Copyright © 2024 Euromaidanpress.com

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Ukrainian icon stolen from Luhansk and brought to Bosnia & Herzegovina by Serbian veterans, says Republika Srpska MP

Serbian veteran fighter Duško Vukotić (left) and Milorad Dodik, Serbian member of the BiH Presidium. Photo: nebojsavukanovic.info
Ukrainian icon stolen from Luhansk and brought to Bosnia & Herzegovina by Serbian veterans, says Republika Srpska MP

The icon of St. Nicholas, presented to Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov, was brought to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) from occupied Luhansk, Ukraine by Serbian veterans. This was announced by the Sarajevo newspaper Dnevni Avaz, which referred to a statement by Nebojša Vukanović, a member of the Republika Srpska parliament that is part of BiH.

Deputy Nebojša Vukanović explained that he was contacted by former president of the Republika Srpska Veterans Assembly Dragan Savić, who claimed that the Ukrainian icon was brought to BiH by Duško Vukotić, current president of the Republika Srpska Veterans Assembly. Consequently, Duško Vukotić declared that the current chairman of the Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, officially welcomed a group of Serbian veterans on May 29, 2018, and they presented him with an icon taken illegally from occupied Luhansk.

This assertion debunks a recent statement by Milorad Dodik’s Office that the 300-year-old icon was owned for many years by an “honest family from Banja Luka”, who wished to present it to Russian Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Serbian veteran leader Duško Vukotić refused to confirm or deny the allegation.

“I have no intention of defending myself and thus adding to these insane allegations! What everyone knows, including me, is that Interpol is working on this case. It’s the world’s largest security agency, so let them do their job! I’m available and willing to be questioned by all agencies in the country where we live among madmen eager for media attention!” Vukotić says.

The icon was presented to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs by Milorad Dodik, Serbian member of the BiH Presidium on December 14, 2020. When local media and the international press began to report that it had been stolen from Ukraine, Moscow decided to return it to BiH. On December 25, the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zeljko Samardzija, delivered the icon to Sarajevo and handed it over to Milorad Dodik’s Office.

Read also: Bosnian Serb Chairman Dodik presents Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov with 300-year-old icon

Milorad Dodik has not yet responded. He was hospitalized with COVID-19 two days after meeting with Lavrov.

You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here


    Will the West continue to support Ukraine?
    • Know what moves the world.
    • Stay informed with Kompreno.
    • Get quality journalism from across Europe.
    Special discount
    for Euromaidan Press readers
    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!