Pro-Putin Bosnian Serbs hold small rally in support of Russian invasion of Ukraine

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia — A few dozen Bosnian Serb nationalists demonstrate in the northwestern Bosnian town of Banja Luka in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Participants wave Russian flags and describe Russia’s decision to invade its much smaller neighbor as a legitimate “battle to liberate [Ukraine’s] subjugated people.”

“Russia is not at war with Ukraine, it is at war with the dark Euro-Atlantic forces that want to dominate the world and destroy it,” says Zdravko Mocevic, one of over 100 people, mostly men, who joined the rally.

The gathering was organized by Bosnian Serb members of the Night Wolves, a Russian motorcycle club that staunchly supports Putin and, by extension, also his Balkan protege, Bosnian Serb secessionist leader Milorad Dodik who was recently slapped with US sanctions for alleged corruption.

Political power in multi-ethnic Bosnia is shared between Bosniak, Croat, and Serb ethnic communities. Dodik currently serves as the Serb member of the country’s tripartite presidency. Despite Dodik’s vocal opposition, Bosnia joined a historic vote earlier this month in the UN General Assembly denouncing Russia for invading Ukraine.

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