The massacre of Serbian soldiers in Boderiste 1993 -

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Period: Yugoslav Wars

Region: Bosnia

The massacre of Serbian soldiers in Boderiste 1993

The crime in Boderiste is one of the most horrific crimes committed during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1990s.


This monstruos crime was committed by members of 108th Brigade of the Croatian Defence Council on March 8, 1993. At first, they captured 15 members of the Republika Srpska Army in the region of Grbavica town and then took them to Bodoriste at Northeast of Bosnia, where they killed them in unimaginable way.


Corpses of Serbian soldiers were so massacred  that the team of forensics specialists from the Military Medical Academy from Belgrade hardly managed to conduct obduction the day later.


The Prosecutor’s office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Criminal Court for ex Yugoslavia, the Hague Tribunal, refused to prosecute the perpetrators, although the evidence were collected and submitted in 2003. There is deliberate obstruction taking place and the files are not being completed for years.



SFR Yugoslavia was a federal state made up of 6 republics (FR Slovenia, FR Croatia, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SR Montenegro, SR Serbia and SR Macedonia). Both Yugoslavia and the JNA were, by definition, conceived on the principle of “brotherhood and unity” of all peoples and nationalities who lived in the SFRY.

The social and economic system of the SFRY was socialism. The 1974 Constitution of Yugoslavia brought about the decentralization of the SFRY, which later enabled the separatist forces in Slovenia and Croatia, and later in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to begin the break-up of Yugoslavia, followed by bloody wars and persecution.

In all the constitutions of Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav People's Army was defined as the only armed force in the territory of the SFRY, and therefore the only internationally recognized military entity. At the end of 1989, the SFRY Assembly passed amendments to the Constitution, thus replacing the one-party system with the multiparty system. Which meant that in addition to the only SKJ party, other parties could now be formed.

At the end of January 1990, the Alliance of Communists of Yugoslavia collapsed, at the famous 14th SKJ Congress in Belgrade, when there were sharp verbal clashes between Slovenian and Serbian delegates over the vision of the future of the common state of the SFRY.

The Slovenian delegation left the session, immediately followed by the delegation of the FR Croatia, which brought the issue of the congress into question. After them, the delegations of the FR of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the FR of Macedonia also left the congress. Thus, after 45 years, the rule of the communists in SFRY.



Bosnia and Herzegovina was the central Republic of Yugoslavia where Muslims, Serbs and Croats lived along with national minorities. On November 18, 1990 the first multiparty elections were held after WW2. The government was formed by the anticommunist coalition parties: SDA, SDS and HDZ. Member of Parliament who received the majority of votes was Fikret Abdic (47.4%), a successful businessman from Velika Kladusa (Northwest Bosnia). But he was overpowered by muslim extremists because he didn't want war, nor conflict with Serbs. In fact, he was just a bait for muslim voters on the elections. Thus, president of the BiH Presidency became Alija Izetbegovic, the pre-war prisoner and author of the notorious chauvinist "Islamic Declaration". President of the Parlament of BiH became Momcilo Krajisnik from SDS party, and Prime Minister of Federal Republic of BiH became Jure Prelivan (Croat). This coalition had endured for 15 month. It collapsed at beginning of the war in BiH, in April 1992.

Leading members of the Muslim Party of Democratic Action- Alija Izetbegovic, Haris Silajdzic, Ejup Ganic and others decided in 1991 that they didn't want Federal Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to remain part of Yugoslavia, and that they wanted an independent state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here the plans of SDA and HDZ coincided, but both parties wanted to have an ethnically and religiously cleansed states. Bosnian's Croats wanted to merge with Croatia, and the Muslims to create Islamic republic. The idea

Izetbegovic participated in WW II in notorious Bosnian as Muslim 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian) member, known for the WW II genocide of Serbs

of ​​an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina was further spread by the media. As early as October 1991 newspapers in Sarajevo published open threats to Serbian people. Inter alia, there was announcement of renewal of the so-called Handchar division, Ustasha unit from period of 1941-1945, which committed horrible crimes against Serbs in the Independent State of Croatia. This division had been mostly filled with Muslims. It is worth mentioning that Ustasha atrocities in Bosnia and Herzegovina had reached its peak in places such as Prebilovci, Drakulic, Bileca, Gacko, Donja Gradina, Kupres. 

August 1991 witnessed organized arming of paramilitary forces of Muslims and Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina which was conducted  through channels of the political parties SDA and HDZ, with the aim of attack on the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA). In October 1991 establishment of local committees of paramilitary units "Green Berets" and "Patriotic League B&H" occured. In the second half of 1991 Mostar was full of members of the JNA, who came from Croatia (Dalmatia and Dubrovnik area), from where they were expelled or withdrawn. They were withdrawn at the end of March 1992 in Uzice (Serbia).

