Forces of the Conflict
The Serbian and Yugoslav government security forces are a complex combination of republican and federal institutions, along with more clandestine groups of irregulars and paramilitaries. The Yugoslav Army's military police and army special forces, antiterrorist units of the Serbian police and special police, special forces of the secret police, paramilitary groups, international mercenaries, and armed local Serbs were all active in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999 in operations coordinated by Belgrade.1

The various forces often engaged in joint operations, in close coordination, and at times used interchangeable uniforms. Insignias were not always displayed, and name tags or identification numbers were rarely visible.2 Many of the government's forces came from outside Kosovo, making it difficult for Kosovar Albanians to identify either a particular force or individuals, compounded by the difficulties of observation in a violent and shocking environment.

There were some exceptions, particularly in the areas where Albanians and Serbs lived in closer proximity, such as in and around Pec, Orahovac, and Lipljan. Forces of the Yugoslav Army were more easily identified due to their more standarized procedures, equipment, and uniforms. But the army's soldiers usually came from outside of Kosovo, and were therefore unknown to the local population.

The Yugoslav Army, Serbian police, and paramilitaries were all responsible for war crimes in Kosovo. In general, however, paramilitaries appear to have been more extensively involved in the most violent abuses, specifically the executions and rapes. While police and army units are by no means exempt from responsibility in this regard, the paramilitaries were more commonly engaged in arbitrary killings and sexual violence.

But paramilitary forces were not operating on their own. On the contrary, paramilitary units were operating in close concert with the police, army, and secret police (known as the state security sevice). There may have been specific incidents when paramilitary units or individuals got out of control, but the general deployment of paramilitary units and their coordination with other sectors of the security apparatus were planned components of the Kosovo campaign.

In general, it appears that the Yugoslav Army was in command during the war, with the police and paramilitaries subordinate to its orders, although top officials of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs exercised significant influence over the campaign. The army controlled the main roads and the borders, coordinating and facilitating the "ethnic cleansing." The police and paramilitaries were more directly involved in expulsions and the destruction of villages, with artillery support from the army. It is during these operations that men were separated from women and children, interrogated about the KLA, and sometimes executed.

Typically, as told by witnesses from all over Kosovo, the army and special police forces surrounded a village and shelled it from a distance. Regular and special police forces then moved in, swept the village, and gathered the villagers in a centralized location. Men were separated from women and children for interrogation about the KLA. Regular police and paramilitaries then looted the village, as well as stealing whatever the villagers carried with them and destroying their identity documents. The village was then left to the police, paramilitaries, and local Serbian militias, who looted and burned the remains. The women, children, and elderly were often expelled, and men with suspected ties to the KLA were sometimes executed.

There are a few examples of police officers and soldiers having tried to treat civilians fairly, and even going out of their way to protect them. In a few cases documented by Human Rights Watch, Kosovar Albanians reported that police or soldiers gave them food or medical assistance, or warned them to hide from oncoming paramilitaries. In one example, army officers tried to investigate women's allegations of sexual abuse.3 In another case, a witness to the April 30 killings in Vrbovac (see Drenica Region) said that he had heard VJ soldiers pleading with paramilitaries not to fire on civilians.4 But these examples are the exceptions. Too often, the police and army either tolerated paramilitary behavior, facilitated it, or engaged in criminal acts themselves.5

The Serbian and Yugoslav security structure, especially Serbian state security, was also strongly linked to criminal activity in Kosovo and the rest of the country, such as illicit trade in cigarettes, arms, and drugs. "Volunteers" to fight in Kosovo were sometimes recruited directly from Serbian prisons. Funding for the police and army also came from unorthodox sources within Serbia, such as the Federal Customs Agency, run by long-time Milosevic ally Mihalj Kertes, who was arrested for embezzlement in December 2000.6

The sections below describe in more detail the various forces that operated in Kosovo, including the responsible officers, when known. All information is from open sources and is cited. Two official sources are used heavily: Vojska magazine, the official publication of the Yugoslav Army, and Policajac magazine, the official publication of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In addition to the forces of the conflict, this section identifies the key political and military leaders in Serbia and Yugoslavia, some of them no longer in their positions, who have the highest level of responsibility for the war crimes committed in Kosovo. These people either directed the campaign against ethnic Albanians or in full awareness of the events did nothing to stop it. They can be held legally accountable for both.

Forces of the Federal Republic _of Yugoslavia

The two principal military forces in Yugoslavia in 1998 and 1999 were the Yugoslav Army (Vojska Jugoslavija, or VJ) and the Republic of Serbia's Ministry of Internal Affairs (Ministarstvo Unutrasnjih Poslova, or MUP). The Republic of Montenegro's Ministry of Internal Affairs remained loyal to the Montenegrin government and were not active in Kosovo.

From the time he became president of Serbia in 1989, Slobodan Milosevic gradually strengthened and expanded the MUP over the VJ and the Yugoslav federal police, both of which he viewed as less loyal forces. Friction between the MUP and VJ occasionally emerged over the increased resources and prestige provided to the former. One noted incident regarding Kosovo occurred after the first police attacks on Drenica in late February and early March 1999, in which more than eighty people were killed, including twenty-four women and children (see Background). An unnamed high official of the Yugoslav Army cited in the Serbian press criticized the police for their "completely amateurish manner," saying that the operation had acquired "the dimensions of a massacre" because the police "succumbed to emotions."7

Only the Serbian regular police, special police, and possibly state security special forces were active in Kosovo in the first half of 1998. The army, although present in the province, was restricted to maintaining security along the borders with Macedonia and Albania. This changed in April 1998, when the army participated in military actions in southwestern Kosovo along the border with Albania. The army and the police cooperated from that point on, but for the most part, actions against the KLA remained the responsibility of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs throughout 1998.

The primacy of the MUP began to change in late 1998 and early 1999 when President Milosevic reshuffled some key members of the police and army, placing known loyalists in top positions. Among other changes, Dragoljub Ojdanic replaced Momcilo Perisic8 as Chief of General Staff of the Yugoslav Army and Nebojsa Pavkovic was promoted to commander of the VJ's Third Army, which had responsibility for southern Serbia and Kosovo. Radomir Markovic replaced Jovica Stanisic as head of Serbia's security service (for more details, see Background). In late March 1999, when faced with attacks by NATO, the police, army, paramilitaries, and other irregulars units coordinated their attacks on the KLA and their defense against air strikes.9

It should also be noted that Serbian state security played a major role in Kosovo throughout the 1990s, monitoring Kosovar Albanian political circles, especially the KLA. State security also had a special operations unit called the JSO (Jedinice za Specijalne Operacije-Special Operations Unit), which was active in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999.

Yugoslav Army (Vojska Jugoslavije)

According to the OSCE report Kosovo/Kosova: As Seen, As Told-Part I, the VJ had from 85,000 to 114,000 total personnel with a reserve

force of as much as 200,000. In Kosovo, there were an estimated 15,000 troops in early 1999, increased to 20,000 by the end of April. This does not include the additional 30,000 police, paramilitaries, and other irregulars also in the province.10

According to the Yugoslav Constitution, the VJ is under the command of the Yugoslav president in both wartime and peace. The president is also empowered to appoint, promote, and dismiss officers as stipulated by law.11

The controlling body of the army is the Supreme Defense Council (SDC), of which the Yugoslav president is chairman. The other members of the SDC are the presidents of Serbia and Montenegro. Secretary of the council was Slavoljub Susic.12 According to the Serbian media, the SDC rarely if ever met to consult on Kosovo, presumedly because Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic would not have agreed to Milosevic's plans.13

Although the Yugoslav president is entitled to command the VJ only "pursuant to decisions of the Supreme Defense Council," in reality Milosevic took personal command of the army, as he did with all of Yugoslavia's governing structure. At times, the VJ undertook actions without the approval of the SDC, provoking criticism from Montenegrin President Djukanovic. In March 1999, for instance, when the VJ increased its presence in Kosovo, Djukanovic denounced the action and proclaimed: "Any decision made by the [Supreme] Defense Council without me would be illegal."14

The main organ of the VJ is the General Staff, headed during the 1999 war by Gen. Dragoljub Ojdanic, who was chief of the VJ General Staff.15 The deputy chief of the General Staff was Gen. Svetozar M. Marjanovic.16

The VJ is divided into three armies, as well as the Navy, Air/Air Defense Forces, and the Counter Intelligence Service (known as KOS-Kontraobavestajna Sluzba).17 The First Army covers northern Serbia, the Second Army covers central Serbia and Montenegro, and the Third Army covers southern Serbia and Kosovo.18 In addition, the VJ has a Special Forces Corps, known as the Red Berets, specially trained for anti-terrorist actions.19

The Third Army, headquartered in Nis, was further broken down into the Timok Tactical Group, the Nis Corps, the Leskovac Corps, and the Pristina Corps (also known as the 52 Corps).20 The Pristina Corps, which covered Kosovo, is comprised of the following:21

· 15th Armored Brigade (Pristina), commanded by Col. Mladen Cirkovic.22

· 125th Motorized Brigade (Kosovo Mitrovica and Pec), commanded by Col. Dragan Zivanovic.23

· 549th Motorized Brigade (Prizren and Djakovica), commanded by Col. Bozidar Delic.24

· 243rd Mechanized Brigade (Urosevac and Gnjilane), commanded by Col. Krsman Jelic.25

· 52nd Mixed Artillery Brigade (Gnjilane) commanded by Col. Radojko Stefanovic.26

· 52nd Military Police Unit, (Pristina) commanded by Maj. Zeljko Pekovic.27

· 83rd Aviation Regiment28

· 52nd Engineers Regiment (Krusevac)

· 311th Air-Defense Regiment (Djakovica)

· 53rd Border Guard Battalion (Djakovica)

· 55th Border Guard Battalion (Prizren)

· 57th Border Guard Battalion (Urosevac)

During the war, the Third Army was commanded by Col. Gen. Nebojsa Pavkovic, who was promoted to the position in November 1998-at the same time Ojdanic became Chief of the VJ General Staff.29 Until then, Pavkovic had commanded the Pristina Corps of the Third Army. The commander of the Third Army before Pavkovic had been Col. Gen. Dusan Samardzic, with Col. Mirko Starcevic in a subordinate position to him.30

The Pristina Corps was commanded during the war by Maj. Gen.Vladimir Lazarevic, who was assigned to the post at the end of 1998 by President Milosevic.31 Other generals in the Third Army included Ljubisa Stojimirovic, chief of staff of the Third Army,32 Negoslav Nikolic, commander of the Nis Corps,33 Tomislav Mladenovic, and Milan Djakovic.34

The Pristina Corps was deployed in the following cities: Pristina, Pec, Prizren, Kosovska Mitrovica, Urosevac, Djakovica, and Gnjilane. The total strength of the corps was approximately 15,000.35

The evidence suggests that the VJ's Special Forces Corps was also active in the province during the Kosovo conflict. According to Western defense and intelligence officials cited in the Washington Post, the 72nd Special Operations Unit was conducting operations in the Rogovo mountains in June 1999.36 The longtime commander of the Special Forces Corps, Maj. Gen. Ljubisa Stojimirovic,37 was appointed Chief of Staff of the Third Army by President Milosevic in the end of 1998.38 His replacement as commander of the Special Forces Corps is unknown.

