NATO CRIMES AGAINST CIVILIANS IN THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA
From its very onset, NATO aggression against independent and sovereign FR of Yugoslavia which started by breaching the Charter of the United Nations and violation of international law, was of genocidal nature and represents a criminal and terrorist act. Its alibi should have been the protection of ethnic Albanian minority in Kosovo and Metohija, but its real goal was the occupation of this Serbian province. But, in a very short period of time NATO has caused a real humanitarian catastrophe and great tragedy that is becoming each day ever more serious for millions of people.
Concurrently with the failure of NATO aggressors to inflict significant losses on the Army of Yugoslavia, their warplanes have started to hit more ruthlessly civilian targets. So the `backbone of the regime' which had to be broken, has been replaced by the entire people -- a whole European country of ten and a half million of citizens with all its human potentials, material and spiritual values.
By their tactics typical for a terrorist organization -- throw bombs and run -- those who planned and wage this unprecedented war at the end of the twentieth century, select and hit their targets cynically and sadistically, unburdened by any moral dilemma or humane concerns. But such mass crimes cannot do subject to the statute of limitations, nor can they be concealed by current media manipulations and bombing of Yugoslav radio and TV stations. The FR of Yugoslavia brought the United States of America and their satellites in the NATO Alliance before the International Crime Tribunal in The Hague last month because of an idicement filed against them for the crime of genocide. And in their defense their representatives could only say before the Court that they did not recognize the jurisdiction of this organ of the United Nations Security Council, which they established by themselves and in which they keep a dominant position.
The list of civilian casualties and destruction caused by the NATO aggression on the FR of Yugoslavia, is still open and new evidences of brutality of a mighty military fist of the USA and western «democracies» are being recorded each day and night. Therefore, the following text can give only basic, cumulative information and characteristic examples about war crimes committed by NATO aggressors and it should be taken more as a guideline for the understanding of the nature and scope of this tragedy, than as its full or final outcome.
In its first war campaign since its inception 50 years ago, NATO have gathered a powerful air armada: for its 24 hours attacks on civilian targets in the FR of Yugoslavia more than one thousand aircraft of various types and for various purposes are being engaged, while airports and air corridors of many European and neighboring countries are used, as well as the support of Navy forces stationed in the Mediterranean. The destructive power of the fired explosives is several times stronger that the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War Two. Dozens of thousands bombs and missiles of various types and for various purposes have been used and some of them weighted almost five tons so that thedevastation which they caused in residential areas could be compared only with the destruction caused by an earthquake.
During the first ten weeks of the aggression, over three thousand targets have been hit and more than 44 thousand sorties flown over the Yugoslav territory in the attacks or surveillance actions. More than three thousand cruise missiles have been fired against civilian targets thus far, while cluster bombs and depleted uranium ammunition, which the aggressor has been also using against the civilians, have the most tragic consequences although they are prohibited by international conventions.
During the two and a half months of the bombing of NATO warplanes several thousands of civilians -- among whom mostly children under 18, persons over 60, and women were killed. More than six thousand civilians, mostly children, women and the elderly, sustained serious injuries.
The bombings with various types of ammunition inflict injuries to people, and children in particular, many of whom will remain crippled for life.
The destructive power of explosions, which frequently develop high temperature and cause blaze, have made impossible in many cases not only to identify victims but even to establish their exact number. Thus, necessary information is collected from various indirect sources, as well as from witnesses and relatives of those who lost their lives.
«Collateral damage» -- the expression which the western politicians and NATO officers use to describe the killing of civilians and destruction of civilian structures -- since the very onset of the aggression has become more a rule than an exception. The vile elimination of the difference between military and civilian targets, so that everything that could be used to meet elementary needs of the population has been declared as legitimate target, resulted in the situation that today it is hardly to find any structure or facility that has not been already bombed, mostly with tragic consequences for civilians.
The following structures and facilities are among many on the long lists of NATO «collateral damages»:
1. Thousands of private homes, apartments, hospitals and health centers, cultural and historical monuments, elementary and secondary schools, universities, pre-school institutions (kindergartens), homes for the aged, religious buildings of all confessions, prisons, refugee camps, libraries;
2. Museums, hotels, tourist centers in national parks, sports facilities, heating plants, power stations, theaters, water supply systems, transportation systems, overpasses, cinemas, passenger cars, busses and trains, railway stations, bridges;
3. Factories and various industrial facilities, post offices, telephone exchanges, private workshops and business centers, shops, TV stations and their transmitters and relay systems, embassies and consulates.
There is hardly any town or city in the FR of Yugoslavia that was not struck by NATO bombs causing to smaller or grater extent the deaths among civilians. The following towns and cities have been most frequently targeted:
Pristina (279) Kosovska Mitrovica (66) Prizren (156) Cacak (59) Beograd (153) Pec (58) Djakovica (144) Novi Pazar and Gnjilane (51 each) Urosevac (126) Vranje and Kragujevac (46 each) Kraljevo (119) Sremska Mitrovica (45) Uzice (118) Leskovac (44) Novi Sad (104) Sabac and Krusevac (38 each) Prokuplje (86) Pancevo and Jagodina (33 each) Nis (77) Valjevo (27) Examples of the plight of civilians
- Bombing of the refugee centers in Pristina and Nis (30-31 March 1999), 15 refugees from Croatia and Bosnia killed;
- The village of Meja near Djakovica (2 April 1999), 4 killed and 20 injured Serbianrefugees (including children) from Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina;
- The village of Nagavci, municipality of Orahovac (2 April 1999), 11 killed and 5 wounded civilians mostly ethnic Albanians;
- Aleksinac (5 April 1999), 12 killed and 49 injured civilians;
- Pristina (7 April 1999), 10 killed and dozens injured citizens;
- The villages of Merdare, on Prokuplje-Pristina highway, (10 April 1999), 5 persons including one infant were killed with cluster bombs;
- Grdelica gorge -- railway bridge (12 April 1999), 55 passengers including one child on board of the international train lost their lives while 26 persons were injured;
- Massacre on the Djakovica-Prizren road (14 April 1999), of a ethnic Albanians refugee convoy (mostly the elderly, women and children), 75 of them were killed and over 100 were injured;
- Bombing of the building of the Radio and TV of Serbia in Belgrade (23 April 199), 16 killed and 19 injured;
- The village of Doganovci, near Kacanik (24 April 1999), 5 killed and 2 wounded ethnic Albanian children from cluster bombs;
- Bombing of Surdulica (27 April 1999), 20 killed civilians (12 children) and about 100 injured.
- Bridge near the village of Luzani on Podujevo-Pristina road (1 May 1999), ANis-Ekspres coach hit with a missile: 60 passengers killed and 4 sustained severe injuries;
- Prizren (1 May 1999), 5 killed and 32 injured civilians;
- Area of Savine Vode on Pec-Rozaje road (3 May 1999), attacked the bus of Djakovica Prevoz, 20 lost their lives and 44 passengers were wounded;
- The center of Nis (7 and 12 May 1999) attacked with cluster bombs, 27 killed and over 60 wounded civilians;
- The village of Korisa, near Prizren (13 May 1999), bombed ethnic Albanian refugee convoy who were returning to their homes, killed 87 and wounded over 70 persons;
- Clinical Center `Dr. Dragisa Misovic' in Belgrade (20 May 1999), 3 patients and 1 employee killed and several dozens patients and medical staff wounded in the bombing during the night;
- Penal and Correctional Institution in Istok (Kosovo and Metohija), during several repeated bombings (19-24 May 1999) more than 100 inmates and guards were killed and over 200 sustained serious injuries;
- Destruction of the bridge in Varvarin (30 May 1999), 11 passerby killed and 40 injured;
- The Home for the Aged and Sanatorium in Surdulica (31 May 1999), 20 people lost their lives and 36 were severely or lightly injured;
- Bombing of the broader area of Novi Pazar (31 May 1999), 13 civilians killed and 35 wounded.
