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Tuesday, March 30, 1999 Published at 21:05 GMT 22:05 UK

Serbian TV focuses on anti-Nato protests

Serbian TV showed Bill Clinton being likened to Dracula

Click here to watch patriotic images from Belgrade TV.

The main Serbian TV news bulletins switched the emphasis away from the bombing raids to the diplomatic intervention by senior Russian ministers in Belgrade on Tuesday.

Kosovo: Special Report
With grim irony, Belgrade RTS television also broadcast Charlie Chaplin's 1940 film satire of Hitler - and European demagogues in general - The Great Dictator.

The TV news laid great emphasis on the arrival of the Russians in Belgrade and the start of their talks with President Milosevic.

Russian Premier Yevgeny Primakov, Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev and Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov arrived for talks in Belgrade on Tuesday morning, hoping to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough.

"Moscow hopes that the visit may lead to a turnabout in the situation and an urgent halt to the Nato aggression, so that efforts to reach a peaceful diplomatic solution to the problem may be resumed," the TV said.

The TV showed anti-Nato and pro-Serb rallies and protests taking place in Serbian cities as well as in neighbouring Bulgaria and Macedonia.

It said an anti-Nato protest rock concert in central Belgrade was going ahead for a third day running.

[ image: With grim irony Serbian TV showed a Charlie Chaplin film]
With grim irony Serbian TV showed a Charlie Chaplin film
The camera closed in on protesters' placards, some of them in English, saying "Serbia is Kosovo", "Nato equals Nazi American Terrorist Organization" and "Sorry we didn't know F-117 was invisible".

It showed scenes of crowds burning the British flag, and one banner called President Clinton the Dracula of the Balkans.

Scenes of Slav protesters clashing violently with riot police were shown from the Macedonian town of Kumanovo.

In its only reference to the Kosovo refugee crisis, the TV launched a scathing attack on the way Western news organizations were reporting the situation.

"When there is no other way, all that is left for the criminals' and aggressors' propaganda machine are lies. Loathsome, but not convincing lies," the TV said.

Military propoganda is being shown

"When a crime cannot be justified - since a crime is a crime - then there is at least the endeavor to find a disguise for the bestial acts that are being committed.

''CNN and Sky television yesterday posted lies of a supposed humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo and Metohija as their breaking news. The recordings show supposed refugees that are walking in snow, which, by the way, melted a month ago."

The TV news and films are routinely interspersed with lengthy promotional videos for the Yugoslav armed forces.

[ image: Anti-Nato protestors claim 'Kosovo is Serbia']
Anti-Nato protestors claim 'Kosovo is Serbia'
Footage of Russian-made Mil helicopters, Yugoslav air force jet fighters, warships and combat infantry on training exercises are accompanied by rousing patriotic music.

In its report on the latest wave of bombing, Serbian TV claimed a Nato plane was shot down overnight.

"Shortly after midnight, the skies above Podgorica were lit with a powerful flash of light, at the moment when the air defence units of the Yugoslav Army's 2nd Army downed an aggressor aircraft. The aircraft was downed in the area of Virpazar. There were many eyewitnesses."

"It is believed that the aircraft was a Harrier," Belgrade radio said in a separate report, adding that an unmanned US reconnaissance drone was downed near Nis, central Serbia.

The radio described Monday night's raids on the airfield near the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica, and said there was a mood of defiance among the population.

"Many citizens, who, despite the air raid danger, have come out in front of their houses or onto their balconies, assume that the criminals have again targeted the military airfield Golubovci near Podgorica," the radio said.

BBC Monitoring (, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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