Skip to comments.Ex-Russian PM blames NATO for Kosovo exodus
Posted on 11/22/2004 8:00:05 PM PST by Jane_N
Former Russian prime minister Nikolai Ryzhkov has testified at the war crimes trial of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.
Mr Ryzhkov accused the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) of sparking a mass exodus of Kosovo Albanians by bombing the breakaway Serbian province in 1999.
He also alleged that 800,000 separatist fighters from Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanian population were mainly armed by Germany and funded from Europe and the Middle East.
Mr Ryzhkov, who addressed Milosevic as "Mr President", was questioned at length by the defendant in the mammoth war crimes trial, notably about his stint as chairman of the Russian Parliament's commission on Yugoslavia.
The court allowed Mr Ryzhkov to quote parliamentary documents on the situation in Kosovo, despite objections by the prosecution that it had not seen them.
But chief judge Patrick Robinson warned Milosevic about breaking the ground rules laid down on the questioning of witnesses, saying: "We have been fairly lenient with you but the time will come that we will not continue."
Mr Ryzhkov says in 1998 the Russian authorities had noted moves by "Albanian terrorists" in Kosovo towards separatism and the situation there was "escalating".
"According to our information, there were 800,000 mercenaries trained in Albania and in other countries, trained in the Middle East, the financing was partially from Europe and the Middle East, and the weapons were principally supplied by Germany," he said.
Referring to the NATO bombing of Kosovo, aimed at halting a crackdown by Belgrade on Kosovo Albanians, Mr Ryzhkov said: "I didn't see any military target, only civil targets."
"It was an aggression against a sovereign country. It was a punishment. It was not to protect the Albanian population," he said.
The flight of Kosovo Albanians "was the result of the bombing of NATO", he added.
NATO intervened forcefully in Kosovo in 1999 to put an end to what it described as "ethnic cleansing" of the Albanian population by Serb troops acting on orders of Milosevic.
The province is now under UN administration.
Milosevic, 63, is conducting his own defence, after successfully rebuffing attempts by the court to force lawyers on him in September because of his ill health.
He has been on trial since February 2002 on more than 60 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity during his 13 years in power.
The charges stem from the wars that accompanied the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia, from 1992-95 in Bosnia, 1991-95 in Croatia and 1998-99 in Kosovo.
More than 200,000 people died in the fighting.
According to our information, there were 800,000 mercenaries
Well, your information was wildly wrong. There are only 2 million people total living in Kosovo. 800,000 mercenaries means a force equal to 40% of Kosovo's population and with a land area of 4000 square miles, it also means there were 200 mercenaries camped out in every single square mile of Kosovo. Right. The KLA may have had as many as 20,000 active fighters at its peak in 1999 with perhaps that many again part-timers. Estimates vary, but none quite as wildly as Slobo's most recent "witness."
The flight of Kosovo Albanians "was the result of the bombing of NATO", he added.
Serb talking points. Unfortunately, just like with the Dems, the facts don't back up the mantra. By the beginning of March 1999, prior to the begining of the bombing, the combination of fighting and the targeting of civilians had left an estimated 1,500-2,000 civilians and combatants dead. More than 200,000 Albanian civilians were internally displaced, almost 70,000 Albanians had fled the province to neighboring countries and Montenegro, and a further 100,000 Yugoslav nationals, mostly Kosovar Albanians, had sought asylum in Western Europe. By March 19th, still before the bombing, a total of 443,000 or 22% of Kosovo's mostly Albanian population had been displaced.
So your assumption that Milosevich was the cause is not correct. Kosovars would rather live here in NOrway on welfare and partake in criminal activity than perform productive work and build up Kosovo.
" ...there had been a mass return of refugees at a scale and speed that is historically unprecedented. Between mid-June and the beginning of August 1999, almost 90% of the Kosovar Albanians who had fled the province since March 1998 returned. Around 750,000 have returned from neighboring countries and further afield, and returns continue at a daily average rate of about a thousand people."
Get real, Mr. oilfield. Close to a million Albanians didn't burn down their own houses and walk over the mountains with what little they could carry so they could annoy you in Norway.
Amen to that!
No, he would be wrong--like you... First Ryhzkov commits a court-room eye-roller by testifying that there were 800,000 mercenaries in Kosovo. Then after the court has already established that there were hundreds of thousands of refugees before the bombing even began and that the common circumstance of Albanain flight was the appearance of Serb forces who removed them at the point of a gun, Rhyzkov then says it was NATO bombing that caused the refugees. It was credibility hari-kari. Even Slobo had to cringe.