The above cases and all other crimes in which targets and victims were exclusively civilians and civilian structures have been admitted after some time by those in charge in NATO headquarters but always with the same cynical explanation that this is a mistake which, allegedly, cannot be avoided and which are to be expected. Behind each death there is at least one story which confirms again that NATO wages this immoral, senseless and merciless war against the entire population, falling down each time deeper into crimes which nothing can justify.
On Sunday, 31 May 1999, NATO warplanes attacked the bridge in Varvarin on a market day when lot of people was coming in flocks to this small Serbian town from the places in its vicinity. The Orthodox holiday of St Trinity was also observed on that day. The bridge was at first hit with two missiles, and when people rushed to help the victims a few minutes later the bridge was struck even more fiercely. From the nearby church consecrated in 1824 to the Resurrection of Virgin Mary, priest Milivoje Ciric (66) ran out to help victims together with other people who at that time were at the service in the church. But as soon as he stepped out, a fragment of a bomb hit and beheaded him at the Porte of the church. The church itself where he worked for two decades was seriously damaged. Among those who were killed at the same time the oldest one was Tola Apostolovic (74) and the youngest was Sanja Milenkovic (16) who was the best junior mathematician in Serbia.
The Spokesman of NATO, Jamie Shea said that the bridge was a legitimate military target. The correspondent of Sky News Tim Marshall reported from the scene of the crime and noted that it was a small capacity narrow bridge which could be used only by pedestrians and passenger cars.
There were no casualties in the bombing of the Orthodox cemetery in Pristina on 31 May 1999. It was attacked before dawn, when there is no living soul in cemeteries so those targets could be only the deads.
Coincidence? «Collateral damage»? Not at all. Since 7 April 1999 this has been the sixth attack against the same place, and NATO had quite enough time to fix correctly their targeting devices.
This time a missile of highly destructive power (official mark GBU12) hit the very center of the cemetery, making a crater 30 meters wide and 10 meters deep. Destroyed or damaged were more than hundred graves and tombstones as well as the chapel. The explosions threw around the human remains and mixed them with the earth and parts of coffins and marbles of damaged tombstones.
Traditionally, people in Serbia visit cemeteries on Sundays. This morning, however, people in Pristina gathered in disbelief around the crater made by a NATO missile and spoke with indignation and pain about one more sacrilege and crime of NATO aggressors. Somewhere in this place were buried two young people who lost their lives in a traffic accident -- son and daughter-in-law of Mrs. Velinka Velimirovic. «I have been coming for four years here, talking to them and bringing them flowers. The criminals have killed my children again.» Those were the only words, which this woman in black could tell to a few domestic and foreign journalists reporting from the scene of the crime.
Surdulica is a small town on the south of Serbia, which has been occasionally mentioned in any newspapers. From some strange reason, however, this place has become an interesting target for the NATO strategists -- two massacres were committed against its citizens within only one month. In the first attack when a bomb dropped from an aircraft destroyed a cellar-shelter in a private house, twelve children were killed among other people. In the second attack, shortly after midnight on 31 May 1999, patients, refugees and the elderly accommodated in a sanatorium for the treatment of lung diseases and in the gerontology ward of the Surdulica hospital were killed. Thirty-eight people lost their lives and about 130 civilians were injured, while over five hundred houses and apartments were destroyed or severely damaged.
«The bombing of hospitals is for NATO a collateral damage -- for me this is a tragedy.» This is the title of an article of Robert Fisk, which was published in the London Independent already on 1 June 1999. The testifying of this well-known British journalist (Journalist of the Year for 1998) is very upsetting. In the forefront of his story is the death of a girl, Milena Malbabic, a refugee from Croatia, and her diary with love poems, which he hadfound near her body. With Milena, her mother and her two brothers, as well as other 14 patients lost their lives in the ruins of the Home for the aged that night.
Mr. Fisk could not find any evidence that there were any military facilities or positions in the vicinity and he drew the attention of his readers to the Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts. A This was only the Home for the Aged and hospital for treatment lung diseases -- «located in the pine forest and marked in all geographic maps», says the British journalist. «Those were barracks and a legitimate military target», stated the Spokesman of NATO Jamie Shea.
In the destruction caused by two and a half months of NATO aggression, the economic life of the FR of Yugoslavia has been significantly paralyzed, both by direct destruction of processing capacities in many sectors and by destruction of significant facilities of infrastructure -- bridges, railways, roads- closing of airports, attacks on power system, destruction of oil refineries and destruction of oil and gas depots necessary for the functioning of the economy.
According to the assessment of some experts from Western countries, which is in principle accepted also by Yugoslav experts, the overall damage done to the economy by the aggression is well in excess of one hundred billion US dollars. In this respect the following parameters were taken into account: destroyed and damaged industrial firms, traffic infrastructure, housing complexes and civilian facilities, destroyed property, the expected loss of national product until the year 2005. These assessments do not cover numerous indirect damages and expenses the most important of which are the following:
- Humanitarian catastrophe (loss of lives, great number of injured and clipped persons, taking care and accommodation of refugees and displaced persons, etc);
- Demographic catastrophe (seriously deteriorated long-term trends in population policy and family planning, negative internal and external migratory movements, etc. );
- Social and economic consequences (dramatic fall of the standard of living and in general of the so-called humane development -- in the field of education and heath in particular -- as well as slow downed economic growth, outflow of highly qualified persons and able-bodied population);
- ecological damage (short and long term consequences on the heath condition of people and natural resources).
By destruction of big industrial companies and firms, factories, business capacities and production facilities -- more than one million people have lost their jobs and over two million of them remained without any kind of income. The purpose of these crimes are to completely impoverish the country and to make it very weak, as well as to bring it to the brink of famine and in the position it was after the German occupation and destruction in World War Two. This will ultimately lead to demoralization and capitulation before the aggressors` ultimatum.
Destroyed are big industrial complexes and companies in Kragujevac, Cacak, Nis, Pancevo, Novi Sad, Beograd, Kraljevo, Pristina, Valjevo, Vranje, Kosovska Mitrovica, Krusevac, Kula, Sremska Mitrovica and in dozens other towns and cities. The Yugoslav petrochemical industry has been totally destroyed (Pancevo and Novi Sad), as well as the largest factory of fertilizers (Pancevo), the only Yugoslav producer of passenger cars (`Zastava' -- JUGO), factory `Sloboda' from Cacak (vacuum cleaners, cookers, fridges). `Baric' (factory of colors and finishing coats), tobacco factory in Nis, pharmaceutical factory `Zdravlje' (Leskovac), wine factory `Metohija vino' (Suva Reka), brewery in Apatin, factory of agricultural machines `Lola -- Utva' (Pancevo), etc.
Their products have nothing in common with military -- except maybe under criteria set by NATO propaganda machine which will ultimately declare even air and water as legitimate targets -- claiming that they have right to contaminate them since there is no doubt that Yugoslav soldiers use them. It is quite obvious that the aggressor`s main goal was toprovoke economic and humanitarian catastrophe in the FR of Yugoslavia, and thereby also to brake the national spirit and resistance. This is corroborated by numerous examples of permanent bombing of certain industrial facilities even when it is quite clear that those facilities are already raised to the ground («Sloboda», «Krusik», «Zastava», nitrogen plant in Pancevo, etc. )
However, the aggressors NATO States are signatory parties to the two important international legal documents in this respect: UN Declaration on the right to development and Covenant on economic, social and cultural rights.
By destroying and damaging vital transport routes, the operation of road and railway transportation, as well as river navigation have become more difficult. At the same time, many transport routes from central Serbia to Montenegro, Kosovo and Metohija and Vojvodina were disrupted, as well as road and railway transport routes towards Europe, Middle East and some neighboring countries. Damaged are three railway stations, two tunnels, 17 other railway facilities, electrical grid system and railway tracks in 12 sectors.