According to Vojska magazine, the Special Forces Corps in April 1998 included:39

· Guards Brigade;

· 63rd Parachutist Brigade, commanded by Lt. Col. Ilija Todorov;40

· 72nd Special Brigade commanded by Col. Branislav Lukic;41

· Anti-terrorist units of the Military Police - Cobras and Falcons;

· Armored Brigade.

According to the Federation of American Scientists (a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in the United States), which has monitored the Yugoslav security structure, the Falcons (Sokolovi) and the Cobras (Kobre) were special units of the Special Forces Corps' Military Police. These highly trained units were reportedly used for anti-terrorist operations; the Cobras consist of two platoons with a total of sixty members.42 According to Vojska, their use was regulated by the Chief of the VJ General Staff.43

Regular VJ soldiers were usually identifiable by their green camouflage uniforms and the red and white, double-headed eagle insignia on the shoulder. The soldiers tended to be younger-often conscripts.

Some volunteers also fought with the VJ. In an interview with the Serbian newspaper Vecernje Novosti, Col. Gen. Nebojsa Pavkovic confirmed that "there were about 1,000 volunteers, but they were under the strict command and control of our officers."44 The presence of volunteers was confirmed by a document obtained by Human Rights Watch in Pec, which lists by name twelve volunteers coming from Vojvodina. The one-page document from the Department of General Management and Public Service in Debeljaca, Vojvodina, is to allow public transportation free of charge from Debeljaca to Bubanj Potok and back for the "below cited volunteers."45 The document does not, however, specify whether the listed individuals were volunteers for the army or a paramilitary unit.

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper (London), a VJ volunteer named Milan Petrovic said he had gone to Kosovo to "cleanse" Albanians, along with 2,000 other volunteers. "We gave most of them [the Albanians] twenty-four hours to get out," he told the paper. "The rich ones, and they're all criminals you know, with satellite TVs and big houses were tougher to move. But if you push hard enough, they all go in the end. They're cowards, those Albanians, they run like rabbits."46 According to Petrovic, normally a truck driver, "one in a hundred" of the volunteers committed some rapes or killing. He said:

About six guys in my unit got out of hand one night and started killing Albanians. But they only killed three or four of them before they started taking stuff out of their houses. The next day our army came and took the six of them away.47

Another volunteer, identified as "K," was interviewed by the United States documentary program Frontline. In a filmed interview, he said that the volunteers were strictly following VJ orders:

Every action that was about to be done, there was an order . . . in writing. I had principles. I saw every order before going into action. We had orders for V., M., and G [referring to Kosovo villages]. . . . those were the actions of "cleaning" that I participated in. . . . We had an order to get them from the hills, and that's what we did.48

At the same time, "K." admitted that some volunteers went out of control, although he claimed they were stopped by the VJ commander. He told Frontline:

[T]here were groups of people that wanted to go into cleaning actions of their own accord. That's not cleaning. That's theft, robbery. . . . A few villages were done without orders until [a] general saw one of the unauthorized actions. He ordered the soldiers to stop, he told [those] that have already formed a column to go because there was fear already and he couldn't have guaranteed them safety. When volunteers are being accepted, sometimes even thieves turn up. You can't control everything. We were careful that the group of volunteers that joined for patriotic reasons, the good people, were following orders to defend themselves and act against the terrorists.49

According to NATO and the U.S. State Department, some other army forces outside of the Third Army's Pristina Corps were also active in Kosovo between March and June 1999. On April 7, the State Department issued a statement that named nine commanders in the Yugoslav Army, placing them on notice, with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in mind, that "VJ and MUP forces are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Kosovo."50 Among those named as commanders of such forces was Col. Milos Mandic, commander of the 252nd Armored Brigade, with a home garrison in Kraljevo, Serbia.

At some time during the air war, NATO dropped leaflets on Kosovo as part of its psychological operations (Psyops) campaign. One leaflet was addressed to the 78th Motorized Brigade, the 211th Armor Brigade, the 52nd Mixed Artillery (known to be in the Third Army), and the 78th Mixed Artillery Brigade, suggesting NATO's belief that these brigades were also active in Kosovo.

According to Jane's Defense Weekly, a reinforced brigade from the Nis Corps and a brigade from the Leskovac Corps were believed to have moved into Kosovo on the weekend of March 20-21, just before the NATO bombing. In addition, two reinforced brigades, one from the First Army and one from the Second Army were believed to have moved into Kosovo around that time.51

The precise number of VJ casualties remains unknown. According to former commander of the Third Army Pavkovic, 161 soldiers died and 299 were wounded during the NATO bombing. Nine others went missing. Regarding equipment, Pavkovic said in a June 1999 statement published in Vojska, that NATO had destroyed thirteen VJ tanks, six armored personnel carriers, eight artillery pieces, nineteen anti-aircraft guns, and one radar.52

Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP)

The structure of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP) is far more complicated than that of the VJ, which has a transparent chain of command. The profusion of units and groups within the MUP make such a hierarchy less discernible, although it is clear that, according to law, ultimate authority for the MUP during the war rested with then-Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Although he was not at the top of the MUP's de jure chain of command during times of peace, a position nominally held by the Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs, he was the indisputable de facto commander of its forces. According to Yugoslavia's Law on Defence, during a state of war, the republican police come under the jurisdiction of the Yugoslav Army. A state of war existed in Yugoslavia between March 24 and June 10, 1996.

The security apparatus of the Serbian MUP is divided into three branches: the public security service, the state security service (known as the SDB-Sluzba Drzavne Bezbednosti), and educational institutions, such as the police academy.53 The public security service has eleven departments, including the police department. The state security service, or SDB, is also known as the secret police. There is also a Yugoslav Ministry of Internal Affairs, run by Zoran Sokolovic, but all evidence suggests that he and the federal ministry had a limited role.54

From April 1997 to October 2000, the minister of the MUP was Vlajko Stojiljkovic, known informally as "Deda" ("Grandpa"). On May 27, 1999, he was indicted by the ICTY along with four other top Serbian and Yugoslav officials for crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo.55 Legally, Stojiljkovic reported to the Serbian government and the National Assembly. It is not clear how muchde facto power he wielded within the ministry.

Until January 2001, the head of the public security service was Col. Gen. Vlastimir Djordjevic, known informally as "Rodja" ("Cousin"), who was also an assistant to the minister. Djordjevic was replaced by Sreten Lukic, who commanded the uniformed police in Kosovo during the war (see below). Head of the state security service during the war was Col. Gen. Radomir Markovic. Markovic was fired by the new Serbian government on January 25, 2001. On February 23, he was arrested along with three other officials in the state security service for their alleged involvement in the 1999 car crash that injured opposition politician Vuk Draskovic and killed four of his associates.56 According to the MUP's own website, (April 22, 2001), the other assistants to Minister Stojiljkovic were: Maj. Gen. Nikola Curcic, deputy of the state security service and director of the Security Institute, Lt. Gen. Obrad _Stevanovic, Maj. Gen. Stojan Misic, and Maj. Gen. Petar Zekovic.

Until January 2001, Col. Gen. Obrad Stevanovic commanded the police department of the public security service.57 The department was broken down into various groups: the regular police, the special police, and the antiterrorist special forces.

The special police units were most frequently known as the PJP (Posebne Jedinice Policije). They surpassed the regular police in the specialization and intensity of their training and the sophistication of their equipment, which included mortars and heavy machine guns. According to the Federation of American Scientists and a leading Belgrade police analyst, the PJP had an estimated 7,000 men, although their numbers could be quickly expanded by recruiting from the regular police.58 The U.K. Ministry of Defense, however, claimed that the PJP had 5,000 members in 1999 divided into six detachments in Serbia, as well as 8,000 reservists.59 It is believed that Obrad Stevanovic, head of the police department, also commanded the PJP.

The police department also had special antiterrorist units, known as the SAJ (Specijalna Antiteroristicka Jedinica), and commanded by Col. Zivko Trajkovic.60 The unit used to be commanded by Radovan Stojicic, a.k.a. Badza, who was killed by unknown assailants in downtown Belgrade in 1996.

The SAJ had three units: in Batajnica (near Belgrade), Pristina, and Novi Sad.61 The units are reportedly well equipped and enjoy support from helicopter units. Their uniforms are often black and the emblem, according to the Serbian newspaper Blic, was a double-headed white eagle with a red shield and the Serbian symbol of four Cs.62

Serbia also had the regular police stationed throughout the republic, all under the command of Col. Gen. Obrad Stevanovic. In Kosovo, there were seven regional police centers, known as SUPs (Sekretarijat Unutrasnjih Poslova, or Secretariat for Internal Affairs) in Pristina, Kosovska Mitrovica, Pec, Prizren, Urosevac, Gnjilane, and Djakovica. Each of these SUPs were broken up into smaller OUPs (Odeljenje Unutrasnjih Poslova, or Unit of Internal Affairs), within which were the local police stations in towns and villages. Spokesman for the MUP in Kosovo was Col. Ljubinko Cvetic.

A central figure in the regular police was Sreten Lukic, who commanded the force in Kosovo.63 His precise position in the MUP chain of command during the war remains somewhat unclear, although his importance in the province is undisputed. In various MUP documents, he is referred to as the Chief of the Headquarters of the Ministry of Interior in Pristina.64 He is also related to Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic, both under indictment by the war crimes tribunal for abuses in Bosnia,65 as well as Mikailo Lukic, the former secret police chief in Bajina Basta.66

On numerous occasions, Lukic was presented by the MUP in Kosovo as its main interlocutor with foreigners. On June 7, 1998, Lukic met a large delegation of foreign diplomats and defense attaches who were on a Yugoslav government-organized tour of western Kosovo after the government's first large offensive against the KLA. In response to a question from a Dutch diplomat about the whereabouts of the villagers, Lukic replied, "The ter-rorists evacuated their nearest and dearest, their wives, children and old people . . ."67 Lukic denied the rumors that thousands of ethnic Albanian civilians had been forced to flee.

Some journalists also covered the tour. According to one account, Lukic claimed that the KLA had deliberately blown up their own houses. He attributed the damage to some mosques in the area to the Albanians' "misuse of religious facilities during shooting."68 According to the MUP website, Lukic said:

[S]ome 5,000 people left the areas around the road. But instead of going to Albania, as reported in some media, they fled for Djakovica, Prizren, and a smaller number of them went to their relatives working in Western Europe and a significant number of those along the border went to their cousins and to their mountain sheds on the slopes where they graze their cattle in summer. Following the unblocking of the road, all the conditions have been created for people to return to their homes.69

Human Rights Watch visited northern Albania in July 1999 to interview the refugees who had fled the offensive. They reported indiscriminate shelling of villages, widespread looting, and burning of private property by Serbian forces. Fifteen thousand people fled to Albania and an estimated 30,000 fled north to Monte-negro.70

Lukic was also the main contact person with the police for the KDOM observer mission. In one incident, on August 21, 1998, a joint U.S. and Canadian KDOM team was stopped and detained by three drunken police officers near Pec, according to the internal KDOM daily report from that day, which was viewed by Human Rights Watch. After thirty minutes of verbal abuse and harassment, the KDOM team was released. U.S. KDOM immediately contacted Kosovo administrator Veljko Odalovic and "provincial MUP commander General Lukic." Lukic was reportedly in Belgrade but Odalovic apologized and guaranteed that the individuals responsible would be punished. Three hours later, according to the KDOM report, Odalovic called back to say that the MUP official responsible had been fired and that the two other officers would be dealt with. He also advised that, "General Lukic would ensure that MUP units in the field would be advised and instructed to maintain discipline."71 This statement supports a conclusion that the MUP rank and file was under the control of its superiors.

