70,000 Russian Volunteers registered in Kosovo War

  Although many years have passed since the war in Kosovo, the issue continued to occupy many authors of these days. This has been an issue for politicians, analysts, diplomats, historians, military personnel and journalists, all over the world the world.

This topic draws attention particularly in Russia, where they continue to publish memoirs, analysis, reviews, studies and voluminous books  extent it can be said without fear of them can recreate an entire library.
Without speaking for historians, researchers, analysts and political scientists, on this issue have written the most senior political personalities of Russia at that time, the president and prime minister, former prime ministers of Soviet Union, foreign ministers, etc.

In his book "Presidential Marathon", the first president of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin, as the author says, "summarizes ten of his years in politics, as president of Russia", an important place has given Kosovo.

Former foreign minister during the Kosovo crisis, and later, during the war in Kosovo, Russia's prime minister, Yevgeny Primakov, in his book "The years in big politics" has treated the topic of Kosovo, according to him, it was the "sharper topics and the most hard problem of that period".

Former Prime Minister Soviet Union in the years 1985-1990, NI Ryzhkov Kosovo has devoted a book of about 450 pages, entitled "Yugoslav Golgotha". Almost no senior Russian politics at the time, who wrote about that period, he has avoided the topic of Kosovo.

The theme of Kosovo continues to attract even today the attention of researchers, historians and Russian analysts. In this context we mention the publications of the Politico-military Analysis of the General Staff of the Russian army, "Balkans today and tomorrow,". The books "Kosovo Factor", "Albanian factor of the Balkan crisis", published by Academy of Sciences of Russia," The conflict in Kosovo and international security" etc.

Memoirs of Russian volunteers who fought side by side with Serbs against NATO in Kosovo War are attracting a lot of attention.

In the context of these publications, an important place takes the book of Viktor Chernomyrdin, " The Invitation". The author is very famous personality in Russia, which in the period of 1993-1998, has been prime minister of Russia. The book, which may be included in the genre of political memoirs, is dedicated to intermediary activity and the role he played as a special representative of Russian President Boris Yeltsin to end the war in Kosovo in 1999.

A few years ago, a lot of data were considered state secrets of the parties involved in the conflict in Kosovo, NATO, the former Yugoslavia, the UÇK and many other countries, including Russia, which has played a very important role. Some of them are starting to emerge and become known to the public. But many others continue to be held "secret" through archives that may be opened after 50 or 100 years. Historians and researchers, in the future, will reveale the truth that we do not know today. But some of the main actors of the time, politicians, diplomats, military etc, have written their memoirs that represent a valuable resource, not only for  political  psychology of the authors, but also to see how difficult was for the parties to overcome the obstacles arising from the stereotypes of old ethnic political, how difficult were the politico-military decisions to overcome the crisis. And each has written from his perspective, that means for sure, to protect the interests he represented.

But not only that. In each memories there is the breath of the time in which is written, the circumstances, the political situation, the consequences of those important events that they have witnessed or actors with weight, etc. But in most cases they ... I would add that memories, regardless of who the author is, always have a kind of subjectivity ... .. From this angle should be seen the book of Viktor Chernomyrdin, published in 2003 in Moscow.

But foremost, this book must be seen as the memories of the representatives of Russia, of that Russia that historically had been the advocate of Serbia, even at the time when the whole world condemned the actions of Milosevic, Belgrade sought and found refuge in Russia ... and got courage of this.

I think for our readers is interesting to recognize the attitude of the other party,this means to see the position of Russia, which, on the first day of the bombing (even much earlier) she deemed these raids as an open aggression of Western European countries against Yugoslavia, as a global crisis, such as an attack to overthrow Milosevic, as a preparation for Russia's actions against its dissolution, etc.

Air attack of NATO against Yugoslavia found Moscow unprepared, because she did not believe or did not wanted to believe that NATO would take such action, although on this had accurate data from many sources, official, unofficial, by NATO, of course, by secret channels.

The problem of Kosovo, with all the contradictions and developments, in view of the Yugoslav-Albanian relations, was not an unknown issue for Moscow.

Immediately after the Second World War, Kosovo has taken a non small triangle of relations between Belgrade-Tirana-Moscow, so that this problem has occupyed even Stalin. Even this problem is discussed in his meetings with Yugoslav leader. Draws attention to the fact that, if Tito accepted diplomatically that Kosovo is Albanian and would be given to Albania at the appropriate moment (Russian documents speak that Moscow followed carefully Albanian-Yugoslavia relations in view of Kosovo), leaders of Yugoslavia at that time admitted that Kosovo is Albanian and will be given to Albania (for example the meeting of Kardelj with Stalin in Moscow in 1947).

Khrushchev in his memoirs wrote about Albanian leadership dispute with Tito, concludes that, "they were associated primarily with the problem of Kosovo and Albanians in Yugoslavia." He claims that this problem has been discussed several times with Tito, he even said to Khrushchev  that "in Yugoslavia are living more Albanians than in Albania". Director of the Institute of Slavistics Academy of Sciences of Russia, academician Volkov, analyzing the breakdownof of relations between Moscow and Tirana writes that "the foundation of this breakdown was the problem of relations with Yugoslavia, to which the Albanian leadership, harbored wild hatred , firstly, for the non-resolution of the national problem (of Kosovo) ".

These and many others show that Moscow was aware of the problem of Kosovo, that is Albanian and is inhabited mostly by indigenous population, the majority are Albanians. Many facts and documents show that to Russia the problem of Kosovo has been extremely important.