Destruction of bridges along the Danube river through Yugoslavia, as the biggest European road navigation route, has disrupted since 1 April 1999 the international navigation on this river which is connecting the North and Black Sea, as well as the two biggest European river ports Rotterdam and Konstanca. Consequently, the Convention on the free navigation on the Danube river signed in Belgrade 1948, de facto has ceased to be in force. About 150 German, Austrian, Romanian, Bulgarian and Ukrainian vessels carrying over a half million tons of weight have been stuck on their route to one or anther direction.
Disruption of navigation on the Danube river, has caused enormous damage not only to the Yugoslav economy but also to the economies of the Danube riparian States which invested several hundred billion DM in the last 50 years in the infrastructure along this river.
In addition to bridges over the Danube River, the aggressor has also destroyed or damaged 64 road and railway bridges, some of which according to their architectual and construction designes have entered the world technical literature and encyclopedias. Motorways have been attacked more than 50 times. Several overpasses have been also destroyed or damaged while principle road Beograd-Nis have been seriously damaged on several places so that the main link between Europe and Middle East has been cut off.
The destruction of oil refineries, large chemical complexes, fuel depots, facilities of power and water supply systems, contributed to the further systematic destruction of economic resources of the country and resulted in humanitarian and ecological catastrophe.
Systematic bombing of the oil refinery in Novi Sad and petrochemical complex in Pancevo has endangered the lives and health of over a million and a half of people. The black smoke and poisonous cloud (containing chlorine, chlorine oxide, ammonia, nitrogen oxide, oil and deviate burning by-products and secondary and uncontrolled chemical reactions) was two kilometers wide and five kilometers high after one of the most fierce bombing of Novi Sad oil refinery. In Pancevo, following one of several hours long bombing of the oil facilities and depots, the measured concentration of vinyl chloride monomer was 7 200 times higher than ever recorded in the world.
The bombing of large chemical complexes, oil refineries and other similar facilities has caused uncontrolled spreading and evaporation of enormous quantities of highly toxic substances. Great quantities of highly toxic carbon monoxide, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, cancer inflicting polycyclic aromatic carbon hydrogen and sooth were released due to insufficient combustion of liquid fuel. At the same time, a lot of poisons were also released: chlorine, ammonia, cancer inflicting benzene and vinyl chloride and their concentration was at some instances a thousand times above the permitted level.
These released gasses and large oil slicks reaching already the Black Sea have seriouslyendangered also the Yugoslav neighbors. Large segments of depleted ozon layer have been noticed above the central Europe as a result of an environmental disaster caused by NATO bombings.
On the eve of the aggression on the FR of Yugoslavia, a warning have been sent from Belgrade to UNESCO, International association of historical museums in Paris and to other similar institutions in Europe and in the world, that in the case of an attack, great number of cultural and historical monuments and other objects of art will be endangered. The appeal was not accorded an expected attention, and even today after two and a half months of 24 hours bombing campaign there is no reaction to the violation of international conventions which envisage in particular the exclusive protection of all museums, archives, libraries and cultural and historic monuments.
The aggressors' missiles continue to target famous Serbian medieval monasteries and churches, old city cores, archeological localities, historical archives, museums, libraries, galleries, art collections, valuable architectural buildings, bridges -- Although in the meantime all possible measures have been taken to protect and dislocate a part of this wealth -- it is quite clear that this priceless treasure of Serbian and European heritage in this territory could be protected only by immediate cessation of the aggression.
Thus far over 50 monasteries and churches, 36 monuments and archeological sites, 30 city cores and urban wholes, over 60 archeologically valuable structures and the same number of rare examples of populace building structures have been destroyed or seriously damaged. Particularly endangered are the most representative monuments of Serbian cultural and historical heritage in Kosovo and Metohija, where over 1300 churches and sacral structures are located -- the areas of the greatest concentration of Serbian medieval monuments of culture of inestimable value including the buildings under the UNESCO protection. Those are the masterpieces of Serbian and Byzantine (and thus European) art of 13th and 14th centuries -- monasteries Gracanica and Decani, Pec Patriarchate, cathedral of Virgin Ljeviska, and dozens and dozens of others.
Damaged are also the Orthodox places of worship in other parts of Serbia -- monasteries Rakovica, St Archangel Gavrilo in Zemun and St. Virgin Mary and St. Nikola in Kursumlija, the church of St Apostol Petar and Pavle in Topcider, Russian Orthodox Church and St Marko church in Belgrade, monasteries Zica and Nova Pavlica near Kraljevo, monastery Kovilj, monasteries on Mt Fruska Gora Sisatovac and Vrdnik near Novi Sad and many others. NATO warplanes also endangered the medieval monasteries Sopocani and Studenica, which are on the UNCESCO list of world cultural heritage.
The aggressors also attack Muslim and Catholic heritage in Kosovo and Metohija which has been protected by Serbia thus far. The list of seriously damaged monuments includes Bajrakli mosque in Pec, Imperial mosque in Pristina, Catholic church St Antun in Djakovica, Sinan-pasha mosque and Turkish bath in Prizren, Hajdum mosque in Djakovica, old city cores in Prizren, Pec and Pristina, Vojnovica bridge in Vucitrn, Terazije bridge in Djakovica.
Significant damages were inflicted on museums, libraries and archives (in Leskovac, Novi Sad, Cuprija, Nis and Belgrade), structures of popular heritage and great number of buildings of traditional urban architecture (Kragujevac, Novi Sad, Beograd, Sirogojno, Zemun and many other towns in Kosovo and Metohija and all-over Serbia), cultural centers and theatres (Beograd), memorial complexes (Krusevac, Nis, Kopaonik, Loznica, Kragujevac, Novi Sad, Beograd, Uzice).
Not only civilians are the victims of NATO aggression but also many national cultural values and monuments created on the soil of Yugoslavia by previous generations that were incorporating them through centuries into European and world heritage. Although UNESCO has not raised strongly its voice against this crime, it must not remain unprocessed by the world public and intellectual circles.
Over 330 pre-school institutions, schools and university buildings in Serbia have been attacked during two months of NATO aggression. In this way the provisions of international law which explicitly prohibit military attacks on indiscriminate targets have been violated, as well as the provisions of international conventions which prohibits the destruction of facilities of vital importance for the survival of civilian population.
The youngest population has been endangered since it has been deprived to exercise one of the basic human rights -- right to education guaranteed by the International Convention on Rights of the Child, whose architects and first signatories were precisely the aggressor countries of NATO alliance. By attacking educational institutions, the fundamental principles of this convention have been violated, although it was adopted with the aim to ensure happy childhood and upbringing in safety to each child in the world. These are also the foundations of yet another document, which were solemnly signed also by NATO member States -- The International declaration on the survival, protection and development of children.
As a result of these indiscriminate targeting of NATO warplanes, many educational institutions were damaged or endangered (pre-school institutions, elementary and secondary schools, faculties and student dormitories). The great damages have been recorded in the area of Belgrade, Nis, Leskovac and Novi Sad. Most severely damaged are also the faculties of the Belgrade, Nis and Novi Sad University centers.
On the very first day of the aggression on the FR of Yugoslavia, the students of the elementary school «Vladimir Rolovic», in the municipality of Rakovica, were targeted when one missile fell in the vicinity of the gymnasium where 20 children had their class. NATO aircraft on Rakovica caused serious damages on three kindergartens, three elementary schools and one secondary machine engineering school. In Novi Beograd, one elementary and one music school were damaged and cannot be used for education any more. In Zemun damages were inflicted on three elementary schools, grammar school, music school and kindergarten. In Nis, the University President Office Building was seriously damaged, as well as the building of the Machine Engineering Faculty, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Electotechnical Faculty, which became unusable for further education. In subsequent attacks the buildings of Faculties of Law and Economics, as well as several secondary schools also sustained damages.
