Where It Is Most Difficult
In spite of being left without everything they have been creating for decades and generations, the management and employees of this public enterprise from the southern province never lost their spirit and will in exile, never accepted to become a burden to anyone, including the state. The most valuable thing they have, they carried within themselves. Knowledge, enormous experience, diligence, solidarity, self-abnegation. Message: ”Sow with love, and it will grow.” That is why they managed to overcome so many temptations, to rise, become strong again, and unselfishly help others

On the day of Transfiguration, on August 19, 2008, in the just consecrated Orthodox church in Prilužje near Vučitrn, in Kosovo and Metohija, His Grace Bishop of Raška and Prizren Artemije granted Dragan Radaković, director of the public enterprise ”Kopovi Kosovo – Obilić” (”Open Pit Kosovo – Obilić”), the Ordain of St. Sava of the first degree. A short explanation states that this high ordain is given to Radaković ”for his love towards the Holy mother Church, testified by his exemplary life and unselfish generosity, with which he strengthened the spiritual, cultural and national consciousness of our people by building several sanctities in our local church”.
On the same day, the Prilužje-Vučitrn municipality granted Dragan Radaković the Decree of an honorary citizen of this town, ”as a sign of gratitude for extraordinary understanding and help, with the best cognition that only people who invest themselves unselfishly and build foundations of survival and future leave a trace in time and space of Kosovo and Metohija.”
In a modest managerial office of Dragan Radaković in Belgrade, where the National Review reporters visited him, there are about thirty framed plaques and certificates of appreciations received during the previous fifteen years. For building churches, for all kinds of help given to the misfortunate ones, for spiritual reinforcement and ascension of the Serbian people, mostly those at the re-crucified Kosmet.


Dragan Radaković was born in 1956 in Obilić, where he began his education, and completed it at the Priština University Faculty of Economics. His ancestors originated from Lika, from the Velebit mountain, from the village of Medak. His grandfather Stevan, volunteer in Thessalonica and colonist of King Petar I, settled in Obilić in the 1920s. Dragan’s parents were born and raised in Kosovo and Metohija, and he considers himself a man from Kosovo. His wife Miroslavka, mechanical engineer, also educated in Priština, originates from an old Serbian Kosovo family. Their children, daughter Marija, graduate law student, and son Mile, who graduated management, were also born in Kosovo and Metohija.
After finishing his studies, Radaković first worked in a service company in Obilić, and then became involved in the syndicate, where he passed the road from the president of the municipality board to the presidential board of the federal organization in SFRJ, then in SRJ. Afterwards he became director of the ”Syndicate Interest Enterprise of Workers” (SIPRA) which was active within the previous ”Elektroprivreda Kosova” (”Electric Power Industry of Kosovo”). From this position, he moved to become head of the public enterprise ”Površinski kopovi Kosovo – Obilić” in 1998.
Great work and corresponding rewards: Dragan Radaković in his temporary Belgrade cabinetOnly a year later, in the spring of 1999, the NATO aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began. Bombing, destruction, death. He sent his wife and children to safety to his brother in Barajevo, and he remained in Kosovo and Metohija until the end of the war.
– I was at a meeting with English officers in the summer of 1999, when members of the UCK entered Priština and began robbing – says director Radaković for the National Review. – My apartment was among the first they broke into. I didn’t take anything from it, I was left with what I had with myself on that summer day. I heard from some acquaintances that the one who first broke into my apartment praised me for being a good host. I remained in Priština, moving from one friend to another for several days. When this also became impossible, I started for Belgrade without anything.
More than one half of the ”Elektroprivreda Kosova” employees fled from Kosovo and Metohija. The management of this energy giant gathered in its representative office in Belgrade, in Zetska 35. The head offices of public enterprises ”Termoelektrane Kosovo” (”Thermoelectric Plants of Kosovo”), ”Elektrodistribucija Kosovo” (”Electricity Distribution of Kosovo”) and ”Površinski kopovi Kosovo – Obilić” found themselves under the roof of a prefabricated shed. Together they employ about 5.500 workers, whereas only ”Kopovi Kosovo – Obilić” employs 3.050 workers. Half of them, after the exile, scattered all around Serbia. The other half remained in Kosovo and Metohija, in the Serbian enclaves. The then Serbian government helped them, as well as all other following governments, all Ministries of Energy, and the whole ”Elektroprivreda Srbije”.


