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Kosovo and Metohija (Serbian: Косово и Метохија; Albanian: Kosova), usually called just Kosovo, is an autonomous province of Serbia (which together with Montenegro constitutes Serbia and Montenegro). It is currently administered by the United Nations following the recent Kosovo War, and its final status is as yet undetermined. The majority of the mostly Albanian population declared the independence of the Republic of Kosova in 1990, but this parallel government is not recognized internationally except by Albania.

Table of contents
1 Geography
2 Name
3 Flag
4 History
5 Politisation of Kosovo-related terminology
6 Politics and international status
7 Administrative subdivisions
8 Economy
9 Demographics
10 See also
11 External links


With an area of 10,887 km² and a population of almost 2 million on the eve of the 1999 crisis, Kosovo borders with Montenegro to the northwest, the rest of Serbia (often called "Serbia proper" in English) to the north and east, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the south and Albania to the southwest. The largest cities are Priština;, the capital, with estimated 500,000 inhabitants, and Prizren in the southwest with 120,000: five other towns have populations in excess of 50,000.

Geographical regions

Metohija, called Rrafsh i Dukagjinit ("Dukagjin plateau") by Albanians, is the large basin at the west of the province. The region includes the towns of Istok, Peć, Dečani;, Đakovica;, Orahovac, and Prizren. The second largest region is Kosovo, a basin around the Sitnica river containing the cities of Uroševac;, Pristina, Vučitrn;, and Kosovska Mitrovica. Kosovo Polje (Kosovo Field) is just a small field which was the site of the Battle of Kosovo; when the communist government changed the name of the province to Kosovo in 1968, they also started pushing "Kosovo Polje" as the name of entire region. Part of Kosovo along the river Lab which contains the city of Podujevo is called Malo Kosovo (literally "Little Kosovo"). Just between the Metohia and Kosovo is the Drenica with the cities of Srbica and Klina and Mališevo;. Around the river Binačka Morava; is Binačko pomoravlje;. At the southmost tip of the province, along the border with Macedonia lie the Gora, Sredačka Župa; and Sirinićka Župa;.


The name Kosovo (pronounced "KOS-so-vo" by Serbs, "ko-SO-va" by Albanians) appears to have its roots in the Slavic word kos which means "blackbird", which is confirmed by widespread distribution of the name in Slavic countries and historical German name for Kosovo Field, Amselfeld, meaning "field of the blackbird"). It is a widely used placename in Slav countries, appearing in Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Russia, among other countries (see Kosovo (disambiguation)). The province is best known by this name, which has been the most widely used by maps and gazetteers within Serbia and abroad. The alternative spelling Kossovo was frequently used until the early 20th century and before that, Cassovo or Cassua, an Italianisation of the name.

Kosova (pronounced "ko-SO-vah") is the Albanian spelling for the province. Albanians tend to use "Kosova" exclusively in preference to the Serbian name, which many of them reject as a symbol of Serbian dominance. It is also occasionally spelled as Kosovë; this is due to the fact that in Albanian, adding the definite article to a noun changes the ending of the word.

Some Albanian researchers claim that the name is a Serbian form of an old Albanian placename meaning "high plain", but this is not a widely accepted theory and would not explain the widespread distribution of the name across the Slav countries. The Albanian form is generally thought to be an Albanian version of an originally Slavic placename.

The Albanian-populated areas of the province and Albania itself tend to use "Kosova" exclusively. "Kosovo" is used, again almost exclusively, in the Serb-populated north of the province and in the rest of the former Yugoslavia. The international community tries to steer a middle path by referring formally to "Kosovo/Kosova." In practice, however, the Serbian variant is still the most frequently used outside of Kosovo while the Albanian variant is widely used by "internationals" within the province.

The use of the two alternative names is a highly sensitive political issue for both Serbs and Kosovo Albanians, who regard the use of the other side's name as being a denial of their own side's territorial rights (in much the same way that Macedonians and Greeks have disputed the name of the Republic of Macedonia). During the Kosovo War, United States President Bill Clinton was criticised for frequently using "Kosova" and appearing to pronounce "Kosovo" the Albanian way, putting the emphasis on the middle syllable rather than on the first syllable as in the Serbian pronunciation. This may, however, have been a simple mispronunciation.

