Source: Balkan Insight
…….Serbs flocked to help Russian ‘brothers’:
The verdict in April this year against Barovic was a landmark conviction in Montenegro, following the adoption of a law in 2015 that classified fighting on foreign territory as a crime.
In neighbouring Serbia, however, where the number of those who fought in Ukraine as foreign fighters was much higher, there have been no such trials, but only plea agreements.
Around 24 fighters who returned to Serbia last year from Ukraine admitted guilt after the prosecution produced evidence of their presence on battlefields.
Investigators mostly gathered this evidence also by examining their social media profiles.
Plea agreements are not public documents in Serbia, but BIRN sources from prosecutors’ offices say YouTube videos and Facebook photos proved the key evidence in most cases.
The most prominent case was against Radomir Pocuca, a former special police spokesperson, who over several months of fighting in Ukraine posted almost daily videos, photos and other entries related to his time in Donetsk.
Pocuca also claimed that he went to help Serbia’s “Russian brothers” for patriotic reasons, mainly as payback for Russia’s support for Serbia in the dispute over the former province of Kosovo [which declared independence in 2008 – which Serbia has vowed never to recognise].
Serbs also remember that Russian fighters volunteered for the Serbian side in the 1992-5 war in Bosnia, which pitched Serbs against a combination of Croats and Bosniaks [Bosnian Muslims].
For many of the Serbian fighters in Ukraine, this was not their first war.