A Yugoslav flag with its red Socialist star is shown hanging outside of destroyed buildings in the city of Vukovar, which was fought over by the Serbs and Croatians and was taken by the Serbs in a pyrrhic victory. Vukovar, Croatia. November 18th 1991. The Battle of Vukovar was an event that occurred during the Croatian War of Independence, and this was during the era where Yugoslavia itself was beginning to break up into different independent nations. After a series of incidents and armed attacks between Yugoslavia and Croatia, the Croatian government declared unilateral independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on June 25th 1991, the same day as neighboring Slovenia, and it was quickly becoming apparent that Yugoslavia was falling apart from the inside out. Croatia soon postponed their independence declaration for three months with the Brioni Agreement, but on October 8th 1991 they officially cut all remaining ties with Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav Army initially attempted to keep Croatia within Yugoslavia by occupying all of the country with the aid of ethnic-Serbian rebels on Croatian soil, but that failed and the Serb forces tried to establish Serb territory within Croatia. The Battle of Vukovar itself, although ending with a Serbian victory, effectively exhausted the Yugoslav Army and was a turning point in the war itself... in Croatia's favor. A ceasefire was declared a couple of months later in January of 1992, and international recognition of the Republic of Croatia finally began to become a reality. The United Nations also sent a peacekeeping force when the ceasefire was made, and frontline combat mostly became intermittent for the next three years. During that time, the separatist Serbs in Croatia controlled more than a quarter of Croatian territory. In 1995, Croatian forces finally began two major offensives known as Operation: Flash and Operation: Storm, which would both eventually effectively end the war in Croatia's favor. A total of 20,000 people were killed on both sides in this war and 21-25% of Croatia's economy was ruined, but Croatia did indeed succeed in keeping it's independence intact.