Lukic's name appeared again in January 1999, after the killing of forty-five ethnic Albanians in Racak. According to the Washington Post, Western governments had intercepted conversations between "Serbian Interior Minister General Sreten Lukic" and Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic (who was indicted by ICTY on May 24, 1999). Western sources familiar with the intercepts claimed that the two officials ordered their forces to "go in heavy." In a series of conversations after the attack, Lukic and Sainovic allegedly discussed ways to cover up the massacre.72

After Milosevic's fall in October 2000, Lukic reportedly became head of the Ministry of Internal Affair's Department for Border Affairs, which deals with passports and visas.73 But on January 30, 2001, the new Serbian government appointed him the ministry's new chief of public security, replacing Vlastimir Djordjevic, as well as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs.74

The commanders of the regional Kosovo SUPs were under Lukic. The commander of the Djakovica SUP, established in early 1996, was Dragutin Adamovic.75 The commander of the Pec SUP, which covers the municipalities of Pec, Klina, and Istok, was Col. Boro Vlahovic.76 The commander of the Klina OUP, within the Pec SUP, was Sgt. Maj. Jovica Mikic.77 Lt. Vukmir Mircic was the commander of the Decani OUP. 78

SUP Prizren covers the municipalities of Prizren, Orahovac, Suva Reka, and Gora, each of which has its own OUP. Based on a February 1998 Policajac article, as well as awards issued to MUP officers after the war, the commander of Prizren SUP was Col. Gradimir Zekavica (and Lt. Milan Djuricic was section head of Prizren SUP's police department).79 But there is conflicting information because, according to Policajac, in January 1999 a new Prizren SUP head was appointed: Col. Milos Vojnovic, who was also assistant chief of the police department in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.80 As of February 1998, the chief of police in OUP Suva Reka was Lt. Dobrivoje Vitosevic and Sub-Lt. Radojko Repanovic was his deputy.81

Kosovska Mitrovica SUP covers Kosovska Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zvecane, Zubin Potok, Vucitrn, and Srbica, with OUPs in Srbica, Leposavic, and Vucitrn. The head of the SUP in 1998 (since 1996) was Col. Ljubinko Cvetic, formerly the police chief in Kragujevac and later also a spokeman of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kosovo. Section head of the Kosovo Mitrovica police department was Lt. Milorad Radevic.82 In OUP Srbica, Major Branko Jaredic was the head and Capt. Milenko Bozovic was commander of the police.83

SUP Gnjilane covers the municipalities of Gnjilane, Kosovska Kamenica, Vitina, and Novo Brdo. Up to January 1999, the head of the Gnjilane SUP was Col. Vlada Milicevic. He was then replaced by Col. Dusan Gavranic, former head of the SUP in Zrenjanin (in Vojvodina, Serbia).84

The Pristina SUP covered Pristina, Glogovac, Kosovo Polje, Lipljan, Obilic, and Podujevo. The Glogovac OUP head was Petar Damjanac, and his deputy was Nebojsa Trajkovic ("Lutka"). The Urosevac SUP covered Urosevac, Stimlje, Strpce, and Kacanik, and was run by Bogoljub Janicijevic, according to residents of Urosevac.

In addition to these seven SUPs, individual policemen and probably police units from outside the province were also active in Kosovo, as shown by the list of policemen killed in Kosovo during 1998 and 1999 that is provided on the MUP website. In September 1998, for instance, five policemen were killed in a landmine incident near Likovac. All of them were from the Novi Sad SUP, although it is not clear whether they were regular or special police (either the PJP or SAJ).85 Police units from Pozarevac were apparently also engaged in Kosovo, as evidenced by the killing of a policeman from Pozarevac, Milan Tenic, in Kosovo on April 24, 1998.86 Policemen from Pancevo, Serbia were also killed in Kosovo in 1998.87

Within the MUP were also many local militia and reservist groups, such as Munja ("Lightning") in Pec, which was responsible for the massacre in Cuska village on May 14, 1999 (see Pec Municipality). The group had a reputation for violence and criminality. According to Munja members who spoke with journalists from the United States radio documentary company American RadioWorks, the Yugoslav Army supplied them with food and ammunition, as well as travel documents to allow them to pass checkpoints. One Munja member called "Branko" said:

We would get a list of names of people to arrest. If they resisted, we killed them. Some Albanians paid money, protection money. We knew who we should move out and those we shouldn't.88

The Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs also contains the state security service (SDB), otherwise known as the secret police, which was organized into directorates and sectors. The state security's role in the wars of the former Yugoslavia generally and Kosovo in particular should not be underestimated. The SDB maintained a large network of operatives and informants in Kosovo, among them many ethnic Albanians. KLA commanders claimed the SDB had in some cases successfully infiltrated the KLA (and sometimes used these claims to justify the torture and summary executions of suspected ethnic Albanian spies).

During late 1998 and 1999, the director of state security was Col. Gen. Radomir Markovic, formerly head of the Belgrade SUP. (As mentioned above, Markovic was arrested in February 2001.) Markovic's deputy was Maj. Gen. Nikola Curcic, who was also the director of the Institute for Security, according to the MUP website at the time. In Kosovo, the head of the SDB was David Gajic.89 According to the U.K. Ministry of Defense, there were three main SDB centers in Kosovo: Pristina, Prizren, and Gnjilane.90 According to Suva Reka residents, the head of the local SDB in Suva Reka was "Misko" Nisevic (see Suva Reka Municipality). According to Djakovica residents, the local head of state security was Sreten Camovic (See Djakovica Municipality).

Radomir Markovic was appointed SDB head on October 27, 1998, replacing Jovica Stanisic, a long-time confidante of President Milosevic. There is speculation that Stanisic's dismissal was related to his disapproval of policy in Kosovo. Some analysts also believe that Stanisic was at odds with Milosevic's powerful wife, head of the Yugoslav United Left Party (JUL) Mira Markovic.

The precise role and organization of the SDB remains murky, although its surveillance and military activities in Kosovo are indisputable, both before and during the war. Most notorious was the SDB's special operations force, the JSO (Jedinice za Specijalne Operacije-Special Operations Unit), which was very active in Kosovo. The commander of the unit during the war was Milorad Lukovic, a man better known as "Legija."91 According to Serbian press reports, Ulemek changed his last name in 1997 from Ulemek to Lukovic.92 A central figure in the JSO organization, if not its founder, was Franko "Frenki" Simatovic: a common nickname for JSO fighters was "Frenki's Boys." The JSO was also sometimes called the "Red Berets" which has caused some confusion, because the VJ's Special Forces Corps has gone by the same name.

The JSO often appeared in the uniforms of other military or police units, and were known for carrying large knives, as well as their distinctive Australian-style cowboy hats, something many witnesses reported seeing. The JSO also had a reputation for ruthlessness. In the words of a Serbian policeman who spent six months in Kosovo in 1998, interviewed by Human Rights Watch in Belgrade, "Frenki's Boys kill everything. Believe me, you do not want to see them."93 According to a VJ soldier who spoke with Human Rights Watch in September 1998, the JSO was operating on the border with Albania around Decani.94

According to the U.K. Ministry of Defense, the JSO had between 400 and 500 men, mostly recruited from the VJ's special forces.95 The Serbian media has written that the JSO was a unit assembled in special circumstances whose members wear "a variety of uniforms with emblems that are officially not in use by any police or army units in the province."96 Vreme magazine claimed that the JSO, formed in 1991, did not have more than 300 members. Armed with the most up-to-date weapons, the group reportedly trained at Kula (near Vrbas), which was bombed by NATO during the war, as well as at other camps near the Tara river.97 Unconfirmed reports claim that during the NATO bombing the JSO was based at the Dubrava prison near Istok, which NATO bombed on May 19 and 21 (see Istok Municipality).

The background of Frenki Simatovic is enigmatic. Various reports on Kosovo have cast him as a commander of the state security's special operations or an assistant head of the state security service.98 An article on the JSO by Belgrade-based journalist Dejan Anastasijevic and Andrew Purvis for claims that Simatovic, then a young Yugoslav intelligence officer, was tasked in 1991 with setting up a paramilitary force closely connected to the state security apparatus for Belgrade to use in Croatia. The article concludes: "Simatovic's solution was to set up a small unit of ex-policemen, ex-convicts and other self-proclaimed volunteers who would answer only to Serbian secret police."99

Milorad Lukovic (or Ulemek) remained in charge of the JSO after the fall of the Milosevic government in October 2001, raising suspicions about the organization's role in the country's political changes. Serbian newspapers suggested that Lukovic (or Ulemek) had pledged his support to the new Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindic. On May 6, 2001, however, the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs announced that JSO commander "Milorad Lukovic" had been suspended from duty due to a violent incident at a disco club in the town of Kula. Disciplinary proceedings and a criminal suit are to follow, the ministry announced.100 According to the newspaper Danas, a group of JSO members had gathered in the club to celebrate the JSO's tenth anniversay.101

The Serbian SDB is also believed to have assisted and armed paramilitary forces in Kosovo, as they did in Bosnia and Croatia, although the nature of this work remains unclear. The U.K. Ministry of Defense has maintained that Simatovic has a "long history of organizing, arming, and directing Serbian paramilitaries in the Bosnian war and now in Kosovo."102

In an interview, a former member of the Serbian state security told American RadioWorks that the SDB had helped strengthen command and control over paramilitary forces in Kosovo through the provision of communications equipment:

Initially, we received orders from the high command to provide some things for leaders of the paramilitary groups. Mobile phones, radio links, satellite communications. They already had weapons and ammo from the army. The communications were so they could be in direct contact with the command in Pristina.103

According to KLA commanders who spoke with Human Rights Watch, the SDB had a good knowledge of KLA personalities and activities, largely from informants and infiltrators. Evidence suggests that the Serbian government was well aware of the militant movement among Kosovar Albanians throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including the first organized KLA actions in 1996.


In an interview with the Serbian newspaper Vecernje Novosti, former head of the Third Army Col. Gen. Nebojsa Pavkovic denied that there were any paramilitaries in Kosovo.104 Witness statements collected by Human Rights Watch, OSCE reports, and numerous articles in the international media convincingly counter this claim. The composition and command structure of the various paramilitary forces and the precise connections they each had to the Serbian and Yugoslav governments remains unclear. But the evidence reveals that they operated in Kosovo with the approval and ongoing political and logistical support of the government, and often in close coordination with regular forces. There is little, if any, evidence to suggest attempts by the government to hinder paramilitary operations, despite repeated and credible reports that they had committed atrocities.