Metohia (alternatively spelled Metohija) derives from the Greek word μετόχια (metochia), a term which denotes church-owned land. Historically, the estates of the Serbian Orthodox Church were located principally in this region; it is not a modern administrative district. Albanians tend not to use this name, regarding it as a statement of Serbian territorial ownership (which they reject for political reasons), and instead prefer to call it Rrafsh i Dukagjinit, the "Dukagjin plateau".

The province is occasionally referred to as Kosmet, a contraction of Kosovo and Metohia which has tended to be used by the Serbian government.

Former official names

Kosovo has also been called the Republic of Kosova by Albanians since a 1990 declaration of independence, but this is unrecognised by Serbia or the international community and has no official status.

Kosovar, Kosovan, Kosovian?

The question of what to call the inhabitants of Kosovo collectively has also aroused some debate. They have been called variously "Kosovars", "Kosovans" and "Kosovians". The two words accepted by the Oxford English Dictionary are "Kosovar" (borrowed from Albanian), the most widely used variant in English, by a long way, and "Kosovan" (using the English rules for demonyms) much less used. "Kosovian" is considered a non-standard word and very little used at all.

As Kosovo has no formal statehood, current international usage is to refer to Kosovo Serbs and Kosovo Albanians. Most of the Albanian-descended community in Kosovo would prefer the use of Kosovar or Kosovan because of the attendant political overtones, whilst the Serb minority continue to think of themselves as Serb or Serbian (from Kosovo).


The province never had an official flag of its own. The Albanian flag is used by the Albanian-dominated administration and the vast majority of Kosovo Albanians. The Serb-inhabited area of north Kosovo uses only the flag of Serbia and Montenegro, which is formally the flag of the whole of Serbia including Kosovo, although this usage is rejected by virtually all Kosovo Albanians. The United Nations administration in Kosovo intends to establish a new flag for the province, which will undoubtedly be very different from the two national communities' existing flags. The current flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina emerged from a similar process of national reconciliation.


Modern Kosovo has only existed as a political or territorial entity since 1945. Before then, its territory was ruled entirely or partially by Italian-occupied Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, the Ottoman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, Bulgaria and the Roman Empire. Some have suggested that Kosovo has been a single distinctive region since ancient times but this is strongly contradicted by archaeological findings and historic records. Nor has Kosovo's population been ethnically consistent over the years: the province's complex ethnic map has included Latins, Turks, Roma, Gorani (Slavic Muslims), Circassians and Jews in addition to Serbs and Albanians.

Kosovo from prehistory to 1455

Little is known about Kosovo before about the 11th century AD. The region was certainly inhabited in prehistoric times: in particular, Bronze and Iron Age tombs have been found only in Metohia, and not in Kosovo. Later, the whole territory of Kosovo became part of the Roman Empire, although it is not clear whether it was part of the province of Moesia or was divided between Dalmatia and Moesia (a view which is supported by some archaeological evidence). [1]

According to most historians, Serbs entered the Balkans around the late 6th or early 7th century AD, possibly migrating from the northern Caucasus where Ptolemy placed the "Serboi" in the 2nd century AD. The initial spread of the Slavic population of the Balkans was much larger then today, reaching well into Greece and Albania. Placenames derived from Slavic root words are still widespread in the remaining non-Slav Balkan countries and particularly northern Albania to this day (Kamenica).

The origins of the Albanians are much less clear. Most believe that they are descended from the Illyrians, ancient inhabitants of the western Balkans in Roman times, although Romanian historians have suggested that they may alternatively be descended from the ancient Thracians, who inhabited the Eastern and Central Balkans. Albanian historians claim that in around the 6th century the Illyrians were forced south into what is now Albania by Slav tribes - the predecessors of modern day Serbs. This claim is challenged by the fact that Byzantine chroniclers date the arrival of Albanians (Alvanoi) from Southern Italy at 1043 in central Albania (Durrės) as mercenaries in the army of Maniakis. Some historians, including Serbian, claim the Albanians originate from the Caucasus, particularly Caucasian Albania, but most historians dispute these claims. Albanian linguists suggest that the vocabulary and structure of the Albanian language points to a much earlier presence in the western Balkans. See also: Origin of Albanians

The Kosovo region lay on the outer fringes of the Byzantine Empire and lay directly in the path of the Slav expansion. From about the 850s until about 1014, it was ruled by Bulgarian and Macedonian Slavs. Byzantine control was subsequently reasserted by the forceful emperor Basil "the Bulgar Slayer. Serbia at this time did not exist: a number of small Slav kingdoms lay to the north and west of Kosovo, of which Raska (Rascia, central modern Serbia) and Dioclea (Montenegro and norther Albania) were the strongest. In the 1180s, the Serbian ruler Stefan Nemanja seized control of Dioclea and parts of Kosovo. His successor (also called Stefan) took control of the rest of Kosovo by 1216, creating a state incorporating most of modern Serbia-Montenegro.

