April 25, 1999 |
It is said that history is written by the victors. But the vanquished have their story too. And when written by them, history can be perverted into a justification for relentless revenge. In the Balkans, one day's winner is the next day's loser. Each side has a story that lives forever, and the sheer weight of history propels a struggle over a harsh land that otherwise would seem to have little to offer.
April 23, 1999 |
When Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin decided to snub Washington and boycott NATO's 50th birthday party this weekend, it was a clear sign of how low Russia's relations with the United States and the alliance have sunk in the last four weeks. For Russians, there is nothing to celebrate in the longevity of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
April 9, 1999 |
Like hundreds of thousands of his fellow Kosovo Albanians, Bashkim Millaku was forced at gunpoint to leave his home and his country by Serbian troops last week. On his way, the 36-year-old father of two was caught in a roundup of 400 men, held prisoner for three days and two nights, tormented mentally and physically, robbed and denied food and water. He was used as a human shield. By the time Millaku reached Albania on Saturday night, he was in shock.
November 30, 1999 |
Hundreds of ethnic Albanians watched early Monday as a mob dragged a Serbian man and two Serbian women from their car, beat all three and fatally shot the man during a night of festivities celebrating Kosovo's biggest holiday. NATO peacekeepers sped to the scene in downtown Pristina shortly after midnight, finding that the car had been overturned and set on fire. United Nations police found the women lying on the ground, screaming for help.
April 26, 1998 |
After hours of swaying trance-like and chanting Islamic prayers, the dervishes who live in Serbia's Kosovo province began the ultimate test of their faith. Crowded before a dervish altar, the little boys went first. Shejh Xhemali Shehu, the holy father of the clan, blessed a metal spear the size of a knitting needle and then guided it through the fleshy cheek of each youngster's beaming face. No blood. A miracle, the holy father proclaimed. The older men went next.
April 14, 1999 |
In a significant escalation of tensions between the two Balkan neighbors, Albania on Tuesday charged that Yugoslav troops had violated its territory, shelling and burning homes in a remote border village before withdrawing. Yugoslav officials denied the report, but international peace monitors in the border area said Yugoslav troops had entered the village of Kamenica and set part of it on fire before withdrawing after 1 1/2 hours.