The paramilitary forces believed active in Kosovo include, but are not limited to, Arkan's Tigers,105 Seselj's White Eagles,106 and the Republika Srpska Delta Force, a group of police from Republika Srpska.107 It is believed that many of these groups were armed and organized with assistance from the SDB. Unlike in Croatia and Bosnia, however, in Kosovo these paramilitary groups were mostly integrated into VJ or MUP units, rather than allowed to operate on their own.

According to the OSCE report on Kosovo, Arkan's Tigers are believed to have had a training camp between Leposavic and Kosovska Mitrovica, and the forces supposedly operated around Kosovska Mitrovica, Pec, Djakovica, and Prizren. The Republika Srpska Delta Force reportedly operated to the south of Gnjilane in early April.108 The SDB unit known as Frenki's Boys are also sometimes referred to as paramilitaries.

According to witnesses, paramilitaries wore an array of uniforms-they were sometimes recognizable due to the lack of uniformity. Some had shaved heads while others had long hair with beards. They often wore black or red head scarves or bandannas, and carried hand axes or long knives on their belts.

Aside from being among the most violent forces in Kosovo, one of their primary activities was looting and theft. According to the OSCE report, some paramilitaries may have arrived in Kosovo in mid-February to prepare for the transportation of looted goods back to Serbia.109

At times, the police or army tried to warn or protect ethnic Albanian civilians from paramilitaries, although this was rare. One ethnic Albanian man who was forced to walk with a group of prisoners from Lipljan prison back to Pristina in May said that a policeman saved him from threatening paramilitaries. He told Human Rights Watch: "When we were coming back, we were stopped by paramilitaries and they wanted to kill us. A police officer hit one of the paramilitaries over the head with a gun. The police officer spoke Albanian to us, gave us water, and told us to hide in Pristina."110

After the war, some paramilitaries spoke with foreign journalists about their time in Kosovo. One man named "Dragan" said he fought with the Pitbull Terrier paramilitary unit, which was comprised of boxers from his home town in Niksic, Montenegro, who had also fought in Bosnia. Dragan said that his group killed fifty Albanians in retaliation for losing seven of their men.111

A Wall Street Journal reporter interviewed eight paramilitaries, ranging from a thug who was released from prison to fight to a Serbian nationalist who believed he was defending the homeland. One man, "Tony," said he fought with Arkan's Tigers. Local Kosovo officials, he said, gave his unit computer printouts with the names and assets of wealthy Albanians. Other units got lists of those to be executed. Another man identified as "Il Montenegrino" was offered early release from prison if he went to fight in Kosovo. He accepted along with sixteen of his twenty-five cell mates. A third paramilitary called "Jacques" said his unit acted on information from the army, the police, local Serbs, and Albanian collaborators.112

Another article in the U.S. press, based on more than a dozen interviews with paramilitary members, said that the units were acting on orders from state security, the MUP, and the VJ. In return for their services, paramilitaries were reportedly allowed to keep 10 percent of the goods they stole. Some of the fighters showed the journalist official MUP documents that allowed them to transport stolen goods back into Serbia. Some of the men denied that they had orders to rape women, but claimed that their commanders had done nothing to stop it.113

American RadioWorks produced a series of radio programs on war crimes in the Pec area, especially the massacre at Cuska village. Its reporters spoke with Serbian militia members, some of whom admitted taking part in the Cuska killing. One man, identified as "Marko," said that he had been released from a Serbian prison to fight in Kosovo with Arkan's Tigers. He said:

Formally, Arkan didn't come to the prison. It was one of his men. He had a list of prisoners and their dossiers. They had to be the right profile. All he asked was if you were ready to go, to Kosovo . . . this wasn't a judge's, or a prison warden's decision. It was Arkan's. He is the law in Serbia.

We would receive a list of names. Bring this person in alive or dead. I was assigned to arrest people, and had permission to kill them if necessary. You look at the guy, his attitude. If there's attitude, you might just kill him. _I mean, there's no point in taking someone in who's just going to cause _trouble . . .

We interacted a lot with certain people at the MUP. There was a kind of crisis council, and some of the information came from there. The lists came from all over, police, city authority, because they had been collecting this kind of information for years. Who were the rich ones, where they lived, who were the important ones, where they lived. And we had local spies to help us on operations. We would use locals from a particular village to guide us, tell us where so-and-so lived, and they might get some money, if they were Serbs. We also had Albanian spies and Gypsies, too.114

In some places, local Serbs also participated in the "cleansing" campaign, although in no way can this be said for the Serbian population in Kosovo as a whole. Some local Serbs were reservists in the police, but village defense groups were also formed. Some Serbian villages in Kosovo had complained to the Serbian government in 1998 about the lack of protection from armed Albanians. The government responded by arming these individuals and groups. Armed local Serbs were apparently coordinated through the police, although some also joined paramilitary forces.

Although some of the most violent behavior was by local Serbs, there were also examples of local Serbs providing assistance to Albanians. Around Pec and Orahovac, for example, especially near the all-Serbian village of Velika Hoca, armed Serbs participated in the looting and burning of private property, as well as executions.

The most common criminal activity by local Serbs, however, was probably looting Albanian homes after security forces had swept through an area and the population had either fled or been expelled. Perhaps the most telling proof of looting comes from the diary of a Serbian woman from Pec, who recorded her observations during the war. The diary, found after the war by international journalists, says:

They say these [the looters] are patriots who are breaking into the houses of Shiptars [derogatory word for Albanians], and a traitor is he who does not do that. Let them call me a traitor, but I will not stain my hands. I fear for the future of children whose parents teach them how to steal, how to loot, and to set houses on fire. What will come out of those kind of persons in the future? What recollections will they have of their childhood? They do not play soccer or roller-skate. Their play consists of breaking into homes and taking all they can carry, and then, with a liter of gasoline, destroying everything.115

According to many ethnic Albanians, members of Kosovo's Roma population also participated in crimes, and this is the justification most often given for their expulsion from post-war Kosovo (see Abuses After June 12, 1999). Indeed, the evidence collected in this report includes descriptions of a number of cases where local Roma collaborated with the police, army, or paramilitaries, either by guiding them through Albanian villages or by actively participating in crimes. But many Roma were also victims in the offensive, and it is patently wrong to blame the group as a whole for crimes during the war. A substantial number of Roma were expelled to Albania and Macedonia. Others were killed by the government's security forces. Some Roma were forced by the government's security forces to work, such as the group in Djakovica that was ordered to pick up and bury bodies in the city. According to a report by the Humanitarian Law Center: "The Serbian police and local authorities forced Roma civilians, including minors, to bury _the bodies of Albanian civilians and Kosovo Liberation Army members, to dig trenches for the military, and to pillage and destroy ethnic Albanian property."116

The local Serbs and Roma who committed crimes or collaborated with the security forces during the war are generally believed to have left Kosovo with the departing forces in early June 1999. Those who remained did so either because they believed in their innocence or because they were too old or poor to flee. They face exceedingly difficult conditions in post-war Kosovo, including harassment, abductions and murder (see Abuses After June 12, 1999).

Lastly, there are many reports of foreigners fighting with the Serbian and Yugoslav forces, as well as a few with the KLA. It is not known whether any of these individuals was paid for their services. Human Rights Watch interviewed more than a dozen witnesses who claimed to have seen Russian fighters among the Serbian forces, although no evidence has emerged to suggest official involvement by the Russian government. Some reports in the international media also described the presence of foreign fighters from Russia as well as from other countries.117 An article in an Israeli newspaper, Tel Aviv Yedi'ot Aharonot, claimed that some forty Israeli citizens joined the "Serb foreign volunteers unit," most of them originally from the former Soviet Union and veterans of the wars in Afghanistan or Chechnya.118 A male Danish citizen who claimed that he had fought with Serbian forces in Kosovo was arrested in Denmark after telling a Danish newspaper, Extra Bladet, that he had taken part in "ethnic cleansing." He was later released for lack of evidence.119

Chain of Command and Superior Responsibility

The chain of command for the Yugoslav Army is public. As set out in this chapter, local commanders in Kosovo reported to the commanders of the Pristina Corps, led by Maj. Gen. Vladimir Lazarevic. The Pristina Corps reported to the Third Army, commanded by Col. Gen. Nebojsa Pavkovic, who reported to the General Staff, commanded by Gen. Dragoljub Ojdanic. The overall commander of the VJ was Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who chaired the Supreme Defense Council.

The chain of command for the MUP is considerably less clear. While much of the de jure hierarchy has been presented in this chapter, there are still gaps, such as the relationship between the state security and paramilitary forces and the roles of the various MUP formations. Additional structures of command and control with the MUP and VJ probably existed.

In addition, the MUP's de jure structure does not necessarily reflect the de facto reality. The role of Serbia's Minister of Internal Affairs Vlajko Stojiljkovic, for instance, is considered by Serbian and foreign observers of the Serbian security structures to have been subordinate to that of President Milosevic and perhaps also to Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic, widely considered Milosevic's point-man on Kosovo.120 Various lines of command and control within and between state security, public security, the paramilitary forces, and the president are still unknown. Lastly, the methods and structure of cooperation between the MUP and VJ also remain unclear, including a possible coordination center in Pristina.

Despite this, the case against the Serbian and Yugoslav leadership is convincing. The ICTY statute is clear on individual criminal responsibility for the leaders who organize or allow the commission of serious crimes. Article 7 of the statute says:

1. A person who planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of a crime referred to in articles 2 to 5 of the present Statute, shall be individually responsible for the crime.

2. The official position of any accused person, whether as Head of State or Government or as a responsible Government official, shall not relieve such person of criminal responsibility nor mitigate punishment.

3. The fact that any of the acts referred to in articles 2 to 5 of the present Statute was committed by a subordinate does not relieve his superior of criminal responsibility if he knew or had reason to know that the subordinate was about to commit such acts or had done so and the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators thereof.

4. The fact that an accused person acted pursuant to an order of a Government or of a superior shall not relieve him of criminal responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if the International Tribunal determines that justice so requires.121

In other words, both the direct perpetrator of a crime as well as the military or political leaders who ordered that crime can be prosecuted. Paragraph three adds that a superior is accountable for crimes committed if he or she failed to take steps to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators.

The extent and systematic nature of the crimes in Kosovo make it highly implausible that the Serbian and Yugoslav leadership did not know that crimes were being committed, despite their public denials.122 Numerous statements by the Serbian and Yugoslav government or military demonstrate that the top leadership was regularly apprised of the security situation in Kosovo. Well distributed reports by the media and nongovernmental organizations, including Human Rights Watch, were repeatedly documenting abuses by Serbian and Yugoslav forces.

