The Balkans, Russia: Radovan Karadžić

According to reports, former Bosnian Serb leader and one of the world’s most wanted war criminals fugitives Radovan Karadžić has been arrested in Serbia on Monday night.

Below are some of the initial reactions from bloggers.

Eric Gordy of East Ethnia:

The arrest of Karadžić is of course a huge event, leaving just two major suspects (only one of whom is worth the trouble) still to be captured and tried.


The Tribunal had better not mess this one up because there are not many chances left. […]

Pengovsky of Sleeping With Pengovsky

[…] The arrest was confirmed by the office of the President of Serbia Boris Tadić, without giving details. I imagine this is a high-risk game for Serbian leadership as Karadžić and general Ratko Mladić (who remains at large) have quite a following in Serbia and Republic of Srbska in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Hopefuly Serbian President Boris Tadić will fare better than the late Zoran Djindjić.

Perhaprs, just perhaps, the wars of Yugoslavia will finally be brought to an end. […]


[From the comments section, another note by Pengovsky]

After the first couple of hours looking for reactions, caution seems to prevail. Noone wants to get his/her hopes too high too soon.

Douglas Muir of A Fistful of Euros:

[…] On a personal note: for years my wife has said that Karadzic was living “down the street” from us back in the early 2000s. At that time, we were living in the street Golsfortieva (that’s Serbian for “Galsworthy”) in the neighborhood of Vracar in central Belgrade. She picked this up from talking with the neighbors, and for five years it’s been a running joke in our house. “Right down the street from us!” “Right, sure, yes, dear. Whatever, okay.”

Well, at least one source is claiming that the arrest was made in… the neighborhood of Vracar, in central Belgrade. Headline: Blogger’s Wife ‘Very Satisfied’ By Arrest.

Anyway. A day or two may pass without much news, as under Serbian law the accused has the right to challenge certain aspects of his arrest — most notably, whether or not he’s really the person in question.

Still: great news, if true.

Balkan Ghost of Finding Karadzic:

[…] The world is a better place today than it was yesterday. Those of us interested in international criminal justice sometimes grow weary at the unfairness and impunity that are often the end results of the worst misconduct in the world by some of the worst people in the world.

But not today. Radovan Karadzic now will begin the process that will see him face the charges listed in his indictment of instigating genocide and intentionally killing thousands of Muslims in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995.

Sarah Franco of Cafe Turco:

[…] I have just returned from Belgrade, and there was indeed hope in the air. Something was changing. It’s easy to say so now, of course, but those who know me personally know that was my feeling. But as I was leaving, Jelena and I were talking about the possibility that Mladic could soon be arrested, but none of us thought that Karadzic would ever be arrested. It is an irony that it took SPS to get to power for this to happen, but it makes sense. They are cynicals, not true believers, and they will over-run any obstacle to their goals. Now Mladic and Karadic were the obstacles… Too bad for them.


At this very moment I am on the phone with one of my friend from Belgrade. She is watching the news on TV and I am waiting for the latest developments. My friends are receiving SMS messages from all around, people are incredibly happy, and now I need to go to sleep because tomorrow there is plenty of work wayting for me, but how can one sleep with such excitement?

Shaina of Bosnia Vault:

[…] Rhetorical question: I wonder how long until the obligatory “free Radovan” website pops up?

No doubt it will contain the good doctor's poetry. […]

Some Russian bloggers seem to be working on that already.

Moscow-based LJ user grenzlos (Arthur Medvedev) has posted two poems by Karadžić, translated into Russian.

And LJ user log2stas wrote this (RUS):

[…] No matter how much of a war criminal he was in the European Union's view, he was fighting for his country… The Serbian leadership [is cynical].

In general, it's an interesting history lesson. Lenin, who killed millions of Russians, is resting by the Kremlin wall and the country is holding military parades next to his mausoleum.

Peter the Great, who turned the peasants into drunkards, drew the country into debt, built a useless port city on human bones – he is a major state figure.

Stalin, who sent tens of millions of Russians to the concentration camps, is the idol of internet dwellers.

President Bush, a war criminal, organizer of torture cells, guilty of using the banned chemical weapons during the storming of Fallujah – he'll be quietly fishing during his retirement.

None of them spent time in jail, nor has been punished in any way for what they've done.

And Radovan Karadžić will appear in court and they'll try him… because he was defending his country.

On the other hand, Jesus has also been crucified. […]

Screenshot of the Interpol web site. The mugshot on this post is from the same source.


