RUSI NewsbriefVOLUME 39ISSUE 3members only

History Resurgent: Old and New Challenges in the Western Balkans


Main Image Credit Soldiers of the Kosovan Security Force at the Adem Jashari Barrack in Pristina. Kosovo angered Serbia in December 2018 by approving the transformation of its lightly-armed emergency response force into a fully-fledged army of 5,000 personnel; the latest i


With competition for influence increasing, old tensions are being revived in the fragile Western Balkans. The West must avoid complacency and show leadership in resolving critical issues before they become dangerous.

Twenty years ago, the civil war between then-Yugoslavia and the breakaway region of Kosovo was reaching a boiling point. A massacre of 45 Kosovan men, women and children in the town of Račak by Serb-led Yugoslav forces sparked international outrage, and on 24 March 1999 US-led NATO forces began a 78-day long bombing campaign targeting President Slobodan Milošević’s regime. The Western campaign against a fellow Slavic, Orthodox state caused immediate consternation in Russia

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