A ceremony marking the twentieth anniversary since the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia in 1999 was held in the southern city of Nis on Sunday.
Prominent Serbian politicians took part in the event, including President Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, and the Serb member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik. The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch... Еще Irinej, was also in attendance.
The ceremony involved stage performances, the screening of footage of the NATO bombings and speeches.
«They need us today, all of those killed people. They need us to stand upright, proud and ready to repeat till the end of the world, that our people, that our children, were no mistake. The mistake was what others did, but not just a mistake, a crime, and we must not stop repeating it no matter how strong and powerful they are. Yes, it was the crime against our children! Yes, it was the crime against our people!» said Vucic, remembering the casualties of the NATO «Operation Allied Force».
NATO bombed Serbia and its then Yugoslav sister republic Montenegro for 78 days from March 24, 1999, over the response to the Albanian insurgency in Kosovo.
The late Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic was forced to withdraw troops bringing an end to the conflict.
It was the first time NATO had used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council.