In the frequent missile attacks on Novi Sad and by destruction of old Varadin bridge, several cultural and educational institutions were damaged: five elementary schools, one kindergarten, a school for mentally handicapped children, Faculty of Philosophy and University library. In the attack on the housing complex of Cuprija, damaged were the buildings of elementary school, grammar school, kindergarten and secondary medical school. In Kragujevac severly damaged were two elementary schools and secondary school center for machine engineering and transport.
Those are only a few examples, which illustrate the scope and intensity of the attacks of NATO warplanes on school buildings all around the FR of Yugoslavia so that regular educational process had to be ended. The doors of kindergartens, schools, grammar schools and faculties were closed so that pupils and students have not been put at risk of bombing.
NATO has deprived children and young people of their right to education as one of the greatest achievements of the civilization.
Three patients lost their lives while several dozens other patients and medical staff sustained severe or light injuries on 20 May 1999 when a few missiles hit the Clinical Center «Dr Dragisa Misovic» in Belgrade. A great part of the building of the Clinic for Neurology was destroyed or burned down. Among other buildings of the Clinical Center most severely damaged was the Maternity Hospital and its operating theatre and Clinic for Urology. Fortunately, two dozens newly born babies were taken away as a precaution to the cellar so that greater tragedy was avoided. On 31 May 1999 twenty patients lost their lives in NATObombing of sanatorium and Home for the aged in Surdulica.
This is only one among many crimes committed every day by NATO aggressors against innocent civilians -- patients and members of medical staff in hospitals and other medical institutions. This is also a striking example of the violation of international law -- this time not only of relevant Geneva conventions on the protection of civilians in war and armed conflicts but also of common law which has always stigmatized the attacks on hospitals and medical staff.
During the two and a half months of its aggression, NATO has committed over 30 serious criminal acts (war crimes against the sick and the wounded), by bombing civilian medical institutions all around Serbia. The following buildings are also on the list of destroyed or seriously damaged medical institutions, which were distinctly marked by a red cross:
- The building of emergency medical center in Aleksinac and in Belgrade;
- Health centers in Leskovac, Kula, Pristina, Klis near Novi Sad, Medjurecje near Ivanjjica, Belgrade suburb Rakovica, Prizren, Suva Reka, Novi Beograd, the village of Druzetici near Koceljevo and in Nis;
- Clinical centers and hospitals in Novi Sad, Nis, (City hospital and Clinical center), in Belgrade (Clinical Center «Dr Dragisa Misovic», Clinical and Emergency Center, Hospital for the treatment of cardio vascular diseases «Sveti Sava», City hospital in Zvezdara, Orthopedic hospital in Banjica, Children Hospital for the treatment of lung diseases and tuberculosis, Institute for neurology and nephrology), in Valjevo (Medical Center «Misa Pantic»), in Pancevo, Sanatorium in Surdulica.
The Military Medical Academy in Belgrade, the biggest hospital in the Balkans where civilians are also treated was damaged as well. Sixteen patients were seriously injured as a consequence of the near-by explosions, while thousands were in the state of shock which worsened more or less their health condition or caused psycho-somatic disorders. NATO warplanes also targeted one specialized educational institution -- secondary medical school in Cuprija.
Other less visible consequences of the living under bombs, especially for the sick people, children and the elderly should not be neglected either. This is a sense of insecurity and fear caused by the mere sounds of alarms and the explosions of the bombs in particular.
During the last two and a half months of the aggression, air raid alarms were activated over 280 times in Belgrade itself. This fact can partially illustrate the life of the people in the Yugoslav capital and in other cities and towns as well, which are targeted continuously 24 hours by the aggressors' warplanes, each day and night even during the weekends, Eastern and during other holidays.
Whether to go to a shelter or to risk to become a new number in a long list of tragic «collateral damages» of NATO planners and pilots -- is still for more people the everyday dilemma which only aggravates their state of permanent stress with all its ensuing consequences on their physical and mental health.
Three million children in the FR of Yugoslavia have been living for already two and a half months under such conditions. Their schools and playgrounds are closed since several school buildings were bombed at the very onset of the aggression. One children theatre in the center of Belgrade was destroyed. Few cinema theatres are still open. Since major TV stations was bombed they have reduced their programs by giving priority to war news. Consequently, now that there are few programs for children or cartoons on radio and TV.
The fear will remain and its consequences will be felt for many years: children born under air-raid alarms and bombings, children-patients in the bombed hospitals. And a growing number of children are becoming ever more frequently the victims of NATO warplanes. Hundreds and hundreds of children were killed under various circumstances: while they weresleeping or playing, in improvised shelters, in the columns of ethnic Albanian refugees who were returning to their homes, in the burnt trains and in busses (Grdelica, Luzani, on Pec-Rozaje road), in houses of their parents, in the market places, in sanatoriums -- Nineteen children were killed near Djakovica, twelve in Surdulica, nine in Kursumlija, seven in Srbica, and five near Urosevac.
The latest weapon of the aggression is now -- the black out. Special fibers are damaging power grid systems, while convential bombs are destroying power plants, which could be rebuilt or repaired only in many years. This is a new invention aimed at breaking down the spirit of the nation bringing again into a difficult position the most vulnerable segments of the population -- children, the elderly, the sick and handicapped persons.
One can hardly imagine a more difficult situation than to be paralyzed or a seriously ill patient into a hospital cut of electricity and targeted by NATO warplanes, or to be a doctor in such conditions when incubators with newly-born babies or live supporting apparatus stop working due to the power failure, and operations are to be finished under the lights of candles.
NATO aggression has caused serious difficulties and sufferings to the invalids and persons with muscular dystrophy who cannot move without the assistance of other persons. In Belgrade alone there are about 160 thousand disabled persons who cannot go to the shelters because of the elevators that are inoperational during the air-raids. The access area to underground shelters are not frequently designed for this category of population, while the cold and humidity of the air in these shelters can harm the respiratory organs, which could be fatal for the people suffering from muscular dystrophy. Without medicines (the shortage of which is ever more serious due to the import difficulties), under stress and fear, without regular sleep due to disrupted rhythm of day and night, -- those who suffer from epilepsy (about 60 000 persons) are particularly endangered, as well as the persons who have cardio vascular problems, or suffer from high pressure, lung diseases, asthma including mental patients.
Power failure caused by the bombing of power plants turn off the reflectors in operating theaters as well as life support apparatus in intensive care wards. The shortage of oil caused by the destruction of oil refineries makes inoperational boiler rooms and water heating facilities. The shortage of medicines due to the imposed economic sanctions aggravates the already difficult health situation in the country. These sufferings are affecting millions of people irrespective of their nationality and religious or political orientation. At the same time this is a morally disastrous result of the aggression committed against a sovereign, Independent State under the pretext to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in a part of its territory.
Concurrently with the humanitarian, NATO strikes have caused an environmental catastrophe which is endangering not only the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia, but also the neighbouring countries and the entire European continent. Ecology does not recognize boundaries.
The NATO aggressor is thus teetering on the brink of another Chernobyl in the heart of Europe. The destruction of petrochemical installations, the warehouses storing semi-processed and finished products of the chemical industry have already caused significant adverse effects on the health of the population of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the neighbouring countries. During some of the air strikes it was pure luck that an environmental catastrophe was not provoked spreading all over Europe. The aggressor's attacks did not spare even huge forests, tourist centres and the national parks on the mountains of Serbia (Kopaonik, Zlatibor, Divcibare, Tara, Prokletije, Sara, Fruska Gora). The ozone layer was depleted by the exhaust gases. The Black Sea, Aegean and the Adriatic basins, practically the entire Mediterranean, are threatened by environmental pollution.