During the rule of the Nemanjid dynasty, many Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries were built throughout Serbian territory, particularly Kosovo which became the economic, demographic, religious and political heartland. The Nemanjid rulers alternatively used both Prizren and Pristina as their capitals. Large estates were given to Serbian monasteries in Metohia (which included parts of Albania and Montenegro), for which the area earned the designation Metohia or "monastic land". The most prominent churches in Kosovo - the Patriarchate at Pec, the church at Gracanica and the monastery at Visoki Decani near Decani - were all founded during this period. Kosovo was economically important, as the modern Kosovo capital Pristina was a major trading centre on routes leading to ports on the Adriatic Sea. As well, mining was an important industry in Novo Brdo and Janjevo which had its communities of émigré Saxonians miners and Ragusans merchants.

The ethnic composition of Kosovo's population during this period is a controversial issue among Serbian and Albanian historians. Serbs, Albanians and Vlachs were all clearly present, as all three groups were named explicitly in Serbian monastic charters or chrysobulls along with a token number of Greeks, Armenians and Bulgarians. A majority of the names given in the charters are overwhelmingly Slavic rather than Albanian. This has been interpreted as evidence of a crushing Serbian majority. However th chrysobulls show Serbian named sons to Albanian-named fathers and vice-versa. Albanian historians have suggested that this is evidence of cultural assimilation of an alleged pre-Ottoman Albanian population in Kosovo yet this is undermined by records of Serbian-named fathers giving sons Albanian names (which would surely not have happened if the assimilation was a one-way process) and the fact that such cases of mixed names represent a small fraction of less than a twentieth of all the names. This Serbian claim seems to be supported by the Turkish cadastral tax-census (defter) of 1455 which took into account religion and language and found an overwhelming Serb majority.

Ethnic identity in the Middle Ages was somewhat fluid throughout Europe and people at that time do not appear to have defined themselves rigidly by ethnic group. About all that can be said for sure is that Serbs appear to have been the dominant population culturally, and were probably a demographic majority as well.

In 1355, the Serbian state fell apart on the death of Tsar Stefan Dusan and dissolved into squabbling fiefdoms. The Ottoman Empire took the opportunity to exploit Serbian weakness and invaded, meeting the Serbian army on the field of Kosovo Polje on June 28, 1389. The Battle of Kosovo ended in the deaths of both the Serbian Prince Lazar and the Ottoman Sultan Murad I. Although the battle has been mythologised as a great Serbian defeat, at the time opinion was divided as to whether it was a Serbian defeat, a stalemate or even a Serbian victory. Serbia maintained its independence and sporadic control of Kosovo until a final defeat in 1455, following which it became part of the Ottoman Empire.

Kosovo from 1455 to 1912

Teritorry of today's province was for centuries ruled by the Ottoman Empire. During this period, several administrative districts (known as sancaks ("banners" or districts) each ruled by a sancakbeyi (roughly equivalent to "district lord")) have included parts of the territory as parts of their territories. Despite the imposition of Muslim rule, large numbers of Christians continued to live and sometimes even prosper under the Ottomans. A process of Islamisation began shortly after the beginning of Ottoman rule but it took a considerable amount of time - at least a century - and was concentrated at first on the towns. It appears that many Christian inhabitants converted directly to Islam, rather than being replaced by Muslims from outside Kosovo. A large part of the reason for the conversion was probably economic and social, as Muslims had considerably more rights and privileges than Christian subjects. Christian religious life nonetheless continued, with churches largely left alone by the Ottomans, but both the Orthodox and Catholic churches and their congregations suffered from high levels of taxation.

Around the 17th century, there is evidence of an increasingly visible Albanian population initially concentrated in Metohia. It has been claimed (often by Serbian historians) that this was the result of migrations out of the south-west (i.e. modern Albania), and that the putative migrants brought Islam with them. There is certainly evidence of some migration: many Kosovo Albanians have surnames characteristic of inhabitants of the northern Albanian region of Malësi. However, many others do not. It is also clear that many Slavs - presumably members of the Serbian Orthodox Church - converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. Today, most Slavic Muslims of Serbia live in the Sandzak region of southern Serbia, northwest of Kosovo. Historians believe that there was probably a pre-existing population of probably Catholic Albanians in Metohia who mostly converted to Islam, but remained strictly a minority in a still largely Serb-inhabited region.

