Uroš Kostić-Rudinac

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Uroš Kostić-Rudinac
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Known forLegend as a freedom-fighting Chetnik commander (voivode) in the Great War

Uroš Kostić Rudinac (Serbian Cyrillic: Урош Костић Рудинац; 1880-1917) became a Serbian legend as a freedom-fighting Chetnik commander (voivode) in the Great War. A staunch patriot, he retreated to the mountains when the Central Powers overran the Kingdom of Serbia in late 1915 and from there he began organizing bands of guerrillas known as the Chetnik Detachments of the Serbian Army. He was among the first to organize a rebellion in 1916 with Kosta Vojnović that became known as the Toplica Uprising of 1917 while Serbia was still under enemy occupation. His early audacious and daring exploits forced the Central Powers to set up an intelligence center to track him down. He was killed in an ambush, betrayed by an Albanian informant. Uroš Kostić was an experienced Chetnik voivode who fought in the struggle for Old Serbia and Macedonia (1903-1912), the Balkan Wars and the Great War.

World War I

In World War I, when Austria-Hungary, after losing the -- Battle of Cer and Battle of Kolubara -- to the Serbs, made a final invasion attempt in late 1915 with the help of other members of the Central Powers, including Bulgaria and achieved in occupying the territory only,[1]but the Serbian Army and government retreated over the Albanian mountain instead of surrendering. At the same time, Uroš Kostić decided to stay back and took to the high ground.[1] Uroš began gathering intelligence on Austrian operations even before he made contact with the Serbian Army in Salonika, Greece at the time. He was a fluent German-speaker, and he used his knowledge of the language to collect vital information on Austrian operations. He took a job in Kosovska Mitrovica District (Serbia) for a company that supplied materials to the Central Powers' war effort, thus positioning himself as a source of valuable information for the Serbian Army. Determined to use this intelligence to initiate an uprising at an appropriate time, Uroš spent the next year and a half moving through occupied Serbia, organizing villagers into troops (četa) in preparation for what was to become the Toplica Uprising. In the meantime, he was sending vital information to Serbian Military HQ in Salonika through a courier network. He was arrested by the Austrian authorities, interrogated and released for lack of proof. He was a mysterious man to the Austro-Hungarian military intelligence service who in their reports in spring 1916 called him Uroš Belaković and Uroš Bečanović and tied him to an area around Gornji Milanovac and Kragujevac. [2]The governor of the region directed house-to-house searches for Uroš.[1] Then, in the summer of 1916, the intelligence officers linked Uroš with the activities of the Chetniks around Kosovska Mitrovica. In the second half of November 1916, when Uroš appeared in the village of Sočanica, someone informed the occupying authorities that he was from these parts. The military authorities finally concluded and found that he was born in Kosovo, and came from the village of Rudine, near Zvečan, under the mountain Rogozna. Rudinac played a significant role in disrupting Central Powers's communications until the appearances of Kosta Vojinović[3]and Kosta Pećanac, specifically sent by Serbian Military HQ in Salonika. Uroš created the first reliable network of jakata (concealers) and couriers, encouraged resistance, showed how to hide weapons, and train and prepare for future combat action long before the two arrived. Though Uroš Kostić organized a spy network independently, the first Chetnik action in the occupied territories began with Aleksandar Piper of Kosovska Mitrovica; Vlajko Vladisavljević of Leposavić; Proka Planić of Kamenice; and Radomir Gašić of Kopaonik.[2]Also, in 1916, Andjelko Nesić, a Serbian Orthodox priest, helped found the first secret patriotic organization in Kosovska Mitrovica District (Serbia) that helped the resistance by harbouring and sheltering the freedom-fighters.[1] When other rebel leaders soon appeared (Milinko Vlahović, Jovan Radović, Sibin Jeličić,[3]and others), Uroš Kostić always remained in the circle of the most important freedom-fighters.[4] He was undoubtedly the creator of the organization in the Novi Pazar district and Mount Kopaonik and with Kosta Vojinović in Zvečan district. Uroš's family was arrested and then interned.[2] At the beginning of 1917, there were searches for him. Enemy soldiers searched the mountainous terrain of Rogozna in vain. Rudinac instinctively would break up his band into several smaller groups so that they could travel unnoticed under the noses of the occupiers. He transferred his operation to the Novi Pazar district. And in this region, there were also numerous challenges, which Kostić was successful in overcoming at first. Uroš Kostić Rudinac and Kosta Vojinović continued to evade arrest and ambushes, but, unfortunately, they did not fight together until the end. Experienced leader Uroš Rudinac, who cruised Rogozna mountainside and sought to save captured comrades, was killed on the 11th of February 1917 at Banjska River.[2]He perished along with his band in an ambush set up after the occupying forces were tipped where to find him by an Albanian informant. Kosta Vojinović wrote in his war diary ten days later: "Uroš Kostić was killed by a betrayal."[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 name="auto1"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 name="Mladenović-2006"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mitrović, Andrej (March 22, 1991). "Srbi i Albanci u XX veku: ciklus predavanja 7-10. maj 1990". Srpska akademija nauka i umetnosti – via Google Books.
  4. "Dolazak crnogorskih četnika". www.novosti.rs.
  5. "Misterija grobnice u južnom delu Kosovske Mitrovice: Dajte nam kosti predaka". Vesti online.

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