Pekre Developments and war for independence in NE Slovenia

Maribor Museum of National Liberation

Temporary exhibition / 17.05.2021 - 01.07.2021

On 15 May 1991, the first generation of Territorial Defence of the Republic of Slovenia (TD) conscripts arrived at TD training centres in Pekre near Maribor and Ig near Ljubljana.

On 23 May 1991 just before 8 a.m., TD members captured two YPA scouts in the immediate vicinity of the TD Training Centre No 710 in Pekre and brought them into the training centre. About half an hour later, they were released.

As the commander of the 31st YPA Corps, Major General Mićo Delić, found out about the TD members having captured two of his soldiers, he threatened to send tanks on the Pekre centre to knock it down.

The siege of the TD Training Centre No 710 was headed by military security officers, Lieutenant Colonels Milan Stevilović and Ratko Katalina. They demanded that the Chief of the Centre, Major Andrej Kocbek, hand over the unit that in the morning had captured the YPA members, and security officer Franc Pulko, who had been a YPA security chief until just recently, and to surrender the conscripts and conscript documents.

On the road leading towards the training centre, a special unit of Maribor police formed a cordon preventing residents of Maribor from reaching the training centre. At around 4.30 p.m., a delegation from the Maribor Municipal Assembly arrived at the centre to intervene between the opposing sides.

Negotiations between the TD and YPA delegations began at the seat of the Maribor Municipal Assembly at 7 p.m. At 7.20 p.m., Army representatives aborted the talks.

They resumed at the seat of the municipality at 1.15 a.m. The army side was headed by Major General Mićo Delić. The Slovenian delegation was headed by the Deputy Republic Secretary of People’s Defence, Miran Bogataj, and also included the Chief of TD for Vzhodnoštajerka Region, Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Miloševič. During negotiations, Major General Delić asked for a glass of water, which was an agreed signal for abduction. At 1.45 a.m., army special forces broke in the room and abducted Vladimir Miloševič and his attendant Milko Ozmec.

Following the news of the abduction, the Training Centre No 710 in Pekre was expecting an invasion of army forces. At 2.15 a.m., engines of armoured vehicles buzzed in front of the training centre. The tension in the centre reached its highest point; however, the YPA unit then began returning to the barracks.

Hearing the morning news about the army having abducted Vladimir Miloševič at night and taking him to the Duke Mišić Barracks, residents of Maribor were outraged. They began assembling in front of the barracks, and the Slovenian side blocked the access with heavy lorries. Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Miloševič was released from detention by the YPA the same day at 4.30 p.m. However, some groups of people continued to protest in front of the barracks even after his release. Around 7 p.m., a YPA armoured vehicle ran over 52-year-old Josef Šimčik, resulting in his death.

Virtual exhibitions



Ulica heroja Tomšiča 5, 2000 Maribor


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08:00 - 17:00


08:00 - 17:00


08:00 - 17:00


08:00 - 17:00


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