The Republic of Kosovo is another of those places on the map whose right to exist as a country is disputed. Once a part of Serbia, Kosovo declared independence unilaterally in February 2008. While Serbia accepts Kosovo’s right to self-governance and recognizes the legitimacy of its institutions, it insists that Kosovo is not an independent country, but instead an autonomous region of Serbia. A majority of members of the United Nations — 113 of 193 members — disagree, fully accepting Kosovo’s independence.
Kosovo is on the Balkan Peninsula, with Montenegro and Albania to the west, Macedonia to the south, and Serbia to the east and north. Though landlocked, Kosovo is situated between three seas: the Adriatic to the west, the Aegean to the south, and the Black to the east.
Settlement in the area dates back to Paleolithic times; it was inhabited by the Celts (among others) in the Greco-Roman period. Annexed by Rome in 168 B.C., it was subsequently conquered by the Byzantine Empire, then the Bulgarian and Serbian. In 1389, the Battle of Kosovo took place on a plain about five kilometers northwest of Kosovo’s modern capital, Pristina, between a Serbian force and the army of the Ottoman Empire. The Serbian army was decimated, and the area came under the Turks.
The Kosovo area remained the core of medieval Serbia, and the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church was at Pec in Kosovo. When the Ottoman Empire lost the bulk of its territories in the 1912-1913 Balkan Wars, they ceded Kosovo to Serbia and Montenegro. These became part of Yugoslavia when it formed in 1918, and remained so until the dissolution of the succeeding Soviet Republic in 1992. Tension between Albanians and Serbs led to the 1998-1999 Kosovo War, after which Kosovo came under the U.N. administration, though the U.N. has largely let the government run things since independence was declared.
Albanian and Serbian are both official languages. The Albanian population and some others constitute the 95 percent Muslim population; the minority Serbs are mainly Orthodox Christians. Recognized regional languages include Bosnian, Turkish and Romani (“Gypsy”).
Which word above means:
1. following, next
2. almost entirely wiped out
3. smaller portion of a population
5. says with emphasis
6. the “Old Stone Age,” sometime before 10,000 B.C.
8. from one side, not by agreement
9. center of administration
10. legality, right to operate