|History of Croatia|
The Croatian War of Independence was fought from 1991 to 1995 between Croat forces loyal to the government of Croatia—which had declared independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY)—and the Serb-controlled Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and local Serb forces, with the JNA ending its combat operations in Croatia by 1992.
The Croatian War of Independence was fought from 1991 to 1995 between Croat forces loyal to the Government of Croatia—which had declared independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY)—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 Croatia, the war is primarily referred to as the "Homeland War" and also as the "Greater-Serbian Aggression". In Serbian sources, "War in Croatia" and (rarely) "War in Krajina" are used.
The Z-4 Plan was a proposed basis for negotiations to end the Croatian War of Independence with a political settlement. It was drafted by Peter W. Galbraith, Leonid Kerestedjiants and Geert-Hinrich Ahrens on behalf of a mini-Contact Group comprising United Nations envoys and diplomats from the United States, Russia and the European Union. The co-chairs of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, David Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg, were closely involved in the political process surrounding the plan. The document was prepared in the final months of 1994 and early 1995 before being presented to Croatian President Franjo Tuđman and the leaders of the self-declared Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK) on 30 January 1995. Tuđman was displeased with the proposal, but accepted it as a basis for further negotiations. However, the RSK authorities even refused to receive the document before UNPROFOR mandate status was resolved. According to later reactions, RSK leadership was not satisfied with the plan.
The Gospić massacre was the mass killing of 100–120 predominantly Serb civilians in Gospić, Croatia during the last two weeks of October 1991, during the Croatian War of Independence. The majority of the victims were ethnic Serbs arrested in Gospić and the nearby coastal town of Karlobag. Most of them were arrested on 16–17 October. Some of the detainees were taken to the Perušić barracks and executed in Lipova Glavica near the town, while others were shot in the Pazarište area of Gospić. The killings were ordered by the Secretary of Lika Crisis Headquarters, Tihomir Orešković, and the commander of the 118th Infantry Brigade of the Croatian National Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Mirko Norac.
Operation Labrador was a false flag operation carried out by the Yugoslav Air Force's Counterintelligence Service (KOS) in the Croatian capital city of Zagreb during the early stages of the Croatian War of Independence. It was devised as a series of terrorist attacks intended to create an image of Croatia as a pro-fascist state. Two bombings were carried out on 19 August 1991, with one at the Jewish Community Centre and a second near Jewish graves at the Mirogoj Cemetery; there were no casualties. Additional attacks targeted the national railway network and were designed to implicate the Croatian President. Operation Labrador was complemented by Operation Opera — a propaganda campaign devised by the KOS to feed disinformation to the media.
The Lovas killings involved the killing of 70 Croat civilian residents of the village of Lovas between 10 and 18 October 1991, during the Croatian War of Independence. The killings took place during and in the immediate aftermath of the occupation of the village by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) supported by Croatian Serb forces and Dušan Silni paramilitaries on 10 October, two days after Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. The occupation occurred during the Battle of Vukovar, as the JNA sought to consolidate its control over the area surrounding the city of Vukovar. The killings and abuse of the civilian population continued until 18 October, when troops guarding a group of civilians forced them to walk into a minefield at gunpoint and then opened fire upon them.
The Baćin massacre was the killing of 83 civilians just outside the village of Baćin, near Hrvatska Dubica, committed by Croatian Serb paramilitaries. The killings took place on 21 October 1991 during the Croatian War of Independence. Most of the civilians were Croats, but they also included two ethnic Serbs, taken from Hrvatska Dubica, Baćin and the nearby village of Cerovljani. The civilians were killed in the area of Krečane, at the very bank of the Una River, and their bodies were left unburied for two weeks. Most of them were subsequently bulldozed into a shallow mass grave, while a number of the bodies were thrown into the river.