Faith is the basis of religious belief. Unless--and having been on the balkans threads for a while I do not rule this out--it is part of your religion that Slobo is innocent, then you may want to actually look at the facts of the case instead of giving your "amen" to unsubstantiated assertions.
Everyone agrees on that. However, most civilian killings were apparently perpetrated by the KLA against other Albanians for various political or personal reasons. Classic Gheq Albanian tribalism, traditionally among the most violent in Europe, now deadlier as it is enforced by the No.1 heroin mafia in Europe. The chaos of the war that they provoked gave them a first class opportunity to dispose of a thousand or so unfaithful Albanians before March '99 and of even higher numbers afterwards.
"By the beginning of March 1999 ... More than 200,000 Albanian civilians were internally displaced, ..."
Well, this is from the Soros-controlled "human rights watch" and, as such, is not worth the paper it is written on. Not even Clinton's CIA moles in the KVM talked about such numbers. Nevertheless, in a clannish society driven by blind loyalty (i.e. fear) to powerful leaders/warlords, such numbers of internally displaced are not so hard to achieve for someone like KLA's Commander Remi. And of course who among those poor villagers would dare not to blame the dastardly Serbs for their displacement?
" 100,000 Yugoslav nationals, mostly Kosovar Albanians, had sought asylum in Western Europe. "
For obvious propaganda purposes of hrw, this number (whether or not accurate) is of course blamed on Milosevic. The banal reality, however, is that the vast majority of those migrated for financial reasons, the same reasons that prompted them or their parents to migrate from destitute northern Albania to Yugoslav-subsidised Kosovo. When the Yugo cash cow went dry, they left.
You are really an albanian shill. Keep at it, and dont try to convince me that the criminal midgets are so wonderful, I am half Serbian American and proud of it.
The article was about the killings and refugees from Kosovo before the bombings even took place. Your link was about some revenge killings that took place after the war was over. It is irrelevant to the point that it was the Serbs that caused the massive refugee flow, not NATO bombs. The bombs were not yet falling and there were 1,500-2,000 dead and 463,000 people were already forced from their homes.
The 463,000 figure is from the UNHCR, not "George Soros", LOL.
Any number using percentage of total Kosovo population is bogus -there was no census in Kosovo since 1981 because Albanians BOYCOTTED 1991 census. All population figures are ESTIMATES. And very curious.
MSM reports throughout 1990's claimed that Kosovo is province of 2,000,000 whose 90% Albanian population seeks independence. The number was uniform throughout the years, regardless of the fact that Albanians have birth rate of 2.7% (yes, two point seven percent)
Population of 2 million and 90% is perhaps correct TODAY, AFTER Albanians ETHNICALLY CLEANSED 300,000 Serbs, Roma, Croats and others and 400,000+ citizens of Albania settled illegally in Kosovo with NATO's blesssing.
To unsuspecting observer, the numbers fit. That was the aim of 2 Million figure in the 1990's. Anyone with basic understanding of statistics will figere there is something very wrong with the numbers.
Just to remind you that settlilng population during occupation is a war crime per Geneva convention.
Speaking of "The bombs were not yet falling and there were 1,500-2,000 dead" how many were murdered by KLA terrorists?
The KLA was busy killing dissenting Albanians both before and during NATO's war (and after too). Serbian authorities had compiled and presented detailed info with names and dates. On the contrary, allegations of Serb atrocities have invariably been poor on detail and rich in speculation and reliance on obscure sources, usually traceable to the KLA propaganda machine. Most of the numbers you quoted are from the Soros hrw link. The 463k prewar (and even pre - March 19) displaced was indeed from a UNCHR spokesperson (assuming that the quote of your link is accurate), but it was directly contradicted even by the CIA-infiltrated KVM and never officially promoted, let alone supported by real data. That number is as valid as William Cohen's "100k dead".
Let's get the number straight in the thirs attempt :-)
In fact Ryzhkov talked about "800 to 1,000" mercenaries.
It will be interesting to see how presstitutes will twist and ridicule testimony of Gen. Ivashov
Walker had already said on February 12, 1999, in answer to my question of what the chances looked for a peaceful resolution to the Kosovo crisis, that there would be an inevitable military intervention in the spring and that Serbs had no business in Kosovo, said Ivashov.
