Kosovo celebrated nine years of independence from Serbia on Friday. But, just how independent is Kosovo? The small Balkan state is currently prohibited by its own constitution from having a military. Nearly two decades after the Kosovo War, NATO forces still roam the streets of the former Serbian province, providing security. Also, key decisions about the political direction of Kosovo and its relations with its neighbors are often made, not in Pristina, but in Brussels.

Josh Friedman reports from Pristina and Mitrovica:

On Independence Day in Mitrovica, Kosovars walked in large numbers across the recently reopened bridge, only to turn around upon reaching the north side and head back to the south. Some suggested Kosovo Serbs would consider it a provocation if Kosovar Albanians crossed into the North on Independence Day. Watch below:

For background on the Mitrovica Bridge watch:


Images from Independence Day:

For Independence Day, Kosovo’s NEWBORN sign in Pristina was altered to say “NO WALLS”









Kosovar bikers approached the Mitrovica Bridge but did not cross it on their motorcycles.









Pedestrian turning around and heading back to the south after crossing the Mitrovica Bridge