Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

New Issue of “ODBRANA”

Texts which stand out in December issue of magazine “Odbrana” are distinguished by two words that dominate in them: military neutrality and volunteering tradition. During the visit to several day long command-staff exercise of the Serbian Armed Forces and Ohio National Guard “Cyber Tesla 2019” held in the barracks “Vojvoda Radomir Putnik” in Gornji Milanovac on 15th November, Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin underlined that owing to the fact that the Serbian Armed Forces implemented the policy of the President and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces Aleksandar Vučić on military neutrality, the armed forces could conduct exercises and preparations together with the armed forces of both East and West.

The necessity that Serbia remains militarily neutral is also mentioned in the interview for our magazine given by Nikolay Plotnikov PhD, Head of the Centre of Scientific and Analytical Information of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Plotnikov says: “I cannot give advice to Serbia, but as a political scientist I can say that I think that it would be best for Serbia to remain on the line of military neutrality, not to join any block, or alliance, but to reasonably cooperate with countries for which it deems it right. In the economic plan, it should have fruitful relations both with the Eurasian economic union, which it does, and with the European Union. Serbia will benefit from such an approach, unlike the assumption which would be based on cooperation with only one or the other union. That would not be justified or beneficial by any means”.

We bring an exclusive interview given for our magazine by Milorad Dodik, Serbian member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Former President of the Republic of Srpska says that Serbia today is precisely the Serbia that the people of the Republic of Srpska wish for -  it wishes to help the Republic of Srpska and it does not hide that volition from the international community. “President Aleksandar Vučić is rather open in that matter, he comes to the Republic of Srpska and I am greatly grateful for the support rendered by Serbia in material and any other respect. Today, Serbia is the only serious country in the area of former Yugoslavia, despite everything that was done not to be so. I will only mention the blockades and bombardment. There are but few nations that would withstand what the Serbs and Serbia withstood.
Two texts are dedicated to volunteers. The introduction reads that it is the volunteers - the ones who with their will, awareness, their own volition to fight for freedom of their native land - who are the most immediate confirmation of historical fact about the Serbs, that they are the people who love freedom more than anything else. Serbian tradition of volunteers has been written by numerous names from the sphere of art, culture, science ... They include Nadežda Petrović and Milan Rakić. A detachment of Majors volunteers, or the detachment of Lieutenant Colonel Vojin Popović - Vojvoda Vuk, was, together with the Iron Regiment, the most elite unit of the Serbian Army in the First World War, while Milunka Savić was multiply decorated heroine of the First World War.

Tradition of volunteering is continued by “Association of Volunteer of Wars from 1912 to 1918, their descendants and admirers”, which marked half of a century of its existence. Colonel in retirement Branko Milovanović, the President of that Association, highlights that the Association has around three thousand members, and that it possesses lists with more than 43 thousands of volunteers from 1903 and the wars from 1912 to 1918 and a library and archives with more than a thousand titles.

The topic of this issue is dedicated to the lessons learned and experiences from the media war led against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during NATO aggression in 1999. The truth was one of the first victims, and it was immediately followed by human dignity, and all civilisation achievements of humanity at the beginning of the 21st century. On that 24th March, together with American bombers, on the wings of “humanitarian intervention” the strongest media machinery took off to wage war against Serbia and Montenegro. The media machine was led by American CNN, ready to use all available means - manipulation, lies and sensations - to destroy the morale of the enemy and justify the war without any grounds in the eyes of the world. Colonel in retirement pilot Dragan Veličković reminded of that time, who was in that year of war in charge of organising the work of wartime press centre on behalf of Department for Information and Morale. Milovan Drecun, a journalist, TV speaker, military-political analyst and member of parliament recalled those times as well as then war photographer for the magazine “Vojska” Aleksandar Kelić.

In the segment “System” of this issue we offer several interesting covers. First of all, a text about the fifth in a row joint flight-tactical exercise BARS 2019, held in Russia, which demonstrated exceptional competence, good communication and spirit of friendship of the pilots of Air Force and Air Defence of the Serbian Armed Forces and their colleagues from Air Cosmic Forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Tactical exercise “Autumn 2019”, conducted by the members of the Fifth Army Military Police Battalion in the beginning of November in Deliblatska Peščara, again demonstrated the supreme competence for execution of primary police tasks.

We also bring you a text about a multinational Command and Staff Exercise “Cyber Tesla”, which was conducted for the fourth year in a row, in the framework of State Partnership Programme of Serbia and Ohio in the field of protection of cyber space, by members of the Serbian Armed Forces and Ohio National Guard, whose topic was defence of telecommunication and information system against threats from cyber space.

Members of the 250th Air Defence Rocket Brigade of the Air Force and Air Defence marked 24th November - Day of their unit. Commander of the Brigade, Brigadier General Tiosav Janković looked back on the year, which will because of important events surely remain recorded in the history of that heroic Brigade.

Also, we have presented the work of members of platoon for demining and UXO removal from the 310th Engineer Battalion of the Third Army Brigade. They are clearing the land at the airfield “Dubinje” near Sjenica and its vicinity which contains some three hundred unexploded cluster bombs thrown in NATO aggression in 1999. Last year, professionals from Prokuplje detected 26, and this year even 71 cluster bombs.

We also bring you a text about the work of Meteorology Service within Air force and Air Defence, in which we discuss the importance of weather data and weather forecast for many structures in the military, and for the pilots in particular.

The column titled the “Global” the readers can find an extraordinary interesting text about the reforms and modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army of China. Certainly the largest military reorganisation in the history of Chinese Armed Forces is currently in progress. Jovan Čavoški writes about what it implies. Our associate Aleksandar Životić analyses the influence of Syrian conflict on Turkish Armed Forces.

On the pages of our magazine we have presented the International Exhibition of Arms and Military Equipment “Defence & Security 2019”, which was held in Thailand, last month, which was attended by our associate Vlade Radulović. Serbian defence industry was among more than 500 exhibitors from more than 50 countries of the world, and it presented a wide range of products – from ammunition for light weapons to complex combat systems and aeroplanes of the “Utva” company.

Column titled the “Culture” we bring you a text about a project “From Noise to Sound” of the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, which was launched by a sculptor Nikola Macura, lecturer and the Sculpture Department. Over the last several years he has been “extracting sound” from decommissioned objects from military scrapyards.

The pages of the magazine “Odbrana” are also dedicated to sport in the armed forces. In this year alone, the athletes of the Ministry of Defence and Serbian Armed Forces participated in more than 20 sport events in country and abroad, where they, almost without exemption, won one of the first three places. Among the athletes who stood on winners’ podium were Serbian military competitors in athletics, judo, karate, shooting, triathlon, orienteering, wrestling, parachuting…

Special addition brings an intriguing title “Secret of Missing Flags”. Read what it is about in this issue of “Odbrana”.