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Kosovo

A pedestrian walks past a partly vandalized mural depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belgrade, Serbia, on June 2.
A pedestrian walks past a partly vandalized mural depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belgrade, Serbia, on June 2.

Serbia Is Playing With Matches Again

Brinkmanship over Kosovo, footsie with Moscow, and friction with Brussels are par for the course for Belgrade.

The memorial called “Heroines,” dedicated to Kosovar Albanian women wartime rape survivors, is seen in Pristina, Kosovo, on May 4, 2021.
The memorial called “Heroines,” dedicated to Kosovar Albanian women wartime rape survivors, is seen in Pristina, Kosovo, on May 4, 2021.

We Need a Better Way to Prosecute Sexual Assault in Conflict

Though rape is one of the most commonly perpetrated war crimes, it is rarely considered by international courts.

Serb residents hold a poster portraiting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a ceremony marking a historic battle  at  Gazimestan, near Pristina on June 28, 2009. The ceremony marked the anniversary of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, where the Serbian army was defeated by the Ottoman Empire.
Serb residents hold a poster portraiting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a ceremony marking a historic battle at Gazimestan, near Pristina on June 28, 2009. The ceremony marked the anniversary of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, where the Serbian army was defeated by the Ottoman Empire.

Why Putin Keeps Talking About Kosovo

For the Kremlin, NATO’s 1999 war against Serbia is the West’s original sin—and a humiliating affront that Russia must avenge.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is pictured at a meeting in Novo-Ogarevo, Russia on Aug. 7, 2007.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is pictured at a meeting in Novo-Ogarevo, Russia on Aug. 7, 2007.

When Recognition Is Reckless

Russia is not the only country irresponsibly offering diplomatic stamps of approval.

Shkumbin Gashi hangs a poster reading 'Congratulations Mr. President' at his bar in Rahovec, Kosovo on Nov. 6.
Shkumbin Gashi hangs a poster reading 'Congratulations Mr. President' at his bar in Rahovec, Kosovo on Nov. 6.

Biden in the Balkans

Fixing Trump’s mistakes in the region will be easy. Avoiding Obama’s will be much harder.

Kosovar Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti speaks with an aide after signing an agreement on opening economic relations with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in the White House on Sept. 4.
Kosovar Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti speaks with an aide after signing an agreement on opening economic relations with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in the White House on Sept. 4.

Our Top Weekend Reads

An interview with Kosovo’s prime minister, how Myanmar can avoid a public health disaster in the conflict-torn state of Rakhine, and the case for reassessing Voltaire’s legacy.

Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti
Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti

Kosovo PM: ‘There Is No Other Solution Than Mutual Recognition’

As two days of talks between Serbia and Kosovo begin at the White House, Kosovo’s prime minister says Serbia’s got to finally recognize his country—or risk both their futures in the EU.

A picture taken on Jan. 25, 2017 shows a mural, vandalized with paint, depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump and bearing the Cyrillic letters reading "Kosovo is Serbia," in Belgrade.
A picture taken on Jan. 25, 2017 shows a mural, vandalized with paint, depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump and bearing the Cyrillic letters reading "Kosovo is Serbia," in Belgrade.

Trump Has a Fix for Kosovo. He’s Ignoring It.

The White House is hosting another summit on the Balkans—while failing to apply its most promising model for solving the conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in Sochi on December 4, 2019.
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in Sochi on December 4, 2019.

The EU Needs a New Balkan Strategy

Russian and Chinese influence in Serbia is growing. The EU needs to step up its game to avoid being sidelined.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, left, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, left, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic

Collapse of Kosovo Talks Amid Leader’s War Crimes Charges Are Rebuff for Trump

Serbia’s president consolidates his control as Belgrade edges toward autocracy.

U.S. envoy Richard Grenell
U.S. envoy Richard Grenell

Anatomy of a Kosovo Summit Catastrophe

The Trump administration is hosting Balkans leaders this week to culminate a peace process that’s gone wrong from the start.

Newly elected Prime Minister Albin Kurti reviews Kosovo's honor guard during the handover ceremony in Pristina on Feb. 4.
Newly elected Prime Minister Albin Kurti reviews Kosovo's honor guard during the handover ceremony in Pristina on Feb. 4.

‘In the Balkans, if You Neglect History, It Will Backfire’

The acting prime minister of Kosovo says the United States helped bring down his government.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci reviews members of the Kosovo Security Force during a ceremony in Pristina on March 5.
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci reviews members of the Kosovo Security Force during a ceremony in Pristina on March 5.

Trump Is Stirring Chaos in Kosovo at the Worst Possible Time

A political crisis encouraged by the United States threatens to worsen the coronavirus outbreak.

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell

Meanwhile, America’s Kosovo Strategy Is Melting Down

As the coronavirus pandemic raises tensions, the Trump administration’s strategy of bowing to Serbia’s authoritarian president is coming completely undone.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic

Vucic: Most Serbs Prefer a ‘Frozen Conflict’ with Kosovo

But the Serbian president says “we need more talks” with the former province, which insists that Belgrade recognize its independence.

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