Friday, July 16, 1999 Published at 00:15 GMT 01:15 UK
Kosovo leader returns to cheers
Supporters greet Mr Rugova at the border crossing into Kosovo
He told a news conference in Pristina he was not in favour of a wholly ethnic-Albanian state in the province, and said conditions would be created for other groups to return.
Tens of thousands of Serbs and gypsies have fled Kosovo since Yugoslav forces left last month. Mr Rugova said their property would be protected.
Brigadier-General Mauro Del Vecchio said that Italian units in western Kosovo had found 31 mass graves.
He said the west-northwest zone of the province had suffered the worst destruction at the hands of Serbian security forces during the conflict.
"I think the degree of devastation was so high because the population in our area of operations was very homogeneous.
"So when the people were driven out, the destruction was systematic and organised," he told a news conference.
He said he was "very happy to be back in a free Kosovo", and that he still regarded himself as the president of Kosovo.
Mr Rugova was elected president of Kosovo in 1998 elections which were never recognised by Belgrade, but he has been overshadowed in recent months by the more radical Kosovo Liberation Army.
The leaders of the KLA remain Mr Rugova's bitter opponents and have formed a rival provisional government under Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.
Correspondents say the stage is set for a contest for power when preparations get under way for elections.
The KLA subsequently denounced Mr Rugova for providing President Milosevic with a photo opportunity - although Mr Rugova has repeatedly said he was acting under duress.
There have been no signs yet that the KLA leadership and Mr Rugova are prepared to patch up their differences.
Mr Rugova also said he there would be full co-operation with the international civilian and military authorities in Kosovo.
Mr Rugova was held under house arrest by Serbian police during the first phase of Nato's air strikes. He was allowed to leave the country, and has spent much of the time since then in Italy.