At the beginning of the war, on March 26, 1999, for example, President Milosevic received top officials from the army and police, including Zoran Sokolovic, Yugoslav minister of internal Affairs, Vlajko Stojiljkovic, Serbian minister of internal affairs, Col. Gen. Vlastimir Djordjevic and Radomir Markovic, chiefs of public security and state security, respectively, as well as Col. Gen. Geza Farkas, chief of Yugoslav Army counterintelligence. In a statement issued after the meeting, the government said:

The officials of internal affairs and security notified President Milosevic that all service organs as well as security services are functioning very well, and that their members perform the necessary tasks efficiently, responsibly and highly professionally. . . . It is estimated that the moral, patriotic consciousness and readiness of all the members of the internal affairs organs are on the highest level.123

On May 4, 1999, President Milosevic met with Gen. Ojdanic, Gen. Pavkovic, Maj. Gen. Sreten Lukic, and Serbian President Milutinovic, among others. The Ministry of Internal Affair's statement after the meeting said: "[I]t was concluded that all tasks directed towards the defense of the country, anti-terrorist combat and the establishment of the general security in Kosovo and Metohija are being successfully realized."124

In an interview with the U.S. television news show Frontline conducted after the war, General Pavkovic was asked if, during the NATO war, he had met with his political counterparts, like President Milosevic. The following exchange ensued:

Pavkovic: Of course, I was present as a member of the top brass on many occasions, and I can tell you that there was a feeling of unity in the headquarters and amongst the people.

Frontline: What impression did Milosevic give you?

Pavkovic: He is the top command, and as such, he knows the political and the military climate very well. He gave optimism to us soldiers as well as the people.

Frontline: Did you partake in the military planning of the pullout?

Pavkovic: No, but I was in constant touch with the team that did. No decision could have been put through without our participation.125

In addition, all evidence suggests that, with a few localized exceptions, the police, army, and paramilitary units were under strict control, only operating with written orders from their commanders. The fact that all security forces withdrew from Kosovo in an orderly manner after the Military Technical Agreement with NATO was signed on June 10 further suggests that the forces were under the strict and effective command of their superiors. Indeed, in an interview given on January 16, 2001, to Belgrade's Radio B92, General Pavkovic said, referring to military operations in Kosovo, "everything was well orchestrated over there."126

There is also evidence to prove that local police stations were functioning during the war, dispelling claims that the governing structures had broken down. In Pec, for instance, the police kept careful records of deaths in the city, attributing most of them to "NATO bombs" or "terrorist acts", referring to the KLA.127 Witnesses in various parts of Kosovo told Human Rights Watch that they saw police investigators inspecting crime scenes, such as in the village of Sudimlja after the killing of the Gerxhaliu family on May 31 (see Vucitrn Municipality).

The Serbian and Yugoslav leadership also had to have known about the actions of paramilitary forces operating in Kosovo. At the very least, the leadership knew of these forces' reputations for brutality in Croatia and Bosnia. Despite this, the authorities either deployed paramilitaries or allowed them to operate in Kosovo without taking any precautions to prevent their committing war crimes. With their reputations for brutality, dispatching a paramilitary force under certain leaders was tantamount to ordering excessive violence without having to issue an explicit command to do so.

This was reflected in the interview given on page 84 by a self-proclaimed member of "Frenki's Boys" to American RadioWorks. In the interview, the man identified as "Milos" says:

We [Frenki's Boys] were a special unit. But the paramilitary groups-I call them gangs. Everything below us, the army and the police, they were gangs. Nevertheless, there was some control. These groups were all given their zones of operation. They were allowed to do what they wanted. They were put into places intentionally and told to do what they wanted to get the job done. It was their job to kill and rape and do what they liked.128

With a handful of exceptions at the lower levels, there were few cases in which the Milosevic government punished security forces for serious crimes or even placed anyone under investigation.129 On the contrary, the postwar period saw hundreds of promotions and awards for police and army personnel who had served in Kosovo, including some of the top leadership. A more complete list of promotions and awards is provided as an appendix to this chapter. But some of the more prominent individuals commended or promoted for their work in Kosovo include:

· Dragoljub Ojdanic, Chief of the Army's General Staff, promoted to General of the Army (four stars) and, subsequently, Yugoslav Minister of Defense (a position he held until October 2000).

· Nebojsa Pavkovic, commander of the Third Army, promoted to Chief of the Army's General Staff.

· Maj. Gen. Vladimir Lazarevic (one star), commander of the Pristina Corps, promoted to Major General (two star).

· Col. Bozidar Delic, commander of the 549th Motorized Brigade, promoted to One Star General.

· Col. Radojko Stefanovic, commander of the 52nd Mixed Artillery Brigade, promoted to Brigadier General.

· The Order of the War Flag was given to the 243rd Mechanized Brigade, the 211th Armored Brigade, and the 15th Armored Brigade.

· President Milosevic presented the Order of Freedom to Army General Dragoljub Ojdanic and Col. General Nebojsa Pavkovic, Commander of the Third Army.

· President Milosevic presented the Order of the National Hero to the following VJ brigades: the 125th Motorized Brigade (accepted by Commander of the Brigade, Col. Dragan Zivanovic), the 549th Motorized Brigade (accepted by commander of the Brigade, Col. Bozidar Delic), and the 37th Motorized Brigade (accepted by commander of the Brigade, Col. Ljubisa Dikovic).

· The Order of the Yugoslav Flag of the First Degree was given to Col. General Vlastimir S. Djordjevic, head of MUP Public Security, Obrad M. Stevanovic, head of police special forces, and Sreten Lukic, head of MUP forces in Kosovo.

· Obrad Stevanovic and Sreten Lukic were promoted to Major Generals in the police.

· Assistant Ministers of Internal Affairs Nikola Curcic, Stojan Misic, and Petar Zekovic, were all promoted.

· The Order of the Yugoslav Flag of the Third Degree was given to Col. Zivko Trajkovic, commander of the SAJ.

· The Order of Merit in Matters of Defense and Security of the First Degree was given to Col. Dragutin Adamovic, Djakovica SUP; Col. Dusan B. Gavranic, Gnjilane SUP; Col.Gradimir R. Zekavica, Prizren SUP; Lieutenant Col. Milan S. Djuricic, Prizren SUP; and Maj. Milenko M. Bozovic, Srbica police commander.

· President Milosevic awarded the Order of the Yugoslav Flag to Zoran Andjelkovic, president of the Temporary Executive Council of Kosovo and Metohija, Nikola Sainovic, Deputy Prime Minister of the Yugoslav Government, Col. Gen. Vlastimir Djordjevic, Maj. Gen. Obrad Stevanovic, and Maj. Gen. Sreten Lukic.

· Decoration of the Yugoslav Flag First Class was given to Vlajko _Stojiljkovic, Serbian minister of internal affairs, and Col. Gen. Radomir Markovic, assistant to the minister and chief of state security.

In addition to these promotions, public statements by Milosevic, both while he was president and afterwards, repeatedly praised the security forces for their actions in Kosovo without any mention of crimes that were committed. On November 25, 2000, at a special congress of the Serbian Socialist Party, Milosevic declared that the four other Serbian and Yugoslav leaders indicted by the war crimes tribunal were "national heroes."130 On May 13, 1999, known as "Security Day" in Serbia, then-President Milosevic extended congratulations to the country's security forces.

You have achieved great success in crushing the separatist movement and its terrorist gangs in Kosovo and Metohija, which had the support of the foreign powers which have also committed criminal aggression on our country. Many members of the security authorities and services have bravely died in that battle and they are a shining example of courage and loyalty to their people and their country.

With your high sense of patriotism, loyalty and professionalism, you have thwarted the activities of the enemy forces and prevented them from undermining the strength of our defense.

Congratulating you on your holiday, I wish to express my conviction that you will continue, just as so far, honorably, professionally and in the spirit of the freedom-loving traditions of our people to carry out your duties in the defense of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and the constitutional order of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.131

After the war, there was very limited discussion within Serbia of crimes committed by government forces, although this is changing with the fall of the Milosevic government in October 2000. Two individuals who attempted to present the issue in public while Milosevic was still in power both faced retaliation by the government. On July 26, 2000, a journalist with Agence France Presse, Danas newspaper, and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Miroslav Filipovic, was sentenced to seven years in prison by a military court for espionage and spreading false information. He was released on October 10. Filipovic had written about the role of government forces in abuses against Albanians in Kosovo. In July 2000, an outspoken and well-respected human rights activist, Natasa Kandic, was threatened with legal action by the Yugoslav Army after she condemned the Filipovic verdict and spoke out about "the horrors [VJ] generals sent young recruits to witness in Kosovo."132

Although the process of dealing with the past will take time, there have been some promising steps inside Serbia since Milosevic's fall. The local media is beginning to report more openly-and without fear of retribution-on atrocities by Serbian forces, a truth commission sponsored by new Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica has been initiated, and the VJ has begun legal proceedings against more than 150 VJ soldiers for their actions in Kosovo. Most notably, in April 2001, Serbian police arrested Slobodan Milosevic on charges of corruption. On June 28 he was transferred to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Structure and Strategy of the KLA

Since World War II, small groups of militant Albanians had sought Kosovo's independence from Yugoslavia, although their activity and impact were minimal. Some of these organizations, such as the Levizja Popullore per Republiken e Kosoves (People's Movement for the Republic of Kosovo) and later the Levizja Kombetare per Clirimin e Kosoves (National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo) gained strength in the 1980s, especially after the government's crackdown in 1981. Support was provided _by Kosovar Albanians living abroad, as well as through illegal activities by Kosovar Albanians in the Balkans and Western Europe.

Throughout the 1990s, the majority of the population pursued the peaceful politics of Ibrahim Rugova, but a fringe element of militants was active in some areas, especially Drenica. As repression in Kosovo continued, the movement gradually gained members and, as noted above, the initial fragments of the Kosovo Liberation Army were, by 1996, attacking police outposts in Kosovo. The flow of weapons from Albania in 1997, after the government there fell, greatly assisted the nascent insurgency.

A crucial turning point came with the police crackdown in Drenica in February and March 1998, in which more than eighty civilians were killed. The brutality of the Serbian government radicalized the Albanian community. Many villagers turned to the KLA either out of frustration with Rugova's ineffective nonviolent approach or because they saw the KLA as their only means of protection. At the same time, some villages clearly did not encourage the presence of the armed group, since they feared it would provoke a government response, which it often did.

Throughout early 1998, the KLA was primarily a disorganized collection of armed villagers, often built around family structures, without a clear chain of command. Strong regionalism dominated the organization, as evidenced by the post-war splintering of the insurgency. Operational areas raised their own funds and purchased their own weapons.

This changed gradually throughout the year as the KLA secured a steadier arms supply and organized itself into a more centralized structure.133 Ethnic Albanians with experience in the Yugoslav Army or its predecessor in the former Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav National Army (Jugoslovenska Narodna Armija, or JNA), gradually joined the insurgency. Contacts with Western governments, mostly through KDOM or the KVM, were strengthened. The ceasefire period from December 1998 to March 1999 was used to strengthen the central command and to reorganize operations. By March 1999, the KLA was a better organized rebel force, albeit with strong personalities in the various regions who did not always agree with one another. A military police force and military courts were more firmly established with detention facilities, along with civilian political structures that issued decrees in areas under KLA control.

