Thousands of Serbs returned to the streets of Belgrade on Friday, April 15, to protest Serbia’s decision to vote for the exclusion of Russia from the United Nation’s Human Rights Council.
The demonstration was organized by the far-right group People’s Patrol—the group was also behind another protest held in support of Russia last month.
As they did in March, protestors gathered in front of the monument of Russia’s Tsar Nikolai II (which was unveiled during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014), before marching towards the Russian Embassy in Belgrade.
Participants flew Russian flags and carried photos of Putin, while chanting about Serbian-Russian brotherhood. According to Radio Free Europe, chants included also calls that “Crimea is Russia, Kosovo is Serbia.”
Protestors also marched to the building of the Serbian presidency where they threw smoke bombs and insulted President Aleksandar Vucic.
On April 7, Serbia voted in favor of a UN Genera Assembly resolution suspending Russia from the UN’s Human Rights Council. In March, Serbia voted also in favor of a UNGA resolution condemning the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Nevertheless, these gestures remain symbolic, as Serbia is one of the last countries in Europe (besides Belarus) that has refused to impose sanctions on Russia, despite repeated calls by the EU on the matter.
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