Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik has paid tribute to Russia's late U.N. ambassador for vetoing a Security Council resolution two years ago that would have condemned as genocide a massacre committed in the town of Srebrenica in the final days of Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

Dodik laid flowers Monday at a Bosnian Serb monument to Vitaly Churkin, the longest-serving Russian ambassador to the United Nations who died of heart attack in 2017.

Bosnian Serbs deny that the July 1995 massacre by their troops of over 8,000 Srebrenica Muslims was genocide despite rulings by two U.N. courts that it was.

Russian support for Dodik's anti-West rhetoric has stoked fears in Bosnia that Moscow might be willing to further destabilize the country in order to strengthen its foothold in Europe.