After the Second World War the possibility of European cities being bombed seemed impossible. But alas, NATO had overturned all the peaceful forecasts, and as a result, these days we remembered the tragedy of Yugoslavia.
During a two-day conference (on March 22 and 23, 2019) representatives of 50 countries expressed their solidarity with Serbia and the victims of NATO's unlawful aggression of 1999. Among the conference's participants were well-known public figures, scientists of various specialties, defense officials, journalists. Virtually all of them included horrifying statistics in their speeches.
The bombing of Serbia lasted 78 days, from March 24 to June 10, 1999. 1,031 soldiers and 2,500 civilians were killed, including 78 children, while 5,173 soldiers and over 6,000 civilians were injured. The use of highly toxic and radioactive munitions with depleted uranium had been the most lethal thing both to humans and the environment, which in itself was a crime against humanity.
Independent American researcher and international expert in the field of radiation's impact on human health Leuren Moret believes that the technology of NATO aggression, which got "tested in live action" in Serbia under the cynical codename "Merciful Angel", was used in the Alliance's subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In all the three countries, the expert emphasizes, the bombings destroyed cultural and historical values and "cleansed" the historical memory of the peoples, resulting in their collective psychological trauma. In all the three countries there was a vast and hitherto unprecedented radioactive contamination of the terrain, which devastated entire areas.
Among the bombing's consequences was a sharp increase in cancer and birth defects among newborns. Uranium dust poisoning will keep the number of mutations growing. The armed aggression aftermath will affect new generations of the Serbs, Iraqis and Afghans. It is absolutely clear that all these cases have been acts of genocide.
In Serbia, cancer has already reached epidemic proportions. According to the Ministry of Health, approximately 33,000 people come down with cancer annually. There is virtually not a single family without malignant diseases in the country. According to the statistics, they affect about twice as many children than in the rest of Europe: 355 people per one million residents. Until 1999, the figure stood at 160 children per million. Among children aged between five and nine, leukemia rate is particularly increasing. Oncologist Professor Slobodan Cikaric says that the number of leukemia patients has increased by 110% as compared to the pre-aggression period.
The consequences of the Serbia bombing are irreversible, as it is impossible to neutralize the contamination of people and animals. However, everything must be done to ensure that the Serbs receive support from the international community and that the aggressor repents the crimes committed and pays damages. This includes NATO's disclosure of all the places where it used deadly weapons and their chemical makeup, soil and water decontamination, and immediate medical aid to the Serbs.
More doctors, equipment and medicines should be sent to hospitals. The war-torn infrastructure of the country has to be restored and new jobs have to be created. And finally, those responsible for the US-NATO aggression must face justice: war crimes and acts of genocide have no statute of limitations.
However, NATO countries that took part in the war against Yugoslavia, refuse to admit guilt and send any assistance to the victims of aggression. Ahead of the conference, speaking to students of the University of Belgrade, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made clear that the bombing was carried out "to protect civilians and to stop the Milosevic regime." German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas shares this view, referring to German participation in NATO's illegal aggression without a UN mandate as "responsible approach".
For the time being Serbia is facing enormous pressure from the United States and the European Union that want it to join NATO. In this regard, the most striking speech at the Belgrade conference belonged to the republic's Defense Minister Alexander Vulin. He, among other things, stressed the following: the official NATO documents calls the Serb children and their parents killed in the bombing "consequential losses." "Serbia will never be part of NATO," Vulin concluded emotionally to an ovation of conference participants.
It remains to be seen whether the Defense Minister proves able to keep his word. On the meeting's sidelines there was another event that became a matter of intense debate. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of NATO bombings, the Serbs planned to arrange a military parade in Belgrade. But the United States pressed them to drop this idea at the end of the day...