• Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

Commemorating the 32nd Anniversary of the Škabrnja Massacre: A Tragic Event That Claimed Lives of 43 Civilians and 15 Defenders


Nov 18, 2023

On Saturday at 2 pm, the commemoration of the 32nd anniversary of the martyrdom of Škabrnja was completed in Ravnokotar. The village, which was occupied by members of the JNA and Serbian rebels on November 18, 1991, was devastated and destroyed. On that day, 43 civilians and 15 defenders were killed. The Catholic church was razed to the ground and the whole area was mined. Unfortunately, more victims followed in the days that followed.

In this Eucharistic celebration led by Archbishop Milan Zgrablić of Zadar, prayers were offered for all those who died in Škabrnja as well as for all deceased civilians and defenders in Vukovar and throughout the Homeland War. In his sermon, Zgrablić emphasized the importance of forgiveness and love towards one’s enemies: “Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of their father in heaven.”

On November 18th, representatives from war units, civil society organizations resulting from the Homeland War, and residents of Škabrnja gathered to commemorate the suffering of Škabrnja. The Vice-President of the Government and Minister of Sea Transport Oleg Butković and Ministers Ivan Malenica (Justice and Administration), Radovan Fuchs (Minister of Science and Education) were present at the event along with European Union representatives Šime Erlić and Radovan Fuchs. They emphasized that these days have turned from sadness to pride due to the sacrifices made for Croatian freedom.

The attack on Škabrnja began early in the morning under Ratko Mladić’s command from two directions: a column of tanks armored personnel carriers with infantry trucks came through Zemunik Gornji while a second column arrived from Biljana Donjih. The main impact was on Western entrance to Škabrnja near Ambar hamlet where strong tank forces engaged with fierce fire support from enemy strongholds air force infantry groups participated too.

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