The Republika Srpska (RS) entity of Bosnia Herzegovina staged its annual ‘statehood day’ on January 9th. This year the parade took place in the Istočno neighbourhood of Sarajevo, which represents a major escalation in the posturing of the Bosnian Serb entity, which has previously hosted the event in their regional capital of Banja Luka, in the north of the country. Milorad Dodik, the Bosnian Serb president, has increased his secessionist rhetoric in recent months, which has seen him emboldened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and supported by Vladimir Putin.
The thing with the RS is that.
- Created through war crimes and semi-fascist ideas
- Functioning more as an ethnocracy than a democracy (similar to LNR and DNR in Ukraine)
- Dodik, one of the most corrupt politicians in the Balkans
- The parade is more about theater and radical nationalist identity politics while the heavily weaponised police could also be used against Bosnian Serbs who oppose Dodik's criminal regime and who support civic BiH