Once upon the time
Once upon the time there was a bridge that I have seen just on the pictures and finally when I was there, the bridge wasn't. It was hit by NATO bombs and I crossed through another bridge right on the place on that old one. Listening the stories about the destruction, detonation effects ... Who should think that something like this can happen so close to my country in civilised world ...
One of the two main oil...
One of the two main oil refineries of Yugoslavia is located in Novi Sad (the other is in Pancevo). According to Aleksander Ivkovac, who is responsible for foreign relations and information, of Novi Sad City Council, the Vojvodina used to produce 1.2 million tonnes of crude oil annually, which he claimed could cover the needs of the province. Before the international embargo on Yugoslavia all crude oil was refined in these two plants. Of this crude oil 20% was produced in Yugoslavia itself; the remainder was imported from abroad.
Despite strict security BHHRG observers were allowed to visit the Naftagas refinery. They met with Vladimir Dopaja, the deputy director, and Pavle Pavlovic, the development manager, who showed them around the site. According to Mr Pavlovic 80% of the refinery had been built in the 1970s and 1980s with western technology and assistance from the USA, the UK and Italy. He pointed out that American planes had been bombing a plant partly built by the American oil company Texaco. More importantly, he maintained that NATO would have been well informed about the construction of the site and thus knew exactly what the consequences would be of bombing certain elements of the refinery. For instance, the bombardments destroyed two of the three separators, which were responsible for removing the water from the oil. As a result of the destruction oil flowed into the Danube which caused ecological damage. Did NATO deliberately cause this? At the time of the first attack on 5 April 74.000 tonnes of oil were still in the refinery, ten percent of total capacity. Most of this went up in flames after subsequent bombings or spilt into the Danube.
In total, the refinery was hit 255 times. Most of these attacks were entirely unnecessary, according to Mr Pavlovic. NATO planners should have known that the destruction of the power plant on the site would shut down the whole refinery for months. The power supply for the refinery was hit in the fifth attack on 18 April and completely destroyed. Since this achieved the stated military goal of preventing the refinery from working to the advantage of the Yugoslav army, all following attacks on the refinery were crimes against humanity, according to Mr Pavlovic, because of their consequent ecological impact and threat to life and health of the citizens of Novi Sad and people down river.
Nevertheless, more attacks followed, notably on 2 May and 8 June, which were described by Mr Dobaja as indiscriminate carpet-bombings. Indeed, a map of the site on which all impacts had been highlighted showed signs of four heavy bombing runs, two on each day. These had not been precision bombardments, yet were very destructive. As Mr Pavlovic pointed out, the second of these attacks came when talks between NATO and Yugoslavia about troop withdrawal were well under way and the G8 and Russia had agreed on a UN resolution.
As a result of the bombings some 50% of the refinery has been destroyed. Attempts are under way to piece together elements of the refinery which are still intact and restart the refinery with far lower capacity. It is estimated that a full reparation of the site would cost 1 billion US dollars.
History of Novi Sad
According to historians, anthropologists and archeologists, area of Novi Sad was inhabited 4500 years BC. Many civilizations rode through this area; Celts, Romans, Visantins, Ostroghotes, Avars; some of them stayed for a while and others moved forward. Millenniums and centuries after the first inhabitants came to this area, Novi Sad, its epicenter, the well known Petrovaradin were born. Thanks to Maria Teresa, Austro-Hungarian queen, Novi Sad, as well as other near by areas of Austro-Hungarian Empire, were developing fast both in cultural and historical way. On February 1, 1748, Novi Sad was proclaimed as “Free Royal City”. Today, 260 years later, Novi Sad can freely be called royal. With its 300,000 citizens, Petrovaradin Fortress, river Danube, Fruška gora and its monasteries, Novi Sad became the most desirable destination for young Europeans. Warmth, hospitality, diversity of languages, cultures, and nationalities, transforms Novi Sad to city cosmopolite! The misfortune that hit entire Serbia during NATO bombardment in 1999 and caused the destruction of all three bridges in Novi Sad, the symbols of the city, forced Novi Sad to rebuilt its bridges. The life at the crossroads and a wish to live in accordance with the spirit of this city had their price in turbulent times.
You can go to Mc Donalds very close to the Cathedral and there is the restaurant. They offer you free internet. And the very good thing is that you dont have to eat or buy anything, but you are allowed to use internet anyway.
On Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, a special meal of Christmas dishes is usually served. In Serbia these family feasts are preceded by a period of fasting. Candy and treats are also part of Christmas celebration in many countries. In Serbia Christmas day is on January 7. This is because the Orthodox church continues to use the Julian calendar for determining feast days. For Orthodox Christians fasting during these times refers to abstention from animal products, olive oil (or all oils, according to some Orthodox traditions), wine and spirits . However, shellfish is allowed in some traditions, though other kinds of meat are not. Fasting can take up a significant portion of the calendar year. The idea is not to suffer, but to use the experience to come closer to God, to realize one's excesses and for alms giving. Fasting without prayer and almsgiving (donating the money saved to a local charity, or directly to the poor, depending on circumstances) is considered useless or even spiritually harmful by many Orthodox Christians. Those desiring to receive Holy Communion keep a total fast from all food and drink from midnight the night before.