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Bunting featuring the Republika Srpska flag in downtown Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on Jan. 19.

Bunting featuring the Republika Srpska flag in downtown Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on Jan. 19.

Photographer: Oliver Bunic/Bloomberg

As World Watches Ukraine, Another Corner of Europe Embraces Russia

Bosnia offers a timely reminder that the fragmentation of the east remains one of the biggest foreign-policy challenges since the Cold War.

The towering minaret and graceful arches of the Ferhadija mosque stand out among the imperial Habsburg grandeur and communist-era brutalism that dominate the Bosnian city of Banja Luka.

The mosque was one of 16 Muslim houses of worship in the city destroyed by Bosnian Serb forces in the wars that ripped Yugoslavia apart three decades ago. Rebuilt and reopened in 2016, Ferhadija now serves just a few dozen worshipers on a typical day — a fraction of the prewar congregation, reflecting the unhealed wounds from the conflict.