|Former Yugoslav Ministry of Defence, building bombed by the NATO in 1999.|
Walking in central Belgrade you are likely to come across the mutilated building pictured above. It stands in an otherwise quite a presentable part of the city but, it seems, no one is trying neither to to repair nor to remove the shattered carcass of the once very important building.
The edifice is that of the former Yugoslav Ministry of Defence. It was bombed by the NATO troops back in 1999, during the Kosovo war. In short, Kosovo (mainly the Albanian majority of it) wanted independence from Serbia and was supported by the NATO, while the Serbian government was strongly against it.
Even nowadays, Kosovo officially being an internationally recognised independent republic, the status of this former Serbian province is still being questioned. Many of the Kosovo Serbs would not mind at all if their region re-joined Serbia, whilst many of the Kosovo Albanians certainly want independence.
The few Serbian Serbs I have talked to seemed to be rather careful discussing the Kosovo question with me. Then, in the city of Niš, I found a street exhibition by the Serbian Tourism Organisation - in one of its maps Kosovo was shown, in the same way as the northern Vojvodina province, as a region of Serbia.
Text and photos (c) Agne Drumelyte, 2013.