Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Reaction of Bojana Jelovac, Media Adviser to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Nebojša Stefanović

Reaction of Bojana Jelovac, Media Adviser to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Nebojša Stefanović:

"Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Nebojša Stefanović, PhD, who spoke on Pink TV’s show yesterday, putting forward arguments and undeniable facts about the systematic destruction of the Serbian Armed Forces at the time of Zdravko Ponoš and the former government. Ponoš himself has not denied any of the stated facts, but various people have given him support by stepping forward to attack Minister Stefanović each in their own way and in accordance with their interests. As expected, a politician who calls himself a military trade unionist, and it seems, an emerging media expert, did not fail to comment this time either.

In his statement, he claims that when the Minister of Defence talks about someone discharging 33,000 people from the Serbian Armed Forces, disbanding heroic brigades that defended the homeland, disarming the armed forces, humiliating retired service members and ruining the armed forces to the point where journalists started asking whether Serbia was planning to disband the Air Force - soldiers should not know that, and it should not be published by the Ministry of Defence’s media.

There is no better topic for the Minister of Defence to speak of than the situation in the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces. On Pink TV’s show, the Minister presented the facts, showing what the Serbian Armed Forces looked like when Zdravko Ponoš was the Chief of the General Staff. But the soldiers are already familiar with these facts, they do not need media for that. They know only too well what kind of Chief of the General Staff Ponoš was, they personally felt the consequences.

It is unusual that someone who calls himself a military trade unionist would request that such matters not be talked about, that he thinks this unprecedented destruction of the armed forces is great and that he cannot say anything about it even today. But I have read his statement from a year ago in which he announces that he is entering politics. And that's okay, but he should clearly state that he is a politician. Then it would be clear to the public why the situation in the armed forces, especially at the time of Ponoš, should not be discussed, and why he does not consider the well-armed, highly esteemed and better paid armed forces an improvement, and why Minister Stefanović is under constant attack.

It is difficult to comment on the media lessons he gave today to the Ministry of Defence and the Minister, requesting that "we shape our editorial policy…" and belittling Pink TV. It is strongly reminiscent of the slogans used by the politicians close to him. At the time of his political favourites, there was no need to promote the military profession, because they sought to reduce the strength of the armed forces, there was no need to report on scientific achievements, because they fired engineers from the Military Technical Institute, it was not allowed to mention the heroism and traditions of the Serbian people, because they even disbanded heroic brigades. Today, the Public Relations Department uses all its communication channels to do all of the above, and that is clearly visible, so it is clear to everyone that the so-called trade unionist is only trying to deceive the public with his statements."