  • hague are corrupt!

    this is a load of shit
    Karadzic was defending his country from filthy muslims who came in first and started burning people alive. The things he did do not even compare to what the muslims did. As usual you will see know muslims being charged with anything. Even though they started the killings and Karadzic said that’s enough and protected his people, yet he is still being charged. And of course only one side of the story is shown in the media. they show how 8000 people died in srebrenica(which is also false, its more like 2000 not even) but there are no reports of all the Serbs that were killed. Isn’t that interesting.Obviously he won’t have a fair trial he will probably be poisoned like milosevic was because they can’t prove SHIT. so before you all start talking about shit you don’t know about get your facts right

  • […] Global voices has a round of some of the blogs here reacting to the news and why the man has been arrested now, and not before… […]

  • Sebaneau

    To answer the liars defending or denying the mass murders committed by Karadzic and his ilk, here is a list of links –this is, of course, for those not indifferent to the truth:

    Thirteen years since Srebrenica; thirteen facts to refute the theorists of an ‘anti-Serb imperialist conspiracy’:

    Srebrenica Genocide Blog:

    Debate: The Srebrenica Massacre

  • Dunja

    Why are the serbs the only ones being blamed for everything?
    It was the Croatians and the muslims 2.
    not 2 mention the americans should have just stopped interferring with us.
    but Radovan didn’t kill them.
    it was other serbs.
    he is basically being wronglyfully accused.
    but it wasn’t just the serbs.
    in other words..croatians,muslims, and serbs.
    we all killed each other.
    Long live SERBIA!!

  • What the Karadzic Arrest Means for Serbian-Russian Relations…

    Russia appears to be worrying about the arrest of Radovan Karadzic as being symbolic of Serbia’s inclinations toward better relations the European Union. Some Russian bloggers are already wondering when the obligatory “Free Radovan” website pops up….

  • […] news broke on Monday night that former Bosnian Serb leader and one of the world’s most wanted war criminals […]

  • A pogrom started in Europe this week, with one U.N. official being quoted as saying, “Kristallnacht is under way in Kosovo.” Serbs are being murdered and their 800-year-old churches are aflame. Much of the Christian heritage in Kosovo and Metohija is on fire and could be lost forever. By these deeds too many of Kosovo’s Albanians have shown that their rhetoric about “democracy” and “multiethnicity” is false, and demonstrates also that the international community’s acceptance of them has been naïve.

    How did this week’s events begin? Just as in the 1930s, a rumor became a fact and prearranged plans were put into action. Members of the victimized community (in this case, Serbian children) were accused of chasing four Albanian children into a river and causing the death of three of them. Hours later, the U.N. Mission ? which is what passes for authority in Kosovo ? issued a statement that the accusation against the Serbs was false, adding that the surviving Albanian child had told the U.N. that no Serbs had been involved in the drownings. Nevertheless, anti-Serb violence did not abate. And today Kosovo burns still.

    Beginning in the ethnically divided city of Kosovska Mitrovica, a horde of armed Albanians crossed into the Serbian half of the city and breached a Polish peacekeepers’ line. Half a dozen people of both ethnic groups were killed.

    Hours later, busloads of Albanians were transported to areas where Serbs are concentrated ? in some cases, clashing with international peacekeepers on the way. In some places, entire Serbian villages have been razed. The U.N., ever courageous, evacuated its missions from at least three cities in Kosovo. In two of them, Serbian Orthodox churches were set aflame. And it only got worse during that first night, and then again the next day.

    Monasteries and churches dating back to the 12th century are burning; 14 have been completely destroyed so far. Their cultural significance is irreplaceable. Photographs and memories are now all that remain. But instead of protecting them, the U.N. fled.

    The wave of violence has been too coordinated to be a spontaneous, popular reaction to rumors. “It was planned in advance,” said Derek Chappell, the U.N.’s Kosovo mission spokesman. All that was needed was a pretext. It is clear that some in the Kosovo Albanian leadership believe that by cleansing all remaining Serbs from the area (having already achieved the cleansing of two-thirds of Kosovo’s Serbs after its “liberation” in 1999) and destroying Serbian cultural sites, they can present the international community with a fait accompli. But ethnic purity cannot be allowed to be the foundation for either democracy or independence.
    Above is part of a blog that i have been doing here in the UK this week.
    I am sick to my soul of the lies that were and still are told about the Serbs and a country that i still call YUGOSLAVIA!
    People are too lazy accepting everything the media tell them is ok to believe.
    A week ago riots again took place in France hundreds of cars again burned, yet unreported in the UK and i guess most of the EUSSR.
    The dear muslims again attacking the infidel just as they did in Denmark four weeks ago.
    Only fools that care nothing for their children or country. refuse to see that which Churchill himself warned of the muslim hoards!!


  • The Plight of the Bosnian Serbs HOW FREE EUROPE SEE IT.
    By John Laughland
    Created 2008-07-23 15:15

    The arrest of Radovan Karadzic in Serbia on Tuesday has provided yet another occasion for all the tired old propaganda about the Balkans wars to be taken out of the cupboard and given one last airing. In particular, the war is presented as one between a Serb aggressor and an innocent victim, the Bosnian Muslims, and the former is accused of practising genocide against the latter. Even if one accepts that crimes against humanity were committed during the Balkan wars, it should be obvious that both these claims are absurd.