The Russian General Staff Headquarters had information about 11 camps in Kosovo and northern Albanian were terrorists were being trained. We passed this information to General Wesley Clark with the intention of together putting an end to the Kosovo Liberation Armys terrorist activities.
Unfortunately General Clark said that NATO had no good intelligence reports to confirm this, which was simply not true,
Ivashov also told the court that Russian military leaders had spoken to the ambassadors of fifteen Islam countries about the training of terrorists and that the Iranian ambassador had confirmed the participation of Taliban and Al-Qaida members in Kosovo.
Your "facts" do not impress me. Sorry.
Great, a third world, lying, anti-American swarm instead of a fascist, billionaire, lying anti-American, fanatic...quoted like it was a serious element of discussion...LOL.
As to religion, it's been a matter of religion on my part that the intervention in 'FRY' was wrong, period. Wrong when no one had threatened the USA, every piece of information the public had was hopelessly biased (lies) and every neighboring state had a hand in the dissolution of Yugoslavia. And now wrong that a grand inquisition is enthroned and conducting a self-righteous judicial satire in order to assure that history is written so as to absolve the sins committed by Yugoslavia's neighbors and one time allies.
Everytime a Serbian church burns, an Islamofascist smiles.
Sorry, I made a typo on my comment #15. As DTA correctly states, Ryzhkov talked about "800 to 1,000" mercenaries.
Both Kfor and UNMIK have spent loads of time and energy rounding up KLA leaders for murdering their fellow Albanians
It is pretty clear that the KLA was terrorzing Albanians
I'd be interested in seeing any estimate the KVM made of the total IDPs and refugees from Kosovo and your rationale as to why it would be better than the number of 463,000 established by UNHCR, the Agency actually responsible for refugees.
William Cohen's "100k dead".
Cohen never said "100,000 dead". There's a big hint as to what he actually said in the article's headline: U.S. defense secretary: Up to 100,000 Kosovar men missing
Cohen further said that 4,600 Kosovar men were already believed to have been executed and the 100,000 "may have been murdered". Given the mass graves already spotted, refugee reports, and Slobo's past propensity for using mass murder as a way of adjusting unfavorable ethnic balances, Cohen's statement is reasonable. It is not, however, as you falsely claim, a statement that there are 100,000 dead.
OK; I withdraw the applicable part of post 2.
But not surprised. For you MarMema, it truly is about faith, not facts. Or you'd occasionaly provide some.
Norton, nice, fact-lite rant. Since I have been in the refugee camps, served in military HQs responsible for Balkans ops, and spent well over a year on the ground there I know that the refugees existed and that it was the Serbs that looted their homes, burned their villages, confiscated their identification and drove them from Kosovo at the point of a gun. And there are electronic reams worth of documentation to prove it for those who actually care about the truth. Not that I'm accusing you of being such a person.
If I can even remember their names, that is. FL, who was that one really hateful one we said goodbye to so sadly not too long ago? All I can remember in names is Fusion and he was more amusing than hateful. Was it OBJ something?
Most freepers are very supportive of the Serbian side of this issue. Your side of the fence is a lonely one here on FR.
A whole nation goes mad
Monday 31st May 1999
Winning the war is the easy bit. It will be harder to restore sanity to the Serbs, argues Steve Crawshaw
You can spend years refusing to face up to the obvious. You can find endless justifications and search for ifs and buts. Eventually, however, there comes a moment when the visitor to the Balkans must simply put his head in his hands and cry: "Enough!" One nagging question returns to haunt you: why have so many millions of Serbs become liars on a grand scale or gone mad, or both?
Everybody feels that their own point of view is sometimes misunderstood. Many feel that their country is right, even when it is wrong. But none except the Serbs have managed in recent years to take this reversal of reality to such a high art form. According to a view held widely in Serbia today, anybody who accuses the Serbs of anything (yes, anything) either has been duped by or is part of an international conspiracy - an a la carte mixture of Bill Clinton (trying to distract from cigars and moral decay in the Oval Office), Germany (with its well-known ambitions for a Fourth Reich) and international Islam (seeking a fundamentalist takeover). When western news reports show Serbs in a bad light, it is only because the reporters are too stupid or venal to tell the shining, shaming truth.
