The Serbian Forces of Krajina Surrender to the Croatian Army

On this day in 1995, a historical moment in Croatian history took place between Gornji Viduševac and Topusko when the 21st Kordun Corps of the rebel „Serbian Army of Krajina“ surrendered to the Croatian military forces.

With General Petar Stipetić as the leader of the Zagreb Military District, Petrinja was liberated the morning of 6 August 1995 followed by Hrvatska Kostajnica in the afternoon and Glina in the evening. As the Croatian Army achieved success in Lika the previous day, approximately 5-6 thousand soldiers of the Kordun Corps remained in the area along with 35 thousand civilians in the vicinity of ​​Topusko.

General Zvonimir Červenko, Chief of Staff of the Croatian Army planned to send the 1st Guard “Tiger” Brigade to Topusko via Vojnić but reconsidered after UNCRO representatives made it seem as if the surrender of Serb forces in the Banovina region was a formality. This did not materialize however and fighting continued on 7 August when fierce battles took place around the town of Dvor na Uni.

In the afternoon of 8 August, fighting ceased on the orders of Franjo Tuđman, President of the Republic of Croatia. At 1 PM, agreements on the surrender of the corps began at the UNCRO Ukrainian Battalion Command and were completed one hour later on the hood of a Croatian police vehicle at the Brioni Hotel between Gornji Viduševac and Topusko. Croatia was represented by General Petar Stipetić and the Serbs by Colonel Čedo Bulat, Commander of the 21st Kordun Corps of the „Serbian Army of Krajina“. Upon signing the terms, Bulat congratulated General Stipetić and said the following:

I surrender the 21st Kordun Corps to you and congratulate the Croatian Army on its victory.

This ended Operation “STORM” and brought an end to the four year existence of the parastate SAR Krajina. In the evening, a meeting to determine the obligations of both parties was held in Glina. It was agreed that the 21st Kordun Corps would hand over all weapons and equipment on 9 August but that officers retain their personal firearms to maintain order within their ranks. The handover started the next day on the Topusko-Glina-Petrinja-Sisak-Popovača-Lipovac highway and ended on 12 August. The column included 1,600 automobiles, 129 trucks, 30 buses, 1,436 tractors and approximately 13,000 people.

Sources
Marijan, Davor. Oluja. Zagreb: Croatian Memorial-Documentation Centre of the Homeland War, 2007.
Documentary Film “Generals and Gentlemen”, HRT, 2018. (Director and Screenwriter – Hrvoje Zovko)

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