been acquitted by the Hague Tribunal for “lack of evidence”.

Today, Vukovar is the second most expensive city in Croatia to live in.

Today, the unemployment rate in Vukovar is over 21%.

Today, the average monthly salary in Vukovar is 25% lower than the national average.

Today, 800 Vukovar families live on Caritas aid.

Today, 700 refugees, mostly from the Vukovar region, have not returned to their home.

And tomorrow?

Tomorrow, European leaders will be choosing the first EU Council president who will its meetings for a two-and-a-half year term and a new head of foreign policy.

Tomorrow, will any of them remember Vukovar?

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