– In order not to be a burden, but of use to the state of Serbia and its ”Elektroprivreda”, we from the ”Kopovi Kosovo – Obilić” decided to provide services, works we had also been doing in Kosovo and Metohija, and which we know well. We were a registered company and we began competing in tenders announced by ”Elektroprivreda Srbije”. We offered high quality and most favorable conditions, so jobs began opening for us – says director Radaković. – We invested the money we earned into equipment and tools. Today, in every moment, 1.200 to 1.600 of our people work on different construction sites throughout Serbia. We try as far as we can to engage all employees equally. Those who work receive full salary, and we provide 60 percent for those who are on standby. None of our 3.050 workers, none of their families are left without a monthly salary.
”Kopovi Kosovo – Obilić” has had very good experts, highly qualified for the works of maintaining energy plants ever since the times they were working in the southern province. This knowledge and vast experience, along with the purchases of equipment and tools, enable them to complete even the most requesting works with high quality and in due time. The list of works is long, and we can only mention a few here.
– In the thermoelectric plant ”Kostolac” only, through public tenders, we won and completed demanding works on installing four operative stations. Only one of them weighs 320 tons – says director Dragan Radaković. – At the moment, our experts are installing a transporter press in the thermoelectric plant ”Drmno”, revitalizing large dredges and waste depositors, putting anticorrosive protection on operative stations and equipment.
”Kolubara Metal” engaged the workers of ”Kopovi Kosovo – Obilić” for sensitive welding jobs and anticorrosive protection works. New works were also agreed in ”Prerada” from Vreoci.
The workers of this exemplary company are not afraid of any work, and know each one from their profession. In the thermoelectric plant ”Nikola Tesla” in Obrenovac, they are working on ventilators and grinders, they maintain the transport of coal for electric plants, the coal depot and waste material depot, they do complex repair works, as well as numerous other large and small works. They are building from the foundations and equipping a space covering an area of about 800 square meters for placing important anti-fire central stations. They are especially proud of condenser repairs, a job they completed in the ”Nikola Tesla B” thermoelectric plant last spring in a record time. The work included complex devices made of nets of 8 to 16 thousand copper pipes, which needed to be replaced and properly connected.
The workers of ”Kopovi Kosovo – Obilić” are doing several works for the electric energy distributors in Čačak, Niš, Kraljevo and many other Serbian cities. A significant part of such earned money is given for building churches, the work of cultural-artistic and sports societies, printing books…


Deeply aware that the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija cannot survive without a strong Serbian Orthodox Church, that there cannot be any material preservation and advancement without spiritual, Dragan Radaković did not forget it when he became director of ”Kopovi Kosovo – Obilić”. He considered the role of the clergy and monasticism of the Serbian Orthodox Church Eparchy of Raška and Prizren crucial, which was confirmed by the events that followed, up to the very day.
Therefore, Radaković and the company he leads have done as much as they could. They provided money for building a new church in Obilić, consecrated in 1998. The same was done for the mentioned Transfiguration Church in Prilužje near Vučitrn. For the church in Lešak, Radaković provided a new iconostasis, and helped building a church in Sočanica. He purchased a new iconostasis for the temple in Plemetina. He provided part of the money for building a church in Suvi Do near the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica. He helped building the Church of St. Demetrius and the Orthodox Spiritual Center in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica.
Dragan Radaković was not limited only to his home place of Obilić, nor to Kosovo and Metohija. He helped the renewal and building of churches and parish homes throughout Serbia. The workers of ”Kopovi Kosovo – Obilić” covered the church in Konatica near Lazarevac with copper on their expense, they helped building a parish home in that town, they brought a large handmade Dečani polieleos for the new church in the Belgrade urban center of Vidikovac… And so much more!
”Površinski kopovi Kosovo – Obilić”, which director Dragan Radaković has been leading successfully for a full decade, continues to strengthen, despite of very difficult circumstances that came upon them. Everything originates from the spirit and returns to the spirit.

NR Press


The Ordain of St. Sava, granted by the Serbian Orthodox Church, is one of the most significant and oldest honors in the Serbian nation. The Ordain of the first degree is given only to the highest clergy officials and foreign diplomats. For example, on March 18 this year, upon the suggestion of Patriarch Pavle, such Ordain was given to the Russian ambassador in Serbia Alexander Nikolayevich Alekseev. Since Radaković is neither a clergy official nor a foreign diplomat, it would be appropriate for him to receive the Ordain of the second or third degree. However, the Church made an exception in this case, emphasizing the special significance of this act.


For his work, among many other honors, Dragan Radaković also received the Plaque of the Kosovo and Metohija Chamber of Commerce in 2006, for promoting economy in the Serbian enclaves in the province. A year later, in 2007, he received the same award from the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.


Culture, Sports, Books
It may sound like a phrase, but it is not: it is truly hard to even mention all cultural-artistic and sports manifestations, prominent societies and individuals in Kosovo and Metohija as well as whole Serbia, who received financial help from ”Površinski kopovi Kosovo – Obilić” and Dragan Radaković himself. They supported printing of many important books, among them also the capital monograph Serbia – The Golden Apple published by ”Princip Press”.


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