Eye-witnesses claim that, in those first few weeks, the Italians from KFOR didn’t even stop in Istok: they would chase by in their battle vehicles in top speed and rushed to go back to their base. The Spaniards, who should’ve taken responsibility for Istok, arrived late, and in the beginning only took care of their own security (to be honest, that’s what they also did later). After all, they were running some sort of negotiations with the remaining Serbs about their transfer to safety. It was too late for that. In that time, the terrorists could do whatever they wanted. The Gorioc Monastery was saved because it was on the military-technical agreement list and the NATO forces occupied it in the first couple of days, thus preserving it. "Sveti Petar i Pavle” church in the center of Istok wasn’t as fortunate: it was burnt down together with the residence then and again on March 17, 2004.
The witness I speak about stopped by the house of Stanoje Ljušić before departing, where he saw Stanoje, Radoje Vulic (Vulić), Misko Vulic, Stanica Vulic, Petar Djuric (Đurić) and Djurdja Vulic for the last time. He could not see Mikailo Vulic because he was lying in the house in a death rattle. He was told then that Stanoje managed to arrive at the Istok police station, which was already occupied by members of UÇK (KLA), and that he was told it was best for the remaining Serbs to gather in one place, so they can guard them with ease. The ones gathered at Stanoje’s house were discussing that day about where to bury Mikailo, who was dying. They agreed they would do it in the yard of the house after they've wrapped him up in a blanket. One of the Albanians that found himself in the vicinity of the dire house said only: that it was horrible, the cries for help and screaming along with the howling of the murderers was heard, and after that, the house was burnt down".
Other victims from Istok were murdered individually, how and where they were found at the moment. One of the witnesses later stated that he saw corpses of Serbs on the market place along the mosque wall. It is evident that Ljubomirka Đurić wasn’t in the house with the rest of the Serbs because her apartment was located in the center of the city. It is most likely that she did not even leave the apartment, where she probably met her executioners. The stories that state that she was thrown from the terrace of her apartment (fifth floor) are unreliable because there is a small possibility that she was carried to the cattle market afterwards. The body was found in the river, with the poor woman being massacred with multiple knife stabs.
The sons of Filip Milosavljevic (Milosavljević) and above mentioned Ljubomirka carry heavy scars on their souls and bitter memories. They wanted to annihilate them throughout the entire continuance of their family. In 1979, an Albanian man walked into the office of Dubrava Company’s director and emptied an entire gun clip into the chest of Filip Fica Milosavljevic, their father. Only God rescued him from certain death. The projectiles from Zastava M57 (tetejac-aunty) were so powerful that they penetrated through his entire body and that’s what saved him. What was started then was finished a couple of years later. Their mother Ljubomirka, a quiet and humble woman, guilty or obliged to no one, suffered only because she stayed in her hometown, in her apartment, because she was Serbian and because she was a mother. She was guilty of nothing else and it was not enough for the villains to murder her, but they stabbed the poor woman as much as they could, apparently even after she was already dead. A similar faith came upon Radoje and Mikailo Vulic, as well. Radoje Vulic, when he was 14, in 1941, had his soles cut with a knife by the Albanians from the Redzaj family. In 1999, he was murdered by the members of UÇK (KLA - Kosovo Liberation Army). Mikailo Vulic was wounded on November 16, 1944. Istok was „liberated” the next day. He too was murdered in 1999. My relative Petar Djuric is among the murdered people as well.
About the faith of Ljupka – Ljubomirka, about the final outcome, today we know the following: she was slaughtered at the end of June or at the beginning of July in 1999. However, about how she has spent her last days of life, when she was kidnapped and who slaughtered and massacred her, almost nothing is known or isn’t known for sure. It is known that she was taken and murdered at the former cattle market in Istok, on the same spot where the Partisans once shot the former mayor of the Istok municipality and commander of the Istok Chetnik squad Radovan Rale Vulic, together with Stale Krstic (Krstić) and Radomir Pumpalovic (Pumpalović).
