Tag Archives: BELGRADE

The Briefing: Peacekeeper Games

A meeting in Belgrade looms to discuss a possible peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine.

Is it a turning point in the war in the Donbas? Or another false start?


On this week’s Power Vertical Briefing, we look ahead to a meeting in Belgrade between Kurt Volker, the U.S. special envoy for Ukraine, and Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov.


The 20 global destinations where yuccies can be together

Since the advent of the yuccie, they have been spotted all over the world. From Dubai to Antwerp, the Young Urban Creatives are in every corner riding fixies, discussing ideas and enjoying the privilege of suburban comfort.

The term was coined by Mashable writer David Infante, when he found himself offended by the word “hipster,” not quite fitting in the “yuppie” box and in desperate need of something to describe his type.

Since the birth of the yuccie, there have been quizzes, Urban Dictionary definitions, attempts to re-categorize the yuccies and lengthy think pieces.

Now the yuccie has a city travel guide, curated by Skyscanner. It shuns the dirty pits where hipsters hang, and it disses the wanky bars reserved for posh yuppies. Instead, it introduces the areas with attitude within contemporary cities where the Yuccie will feel like they can spend their entire salary on dining out, while discussing trending issues.

In true Yuccie fashion, the city guide will also be coming to life on Periscope — with Skyscanner’s #24hPeriscope live world tour broadcasting in each city from 10pm AEST (1pm GMT) on Friday, July 24.

1. Plagwitz, Leipzig

It has the hype and it has the yuccies. The Plagwitz district, an old industrial area in Leipzig, Germany, is where the action is happening. Abandoned buildings and post-industrial rubble have been carved out to create galleries and cultural spaces. It is an entrepreneur-with-an-eye-for-design’s dream.


2. Savamala, Belgrade

This city in Serbia is going through a revival and yuccies are flocking to the Savamala district, where workshop spaces and creative hubs are blooming. Although it has had a difficult past, things are starting to look brighter for Belgrade — with startups growing above ground and below, in the city’s tunnel system.


3. Vesterbro, Copenhagen

If you want to be the epitome of cool, look no further than Copenhagen in Denmark. Join the Danes in the Vesterbro district as they cycle around, sip organic lattes in vintage leather chairs and peruse antique bookshops.


4. Eilandje, Antwerp

The creative urbanites are transforming parts of the city of Antwerp, Belgium — and one such thriving area is the industrial port. It’s got on-trend cuisine and educational art exhibitions that will add to your yuccie life.



5. Hornstull, Stockholm

If you are after uber-cool, Stockholm in Sweden is waiting. The city is overrun with hipsters — especially in the Östermalm district and the SoFo — but to find your own kind, head to Hornstull. The place is buzzing with excitement and creative energy, as startups and young people flood the streets and businesses. Take a shot of espresso (aquavit), browse the flea markets or party through the night at Trädgården, one of the hottest clubs in the city.

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6. Witte De Withstraat, Rotterdam

Amsterdam has nothing on Rotterdam. The city in the Netherlands is a hub of trendy folk, cosmopolitan vibes and interesting activities. Yuccie sightings are frequent around the Witte de Withstraat, where they can be seen discovering quirky crafts, donning designer clothes and taking a stroll through an art gallery.



7. Nevsky Prospect, Saint Petersburg

Russia’s second largest city is a perfect mix of old and new, from the UNESCO historic centre and iconic sites through to the new spaces opening down small alleys. Nevsky Prospect is the spot to visit to work out what is hot or not from the creative types moving between the office and workshops. You can spot a Russian yuccie in the Hermitage Museum complex discussing creative and political theologies.

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8. Islington, London

Leave Shoreditch and Brixton to the hipsters, Islington is where yuccies choose to play. Areas that were once hotbeds for trouble are now home to the urban creative types. Islington has a rough and ready vibe, but be quick — a pressed juice store will come in only a matter of time. Make sure you stop for a spot of brunch — the meal between breakfast and lunch — to claim your prize as a true British yuccie.



9. SoMa, San Francisco

San Fran is the start-up capital and SoMa (the area south of Market Street) is where yuccies have made a home. They collaborate in co-working spaces, jog along the bay, are immersed in social media and eat organic meals. San Fran was made for the modern yuccie — from tech to art, this city has it all.



