Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Promotion of General Pavković's war diary at the Book Fair

At the Book Fair in Belgrade, today, war diary of Lieutenant General Nebojša Pavković, Commander of the Third Army of the Yugoslav Armed Forces, during the 1999 NATO aggression, has been presented.  Four volumes of the diary entitled “The Third Army in  ‘Merciful Angel’s Embrace for seventy-eight days” is a part of the Ratnik (Warrior) edition of seven books that bring the memories of the participants of the 1999 war in Kosovo and Metohija.
At the beginning of the promotion, Dragana Marković, Editor of the Publishing Activities of Odbrana Media Centre and editor of the book, pointed out that the General Pavković's war diary and the Ratnik edition  represent a contribution to the preservation of knowledge about the applied war skill that helped defend the country and maximally save resources in almost impossible conditions.
The retired Admiral Boško Antić, one of the editors of the book, said that it was a capital work without which serious historiography would not be able to see these events.
“It is good that it is written, because if we do not write about events, others will write instead of us, and we know what it looks like. Divided into four volumes, the diary shows the trust with which the commander approaches his people, and most importantly, how to command in difficult conditions”, admiral Antić said.
How many people will be killed during the war, depends largely on the commander's tactic, the retired general Milorad Đorđević emphasized.
General Pavković acted in impossible conditions, often without the direction or command of the Supreme Command. He ordered the assets to be displaced on time, made a timely decision on mobilisation, operational development, blocking of terrorists, displacement of the command post from Kuršumlija. Thus he best proved the statement that commanding actually means first of all predicting and not just passing orders”, General Đorđević said.
The former Chief of General Staff pointed out in his diary the heroism of the defenders of the fatherland during the NATO aggression, but also the disputed moments during the 1999 conflict, such as disagreements with the Interior Ministry, desertions and other unknown details of the time. General Pavković pointed out the merits of his wartime associates, such as general Vladimir Lazarević and others, the ways how NATO was deceived during the aggression, and he explained why he refused to take part in the negotiations resulting in the Kumanovo Agreement.
Historian Mile Bjelajac in his speech pointed to the importance of the Ratnik edition, which is not just a debt repayment to the fighters in 1999, it is already beneficial to all those who would like to know how they actually waged war against NATO, and not be subject to media manipulations of the enemy and other arbitrary interpretations of the events in Kosovo and Metohija during the 1999 war.
Commander of the NATO operation, General Wesley Clark, admitted that the war was wanted in order to correct, according to his interpretation, the Eisenhower's erroneous decision of 1945 not to bring the US military to the Balkans. Particularly important is his first book that explains the acceleration of the crisis, the killing of loyal Albanians by the KLA, the instructed abandonment of the settlements. For us historians, the book is precious because it argumentatively challenges all the clichés about that conflict”, Mile Bjelajac said.
The publisher of the General Pavković's war diary, Odbrana Media Centre, will present the other three books from the Ratnik edition as well. On Thursday, the book “Battle of Košare”, on Friday, the book “Battle for Paštrik”, and on Saturday, the book “Prishtina Corps - Recollections of War Commanders”, bringing memories of the participants in the seventy-eight days of the country's defence during 1999 NATO aggression in Kosovo and Metohija.
The regular military service was the topic of the panel discussion at the booth of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces. Participants in the panel discussion, Aleksandar Živković, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, retired general Vidosav Kovačević, Colonel Dragan Kotarlić and Savo Iriškić, explained the relationship between the status of military neutrality of any country, economic power and defence needs, which must then be based on the concept of total defence and one's own resources. In that relationship, the question of filling the war reserve is extremely important. 
Today, at the booth of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, the topic was “Strategic planning in the defence system”, and a book by Radenko Mutavdžićm PhD - “The answer for the future - designing a security identity” has also been presented.
Announcement of the activities at the booth of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces on Tuesday, 23rd October, is available at here. Promotion of General Pavković's war diary at the Book Fair
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