(english / русский / srpskohrvatski / italiano)
Cronache del Ventennale / 6: Voices from Russia
0) Altri link sui rapporti Serbia-Russia
1) Russian Foreign Ministry statement on the 20th anniversary of NATO aggression against Yugoslavia
2) Pristina stand-off: How Moscow blindsided NATO with secret Kosovo airport raid 20 years ago (RT, 11 Jun, 2019)
3) Russian General: We Made A Big Mistake When We Withdrew From Kosovo (Fort Rus, Jul 16, 2019)
=== 0: LINKS ===
Sulle esercitazioni militari Serbia-Russia-Bielorussia:
«СЛАВЯНСКОЕ БРАТСТВО – 2019». ОТКРЫТИЕ УЧЕНИЯ (ВоенТВ Беларуси, 15 giu 2019)В Сербии стартовало учение «Славянское братство – 2019». Вместе с хозяевами участие в маневрах принимают военнослужащие из Беларуси и России. Наша страна представлена миротворческой ротой. В ходе учения будут отработаны специальные действия по подготовке и применению коалиционной тактической группы при выполнении контртеррористических задач.
Союзные маневры проходят в пятый раз. Впервые такие учения в 2015 году проводила Россия. В 2016-м они состоялись в Сербии на полигоне под Белградом, в 2017-м прошли неподалеку от Бреста, в 2018 году – под Новороссийском.
В учении на территории Сербии под городом Панчево принимают участие около 600 военнослужащих, и более 50 единиц колесной и гусеничной военной техники, а также самолеты военно-транспортной авиации.
★ СЛАВЯНСКОЕ БРАТСТВО-2019 ★ (Fonte: pagina FB di Натали Курганская, 15.6.2019)
В Сербии вчера в 5-й раз стартовали международные тактические учения по отработке взаимодействия в борьбе с терроризмом. В маневрах принимают участие более 1 тыс. военных из Сербии, России и Беларуси. Страну-хозяйку представляют 750 военнослужащих, Россию - 200 десантников со штатной техникой, Беларусь - 60 десантников. Задействовано свыше 50 единиц военной техники ➡️ https://clck.ru/GbWB5
В прошлом 2018-м году учения "Славянское братство" проходили в России - участвовали около 1 тыс. военнослужащих из 3-х стран, порядка 150 единиц военной техники и 10 вертолетов авиации армии ВВС и ПВО ЮВО. В 2017-м маневры состоялись на полигоне "Брестский" в Беларуси ➡️ https://clck.ru/GbVzt в 2016-м в Сербии, в 2015-м в России.
Sulla parata del 10 Maggio a Nis:
IL MODO DI PENSARE MALATO DELL’UNIONE EUROPEA (ALIAS NATO) SULLA SERBIA (di Patrizio Ricci, 10 maggio 2019)
Il 10 maggio, nella città serba di Niš, in occasione del Giorno della Vittoria sul fascismo nella seconda guerra mondiale, si è tenuta una parata militare denominata “Difesa della libertà”... Sulla parata, ho letto per caso l’articolo del giornale tedesco ‘[Deutsche] Welle’ che lancia farneticanti accuse alla Serbia perché – ad avviso del giornale che si fa portavoce dell’Unione Europea – sarebbe ‘troppo sbilanciato verso la parte russa’...
MY EUROPE: SERBIA'S MILITARY PARADE BETWEEN THE EAST AND THE WEST (by Andrej Ivanji, 10.05.2019)
Serbia's government wanted to hold a military parade marking two decades since NATO launched airstrikes against the country. Under pressure, Belgrade moved the event to the WWII Victory Day... The spectacle could be interpreted as sabre rattling, or at least a provocation against NATO. Also, the alliance does not like to be reminded of its highly dubious motives and just as dubious results of attacking Serbia... the reason for having the parade at all is the 20th anniversary of NATO airstrikes...
[Ambasciatore USA attacca generale Lazarevic, processato all'Aia, per la sua presenza alla parata del 10 Maggio a Nis]
СРАМОТА! СКОТ О ГЕНЕРАЛУ ЛАЗАРЕВИЋУ НА ЧЕЛУ „БЕСМРТНОГ ПУКА“ (10.05.2019)
Амерички амбасадор у Београду Кајл Скoт сматра да је срамотно што је пензионисани војни генерал Владимир Лазаревић у уторак у Нишу предводио марш „Бемртног пука“, поводом обележавања Дана победе, подсећајући да је Лазаревић осуђен за ратне злочине.
