Sunday, 10 April 2022

SDP Condemns Statement by War Veterans Minister's Envoy

ZAGREB, 10 April 2022 - The Social Democratic Party on Sunday condemned a statement by the War Veterans Minister's envoy, Matko Raos, who at a commemoration for a Croatian Defence Forces (HOS) unit in Split said that "today's Croatia would not exist if it had not been for 10 April 1941."

The SDP also called on the government to distance itself from Raos' statement.

Earlier on Sunday, during a ceremony at which wreaths were laid at a memorial to members of the HOS 9th Battalion "Rafael vitez Boban" killed in the 1991-95 Homeland War, Raos said: "You have to know, if it had not been for 10 April 1941, today's Croatia would not exist."

On 10 April 1941 the establishment of the quisling Independent State of Croatia (NDH) was proclaimed.

The SDP condemns the gathering in Split and the statement made by Brigadier Matko Raos, envoy for War Veterans Minister Tomo Medved, the opposition party said in a statement signed by SDP vice-president Ranko Ostojić.

"Putting the Homeland War and the establishment of today's Croatia in the same context with the criminal Independent State of Croatia, a quisling entity, is unacceptable. Croatia, just like the whole of free Europe, was founded on values of antifascism, as defined by our constitution, and we should be proud of that," Ostojić said.

"That people who represent the minister and the government have such a view is unacceptable. We call on the minister and the government to distance themselves from the event and their envoy's statement," the SDP said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 10 April 2022

HOS Members Killed in 1990s War Commemorated in Split

ZAGREB, 10 April 2022 - Members of the Croatian Defence Forces (HOS) 9th Battalion "Rafael vitez Boban" on Sunday laid wreaths and lit candles at a memorial in Split for the battalion's members killed in the 1991-95 Homeland War, on the 31st anniversary of the unit.

"We are standing here before this wounded memorial, proud of them and their courage. Shame on cowards, deserters, lovers of the red star who spit on HOS. All defenders were 'for the homeland ready' in the Homeland War, that salute is not an expression of hate but of love for one's home and Croat people," said the battalion's wartime commander, Marko Skejo.

Split-Dalmatia County Assembly president Mate Šimundić said HOS members "were ready for the homeland back then, as they are today", and that he, as a representative of the state authorities, paid tribute to them.

A state that questions such a thing questions its own survival, he said.

A former HOS general and member of parliament from the Homeland Movement, Ante Prkačin, recalled that 10 April was yet another anniversary, the 81st anniversary of the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), wondering if they were not allowed to talk about it.

HOS was the armed wing of the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP) fighting in Croatia's 1991-95 war of independence and "For the homeland ready" was the salute used by the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime of WWII Independent State of Croatia.

According to Wikipedia, the HOS 9th Battalion "Rafael vitez Boban" was named after the Ustasha colonel and general of the World War II Croatian Armed Forces (HOS).

The battalion was active in Dalmatia and other parts of Croatia as well as in Herzegovina and it lost 46 members in the Homeland War.

For more, check out our politics section.

Saturday, 9 April 2022

HOS 9th Battalion Marks 31st Anniversary in Split

ZAGREB, 9 April 2022 - The Croatian Defence Force (HOS) 9th Battalion on Saturday marked its 31st anniversary at a church and the Lora arena in the coastal city of Split, commemorating its 46 members killed in the 1991-95 Homeland War.

Addressing a packed Lora arena, the president of the "HOS 9th Battalion" association, and the battalion's wartime commander, Marko Skejo, said, among other things, that members of the battalion had given a major contribution to Croatia's independence, ending his speech by shouting "For the homeland ready", to which the audience did the same.

One of the battalion's wartime commanders, Mile Ćuk, said its members had fought in all parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, with around 2,500 soldiers having passed through the unit, of whom more than 300 were wounded and 46 killed.

"Our fighters proudly and honourably wore on their uniforms insignia with the inscription 'For the homeland ready', the holy salute which today some want to ban. We Catholics celebrate Easter and Christmas, Homeland War Victory Day, Homeland Thanksgiving Day and War Veterans Day, which is the day of those who are for the homeland ready," Ćuk said.

HOS was the armed wing of the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP) fighting in Croatia's 1991-95 war of independence and "For the homeland ready" was the salute used by Croatia's pro-Nazi Ustasha regime in WWII.

Attending today's commemoration were also War Veterans Minister Tomo Medved's envoy Matko Raos, Split-Dalmatia County deputy head Stipe Čogelja, representatives of neighbouring cities and members of parliament Ante Prkačin and Zlatko Hasanbegović.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

HOS Veterans Barred Entry During Operation Storm Anniversary Ceremony

ZAGREB, Aug 5, 2020 - Several hundred HOS veterans, including those wearing T-shirts with the inscription "For the Homeland Ready" and those shouting this Ustasha salute, were barred entry into the main square in Knin during a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of Operation Storm on Wednesday but were allowed in afterward.

A spokeswoman for the Sibenik-Knin County Police Marica Kosor told Hina that several hundred veterans of the Croatian Defence Force (HOS), the wartime armed wing of the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP), and other units whom the police did not allow to enter Ante Starcevic Square, sang patriotic songs for the duration of the official programme, unhappy that they were denied entry.

Several shouts of "For the Homeland Ready", a salute used by the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime during the Second World War, could be heard, and some wore T-shirts displaying inappropriate content, the police spokeswoman said.

Asked why the veterans were not allowed into the square to watch the programme, Kosor said that they did not have accreditation and the venue could take only about 600 guests because of the epidemiological measures in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

No incidents were reported.

Mladen Todoric, head of a veterans association from Split, told reporters earlier that they had liberated Knin in 1995 and "now there is no room for us, while there is room for Milosevic and the likes of him, apparently because of the coronavirus."

He expressed regret that "our police colleagues have been put in an awkward situation, with them on one side of the barricade and us on the other."

"We hope that this will never happen again, that veterans are barred entry into the square in Knin to pay tribute to their fallen comrades in arms and to celebrate our victory," Todoric said, adding that after the official programme "we will pay our respects and light candles."

Media said that among the HOS veterans was MP Hrvoje Zekanovic of the Croatian Sovereignists party.