CEAS announcement - Enough With Kremlin Lies About the Number of Casualties of NATO Bombing of FRY
The Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies (CEAS) from Belgrade calls upon Russian officials to stop with the systematic presentation of false information relating to the number of victims of the NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The latest example of such statements may be found in the statement made by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, in an interview given for the Rossiя 1 TV Station, in which he speaks of “thousands of casualties” of NATO bombing of FRY making fake parallels between it and Russian intervention in Syria.
The Humanitarian Law Center has established, using very precise methods involving the cross-referencing of information by several sources, that 758 people were killed in the period March 24th – June 9th, 1999 as a result of the NATO air raids, 267 of whom were killed in Central Serbia, ten in Montenegro, and the rest in Kosovo and Metohija. 450 of these victims were civilians and approximately 300 were members of the Yugoslav Army, Serbian Ministry of the Interior, and the Kosovo Liberation Army.
CEAS holds that it is not only highly irresponsible, but also very dangerous, that there are almost no public figures in Serbia attempting to confront this revision of the history regarding the NATO bombing, regardless of the fact whether or not this revision comes from Serbia or some other place, and which only serves to deter Serbia from: general processes of democratization and stabilization; establishing of normal relations with Kosovo, also important for the Serbia's EU integration; a more honest cooperation with the NATO, which could contribute to a highly needed reform of the security system and, before all, its placement under democratic supervision.
It is indicative that all Serbian officials persistently state a false number of victims of the NATO bombing, which is in contradiction with their alleged democratic and European convictions.
We believe that a discussion about the NATO bombing of FRY has to be placed in the context of the circumstances leading to it, as well as the events, which occurred during the course of the bombing.
For instance, approximately 13,500 people were killed in the period from the beginning of 1998 until late 2000, in the conflict in Kosovo, 10,800 of whom were Albanians, 2,200 Serbs, and approximately 500 were Roma and other non-Albanians.
CEAS also holds that it is not permissible that the media backing the Government of Serbia blasphemously disregard the claims founded on the facts about demographic trends in Serbia, which challenge yet another purposely presented lie, also accepted and used by Russian officials, and which refers to the number of the killed, whose death may be brought in relation to the consequences of the impact of depleted uranium.
The false exaggeration of the number of the victims also presents an insult for the real civilian victims of the NATO bombing of FRY.
Belgrade, November 1st, 2016