Remembering May 2nd, 1992: This is how Sarajevo was defended

Members of the Territorial Defense of BiH, together with the Special Unit of MIA BiH, defended the Presidency of BiH on May 2, 1992, from a much more powerful aggressor, members of the army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The intention of the JNA to take over all important buildings and institutions in the city was interrupted, and Sarajevo started its heroic battle with this victory. The crucial battles took place between 10 AM and 3 PM that day, and the Post Office was put on fire.

One of the crucial facts is that the SFRY did not officially exist on May 2. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was declared only a few days earlier, on April 27, and BiH was internationally recognized as a state for almost a month.

Therefore, strong JNA forces, an army without a state, were stationed in Sarajevo. Earlier, the JNA openly put itself on the side of SDS and Serbian paramilitary formations.

On that day, the aggressor attacked the city and its residents from the surrounding hills, and it held it without water, electricity and food for the next 1.425 days. Sarajevo was cut off from the rest of the world, and telecommunications in the greater part of the city were no longer working. It was a war against innocent citizens of the capital city of an independent state of BiH.

After the units of JNA failed to take control over Sarajevo, they decided to achieve the military coup with other means. After the return of Alija Izetbegovic and BH delegation from the negotiations in Lisbon, the JNA units captured them in Lukavica.

According to Milutin Kukanjac, six people were killed in Dobrovoljacka Street, (now Hamdije Kresevljakovica Street), on May 3: a soldier Zdravko Tomovic from Han Pijesak, three Colonels Miro Sokic, Dr. Budimir Radulovic and Bosko Mihajlovic, and Lieutenant Colonel Bosko Jovanic, as well as a civilian, Nurmela Suko from Zagreb.

These are the events that marked the May 2, 1992.

Beginning of May in 1992 will remain well-remembered by all people of Sarajevo. Attempt of the special units of the former Yugoslav army to take over the building of the Presidency of BiH culminated on Skenderija, where they were stopped by the Special Unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Territorial Defense of BiH, consisted of citizens of Sarajevo.

Open program of Television Sarajevo, May 2, 1992:

In a direct radio broadcasting of the news of the former Television Sarajevo, the world public found out that the Presidency of BiH is attacked, that the JNA Command in Sarajevo is surrounded, that the president of the country is held captive, that the city is attacked from all artillery weapons, and that negotiations for a cease-fire and exchange of captives are led by media.

On the same day, the building of the Main Post Office was set on fire by grenades and incendiary ammunition shot from the hills around Sarajevo. The building burnt to the ground, disabling the telephone communication in the city.

“When the President Izetbegović was captured and when the exchange was negotiated, they would never let him go that easy is they had finished the job on May 2. We did this great job on May 2 and that day, for me, is the key day in the course of war in Sarajevo because Sarajevo was supposed to be cut off that day. They came to around thirty meters from the Presidency of BiH. If they managed to get in, the course of war would be entirely different,” said Dragan Vikić, commandant of Special Units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the biggest legend of the defense of Sarajevo.

Sarajevo is under siege, it was clear on that day.

In years that followed, people lived without water, electricity and food, along with everyday fierce shelling and sniper fire threat. Sarajevo experienced 1425 days of constant threat for its citizens.

May it never happen to anyone again.

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