Today, on September 29, we mark the anniversary of the death of the Montenegrin Admiral Vladimir Barović, who, after refusing the order to attack the coastal cities of Croatia, committed suicide, thereby expressing strong opposition to the planned attack on Dubrovnik by the JNA. His courage and determination in his attitude toward humanity remain a testimony of a time that reminds us of the importance of true human values, even in the most difficult times.
In the turbulent days of 1991, Admiral Barović faced a morally difficult decision. Becoming the assistant commander of the Fifth Military-Naval Sector in Pula of the Yugoslav Navy (JRM), he knew that he would have to make decisions that would have serious consequences for the “brotherly people of Croatia,” which for him was “an act contrary to Montenegrin honor.” Powerless to oppose and influence the aggression of the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) on Croatia and refusing orders that the navy bombard the coastal cities of Croatia, he chose the honorable path and committed suicide on September 29, 1991, on the island of Vis, the very day he became assistant commander of the JRM. Today, we remember Vladimir Barović not only as a military leader but as a man who followed his moral principles.
On the initiative of the Civic Alliance, the then President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanović, posthumously awarded him the Order of Honor in 2016. Although he defended Montenegrin honor with his life, Admiral Barović did not receive a memorial in Montenegro, nor is his act known and talked about sufficiently. He was buried in Herceg Novi. A few years ago, the Slovenians expressed their desire to include Barović among their generals and admirals, while the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Croatian Ministry of Defense, and the city of Vis unveiled a memorial plaque to Vladimir Barović as a sign of memory and respect.
On this occasion, we submit an initiative to the authorities in Montenegro to name one of the capital city’s streets after him in honor and memory of Admiral Vladimir Barović.
We would like to point out that even after more than 30 years, those responsible for the war crime of the attack on Dubrovnik have still not been prosecuted, as well as those responsible for the omissions and bad investigations and court proceedings for the war crimes cases that took place in Montenegro. The aforementioned proceedings are necessary for us as one of the most important steps toward facing the past and freeing ourselves from the burden of the past.