Interview: Zoran Dernovšek - Raketka: »The time when we gained independence was a time of exhilaration, motivation and enthusiasm«
On 27 June 1991, Zoran Dernovšek, member of the Territorial Defence of the Republic of Slovenia and a skilful operator of the Strela 2M anti-aircraft missile system, shot down the first enemy helicopter during the conflict in former Yugoslavia. Thirty years later, he remembers that fateful day when he shot down the Yugoslav People's Army helicopter. It was undoubtedly one of the most important events of that time, and was crucial to Slovenia gaining independence.
»We were the first generation to go to the army after secondary school, we went to university only after completing our military service,« recalls the current Minister of the Interior, Aleš Hojs, who was drafted into the Territorial Defence several times during his studies to participate in military exercises. He was drafted during the war for Slovenia, but as he points out, he more or less spent it waiting and did not take up arms, as there were not enough weapons because Slovenia had been disarmed. »It was then that we actually experienced how the whole nation, both those who were under arms and those who were not, stood up to get their own country,« he added.