In 1689, Kosovo was greatly disrupted by the Ottoman-Habsburg war (1683-1699), in one of the pivotal events in Serbian national mythology. In October 1689, a small Austrian force under Margrave Ludwig of Baden breached into Turkey and reached as far as Kosovo, following their earlier capture of Belgrade. Many Serbs and Albanians pledged their loyalty to the Austrians, some joining Baden's army. This was by no means a universal reaction; many other Serbs and Albanians fought alongside the Ottomans to resist the Austrian advance. A massive Ottoman counter-attack the following summer drove the Austrians back to their fortress at Nis, then back to Belgrade, then finally back across the Danube into Hungary from whence they had come in the first place.

The Ottoman offensive was accompanied by savage reprisals and looting, prompting many Serbs - including Arsenije III, Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church - to flee along with the Austrians. This event has been immortalised in Serbian history as the Velika Seoba or "Great Migration". It is traditionally said to have accounted for a huge exodus of hundreds of thousands of Serbian refugees from Kosovo and Serbia proper, which left a vacuum filled by a flood of Albanian immigrants. Arsenije himself wrote of a figure of "30,000 souls" (i.e. individuals) who fled with him to Hungary, a figure confirmed by other sources.

In 1878, one of the four vilayets with Albanian inhabitants that formed the League of Prizren was Vilayet of Kosovo. The League's purpose was to resist both Ottoman rule and incursions by the newly emerging Balkan nations.

in 1910, an Albanian organised insurrection broke out in Pristina and soon spread to the entire vilayet of Kosovo; lasting for three months. The Ottoman Sultan visited Kosovo in June 1911 during peace settlement talks covering all Albanian-inhabited areas.

20th century

Following the First Balkan War of 1912, Kosovo was internationally recognised as a part of Serbia and Metohia as a part of Montenegro at the Treaty of London in May 1913. At this time about 60% of the population of today's Kosovo was Serb (see Kosovo population data-points). In 1918, Serbia became a part of the newly formed Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

The partition of Yugoslavia, from 1941 and 1945, by the Axis Powers awarded most of the territory to the Italian-occupied Greater Albania, and smaller part of it to German-occupied Serbia and the Greater Bulgaria. During the occupation, local Albanians' armed groups (Vulnetari) have forced more than 100,000 Serbs out of Kosovo and killed more than 10,000 until 1945. Following the end of the war and the establishment of Tito's Communist regime, Kosovo was granted the status of an autonomous region of Serbia in 1946 and became an autonomous province in 1963. Communist government did not allow for return of the refugees.

With the passing of the 1974 Yugoslavia constitution, Kosovo gained virtual self-government. Reflecting the then approximately 75% Albanian population, schools were able to apply an Albanian curriculum. Surplus/obsolete textbooks from Enver Hoxha's Albania were obtained and put into use.

Throughout the 1980s tensions between the Albanian and Serb communities in the province escalated. The Albanian community favoured sovereignty for Kosovo, whilst Serbs favoured closer ties with the rest of Serbia.

Serbs living in Kosovo were discriminated by Albanians which seems to be supported by countless foreign media sources (Articles). In August 1987, during the dying days of Yugoslavia's communist regime, Kosovo was visited by Slobodan Milošević, then a rising politician. He appealed to Serb nationalism to further his career. Having drawn huge crowds, he pledged to Kosovo Serbs that "No one should dare to beat you", and became an instant hero of Kosovo's Serbs. By the end of the year Milošević was in control of the Serbian government.

In 1989, the autonomy was revoked by a Serbia wide referendum which implemented a new Serbian constitution which was more democratic as it allowed a multi-party system, introduced factual freedom of speech and promoted human rights.

It also significantly reduced the provinces' rights, which was felt to be a democratic step by Serbs. However, Kosovo Albanians strongly opposed that measure. Albanians refused to participate in the referendum. Since it was a Serbia wide referendum and Albanians are a minority in Serbia as a whole, their participation would not have changed the outcome of the referendum.

