Friday, September 23, 2005

Who led the "Serb-dominated" JNA

In Yugoslavia’s final years the Federal Defence Minister was Kadijevic, a self-declared Yugoslav from Croatia of a mixed marriage (his father was a Serb, his mother a Croat, and he was married to a Croat), and his Deputies were Admiral Stane Brovet, a Slovene, and Josip Gregoric, a Croat. The Chief of Staff of the JNA was General Blagoje Adzic, a Serb from Bosnia, and his five deputies consisted of one Serb, two Croats, one Slovene and one Montenegrin. The JNA was organisationally divided into three military districts, as well as an additional navy district and air force and air defence fields, and, in fact, most of the top positions were held by Croats at the time. The commander of the First Military District of the JNA (the largest, based in Belgrade) was Anton Lukezic, a Croat, who was succeeded after his retirement by Aleksandar Spirkovski, a Macedonian, while the District’s Chief of Staff was Andrija Silic, a Croat. The commander of the Third Military District (based in Skopje) was Zivota Avramovic, a Serb, and the commander of the Fifth Military District (based in Zagreb) was Martin Spegelj, a Croat, and then, after he retired in spring 1990, Konrad Kolsek, a Slovene. The navy was headed by Admiral Bozidar Grubisic, a Croat, while both the commander of the air force and air defence, Anton Tus, and his deputy, Zvonko Jurjevic, were Croats. The chief of the JNA’s counter-intelligence service (KOS), meanwhile, was a Serb, General Vasiljevic, but his Deputy was General Simo Tumanov, a Macedonian, and Slovenes and Croats held other top positions in the JNA’s security organs ( The head of the internal communist organisation of the army until its dissolution in January 1991, which was a very powerful organisation and contained almost all JNA members, was Admiral Petar Simic, yet another Croat. (

How anyone could possibly call this “Serb-domination” is beyond me - out of the 21 persons in top JNA positions mentioned above 10 were Croats, 4 Serbs, 3 Slovenes, 2 Macedonians, 1 Montenegrin and 1 a Yugoslav.


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6:10 PM, April 03, 2013  
Blogger Marijana Bodrozic said...

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2:58 AM, August 27, 2013  
Blogger Marijana Bodrozic said...

I know this is quite an old post (8 years), but most of your commanders are wrong/out of date. Most of the people here (Gregorić, Kolšek,Ruzinovski) had already been pensioned off by the time the war started, and were in most cases replaced with Serbs. By the time the war began in mid-1991 the top commanders of the JNA who took part in the war against Croatia were the following (the first 4 are roughly in order of importance, the remainder can be in any order)

Federal Defence Minister – Veljko Kadijević (Half-Serb, very much Serb orientated as he makes clear in his memoirs)

Chief of Staff of the JNA – Blagoje Adžić (Serb)

Deputy Chief of Staff – Života Panić (Serb)

Deputy Defence Minister – Stane Brovet (Slovene)

Commander of the First Military District – Života Panić (Serb)

Commander of the Second Military district – Pavle Stugar (Montenegran)

Commander of the Fifth Military District – Života Avramović (Serb)

Commander of the Yugoslav Airforce – Zvonko Jurjević (Croat)

Commander of the Yugoslav Navy – Miodrag Jokić (Serb)

Commander of the JNA Marintime district – Nikola Mladenić (Croat)

Commander of JNA Counter-intelligence Service – Aleksandar Vasiljević (Serb)

Head of the JNA 9th Corps – Ratko Mladić (Serb)

Head of the JNA 10th Corps - Spiro Niković (Montenegran)

Head of the JNA 12th Corps – Andrija Biorcević (Serb)

Head of the JNA 13th Corps – Marijan Čad (Slovene)

Head of the JNA 32nd Corps - Vladimir Trifunović (Serb)

So, of the top 4 commanders of the JNA, 2 were Serbs, one was half-Serb but very much Serb orientated and one was a non-Serb. Of the three military districts who took part in the war, all were commanded by Serbs or Montenegrans. All bar one of the JNA corps which toop part in the war in Croatia were commanded by Serbs or Montenegrans, and none were commanded by Croats.

This it should be noted does not include territorial defence formations created by the Croatian Serb ‘authorities’, nor of paramilitary formations, both of which were supported by the JNA and the Serbian MUP, and which were overwhelmingly Serb.

Another fact that is relevant here is that in 1990 the JNA officer corps was – irrespective of the presence in it of individuals like Brovet and Jurjevic – a Serb-dominated body. By 1990 60% of officers were Serb and 6.2% per cent Montenegrins. This would only increase, so that by 1992 the JNA would be over 90% Serb and Montenegrin.

3:04 AM, August 27, 2013  

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