On May 12, the Republika Srpska of Bosnia and Herzegovina celebrated Army Day. On this day in 1992, the Assembly of the Serbian people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at a meeting in Banja Luka, decided to form the army of the Republika Srpska. Although ten years ago, in 2006, the army of the Republika Srpska ceased to exist, and most of its units joined the unified Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the majority of the inhabitants of the Republika Srpska and other ethnic Serbs living in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the day is 12 May still remains festive. After all, a difficult and tragic page in the history of the Serbian people is associated with the army of the Republika Srpska - the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s. The Army of the Republika Srpska has played a vital role in protecting the Serbian people.
As you know, Bosnia and Herzegovina was originally a multinational region. By 1991, three main groups of the population lived on the territory of the republic - Bosnian Muslims, who made up 43.7% of the population at that time, Serbs, who accounted for 31.4%, and Croats, who accounted for 17.3%. Another 5, 5% of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina identified themselves as Yugoslavs. As a rule, these were either Serbs or children from mixed families. From February 29 to March 1, 1992, a popular referendum on state independence was held in Bosnia and Herzegovina. With a turnout of 63.4%, 99.7% of voters voted for independence. On March 5, 1992, the parliament of the republic confirmed the declaration of independence. But this decision was not recognized by the Serbs, who constituted more than 30% of the republic's population. On April 10, the formation of the own authorities of the Republika Srpska began. This process was led by the Serbian Democratic Party headed by Radovan Karadzic. In May 1992, the formation of the own armed forces of the Republika Srpska began. The Orthodox Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina were well aware that in the event of a further exacerbation of the political situation in the republic, they would become the first target of attacks from the Bosnians and Croats. Therefore, the Republika Srpska could not do without an army. The Bosnian Serbs received significant assistance in building up the armed forces by their brothers from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
In fact, preparations for the creation of the Bosnian Serb armed forces began as early as 1991. In an atmosphere of strict secrecy, at the end of 1991, officers of the Yugoslav People's Army - Serbs by nationality, who are natives of Bosnia and Herzegovina - began to be transferred to Bosnia and Herzegovina. On December 25, 1991, a secret order on the transfer of officers was signed by the Minister of Defense of Yugoslavia Velko Kadievich. When Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence, there were about 90,000 Yugoslav People's Army units on its territory, with 85% of the units being Bosnian Serbs. On January 3, 1992, the 2nd Military Region was formed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, commanded by Colonel General Milutin Kukanyac. The regional headquarters was located in Sarajevo. Part of Herzegovina ended up in the 4th military region, commanded by Colonel-General Pavle Strugar. In addition to the units of the Yugoslav People's Army, territorial defense units controlled by the Serbian Democratic Party were stationed on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.The number of territorial defense units of the Bosnian Serbs reached 60,000.
When Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence on March 5, 1992, hostilities began on the territory of the country. To the aid of the Bosnian Muslims, Croatian troops arrived in the republic, attacking the locations of the units of the Yugoslav People's Army. In May 1992, units of the Yugoslav People's Army began to withdraw from Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the same time, the Bosnian Serbs who served in the JNA remained on the territory of the republic and en masse joined the Army of the Republika Srpska created on May 12. The latter received aviation, heavy weapons, and military equipment from the Yugoslav People's Army.
Lieutenant-Colonel General Ratko Mladic was appointed Commander of the Republika Srpska Army (in the Serbian army, the rank of Lieutenant General is similar to the rank of Lieutenant General in the Russian armed forces). By the time the armed confrontation began in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ratko Mladic was 49 years old. He was born in 1943 in the village of Bozhanovici on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the family of Neji Mladic, a former commander of a partisan detachment who died in battles against the Croatian fascists - the Ustasha. In 1961-1965. Ratko Mladic studied at the Military Academy, from which he graduated with the rank of second lieutenant and was assigned as a rifle platoon commander to the 89th Infantry Regiment, stationed in Skopje. After completing a three-month scout training course, Mladic was promoted to warrant officer and in 1968 became the commander of a reconnaissance platoon. In 1970 Mladic was awarded the rank of captain, in 1974 - captain of the 1st class. In 1974-1976. Mladic held the position of Assistant Chief of Logistics of the 87th Infantry Brigade, in 1976-1977. studied at the Command and Staff Academy in Belgrade, after which he received the rank of major and became the commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion of the 89th Infantry Brigade.
After being awarded the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1980, Mladic became head of the operational training department of the garrison command in Skopje, then commanded the 39th Infantry Brigade. In 1986, Ratko Mladic was promoted to colonel, after which he became the commander of the 39th Infantry Brigade of the 26th Infantry Division, and in 1989 he headed the department of educational work of the headquarters of the 3rd Military District. In January 1991, Mladic was appointed head of the logistics of the 52nd Army Corps. At the end of June 1991, Mladic was transferred to the Serbian Krajina as commander of the 9th Army Corps in Knin. On October 4, 1991, Ratko Mladic was awarded the extraordinary rank of Major General. On May 9, 1992, when an armed conflict was already flaring up in Bosnia and Herzegovina between Serbs on the one hand, Croats and Muslims on the other, Ratko Mladic was appointed chief of staff of the Second Military Region, and the next day, May 10, he became commander of the Second Military Region. … On May 12, after the decision taken by the Assembly of the Serbian people to create the Army of the Republika Srpska, Ratko Mladic was appointed commander-in-chief. General Manoilo Milovanovic, the same age as Ratko Mladic, who served in the armored formations of the Yugoslav People's Army before the collapse of Yugoslavia, was appointed chief of staff.
