Less than a kilometre away from where Canadian troops kept them under high-tech surveillance, obstructive Russian troops were engaged in the most serious eyeball-to-eyeball standoff between Moscow’s and NATO’s forces for half a century. In a nearby ethnic Albanian village, survivors told of a gruesome massacre by Serb forces. Everywhere were signs of the human tragedy caused by the conflict in Kosovo. As they passed their first week in the tortured Yugoslav province, Canadian peacekeepers had quickly become immersed in the tricky and often heart-wrenching complexities of ending a messy Balkan war. Read more…
by Guy Dinmore, Financial Times (London), 21 June 1999
Flattened rubble and the stump of a marble minaret are all that remain of the 300-year-old Qarshi [Market] mosque in this northern Kosovo town, just a small part of the wasteland left behind by the last Serb forces that pulled out of the province yesterday.
The bulldozer used to level the mosque and surrounding buildings stands abandoned next to the scar of bricks and stone in the heart of Vucitrn, a town founded by the Romans that grew prosperous under the rule of the Ottoman empire. The Serbs used explosives to topple the minarets of two other mosques
“They tried to wipe out our Moslem history,” said Abdullah Muliaku, an elderly ethnic Albanian, who in faltering French described himself as the keeper of historic archives. He said Serb forces destroyed the three mosques on March 27, three days after Nato launched its air offensive.
TWO MORE Belgrade correspondents of British newspapers have been expelled from Yugoslavia. The Financial Times’s Guy Dinmore and The Guardian’s Chris Bird have both been ordered to leave. Their exit follows that of Tom Walker, based in Belgrade for The Times for the past two years and married to a Serb, who had his multiple-entry visa cancelled last Wednesday.
Dinmore, an FT stringer, sent an e-mail to the paper’s foreign desk on Sunday saying he had been told to go. The Guardian correspondent had already left Belgrade early yesterday. “There was no reason given for Chris Bird’s expulsion, but perhaps it is no coincidence that he was expelled the day after the Serbian TV station was bombed,” said Ed Pilkington, the Guardian’s Foreign Editor.
Voice of America, April 23 1999
INTRO: RESCUE WORKERS IN BELGRADE ARE STRUGGLING TO FREE SURVIVORS AND BODIES FROM THE WRECKAGE OF SERBIA’S STATE TELEVISION HEADQUARTERS HIT BY NATO MISSILES EARLY FRIDAY. THE ATTACK CAME JUST HOURS AFTER A SPECIAL RUSSIAN ENVOY LAUNCHED A NEW DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVE TO END THE CRISIS OVER YUGOSLAVIA’S KOSOVO PROVINCE. GUY DINMORE REPORTS. Read more…
Voice of America, April 23 1999
INTRO: THE FOLLOWING IS THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW LES CARPENTER OF VOA’S NEWS NOW CONDUCTED WITH JOURNALIST GUY DINMORE IN BELGRADE.
TEXT: L-C: NATO WAR PLANES HAVE STRUCK AGAIN IN BELGRADE, AND WE UNDERSTAND THEY HIT THE TV STATION, THE GOVERNMENT TV STATION?
G-D: THAT’S RIGHT. RADIO-TELEVISION PROGRAM R-T-S. IT WAS HIT ABOUT 2:00 THIS MORNING. THE BUILDING WAS VERY BADLY DAMAGED; PART OF IT COLLAPSED COMPLETELY. CONCRETE FLOORS PANCAKING ON TO EACH OTHER. SOME OF THE BUILDING ALSO CAUGHT FIRE. OFFICIALS ARE SAYING POSSIBLY FIFTEEN PEOPLE WERE KILLED. THERE’S NORMALLY A SHIFT OF ABOUT TWENTY PEOPLE THERE OVERNIGHT. OF COURSE, THE TELEVISION STATION WAS KNOCKED OFF THE AIR, BUT I’VE JUST BEEN TOLD BY FRIENDS IN BELGRADE THAT THEY’RE BACK ON THE AIR ALREADY. CLEARLY THEY HAVE ANOTHER TRANSMITTER SOMEWHERE, DIFFERENT STUDIOS. AND NATO HAS KILLED FIFTEEN PEOPLE FOR REMOVING R-T-S FROM THE AIR FOR ABOUT SEVEN HOURS. Read more…
Voice of America, April 22 1999
LES CARPENTER: THERE IS RUMOR THAT ONE OF THE HOUSES OF SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC MAY HAVE BEEN HIT OVERNIGHT.
GUY DIMORE: ITS THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCE, WHICH IS NOT FAR FROM WHERE I LIVE.
Q: CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THAT.
D: THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCE OF THE YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT, WHO IS NOW PRESIDENT MILOSIVIC. BEFORE HIM IN THE EARLY 80’S AND 70’S IT WAS THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCE OF PRESIDENT TITO. IT IS IN A RESIDENTIAL AREA, ON A HILL CENTRAL BELGRADE. IT IS A VERY HUGE RESIDENCE, IT IS BELIEVED ALSO TO HAVE AN UNDERGROUND BUNKER, COMMAND CENTER. THERE WERE ENORMOUS EXPLOSIONS IN THE AREA. I’M NOT LIVING FAR FROM THERE MYSELF. TELEVISION THIS MORNING CONFIRMED THAT THE RESIDENCE HAD BEEN HIT AND THEY SAY PRESIDENT MILOSIVIC WAS NOT IN IT AT THE TIME. THE AREA IS NOW SEALED OFF. Read more…
Voice of America, April 21st 1999
INTRO: FORMER RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR CHERNOMYRDIN IS HEADING TO BELGRADE (THURSDAY), BRINGING A POSSIBLE NEW PEACE PROPOSAL TO END THE KOSOVO CONFLICT. MEANWHILE YUGOSLAV OFFICIALS ARE ASSESSING THE LATEST BOMB DAMAGE INFLICTED BY NATO FORCES WEDNESDAY. MISSILES HIT A TOWER BLOCK IN BELGRADE THAT SERVED AS THE HEADQUARTERS OF YUGOSLAVIA’S RULING SERBIAN SOCIALIST PARTY. ONE RADIO AND TWO TELEVISION STATIONS WERE ALSO GUTTED. GUY DINMORE REPORTS. Read more…