„Срамота је да осуђени ратни злочинац корача испред оних који желе да одају почаст савезницима који су умирали борећи се за правду и мир у Европи. Дан Европе = европске вредности“, навео је Скoт на свом налогу на Твитеру [ https://twitter.com/usambserbia/status/1126825769479606278 ], уз објаву фотографије на којој Лазаревићу придржава капут генерални секретар председника Републике Никола Селаковић, преоноси Танјуг. Генерал Лазаревић који је некадашњи командант Приштинског корпуса и Треће армије, пред Хашким трибуналом је осуђен за злочине против човечности, кршења закона и обичаја ратовања и друга нехумана дела на 14 година затвора. Пуштен је на условну слободу у децембру 2015. након, што је више од 10 година провео у притвору Трибунала у Схевенингену.
OSUĐENI RATNI ZLOČINAC GENERAL LAZAREVIĆ NA ČELU ZVANIČNE PARADE (Piše: Zorica Miladinović – 10. maja 2019.)
Grad Niš je juče zvanično obeležio Dan pobede nad fašizmom maršem „Besmrtnog puka“, koji je prevodio penzionisani general Vladimir Lazarević, nekadašnji komandant Prištinskog korpusa i Treće armije koji je pred Haškim tribunalom osuđen za zločine protiv čovečnosti, kršenja zakona i običaja ratovanja i druga nehumana dela na 14 godina zatvora...
9 MAGGIO GIORNO DELLA VITTORIA SUL NAZIFASCISMO NEI PAESI DELL’EX JUGOSLAVIA (di Enrico Vigna, maggio 2019)
Serbia: Belgrado... Tra le migliaia di partecipanti a Belgrado c’erano anche alti funzionari della Federazione Russa, tra cui Konstantin Kosachev e Valery Riazan... Oltre a Belgrado la marcia si è svolta a Nis, Novi Sad, Kraljevo, Kragujevac, Krusevac, Uzice, Paracin, Pancevo, Sombor e Kikinda... Repubblica Serba di Bosnia: Banja Luka, Trebinje, Sarajevo Est [dove] questo evento è stato organizzato in collaborazione con i rappresentanti delle organizzazioni dei Veterani di guerra SUBNOR, che combatterono nella Seconda guerra mondiale e dell’Ambasciata russa in BiH... Salutando i partecipanti prima dell'inizio della marcia, il vice ambasciatore russo Karestejdjan ha detto che l'idea principale e l'obiettivo della marcia del "Reggimento Immortale": “… è quello di non dimenticare mai gli eroi che hanno dato la vita per la libertà dei loro popoli. Sono morti in piedi, in modo che oggi noi non vivessimo in ginocchio…” Kosovo-Metohija: Gracanica... Andrej Antonov, un funzionario russo dell'UNMIK , che vive a Pristina in Kosovo, con la moglie Natalia e cinque figli, ha voluto fare un dignitoso ricordo dei suoi antenati Veterani sovietici... Croazia: Zagabria... Anche l'Unione Nazionale dei russi in Croazia nel Centro Culturale Napredak ha commemorato il Giorno della Vittoria sul fascismo con recite e il coro "Rabinjuška" che ha eseguito diversi brani dei soldati dell'Armata Rossa... Rijeka... Macedonia del Nord: Skopje, Bitola... Montenegro: Tivat, Podgorica... Slovenia: Lubiana.
DA BELGRADO: “SE NEL 1999 LA RUSSIA FOSSE STATA QUELLA DI OGGI”… (di Fabrizio Poggi, 25 Marzo 2019)
... Nel 19° anniversario dell’aggressione NATO, rispondendo alla domanda se questa si ripetesse oggi, a suo parere, la Russia interverrebbe nel conflitto, il Ministro degli esteri serbo Ivitsa Dačič aveva risposto: “Ne sono convinto. La Russia è in Siria su invito del governo siriano. Ora, immaginiamo come sarebbe andata la storia se nel 1999 fosse stato presidente Putin, la Russia fosse stata la stessa di oggi e la nostra leadership avesse chiesto aiuto”...
