Viacheslav Kalinin, Vice President of the Association of Army and Security Services Veterans “Boevoe Bratstvo” (Military Brotherhood)

RUSSIANS AND SERBS ARE ONE PEOPLE!

Published on November 2017.

Russians and Serbs are one people, we have one and the same religion. Whenever I come to Serbia, I feel as if I had come to my own country, I feel I am among brothers. There is no doubt that the same stand towards Serbia is shared by almost all of Russian people, Russian officers and veterans. The relations between Russia and Serbia have lasted eight centuries, much longer than some modern states have existed. This is why it is our holy obligation before our ancestors and our contemporaries to be as close as possible, to actively cooperate, strengthen our common tradition, to remember the past and build the future, Viacheslav Kalinin, Vice President of the Association of Army and Security Services Veterans “Boevoe Bratstvo” said in an interview with “Lepa Sumadija”.

“Boevoe Bratstvo” is one of the leading organizations of veterans in Russia. It gathers hundreds of thousands of former security service members, officers and soldiers of the Russian Army from the USSR and veterans from the countries of Southeast Europe. At the same time, Kalinin is the creative founder and editor-in-chief of a unique international project called Veteran News (www.vvesti.com) whose webzines and newspaper is visited or read by millions of people from around fifty countries. Kalinin is also one of the most influential people in the veteran movement, an acclaimed expert in the area of security and public diplomacy of the Russian Federation, as well as the official representative of the Committee for the Fight Against Corruption. Kalinin and his associates recently visited Sumadija and Serbia.

-In Sumadija I was hosted by my great friend Novica Antic, president of the Army of Serbia Trade Union. One of the goals of our meeting was to organize an exhibition in the state Duma in March 2019 dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the NATO forces’ barbaric bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. During the visit our delegation assisted in the celebration of a great state jubilee – six hundred years of the establishment of Kamenac monastery in Cestin village near the town of Gruza. I am glad to have had the opportunity to present to Mr. Miroslav Nikolic, president of Knic Municipality, a commemorative medallion of the Russian veterans. From my friends I have learned that Mr. Nikolic is an exemplary Christian and a family man who has renovated a lot of churches and provided lots of help to the ordinary people. I was amazed when i saw that he and the Government ministers, the Church and the Army are standing shoulder to shoulder in the celebration of the jubilee and that they are united in this project. It is quite impressive.

Could Sumadija cooperate with Russia?

-Of course. We are actively working on it. It is our next step that is well under way. God has given to Sumadija its unique natural surroundings and the ecosystem, its well-developed agriculture and cattle breeding, its strong tradition of industrial production. For what I know, some Russian investments are already here, but we must all together strengthen this component to attract more investments from Russian companies. Especially since there is a strong demand for Serbian products in Russia. “Serbian, it means quality”, that is what we say in Russia. We have already planned with our Serbian friends to start a large number of projects in 2019. Today we need to use all means available to connect, including realization of common economic projects.

How do you see Russia before and during the rule of Vladimir Putin, who is by far the most popular politician in Serbia?

-Russija is basically an empire, and the imperial spirit has returned to the Russian people. In this return to the Fatherland an important role was played by the faith and tradition. A lot of work was done on this concept. Vladimir Putin is a supporter of the model in which the army, the church and the people are – one! To represent this great comeback of Russia we may use solid facts and numbers from different areas – from economy and culture to the development of the armed forces. It is no secret that the Russian Army is one of the most combat-ready and most hi-tech equipped in the world, capable to protect its people and its important allies. An example of this restauration is also the spiritual renaissance, the development of orthodoxy which plays an important role in the revival of our state. Today, Russia is the successor of all the best things the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union had to offer. We have reconciled with our past since it is important to draw all the lessons from our history, the good and the bad! We have learned to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. We, the successors of the Russian officers from World War II and the Great Fatherland War – may our western “partners” pardon me for saying so – today we walk holding our heads high. We march forward! This is the biggest success and the important part of the historic role of our president, Vladimir Putin.