Dino F. Avdibegović

Ukraine

Categories: [english], [misc]

What to say about the war in Ukraine? As someone who experienced war for months, I know how Ukrainians are feeling in these initial days and weeks of the Russian aggression at their homeland. First, they don't believe that the war is happening, that an outside military force is invading their country. Then they recover from the initial shock, and begin to think about who they are, and who the enemy is, and why the enemy is attacking them. This feeling of belonging makes them stronger. Then hate kicks in, and they make songs about their heroes who fight bravely against the enemy. From what I've seen (and believe me, I've seen much), Ukrainians are fighting bravely and heroically against the much stronger enemy. Ukraine and its people are fighting for their lives and their nation, but they are also fighting for the Europe and its freedom. Fascists must be defeated.

In the WW2 Yugoslav peoples fought against Nazism and fascism, and eventually they succeeded. Yugoslavia was actually the only nation in Europe that freed its territory from the Axis. One of the prominent partisans was Sava Kovačević, who was a Yugoslav Partisan divisional commander. He was called Komandant Sava, and he fought with his division in Bosnia, Croatia and Montenegro. He died on June 13, 1943, while leading his men during an attack against the German 118th Jäger Division at Krekovi near Tjentište, Eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the Sutjeska river. Later that year, a song was made and it was called Komandant Sava. It is probably my favorite song about Yugoslav Partisans.

In this video we see scenes from the grandiose Yugoslav movie The Battle of Sutjeska from 1973. Richard Burton played Tito, while Orson Welles played Winston Churchill, and Ljuba Tadić played the role of Sava Kovačević.

Now, while reading texts, forums about the war in Ukraine, I stumbled upon an article that mentioned how this Yugoslav song about the Partisan campaign in Bosnia during the WW2 was a big hit in Ukraine. I found out about this video in which Margarita Maleshko sings the song together with the Orchestra of the Ukrainian Army.

In this one Margarita Meleshko & Yaroslav Dzhus performing "Komandant Sava" before a Russian bomb attack in Kyiv.

Powerful song which I understand has a strong symbolic meaning to the Ukrainian people. Even though it praises a commander of another nation, who died far away somewhere in Bosnia, it sends a message that one should never surrender and that any invading force must be met with resilience and resistance. I sincerely hope that Ukrainians will prevail against the Russian aggressor.

Here's the lyric of the song Komandant Sava in Bosnian.

Skraja Bosne i mora, zna ga zemlja sva
svud se slavom pročuo Komandant Sava…
Vodio je brigade preko polja, gora,
razgonio je bande mrskih zlotvora…
Hej-haj, hej-haj Komandant Sava…
Huči, teče Sutjeska, pliva krv po njoj,
divizija Savina bije ljuti boj…
Tuđe horde proklete nadiru kroz noć,
juriš moji junaci, mi moramo proć’…
Hej-haj, hej-haj – mi moramo proć’…
Što to huči Sutjeska u taj pozni sat,
mrtav kraj nje ležaše slavni Komandant…
Hej-haj, hej-haj – slavni Komandant…

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