Author: Dmitry Kiselev
on 15 June a telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic. The Serbian President confirmed his visit to Moscow on June 24 at the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the great Patriotic war.
the 18th in Belgrade was already Sergei Lavrov. It is symbolic that the visit to Serbia was the first after the pandemic coronavirus in the schedule of the Russian foreign Minister. Following the meeting with President of Serbia Sergey Lavrov said that relations between the two countries “are developing very dynamically, in line linking Moscow and Belgrade strategic partnership.”
And indeed, Russia and Serbia have a lot in common. Recently, we were just talking about that famous shot of Russian troops on Prestito and the seizure of Slatina airport in 1999. Then Russia made it clear to NATO that they can no longer do on the continent all that they want. Since in Europe no country was never bombed. The Serbs remember this, and grateful.
After more than 20 years since those events opens up new facts, interpretations and details. And in April, at a time when the press flashed materials with different interpretations, General Kvashnin has published an article in the newspaper “Vedomosti Novosibirsk legislative Assembly”, where it outlined in detail the key points of the operation. And here’s the VGTRK correspondent Anton Stepanenko met with those who developed the operation: Anatoly Kvashnin, then chief of the General staff of the Russian army, and Valentin by Korabelnikova, in 1999-m — chief of the Main intelligence Directorate of the Russian Armed forces. Exclusive “News week”.
Author: Anton Stepanenko
This medal is not at once will find on This uniform: star of the Hero, Marshal’s star, order “For merits before Fatherland”, the Courage of the Legion of honor, Hero of Yugoslavia. It would seem, what could possibly be in the medals in this neighborhood? But this medal is unique — a total of not more than five hundred. Throw a legendary party of the battalion group of Russian paratroopers from Bosnia to Kosovo on 12 June 1999. Medal with number one on his uniform, General Kvashnin, at that time chief of the General staff.
– After a successful operation the West’s attitude to Russia has changed?
– Not just changed. You know, as a child clay? “Take it steady, and begin to knead — it becomes soft.” Immediately softer immediately went partnership. They wanted us to write in world politics, and could not, — said Anatoly Kvashnin.
what and how can Russia, showed three of the June day in 1999 contrary to the plans of not only the US but the entire NATO Alliance in Europe, which they regarded as their.
NATO aircraft ironed Serbia for 78 days. In early June, the EU representative Martti Ahtisaari is seeking from President Slobodan Milosevic consent to the entry of peacekeepers. “What happens if we don’t sign?” asked at the talks, the Serbian President. In response Ahtisaari pushed back from the table center vase: “Belgrade will be like this table. We start carpet bombing”. On 10 June the UN security Council adopted a resolution on the deployment of international peacekeeping forces in Kosovo.
General Kvashnin immediately contacted the commander of the NATO forces Wesley Clark. “After my conversation closed all sky of the Baltic States, Poland, and Hungary. And even with the Black sea closed, even the Russian sector,” says Kvashnin.
You said: if you don’t let us, we’ll come yourself?
– Yes. You are absolutely right. I said that with the commissioning of your forces will go ours.
In fact, this conversation was the starting point of the development of the secret operation “Cast of Pristina”. The details General Kvashnin any of the country’s top leadership to speak did not dare, except with the Secretary of the security Council. Then this post was held by Vladimir Putin.
“came To me, General Kvashnin said that there is this idea — to capture this airport. When asked why, he said we have to leave and will have something to bargain with. I know that no one he did not mention it. This was done”, — says Vladimir Putin.
“Why the defense Minister and the foreign Minister didn’t know? I was afraid of leaks. Because around them there were a lot of friends, as I called them, agents of influence. You can tell by the language of the great Patriotic war: “Chatterbox — a godsend for a spy.” Could be that. You didn’t but you said. There is an expression Kutuzov: “the Pillow of the commander where he sleeps, should not know his mind.” So here,” — said Anatoly Kvashnin.
the Deadlines were extremely tight. It could break at any moment, and General Kvashnin had to make some tweaks, which will be many more. “I wrote the note personally to Boris Yeltsin: “Dear Boris, Peter the great opened a window to Europe, and when you it may shut down. I need adequate deployment of Russian peacekeepers, if you will, the NATO forces”. And he is “agree” wrote “argue”, — says Kvashnin.
