73 Facts About Kosovo


Kosovo, officially the Republic of Kosovo, is a partially recognised state in Southeast Europe.

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Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008, and has since gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by 100 member states of the United Nations.

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In classical antiquity, the central tribe which emerged in the territory of Kosovo were Dardani, who formed an independent polity known as the Kingdom of Dardania in the 4th century BCE.

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Ultimately, Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008, and has since gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by 100 member states of the United Nations.

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Kosovo is a member of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and has applied for membership in the Council of Europe, UNESCO, Interpol, and for observer status in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

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Current borders of Kosovo were drawn while part of Yugoslavia in 1945, when the Autonomous Region of Kosovo and Metohija was created as an administrative division of the new People's Republic of Serbia.

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Strategic position including the abundant natural resources were favorable for the development of human settlements in Kosovo, as is highlighted by the hundreds of archaeological sites identified throughout its territory.

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The first archaeological expedition in Kosovo was organised by the Austro-Hungarian army during the World War I in the Illyrian tumuli burial grounds of Neperbishti within the district of Prizren.

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The earliest documented traces in Kosovo are associated to the Stone Age, namely there are indications that cave dwellings might have existed, as for instance the Radivojce Cav close the spring of the Drin River, then there are some indications at Grncar Cave in the municipality of Viti and the Dema and Karamakaz Caves in municipality of Peja and others.

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The earliest archaeological evidence of organised settlement, which have been found in Kosovo, belong to the Neolithic Starcevo and Vinca cultures.

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From this period until today Kosovo has been inhabited, and traces of activities of societies from prehistoric, ancient and up to medieval time are visible throughout its territory.

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Medieval Monuments in Kosovo is a combined UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of four Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries.

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Kosovo was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1455 to 1912, at first as part of the eyalet of Rumelia, and from 1864 as a separate province .

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Central Kosovo was mixed, but large parts of the Drenica Valley were ethnically Albanian.

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Ottoman defters of the 15th-16th centuries indicate that the Plains of Dukagjin in western Kosovo were inhabited by a majority of Albanian Christians of both the Orthodox and Catholic rites.

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The Slavic population was a small minority that was concentrated in the Nahiya of Peja and a small pocket in the Nahiya of Prizren; the documentation of Albanians in Peja at the end of the 15th century presupposes that Kosovo Albanians were early inhabitants of the region that pre-dated the Ottoman period.

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The population of Kosovo was much bigger than that of northern and central Albania and its rate of growth lower.

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Centuries earlier, Albanians of Kosovo were predominantly Christian and Albanians and Serbs for the most part co-existed peacefully.

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Kosovo was split into four counties, three being a part of Serbia and one of Montenegro .

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In 1929, the country was transformed into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the territories of Kosovo were reorganised among the Banate of Zeta, the Banate of Morava and the Banate of Vardar.

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Until World War II, the only entity bearing the name of Kosovo had been a political unit carved from the former vilayet which bore no special significance to its internal population.

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In 1956, a show trial in Pristina was held in which multiple Albanian Communists of Kosovo were convicted of being infiltrators from Albania and were given long prison sentences.

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Albanians resented these conditions and protested against them in the late 1960s, accusing the actions taken by authorities in Kosovo as being colonialist, as well as demanding that Kosovo be made a republic, or declaring support for Albania.

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Albanians felt that their status as a "minority" in Yugoslavia had made them second-class citizens in comparison with the "nations" of Yugoslavia and demanded that Kosovo be a constituent republic, alongside the other republics of Yugoslavia.

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Protests by Albanians in 1981 over the status of Kosovo resulted in Yugoslav territorial defence units being brought into Kosovo and a state of emergency being declared resulting in violence and the protests being crushed.

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For example, in 1986 the Serbian Orthodox Church published an official claim that Kosovo Serbs were being subjected to an Albanian program of 'genocide'.

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The Yugoslav leadership tried to suppress protests of Kosovo Serbs seeking protection from ethnic discrimination and violence.

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In July 1990, the Kosovo Albanians proclaimed the existence of the Republic of Kosova, and declared it a sovereign and independent state in September 1992.

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In total 58 Kosovo Albanians were killed in this massacre, including 18 women and 10 children, in a massacre where mortars were fired on the houses and snipers shot those who fled.

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Resolution 1244 provided that Kosovo would have autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and affirmed the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, which has been legally succeeded by the Republic of Serbia.

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International negotiations began in 2006 to determine the final status of Kosovo, as envisaged under UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

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Government of Kosovo has exhibited severe shortcomings in the coordination of local and state police forces fighting international crime in the country.