BALKANSKA MEĐA / LA SOGLIA BALCANICA / БАЛКАНСКИЙ РУБЕЖ
Sul recentissimo film russo/serbo, che narra della guerra per il Kosovo del 1999
СЕРБЫ ВСТРЕЧАЮТ РУССКИХ МАРШ БРОСОК НА ПРИШТИНУ 1999 (МозгоПрав Бжезинский, 2 mar 2015)
=== 1 ===
Russian Foreign Ministry statement on the 20th anniversary of NATO aggression against Yugoslavia
VOLTAIRE NETWORK | MOSCOW (RUSSIA) | 23 MARCH 2019
On March 24, 1999, NATO began the bombing of Yugoslavia, which lasted for 78 days. For the first time since World War II an aggression was committed against a sovereign European nation, an active participant in the anti-Hitler coalition, one of the founders of the United Nations and engineers of the post-war international security system. The Alliance had not secured the UN Security Council mandate and lacked any legitimate grounds for these actions. This act of aggression was a gross violation of the basic principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, as well as the international commitments of the bloc’s member-countries. The Alliance’s behaviour ran contrary even to the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, whereby NATO countries undertook not to endanger international peace, security and justice and to refrain from the threat or use of force in international relations if it runs contrary to the UN objectives. This was the beginning of replacing international law with an “order” based on arbitrary rules, or rather on the rule of force.
About 2,000 civilians, including at least 89 children, were killed in the barbaric air strikes, which were cynically and shamelessly called the “humanitarian intervention for the good.” Among the victims were a number of Kosovo Albanians, who were allegedly being “saved” by NATO. Thousands of civilian facilities were destroyed in dozens of cities. The use of depleted uranium munitions led to contaminated soil and water in many areas, which caused a surge in cancer rates.
The Autonomous Province of Kosovo was forcibly separated from the rest of the country under the propagandistic pretext of thwarting the allegedly unfolding “humanitarian disaster”. In reality NATO became a trigger for a real human tragedy, a smokescreen hiding the anti-Serb ethnic cleansing that caused over 200,000 non-Albanians to leave their homes. Tens of thousands of their properties remain usurped by Pristina and Kosovo Albanians. No progress has been made in the return of the refugees and displaced persons.
Protected by the NATO bombing umbrella, Kosovo Albanians perpetrated horrendous crimes, including kidnapping Serbs for illegal organ trafficking. The facts were revealed in the report by PACE rapporteur Dick Marty in December 2010. The EU Specialist Chambers, which have been operating since July 2017, are responsible for bringing the perpetrators to justice. However, no charges have been brought as of yet. We believe that all militants of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army complicit in crimes must face justice regardless of the positions they currently hold in Pristina.
We state that NATO’s assault on Yugoslavia 20 years ago undermined the mechanisms that ensured peace and security in Europe for decades. Meanwhile, the Kosovo problem has not been resolved. On the contrary, it remains the key source of instability and crisis in the Balkans. It could not have been any different once NATO cleared the way to power in Pristina for former KLO fighters who later escaped their sponsors’ control.
The heavy burden of responsibility for these actions and their consequences falls completely on the Alliance’s leaders and NATO member-countries that took part in the aggression against Yugoslavia. It will forever remain a stain on NATO’s reputation, which will not be removed by speedily herding the region’s countries to the Alliance, thus strengthening the division lines in the Balkans and public discord.
=== 2 ===
Pristina stand-off: How Moscow blindsided NATO with secret Kosovo airport raid 20 years ago
11 Jun, 2019
NATO's bombings of Serbia in 1999 had one small episode that is remembered with glee by many Russians. In a surprise deployment, Russian troops seized a strategic airport near Pristina right under the nose of the British.
Exactly 20 years ago, Russian troops deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the UN-mandated peacekeeping Stabilization Force (SFOR) executed a highly secretive operation. Amid a training exercise outside their base, 15 BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, two dozen support vehicles, and 200 paratroopers sneaked out and sped southeast.
Their destination was over 600km away in Kosovo, the breakaway Serbian region that was about to gain independence from Belgrade on the back of NATO's three-month bombing campaign. The Serbs were defeated and agreed to retreat while NATO troops were preparing to move in. The Russians were racing against them and militants of the Kosovo Liberation Army to take control of Slatina Air Base, the only airfield in Kosovo suitable for large military transport planes.
Audacity paid off
The swift deployment of the small force was not just a military maneuver, but also a political stunt. NATO's intervention against Serbia was highly humiliating for Russia, Belgrade's historical ally and patron, since its objections were simply brushed aside by the US-led military bloc.
Snatching Slatina airfield just before the NATO troops was Moscow's way to snarl at Washington and show that despite Russia's weakness at the time, it was still relevant. It was the military's counterpart to the diplomatic demarche by Prime Minister Evgeny Primakov, who famously ordered
his plane to turn back mid-flight over the Atlantic in protest against the start of the bombings.
"The Russian military leadership and I personally were convinced that there would be no military response from NATO to this stunning Russian audacity,"
retired General Georgy Shpak, who was commander of the Russian Airborne Troops in 1999, told
"Also, the peacekeeping operation was multinational, so we counted on NATO generals to spend a lot of time coordinating their actions. And this is what happened. The audacity paid off."