The attached photos speak of the manner this woman’s life was ended. They were given to me, alongside the permission to publish them, by her son Gavrilo. On them, the investigation of at least three bodies is seen, from which one was probably the body of Ljubomirka Djuric (Đurić). (Five days after publishing this article a close relative who recognized the personal things of Ljubomirka Djuric: the ring and the keychain, reached out to me). According to those photos, UNMIK apparently found the body, performed the investigation and that’s where it all ended. After all this time, her sons still don’t know what happened to the body of the unfortunate woman. It is incredible that after 18 years every track is lost, even though it is evident and cannot be stated that the victim is missing or that nothing is known of her faith. Until this day, today, no one is being prosecuted for this and many other crimes.
UN Human Rights Advisory Commission on September 12, 2012, with the members Marek Nowicki, Paul Lemmens and Christine Chinkin, by the subject no. 163/09, and answering to the appeal filed by Ljubomirka’s son Gavrilo Milosavljevic, on April 8, 2009, in which he “complains about the lack of proper criminal investigation”, unanimously “proclaimed the appeal admissible”. The same board, which was in session from December 9 – 14, 2014, to the appeal of Ljubomirka’s son Gavrilo Milosavljevic, „stated that UNMIK could have done a more thorough investigation“. A few days later, in the presented document, the board consisting of Marek Nowicki, Christine Chinkin and Françoise Tulkens, to the same appeal state that „the appellant stated that in 1999, with the date not marked, perpetrators of Albanian nationality kidnapped Mrs Ljubomirka Đurić from her apartment in Istok”.
The investigation was opened with the first document being entered on April 2, 2001, but it didn’t provide almost any results regarding the case of Ljubomirka Djuric. What is interesting is that the investigation presented here is mentioned nowhere. They speak about searching for the grave of the unfortunate woman while it is more than obvious that UNMIK themselves buried the body. It is not until January 2005 that an Albanian witness appeared and claimed that he spoke to D.K., who said to him that she is moving to the apartment of Ljubomirka Djuric, and he testified that the two spent their last days there and that they were murdered together. The cattle market is mentioned as a possible execution/crime scene. The witness is no longer mentioned. The board states “that investigative actions in the case of Ljubomirka Đurić were not performed extensively as in other cases, and that such passivity and omission of the UNMIK police led to the loss of potential evidence”, and concludes: “that there was a violation of the procedural commitment in accordance with article 2. of the European Convention on Human Rights”.
This is everything concerning the investigation. It can be understood, although it is hardly understandable, since an entire army of soldiers, police officers and investigators came to Kosovo and Metohija after our retreat, that any trace of someone was lost, that there is simply no evidence about the whereabouts of a missing and murdered person’s remains. The proportions of suffering are especially horrific for the families who suspect that their loved ones were taken to Albania for the extraction and sale of human organs. But it is difficult to understand that every trace of a murdered person, who was found and forensically processed (which we prove here), gets lost. In doing so, it is unknown of who to blame more: whether the foreign people who did not care much about the faith of Serbs, at the end, they didn’t even come because of that, or our State authorities who didn’t do everything in their power to find the information, at least what is necessary for the families to bury the remains of their loved ones.
I do not have doubt that everything will be revealed someday. Sometimes more, sometimes less time passes until the facts are revealed. If anyone can help to find out the truth (and get justice) sooner: they should help. What we will never find out and will never be able to understand is how all those people, including Ljupka, felt while waiting for their death to come. What was in their souls, besides fear, we will hardly understand, except that maybe they were saying goodbye to their loved ones, in their minds. While they were waiting for death however, I think that they did not live misguided that mercy will be shown to them. They consciously picked their victim, in a Jesus and martyr manner. Their sacrifice will, however, be futile if we don’t do our best to find out the truth about their ending and executioners. And our sin will be: if we stay silent!
The essence and background of this appeal is in the following: we want to alarm the public in this manner, which will then put pressure, across media and public figures, on the EULEX and Office of Kosovo and Metohija authorities, that based on the recorded number of cases, which were enclosed as videos, at least the remains be found, so that the family can bury them with dignity, after almost two decades.