    First, the Serbs were no more the aggressors in the Bosnian civil war than Abraham Lincoln was an aggressor in the American Civil War. The Yugoslav army was in place all over Bosnia-Herzegovina because that republic was part of Yugoslavia. Bosnian Muslims (like Croats) left the army in droves and set up their own militia instead, as part of their drive for independence from Belgrade. This meant that the Yugoslav army lost its previous strongly multiethnic character and became largely Serb. It did not mean that Serb forces entered the territory of Bosnia, or even that the Serbs attacked the hapless Bosnian Muslims.

    The accusation of aggression is intended to introduce by the back door an allegation which in fact has vanished from modern international criminal justice. Although the crime of waging an aggressive war was pronounced to be the supreme international crime at Nuremberg, it has been dropped from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia which will presumably try Karadzic once he is extradited to The Hague, and even the new International Criminal Court (also in The Hague) does not for the time being have jurisdiction over it.

    The accusation has the effect of condemning the Bosnian Serb war effort at its very origins (in terms of ius ad bellum) independently of any condemnation for the way the war was fought (ius in bello). In fact, the Bosnian Serb war effort was no more or less legitimate than the Bosnian Muslim war effort. The Muslims wanted to secede from Yugoslavia (and were egged on to do this by the Americans and the Europeans) while the Bosnian Serbs wanted to stay in Yugoslavia. It was as simple as that.

    In my view, it is not possible to adjudicate such matters using the criminal law since, as political questions, they transcend it. But the fact that the Muslims blatantly cheated by holding the vote on an independence referendum at 3 a.m. after the Bosnian Serb deputies in the Bosnian parliament had all been told to go home, and the fact that the Bosnian Muslim president, Alija Izetbegovic, remained in office throughout 1992 long after his term had expired and long after he should have handed over to a Serb, meant that the Bosnian Serbs had excellent grounds for believing that the Bosnian Muslim secession was quite simply a coup d’état.

    In any case, once the Muslims had seized power in Sarajevo, the Bosnian Serbs sought not to conquer the whole republic but instead simply to fight for the secession of their territories from Muslim control. Of course atrocities were committed against civilians during this period, especially ethnic cleansing. But the same phenomenon is observed, I believe, and by definition, in every single war in which a new state is created, whether it is the creation of Pakistan in 1947 or the creation in 1974 of what later became the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. If the Muslims had the right unilaterally to secede from Yugoslavia, why should the Bosnian Serbs not have had the right unilaterally to secede from the new state of Bosnia-Herzegovina which had never before existed and a state, and to which the Bosnian Serbs had no loyalty whatever?

    Second, the Bosnian Serbs are accused (and two have been convicted) of committing genocide against the Bosnian Muslims in the massacre perpetrated at Srebrenica. Let us leave aside for a moment the Serb claims that the numbers of people killed in that summer of 1995 has been artificially inflated for propaganda purposes; let us also leave aside the undoubted fact that the Bosnian Muslims were using the UN safe haven of Srebrenica as a safe haven from which to conduct constant attacks against the Serb villages surrounding the town, during which many atrocities were committed against Serb civilians. (The commander of the Muslim forces, Nasir Oric, was released by the ICTY in February.)

    What is clear is that the Srebrenica massacre cannot possibly be described as genocide. Even the most ardent pro-Muslim propagandists agree that the victims of the massacre there were all men. The Bosnian Serbs claim that they were combatants (although that is certainly not an excuse for killing them) but the point is that an army bent on genocide would precisely not have singled out men for execution but would have killed women too. The Srebrenica massacre may well have been a crime against humanity but it is impossible to see how it can be categorised as genocide.

    Unfortunately, there is a very clear political reason why it has been so categorised. The Muslim president of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Haris Silaijdzic, said carefully on CNN the day Karadzic was captured that Karadzic’s trial was only the beginning of the process by which justice would be done in Bosnia. He said that there were hundreds of thousands of Muslims who had been ethnically cleansed by “Karadzic and Milosevic” and that their project therefore remained in force. The clear implication of what he was saying was this: if the very existence of the Bosnian Serb republic (the autonomous region within Bosnia carved out from the republic during the civil war) is found, in a court of law, to have been had as its president a man, Karadzic, who is convicted of genocide in the process of creating it, then its status would be illegitimate and it should be abolished. The Muslims continue to claim control over the whole of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, while the Serbs merely want the preservation of their considerable autonomy within it.

    In other words, far from bringing peace to the Balkans, it is quite possible that a conviction of Karadzic for genocide will reopen the Dayton settlement and egg the Muslims on to claim control over the Serb republic too. Under such circumstances, it is inevitable that the Bosnian Serbs would try to proclaim formal secession from Bosnia, just as the Kosovo Albanians did from Serbia.

    Source URL:

  • hague are corrupt!

    Veronica that was well put i congratulate you. THAT is the truth and also have a read of this if anybody is interested in the truth

  • […] Global Voices Online is tracking reaction in the blogosphere to the arrest of Karadzic. […]

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