What explains this shift, from being the region that initially had among the fewest cases in Europe, to a surge?
Some country-specific reasons might explain individual cases, such as recent elections in Serbia and North Macedonia, or the government crisis in Kosovo, or protests in Montenegro and Serbia. However, none provides an overarching regional perspective.
Serbia's war crimes prosecutor said in his closing statement to Belgrade Higher Court on Thursday that all the evidence showed that Husein Mujanovic was guilty of abusing Serbs held at a wartime prison that he commanded in Hrasnica.
Prosecutor Mioljub Vitorovic said the evidence "indisputably established that Husein Mujanovic committed the criminal act with which he is charged".
Kosovo parliament speaker Vjosa Osmani has reacted with fury to claims that her family once worked for the Serbian police when the country was under Yugoslav rule, after President Hashim Thaci repeated the allegation on Tuesday.
"Tonight, the snake tried to bite the honour of my family," Osmani wrote on Facebook, referring to Thaci by his wartime nickname of "The Snake".
Drita Hajdari told BIRN on Thursday that Kosovo's Special Prosecution Office has opened a preliminary investigation into Serbian police special forces' attack on the Jashari family compound in Prekaz from March 5-7, 1998, in which guerrilla commander Adem Jashari and 58 of his relatives were killed.
Turkey is preparing an initiative for cooperation between the Turkish and Bulgarian police in order to secure the common borders more effectively, Aksam newspaper said. Common border patrols for border protection can be formed, the newspaper added. Turkey has negotiated such an initiative with Serbia.