Examples: Nitrogen factory in Pancevo, the oil refineries in Pancevo and Novi Sad, the chemical company «Prva iskra» in Baric and others.
The aggressors' bombings, calculated to provoke the greatest possible confusion and panic among innocent people, have damaged many clinical and hospital centres, inflicting not only great material damage to property (destruction of buildings and expensive medical equipment), but also causing new health problems and intensifying psychological traumas among the sick people. The destruction of all the three bridges in Novi Sad totally cut off and eft, without the supply of water, the largest Yugoslav centre for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, to which several million people gravitate. The Maternity Hospital in Belgrade, and the biggest hospital in the Balkans (Military Medical Academy Hospital VMA), and the Orthopaedic hospital of Banjica, the hospitals in Cuprija and Aleksinac, as well as the medical centres in Pristina and in many other towns were damaged.
Since the outset of the aggression, NATO has put a stop to the education of close to one million pupils and students in Yugoslavia.
Over three hundred facilities built for the education and upbringing of children and young people of all ages were destroyed.
This will inevitably be reflected on the development and social integration of young people. Hard hit are university centre in Nis (Machine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electronical, Technical, Law and Economics faculties), in Pristina (Agricultural and Machine Engineering faculty) and Novi Sad (Faculty of Philosophy).
Kosovo and Metohija in particular, but also the entire territory of the FR of Yugoslavia, is a treasury of European culture and civilization since ancient times. By violating all international conventions on the protection of civilization and its heritage, and in the pursuit of the spirit of aggressive nihilism and new barbarity, more than 50 monasteries and churches have been severely damaged thus far, as well as a couple of dozen of other cultural and historic monuments, some under UNESCO protection. Severe damage was caused to the monastery of the Patriarchate of Pec (12th century), Zica (13th century), Decani and Gracanica (14th century, under UNSECO protection), medieval towns of Zvecan (13th century) and Smederevo (15th century), Petrovaradin fortress (18th century), seventeen monasteries on Fruska Gora (15-18th century) and many other priceless historical monuments. The bombs have even destroyed many cemeteries all across Yugoslavia.
In NATO attacks, the state-of-the-art weapons have been used, but also those prohibited under international conventions, such as cluster bombs and slow activating bombs. In a month-long attacks on civilian and other facilities in Serbia, NATO aircraft fired more than 3,500 missiles, bombs. As many as 3,600 cluster bombs were used in the attacks against towns in Kosmet -- Pristina, Urosevac, Djakovica, Prizren etc, and many other places and facilities in Serbia. Before the attacks, radio locators were dropped from the aircraft, found in the vicinity of many civilian and business facilities in Serbia.
While before the onset of the aggression Albanian terrorists counted on NATO aircraft as air support to their armed groups, now arming, equipping and transport of Albanians living in the USA and other western countries is under way, for actions in the FRY, with a view to making armed formations from them to serve as ground troops of the «Alliance». Albanian terrorists are being trained and armed in the camps in northern Albania -- in Tropoje, Kukes and Bajram Curri (they are trained by British, US and Turkish commandos), and then illegally infiltrated into Kosovo and Metohija. Such activity, in direct violation of the resolutions of Security Council, has been particularly stepped up in April when concrete plans for groundinvasion against the FRY started to be hatched. So far, several hundred terrorists have been transported from the USA to Albania.
Plans are made to equip, arm and train for coordinated actions with NATO, around 6,000 Albanians. According to western sources, Albanian terrorists represent the main source of intelligence for NATO, of military character or those aimed at spreading propaganda against our country.
At the moment it is difficult to perceive and evaluate all the humanitarian, economic, environmental, health and other consequences of the NATO criminal aggression against the FR of Yugoslavia. The greatest victim of the aggression is the entire Yugoslav people and its material and cultural resources. At the same time, the violation of the Charter of the United Nations, the NATO has created a precedent which may a cast a shadow over the future of all peoples and sovereign States. The cause for concern is all the grater because, by combining pressure and promises, NATO is drawing an increasing number of countries into its aggression against the FR of Yugoslavia, which will have long-term negative consequences on the future relations and co-operation between all Southeast European countries. Attempts by NATO to justify its brutal aggression by an alleged care for the refugees may bring about an irreversible degradation of the United Nations and involve this highest international forum in the crime against a country which is one of its founding members.
OVERVIEW OF DESTRUCTION OF CIVILIAN TARGETS ON THE TERRITORY OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA AS A RESULT OF BARBARIC AND CRIMINAL AGGRESSION BY NATO, FROM 24 MARCH TO 19 APRIL 1999
About 500 civilians were killed and more than 4,000 sustained serious injuries e. g. :in Kursumlija: 13 dead and 25 wounded; in Pancevo: 2 dead and 4 wounded; in Cacak: one dead and 7 wounded; in Kragujevac: over 120 workers were wounded during an attack on the car factory «Zastava»; in Vranje: two dead and 23 wounded; in Aleksinac: 12 dead and more than 40 wounded; in Nagavac village, Orahovac municipality: 11 dead and 5 wounded; in Pristina: 10 dead and 8 wounded; Grdelicka gorge: 55 killed and 16 wounded; attack on two refugee columns, with four cruise missiles, on the Djakovica-Prizren road: 75 killed and 100 wounded, of whom 26 critically; in the village of Srbica: 10 killed, among whom 7 children; Belgrade suburb of Batajnica: a three year old girl was killed,and five civilians wounded.
Three million children are endangered in our country as a result of war and bombardment by NATO criminals.
After these barbarian attacks hundreds of thousands citizens have been exposed to poisonous gasses which can have a lasting consequences on the health of the entire population and the environment. After the demolition of the Petrovaradin bridge, Novi Sad and Petrovaradin were cut of water supply (600 000 citizens) since the main and city pipeline was constructed into the bridge. About one million citizens in our country are short of water supply due to the bombardment of NATO aggressors.
About 500,000 workers became jobless due to the total destruction of industrial facilities all around the country. Two million citizens have no means for living and cannot ensure the minimum for existence.
Overall material damage is enormous. Preliminary estimates indicate that barbaric air strikes of the neo-fascist NATO alliance, since the beginning of the unprovoked aggression onthe SR of Yugoslavia,on industrial, commercial and civil facilities and structures throughout our peace-loving country, have incurred damages in excess of 10 billion dollars. In the territory of the northern province of Vojvodine alone, damages have been estimated in excess of 3,5 billion dollars.