In the nick of time
The Russian motorcade arrived at Slatina Air Base early in the morning of June 12, about 20 minutes before the last Serbian troops left, Col. Sergey Pavlov, the commander of the battalion sent in the surprise raid, said in a recent interview
. He said the fact that not a single shot was fired was "happenstance, our greatest luck."
"We feared we'd be late. And it was not about NATO troops. We had to arrive before... those Kosovo Albanians," he said.
"They were there on the alert, sneaking in the bushes. We came in the nick of time."
Part of the credit for the success belongs to the advance team of 18 military intelligence commandos who were deployed to Kosovo in May to lay the ground for the operation. Major Yunus-bek Yevkurov, who led the team, was given Russia's highest merit for the mission, which remains partially classified to this day. He made a successful political career after retiring from the military, becoming the head of Ingushetia, one of Russia's southern regions.
Ironically, the biggest threat to the mission was posed by Serb civilians, who were eager to welcome the Russian vehicles on their way to the strategic airport. The enthusiastic crowds of flower-throwing, cheering people – including in Pristina in the middle of the night – slowed the column down.
"I ordered to close the hatches and not to stop for any reason. Go, go, go! The alternative was to stop and not move again," Col. Pavlov said.
No WWIII for you
A few hours after the Russians, the British troops showed up, commanded by an officer who later became famous in civilian life – Captain James Blunt, now a famous singer. There was some grandstanding and bickering, with Russian guards at one point aiming grenade launchers at the British armor to show they meant business, but otherwise everything was peaceful.
The NATO leadership had arguments among themselves, too. Gen. Wesley Clark, the top American commander in Europe at the time, pushed Britain's Gen. Mike Jackson, who commanded the freshly created Kosovo Force (KFOR), to remove the Russians by force, but was reportedly told: "I'm not going to start the Third World War for you."
The clashes in the upper echelons of power, however, didn't stop the foot soldiers from getting along. When the Russians started running out of supplies several days later due to NATO pressuring Romania and Bulgaria to deny entry to Russian transport planes, fellow NATO soldiers started giving them water. As tensions calmed down, the airfield was opened for NATO aircraft while Moscow brought its reinforcements without objections. In mid-October, the site started operating as an international airport with Russian and NATO troops jointly providing security.
The stunt was a great morale boost for the Russian public. But it didn't escalate into a major confrontation with NATO, and ultimately the Western powers got what they wanted – Kosovo torn away from Serbia, creating a highly controversial political precedent that still poisons global politics.
=== 3 ===
RUSSIAN GENERAL: We Made A Big Mistake When We Withdrew From Kosovo
By Drago Bosnic
Jul 16, 2019
MOSCOW, Russia – Leonid Grigoryevich Ivashov is a high-ranking Russian military and public official and an expert in geopolitics. He is the President of the Academy for Geopolitical Problems and a retired Colonel-General.
But he is probably best known as one of the key people who organized the march of Russian paratroopers to Pristina in 1999 when 250 paratroopers took control of Pristina Airport, right before the noses of a NATO occupying force, after a 500km forced march from Bosnia, where they were stationed as peacekeepers.
“I know that a number of European states do not want Kosovo to gain an army,” retired Colonel-General and one of Russia’s leading geopolitical experts told in an interview for Serbian “Novosti” daily.
– The fact that Hashim Thaci has constantly been saying that they will soon get a Kosovo Army means nothing because they do not decide about it in Pristina. Will the West allow Kosovo to gain an army depends on whether the more reasonable part of Europe can oppose the Americans. And I know that a number of European states do not want Kosovo to get an army.
“Many politicians in Europe are aware that the Kosovo Army would actually be an entirely Muslim army. We’ll see if the Europeans will give in to American pressure again. Washington has basically given another state to the Albanians by stripping the territory of Serbia and allowing them to get an army, ” said Leonid Grigoryevich Ivashov, 74, one of Russia’s leading geopolitical experts, professor at the Moscow Institute of International Relations, in an exclusive interview with Serbian “Novosti” daily. Russian diplomats are being trained at the Moscow Institute of International Relations.
Ivashov, who was chief of the Main Administration of International Military Cooperation of the Russian Ministry of Defense, recalls that the stories of alleged Belgrade’s terror and oppression over Albanians were fabricated in an effort to demonize Serbs.
Do Western politicians who have left the geopolitical scene admit a mistake with Kosovo?
– They should have thought about that a long time ago, it’s too late to be right when they did injustice to the Serbs. Let’s hope Western Europe doesn’t repeat the mistake and allow the creation of the Kosovo Army. Kosovo Albanians have been involved in terrorist actions, drug trafficking, as well as forced sex trafficking. If Europe makes the same mistake again, it will bitterly remember the days when they recognized Kosovo’s independence and their army.