The basis of the ground forces of the Republika Srpska were army corps - the 1st Krajinsky corps, formed on the basis of the former 5th corps of the Yugoslav People's Army and located in Banja Luka; The 2nd Krajinsky corps, formed on the basis of the 9th and 10th corps of the Yugoslav People's Army and located in Drvar; The East Bosnian Corps, which included the former units of the 17th Corps of the JNA and stationed in Bijelin; Sarajevo-Romanian corps, created on the basis of the 4th corps of the JNA and located in Lukavitsa; Drinsky corps, formed in November 1992 and stationed in Vlasenica; The Herzegovinian corps, organized on the basis of the 13th corps of the Yugoslav People's Army and located in Bilech.The Air Force and Air Defense Forces of the Republika Srpska were also formed on the basis of the Air Force and Air Defense units of the Yugoslav People's Army and were based at the Makhovljani airfield near Banja Luka. The commander of the Air Force and Air Defense of the Republika Srpska was General ivomir Ninkovic. Despite the fact that the Air Force and Air Defense were much less involved in the hostilities than the ground units, 79 soldiers and officers of the Air Force and Air Defense of the Republika Srpska were killed during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2006, like all the armed forces of the RS, the Air Force was also disbanded and became part of the Air Force of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
When the units and subdivisions of the Yugoslav People's Army left the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the armed forces of the Republika Srpska faced the difficult task of taking control of all the territories inhabited by Bosnian Serbs and preventing possible genocide of Serbs by Croats and Bosnians. The most important task was also to ensure control over the "Corridor of Life" - a narrow strip of territory connecting the Serbian Krajina and the western regions of the Republika Srpska with the eastern regions of the Republika Srpska and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The troops of the Republika Srpska managed to defeat the Croatian troops and take control of the "Corridor of Life". Also, Serbian troops managed to occupy the town of Yayce and two hydroelectric power plants on the Vrbas River. The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina continued until the end of October 1995. In 1995, Croatian and Bosnian troops managed to deliver serious attacks on the positions of the armed forces of the Bosnian Serbs precisely thanks to the support of NATO aircraft. Predictably, NATO sided with the Croats and Bosnian Muslims, viewing the Bosnian Serbs as their natural adversaries in the former Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, Russia did not provide adequate support to the Bosnian Serbs at that time, which was associated with the peculiarities of the political course of our country during the reign of B.N. Yeltsin. At the same time, many volunteers from Russia, among whom, first of all, the Cossacks should be noted, fought in the territory of the former Yugoslavia as part of the Serbian troops, their contribution to the protection of Orthodox Serbs is invaluable.
At the end of October 1995, hostilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina ceased. In the post-war period, the modernization of the Army of the Republika Srpska began. First of all, a large-scale reduction of the armed forces of the Bosnian Serbs began. During the first five post-war years, the number of the Republika Srpska Troops decreased from 180,000 soldiers and officers to 20,000 in the early 2000s. the armed forces of the Bosnian Serbs numbered 10,000. Then conscription was canceled, after which their number was reduced to another 7,000 people. Before joining the combined armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bosnian Serb army consisted of 3,981 officers and soldiers.
Nevertheless, the potential of the Troops of the Republika Srpska remained significant. First, the vast majority of Bosnian Serb adult males had military service and combat experience. Secondly, the Bosnian Serbs had significant weapons at their disposal. By 1999, the Army of the Republika Srpska was armed with 73 M-84 tanks and 204 T-55 tanks, 118 M-80 BMPs, 84 M-60 armored personnel carriers, 5 PT-76s, 19 BTR-50s, 23 BOV-VP. The Bosnian Serbs were armed with 1,522 artillery pieces and rocket launchers, including 95 rocket launchers and MLRS, 720 self-propelled, field and anti-tank guns, 561 recoilless guns and 146 mortars. The Air Force had 22 aircraft and 7 combat helicopters.
In August 2005, the Republika Srpska Assembly agreed to a plan for the formation of a joint armed forces and a single ministry of defense in Bosnia and Herzegovina.The then President of the Republika Srpska Dragan Cavic stressed that the republic is interested in joining NATO, as it allegedly meets the general interests of the country's development and ensuring the security of its population. Thus, the West actually "pushed through" the issue of liquidating the Republika Srpska as an independent state entity with its own armed forces. The warehouses with weapons, which were at the disposal of the Bosnian Serbs, were transferred under the joint control of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the UN Peacekeeping Forces, and part of the military equipment was destroyed, and the other part was sold, including to Georgia. A decade after the end of the existence of the Republika Srpska Army, it turned out that a significant part of its weapons fell into the hands of the Syrian "opposition" - terrorists. Naturally, this also involved the special services of the United States and other NATO countries, which were given the opportunity to control the weapons depots of the former armed forces of the Bosnian Serbs.
The command of the armed forces of the Republika Srpska was charged with war crimes against the non-Serb population of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Bosnia and Serbia, a number of high-ranking officials of the Republika Srpska leadership and the command of the armed forces were arrested, including Radovan Karadzic, General Ratko Mladic, General Galic and many others. The International Tribunal has accused 53 Serbian officers from the Republika Srpska Army of war crimes. The persecution of the political and military leaders of the Republika Srpska reflects the general policy of "double standards" applied by the United States of America and the countries of the European Union. In Serbia, Serbian regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbian Krajina, the arrested politicians and the military enjoy universal support, but the pro-Western leadership of the former Yugoslav republics is trying in every possible way to silence it.