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The article examines Serbo-Croatian conflict in the XX - early XXI centuries. The history of the formation of the Serbian and Croatian statehood is analyzed; the reasons for the confrontation between two close Slavic peoples are determined and the evolution of their relationship is highlighted; clarified the determinants that determine the antagonistic nature and demonstrative cruelty of the Serbo-Croatian confrontation. The formation after the “Patriotic War” of 1991-1995 of two parallel “worlds” was stated, as a result of which the Croatian and Serbian communities hardly intersect in everyday life. Constant quarrels and fights on ethnic grounds, burning of flags and desecration of state symbols have been and remain daily occurrences from the very beginning of reintegration, and war criminals convicted by an international tribunal are perceived by the two communities as national heroes and defenders of the Motherland. It points to the gradual aggravation of interethnic confrontation in Croatia and the growth of xenophobic sentiments, which has been observed recently.
The conclusion about the failure of past and modern attempts to establish Serbo-Croatian cooperation in building a common future has been substantiated. It is emphasized that the Serbo-Croatian conflict does not look exhausted, not only because of the heavy burden of the past, which causes mutual accusations and long-standing hatred. Attention is drawn to the fact that this confrontation is primarily about the future - about the fate of various national projects. The mirage of “Greater Serbia” still tempts a significant part of the Serbs, who are hatching revanchist intentions, while the Croats are determined to defend their won independence. Accordingly, under certain international conditions, the confrontation of political ambitions in the Balkans can easily flare up with renewed vigor, once again confirming the reputation of this region as a “powder keg” of Europe.
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