10. Sternschanze, Hamburg

As the dirty hipsters pack into dingy underground Berlin watering holes, the stylin’ yuccies have found their own place in Germany. The bustling port city of Hamburg is where it’s at, with creative entrepreneurs flocking to the Sternschanze district, which is considered the epicenter of Hamburg’s cultural explosion. In a mix of bohemian chic and urban style, the design shows, cafes, galleries and boutiques all turn on the charm.


11. Zona Tortona, Milan

The fashion capital, Milan, of course attracts the best breed of yuccie. The Italian city is packed with trendy areas such as Brera, Isola, Hangar Bicocca and Fondazione Prada, where yuccies mingle with their own kind. But the newest trendy kid on the block is Tortona, an area where the annual Fuorisalone is held, a festival of culture, cool and art. The centrepiece of Tortona is the museum of culture (MUDEC); hang here and feel authentic.



12. Woodstock, Cape Town

The neighborhood of Woodstock shares its name with the legendary festival, so it is little surprise this is where the hip city folk are heading. In this South African neighborhood, artists are turning their work into small businesses and shaking off the hipster vibe. The Internet economy lifestyle is strong here, and yuccies have settled in for the long haul.


13. Greenpoint, New York

Enjoy a business lunch of kale and anchovy salad at Fieve Leaves, or munch on some avo-toast for brunch in between writing a new blog post. This area of Brooklyn is where social media managers, marketing gurus and emerging artists come together to enjoy a yoga class in designer lycra pants and shoot some Instagrams of their Moroccan scrambled eggs.


14. Vila Madalena, São Paulo

This area in the west of the concrete city is making a name for itself as a cultural hub for intelligent and creative Brazilians. A Brazilian yuccie is a little flamboyant with an energy that is infectious, and they come to the street-art covered neighborhood for an after-work beverage, to eat at Chou or to visit the libraries and galleries.


15. Cihangir, Istanbul

Istanbul’s yuccies have their finger on the pulse like in the other major cities, but these ones like their coffee Turkish style. They dine in fashionable restaurants, start cool businesses and have created a hub of talent in the city. They breeze around the cobblestone streets of Cihangir and chat about their new business idea before partying the night away with the yuccie set at an on-trend nightclub with the DJ of the moment.


16. La Confluence, Lyon

The historical and gastronomical centre of Lyon has enticed the yuccie trendsetters away from romantic Paris and straight into its grip. It is no wonder; the French city is the birth place of cinema. The industrial area of the city, The Confluence, has seen abandoned buildings converted into eco-friendly spaces for mingling with other yuccies. A swell of galleries, workshops, cultural events and arts centres has made this area into a young urban creative’s ideal home.



17. Sant Antoni, Barcelona

Spanish yuccies don’t want to be living with the hipsters in the Gracia district of Barcelona, so they have packed their bags and set up shop in the neighborhood of Sant Antoni. The area is going through a cultural renaissance of late, and the urbanites are ready to embrace the change. Yuccies are opening businesses and creative spaces, as the transformation from tradition to modern rolls on.


18. Alexandria, Sydney

Australia was made for yuccies, with its creative vibe, open landscapes and modern hubs. Newtown is the known home of hipsters, while the breed spread as far as Bondi in the east. Now, the yuccies have had their say and are embedding themselves in the former industrial area of Alexandria. Young designers meet at The Grounds for chai lattes and lentil du puy to go. To really fit in with this crowd, sign up for the “coffee academy” where you will learn to create the perfect yuccie brew.



19. Nakameguro, Tokyo

Tokyo is an eclectic, overwhelming mix of professionals, yuccies, chic geeks, start-uppers and entrepreneurs. To locate the young urban creative clique in the Japanese city, head over to Nakameguro. It is a step away from the bustle of the city, and the locals ride around on vintage bikes, work in coffee shops and fashion themselves in op-shop wear. For the full experience, check out 0fr for international fare, zines and photography journals.



20. Design District (D3), Dubai

Between the desert and the over-the-top luxury, there is an area in Dubai called D3 where yuccies congregate. The usual haunts can be found here — including galleries, workshops and boutiques — but top of the order should be popping into Ghaf Kitchen, where you can grab some street food, brunch or a beetroot and goats cheese salad. Although the area is still being developed, with the power and money of Dubai this trendy hub is sure to get it right.


