Remembering NATO's monstruous bombing of Yugoslavia: 24th anniversary
President Aleksandar Vucic said that the illegal campaign had resulted in the death of over 2,500 people, including 87 children.
Speaking at the mourning event dedicated to the 24th anniversary of NATO aggression against Yugoslavia, the Serbian head of State, President Aleksandar Vucic, said on Friday that Serbs will forget the atrocities committed by the alliance "only when all Serbs disappear."
He recalled that the illegal campaign had resulted in the death of over 2,500 people, including 87 children, as well as abnormally high cases of cancer and birth defects as a result of the depleted uranium shells that were used to bomb the then-Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
"It has been 24 years since you ripped away part of our country, killing children and civilians, military and police. Where did you get the right to kill our military and police, who gave you that right?" Vucic said, noting that NATO's illegal campaign had caused $100 billion worth of damage.
"You have not prevented any humanitarian catastrophe, you have armed rebel groups in a free and sovereign country, which has crossed to the territory of another state even a single inch, not even one toe," Vucic added.
Serbia will forget about NATO aggression in 1999 only when all Serbs disappear - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, speaking at mourning events dedicated to the 24th anniversary of NATO aggression against Yugoslavia pic.twitter.com/vHwmtPrZbh— Spriter (@spriter99880) March 24, 2023
Nation-wide memorials kicked off on Friday evening in the city of Sombor, where the first NATO air bomb fell on March 24, 1999.
Among the millions of attendees who had gathered for the memorial included the Serbian President, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Serb co-president of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik, and other government officials.
During his address, Vucic also condemned NATO for fabricating false pretexts of alleged humanitarian disaster to launch its attack on Yugoslavia.
He said that when NATO understood it could not earn formal legal approval from the UN Security Council to launch the attack, they had decided to carry it out without UN approval.
NATO waged brutal aggression in the former Yugoslavia in 1999 for 78 days, which led to the disincorporation of the former republic and killed between 3,500-4,000, and injured some 10,000 others, two-thirds of which were civilians. The alliance's aggression cost Belgrade around $100 billion in material damages.
Over the period of the aggression, the alliance dropped an estimated 15 tonnes of depleted uranium in bombs and shells, after which the country's cancer rates spiked, ranking it the first in terms of cancer in Europe. In the first ten years following the heavy shelling, about 30,000 developed cancer, and estimations say that between 10,000-18,000 of them died.