Eastern Europe

Russian Foreign Ministry Laments World Not Holding NATO Accountable For Yugoslav Bombing Campaign

Maria Zakharova 2017
Image by Совет Федерации

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova today lamented the world has not held the NATO alliance accountable for its bombing of Serb forces during the Yugoslav wars in the ’90s.

NATO bombed Serbs during its conflict with Kosovar forces after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

The Western war against Serbian Orthodox Christian forces, supported by a then weakened Russia, against separatist Muslim Kosovo still bothers the Kremlin.

“The task of people who know history is to always remember it and never let this period vanish in oblivion. The NATO aggression against your country that took place in 1999 was accompanied by many deaths, a lot of innocent people died, including children. Nobody ever bore any responsibility for it. It is lamentable that only rarely can you hear words of regret from some Western politicians,” she said.

NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia began on March 24, 1999, and continued for 78 days. The operation, dubbed Allied Force, cited “the prevention of the genocide of Albanians in Kosovo” as its main cause. According to NATO’s statistics, warplanes of the alliance carried out 38,000 sorties during the operation, including 10,000 bombing runs, wrote Russian state news agency TASS.

According to Serbian officials, the bombing resulted in deaths of 3,500 to 4,000 people, while some 10,000 people were injured. Two thirds of the victims were civilians. The material damages amounted up to $100 billion. During the three months of the bombing, NATO dropped 15 tonnes of depleted uranium as bombs. After that, Serbia registered the biggest number of cancer diseases in Europe. In the first 10 years after the bombings, some 30,000 Serbian citizens were diagnosed with cancer, and between 10,000 and 18,000 of them died.

The comments by the Russian Foreign Ministry do not discuss or even mention atrocities by Serbian forces committed against other ethnicities during the Balkan civil war.

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