Kosovo Declares Independence

by Ryan on February 17, 2008

in Europe,Russia

With the help of 16,000 NATO peacekeepers (of course), Kosovo officially declared its independence from Serbia!  Good for them, and it’s about time! 

Yet, Serbian nationalism is closely tied to Kosovo, for in June 1389, the Serbs were defeated by the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Kosovo Polje.  Up until that point, Kosovo was a region that served as the cultural center of the old Serbian Empire — the last great Serbian Empire.  Kosovo was subsequently settled by Albanians, creating a tension between Muslims and Christians, as well as Serbs and Albanians that came to blows by 1989. 

This means that the Serbs will not let this happen quietly and are already rejecting this claim.  Russia is supporting the Serbs as well, which makes me feel that Europe and the USA should quickly recognize Kosovo’s independence then immediately ask them to apply to NATO — just to watch ol’ Pootie Poot’s conniption fit!

Ever since the former Yugoslavia began devolving into the slew of new states, mapping the Balkan States has been a trying endeavor.  As a history teacher, it’s frustrating having to say “this map is outdated” every time we get brand new maps or books!  So, I guess this means that the black marker is coming back out, having just traced Montenegro, to trace Kosovo on the big map!

AP photo.

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