From this point on in Bosnia and Herzegovina commando battalion under the noses of NATO troops began preparing to throw. Details of the redeployment and concentration of personnel and equipment Kvashnin even 21 years later does not reveal. Explains simply a tactical move. Importantly, the battalion group in secret, bypassing the cordons partners, were in Serbia.
the Main burden for development of the operation, its maintenance and maintenance of the throw paratroopers to Pristina went to the Main intelligence Directorate of the General staff. It was then headed by General Valentin Korabelnikov.
“We go to the historical office of the chief of the GRU, my and my predecessors,” — said Korabelnikov.
– the Cameras were here?
– When I don’t.
the first interview of General Korabel’nikova bodiesvisiondome channel. The TV Channel “Russia 1”. On the wall of the old office of the chief of the GRU — the first portraits of the heads of military intelligence since 1918. Setting even captured German furniture — literally everything is as it was at the General Korabelnikova. But 13 years later the difference the head of the GRU finds. “Phones were more,” he says.
– And which one is the most disturbing?
Direct phone line with the Supreme leader. He is always “installed”.
– I can only imagine how many secrets were in this room…
– Many operations were developed here.
– And surgery 1999?
– including her. The operation was prepared carefully, in complete secret, of course, a number of parts, and after 21 years, will remain untouched for obvious reasons. Was admitted to the planning and implementation of just a few people from the leadership of the General staff, several of the Main operational Directorate, a few people from our group peacekeeping force.
In those days, military intelligence and worked for Western partners, and their plans for peacekeeping in Kosovo.
“We have received the necessary data on when will the deployment of these peacekeeping forces. Most interesting is that it was all planned to make and hold a parade of NATO on the territory of Pristina, the Pristina airport on the day of our national holiday, that is 12 June 1999. It was important for us not to let beat us. Not only GRU, here it was already not about GRU in our understanding and not even on the Armed forces and the prestige of our state”, — said Valentin Korabelnikov.
the map was to be a Russian sector in Kosovo or not. Will Russia be on a par with others in General to participate in solving the Kosovo problem. But in practice the question: who was the first time to take the Slatina airfield? And General Kvashnin, and General Korabelniks note that the June 11, events began to develop rapidly. They believe, in this day, Western partners tried to carry out a special operation in Moscow, to paralyze the actions of the Russian military leadership.
In the capital came the Deputy Secretary of state strobe Talbott. He asks about the meeting with participation of head the Ministry of foreign Affairs, the security Council Secretary, defense Minister and chief of the General staff. In the course of the tedious negotiations, the General of the army Kvashnin received from General Korabel’nikova operational information about the promotion of Russian troops. He wrote notes that all goes according to plan. On the roads of Serbia unimpeded passage of the column was provided by the military attache, General Eugene Barantsev. At the same time there is emerging evidence of activity of NATO near the borders of Kosovo.
“it was Already 0:20, I clearly remember. Bring me a note: “I Came razvedchiki engineering”. To borders. NATO officials. From Macedonia and Albania Well, here I could not resist. Talbott say, what you give us here to deceive hangs? You have already crossed the border. He says: “This can not be a provocation,” — said Kvashnin.
At 3 a.m. General Korabelnikov reported to the chief of the General staff: Marines in Pristina. Thanks to military intelligence, the pace of the column was kept such that it could enter the Airport two hours early. But the unexpected happened.
“the crowd, the people you meet are happy. I claim: as soon as possible to the airport. They say: can’t, got us surrounded, kiss, hug,” recalls Anatoly Kvashnin.
Russian troops in Kosovo has already shown the world’s media, and the American delegation of the General staff did not know it and continued the game, as it seemed, to block military leadership of Russia. Half an hour before the entry of NATO peacekeepers strobe Talbott considered their task completed.
“They just came out of the gate of the General staff, the Embassy ran to Talbott: what do you sit there, the Russian is already in Pristina! Our defense Minister didn’t know his affective state”, — said Anatoly Kvashnin.
the result of this operation, Russia has four areas of responsibility in the Autonomous province of Kosovo which in contrast to the Western sectors of Serbs feel safe.
“of Course, I was proud of his subordinates. But it is one of the operations in 1999. The vast majority of operations conducted by us and our brothers, colleagues from the foreign intelligence Service, Federal security service, is entirely closed and only the small tip of the iceberg sometimes appears. Because of the circumstances now and the surgery. There were other”, — said Valentin Korabelnikov.
Text: “News of the week”