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1993 - Dubrovačko ratište - Noćna straža

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Published on Dec 9, 2010

The Croatian War of Independence was fought from 1991 to 1995 between forces loyal to the government of Croatia which had declared independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFR Yugoslavia)—and the Serb-controlled Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and local Serb forces, with the JNA ending its combat operations in Croatia by 1992. In Croatian, the war is primarily referred to as the Homeland War (Croatian: Domovinski rat) and also as Greater-Serbian aggression (Croatian: Velikosrpska agresija). In the Serbian language, the phrase War in Croatia (Serbian: Rat u Hrvatskoj) is the most common name.
Initially, the war was waged between Croatian police forces and Serbs living in the Republic of Croatia, a constituent republic of SFR Yugoslavia at the time. As the JNA came under increasing Serbian influence in Belgrade, many of its units began assisting the Serbs fighting in Croatia.[40] The Croatian side aimed to establish a sovereign country independent of Yugoslavia, and the Serbs, supported by Serbia, opposed the secession and wanted Croatia to remain a part of Yugoslavia. The Serbs effectively sought new boundaries in areas of Croatia with a Serb majority or significant minority, and attempted to conquer as much of Croatia as possible.The goal was primarily to remain in the same state with the rest of the Serbian nation, which was interpreted as an attempt to form a "Greater Serbia" by Croats (and Bosniaks). In 2007, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) returned a guilty verdict against Milan Martić, one of Serb leaders in Croatia, stating that he colluded with Slobodan Milošević and others to create a "unified Serbian state".

At the beginning of the war, the JNA tried to forcefully keep Croatia in Yugoslavia by occupying the whole of Croatia. After they failed to do this, Serbian forces established the self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK) within Croatia. By the end of 1991, most of Croatia was gravely affected by war, with numerous cities and villages heavily damaged in combat operations, and the rest supporting hundreds of thousands of refugees. After the ceasefire of January 1992 and international recognition of the Republic of Croatia as a sovereign state, the front lines were entrenched, United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) was deployed, and combat became largely intermittent in the following three years. During that time, the RSK encompassed 13,913 square kilometers (5,372 sq mi), more than a quarter of Croatia. In 1995, Croatia launched two major offensives known as Operation Flash and Operation Storm, which would effectively end the war in its favor. The remaining United Nations Transitional Authority for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES) zone was peacefully reintegrated into Croatia by 1998.
The war ended with a total Croatian victory, as Croatia achieved the goals it had declared at the beginning of the war: independence and preservation of its borders. However, much of Croatia was devastated, with estimates ranging from 21--25% of its economy destroyed and an estimated USD $37 billion in damaged infrastructure, lost output, and refugee-related costs. The total number of deaths on both sides was around 20,000, and there were refugees displaced on both sides at some point: Croats mostly at the beginning of the war, and Serbs mostly at the end. While many people returned, and Croatia and Serbia progressively cooperated more with each other on all levels, some ill will remains because of verdicts by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and lawsuits filed against each other.

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