For Moscow the Kosovo problem was solved once and for all as part of Serbia, even within "big Yugoslavia" or "small Yugoslavia". The dissolution of Yugoslavia and the wars in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia in the early 90's, seemed that for Moscow to have no connection with Kosovo. Russia begun to engage seriously on the issue in 1997, when the KLA had emerged as organized force in the struggle for liberation and the West, led by the US, took over the resolution of the Kosovo problem. Although, as noted by the former prime minister of Russia E. Primakov in his memoirs, he, in 1996, to the post of Head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence, testified against Milosevic: "Pay attention to Kosovo. There is created an explosive situation that will be difficult to afford "

It draws attention to the fact that, since that time until today, the Russian media, politicians, historians, military, etc,, have paid special attention to the Kosovo problem, but to protect the interests of Belgrade.

So the true is this, as the scholar of the Balkan problems, prof. dr. AG Zadohin wrote: "It must be admitted that the Russian position on the issue of Albania has been very pro Serbian ..."

When the problem of Kosovo fell for discussion at tables large international politics, Moscow came officially to protect Belgrade's policy, saying dozens of times in meetings of international meetings, statements endless Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the State Duma, the Federation Council, through the statements of the prime positions, president etc. Even President Yeltsin came to the point when the Rambouillet conference was being held, said: "We will not allow foreign intervention in Kosovo, does not allow anyone to touch Kosovo".

It must be said that during all these years, the Russian public has been bombarded with lies, fabrications and distortions to Kosovo Albanians. For politicians, the official Russian historiography, Kosovo Albanian has never been. Even for them, "Kosovo was and is Serbia". For official Moscow, Kosovo has been inhabited by Serbs and Albanians are displayed element of late, too late there. According to some Russian politicians, historians and researchers, Albanians are placed in Kosovo after World War II and they brought there Tito! (Such absurdities wrote former minister Primakov and Ryzhkov, the former mayor of Moscow candidate for president of Russia, Lluzhkov, writer, Sollzhenjicin or the professors named as Lisicki, Shelepin, Guskov, etc., Etc.)

In all these stories about Kosovo, an important place is dedicated to Albanian nationalism, "driven by Tirana", which according to them "has been the source of many evils" and that even "Albanian nationalism is the main cause if not the main one, which led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia ".

Without extended to other examples, it can be said that in the wake of the bombing of NATO against Yugoslavia, public opinion Russia was driven so much in favor of Serbs against Albanians, as only during the first four days after the start bombing in Russia were registered 70 thousand volunteers to go to Kosovo to fight alongside Serbs against Albanians and NATO ....
In Russia, the air attack of NATO against Yugoslavia was received about an attack against it. Moscow opposition was too harsh. Attitudes, statements of Russian leaders were too threatening. The army was put on alert, Black Sea navy was ready to go to the waters of the Adriatic, everywhere, all over Russia were created committees for the registration of volunteers to go to Kosovo. It reached to the point, the Duma approved the establishment of military-political alliance of Russia-Belarus-Yugoslavia, an action that, for some, will put Russia in the war with NATO.

It was Moscow's position that held courage and urged Milosevic to hold that position already known, as against Albanians, also to NATO. It seems a bit contradictory, but what if it was Moscow that took over the role of mediator for the Kosovo problem arranging the withdrawal of Milosevic from Kosovo.

Back to that time, it has been claimed that Western politicians had not calculated resistance during the Milosevic. According to most of them it will resist a few days and would retire. When he saw that he was retreating and among some of these politicians the emerging doubts about the usefulness of continuing the bombing, even some were even being swayed by proposals for the cessation of the bombing, was involved Russia. There have been many comments that continue to this day about the involvement of Russia, which took over the role of the mediator, even leading role for the cessation of the bombing, the withdrawal of Serbs from Kosovo and the achievement of the long-awaited agreement.
Çërnomërdinit appointment to the role of special representative of the President of Russia (April 14) is regarded as a wise move Yeltsin, who in one hand Prime Minister Primakov and drove his men were being more pro-Serbian than it should and, in turn, chose a "mighty man, smart and has authority outside Russia" - as defined what Yeltsin.

It is true that Çërnomërdini that earlier, but especially with the start of the NATO bombing, in contrast to many Russian politicians, proved prudent and realistic. He did not come from the schools of Soviet diplomacy, by profession, was an engineer who had worked many years in the field sites and the economy. As Prime Minister of Russia, he gave evidence that he was a man sober, reasonable, as a man of reconciliation conflicts that naturally overcome disagreements and contradictions. His appointment in this role was well received in the West, especially the Americans (expressed opinions that they have played their role in this election), the French, Germans etc.

It is interesting to note that his appointment to this role, the politicians, the military, the Russian media etc, was not well received, some of whom expressed publicly against it. Of course, this was related to many factors. In the first place, with Russia's domestic situation that was impregnated with odds, struggle for power, risks for the dismissal of the government, the distribution of the Duma, outlawing the Communist Party etc. where in the face of attacks was President Yeltsin, even at this period was required his dismissal.

Viktor Chernomyrdin began his mission immediately.

* Former RA Ambassador of the Russian Federation
(From the book "capitulation Milosevic-Chernomyrdin Talbott memories")
70,000 Russian Volunteers registered in Kosovo War 70,000 Russian Volunteers registered in Kosovo War Friday, October 30, 2015 Rating: 5
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