Our Way of Remembering the Heroes of Paštrik
Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin visited today the location of a set on the slopes of the Vlaške Mountains near Dimitrovgrad where filming started of a documentary-feature film about the battles on Košare and Paštrik of 1999.
On that occasion, Minister Vulin pointed out the importance of filming such a project so that the battles and heroes who participated in them would be saved from oblivion.
- Just like the Serbian Armed Forces were systematically destroyed and neglected since 1999, and just like they really did try to make these armed forces forget about themselves and people to forget the armed forces, to forget their epic of the NATO aggression, they also tried to obliterate the battles such as Košare and Paštrik. We are here to save Košare and Paštrik from oblivion, and the 549th Motorised Brigade, and the 63rd Parachute Brigade and the 72nd Special Brigade, and to save all the members of the Yugoslav Armed Forces, who at that time fought so self-sacrificingly and so bravely for their country. They have been trying to destroy these armed forces for twenty years, they planed it, on purpose, to disarm these armed forces, to diminish them, to send the best commanders and the best soldiers off as soon as possible, but they have just like that tried for 20 years to make Serbia forget its Armed Forces, Košare and Paštrik. This is our way not to forget and to say that the most important and the strongest thing in our armed forces is morale, and it is the memory of our men of the best, of the heroes and their desire to be the heroes just like that. That is why we do this, and we will continue doing it – said Minister Vulin.
He pointed out that we will not live to see the 20th anniversary of NATO aggression without historical evidence of everything that happened there and without having something to present to the entire nation of ours.
- The battles of Košare and Paštrik are what we are going to show to the nation on that day and what we are going to show to the entire world. The battle of Košare is saved from oblivion, and now the time has come to save from oblivion the battle of Paštrik, and to show all those places where land intervention was tried. Košare were not the only place where they tried the land intervention; it was also Paštrik and other places, and then our armed forces were capable of protecting our country and our integrity. Everything that those boys, those heroes did in 1999 would also be done by these armed forces and each of these boys today would be worthy of the heroes of Košare and the heroes of Paštrik – said Minister of Defence.
According to the author of the film Slađana Zarić, the scenes are shot on the slopes of the Vlaška Mountain covering a part of the battles fought on Paštrik, and last winter we did reconstructions of the events and tragic stories that took place on Košare.
- I have to underline that comparing Košare and Paštrik is probably not a popular thing to do, but by this film and shooting that we are doing these days here, I wish to stress that it seems to me somehow that Paštrik was neglected, and that in military sense it was truly unbelievable. Those were the boys who were constantly attacked by Albanian forces for ten days, both by day and by night. We speak about infantry attacks and artillery attacks and there was also NATO carpet bombing which was simply incredible. In a way those were ten days of hell that the unit, militarily speaking, undergone excellently – emphasised Slađana Zarić adding that those were the boys who defended their fatherland, whom we have maybe forgotten, but this film is an effort to save them from oblivion.
At the beginning of the year, Military Film Centre “Zastava” and Ratio Television of Serbia, with the support of the Ministry of Defence, started filming the documentary-feature film about the battles of Košare and Paštrik of 1999. The film will be shown on the 20th anniversary of NATO bombing in gratitude to all who protected the borders of the fatherland in 1999, and to pay homage to those who gave their lives to defend the country.
The film is dedicated to the heroes of Košare and Paštrik, all those who gave their lives for fatherland and all of those who fought day and night to stop the land aggression of Shiptar terrorists in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.
The Ministry of Defence and Serbian Armed Forces are providing maximal support to the filming, providing special forces members, soldiers, equipment and assets for the filming off feature scenes of the film. Also, special consultants for the film are all servicemen who used to be in the area of Košare and Paštrik at the time and who know the best the situations and people who participated in the combat.