Operation Summer '95 was a joint military offensive of the Croatian Army (HV) and the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) that took place north-west of the Livanjsko Polje, and around Bosansko Grahovo and Glamoč in western Bosnia and Herzegovina. The operation was carried out between 25 and 29 July 1995, during the Croatian War of Independence and the Bosnian War. The attacking force of 8,500 troops commanded by HV's Lieutenant General Ante Gotovina initially encountered strong resistance from the 5,500-strong Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) 2nd Krajina Corps. The HV/HVO pushed the VRS back, capturing about 1,600 square kilometres of territory and consequently intercepting the Knin—Drvar road—a critical supply route of the self-declared Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK). The operation failed to achieve its declared primary goal of drawing VRS units away from the besieged city of Bihać, but it placed the HV in position to capture the RSK's capital Knin in Operation Storm days later.
Croatia held an independence referendum on 19 May 1991, following the Croatian parliamentary elections of 1990 and the rise of ethnic tensions that led to the breakup of Yugoslavia. With 83 percent turnout, voters approved the referendum, with 93 percent in favor of independence. Subsequently, Croatia declared independence and the dissolution of its association with Yugoslavia on 25 June 1991, but it introduced a three-month moratorium on the decision when urged to do so by the European Community and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe through the Brioni Agreement. The war in Croatia escalated during the moratorium, and on 8 October 1991, the Croatian Parliament severed all remaining ties with Yugoslavia. In 1992, the countries of the European Economic Community granted Croatia diplomatic recognition and Croatia was admitted to the United Nations.
The Saborsko massacre was the killing of 29 Croat residents of the village of Saborsko on 12 November 1991, following the seizure of the village in a Yugoslav People's Army and Croatian Serb offensive during the Croatian War of Independence. The fall of the town occurred as part of a JNA and Croatian Serb operation to capture a Croatian-held pocket centered on the town of Slunj, southeast of Karlovac. While the bulk of the civilian population fled with the surviving Croatian forces, those who remained in Saborsko were rounded up and either killed or expelled. The bodies of the victims were retrieved from two mass graves and several individual graves in 1995.
The Široka Kula massacre was the killing of 41 civilians in the village of Široka Kula near Gospić, Croatia during the Croatian War of Independence. The killings began on 13 October 1991 and continued until late October. They were perpetrated by the Croatian Serb SAO Krajina police and generally targeted ethnic Croat civilians in Široka Kula. Several victims were ethnic Serbs suspected by the police of collaboration with Croatian authorities. Most of the victims' bodies were thrown into the Golubnjača Pit, a nearby karst cave.
The Velepromet camp was a detention facility established in the final days of the Battle of Vukovar during the Croatian War of Independence. The camp was set up by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), which shared control of the facility with Croatian Serb rebels. The facility, originally an industrial storage site, was located on the southern outskirts of the city of Vukovar, in close proximity to the JNA barracks. It consisted of eight warehouses surrounded by a wire fence, and was established on 16 November 1991, when the first detainees were brought there.
The breakup of Yugoslavia was a process in which the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was broken up into constituent republics, and over the course of which the Yugoslav wars started. The process generally began with the death of Josip Broz Tito on 4 May 1980 and formally ended when the last two remaining republics proclaimed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 27 April 1992. At that time the Yugoslav wars were still ongoing, and FR Yugoslavia continued to exist until 2003, when it was renamed and reformed as the state union of Serbia and Montenegro. This union lasted until 5 June 2006 when Montenegro proclaimed independence. The former Yugoslav autonomous province of Kosovo subsequently proclaimed independence from Serbia in February 2008.
Operation Whirlwind was a failed Croatian Army (HV) offensive in the Banovina region of Croatia, fought from 11–13 December 1991, during the early stages of the Croatian War of Independence. The offensive employed a single infantry brigade as the main attacking force, supported by a bridging unit and a handful of tanks and armoured personnel carriers. Although the offensive met hardly any resistance in its initial stage, achieving tactical surprise, the operation was poorly planned, supported and executed as a result of limited training and combat experience. The offensive established a short-lived bridgehead, evacuated in panic two days after the operation commenced, under tank and mortar fire from the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) deployed north of Glina.
