The Kosovo police imposed tight control and spot checks on a gathering of Kosovo Serbs to mark the 633rd anniversary of the 1389 battle of Kosovo on St Vitus day.
Serbs mark the anniversary of the battle as a major event in their history. The forces of Serbian medieval ruler Lazar were defeated by Ottoman forces at Kosovo polje, marking the start of the conquest of that part of the Balkans and several centuries of Ottoman rule. The site of the battle is called Gazimestan and has a monument in memory of Lazar and his followers. According to some sources, messengers were sent to European capitals when the Serbian forces looked like they were winning. Those sources say that the bells of Notre Dame in Paris rang to celebrate the victory of the Christian Serbs over the Muslim Ottomans. Lazar’s execution ended the battle.
The anniversary included a church service by Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) head Patriarch Porfirije and three bishops one of who greeted everyone coming to the event.
The Serbian state TV said that they could not cover the event live because the mobile phone signal was too weak. It said that Kosovo police refused entry to the site to anyone carrying any Serbian insignia or carrying banners with Serbian slogans before the Patriarch started the service. It said that the atmosphere changed after the service with Serbian and church flags raised along with at least one Russian flag and the crowd singing traditional songs.
The police arrested at least one young man after the service. The police gave no explanation for the arrest, the RTS said.