By 1999, the main political representative of the KLA was Hashim Thaci (a.k.a. Snake), who represented the insurgency at political negotiations such as the Rambouillet conference in February 1999. In April 1999, Agim Ceku, an ethnic Albanian former brigadier general in the Croatian Army with close ties to the United States government and military, was appointed head of the KLA's General Staff, making him the chief military commander.134 He replaced Syleman Selimi (a.k.a. Sultan). Both Ceku and Thaci sat on the KLA's General Staff (Stafi i Pergjithshem), the main decision-making body of eighteen people, along with many of the other key members of the insurgency.135

The KLA was organized into seven operational zones, each with a regional commander and chief of staff: Drenica (Glogovac, Srbica, Malisevo, and Klina municipalities), Shala (Kosovska Mitrovica), Dukagjin (Pec, Prizren, Decani, and Djakovica municipalities), Llap (Podujevo), Nerodine (Urosevac), Kacanik, and Pastrik. Prominent among the regional commanders were Ramush Haradinaj in the Dukagjin zone, Ekrem Rexha (a.k.a. Commander Drini) in the Pastrik zone,136 Rrustem Mustafa (a.k.a. Remi) in the Llap zone, and Sami Lushtaku in Drenica. Each region had brigades and companies, usually based around a village or series of villages.137 Rexhep Selimi was head of the military police and Kadri Veseli (a.k.a. Luli) was head of the KLA's secret service, that later became known as the Sherbimi Informativ i Kosoves (SHIK).

Given the regional divisions within the KLA, a central chain of command was sometimes difficult to discern. Even within the operational zones, it was not always clear how much control the various commanders had over their troops.

On the other hand, as 1998 progressed, regionally-based and central command structures were increasingly discernible. Local commanders initiated military actions and issued decrees within their areas of responsibility. The military police and courts were functioning, albeit haphazardly, in areas of KLA control. The General Staff coordinated military actions and political activities to an extent throughout Kosovo, a structure which allowed decisions to be transmitted down to the fighters. It also coordinated logistical and financial support from Albania and the Albanian diaspora in Western Europe and the United States.

Although there were often examples to the contrary, KLA fighters in late 1998 and early 1999 displayed discipline, manning checkpoints, checking identification papers, and adhering to orders from their commanders. A KLA office in Pristina (allowed to function by the authorities) distributed passes to allow foreign journalists and human rights researchers access to areas under KLA control.

Despite these structures, there are no known cases of KLA soldiers having been punished for committing abuses against civilians or government forces no longer taking active part in hostilities. It is clear that in certain cases, such as the September 1998 murder by KLA forces of thirty-four people near Glodjane, that the local commanders must have known, if not directly ordered, the killings. There were, however, reported but unconfirmed cases of KLA soldiers being disciplined by their own commanders for having harassed or shot at foreign journalists.

In interviews and public statements, KLA spokesmen repeatedly expressed the organization's willingness to respect the rules of war. In an interview given to the Albanian-language newspaper Koha Ditore in July 1998, KLA spokesman Jakup Krasniqi said:

From the start, we had our own internal rules for our operations. These clearly lay down that the KLA recognizes the Geneva Conventions and the conventions governing the conduct of war.138

KLA Communique number 51, issued by the KLA General Headquarters on August 26, 1998, stated that, "The KLA as an institutionalized and organized army, is getting increasingly professional and ready to fight to victory."139

In November 1998, Human Rights Watch representatives had a meeting in Banja village near Malisevo with Hashim Thaci and Fatmir Limaj to discuss the KLA's commitment to the laws of war generally and, specifically, the treatment of Serbian civilians in KLA custody. The KLA representatives informed Human Rights Watch that the KLA had a soldiers' code of conduct but that it could not be made public. Disciplinary measures for abusive soldiers were in place, they said, but no details were provided.

The precise size of the KLA was difficult to calculate given its loose organization, the participation of village defense forces, and the continual ebb and flow of Albanians from abroad. Perhaps the best indication comes from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which was mandated after the war with registering and assisting former combatants. According to the IOM, as of March 2000, it had registered 25,723 ex-combatants, although it's certainly possible that this number was inflated by noncombatants looking for assistance.140 Some international volunteers are known to have fought with the KLA.141

After the Drenica killings in March 1998, major fundraising for the KLA was conducted among the Albanian diaspora communities in Europe and the United States, with money flowing through the Homeland Calling Fund. Various reports in the media have also linked the KLA's fundraising to drug trafficking, money laundering, and migrant smuggling.142

Lightly armed in comparison to Serbian and Yugoslav forces, the KLA remained a mobile guerrilla force throughout 1998 and 1999, choosing mostly to attack police or army checkpoints or lay ambushes, and then retreat. The only large scale offensive, an attack on Orahovac in July 1998, failed miserably, as the government retook the town after two days.

Throughout the conflict, the KLA engaged in military tactics that put ethnic Albanian civilians at risk; specifically, attacking Serbian checkpoints or patrols near ethnic Albanian villages, exposing civilians to revenge attacks. It is a troubling fact that the 1998 and 1999 Kosovo war was marked by well-publicized massacres of civilians, such as in Prekaz, Gornje Obrinje, and Racak, which were all turning points in the war. All of the evidence shows that these crimes were committed by habitually brutal Serbian and Yugoslav forces, but it is clear that the KLA understood the political benefit of publicizing civilian deaths.

A number of top KLA officials and officers hold important positions in post-war Kosovo. Hashim Thaci became head of the Democratic Party of Kosovo. Agim Ceku was named head of the Kosovo Protection Corps (Trupat e Mbrojtjes se Kosoves (TMK) in Albanian), the successor to the KLA, where some other former KLA commanders also hold important positions, such as Sylejman Selimi. Ramush Haridinaj left the Kosovo Protection Corps in 2000 to form a political party, Alliance for the Future of Kosova. Some KLA commanders and fighters have continued their military activities in Macedonia with the National Liberation Army (Ushtria Clirimtare Kombetare).


On May 13, 1999, then-Serbian President Milan Milutinovic promoted Sreten Lukic (identified as "Leader of the Headquarters of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Pristina") to Police General (two star). On the same occasion, then-Minister of Internal Affairs Vlajko Stojiljkovic promoted seventy-two officers and 307 sub-officers of the police.143

On June 7, 1999, Yugoslav President Milosevic commended 911 members of the MUP for "the suppression of terrorism in Kosovo and defense of the country from aggression." Among those who received awards were three generals, seventeen colonels, seventeen lieutenant colonels, twenty majors, thirty captains, forty-five lieutenants, thirty-seven sub-lieutenants, fifty sergeant majors, 652 noncommissioned officers and forty members of other parts of MUP.144

Some of the leadership was honored in particular. The Order of the Yugoslav Flag of the First Degree was awarded to Col. Gen. Vlastimir S. Djordjevic, Col. Gen. Obrad M. Stevanovic, and Col. Gen. Sreten D. Lukic.

The Order of the Yugoslav Flag of the Third Degree was awarded to Col. Zivko Trajkovic, commander of the SAJ. The Order of Merit in Matters of Defense and Security of the First Degree was awarded to Col. Dragutin Adamovic, head of Djakovica SUP (also listed as Novi Sad SUP) and Jr. Sgt. of the First Order Vidomir N. Salipur, who was notorious in and around Pec for his brutality against ethnic Albanians (see Pec Municipality).

Also in June 1999, former president and "supreme commander" Slobodan Milosevic issued a decree on promotions, decorations, and appointments for three thousand officers, noncommissioned officers, soldiers, and civilians serving the Yugoslav Army.145 This included giving the Order of the National Hero to the following VJ brigades: the 125th Motorized Brigade, the 549th Motorized Brigade, and the 37th Motorized Brigade.

Among the notable promotions, Dragoljub Ojdanic was promoted to General of the Army. Vladimir Lazarevic, commander of the Pristina Corps, and Ljubisa Stojimirovic, Chief of Staff of the Third Army, were both promoted to the rank of Major General.

"For the phenomenal successes and exceptional results in directing and commanding over the VJ in combat for defense of the freedom and sovereignty of the homeland against aggressors," the Order of Freedom was awarded to General of the Army Dragoljub Ojdanic and Col. Gen. Nebojsa Pavkovic.146

"For manifestations of bravery, determination, self-sacrifice, discipline and responsible execution of martial tasks, in which they served as an example to other members of their units," the Order of Bravery was awarded to Maj. Gen. Vladimir Lazarevic, commander of the Pristina Corps. Lazarevic also received the Order of the War Flag of the First Degree two months prior to receiving this reward. The Order of Bravery was also given to the following members of the Third Army:

· Bgd. Gen. Milan N. Djakovic, Member of the Third Army

· Col. Milivoje P. Branic, Member of the Third Army

· Col. Zoran M. Jablanovic, Member of the Third Army

· Col. Miloje R. Miletic, Member of the Third Army

· Col. Dragan S. Petrovic, Member of the Third Army

· Col. Radojko M. Stefanovic, Member of the Third Army

· Col. Veroljub J. Zivkovic, Member of the Third Army

· Lt. Col. Simo R. Ivosevic, Member of the Third Army

· Lt. Col. Stojan O. Konjikovac, Member of the Third Army

· Lt. Col. Pera V. Petrovic, Member of the Third Army

· Maj. Zoran M. Bojkovic, Member of the Third Army

· Maj. Uros V. Nikolic, Member of the Third Army

· Maj. Radivoje Dj. Paravinja, Member of the Third Army

· Maj. Ljubisav D. Stojanovic, Member of the Third Army

· Cpt. of the First Order Ljubisa S. Vucetic, Member of the Third Army

· Cpt. of the First Order Zoran R. Raseta, Member of the Third Army

· Cpt. of the First Order Boban R. Rajkovic, Member of the Third Army

· Cpt. Dragan L. Lukic, Member of the Third Army

· Cpt. Jovica L. Milak, Member of the Third Army

· Cpt. Perica B. Nastasijevic, Member of the Third Army

· Cpt. Milos R. Ralevic, Member of the Third Army

· Cpt. Cedo S. Trpkovski, Member of the Third Army

· Cpt. Sladjan D. Hristov, Member of the Third Army

· Lt. Boban S. Kuzmanovic, Member of the Third Army

· Lt. Nikola M. Mijatovic, Member of the Third Army

· Sub. Lt. Nenad M. Popovic, Member of the Third Army

· Snr. Sgt. of the First Order Radisa V. Ilic, Member of the Third Army

· Snr. Sgt. Zeljko J. Alar, Member of the Third Army

· Snr. Sgt. Branko N. Vukovic, Member of the Third Army

· Sgt. Aleksandar R. Rakovic, Member of the Third Army

· Jr. Sgt. Ivan S. Niciforovic, Member of the Third Army

· Cor. Branislav M. Fungerhut, Member of the Third Army

· Soldier Dragan R. Belosevic, Member of the Third Army

· Soldier Milan M. Bogdanovic, Member of the Third Army

· Soldier Veroljub M. Mijatovic, Member of the Third Army

· Soldier Sasa T. Pejic, Member of the Third Army

· Soldier Milinko M. Pendic, Member of the Third Army

· Soldier Nikola R. Popovic, Member of the Third Army

On July 7, 1999, another batch of MUP employees was decorated, according to Politika, for "outstanding results accomplished in direction of units of the police, manifestations of bravery, determination and discipline in carrying out security tasks by stopping terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija and in defense of the country from aggression, in which they acted as an example to other individuals and members of the police."147 In particular, the Order of the National Hero was awarded to the 124th Intervention Brigade of the Special Police Units. The Order of the Yugoslav Flag of the Third Degree was awarded to Col. Zoran B. Simovic, former commander of the SAJ, and Col. Zivko T. Trajkovic, commander of the SAJ. The Order of Merit in Matters of Defense and Security of the First Degree was awarded to the following MUP official in Kosovo:

· Col. Dragutin R. Adamovic-Djakovica SUP

· Col. Dusan B. Gavranic-Gnjilane SUP

· Col. Gradimir R. Zekavica-Prizren SUP

· Lt. Col. Milan S. Djuricic-Prizren SUP (head of police department)

· Maj. Milenko M. Bozovic-Srbica police commander

Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, by decree, appointed Bgd. Gen. Radojko Stefanovic to the post of commander of the Pristina Corps of the Third Army of the Yugoslav Military. The man who had been occupying this post, Maj. Gen. Vladimir Lazarevic was promoted to the Chief of Command Headquarters of the Third Army.148

Many other members of the VJ were promoted and appointed to new posts by decrees of President Milosevic. They included Negosav Nikolic, commander of the Nis Corp from the Third Army, promoted to Maj. Gen., Col. Bozidar Delic, commander of the 549th Motorized Brigade, promoted to Brigadier General, and Col. Radojko Stefanovic, commander of the 52 Mixed Artillery Brigade, promoted to Brigadier General.

