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Thursday, March 25, 1999 Published at 08:08 GMT

World: Europe

War in Europe - the press coverage

What now? asks one paper after the strikes

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News of the Nato strikes against Yugoslavia came too late for Thursday's world press to report the attacks in detail.

Kosovo: Special Report
But many papers were able to highlight their historic significance, while others drew parallels with action in Iraq.

In France, Le Figaro's simple headline, War in Europe, has a historic and ominous ring.

La Liberation looks ahead with the headline, What Now? It queries whether the West is ready for a ground war if the Serbian president does not give in under the bombing.

And the Paris edition of the International Herald Tribune underlines the historical significance of the bombing, saying it is Nato's first attack on sovereign land.

It goes on to make a comparison with previous military operations against Iraq - an angle also picked up by the Indian press.

US slammed

But the Times of India warns that the Balkans is not Iraq, where an undeclared air war can go on without much notice being taken in Europe.

It says sovereign countries fearing outside intervention will be closely watching the outcome of the confrontation.

The Indian Express criticises the United States for being uncertain about its goals and it warns that a bombing campaign against Yugoslavia will not be the cakewalk it was in the deserts of Iraq.

Russian fury

At least two British papers spare a thought for Russian feelings. The Daily Telegraph records President Boris Yeltsin's outrage on its front page.

The Telegraph's Moscow correspondent comments that years of understanding with the West appeared to be in jeopardy as the Russians dismantled their carefully-constructed links with Nato.

The tabloid Daily Mirror, meanwhile, highlights what it sees as a Russian threat of military reprisals.

'World anarchy'

In Russia itself, the papers praise Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov for scrapping his visit to the US on Tuesday after strikes became a virtual certainty.

The military daily Krasnaya Zvezda said that by cancelling his visit the Russian premier ''has shown that we are still worth something".

The Rossiiskaya Gazeta said his decision to turn back in mid-flight was ''rigorous and courageous''.

It says if the trip had gone ahead and Nato had then launched strikes it would have been ''an unceremonious slap in the face of our premier'' and ''a humiliation for all Russians".

In an interview conducted before the strikes in The Obshchaya Gazeta, Mr Primakov warns unilateral action could lead ''to anarchy in the world".

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