Fight for the neo-Nazi Azov battalion and you come home a hero. Fight for Donbass and you go to jail
Below is the transcript of the video that originally appeared at Tsargrad You Tube channel. Translation is courtesy of the RI Translation team
In Serbia a law has been passed prohibiting citizens from participating in armed conflicts abroad. This law is directed at Serbian volunteers fighting for the Novorossiyan army.
Goran Petronievich (Lawyer) - This law was enacted hastily, the Parliament agreed upon this law while under tremendous pressure from the international community (the West). The government intends to minimize the amount of people leaving from here (Serbia). Yet all these people leave on their own accord and not due to financial inclinations. They go on their own free will to fight for Novorossiya.
Serbian volunteer fighter - I came here absolutely, absolutely on my own accord, as a volunteer fighter. Without any incentives, money, or anything else. I came to help others, brother to brother, back to back, I came to offer a hand.
In Ukraine, there are fighters on both sides from many different countries, including citizens from the European Union. Yet the investigations and threats against citizens who have flown abroad to volunteer, for some reason or another are only directed at the Novorossiyan volunteer fighters. Yesterday, eight Spanish volunteer soldiers were arrested and later released for serving with the Donbass brigade Prizrak (Ghost). Meanwhile, in the far-right Ukrainian Azov battalion, Croatian nationalist volunteers are confident their government won’t prosecute them.
Croat fighter (Battalion Azov) - We aren’t fighting for money, we are nationalists, volunteer fighters in the Battalion Azov. We simply hate Russians, hate Serbs. We are here legally, there are no problems regarding that.
Ranko Ostojić (Minister of Interior, Croatia) - These are volunteer fighters, they are fighting for the legal (Ukrainian) government, therefore they are not violating any laws.
Goran Petronievich (Lawyer) - It turns out that the divisional rift is quite neat, Orthodox Serbs are fighting on the side of Novorossiyan for ideological and religious reasons. Just as the Catholic Croats come to fight for the exact same reasons, for the Ukrainian side. If it can be proven that an Orthodox Serb has taken part in this war, he will face one of two jail sentences. A penalty of six months in jail to five years in prison or from one year to eight years in jail back at home in Serbia, according to law. While back in Croatia, this law doesn’t even exist. These laws were not passed there because there wasn’t any pressure on Croatia from the international community to pass these laws.
There are international movements to help send as many volunteer fighters to the Ukrainian side — while volunteers and assistance to Novorossiya is criminalized.
Reporter - Why does the Serbian government follow the orders that emanate from the West towards its volunteer fighter rules?
Radomir Pochucha (Serbian volunteer fighter) - Our land, our government, it just is under occupation by the West.
As the Serbian saying goes, “The Russians and us are one people, our government a different people.”