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Since 2018, Kosovo Police was observed to raid warehouses and pharmacy establishments in Pristina and Mitrovica with no prior warning or coordination with city law enforcement.

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Foreign relations of Kosovo are conducted through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pristina.

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Kosovo is a member of several international organisations including the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, International Road and Transport Union, Regional Cooperation Council, Council of Europe Development Bank, Venice Commission and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

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Kosovo maintains 24 diplomatic missions and 28 consular missions abroad.

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In December 2018, the parliament of Kosovo changed the mandate of the Kosovo Security Force by law and converted it to an army.

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Judicial system of Kosovo is a civil law system divided between courts with regular civil and criminal jurisdiction and administrative courts with jurisdiction over litigation between individuals and the public administration.

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The Kosovo Police is the main state law enforcement agency in the nation.

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The ICO's existence terminated on 10 September 2012, after the ISG had determined that Kosovo had substantially fulfilled its obligations under the Ahtisaari Plan.

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Many camps around Kosovo continue to house thousands of Internally Displaced People, all of whom are from minority groups and communities.

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Kosovo is divided into seven districts, according to the Law of Kosovo and the Brussels Agreement of 2013, which stipulated the formation of new municipalities with Serb majority populations.

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Kosovo's biodiversity is conserved in two national parks, eleven nature reserves and one hundred three other protected areas.

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Kosovo had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 5.

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Kosovo is a secular state with no state religion; freedom of belief, conscience and religion is explicitly guaranteed in the Constitution of Kosovo.

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Islam is the most widely practiced religion in Kosovo and was introduced in the Middle Ages by the Ottomans.

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Today, Kosovo has the highest percentage of Muslims in Europe after Turkey.

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The majority of the Muslim population of Kosovo are ethnic Albanians, Turks, and Slavs such as Gorani and Bosniaks.

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Relations between the Albanian Muslim and Albanian Catholic communities in Kosovo are good both communities have few or no relations with the Serbian Orthodox community.

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Kosovo is highly dependent on remittances from the diaspora, FDI and other capital inflows.

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The Government of Kosovo has signed free-trade agreements with Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and North Macedonia.

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Kosovo is a member of CEFTA, agreed with UNMIK, and enjoys free trade with most nearby non-European Union countries.

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Kosovo has large reserves of lead, zinc, silver, nickel, cobalt, copper, iron and bauxite.

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Kosovo serves as a link in the connection between Central and Southern Europe and the Adriatic Sea and Black Sea.

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Kosovo is generally rich in various topographical features, including high mountains, lakes, canyons, steep rock formations and rivers.

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Gjakova Airport was built by the Kosovo Force following the Kosovo War, next to an existing airfield used for agricultural purposes, and was used mainly for military and humanitarian flights.

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Nowadays the situation has changed, and the health care system in Kosovo is organised into three sectors: primary, secondary and tertiary health care.

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University Clinical Center of Kosovo provides its health care services in twelve clinics, where 642 doctors are employed.

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Kosovo ranked 58th in the 2008 Press Freedom Index report compiled by the Reporters Without Borders, while in 2016, it ranked 90th.

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Kosovo is home to many monasteries and churches from the 13th and 14th centuries that represent the Serbian Orthodox legacy.

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Until 1990, artists from Kosovo presented their art in many prestigious worldwide renowned centers.

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The people of Kosovo enjoy a wide variety of meat and fish products among other chicken, beef, kebab, Sujuk and lamb which is considered to be the traditional meat for religious occasions due to its religious connections.

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Coffee is another popular drink although Kosovo is steeped in culture and their coffee culture is a big part of the modern society.

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The most prominent sports in Kosovo include football, basketball, judo, boxing, volleyball and handball.

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The Olympic Committee of Kosovo became a full member of the International Olympic Committee in 2014.

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The Basketball Federation of Kosovo was accepted as a full member of FIBA on 13 March 2015.

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Classical music is well known in Kosovo and has been taught at several music schools and universities.

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In 2014, Kosovo submitted their first film for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, with Three Windows and a Hanging directed by Isa Qosja.

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Serb songs from Kosovo were an inspiration for 12th song wreath by composer Stevan Mokranjac.

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Viktorija is the only artist from Kosovo who represented Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest as part of Aska in 1982.

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Several Serbian singers from Kosovo have participated in the Serbian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest.

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In 1969, the parliament of Kosovo established Kosovafilm, a state institution for the production, distribution and showing of films.

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International actors of Albanian origin from Kosovo include Arta Dobroshi, James Biberi, Faruk Begolli and Bekim Fehmiu.

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