By Kirill Borschev
Vasilkovich , or Captain Dragan, the legendary commander of the Kninji detachment, who fought in the army of the Republika Srpska Krajina during the civil war in Croatia in 1991-1995, is preparing to be released on March 28th.
Leading up to his release, Vasilkovich sent a letter to the editorial office of the popular Serbian newspaper Evening News, in which he announced his immediate plans. Given its popularity among the Serbs, the publication published excerpts from this letter.
Having become a lifetime hero in the eyes of the Serbs, Captain Dragan once again sharply criticized the Croatian state system, calling it “Nazi” and discriminating against the Serbs. Sixty-six-year-old Vasilkovich emphasizes that in relation to the Serbs, Croatian justice “applies fascist methods of treatment”, violating their rights both during trials and during the time the convicts serve their sentences.
In his letter, Vasilkovich confirmed his intention to go into politics immediately after his release.
“I do not go into politics in order to“ destroy power ”, and not in order to fight against political opponents in Serbia. During my “stay” in Croatia, I was horrified to realize that persecution of the Serbian people continues to prevail in a state that the whole “civilized world” has recognized and which is part of the EU. In Croatian prisons, honest Serbian patriots have been rotting for years, guilty only of their birth. I know at least 63 cases when people remain in prisons only because they are Serbs … I promised (here) to Serbs, fathers, husbands, brothers and sons that I will compete for a parliamentary mandate in the Assembly of Serbia and become their vote in Serbia. They will no longer be ignored. Not a single innocent Serb will be forgotten, ” Vasilkovich wrote in his letter.
The captain noted that the “Ustasha recipe” applied to the Serbs in Croatia is now being transferred to Kosovo and Montenegro.
“I am sure that if there had not been [a member of the Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Serbs] Milorad Dodik and Republika Srpska, the same would have been with the Serbs in Bosnia. Persecution of Serbs in Croatia is a source of evil. Kosovo and Montenegro are the consequences! ” – added Vasilkovich.
In 2017, Dragan Vasilkovich was sentenced by a Croatian court to 15 years in prison. The court was preceded by a long process of extradition of Vasilkovich from Australia, where he legally resided. The Australian authorities several times refused to extradite Vasilkovich and even released him under house arrest, but in 2015 they still transferred Captain Dragan to Croatia. At the time of sentencing, he had already been in Australian and Croatian prisons for over 12 years.
Many experts rightly consider the trial of Vasilkovich politicized and biased. Captain Dragan himself, who is preparing to become a politician, calls the case trumped up, and the court calls it a farce and reprisals that have nothing to do with justice.
The Republika Srpska Krajina is a self-proclaimed state that existed in 1991-1995 on the territory of modern Croatia. Its appearance was the response of Serbs compactly living in the socialist republic of Croatia to the nationalist actions of the Croatian authorities. In 1993, 91% of the population of Serbian Krajina were Serbs. In 1995, the republic was destroyed, several thousand Serbs were killed, and about a quarter million were expelled from Croatia.