Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Saturday, June 26, 1999 Published at 21:29 GMT 22:29 UK

World: Europe

Russians arrive in Kosovo

K-For commander Gen Sir Mike Jackson welcomes the Russians

An advance party of Russian peacekeepers has touched down in Kosovo to pave the way for a 3,000-strong force.

Kosovo: Special Report
Twenty-one paratroopers and 18 technicians flew into the capital Pristina.

Their arrival on Saturday came amid growing fears about violence, with Kosovo Albanians returning to the province seeking revenge on Serbs.

Duncan Kennedy reports on the symbolism of the arrivals at Pristina airport
Pristina airport had been closed since about 200 Russian soldiers beat Nato forces into Kosovo two weeks ago, provoking a stand-off between the two sides.

The Russian Illyushin was immediately followed by a French C-130 Hercules, carrying supplies to reequip the airport.

[ image: The Russian plane was first to land at Pristina]
The Russian plane was first to land at Pristina
K-For commander General Sir Mike Jackson greeted officers descending from the two arriving planes, starting with the Russians.

Another 12 flights - half of them Russian and half Nato - are expected over the next week, after which the airport should be fully operational for military and humanitarian flights.

More Russian troops are expected to arrive on Monday.

Uncertainty about role

It is still not clear where the Russian troops, who will eventually number around 3,000, will be stationed in Kosovo.

The BBC's Paul Anderson at Pristina airport: Immense national pride for the Russians
A senior Russian Defence Ministry official, General Leonid Ivashov, said that in the case of "political complications" concerning disarmament or the arrest of indicted war criminals, a decision would be taken in Moscow, possibly even with the consent of President Yeltsin.

Many ethnic Albanians are nervous at the thought of a Russian presence, and there are concerns that if the Russians are assigned to prodominantly Serb districts, it could lead to a de facto partition of Kosovo.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

26 Jun 99 | Monitoring
Russian K-For troops are "creme de la creme"

25 Jun 99 | Europe
Analysis: How Yugoslavia hid its tanks

25 Jun 99 | Europe
When society breaks down

25 Jun 99 | Europe
Reward for Milosevic capture

25 Jun 99 | Europe
Serbs: 'Where is K-For?'

Internet Links


Serb Ministry of Information

Kosovo Crisis Centre

UNHCR: The Kosovo Crisis

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift