Bosnian Serbs Hold WWII Victory Day Parade with Russians

A Russian-style 'Immortal Regiment' parade to commemorate the Day of Victory over Fascism in World War II was held on Tuesday in Banja Luka, the main city of Bosnia's Serb-dominated Republika Srpska, attended by Bosnian Serb president Milorad Dodik and Moscow's ambassador to the country, who used the event to justify Russia's war against Ukraine.

The participants held pictures of relatives who fought in World War II as well as Serbian and Russian flags. Members of the pro-Putin Russian biker gang the Night Wolves also attended.

Russian ambassador Igor Kalabuhov told the participants that Moscow is now "fighting fascism in Ukraine, and against a totalitarian, unipolar world". He also claimed that Russia "prevented aggression" with its military intervention.

Kalabuhov said that the Day of Victory over Fascism was of "colossal importance for the fate of the whole world" and described it as a holiday that unites the Russian and Serbian people.

Russian ambassador Igor Kalabuhov at the event with Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik. Photo: BIRN

Kalabuhov also accused the West of "cynical falsifications of the history of World War II, inciting Russophobia, glorifying traitors and mocking the memory of the victims".

'Immortal Regiment' parades glorifying the sacrifices for victory over Nazi Germany in World War II are a key part of Russian President Vladimir Putin's nationalist ideology, but have been cancelled in Russia this year with the authorities citing security concerns connected to the war against Ukraine.

Republika Srpska leader Dodik told the participants that the Serbs made the greatest contribution to the defeat of the German occupiers in the Yugoslav region, claiming that resistance fighters from other ethnic groups only...

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