Special Court convicts Darko Saric to 20 years in prison

Darko Saric was sentenced on Monday to 20 years in prison for trafficking 5.7 tons of cocaine from Latin America to Western Europe.

All other members of his group on trial have also been found guilty. Neither Saric, who refused to show up, nor his lawyers were present in the courtroom today.

Judge Sinisa Petrovic said that Saric, Goran Sokolovic and Zeljko Vujanovic, as well as late Ivan Dudic aka Fric, were found to be organizers of the criminal group. Sokovic was sentenced to 20, and Vujanovic to 18 years in prison.


Rodoljub Radulovic, aka Misa Banana, who is a fugitive, was also found guilty and sentenced to 11 years and six months.

The defendants have the right to appeal against these first-instance ruling.

The Organized Crime Prosecution said in its closing statement that Saric and others should be sentenced from 30 to 40 years in jail, and at the same time asked the court to jail collaborating witnesses for six to ten months.

Saric rejected the indictments against him, saying there was no proof he organized the cocaine smuggling, and accusing “former authorities” of fabricating the case against him.

Six indictments against a total of 36 defendants were merged during this legal process that started in 2009 when the first suspects were arrested, and around 2 tons of cocaine seized in Uruguay.

The case was expanded on several occasion since. More than 14 of those accused are still at large.

The unified trial started in April 2013 in Belgrade, where Saric and his group stood accused of smuggling a total of more than 5.7 tons of cocaine from Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina to Western Europe, during 2008 and 2009.

Srebrenica memorial: Serbian PM chased away by angry crowd throwing stones

aleksandar vucic

A crowd throwing stones, shoes and bottles of water forced Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to flee a memorial ceremony in Bosnia commemorating the 20-year anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre.

Mr Vucic had to be whisked away through a crowd of angry mourners after his glasses were broken when a stone, thrown from the booing crowd, hit him in the face.

People also carried banners reading a wartime quote from the Prime Minster: “For every killed Serb, we will kill 100 Bosniaks.”

The incident reveals the deep-seated anger over Serbia’s denial of the crime as genocide.

A group of women from the capital Belgrade, who are campaigning for Serbia to admit their role in the slaughter, shouted “responsibility” and “genocide” at Mr Vucic.

Tens of thousands of people were at the memorial marking the death of around 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces during the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.

The United Nations had decalred Srebrenica to be safe for civilians, but on 11 July 1995 Serb troops attacked the Muslim area.

On Wednesday Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution to describe the Srebrenica massacre as “genocide”.

Last month, Milorad Dodik, president of Bosnia’s autonomous Serb Republic, called the massacre “the greatest deception of the 20th century”.

14 people have been convicted at a UN tribunal in The Hague in connection to the Srebrenica killings.

The former Bosnian Serb army chief, Ratko Mladic, and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic are both facing seperate trials at The Hague.

Both are accused of crimes relating to the Srebrenica massacre.

Serbia Arrests 7 Linked to Srebrenica Massacre

FILE - International War Crimes Tribunal investigators clear away soil and debris from dozens of Srebrenica victims buried in a mass grave near the village of Pilica, some 55 kms (32 miles) north east of Tuzla, in 2006.
FILE – International War Crimes Tribunal investigators clear away soil and debris from dozens of Srebrenica victims buried in a mass grave near the village of Pilica, some 55 kms (32 miles) north east of Tuzla, in 2006.

Serbian police have arrested seven people suspected of involvement in the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, when 8,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered by Bosnian Serb fighters.

A prosecutor in Belgrade said Wednesday that the suspects are believed to have committed war crimes against civilians. They are specifically alleged to have been involved in the killing of 1,000 people at a warehouse on the outskirts of Srebrenica.

In 2011 Serbia arrested Ratko Mladic, the leader held responsible for the worst atrocities of the Bosnian war. He is currently in The Hague on trial in an international criminal court.

But the Associated Press reports that the seven arrests on Wednesday were the first seizures of men accused of direct involvement in the massacre, Europe’s worst civilian slaughter since World War II.

At the start of the Bosnian war in 1992, Srebrenica was a mainly Muslim town in a Serb-held part of Bosnia, and as such gained protection by the United Nations. In July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces overran the so-called safe haven, separated women and children from men, and then systematically murdered the men in mass executions. Mass graves were later found in the area.