The Serb grasp on reality can make The X Files seem down to earth. Take the extraordinary (and typical) conversation I had recently with Darko, a well-educated resident of Pale, a little town half an hour's drive from Sarajevo that used to be the capital of Radovan Karadzic's Bosnian Serb republic. "Why does Tony Blair blame the Serbs for everything?" Darko asked. "What have Serbs done wrong?"
Well, there's a question and a half. I take a deep breath as I flash through the mental index of the past eight years. Camps, cleansing, rapes, massacres - where shall we start? Finally I cautiously toss out one word: Srebrenica, the little Bosnian town where thousands of civilians were notoriously slaughtered in cold blood in 1995. Every detail of the massacre has been analysed and re-analysed. I expect my new acquaintance to sound defensive when the name is mentioned. Not a bit of it. He leaps upon the name of Srebrenica like a hungry piranha on a bleeding hunk of flesh: "It was war. We tried to relieve our country. There was no massacre." So that's that.
In a Serb Orthodox monastery, I have an equally baffling encounter. Father Luke, the abbot, wistfully notes that international attitudes towards Serbs have changed in recent years. "Before, all doors were open for me as a Serb. Now all of them are closed. What happened?" Another humdinger of a question. My explanation is promptly rejected: "No, it's not to do with what we Serbs have done." In his view Serbs are being crucified for the sins of mankind. "There was a need for one nation to take all the sins on its back."
You can find isolated instances of lunacy in any country. But nowhere more than in Serbia. Take the question of Albanians fleeing Kosovo - Serb TV blames the exodus on Nato raids. Ask Albanian refugees if that is indeed the reason, and they'll tell you that power comes out of the barrel of a Serb gun. The standard, shared experience is of a small group of armed men telling everybody in the village to clear out within the next half an hour, on pain of death.
Ask Serbs why the Albanians are leaving, however, and they will repeat with a straight face the line about Nato bombings. You get the impression that most of them could pass a lie-detector test on the matter. You can blame this in part on the Serb government's powerful propaganda machine. Milosevic's iron control of TV - with its poisonous messages of hate and paranoia - has played an important role in recent years. But even those who have access to alternative sources of news still subscribe enthusiastically to the view of unsullied Serb innocence.
Back in the winter of 1996, things seemed very different. The streets were filled with the deafening sound of thousands of whistles calling time on the Serb leader. The banging of pots and pans every night at 7.30pm was supposed to drown out the lies of TV news. Milosevic briefly seemed doomed, and a healthy Serbia seemed to be emerging. It was all an illusion. Nowadays many of the pot-bangers sit nodding in agreement in front of the TV news.
In recent weeks Nato has sought to highlight the demonstrations against conscription in Serb towns, as a way of proving that support for the regime is less solid than it was. Up to a point. But an unwillingness to allow your sons to be killed is rather different from understanding why your country is under attack in the first place. This far more important change is yet to come.
For the moment, most Serbs have a clear rule of thumb for assessing the accuracy of a news report. If the report shows others in a bad light, it is accurate; if it shows Serbs in a bad light, it is a malicious invention.
As the experience of modern Germany shows, there is nothing pre-programmed about lunacy. Germany was a normal country before 1933 and is a normal country again today. Just as a sane country can turn mad, a mad country can eventually become sane once more. But the change cannot happen overnight. A deep-seated sense of victimhood has helped to reinforce the sense of being misunderstood. In effect the Serbs ask: "How can we be guilty, we who have historically suffered so much? My forefathers fought bravely for a just cause. My country is less rich than many of the nations who accuse us. Therefore my country is free of sin." This conclusion leaves something to be desired in the logic department. But it accurately reflects the Serbs' guiding philosophy of life: once a victim, always a victim.
In short, winning the war against Slobodan Milosevic will be the easy part. Turning Serbs back into sane citizens of the world will be more difficult. If a Serb tells you that this is an unwarranted slur on a brave nation, just ask him or her why Albanians are fleeing Kosovo. Ask what happened at Srebrenica. And get ready for a depressing reply.
I'm kind of glad you don't.
Point is that we had no business there in the first place.
That and my opinion that the contractors who flocked to Kosovo were pimps, including some I'd served with in the old days; but I don't accuse you of being such a person.
That's an arguable point with which I largely agreed at the time. The humanitarian intervention rationale suffers by comparison with more drastic siutations elsewhere. The national interest argument was based on the threat to regional stability--it was our primary rationale, but not very compelling; although such as George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, Colin Powell, & Don Rumsfeld all saw it differently and supported the 1999 Kosovo War.
