The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 killed thousands of Serbs

Summary

The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 killed thousands of Serbs.

In 1999, NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days. The exact number of victims of the Alliance’s air operation was not officially reported, but according to Serbian estimates, between 1200 and 2500 people were killed and around 6000 injured.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the number of civilian casualties of NATO bombing,

In Serbia (excluding Kosovo) and Montenegro, 275 persons lost their lives in the NATO bombings: 180 civilians, 90 members of the Yugoslav Armed Forces and 5 members of the Ministry of Interior of Serbia.

The primary purpose of the campaign was to end violence and repression and force Milošević to withdraw his military, police and para-military forces from Kosovo (see NATO statement from 1999).

Further debunking by Polygraph.

Read more about disinformation about the war in former Yugoslavia here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 155
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Kosovo, Serbia
  • Keywords: Bosnia war, Yugoslavia, War crimes, NATO
  • Outlet: Sputnik Deutschland
see more

USA promised Russia that there will be no NATO expansion to the East

The USA promised Russia that there will be no NATO expansion to the  East.

US Secretary of State, James Baker, had agreed with Gorbachev in 1990 in his negotiations on German reunification that there would be no expansion of NATO beyond the then eastern borders of the GDR.

“Baker noted this oral promise in a note: “End result: Unified Ger. anchored* in a changed (polit.) NATO -* whose jurisdiction. would not move* eastwards!”

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation that NATO had promised that the Alliance would not expand to the East and that NATO is de facto aggressive.

NATO allies take decisions by consensus and these are recorded. There is no record of any such decision having been taken by NATO or the US. Personal assurances from individual leaders cannot replace Alliance consensus' and do not constitute formal NATO agreements. Moreover, at the time of the alleged promise, the Warsaw Pact still existed.  Its members did not agree on its dissolution until 1991. This was confirmed by Mikhail Gorbachev himself in an interview with Russia Beyond the Headlines:

There is no evidence of Russian involvement in the MH17 crash

There is still no evidence of Russian involvement in the MH17 disaster; just rumours.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has rejected the Joint Investigation Team’s allegations that Russians were involved in the Malaysian Airlines Boeing MH17 crash in 2014. As in previous Joint Investigation Team press conferences, not a single piece of concrete evidence has been presented to substantiate such unlawful statements. The Joint Investigation Team is obviously confining itself to arguments that are not entirely reasonable.

No information was available on the involvement of the Russian citizens mentioned in the 2014 Donbas air crash.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the downing of MH17 that denies Russia's responsibility.

Recently, the Joint Investigation Team announced that it will issue international arrest warrants for three Russian military and intelligence officers – Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov – and Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko, commander of the military combat unit in Donetsk. They will be prosecuted for their involvement in the murder of the 298 passengers aboard MH17, which was brought down by a Russian Buk missile. The trial will begin next March.

MH17: Political games instead of a real investigation

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team presents the same old accusations. The campaign is on-going, Russia and the Donetsk Peoples’ Republic were found guilty by mainstream media and Western diplomats a long time ago and the JIT is currently attempting to construct the narrative surrounding the guilty, rather than prove it. Also, is it really a coincidence that the JIT’s briefing took place on the day before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Direct Line?

Disproof

One of the multiple disinformation narratives on the downing of the MH17 denying Russia's responsibility.

The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.