Tear gas at Kosovo rally demanding minister resign over war victims comment

FILE PHOTO (Reuters / Hazir Reka)

Police have deployed tear gas to disperse some 2,000 protesters, who rallied in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina. The demonstration called for the dismissal of a Serb minister accused of insulting Albanian war victims.

Aleksandar Jablanovic, the minister for communities and returns of Kosovo, sparked anger earlier this month when he branded as “savages” a group of Albanians, who blocked a group of Serb pilgrims from entering an Orthodox Christian Church in the town of Djakovica.

On Tuesday, large crowd carrying Albanian flags took to the Pristina streets demanding dismissal of Jablanovic and the entire cabinet.


The rally was organized by several opposition parties, including the nationalist Vetevendosje (Self Determination) party, reported Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, a news service focusing on the Balkans.

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The crowds clashed with police when they tried to push them away from the government building near the central Skanderbeg Square. Officers used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the rally, the Balkan Insight news portal reports.

Dozens of people were reported injured in the scuffles. Live footage from the scene also showed a number of people were detained, with Kosovo’s mayor reportedly among them.

The rally on Tuesday follows a much larger protest on Saturday, which also escalated into violent clashes between the demonstrators and police.

The protesters demanded that Jablanovic be sacked within 48 hours, but the government rejected that demand.

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“The government of Kosovo urges political parties and their leaders to fulfill their goals and political ambitions through free and democratic elections, and not to use various pretexts to achieve political goals in an undemocratic way,” Prime Minister Isa Mustafa told a government meeting.

Jablanovic, who is one of three Serb minister in the Kosovar government, has since apologized for his remark.

The site of the Albanian-Serb confrontation, which served as the trigger of the conflict, was a scene of heavy fighting that resulted in many deaths during the Balkan wars. The minister said he was not aware of the tragic history of the site.

View image on Twitter

Another grievance voiced by the protesters is the government’s decision to exclude the Trepca Combine, a mine contested by Belgrade and Pristina, from a draft law on public enterprises.

The law would lay a claim on 100 percent stake of the mine for Kosovo.

But the government made a last-ditch exception for the facility after Serbia warned against attempts to seize the asset and complained to the EU about Pristina’s intentions.

The protesters chanted “Trepca is ours!” at both the Saturday rally and the latest protest.

View image on Twitter

The Republic of Kosovo, a partially recognized state, became independent in 2008. Among the countries which recognized the republic’s status were the US, Canada, Australia and some countries of the EU.

The majority of the 1.8-million population is Albanian – 92 percent – and only 4 percent Serb.

Kosovo minister Enver Hoxhaj makes historic Serbia visit

Kosovo's foreign minister Enver Hoxhaj at the EU-Western Balkans conference in Belgrade. 23 Oct 2014

Enver Hoxhaj has become the first minister from Kosovo to officially visit Serbia since his country unilaterally seceded in 2008.

The Kosovan foreign minister hailed warmer ties between the two sides, and urged his hosts to agree to a peace treaty that would recognise Kosovo’s independence.

Kosovo has been recognised by more than 100 countries.

But Serbia, backed by Russia and other states, has refused to do so.

Kosovan Albanians waged a secessionist war against Serbia in the late 1990s, which responded with a military crackdown against the territory and its civilians.

A Nato bombing campaign against Belgrade effectively forced Serbia to cede the territory, which was administered by the United Nations until 2008.

Mr Hoxhaj was visiting Serbia to take part in a regional ministerial meeting in Belgrade.

But he used the occasion to call for a peace treaty, and told reporters: “Wherever I go I embody Kosovo’s sovereignty as an independent state.”

Drone row

The visit has been seen as a chance to lower tensions between Serbia and Kosovo – which has a ruling ethnic Albanian majority and an ethnic Serbian minority.

The Kosovo situation still sparks tension between Serbia and Albania, which backs Kosovo’s independence.

Last week, a football match between Serbia and Albania was abandoned after a drone flew over the stadium in Belgrade carrying a flag emblazoned with a black eagle, the symbol of Greater Albania.

It prompted scuffles among players and fans on the Partizan Stadium pitch.

The two nations are due to find out their punishment for the violence later on Thursday following a disciplinary hearing by European football’s governing body Uefa.

Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama was due to visit Serbia on Wednesday, but the football controversy forced him to postpone until 10 November.

He will be the first Albanian prime minister to visit in more than 70 years.