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BalkanInsight: “Serbs flocked to help Russian ‘brothers'”

in PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Belgrade-based sleuth journalist from Serbia’s Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) Marija Ristic has probed into the reasons why mercenaries from Serbia have been taking part in the war waged by Russia against Ukraine in Donbas. “The most prominent case was against Radomir Pocuca, a former special police spokesperson, who over several months of fighting in Ukraine posted almost daily videos, photos and other entries related to his time in Donetsk. Pocuca also claimed that he went to help Serbia’s ‘Russian brothers’ for patriotic reasons, mainly as payback for Russia’s support for Serbia in the dispute over the former province of Kosovo [which declared independence in 2008 – which Serbia has vowed never to recognize]”, she wrote in the article titled “Facebook Reveals Serbian Fighters’ Role in Ukraine War”, posted by BalkanInsight on December 27. Serbs are said to remember that Russian fighters volunteered for the Serbian side in the 1992-5 war in Bosnia, which pitched Serbs against a combination of Croats and Bosniaks [Bosnian Muslims].

 

 

US sends arms worth $2.2 bln to terrorist organizations in Syria

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

The U.S. has provided approximately US $2.2 billion worth of arms and ammunition to the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and other similar terrorist organizations under the guise of fighting against Daesh. A report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) stated that Washington is using “vaguely worded legal documents which obscure Syria as the weapons’ final destination – a practice experts say threatens global efforts to combat arms trafficking and puts the Eastern European governments who sell the weapons and ammunition at risk of breaching international law”. The U.S. bypasses checks on international weapons trafficking, and omits documentary evidence regarding the final destination of the weapons. Weapons can be diverted to any group, a dangerous practice that puts the global arms control system at risk. The report investigated the Pentagon’s weapons shipment to Syria using procurement records, ship-tracking data, official reports, leaked emails, and interviews with insiders.

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