The Battle of Gospić was fought in the environs of Gospić, Croatia, from 29 August until 22 September 1991 during the Croatian War of Independence. The battle pitted the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), stationed in five barracks in the town, and paramilitary elements of the Serbian Guard against the Croatian National Guard (ZNG), police forces based in Gospić and police reinforcements from elsewhere in Croatia. Fighting in the eastern districts of Gospić, controlled by JNA forces with supporting artillery, was largely static but the balance shifted in favor of the Croatian forces following the capture of several JNA depots and barracks on 14 September. The remaining barracks were captured by 20 September leading to the expulsion of the JNA and Serbian Guard forces from the town.
The Armed Boats Squadron Dubrovnik was a volunteer unit of the Croatian Navy that ran the naval blockade during the siege of Dubrovnik which formed part of the Croatian War of Independence in 1991–1992. It consisted of 23 vessels, mostly of the runabout type, lightly armed and armoured. The unit was crucial in the defence of Dubrovnik, providing a resupply route for the Dubrovnik population and troops defending the besieged city. Boats assigned to the squadron transported approximately 6,000 troops and civilians, about 100 wounded and 2,000 tonnes of various cargo. A total of 117 personnel served with the squadron during the siege, suffering two fatalities.
The Varivode massacre was a mass killing that occurred on 28 September 1995 in the village of Varivode, Croatia during the Croatian War of Independence. According to United Nations officials, soldiers of the Croatian Army (HV) and Croatian police killed nine Serb villagers, all of whom were between the ages of 60 and 85. After the war, six former Croatian soldiers were tried for committing crimes in the village, but were all eventually released due to lack of evidence. In 2012, the Supreme Court of Croatia ruled that the Republic of Croatia was responsible for the killings, dubbing the massacre an "act of terrorism," and the following year the municipal court in Knin announced that the Government of Croatia must provide compensation to the children of a couple who were murdered.
The Battle of Kupres was a battle of the Bosnian War, fought between the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ARBiH) and the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) on one side and the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) on the other from 20 October to 3 November 1994. It marks the first tangible evidence of the Bosniak–Croat alliance set out in the Washington Agreement of March 1994, brokered by the United States to end the Croat–Bosniak War fought between the ARBiH and the HVO in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ARBiH and the HVO were not coordinated at first, rather they launched separate operations aimed at capture of Kupres.
The Paulin Dvor massacre was an act of mass murder committed by soldiers of the Croatian Army (HV) in the village of Paulin Dvor, near the town of Osijek on 11 December 1991 during the Croatian War of Independence. Of the nineteen victims, eighteen were ethnic Serbs, and one was a Hungarian national. The ages of the victims, eight women and eleven men, ranged from 41 to 85. Two former Croatian soldiers were convicted for their role in the killings and were sentenced to 15 and 11 years, respectively. In November 2010, Croatian President Ivo Josipović laid a wreath at the graveyard of the massacre victims and officially apologized for the killings.
The Vance plan was a peace plan negotiated by the former United States Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in November 1991 during the Croatian War of Independence. At that time, Vance was the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations; he was assisted by United States diplomat Herbert Okun during the negotiations. The plan was designed to implement a ceasefire, demilitarize parts of Croatia that were under the control of Croatian Serbs and the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), allow the return of refugees, and create favourable conditions for negotiations on a permanent political settlement of the conflict resulting from the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Operation Baranja was an aborted offensive of the Croatian Army north of the towns of Belišće and Valpovo, Croatia on 3 April 1992 during the Croatian War of Independence. The offensive quickly gained ground after the HV advanced north of the Drava River into Baranja. The defending force of the Croatian Serb Territorial Defence Force supported by the Yugoslav People's Army artillery were caught unprepared and offered light resistance.