Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Minister Vulin: The military and the people have always been one

- The Serbian Armed Forces are a part of our daily lives. The soldiers are there, sharing good and evil with their nation. In the history of our warfare, one of the reasons the Serbs won was that no one could ever say exactly where the troops ended and the people began – they were always one, and of course we are still one, said the Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin on the "Novo jutro" show on Pink Television.

According to him, the Serbian Armed Forces are a great support to all the citizens of Serbia.

- We secure major health centres, all gerontology centres, whether private or state-owned, together with the members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, we secure all border crossings and migrant camps, and in addition to this, we constantly prepare, train and maintain the combat readiness of our military. We take care of our daily lives. We also disinfect streets, public areas, health centres and we are greatly assisted by members of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Therefore, the military is there and there is no segment of life where there is no military, said the Minister of Defence, adding that the military have also set up temporary hospitals for patients with mild clinical presentation.

- In Belgrade we have established temporary hospitals at the Fair, the Arena, the Sports Hall, at the Novi Sad Fair, and in the Čair Hall in Niš. Wherever our help is requested and we can respond - we do. It is not the military who decides which places to adapt, but the Crisis Response Team consisting of experts. Setting up beds is not our only responsibility, we must also provide logistics, food, doctors, medical professionals who are now very scarce, and we need to make serious decisions about it. We have had cases where some local self-governments have decided for themselves, put the military on the spot, and asked for beds and doctors from the military. That is no way to do it; you have to listen to your country and the Crisis Response Team, Minister Vulin said.

Speaking about the current fight against the coronavirus and infected members of the Serbian Armed Forces, he stressed that the First Army Brigade received "the hardest blow since they were on the front line."

- They were there to help thousands of our fellow citizens who were returning to their homeland. This is exactly where the infected and the healthy came into contact, regardless of all the protection and all the measures taken on a daily basis. That is life, but the combat readiness of our military is not diminished in the least. We regularly practice, prepare, train and carry out all our tasks, said Minister Vulin.

Minister Vulin also spoke about solidarity among the members of the military and emphasized that 39 retired military doctors came forward to offer help to their armed forces, that none of the members of the military refused to work "and there were those who stopped their sick leaves and holidays and returned to their units.“