Why was it decided that 650 Russian soldiers and officers should leave Kosovo in 2003?
– I considered it then, and I still do, that it was a big mistake. The proposal to withdraw from Kosovo and Metohia could have come only from an ignorant or a traitor. Not only did we not need to withdraw, but in the Balkans, Russia had to not just preserve, but also gradually increase its contingent for strategic goals.
Igor Ivanov (former Russian FM and Lavrov’s predecessor) said that the departure of Russian peacekeepers from Bosnia and Kosovo does not mean “Russia left the Balkans because Moscow will continue to cooperate with the OSCE and other international institutions.”
– We had only damage by trusting the Americans. The gravity and consequences of the mistakes that have been made, we can see today. But this shows that lessons from history have not been learned. Only ignorant people could believe that NATO would keep their promise. Naivety or ignorance and even affection towards Washington were obvious.
You were a witness during Milosevic’s Hague trial?
– The Hague Tribunal is a farce. They branded the Serbs as the main culprits in advance, before the trial even started. I saw how biased they were towards the Albanians. The Serbs were forced to prove their innocence by written documents. And the evidence of the witnesses, among whom were Yevgeny Primakov and I, were immediately questioned. When Primakov testified and gave evidence based on information from the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, the court ignored the facts.
But at the same time, some incredible testimonies of Albanians were accepted. I remember that one Albanian with a shirt on which there were three large holes, allegedly caused by a large-caliber machine gun, came as a witness. When Milosevic asked how he managed to survive, he replied that he was saved by Allah.
The situation in Macedonia is difficult. What do you predict?
– I’m not optimistic. The Albanians will try to take the first opportunity to further their plans.
Do you think the successes of the Syrian army are changing the balance of power in the Middle East?
– Russia’s assistance to Asad was completely justified. When the Syrian army seizes all major cities, terrorists will have to withdraw and stop direct fighting. It is already clear that the Islamic State will be limited to terrorist activities.
You knew Hafez Al Asad, the father of the current president, Bashar Al Assad?
– I told his son Bashar Al Asad the complete US operation scenario in Syria. Washington’s stories and threats about chemical weapons are part of the American scenario. I explained to Bashar that the Americans had planned four stages for Syria. But not everything went according to their plans, so they were scared of the ensuing political fiasco. Putin was absolutely right when he said that the pressure put on Asad regarding chemical weapons was a provocation. Asad had no reason to use chemical weapons. But Americans and their allies used every opportunity to try and overthrow him.
American newspapers often point out the alleged weaknesses of the Russian army…
– The Americans are in a great deal of panic because the Russians have shown that they are able to fight in a modern war. Russian high-precision weapons proved to be very effective. Their estimates do not matter to us. They once praised the reforms carried out by (Russian Defense) Minister Serdyukov, who caused great damage to our military. Americans are doing everything they can to stay the only bosses in the world, and stop the emergence of the so-called multipolar world. But the world is changing and American hegemony has to stop.
The Pentagon tells stories that the quality of Russian weapons is bad…
– It turned out very well that Putin changed the military doctrine. It was a wise move to modernize the army and invest more money in high-precision weapons. It is undeniable that Russian nuclear arsenal guarantees us security and no one should attack us because there would be an immediate answer. But, Americans began to arm themselves with high-precision weapons well before us. No matter what the story in the Pentagon is, the war in Syria confirmed the quality of our weapons, for which there is a constantly growing demand.
It is clear now that Ukraine has no chance of joining NATO in the near future. But is there a danger of Ukrainians applying the “Croatian scenario” (NATO-supported ethnic cleansing of Krajina Serbs in 1995) and going for a blitzkrieg in Donbas?
– NATO does not accept countries which are in conflict with their neighbors or have internal conflicts. Russia is not jeopardized by Ukraine, no matter how far former President Poroshenko went in his chest-thumping. It’s pointless for Croatian politicians to give advice to Kiev, their scenario cannot be applied in Donbas. There was a huge risk that Poroshenko would again go to war in Donbas, as he could have lost more territory. If in the near future there is no normalization of the situation in Ukraine, it is very likely that internal conflicts may escalate and then the country’s break-up could occur.
What do you predict will happen with North Korea?
– Nuclear war will certainly not happen and there is no reason for panic. I’m sympathetic to North Korea’s cause because they value their independence. Washington has to stop imposing their standards on smaller nations. It is in this context that North Korea’s desire to have nuclear weapons and missiles that could hit targets in the US should be viewed.
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