Today marks 23 years since the NATO Bombing of YugoslaviaSoutheast Europe | March 24, 2022, Thursday // 11:51| views
Today marks the 23rd anniversary of NATO's bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which began on March 24th, 1999 and lasted 78 days, Serbian media reported.
Serbia was attacked as responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo, and the immediate cause was the events in Racak and the failure of negotiations on Kosovo's future status in Rambouillet and Paris.
NATO's air operation began at 7.45 p.m. on 24 March 1999. Nineteen NATO countries began bombing ships in the Adriatic and four air bases in Italy. First, the air defenses and other Yugoslav military sites in Pristina, Batajnica, Belgrade, Mladenovac and elsewhere were bombed.
According to the Serbian Ministry of Defense, 2,500 civilians were killed during the NATO airstrike, including 89 children and 1,031 members of the army and police. 6,000 civilians were injured, including 2,700 children and 5,173 soldiers and police, and 25 are still missing.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said last night that there was no justification for NATO aggression in 1999 but that if he had been in Slobodan Milosevic's place, he would have acted differently, Politika reported.
“In a few days, I would have stopped it, either by resigning or something else. 78 days is too long to cripple a country that had no chance to defend itself and wait for someone else to help us, but we knew that no one would,” Vucic said in an interview with RTV.
The president noted that Russia at the time, led by Boris Yeltsin, was weak. Vucic also pointed out that the one who leads the country must take care of how to save his people.
“I am now looking at the conflict in Eastern Europe and wondering why some people are not thinking well about the consequences”, Vucic said.
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