However the new constitution had to be ratified by Kosovo's assembly [1]. In March 1989 when the assembly met to discuss the proposals, tanks and armored cars surrounded the meeting place, forcing the assembly to accept the amendments. The constitutional changes handed control of the police, the court system, the economy, the education system and language policies to the Serb government.

After constitutional changes, parliaments of all Yugoslavian republics and provinces, which until then had MPs only from the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, were dissolved and multi-party elections were held for them. Kosovo Albanians refused to participate in the elections and held their own, unsanctioned elections instead. As election laws required (and still require) turnout higher than 50%, the parliament of Kosovo could not be established.

The new constitution took away the right of having official media from provinces and official media were integrated within official media of Serbia while still having program in Albanian language. Albanian language media in Kosovo was suppressed. Funding was withdrawn from state-owned media, including the Albanian language in Kosovo. The constitution made creating privately-owned media possible, however their functioning was very difficult because of high rents and restricting laws. State-owned Albanian language television or radio was also banned from broadcasting from Kosovo [1]. However, privately-owned Albanian media appeared; of these, probably the most famous is "Koha ditore", which operated until late 1998 when it was closed following publishing 1999 calendar with KLA iconography and glorification.

The constitution also gave control over state-owned companies (at the time, most of the companies were state-owned and de jure they still are) to Serbian government, so the new non-communist government fired old communist (mostly Albanian) directors and some of those who stayed have quit, refusing to work for Serbian government. In September 1990, up to 123,000 Albanian workers were fired from their positions in government and the media, as were teachers, doctors, and workers in government-controlled industries [1], provoking a general strike and mass unrest.

The Albanian curriculum and textbooks were revoked, and new made. The curriculum was (and still is, as that is the curriculum used for Albanians in Serbia outside Kosovo) basically the same as Serbian and that of all other nationalities in Serbia except that it had education on and in Albanian language. New textbooks were (still are) basically the same as those in Serbian, except that they were in Albanian language. Education on Albanian language was reportedly ([1]) withdrawn in 1992 and re-established in 1994; also, education of Albanian language was cut at the Priština University. It is reported that Albanian teachers were also sacked en-masse. Albanians responded by boycotting state schools and attempts to maintain a "parallel" system of Albanian-language education.

Kosovo Albanians were outraged by these developments. Following mass rioting and unrest from Albanians as well as outbreaks of inter-communal violence, in February 1990, a state of emergency was declared, and presence of the Yugoslav Army and police was significantly increased to quell the unrest.

Unsanctioned elections were held in 1992, overwhelmingly elected Ibrahim Rugova as "president", however these elections were not recognised neither by Serbian nor any foreign government. In 1995, thousands of Serb refugees from Croatia settled in Kosovo, which further worsened relations between the two communities.

Albanian opposition to sovereignty of Yugoslavia and especially Serbia had surfaced in rioting (1968 and March 1981) in the capital Priština;. Ibrahim Rugova advocated non-violent resistance, but later when it became apparent that this was not working, opposition took the form of separatist agitation by opposition political groups and armed action from 1996 by the "Kosovo Liberation Army" (Ushtria Ēlirimtare e Kosovės, or UĒK). The Serbian police and UĒK actions by 1998 created a state of low intensity warfare with some 2000 dying prior to Kosovo War of 1999.

The UĒK repeatedly attacked Serbian police. In March 1998 Yugoslav army units joined Serbian police to fight the UĒK separatists. In the months that followed, hundreds of people were killed and more than 200,000 fled their homes; most of these people were Albanians. Some international media have reported that many Albanian families told of being forced to flee their homes at gunpoint.

The United Nations estimated that during the Kosovo War, nearly 640,000 Albanians fled Kosovo between March 1998 and the end of April 1999. Most of the refugees went to Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or Montenegro. Most western media have reported that at some border crossings, some identification papers of some Albanian families were destroyed by Serbian officials.

Slobodan Milošević and other senior Serb officials were indicted by the United Nations for war crimes committed by Serb forces in Kosovo. There have been no indictments, as yet, of NATO or KLA officials.

In June of 1999, NATO and other troops, organized in KFor entered the province following the Kosovo War. Before the handover of power, some 300,000 Serbs and other non-Albanians fled the province; large numbers still live in temporary camps and shelters in Serbia proper. In March 17, 2004, Unrest in Kosovo led to several deaths and the destruction of a large number of Orthodox churches and monastries in the province, as Albanians clashed with Serbs.

