Stories written by Vesna Peric Zimonjic
Vesna Peric Zimonjic is a freelance journalist working from the Balkan region with more than three decades of experience. She has contributed to IPS since the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia in 1991. Vesna also conducts political analyses of the region and contributes to the London-based daily The Independent, BBC World Service and German Deutsche Welle radio and television.

Balkans Still Overshadowed by World War I

The 100-year anniversary of World War I (1914-18) may have come and gone, but the role of Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip – the assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand – remains controversial in the turbulent history of the Balkans. For some he was a terrorist, for others a hero.

Internet Censorship Floods Serbia

Waters have receded in Serbia after the worst flooding the country has seen in 120 years, and something new has surfaced, apart from devastated fields and property – censorship of the internet.

Balkans: Floods Reunite Former Yugoslavs

The Balkans region is living one of its most horrible springs ever, after the worst flooding in 120 years took 47 lives and witnessed evacuation of dozens of thousands of Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs in a matter of days last week. 

New Discontent Surfaces in Bosnia

Thousands of people have rallied in streets of major Bosnian cities since last week, demanding social justice, decent living conditions and resignation of top officials who they openly blame for unprecedented poverty and the country's economic decline.

Living Again With the Ways of Tito and Stalin

One of the best kept secrets of former Yugoslavia is out in the open after the online release of the names of 16,101 inmates of Goli Otok, or the Naked Island, the country’s only gulag – a Soviet system of forced labour camps – created 65 years ago.

Reaching Quietly for the ‘Solidarity Basket’

In the early morning hours, as hundreds of people grab their breakfast at a busy bakery in Beogradska Street in the Serbian capital, a very special basket quickly fills up with croissants, rolls and breads. It is the ‘solidarity basket’.

Seeds of Conflict Sprout in the Balkans

This year, summer in the Balkans has been nice and warm, leaving behind a land of plenty, and enough food on the table. Except that people are talking about tomatoes “that don’t taste as they used to,” watermelons that are too watery, cabbages that are hard to slice through and onions that do not sting your eyes.

Balkans Feed the Syria Battle

This holy month of Ramadan comes with a difference for some families in the Balkans. It is the first without their young sons, husbands or brothers who died far away from home fighting in Syria.

Donations Sound the New Note

The global economic crisis has not hit Serbia for the first time, but this year it has bitten into Serbian culture. State subsidies for theatres, festivals, films and exhibitions have almost hit the bottom. State support for films is down to zero.

At Political Rally, Serbian Church Crosses Sensitive Line

The influential Serbian Orthodox Church publicly crossed a line recently when two of its top clergymen took part in a Belgrade rally with messages amounting to direct threats against the lives of government officials.

An End to a Cold War?

On Apr. 19, Serbia and Kosovo put years of animosity aside when their prime ministers Ivica Dacic and Hashim Thaci initialled the first ever agreement between Belgrade and Pristina that should lead to normalisation of relations between the two former enemies.

Golf Plays Against Local Democracy

More than 10,000 people living in the coastal Adriatic town Dubrovnik have done what many others in the region could never. They are holding a referendum on a controversial development project that they believe endangers their city.

Fausto Pocar, one of five international judges opposed the acquittal of Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac. Credit: UN Photo/Marco Castro

Acquittal in The Hague Sparks Controversy

Stojan Kovacevic spent last weekend going about his usual routine in his tiny dwelling in the village of Grocka, near Belgrade: cleaning the kitchen and bedroom, going to the local green market and watching TV.

Serbia Sinks Into Depression

Renato Grbic is a simple Belgrade fisherman, who grew up on the shores of the Danube River in Belgrade, but he performs an additional job that he is not paid for.

Serbians Unite Against Nickel Extraction

A popular Serbian proverb quips that when it comes to politics there are as many opinions as there are people in this central European country of seven million.

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