April 23, 1999 NATO missile hit the building of «Radio Television of Serbia» in the center of Belgrade. This was neither an accident nor a mistake. Journalists were intentionally killed. For the fact that they are journalists, and for the fact that the Americans did not like them.
By April 24, 1999, US and NATO aggression against the FR of Yugoslavia lasted exactly a month. The aggressors themselves did not recognize themselves as such. They called their actions “humanitarian intervention”, loudly promising to launch missile and bomb strikes exclusively against military targets. According to the calculations of NATO strategists, no more than a week was allotted for the operation, the code name of which shocked with its cynicism — “The Merciful Angel”. According to their estimates, this time should have been enough to break the resistance of the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) and the will to fight of the political regime of Slobodan Milosevic, declared by the American propaganda as a fiend of hell and “the main enemy of democracy”.
By the end of the first month, no one remembered these and other “humanitarian” promises. Despite the colossal military advantage of the aggressor, the JNA did not give up; Belgrade did not rush to surrender. The response to such stubbornness on the part of the United States and NATO was the expansion of the objectives of missile and bomb attacks at the expense of non-military targets. All in a row, indiscriminately. By April 24, the long list of where American missiles and bombs were being hit included industrial facilities, oil and oil product storage facilities, bridges and communications, medical and educational institutions, historical and cultural monuments, sports facilities, residential buildings and neighborhoods in cities and villages. And even a column of refugees on the road.
Initially, the NATO command and press service tried to accompany information about the next hits of non-military targets and civilian casualties with commentaries on the inevitability of “attendant casualties”. Soon, however, in Brussels, they decided to abandon this practice.
The barbarism of the wild tribes of antiquity is nothing compared to the barbarism of those who consider themselves to be the elite of the modern, civilized world.
So that the death of the civilians of Serbia and Montenegro at the hands of NATO is not perceived by world public opinion as something inappropriate, the United States launched, and Europe supported, a massive campaign to present in a negative light not only the Serbian, Yugoslav authorities and Milosevic personally, but the entire Serbian people. In the words of [Ukrainian writer] Taras Shevchenko, “both the dead and the living and the unborn”.
“We need to bomb the Serbs,” said Pope John Paul II. “Serbs are a people without law and without faith. These are the people of robbers and terrorists,” said French President Jacques Chirac. “Serbs should be brought to their knees,” said Klaus Kinkel, German Foreign Minister. “We should devastically bomb Belgrade,” said Paul Jackson, editor of the American newspaper Calgary Sunday. “Let the Serbs suffocate in their own stench,” exclaimed German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. “The war against the Serbs is no longer just a military conflict. This is a battle between Good and Evil, between civilization and barbarism,” summarized the British Prime Minister Tony Blair. “Serbs should be calmly bombed, because everything will be quickly forgotten,” James Shea, a NATO spokeswoman, reassured the assassins.
On the night of April 23, the RTS editorial staff was hit by a homing missile. 14 people died, two were missing, their bodies were not found, 16 were injured, three were seriously injured, the rest were slightly injured. Prior to that, media-related facilities were also attacked, but these were mainly technical facilities: repeaters, towers, substations. On April 21, the rocket landed in the building of the Ustye office center, where editorial offices and television studios were located, but, fortunately, people were not injured. The death of Serbian television journalists and technical staff right at their workplaces, even against the background of deaths that occurred during the [NATO] aggression before, was a real shock. And not only for the Serbs and Montenegrins, but also for many Europeans and Americans who have not lost their sense of reality and the ability to think soberly and critically.
The rocket hitting the television building was neither a mistake nor an accident. Journalists were killed intentionally, deliberately. It is precisely because they are journalists who allowed themselves not to please America. Foreign democracy, other people’s rights and freedoms never worried and did not concern Americans. Freedom of thought and speech is no exception. The tragedy at the RTS office was another confirmation of this fact. A word spoken by reporters not the way America would like was enough reason for their murder. A murder, for which, incidentally, until today no one has been punished, and not even recognized as worthy of condemnation and punishment. Aggression against a sovereign state as a whole not condemned too. And one of the initiators and most active perpetrators of abuse of Yugoslavia, [Tony] Blair has been working since 2015 as… an adviser to the head of the Serbian government.
…The author had to visit Belgrade on April 28-29 . On the initiative and with the active participation of the director of the Historical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Slavenko Terzic, the future ambassador of Serbia to Russia, an international round table was organized on the theme “Europe at a Crossroads: New Walls or a United Europe”. It was attended by two and a half dozen foreign participants from thirteen countries of the world, eleven European countries, including NATO-members, Israel and Japan.
In those days, after a month of bloody massacre, Belgrade lived, worked, and hoped. Despite the recommendation of the city authorities to stay at home, people walked along the streets, a lot of people, visitors sat on the summer floors of cafes and restaurants. Some of them had large circular badges in the shape of a target on their chests. This was not a metaphor. Serbs really then turned into targets for American and NATO missiles and bombs. All without exception. Especially those who went to Belgrade bridges at night, hoping in this way to protect them from missile attacks. At one of these events in those days, a Ukrainian poet, politician, MP Boris Oleynik was spotted.
Pavel Rudyakov / 23.04.2020.