In Memory of Militsa Rakich – 3-Year Old Victim of NATO Bombing

Recently, as you may know, I spent 3 weeks in Serbia filming reportage. Most of that is as-yet unreleased, and will be to come. There will be a series of reportage on NATO’s campaign against Serbia, then Yugoslovia, in 1999, in which over 2000 civilians, including 88 children, were killed, by NATO bombing. 

Before leaving Serbia, I went to pay respects at the grave of Militsa Rakich, a 3-year-old girl, killed in her own home, by Belgrade, when NATO dropped a (forbidden) cluster bomb, on April 17th, 1999.

There will be documentary reportage to come on Militsa, actually the first interview with her father for many years.

RIP.

Kosovo – Western-Approved Separatism, DPR and LPR – Non-Approved…

It was a week in which the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics both pulled off huge victory days, huge concerts on their republic days, mass crowds, and all without a hitch. Here, the concert in Donetsk for DPR Republic Day –

So, you might have thought that these republics managing that despite both still being on a war footing, with the Donetsk area in particular still under regular Ukrainian shelling, may have managed a word of two of appreciation of their achievements?

Well, of course, not a bit of it. All the western press did was either ignore the celebrations – the largest yet in the republics, formed after Ukraine’s Euromaidan placed an unelected, far-right government in power in 2014 – or go negative, focusing on the military vehicles on display and how that supposedly represented a breach of the Minsk agreement.

It may almost give one the idea that the west, and western media don’t like ‘separatism’. Yet, that’s clearly not the case. In 1999, western governments, here the UK’s Tony Blair, used a civil war in the Kosovo region of Serbia, as an excuse to launch a NATO attack on all Serbia, and create Kosovo as an independent state, for Kosovo Albanians.

The history of Kosovo is long, complicated, bloody, and interpretations differ vastly, However, as a part of Serbia, it has both a deep-rooted and symbolic significance to the country, with Serbian Orthodox monasteries there dating back to the 12th century. As for the civil war, which NATO used as cause to intervene there in 1999, to brutal effect, there were wrongs being committed there by both sides.

Yet, NATO stepped in against the military of a sovereign state, Yugoslavia, at that time, and on the side of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army, an organisation the USA themselves declared a terrorist organisation, after a series of terrorist attacks, in 1998, noting further “We would be remiss to dismiss allegations that between 30 and 50 percent of the KLA’s money comes from drugs.”

What happened after, is widely known, NATO launched an attack against Serbia which, while it may have started by targeting military objects, soon started targeting civilian areas, to deadly result – over 2000 civilians killed, including 88 children. And Kosovo was created as a state separate from Serbia.

Now, although Kosovo is only a partially-recognised state, 111 of 193 UN members, it’s one the western media actively, enthusiastically endorses. Just have a look at some of the headlines –

Kosovo: what to see in Europe’s newest country – Telegraph

How Kosovo is producing the best female pop stars

Rita Ora’s new music to pay tribute to her native Kosovo – Mirror Online

The Guardian writes promo-articles about Kosovo.

And Rita Ora, UK pop star who was born there, but left when she was one so clearly doesn’t remember it for herself, releases an epic, pumped-up, dream-espousing song in Kosovo’s honour, given mass PR across the western media

So, it’s clear, the west can, and does, support separatism, but only its own separatism. Sadly for the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, still under attack by Ukraine’s west-backed forces, their separatism wasn’t west-endorsed, so no sexy videos, fairytale headlines, just constant shelling by Ukrainian forces, and attacks by western media.

Kosovo Politician Threatens to Take 1/3 of Serbia, Meanwhile US Sends More Troops to Kosovo

Ramush Haradinaj, leader of the opposition Alliance for the Future of Kosovosays Serbia should “delete Kosovo from the Constitution”, otherwise Kosovo will “reciprocally add one third of the Serb land to its map.”

Serbia maintains Kosovo in its national constitution, as it does not recognise the state created after the 78-day NATO bombing campaign against Serbia, then Yugoslavia, of 1999, of which the creation of Kosovo was the result. Kosovo is only recognised by 111 of 193 UN member states. 

NATO, and the US Army maintain a massive military presence in Kosovo, notably Camp Bondsteel – pictured.

Meanwhile, the US is preparing to send another 130 soldiers to Kosovo.About 130 soldiers of the Tupelo-based 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment are deploying for about 10 months in support of Operation Joint Guardian.

Officials say the troops will travel to Fort Hood, Texas on Sunday for eventual service in Kosovo. While there, the unit will complete required post mobilization training for duty in Kosovo….” 

Alexander Vucic and I

Alexander Vucic, the president-elect of Serbia. I was recently in Serbia for 3 weeks, with anti-Vucic protests ongoing, and heard a lot of pretty negative things said about him – here just a selection –

I had my own questions for the man Prime Minister of Serbia since 2014, Minister of Information under Milosevic even. And I obtained the correct contact to message him, ask for an interview, which I did –

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However, there was no response. 

I’ll try again next time in Serbia, which I hope will be soon, as I love reporting from there. Meanwhile I can say there, that the country may have its own issues, and Vucic indeed part of this, but I did feel free there to report what I wanted. While Vucic may not have accepted my request for interview, there was no attempt to stop, or restrict my work either.

And that covers that!

Serbia and Tony Blair

Did you know, that in Kosovo there’s a boy’s name Tonibler (Tony Blair)? And guess what, Tony Blair’s PR company The Guardian (oh come on, you didn’t think they were a newspaper??), even made a glossy video about that!

So, given that Kosovo was fighting against Serbia, to be such a hero there, what did Tony Blair do to Serbia? Let’s have a look:

And, on the back of this, the mass killing of civilians, Tony Blair bases a good part of his legacy as a statesman of our times…  Quite staggeringly, perhaps, he’s even an advisor to the Serbian government itself.

So, this is my new series of video reportage, about what the Serbs think of Tony Blair!

More to come!

Serbia: On NATO, and not

I’ve been in Serbia for almost 3 weeks now, and have recently released the introduction to the series of reportage on NATO in 1999 I’ll be doing:

This is something hardly known about in the western world, something which needs to be covered, and I will be covering that in detail. However, there’s another side to Serbia too – this is a fantastic country to visit as a tourist! Really friendly, welcoming, beautiful!

And I’d like to cover that too –

And on we go!