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Minister Krstičević attends 22nd Meeting for Rudolf Perešin

Foto: MORH / J. Kopi
Foto: MORH / J. Kopi

Following the ceremony of return of the MiG 21aircraft flown by Rudolf Perešin to Croatia, the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević as Envoy of the President of the Republic and of the Prime Minister opened the 22nd memorial meeting in honour of the legendary Croatian pilot held at Gornja Stubica.

Alongside the Minister and Rudolf Perešin's family members, the opening was attended by the Assistant Minister of Homeland War Veterans Dinko Tandara, by the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Drago Matanović, by the Special Advisor to Defence Minister Božo Kožul, by the Commander of the Croatian Air Force Brigadier General Mato Mikić, by the representatives of the local government and of the associations from the Homeland War. The attendees laid wreths and paid respects in the Memorial park of Rudolf Perešin.

The meeting was graced with the flypast of the MiGs over Zagreb and a flying sequence by MiGs and the Mi-171 Sh helicopters at Gornja Stubica.

The manifestation included the signing of the contract on construction of Rudolf Perešin's Memorial House at Jakšinec.


Minister Krstičević reminded of Rudolf Perešin's contribution to the development of the Croatian Air Force and of his sacrifice for the growth of independent Croatia, underlining: "Rudolf Perešin has been the model figure for the generations of military pilots and has left a lasting mark in the history of Croatia. I express appreciation to all those who keep memory of him. It is vital to pass on the truth and the values of the Homeland War to the modern day generations".

The Minister also underlined the importance and symbolic value of the return of the MIG-21 aircraft flown by Rudolf Perešin, which inspired hope during the hard times and demonstrated young generations of military pilots the struggle for the homeland.

The Assistant Minister of Homeland War Veterans Dinko Tandara called on the attendees to follow the example of the Croatian defenders' and of Rudolf Perešin's example of respect for the homeland.

The Commander of the Croatian Air Force Brigadier General Mato Mikić recalled the huge effect of Perešin's flyover to Austria in 1991 on the morale of the Croatian defenders, as he convinced us that everything was possible. His sacrifice obliges us to charish the heroic stories of the Homeland War".


The Prefect of the Krapina-Zagorje County Željko Kolar and the Head of Municipality of Gornja Stubica Jasmin Krizmanić announced the completion of works on the Memorial House of Rudolf Perešin. "It is our wish that the Memorial House of Rudolf Perešin be an inspiration to all visitors", said p. Nikola Jurković, the parish administrator of the Parish of St George the Martyr at Gornja Stubica.

Perešin's wife Ljerka expressed appreciation to the Government of Croatia and to the Defence MInister for the effort involved in the delivery of the MiG flown by her husband.

The commemorative manifestation "Susreti za Rudija" have been organised for 22 years in memory of Staff Brigadier Rudolf Perešin b (1958 – d 1995), who became a hero having overflown aboard a Mig 21 to Klagenfurt on October 1991 and sent out the message: "I am a Croat, and I cannot and I won't fireagainst my people". Four days later he arrived in Croatia to join the Croatian Air Force, where he had an important role, He took part in all important combat actions and operations of the Homeland War up to the military and police Operation "Lightning" when he was killed after his aircraft was downed over Stara Gradiška on 2 May 1995. The Aeronautical Technical School in Velika Gorica and the Croatian Air Force's Training Centre were named after him, and after 21 the named after him, and the aircraft he flew to Austria has been delivered to Croatia after 28 years, during which it was displayed in the Military Aviation Museum in Zeltweg, Austria.

Foto: MORH / J. Kopi 

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