Maj. General Ljubisa Stojimirovic was appointed as the Chief of Staff of the First Army. The Order of the War Flag was awarded to the following brigades:

· The 243rd Mechanized Brigade

· The 211th Armored Brigade

· The 15th Armored Brigade

President Milosevic also presented the highest possible decorations of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia-The Order of Freedom, The Order of the National Hero, The Order of the Yugoslav Flag, and The Order of the War Flag of the First Degree to top commanders in Kosovo.149

The Order of Freedom was awarded to:

· General of the Army Dragoljub Ojdanic.

· Col. Gen. Nebojsa Pavkovic, Commander of the Third Army.

The Order of the National Hero was awarded to:

· The 125th Motorized Brigade of the VJ; accepted by commander of the Brigade, Col. Dragan Zivanovic.

· The 549th Motorized Brigade of the VJ; accepted by commander of the Brigade, Col. Bozidar Delic.

· The 37th Motorized Brigade of the VJ; accepted by commander of the Brigade, Col. Ljubisa Dikovic.

· The 63rd Parachuting Brigade of the VJ; accepted by commander of the Brigade, Lt. Col. Ilija Todorov.

· The 124th Intervention Brigade of the Police; accepted by commander of the Brigade, Col. Zarko Brankovic.

The Order of the Yugoslav Flag was awarded to:

· Zoran Andjelkovic, President of the Temporary Executive Council of Kosovo and Metohija

· Nikola Sainovic Deputy Prime Minister of the Yugoslav Government

· Col. Gen. of the Police Vlastimir Djordjevic.

· Maj. Gen. of the Police Obrad Stevanovic.

· Maj. Gen. of the Police Sreten Lukic.

On May 13, 2000, Security Day, President Milosevic decorated 135 members of the MUP. Decoration of the Yugoslav Flag First Class was given to Vlajko Stojiljkovic, Serbian minister of internal affairs, and Col. Gen. Radomir Markovic, assistant to the minister and chief of state security.150

1 For an indication of the diversity of Serbian and Yugoslav forces, see the Military Technical Agreement signed between the International Security Force (KFOR) and the Governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia on June 9, 1999. The agreement says that "FRY forces" refers to: "regular army and naval forces, armed civilian groups, associated paramilitary groups, air forces, national guards, border police, army reserves, military police, intelligence services, federal and Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs local, special, riot and anti-terrorist police, and any other groups or individuals so designated by the international security force ("KFOR") commander."
2 Photographs of members of security forces obtained by Human Rights Watch show that government troops often wore colored ribbons on their arms. Countless witness statements also describe this. The ribbons may have served to identify units engaged in particular operations or to reduce the possibility of KLA infiltration.
3 Human Rights Watch interview, name and place witheld, July 19, 1999.
4 Human Rights Watch interview with R.N., Cegrane, Macedonia, May 18, 1999.
5 After the change in Serbian and Yugoslav governments in late 2000, Serbian courts began to try some VJ soldiers for crimes committed in Kosovo during the war. See "The Work of the War Crimes Tribunal."
6 In mid-December, 2000, Kertes gave an interview to Nedeljni Telegraf, in which he admitted providing funds to the ruling parties, as well as to the army and the police (see Danijela Bogunovic, "They Always Asked! More for More!," Nedeljni Telegraf, December 13, 2000). He was arrested two days later and charged with embezzling $2 million and $700,000 in separate cases (see "Serbia Police Seize Milosevic Ally," Associated Press, December 15, 2000).
7 Beta, April 9, 1998. Commander of the Yugoslav Third Army Gen. Nebojsa Pavkovic, with responsibility for Kosovo, later defended the killings in Drenica by calling them "the liquidation of a few members, a consequence." See General Pavkovic's interview with Frontline, available at:, (March 20, 2001).
8 Momicilo Perisic was Chief of the VJ General Staff from August 1993 to November 1998, during which time he commanded the VJ and is believed to have remained in close contact with his Serbian counterparts in the Republika Srpska Krajina and the Republika Srpska.