On March 1, 1992 a referendum on the separation of Bosnia and Herzegovina from Yugoslavia was organized with 62.4% of voters having voted for independence. A day later in Sarajevo, members of the "Green Berets", led by a criminal Ramiz Delalić aka Celo, started shoting at a Serbian wedding party at Bascarsija having killed the groom's father Nikola Gardovic and wounded priest Radenko Mikovic. This was an event that announced the bloody war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s, but this also served as cause to dissolve still mixed police in Sarajevo. After that, numerous attacks on Serbian positions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and on members of the JNA occured (Sijekovac, Kupres, Sarajevo, Tuzla...). International representatives remained silent to these events.



The Situation in Brcko


Brcko is situated in Posavina region on the right coast of river Sava, or at the mouth of its right tributary Brka (after which the town was named) at 96 meters of altitude. Fertile region Semberia lies to the east and Posavina spreads to the west, while 15 km from the town slopes of mountain Majevica rise to the south.


South Slavs settled this region in IV and V century, and later they have created their own states. In the age of Nemanjici dynasty the region of Brcko was part of Serbia at the time when its power was at its peak. During XIV century, Balkan was being occupied by Osmanli Turks who advanced on their way to Vienna bringing Islam as a ruling religion. After their defeat near Vienna, Osmanic Empire retreated and after the Congress in Berlin in 1878, Brcko became part of Habsburg Monarchy.


With the end of the First World War in 1918, when Serbia was liberating its fatherland, this region became part of the first Yugoslavs’ state- Kingdom of SHS, specifically, part of Drina banate. During World War II, Brcko region together with entire Bosnia and Herzegovina came under the authority of Ustasha’s Independent State of Croatia. Ustashas committed horrible crimes and conducted genocidal actions against Serbs, Jews and Romans.


After the end of the War in 1945, Brcko became part of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina and the entire region witnessed industrial revolution. In 1946, young people from all parts of Yugoslavia built railway Brcko-Banovici with joint efforts.


According to 1991 census, the region of Brcko had population of 87,627 people among which muslims held 47%, Serbs 27%, Croats 25% and others 4%.

Brcanska Grbavica is the place with the largest number of victims in previous war in Southeast part of Bosnia. More than 65 warriors gave their lives for making foundations of Srpska Republic’s statehood in Bosnia and Herzegovina.




Immediately after this terrible crime at the beginning of March, 1993, the Army of Republic of Srpska conducted actions in the Brcko countryside on the Vranovaca hill which could have helped in liberation of this part of Posavina.


On the hill, Croatian and muslim forces received back up, and after that they surrounded Serbian soldiers capturing 15 soldiers of VRS (the Army of Srpska Republic) and taking them to the village Boderiste where Croats lived as majority population.


These soldiers of Srpska Republic were subjected to dreadful torture with slaughterers having beaten them with blunt tools,  and then cut parts of their bodies, and to some of them even their heads.




  1. Miroslav N. Pudic from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1959
  2. Stojan Dj. Pudic from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1952
  3. Radan K. Pudic from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1974
  4. Petar L. Tadic from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1942
  5. Mirko C. Pekic from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1932
  6. Gojko J. Vujicic  from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1958
  7. Ilija M. Bajic  from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1956
  8. Perica  R. Jovicic  from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1972
  9. Ranko P. Jovicic  from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1945
  10. Dragan R. Tomic  from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1974
  11. Nikola S. Tomic  from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1949
  12. Stojan R. Tomic  from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1972
  13. Zeljko Padezanin  from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1973
  14. Radovan M. Marjanovic  from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1972
  15. Sinisa J. Pudic from Brcanska Grbavica, born on 1974




They day later on March 9, 1993 the Army of Srpska Republic tried to make exchange, but Croatian beasts only sent corpses of soldiers in a van. The bodies were so massacred that even their families could hardly recognize them. Blood was leaping from the van.


The team of forensics specialists from the Military Medical Academy was engaged with dr Zoran Stankovic, a pathologist, as a team leader. They conducted obduction in the evening of March 9, 1993. In that way corpses of RSK soldiers were recognized.


Corpses of 15 Serbian soldiers were buried at the local cemetery in Grbavica, near Brcko.




In 2005, the Hague Tribunal refused to deal with this case although abundant documentation was submitted. It transferred the case to Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina which deliberately made obstructions of the trial.


Only on May 12, 2015 three members of the Croatian Defence Council were arrested as being suspected  of participating in the massacre. Those are: Admir Rizvanovic, Smail Omerovic and Jasmin Huskanovic.