According to a number of independent assessments, between 21,000 and 23,000 people were killed or disappeared during the conflict in Croatia. That number includes 14,000 -16,000 (largely) ethnic Croatian civilians and members of Croatian Armed Forces, and approximately 7,000 ethnic Serb civilians and members of armed forces (members of the former JNA and the armed forces of the Republic of Srpska Krajina, most of whom were ethnic Serbs), who were living in Croatia during the war.
The first statements relating to the murder and disappearance of ethnic Serbs during and immediately following Croatia’s military operations were taken by the HLC’s researchers over the second half of 1995. They gathered 45 statements from witnesses and families of ethnic Serbs that were killed or who disappeared in May 1995 during the Bljesak military operation conducted by Croatia’s armed forces. 107 statements were taken in August 1995 from the survivors and victims’ family members fleeing Oluja – another military operation conducted by Croatia’s police and armed forces. The process of gathering statements and other data continued in March of 2012. As of August 31, 2012, a five-member research team had conducted interviews with 266 witnesses and family members of those killed or who disappeared, all of whom are now living in Serbia. Over that period, they also gathered 306 documents and 250 victims’ photos.