Kosovo’s Bridge To Russia

Bridges are designed to link individuals, but the main one over the Ibar River in Kosovo is certainly a device of separation, employed by cultural Serbs to keep isolation through the Albanian bulk in southern Mitrovica.

Parapets and barricades had impeded usage of one other part since 1999. Now, given that bridge becomes passable yet again, Russia seems to be stepping directly into protect the real and divide that is political symbolized with its ruinous state.

Russian impact can be viewed at every turn in North Mitrovica. Russian flags hang over balconies, while portraits of Vladimir Putin and graffiti honoring the Serbian-Russian alliance are every-where.

The leadership that is political of Kosovo Serbs boasted of experiencing been summoned to Moscow for «consultations» ahead of present neighborhood elections (October 22), claiming to possess forged closer ties with United Russia. It appears that Moscow has become the location of preference for Serbian politicians dealing with elections or in the process of forming a federal government — whether in Serbia or in Kosovo.

For Russia, north Kosovo is advantageous as it permits Moscow appearing because the protector of its Balkan Slavic cousins with small work, nearly by standard. The reality that since 2013 Serbia happens to be involved with dialogue aided by the Kosovar federal government under EU auspices sometimes appears as betrayal by Kosovo Serbs given that it ruins the impression that Mitrovica continues to be somehow element of Serbia. Experiencing abandoned, many Serbs in north Kosovo instinctively seemed to Russia. If the high-level speaks between Belgrade and Pristina started, neighborhood Serbs demanded citizenship that is russian that was of course impractical, but reveals the depth of these frustration.