Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin has said that on March 24, as was the case 21 years ago during the NATO air strikes, the Serbian people are threatened with extinction and again have to keep together and be united.
“21 years ago, the people, the army and the state were like one family and that is why we survived. Today, 21 years later, faced with coronavirus, we again have to be one family, because it is the only way to survive, so that some could live to remember, to seek justice, to fight, we have to pull through,” Vulin said, according to a release from the Defense Ministry on March 24.
After laying flowers at the monument of the killed soldiers and patients outside Belgrade hospital KBC Dragisa Misovic, Vulin said that the NATO crime was the last crime in the 20th century that had gone unpunished.
NATO started dropping bombs on then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) 21 years ago. According to unofficial sources, the 11-week air campaign killed around 2,500 civilians and some 1,000 soldiers and police officers. The 78-day air strikes also caused severe damages to the infrastructure, economic facilities, healthcare institutions, media outlets, and military facilities.
The NATO air campaign, which then FRY government, but also a large number of experts, called an aggression, ensued from the talks at Rambouillet and in Paris in February and March 1999, which had failed to produce a solution to the Kosovo issue. The air strikes were discontinued on June 10, with the adoption of Resolution 1244 in the U.N. Security Council, followed by the withdrawal of the Serbian army and police forces from Kosovo and the deployment of international military troops.