The leaders of Kosovo have harshly condemned the Russian troops’ atrocities against hundreds of Ukrainian civilians near Kyiv, and called on the international community to keep the perpetrators accountable for the newly discovered horrendous crimes.
Images of mass graves and mutilated bodies lying in the streets of Bucha and Irpin near Kyiv shocked the world following the withdrawal of Russian troops from the two towns last weekend. Bucha mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk told AFP that 280 people were found in massive graves.
Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani decried the Russian atrocities, likening the killings of innocent civilians to dozens of massacres waged by Serbia against Kosovo Albanians.
“The ruthless barbarity of Russian forces is sickening and a devastating reminder of our past.
As Kosovars come together to remember the horrendous crimes that were committed across our country 23 years ago, there is no greater injustice than seeing these crimes being repeated.
We are truly shocked and horrified to see what has taken place in Irpin and Bucha. Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people, the survivors, the families of those brutally and indiscriminately murdered, and the brave souls defending their freedom.
Indifference is not an option. The world must come together to put an end to this war and to ensure the perpetrators of these crimes face justice – but it will require leadership, courage and putting our differences aside.
The world must act now,” Osmani stated.
Serbia killed more than 8,500 Albanian civilians during the war waged against Kosovo in 1998-1999. The mayhem against Kosovo followed Serbia’s wars against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Srebrenica Genocide in 1995, which Serbia still refuses to recognize.
President Aleksandar Vucic, who won a second term in office in the Sunday elections and was immediately congratulated by his strongest ally Russian President Vladimir Putin, was a member of parliament and a staunch supporter of the genocidal regime of Slobodan Milosevic during the Bosnian war, and his minister of propaganda during the dozens of massacres in Kosovo.
“Come and bomb us, kill one Serb and we will kill 100 Muslims. And then we will see whether the international community dares to attack Serb positions and treat the Serb people this way,” Vucic threatened NATO from the Serbian parliament in 1995, while the Srebrenica Genocide was ongoing.
Prime Minister Albin Kurti of Kosovo also called for justice in the Bucha massacre.
“Mass-graves, people brutally killed with body parts missing, burned houses and cities turned to rubble are all familiar scenes from genocidal regimes.
More than 6,000 Albanians are still missing from the Kosovo war. One of the items in the EU-facilitated negotiations between Kosovo and Serbia since 2011, now represented by Kurti and Vucic respectively, has been the fate of the missing, whose graves Serbia has not agreed to reveal.
Vucic has not condemned the Bucha and Irpin massacres by Russian troops, and has vowed not to impose sanctions against Russia for its aggression against Ukraine.