The road and railway networks, especially road and rail bridges, most of which were destroyed or damaged beyond repair, suffered extensive destruction. The targets of attacks were such communications as:
1. The Varadin Bridge over the Danube was destroyed (on 1 April 1999); 2. The «Sloboda» (Freedom) Bridge over the Danube was destroyed (on 4 April 1999); 3. The «Mladosti» (Youth) Bridge over the Danube, connecting Backa Palanka with Ilok, was damaged (on 4 April 1999); 4. The new railway bridge over the Danube connecting Bogojevo and Erdut was damaged (on 5 April 1999); 5. The road bridge over the Danube, connecting Bogojevo with Erdut was damaged (on 5 April 1999); 6. The bridge over the Danube along the Beograd-Novi Sad road, near Beska, Indjija municipality, was damaged (on 1 April 1999); 7. The road bridge along the Magura Belacevac road, 15 kilometres from Pristina, suffered extensive damage; 8. The «Zezeljov» Bridge in Novi Sad was damaged (on 5 April 1999); 9. The bridge over the Ibar river, Biljanovac municipality, was damaged (on 5 -- 13 April 1999); 10. The bridge over the Vrbacka river near Jezgrovic was destroyed (on 5 April 1999); 11. The «Lozno» railway bridge near Usce was destroyed (on 5 April 1999); 12. The road bridge on the road leading to Brvenik, near Usce, was destroyed (on 5 April 1999); 13. The bridge along the Nis-Pristina primary road, near Kursumlija, suffered extensive damage (on 5 April 1999); 14. The bridge near Zubin Potok was destroyed (on 5 April 1999); 15. The Grdelica gorge railway bridge was damaged (on 12 April 1999); 16. The road bridge over the Kosanica river near Kursumlija was damaged (on 13 April 1999); 17. The old bridge on the river Rasina in the town of Krusevac (12-13 April 1999); 18. The Krusevac-Pojate bridge on the river Zapadna Morava, at the village of Jasika, was destroyed (on 13 April 1999); 19. The railway bridge on the river Lim, between Priboj and Prijepolje, near hydroelectric power station Bistrica was destroyed(on 15 April 1999); 20. The road bridge on the river Toplica, on the Nis-Pristina road near the town of Kursumlija, was heavily damaged (14 and 19 April 1999); 21. The bridge on the river Ibar, at the village of Biljanovac near Raska, sustained heavy damages (15. 04. 1999. ); 22. The bridge between Smederevo and Kovin has been destroyed (16 April 1999); 23. The railway bridge on the river Kostajnica, near Kursumlija, has sustained heavy damages and is out of service (18. 04. 1999. ); 24. The bridge on the river Kosanica, at the village of Selo Visoko,has sustained heavy damages and is out of service (18. 04. 1999. );
1. The Kraljevo -- Kosovo Polje rail, near Ibarska Slatina; 2. The Belgrade -- Bar rail, due to the destruction of the railway track near the village of Strbce and destruction of the bridge on the river Lim, between Priboj and Prijepolje; 3. The Kursumlija -- Prokuplje rail, near Pepeljevac village; 4. The Kraljevo -- Kosovo Polje rail, near Ibarska Slatina; 5. The Nis -- Pristina rail, near Kursumlija; 6. «Sarpelj» tunnel, near Jerinje village, 15 km north of Leposavic towards Raska, was destroyed; 7. Railway station in Kraljevo (Bogutovac); 8. Railway station in Kosovo Polje; 9. The Belgrade -- Thessaloniki rail, due to the destruction of the bridge in the Grdelica gorge; 10. Railway station in the town of Biljanovac; 11. Railway track and overpass (Josinacka Banja) near the town of Biljanovac; 12. Railway track Kursumlija -- Podujevo, due to damages on the railway bridge at Kursumlija;
1. Ibarska primary road, due to damages to the bridge on the Ibar river, Biljanovac municipality, and destruction of the road between Pozega and Cacak; 2. Belgrade-Zagrebhighway, near Stari Banovci; 3. Traffic suspended on the Kosovska Mitrovica-Ribarici section of the Adriatic highway due to the destruction of the bridge over the Vrbacka river; 4. «Jedinstvo» bus station in Vranje sustained extensive damage; 5. «Kosmet Prevoz» transporter in Gnjilane (a hangar full of new buses); 6. Kraljevo-Raska primary road; 7. Bus station in Pristina; 8. Traffic has been suspended on the Krusevac-Pojate road due to the destruction of the bridge on the Zapadna Morava, in the village of Jasika; 9. Traffic has been suspended on the Nis-Pristina road, due to the fact that the bridge on the river Toplica, near the town of Kursumlija, has sustained heavy damage;
«Slatina» in Pristina; «Batajnica» and «Surcin» in Belgrade; Nis airport; «Ponikve» in Uzice; «Golubovac» in Podgorica, «Ladjevci» airport near Kraljevo; agricultural and sports airfield in Sombor.
The air strikes have so far destroyed or damaged all over the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia several thousand economic facilities and dwellings. In the Leskovac region alone, over 3,500 industrial facilities and dwellings were either destroyed or damaged.
The devastation of NATO forces was particularly manifest in Pristina, Novi Sad, Aleksinac, Djakovica, Prokuplje, Gracanica, Cuprija, etc. Housing blocks on the outskirts of Belgrade -- Kijevo Knecevac, Batajnica, Jakovo, Borca, as well as the area around Pancevo, were under attack.
The NATO aggressor's attacks targeted the factories and industrial facilities which directly cater for the needs of the population, among which are:
1. «Lola Utva» agricultural aircraft factory in Pancevo; 2. «Galenika» drug factory in Belgrade; 3. «Zdravlje» pharmaceutical plant in Leskovac; 4. «Sloboda» white goods factory in Cacak; 5. «Din» tobacco industry in Nis; 6. «Elektronska industrija» factory in Nis; 7. «Div» cigarette factory in Vranje; 8. Tubes factory in Urosevac; 9. «Jastrebac» machine industry in Nis; 10. «Milan Blagojevic» chemical plant in Lucani; 11. Plastics factory in Pristina; 12. «Binacka Morava» hydro construction company in Gnjilane; 13. «Nova Jugoslavija» printers in Vranje; 14. Facilities of the «Beograd» rail company in Nis; 15. Over 250 commercial and crafts shops in Djakovica were destroyed; 16. «Dijana» shoe factory in Sremska Mitrovica; 17. «Zastava» car factory in Kragujevac; 18. «14 Oktobar» machine factory in Krusevac; 19. Cotton yarn factory in PriStina; 20. «Krusik» holding corporation in Valjevo; 21. «Ciklonizacija» in Novi Sad; 22. «Tehnogas» in Novi Sad; 23. «Novograp» in Novi Sad; 24. «Gumins» in Novi Sad; 25. «Albus» in Novi Sad; 26. «Petar Drapsin» in Novi Sad; 27. «Motins» in Novi Sad; 28. «Izolacija» in Novi Sad; 29. «Novokabel» in Novi Sad; 30. «Istra» fittings factory in Kula; 31. The port of Bogojevo; 32. Industrial complex «Dvadeset Prvi Maj» in Rakovica; 33. Machine building plant «Industrija Motora Rakovica» in Rakovica; 34. Factory «Jugostroj» in Pancevo; 35. Factory «Frigostroj» in Pancevo; 36. Surface coal mine «Belacevac»;
Refineries and warehouses storing liquid raw materials and chemicals intended for the oil and chemical industry, were hit in Pancevo, Novi Sad, Sombor and elsewhere, causing large contamination of soil and the air: 1. Fuel storage in Lipovica, which caused a great fire in the 2. Oil Refinery in Pancevo -- totally demolished (4-16 April 1999); 3. «Jugopetrol» installations in Smederevo (on 4-13 April 1999); 4. «Jugopetrol» storage in Sombor (on 7 April 1999); 5. «Beopetrol» storages in Belgrade and Bogutovac (on 4 April 1999); 6. «Beopetrol» fuel storage in Pristina (on 7 April 1999); 7. Fuel storage of the boiler plant in Novi Beograd (on 4 April 1999); 8. Thermo electric power station/boiler plant in Novi Sad (on 5 April1999); 9. Oil Refinery in Novi Sad, storage of bitumen (5 and 6 April 1999); 10. Fuel storage «Naftagas promet» which is located 10 km from Sombor(5 April 1999); 11. Naftagaswarehouse between Conoplje and Kljaicevo (Sombor); 12. Jugopetrol warehouse in Pristina (on 12 April 1999); 13. Jugopetrol petrol station in Pristina ( on 13 April 1999); 14. Petrochemical industry «DP HIP PETROHEMIJA» in Pancevo totally demolished (14-15 April 1999); 15. Fertilizer plant «DP HIP AZOTARA» in Pancevo -- totally destroyed (14-15 April 1999); 16. Chemical plant «Prva Iskra» in Baric -- destruction of the production line (19 April 1999);
