Bosnian Serbs celebrate banned holiday, praise Putin

(AP Photo/Armin Durgut) (Fair Use)

Thousands of flag-waving Bosnian Serbs gathered on the outskirts of the capital Sarajevo Monday to celebrate an outlawed holiday associated with Bosnia’s brutal inter-ethnic war in the 1990s.

Neighboring Serbia’s top diplomat attended a military-style parade that was part of a series of festivities which Bosnian Serb separatist leader Milorad Dodik also used to profess his allegiance to Russia.

Some 2,000 Bosnian Serb law enforcement officers marched through the Sarajevo suburb of Lukavica showcasing their rifles, armored vehicles and police helicopters. They were joined by members of cultural, sport and community groups, including the local branch of a Russian motorcycle club that staunchly supports Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Lukavica was used by the Bosnian Serb military to relentlessly shell and snipe at the capital’s center throughout Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.