Regardless of whether you find the rationale for war convincing or not, the evidence of Serb culpability in widespread criminal attacks against the civilian populace in Kosovo is overwhelming and utterly convincing. Too many people who opposed the war have adopted a corollary position that the various warcrimes and ethnic cleansing cited in support of the war therefore did not occur. The facts on the ground do not support that position.
Sorry to disappoint on the contractor pimp front, but I was on active duty during the Balkans phases of my career.
Here is what William Cohen actually said May 16 1999 on Face the Nation.
The message is made of the words, tone of the voice, context and innuendo, credibility of the speaker. When judging the message, both the exact words and sinister overtone must be considered to judge impact to the viewers:
FRIEDMAN: Yet, Mr. Secretary, it hasn't stopped him from evicting a million and a half Kosovars.
COHEN: That's true. He has the so-called MUP forces or police on the ground. He has over 40,000 inside Kosovo. And we knew from the very beginning that he had that capability and he had the intent to displace these peoples. As a matter of fact, he has put about a million and a half people out of their homes, and we are now seeing about 100,000 ilitary-age men missing. We have seen 500 --
FRIEDMAN: Do you think there could be 100,000 people either missing or having been murdered, as many?
COHEN: I think that they are missing. They may have been murdered. We have had reports that as many as 4,600 have been executed. But I suspect it's far higher than that."
Here comes the ugly rub, having in mind that Cohen is Jewish himslef:
"But I'd also point out, for the Serbs to lament publicly about the deaths of these refugees is almost tantamount to Adolf Eichmann complaining about Allied forces bombing the crematoriums."
HOLOCAUST ANALOGY WAS THE MAIN THEME OF PROPAGANDA DURING CLINTON AGGRESSION ON YUGOSLAVIA in spite the fact that
-Jews were not having armed rebelion against Nazi state
-Jews did not have 15,000 strong terrorist organisation attacking Wehrmacht.
-Jews were not murdering Germans and Jews
-Jews were EXTERMINATED, Albanians have run away from NATO bombing and followed KLA orders
The use HOLOCAUST for KOSOVO is an insult to the memory of 6 million who perished in THE HOLOCAUST. It was the the most shameful act, especially having in mind that Albanians were NAZIS during WWII. Jews in Germany have publicly protested this propaganda abuse. Jewish Americans were not only silent, but actively disseminated HOLOCAUST REVISIONISM PLOY. (Holocaust? Yeah, right, like Kosovo)
DTA, The above quote is the only part of your post that I do disagree with. Me think that "Jewish Americans in power" or "Jewish Americans that matter" or "Jewish American Elite" would have been more proper statement. Keep up a good work.
There is at present widespread support in American public opinion for the policies of the U.S. government in the Balkans. It is a striking and dark paradox that Jewish opinion has played an important role in helping to mobilize that support.
U.S. policy in the Balkans has now carried the United States into direct intervention in two civil wars, one between Croatian Serbs and the new proto-fascist state of Croatia, and one between the Bosnian Serbs and a Bosnian Muslim government which has become increasingly fundamentalist. In the first case, the U.S. helped the new Croatia to plan, organize and carry out the invasion of the Krajina region in Croatia, which led to the uprooting of more than a quarter of a million Serbs and the slaughter of thousands who tried to remain in their ancestral homes there. In the second case, the U.S. used NATO, against the advice of many of its allies, to destroy the military infrastructure of the Bosnian Serb army and to shift the balance of power in favor of a minority Muslim government in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This, too, has led to the flight of well over 100,000 Bosnian Serbs.
In intervening in this manner, the U.S. has not just taken sides in an internal European war; it has allied itself with the most reactionary elements in Europe, including a newly expansionist, racist and increasingly militaristic German government. Worse still, the U.S., in order to create what it thinks will be a more favorable atmosphere for the re-election of Pres. Bill Clinton, is now seeking to impose an unworkable overall peace "settlement" in Yugoslavia and to enforce it with a 60,000-man NATO task force, which will include some 25,000 U.S. troops. Even Richard Holbrooke, the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, admits that this could well lead to another Vietnam. ...
Thanks for the suggestion. I agree this is more appropriate, but perhaps I should simply say liberal Jewish Americans (i.e. people born into Jewish families)
There is another important issue, the way how vicious propaganda unleashed on Serbs was recycled to harm Israel
I am sure the pro-Jihadists on FR will start with racism to deny this
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