1. PIK «Kopaonik» in Kursumlija;
2. PIK «Mladost» in Gnjilane;
3. Agricultural Complex «Malizgan» in Dolac;
4. Agricultural Complex «Djuro Strugar» in Kula;
5. In forest fires caused by NATO cruise missiles and bombs over 250 hectares of forests have been burned down;
6. Several thousand hectares of fertile land, many rivers, lakes and underground waters have been polluted due to the spillage of petrochemical substances, oil spills and slicks;
NATO aviation also targeted many hospitals and health-care institutions, which have been partially damaged or totally destroyed, including:
Hospital and Medical Centre in the territory in Leskovac; Hospital and Poly-clinic in Nis; Gerontological Centre in Leskovac; General Hospital in Djakovica; City Hospital in Novi Sad; Gynaecological Hospital and Maternity Ward of the Clinical Centre in Belgrade; Neuropsychiatric Ward «Dr. Laza Lazarevic» and Central Pharmacy of the Emergency Centre in Belgrade; Army Medical Academy in Belgrade; Medical Centre and Ambulance Centre in Aleksinac; «Sveti Sava» hospital in Belgrade; Medical Centre in Kraljevo; Dispensary on Mount Zlatibor; Health Care Centre in Rakovica;
Over 190 schools, faculties and facilities for students and children were damaged or destroyed (over 20 faculties, 6 collages, 40 secondary and 80 elementary schools, 6 student dormitories), including:
Elementary schools «16. oktobar» and «Vladimir Rolovic» in Belgrade; Day-care centre in settlement Petlovo Brdo in Belgrade; Two secondary schools in the territory of Nis; Elementary schools «Toza Markovic», «Djordje Natosevic», «Veljko Vlahovic», «Sangaj» and «Djuro Danicic» and a day-care centre «Duga» in Novi Sad and creches in Visarionova Street and in the neighbourhood of Sangaj; Traffic School Centre, Faculty of Philosophy; Four elementary schools and a Medical high school in the territory of Leskovac; Elementary school in Lucane, as well as a larger number of educationfacilities in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija; Faculties of Law and Economics and elementary school «Radoje Domanovic» in Nis; Elementary schools in Kraljevo and the villages of Cvetka, Aketa and Ladjevci; In Sombor: elementary schools «Ivo Lola Ribar», «A. Mrazovic», «N. Vukicevic» and «Nikola Tesla» in Kljajicevo; school centre in Kula; Elementary school and Engineering secondary school centre in Rakovica;
Severe damage to the facilities of the Republican and Federal Ministry of the Interior in Belgrade (3 April 1999), Damage to the building of the Institute for Security of the Ministry of the Interior in Banjica (3 April 1999); Severe damage to the TV RTS studio in Pristina; Heavy damage to Hydro-Meteorological Station (Bukulja, near Arandjelovac); Post Office in Pristina destroyed (7 April 1999); Refugee centre in Pristina destroyed (7 April 1999); «Tornik» ski resort on Mount Zlatibor (on 8 April 1999); Divcibare» mountain resort (on 11 April 1999); «Baciste» Hotel on Mount Kopaonik (on 12 April 1999); City power plant in the town of Krusevac (12-13 April 1999); Meteorological Station on Mount Kopaonik damaged (on 13 April 1999); Four libraries in Rakovica sustained heavy damage: «Radoje Dakic», «Isidora Sekulic», «Milos Crnjanski» and «Dusan Matic»; Refugee camp «7 juli» in Paracin has sustainedheavy damage; Office building of the Provincial Executive Council of Vojvodina, Novi Sad; Several thousand housing facilities damaged or destroyed, privatelyor State owned, across Yugoslavia -- most striking examples being housing blocks in downtown Aleksinac and those near Post Office in Pristina.
Electrical Power Supply in Batajnica (26 March 1999); Damage to water supply system in Zemun (5 April 1999); Damage to a power station in Bogutovac (10 April 1999); Telephone lines cut off in Bogutovac (10 April 1999); Damage to a power station in Pristina (12 April 1999); Damage to Bistrica hydroelectric power station in Polinje (13 April 1999);
1. Jastrebac (Prokuplje)
2. Gucevo (Loznica)
3. Cot (Fruska Gora)
4. Grmija (Pristina)
5. Bogutovac (Pristina)
6. TV transmitter on Mt Goles (Pristina)
7. Mokra Gora (Pristina)
8. Kutlovac (Stari Trg)
9. «Cigota» (Uzice)
10. «Tornik» (Uzice)
11. Transmitter on Crni Vrh (Jagodina)
12. Satellite station (in Prilike near Ivanjica)
13. TV masts and transmitters (Novi Sad)
14. TV transmitter on Mt Ovcara (Cacak)
15. TV transmitter in Kijevo (Belgrade)
16. TV transmitter on Mt Cer
17. Communications relay on Mt Jagodnji (Krupanj)
CULTURAL-HISTORICAL MONUMENTS AND RELIGIOUS SHRINES MEDIEVAL MONASTERIES AND RELIGIOUS SHRINES (16):
1. Monastery Gracanica from 14th century (24 March -- 6 April 1999);
2. Monastery Rakovica from 17th century (29 March 1999);
3. Patriarchate of Pec (1 April 1999);
4. Church in Jelasnica near Surdulica (4 April 1999);
5. Monastery of the Church of St. Juraj (built in 1714) in Petrovaradin (1 April 1999);
6. Monastery of Holy Mother (12th century) at the estuary of the Kosanica in the Toplica -- territory of municipality of Kursumlija (4 April 1999);
7. Monastery of St. Nicholas (12th century) in the territory of the municipality of Kursumlija (4 April 1999);
8. Monastery of St. Archangel Gabriel in Zemun (5 April 1999);
9. Roman Catholic Church St. Antonio in Djakovica (29 March 1999);
10. Orthodox cemetery in Gnjilane (30 March 1999);
11. Monuments destroyed in Bogutovac (8 April 1999);
12. «Kadinjaca» memorial complex (8 April 1999);
13. Vojlovica monastery near Pancevo (12 April 1999);
14. Hopovo monastery, iconostasis damaged (12 April 1999);
15. Orthodox Christian cemetery in Pristina (12 April 1999);
16. Monastery church St, Archangel Michael in Rakovica (16 April 1999);
1. Severe damage to the roof structure of the Fortress of Petrovaradin (1 April 1999);
2. Heavy damage to «Tabacki bridge», four centuries old, in Djakovica(5 April 1999);
3. Substantial damage to the building in Stara Carsija (Old street) in Djakovica (5 April1999);
4. Destroyed archives housed in one of the Government buildings in Belgrade (3 April 1999);
5. Memorial complex in Gucevo (Loznica);
6. Memorial complex «Sumarice» in Kragujevac;
7. Vojvodina Museum in Novi Sad;
8. Old Military Barracks in Kragujevac -- under the protection of the state
NATO aggression will be also remembered, inter alias, for the cruelty manifested against the structures, which were not selected as bombing targets in the past wars. Those were primarily the diplomatic agents and the buildings of foreign diplomatic and consular missions (whose lives and inviolability are guaranteed by common law and 1960 Vienna Conventions), as well as media outlets, which have not been considered as `legitimate military targets' thus far.
Direct missile attack on the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade and explanations coming in this respect from Brussels and Washington relieved the true nature of this `clean' war waged for over two and a half months by NATO against civilian population of Yugoslavia under the pretext of the `prevention of humanitarian catastrophe' in Kosovo and Metohija. The aggressor has expressed to the Chinese Government only its `regrets' for the loss of human lives and damage caused by `mistake' of the NATO headquarters concerning the nature of the building, which was hit. It has not admitted its guilt. At the same time the efforts of Beijing and other countries aimed at adoption a resolution in the United Nations Security Council that would condemn or at least voice the concern of the World Organization for such a crime were hampered.
