- The Duran Quick Take: Episode 186.
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the alarming raids by Kosovo police in a Serb majority region in Kosovo. The Kremlin has described the actions of the Kosovo police as part of “provocations” indulged by US.
The police special forces of the unrecognized, self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo put 23 people into custody in the north, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday while addressing the country’s parliament.
“The [police special forces’] raid began at 05:55 (06:55 Moscow time), with 73 armored vehicles involved in it, 50 are lying in wait in Kosovska Mitrovica. The arrest of 23 Serbs and Bosniaks has been confirmed. The issue at hand is primarily Kosovo police officers.”
Vucic stressed that Serbian troops have been put on full combat alert and that the Serbian people in Kosovo would be protected. “Should the situation escalate, Serbia will emerge victorious,” Vucic concluded
Among those detained is a Russian national who is an employee of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Serbia’s President noted, “Mikhail Krasnoshchenkov, a Russian citizen and an employee of the UNMIK mission, is among the detainees. We informed the relevant Russian agencies about that.”
A Kosovo police raid in the Serb-dominated area of the breakaway region is a provocation, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said, adding that Pristina’s actions were indulged by the EU and US.
Moscow regards the Tuesday intrusion by Kosovo’s special forces (ROSU) into the Serb-populated northern municipalities as a “provocation,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
Pristina’s ultimate aim, she explained, is “to intimidate and force out the non-Albanian population and forcibly establish control of the area.”
On Tuesday morning, Kosovo special forces (ROSU) launched a raid in the town of Zubin Potok in the Serb-dominated north-western part of Kosovo. Gunfire was reportedly heard on the streets as police, according to Pristina, targeted an “organized crime network.” Over a dozen ethnic Serbs are said to have been arrested.
Moscow said the operation violates the agreements between Belgrade and Pristina which prohibit Kosovo special forces, armed with long-barreled weapons, from penetrating deep into the Serbian municipalities.
Nevertheless it happens over and over again in the recent years with the connivance of the KFOR which have the UN Security Council mandate to ensure peace and security in the region.
Such “defiance” of Pristina stems from the “perennial indulgence” on behalf of the EU and the US, Zaharova said, accusing Kosovo leaders of inciting inter-ethnic hostility.
Following the raids, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic put the country’s army on high alert and accused Kosovo authorities of “criminalizing” ethnic Serbs