Minister Vulin: NATO aggression must not be forgotten
On the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the end of the NATO aggression on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Minister of Defence, Aleksandar Vulin, laid a wreath today near the memorial "Glasnik sa Straževice" (The Messenger of Straževica) on the Straževica Hill in Belgrade.
The delegation of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, which laid the wreath, included the Commander of the Air Force and Air Defence, Major General Duško Žarković, and the Chief of the Cabinet of the Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Siniša Kresović.
After laying a laurel wreath with a ribbon in the colours of the Serbian flag, which reads "To the victims of NATO aggression - the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces", Minister Vulin said that the hostilities ended 21 years ago - the NATO aggression stopped.
- Unfortunately, it did not end as it should - with a punishment for those who carried out the aggression on a sovereign and free country. It did not end by clearing the territory of Kosovo and Metohija from terrorists, murderers and aggressors. It ended the way the force decided to end it. The Yugoslav Armed Forces and all the citizens of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia put in their maximum effort and heroism at that time. We fought, we were not defeated, the NATO aggressor failed to enter our territory by land. The huge superiority of the 19 most developed countries in the world prevailed and we had to withdraw from the territory of Kosovo and Metohija - the Minister of Defence pointed out, adding that from the moment the Yugoslav Armed Forces and state authorities of former Yugoslavia withdrew from Kosovo and Metohija until today, about 1,000 Serbs have been killed and no one has ever been prosecuted.
- Two hundred and fifty thousand Serbs were banished. Nobody was prosecuted for that. In the meantime, a pogrom took place on 17 March 2004, when 16 people were killed and about 6,000 more were banished - no one was prosecuted for that. Even today, no one is held accountable for the "yellow house", for the murders of Serbs, for banishment, for organ trafficking, for the drug cartel which rules in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. It is our task to remind, to ask, to never forget, because if we allow NATO aggression to be forgotten - it will happen again. It will happen again to some other, small, free country, and humanity does not deserve to see such a crime. In 1999, the bloodiest century in the history of mankind ended with a horrible and bloody NATO aggression - said Minister Vulin.
The Commander of the 210th Signal Battalion, Major Miodrag Đokić, pointed out that two members of the 210th Signal Battalion, Sergeant Majors First Class Vlastimir Lazarević and Vladimir Vujović, were killed on the Straževica Hill at the beginning of the NATO aggression. He said that Vujović and Lazarević were killed there by NATO bombs fired from a great distance.
- The memorial "Glasnik sa Straževice" was erected in July 2002, and after the end of the NATO aggression, we commemorate Remembrance Day at this place. During the NATO aggression, Straževica Hill was hit by bombs 34 times in 78 days. All the time during the NATO aggression, the 210th Signal Battalion, with the Command and units of AF and AD, performed the tasks of telecommunication and information security for the needs of the Command of the AF and AD units - Major Đokić pointed out.
Wreaths and flowers were laid near the memorial by representatives of the Serbian Armed Forces, members of the 210th Signal Battalion and families of the members of the Yugoslav Armed Forces, Sergeant Majors First Class Vlastimir Lazarević and Vladimir Vujović, who died on 27 and 28 March 1999, respectively.
Straževica Hill is the place that was most targeted during the NATO aggression in 1999. At the top of the hill, there were radar antennas that NATO aviation fired at day and night, and members of the Air Defence constantly repaired and re-installed them. The monument "Glasnik sa Straževice" preserves the memory of those killed on that task and the heroic defence of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the 78 days of NATO aggression in 1999.