Bridges are supposed to link individuals, but the only over the Ibar River in Kosovo is definitely a device of separation, utilized by cultural Serbs to keep isolation through the Albanian bulk in southern Mitrovica.
Parapets and barricades had impeded use of the other part since 1999. Now, given that bridge becomes passable once more, Russia seems to be stepping directly into protect the real and divide that is political symbolized with its ruinous state.
Russian impact is seen at each change in North Mitrovica. Russian flags hang over balconies, while portraits of Vladimir Putin and graffiti honoring the Serbian-Russian alliance are every-where.
The governmental leadership associated with the Kosovo Serbs boasted of experiencing been summoned to Moscow for “consultations” ahead of present neighborhood elections (October 22), claiming to possess forged better ties with United Russia. It would appear that Moscow happens to be the location of preference for Serbian politicians elections that are facing in the entire process of developing a federal federal government — whether in Serbia or perhaps in Kosovo.
For Russia, north Kosovo is advantageous as it permits Moscow to show up because the protector of little effort to its Balkan Slavic cousins, nearly by standard. The reality that since 2013 Serbia happens to be involved with discussion using the Kosovar federal federal government under EU auspices sometimes appears as betrayal by Kosovo Serbs as it ruins the impression that Mitrovica remains somehow component of Serbia. Experiencing abandoned, many Serbs in north Kosovo instinctively looked to Russia. Once the high-level speaks between Belgrade and Pristina started, regional Serbs demanded Russian citizenship — that has been needless to say impractical, but reveals the depth of these dissatisfaction.
RFE/RL talked with ordinary people in the streets of Mitrovica, additionally the pro-Moscow emotions had been unanimous.Continue reading