Politisation of Kosovo-related terminology

Most localities in Kosovo have distinct Serbian and Albanian placenames, some very similar, some differing radically. During the period of Serbian rule from 1912-1999, Kosovo placenames were known internationally exclusively by their Serbian versions. Since the United Nations took over administration of the province in June 1999, the international community has adopted a policy of treating both versions equally. For the sake of convenience, this article gives alternative placenames the first time a locality is mentioned, but will use the more familiar Serbian version thereafter. A useful list of Serbian and Albanian forms of Kosovo placenames is available at http://www.osce.org/kosovo/documents/reports/hr/part1/p5app.htm.

Politics and international status

Its international status is anomalous in that although it is formally a province of the Republic of Serbia, actual administration is presently conducted by the United Nations with no involvement on the part of the Serbian governments (under Security Council resolution 1244 of 10 June 1999; see Security Council Resolutions 1999). Actual governing of the province is performed by United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

UNMIK has so far formed provisional assembly, provisional government and the office of provisional president, which are legislative and executive bodies under UNMIK's control; control of security, justice and external affairs are still under full UNMIK control. The parliament was elected in November 2001 and Ibrahim Rugova was elected as president in March 2002. The seat of the assembly, government and president is in Pristina.

So far, the parliament enacted and UNMIK approved a constitutional framework, customs code, and two criminal codes.

UNMIK is issuing travel documents which serve instead of passports in countries which are accepting to recognise them as such; UNMIK is also issuing identity cards and car plates, which again are valid only in countries which are accepting them as such. Kosovo's postal system is also usable only in countries which are accepting to recognise it as such (letters addressed to Kosovo only, or to Serbia and Montenegro have a chance of not arriving; your best bet is Yugoslavia).

UNMIK also created police (Kosovo Police Service), and organised railways and airline (Kosova Airlines). Airspace of the province is controlled by KFor. UNMIK uses United Nation's flag.

UNMIK proclaimed a positive discrimination in the Kosovo assembly. Out of 120 seats, 10 are reserved Serbs, 10 for non-Albanian minorities, whereas the rest 100 seats are elected through direct voting.

Kosovo's anomalous status is the result of the Kosovo War of March-June 1999, in the course of which air strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's armed forces and civilian infrastructure by members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, without endorsement by the United Nations, forced the signing of the Kumanovo agreement which provided for the withdrawal of military and the province's occupation by a NATO-led force (KFOR) including also Russian troops (no longer serving as of July 2003).

Since 1998, Yugoslav forces were heavily fighting with the KLA, during which, according to NATO intentionally, a number of Albanian civilians was killed, wounded or temporarily driven out of province, and NATO claims that it began air strikes in order to stop that.

Both NATO and the UN continue formally to recognise Kosovo as a part of Serbia although Serbia is not allowed to exercise any sovereignty over it, as since 1999 much of the Serb population have departed and local Albanians are reluctant to see Serbian sovereignty in Kosovo restored in practice. On the other side, Serbia would hardly recognize Kosovo's independence, and recognizing the independence of Kosovo without Serbia's consent would violate international law (the principles of territorial integrity and noninterference in internal affairs). The most likely outcome is the indefinite continuation of the current situation.

Administrative subdivisions

Main article: Subdivisions of Serbia and Montenegro

Administrative subdivisions in Kosovo are known as opstinas, usually named after the largest town in them. They were originally set up by Yugoslavia and do not precisely parallel the administrative subdivisions set up by the parallel ethnic Albanian government.


UNMIK declared the Euro as the official currency in Kosovo, however the Serbian dinar remains an official currency. The Dinar is widespread in Kosovo because most trade is done with the rest of Serbia and the Kosovo Serb enclaves also use it widely. The annual budget of UNMIK's Kosovo administration is calculated in Euros, and all commercial banks use Euro as the primary currency. Of other international currencies, Dollar and Swiss Franc are the most widespread.


Main article: Demographic history of Kosovo and Metohia

The population is currently comprised of a majority of Albanians (estimated at 80% prior to the international conflict of 1999, but now somewhat larger owing to the ethnic cleansing of many Serbs and other non-Albanians).

2002 UN approximation. Total population 1.7 to 1.9 mn. 4

See also

External links

State Union Serbia and Montenegro
Republics: Serbia | Montenegro
Autonomous provinces of Serbia: Kosovo and Metohija | Vojvodina [ Edit {}]