Very shortly damages were inflicted on the buildings of other foreign diplomatic missions: Greek Consulate in Nis and Ambassadors' residences and Embassies of numerous countries: Sweden, India, Pakistan, Denmark, Libya, Switzerland, Iraq, Israel, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Angola -- Asked to comment these incidents, one representative from Washington shortly replied that diplomats in Belgrade were well aware how dangerous place Yugoslavia was these days.
As this aggression represents the gross violation of the norms of international law on the ban of use of force and the endangering of the sovereignty of other States, likewise the attacks on foreign missions are considered as a serious threat to peace and security in the world. In this respect, the United Nations have adopted a special Convention on the prevention and punishment of crimes against persons under international protection which entered into force in 1977 and was also singed by the USA and their allies in the aggression on the FR of Yugoslavia.
In the aggression which does not recognize and admit any difference between military and civilian targets -- the attacks on foreign diplomatic missions in the FR of Yugoslavia may only look like one more bizarre episode in the series of crimes committed against civilians every day. But there is no doubt that they have far reaching consequences, which has become immediately evident according to the reactions of China and other States affected by the attacks. The decision of Italy to return its Ambassador to Belgrade has in this context its own meaning.
The attack of NATO warplanes on the building of the TV of Serbia at the moment when the regular program was broadcasted -- will be probably recorded in all serious histories on journalism and media. Sixteen killed and 19 seriously injured journalists and members of technical staff are the first victims of this new form of State terrorism started to be practiced for the first time in the FR of Yugoslavia by the USA and their NATO allies.
Again, this was not a Acollateral damage@. The national TV station was bombed intentionally since the aggressors proclaimed it as their legitimate target, since in short theywere not satisfied with the quality of its program and news. Is this the strengthening of democracy, or spreading of freedom of media? Or perhaps this is a more sophisticated form of censorship?
In the meantime a TV tower on Mt Avala, a landmark of Belgrade, was destroyed as well as dozens and dozens of TV transmitters all around the country. Within the undertaken actions to suppress one of the basic human rights -- the right to information, is also the latest decision to ban the broadcasting of the Yugoslav TV international program through the EUTELSAT satellite so that the truth about the consequences of NATO aggression could not be heard in the entire world.
Studios and broadcasting equipment of both State-run and private TV stations are also systematically destroyed, as well as the regional radio and TV centers outside the capital. On 29 May 1999, NATO fired missiles for the fifth time on the building of Radio and TV of Novi Sad, which was already deserted and demolished in previous attacks. Although murderers tend to return to the scene of their crime, this time the reason for the repeated attacks could be the NATO`s dissatisfaction with the fact that radio and TV programs continue to be broadcasted in Yugoslavia in spite of all difficulties and obstacles. It is like the phoenix rising from the ashes -- which can be taken literary in view of the devastation caused thus far.
Cluster bombs and slow activating bombs are most frequently used from NATO arsenal of weapons and ammunition prohibited by international conventions. Their systematic use against civilians and civilian structures has assumed alarming proportions during the recent days. Practically the entire territory of the country is under attack, but most fiercely actions are concentrated in the area of Kosovo and Metohija. Over three thousand cluster bombs have been dropped on Pristina alone, as well as on other towns in this region -- Urosevac, Djakovica and Prizren. In addition to residential complexes and several schools, NATO fired these prohibited ammunition on mines (Stari trg, Trepca), hotels (`Baciste' on Mt Kopaonik), religious places of warship (mosque in Suva Reka), industrial companies (Agricultural complex in Sjenica), hospitals and university centers (Nis).
Since the onset of NATO aggression, prohibited cluster bombs were used in 278 attacks on civilian targets although there is no doubt that the aggressor was quite aware of their civilian nature. Over 150 cluster containers, each containing 240 cluster bombs, were dropped on the civilian targets in Kosovo and Metohija and all over the FR of Yugoslavia.
It is easy to imagine the consequences of this vile use of prohibited weapons for mass destruction.
The number of civilians who lost their lives in these attacks reached 87, while over 130 sustained serious injuries. Among them there are children and women. For instance, in one attack with cluster bombs in the village of Doganovici, municipality of Kacanik, five children were killed and the eldest boy was 15 years of age.
In their numerous air strike NATO warplanes used also uranium-depleted ammunition with consequences not only for the victims themselves, but also for all those who may be exposed to the released radiation therefrom.
War is prohibited under international law. Only the defensive war is permitted, i.e. the right to self-defense in the case of an armed attack until the United Nations Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security (Article 51 of the UN Charter). Preparation and waging of a war (aggression) is considered a crime under international law.
In view of war actions, international law has established certain norms, which can be classified into four groups:
1. Restrictions with respect to persons involved -- a clear distinction is made betweensoldiers and civilians, i. e. indiscriminate, random killing and wounding of civilian population is prohibited.
2. Restrictions with respect to goals -- the attack on, bombing and destruction of, civilian structures and property are not permitted and are prohibited. It is also forbidden to attack with any weapon the following unprotected sites: places of warship (churches, monasteries, synagogues, mosques), buildings of art (museums, theatres, art collections), educational and scientific institutions (schools, universities, libraries), hospitals, cultural and historical monuments, particularly those under the protection of UNESCO as world heritage, etc.
3. Prohibited weapons, including the most sophisticated ones of mass destruction and those for the destruction of environment.
4. Restrictions referring to a warfare which is morally unacceptable, barbarian, mean and dishonest. This refers primarily to the killing and wounding of civilians, the sick people and particularly to the most vulnerable categories of population (children and the elderly) victims of an aggression.
The position of the civilian population is defined in detail by 1949 Geneva convention on the protection of citizens and 1977 Protocol thereto, including four Geneva Conventions on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts. According to the provisions of the mentioned international documents, it is forbidden to target civilians in attacks, or to undertake against them measures of collective punishment, reprisal or coercion, or to destroy their property. Special protection must be provided to the wounded, sick, old persons as well as to children and pregnant women.
In the first Supplement Protocol to the Geneva Convention it is forbidden to destroy facilities necessary for the survival of civilian population -- such as the food processing capacities, water and power supply systems.
Provoking starvation of population as a method of warfare is also strictly prohibited.
Under Article 15 of the Supplement Protocol to the Second Geneva Convention it is strictly prohibited to attack the buildings and installations, the destruction of which could have hazardous effects and cause damages to civilian population (dams, levees, power plants, chemical plants, oil refineries, etc).
The convention of 1980 is prohibiting or restricting the use of weapons, which can have excessive traumatic consequences and widespread effects irrespective of the targets whether they are military or civilian structures or people. In this connection, there is an obligation to proportionally use the weapons and ammunition the effects of which cannot be restricted. The use of prohibited slow activating cluster cassettes containing a great number of bombs is particularly dangerous for civilian population.
International law bans indiscriminate attacks in which no distinction is made in respect to targets so that both military and civilian structures could be equally hit. The international law does not also recognize the term `collateral damage' and similar cynical explanations of NATO`s representatives about the civilian casualties.
Such instances represent serious violations of Geneva conventions, which are to be investigated.
As it could be seen from this paper, during its two and a half months long bombing of the FR of Yugoslavia, NATO aggressors have violated international law and obligations proceeding under relevant international conventions. It is important to note that all 19 member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization including the USA have signed and ratified all the mentioned conventions.
Belgrade, 16 April 1999 & 3 June 1999
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of FR Yugoslavia
AD HOC COMMITTEE TO STOP CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN THE WARAGAINST YUGOSLAVIA
Citizens Concerned About Free Trade/Campaign for Canada #202-9 Bloor street E., Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1A9 Toronto: (416)922-7867 Fax: (416)922-7883 Saskatoon: (306)244-5757 Fax: (306)244-3790 Vancouver: (604)683-3733 Fax: (604)683-3749 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: http://web.idirect.com/~ccaft