Disinfo: The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 caused around 2,500 deaths


According to the Serbian authorities, the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 caused around 2,500 deaths and injured over 12,000 people.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the number of civilian casualties of NATO bombing. An overview of various estimates of casualties in connection with the bombings can be found here. Read more about disinformation about the war in former Yugoslavia.

See here for more disinformation about the war in former Yugoslavia.


  • Reported in: Issue 143
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 29/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Keywords: NATO


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Euromaidan was a coup d’état praised by the European Union

In 2013, Euromaidan, which started as the second “Ukrainian colour revolution” (after the orange one, which ended badly in 2005), turned into a real coup d’état praised by the European Union.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation claiming that Euromaidan was a coup d’état.

The Euromaidan protests were a spontaneous reaction among large parts of Ukrainian population, ignited by the decision of former President Yanukovych not to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. The Maidan movement resonated with a widespread discontent with corruption and mismanagement under Yanukovych.

No elections are scheduled in the Donbas

No elections were scheduled in the Donbas for the first round of the Ukrainian presidential vote of the 31st of March 2019.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on the upcoming elections in Ukraine. See here for similar disinformation cases concerning the Ukrainian elections

As clearly stated by the Ukrainian Central Election Commission, on the 12th of February 2019, the presidential elections will be held in 12 out of 21 constituencies in the Donetsk region, and in 6 of 11 districts in the Luhansk region. Elections can’t be held in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk, which, nevertheless, does not represent the entire Donbas territory, but just a part. The website of the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine advises that residents of the Donbas, who live in territory not controlled by Kyiv, can still participate in the elections. To do this, they have to come to the Department of State for Voter Registration in order to submit an application.

Syrian refugees trapped in US-occupied Rukban camp

The Russian military has once again called on the US troops in Syria to discuss the situation in the Rukban camp, where some 40,000 refugees are kept in dire conditions. The US side is directly responsible for the critical state of the settlement under its occupation and has ignored earlier appeals from Moscow and Damascus to disband the camp.

The US command has previously delayed the delivery of humanitarian aid to Rukban and refused to allow, let alone facilitate, the refugees’ passage out of the camp. Russia and Syria, meanwhile, have jointly set up humanitarian corridors and a mobile checkpoint for that purpose.


Russia has routinely accused the US of manufacturing the humanitarian crisis in Rukban since 2017. However, a report delivered jointly by the UN, WHO, and the Red Cross states that the situation in the camp has been dire since its spontaneous creation in 2014, three years before the US-led coalition opened a military base in the area.

Moscow's claim that the refugees are trapped in Rukban due to US "occupation" is false. Leaving the area to the south became impossible with the closure of the Syria-Jordan border in 2016. The current US stance is to encourage, but not compel, the refugees to remain inside the camp. A spokesperson for refugees in Rukban camp has denied allegations by Russia that the US detains them in the area and cited the "Russian siege" as the cause of their plight, confirming earlier reports on the issue.