From 1990 to 1991, Perisic was commander of the Yugoslav National Army's (JNA) artillery school in Zadar, Croatia. Thereafter, he became chief of staff of the JNA's newly formed Bileca Corps and commanded that Corps until 1992. In 1992, he became chief of staff and deputy commander of the 3rd Army. In August 1993, he was promoted to Colonel General and appointed VJ Chief of Staff, replacing Zivota Panic.
In 1997, Perisic was tried in absentia by a Zadar court and sentenced to twenty years in prison for war crimes and atrocities allegedly committed during the VJ attack on Zadar. In January 2001, Perisic was appointed a Deputy Prime Minister of the new Serbian government, prompting a protest from the Croatian Foreign Minsitry.
    9 In addition to extensive witness testimony collected by Human Rights Watch, the extent of the cooperation between MUP and VJ was reflected in a Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs statement released after the war regarding a meeting of the MUP and VJ leadership:
      The extremely successful and efficient cooperation during the previous period was emphasized, particularly regarding the fight against Albanians separatists and terrorists in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as special unity between the Yugoslav Army and the police forces in the defense from NATO aggression. (Announcement, MUP website, April 10, 2000.)
    10 OSCE/ODIHR, Kosovo/Kosova: As Seen, As Told, Part I, p. 21.
    11 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, articles 135 and 136.
    12 FreeB92 News, November 1, 2000.
    13 Although there is no express provision in the Yugoslav constitution or any federal law that SDC decisions must be unanimous, this interpretation has been generally accepted and follows from the provisions of the Yugoslav constitution, in particular Article 1, which defines the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a sovereign state founded on the equality of citizens and the equality of the constituent republics (emphasis added). The SDC rules of procedure are not public.
    14 "Djukanovic: Milosevic not Supreme Commander," Radio B92, March 16, 1999.
    15 Ojdanic replaced Col. Gen Momcilo Perisic on November 3, 1998. He retired from military service on December 30, 2000.
    16 "Three Thousand Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, Soldiers and Civilians Employed in the Services of the VJ," Politika, June 16, 1999.
    17 According to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, the chief of the VJ's counter intelligence service was Col. Gen. Geza Farkas. See, April 20, 2001.
    18 The First Army was commanded by General Srboljub Trajkovic. At the outset of the NATO bombing, the Second Army was commanded by General Radosav Martinovic. He was replaced by Colonel General Milorad N. Obradovic just after the start of the air strikes and subsequently placed on pension.
    19 See the following for more information: the website of the Federation of American Scientists (, March 20, 2001), the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense website (, March 20, 2001), and the Jane's Defense Weekly website (, March 20, 2001), as well as a report by the International Crisis Group, Reality Demands, June 2000.
    20 Ibid.
    21 See Jane's World Armies at, March 2001.
    22 Zoran Miladinovic, "Always Among the Prominent," Vojska, October 29, 1998. Cirkovic was also the commander of the Kosovski Junaci barracks in Pristina. B.K., "Dedication to the Call," Vojska, November 5, 1998. Cirkovic was also publicly named as commander of the 15th Armored Brigade by the U.S. State Department on April 7, 1999.
    23 A June 25, 1998, article in Vojska (Vladica Krstic, "Write a Letter, Soldier,") said that Zivanovic was scheduled to replace Col. Srba Zdravkovic. Zivanovic was also publicly named as commander of the 125th Motorized Brigade by the U.S. State Department on April 7, 1999. An armored mechanized unit based in the Vojvoda Petar Bojovic barracks in Pec belonged to the brigade under the command of Major Milicko Jankovic. Ljiljana Bascarevic, "The Harmony Between Knowledge and Experience," Vojska, October 22, 1998.
    24 Zoran Miladinovic, "Care for the Soldiers is the Priority,"Vojska, November 12, 1998, refers on page nineteen to the "motorized unit of Pristina Corps, from Prizren, under the command of Bozidar Delic." According to the article, the unit "conducts complex tasks of securing the frontier, control of communications in the border area. . . . Since the beginning of the conflict in Kosovo and Metohija, the unit has had many clashes with terrorist bands which have tried to penetrate our country from the territory of the Republic of Albania." Delic was also publicly named as commander of the 549th Mechanized Brigade by the U.S. State Department on April 7, 1999.
    25 Jelic was publicly named as commander of the 243rd Mechanized Brigade by the U.S. State Department on April 7, 1999.
    26 "Human Factor Makes No Mistakes," Vojska, September 10, 1998. This is one of three artillery brigades in the Third Army, with others in Aleksinac and Vranje. It was based in Gnjilane in the Knez Lazar barracks. Stefanovic was also publicly named as commander of the 52nd Mixed Artillery Brigade by the U.S. State Department on April 7, 1999. The State Department also identified Col. Milos Djosan as commander of the 52nd Light Air Defense Artillery-Rocket Regiment, based in Djakovica.
    27 Zoran Miladinovic, "Right Fighters at the Right Place," Vojska, May 7/14, 1998. Pekovic was also publicly named as commander of the 52nd Military Police Battalion by the U.S. State Department on April 7, 1999. According to Vojska, the Military Police of the Pristina Corps have a special antiterrorist unit, commanded by Second Lieutenant Milija Vukanic. Zoran Miladinovic, "Terrorists Have No Chance," Vojska, May 7/14, 1998, and Branko Kopunovic, "People Who Pass Their Shadow," Vojska, May 7/14, 1998.
    28 According to a researcher on the VJ at Belgrade's Institute of Contemporary History, one of the VJ's two fighter regiments (Lovacki Puk) at Pristina's Slatina airport consisted of two squadrons of MIG-21 planes. "Units Filled to the Maximum," Nasa Borba, May 4, 1998.
    29 "Decrees on Promotions and Appointments," Vojska, December 31, 1998, and January 7, 1999.
    30 Zoran Miladinovic, "In Challenge You See a Hero," Vojska, October 8, 1998. Mirko Starcevic's position in the Third Army was also evident by his appearance at a press conference in Pristina on April 24, 1998, when he informed journalists about recent attacks on the army near the border with Albania. He was presented as "a representative of the Yugoslav Army Corps in Pristina."
    31 "Decrees on Promotions and Appointments," Vojska, December 31, 1998 and January 7, 1999.
    32 "General Stojimirovic Vows to Defend FRY," Tanjug, March 26, 1999.
    33 "General: Kosovars Have `Nothing But Praise' for Serb Army," Beta, July 17, 1999.
    34 In a letter published on August 24, 1999, in Blic, these "generals of the Yugoslav Army's Third Army," together with Vladimir Lazarevic, countered claims that they had threatened some members of Serbia's political opposition. Reported by Radio B2-92, August 24, 1999.
    35 United Kingdom Ministry of Defense website,, accessed March 2001.
    36 R. Jeffrey Smith and Dana Priest, "Yugoslav Eviction Operation `Basically Done'; Government Forces in Kosovo Digging In For an Extended Stay," Washington Post, May 11, 1999.
    37 Branko Kopunovic, "With Sword and Shield," Vojska, April 23, 1998, and "Who are the New Generals," Vojska, January 22, 1998, which describes Stojimirovic as having been the commander of the Corps' motorized brigade and then its chief of staff before becoming overall commander.
    38 "Decrees on Promotions and Appointments, Vojska, December 31, 1998 and January 7, 1999. Stojimirovic replaced Major General Miodrag Simic. Zoran Miladinovic, "Well Based Confidence of the People," Vojska, January 15, 1998, and Zoran Miladinovic, "Practical Modes of Training," Vojska, January 15, 1998. See also, "General Stojimirovic Vows to Defend FRY," Tanjug, March 26, 1999.
    39 Branko Kopunovic, "With Sword and Shield," Vojska, April 23, 1998.
    40 "The War That We Were Involved in Was the Most Unequal War Ever Known," Politika, November 27-30, 1999. Evidence that the 63rd Parachutist Brigade was active in Kosovo comes from various sources. On October 15, 1999, President Milosevic awarded the 63rd Parachutist Brigade with the Order of the National Hero, which was accepted by Lieutenant Colonel Todorov. In his acceptance speech, Todorov said that his forces has lost many men "in the defense of Yugoslavia from European and domestic forces, and in the fight against Shiptar (a pejorative term for Albanians) terrorists in the year 1998 and in the defense of the last defensive war." Politika, October 15, 1999. In addition, a colonel from the 63rd Parachutist Brigade, Goran Ostojic, was reported to have died in August 1998 after being sent "to the front." Srboljub Bogdanovic and Daniel Bukumirovic, "Special Upbringing," Evropljanin, August 27, 1998. Lastly, in a October 1998 speech, former Chief of the VJ General Staff Momcilo Perisic said: "I congratulate the soldiers, sub-officers, officers, and civilians in the service of the 63rd Parachute Brigade of the Special Forces Corps. . . . In complex circumstances, remaining faithful to the traditions of parachuting and keeping the pride of the profession, you have shown how the motherland is to be protected and preserved. With professional responsibility and readiness to withstand all efforts, in the best possible manner you have confirmed the status of an elite unit of the Yugoslav Army." "They Confirm the Sattus of an Elite VJ Unit," Vojska, October 15, 1998.
    41 B. Kopunovic, "When `Otters' Fly with Falcons," Vojska, May 7/14, 1998. The article also says that, among the members of the 72nd Brigade are "the popular and well known Falcons [Sokolovi]."
    42 Federation of American Scientists website,, (March 2001).
    43 Branko Kopunovic, "People Who Pass Shadows," Vojska, May 7/14, 1998.
    44 Vecernje Novosti, June 30, 1999.
    45 Republic of Serbia, Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Kovacica District, Department of General Management and Public Service, Local Office of Debeljaca, Number III-111/99-05, March 26, 1999, 2621 Debeljaca.
    46 Maggie O'Kane, "Kosovo `Cleaner' Tells How Villages Were Emptied," Guardian (London), April 27, 1999.
    47 Ibid.
    48 Frontline, Public Broadcasting System, available at:, (March 20, 2001).
    49 Ibid.
    50 U.S. Department of State, Press Statement by James P. Rubin, Spokesman, April 7, 1999, "Responsibility of Individual Yugoslav Army and Ministry Of Internal Affairs Commanders for Crimes Committed By Forces Under Their Command in Kosovo." The other named commanders were: Major General Vladimir Lazarevic, Commander, Pristina Corps; Colonel Mladen Cirkovic, Commander, 15th Armored Brigade, HQ Pristina; Colonel Dragan Zivanovic, Commander, 125th Motorized Brigade, HQ Kosovska Mitrovica and Pec; Colonel Krsman Jelic, Commander, 243rd Mechanized Brigade, HQ Urosevac; Colonel Bozidar Delic, Commander, 549th Motorized Brigade, HQ Prizren and Djakovica; Colonel Radojko Stefanovic, Commander, 52nd Mixed Artillery Brigade, HQ Gnjilane; Colonel Milos Djosan, Commander, 52nd Light Air Defense Artillery-Rocket Regiment, HQ Djakovica; and Major Zeljko Pekovic, Commander, 52nd Military Police Battalion, HQ, Pristina.
    51 Jane's World Armies (, March 2001.)
    52 "The Yugoslav Army's Third Army Commander Lieutenant General Nebojsa Pavkovic: Kosmet is not Lost," Vojska, June 16, 1999.
    53 For details on the MUP, see its website, also in English, at, (March 20, 2001).
    54 On February 7, 2001, Sokolovic was found dead in his car in Zajecar, Serbia, with a bullet wound to his head. Initial autopsy reports concluded the death was a suicide. "Solokovic Postmortem Indicates Suicide," Radio B92, February 8, 2001.
    55 The Indictment of Milosevic et al., Case IT-99-37-I, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, May 24, 1999.
    56 For details on the Draskovic incident, see Human Rights Watch report, "Curtailing Political Dissent: Serbia's Campaign of Violence and Harassment Against Government Critics," April 2000.
    57 Milanka Ivezic, "Successfully, Professionally, Responsibly, and with Discipline," Policajac, No. 4/97, April 1997, "Appointments and Assignments in the Ministry," Policajac, No. 4/97, April 1997, and Filip Svarm, "Go to Kosovo," Vreme, March 28, 1998.
    58 Svarm, "Go to Kosovo," and the Federation of American Scientists website:, accessed March 2001.
    59 United Kingdom, Ministry of Defense,, accessed March 2001.
    60 Dejan Anastasijevic, "How the Police Renounced Slobodan Milosevic," Vreme, October 19, 2000.
    61 "SAJ Belgrade Won First," Policajac, No. 6/97, June 1997.
    62 Gradisa Katic, "They Train for Years for an Operation That Takes Several Seconds," Blic, March 15, 1998, which reports that the SAJ took part in the March 1998 attack on Donji Prekaz, along with the PJP and regular police.
    63 Prior to this, Lukic was assistant chief of police in Belgrade. On August 2, 1997, he accompanied Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs Vlajko Stojiljkovic on a visit to the SAJ in Belgrade. "Adroitness, Skillfulness and Professionalism," Policajac, No. 9/97, August 1997.
    64 "Sreten Lukic Promoted to the Rank of Two-Star General of the Police," Politika, May 13, 1999.
    65 Milan and Sredoje Lukic have been charged, together with Mitar Vasiljevic, for the mass murder of approximately 135 Bosnian Muslims around the eastern Bosnian town of Visegrad between May 1992 and October 1994.
    66 See Chuck Sudetic, "The Reluctant Gendarme," Atlantic Monthly, April 2000.
    67 What's New: Foreign Diplomats Visit Kosovo and Metohija, MUP website (March 20, 2001).
    68 Tom Walker, "Belgrade Pledges to Wipe Out `Terrorists' in Kosovo," Times (London), June 11, 1998.
    69 What's New: Foreign Diplomats Visit Kosovo and Metohija, MUP website (March 20, 2001).
    70 See Human Rights Watch, Humanitarian Law Violations in Kosovo, October 1998.
    71 KDOM, Daily Report for August 21, 1998.
    72 R. Jeffrey Smith, "Taps Reveal Coverup of Kosovo Massacre," Washington Post, January 28, 1999.
    73 Dejan Anastasijevic, "How the Police Renounced Slobodan Milosevic," Vreme, October 19, 2000.
    74 See "Serbian Government Promotes Rights Abuser: New Interior Ministry Appointee Commanded Police in Kosovo," Human Rights Watch press release, February 2, 2001.
    75 Z. Miladinovic, "Gift From the People," Vojska, No. 331, December 10, 1998.
    76 M. Manic and S. Kovacevic, "Will and Readiness to Carry Out All Security Tasks," Policajac, No. 18/98, October 1998.
    77 "Everything Binds Us to This Land," Policajac, No. 18/98, October 1998.
    78 "We Are Doing the Best We Can," Policajac, No. 4/97, April 1997.
    79 "In Complex Security Circumstances, They Fulfill Their Obligations With Success," Policajac, No. 3/98, February 1998. Col. Zekavica was awarded the Order of Merit in Matters of Defense and Security of the First Degree on July 7, 1999 (see "Examples of Heroism and Patriotism," Politika, July 11, 1999).
    80 "At New Duties," Policajac, No. 1/99, January 1999.
    81 "Confidence Arrived Through Work and Good Results," Policajac, No. 3/98, February 1998.
    82 "Good and Alert," Policajac, No. 8/98, April 1998.
    83 "Ability to Persevere in the Fight Between Good and Evil," Policajac, No. 8/98, April 1998.
    84 "At New Duties," Policajac.
    85 See Human Rights Watch, A Week of Terror in Drenica, February 1999.
    86 "Policeman Milan Tenic Killed," Policajac, No. 8/98, April 1998.
    87 Milanki Mijatov, "We Are Capable of More and Better," Policajac, No. 4/99, February 1999, and Dejan Anastasijevic, "Bloody Weekend in Drenica," Vreme, March 7, 1998.
    88 See "Justice for Kosovo" on the American RadioWorks website:, (March 20, 2001).
    89 Gajic was with Sreten Lukic for the meeting with foreign diplomats in Pec on June 7, 1999. According to one press account, after the public affairs debacle in March 1998, when Albanian families were massacred in Drenica, Gajic was appointed to oversee security in the western region of Kosovo during the spring offensive. Tom Walker, "Belgrade Pledges to Wipe Out `Terrorists' in Kosovo," The Times (London), June 11, 1998.
    90 United Kingdom, Ministry of Defense,, (March 20, 2001).
    91 Dejan Anastasijevic, "The Boys From Brazil," Vreme, October 19, 2000, and "How the Police Renounced Slobodan Milosevic," Vreme, October 19, 2000; Robert Block and Matthew Kaminski, "Was Serbian Revolt the People's Alone?" Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2000.
    92 See VIP Report 1975, February 28, 2001, which cites the newspaper Vecernje Novosti, as well as the VIP Report from May 7, 2001. Milorad Ulemek's (or Lukovic's) nickname "Legija" has also caused confusion because there are at least two other men known as "Legija" in Serbia's paramilitary structures.
    93 Human Rights Watch interview with J.J., Belgrade, Yugoslavia, November 2, 1998.
    94 Human Rights Watch interview with VJ soldier, Decan, Kosovo, September 24, 1998.
    95 United Kingdom, Ministry of Defense,, March 20, 2001.
    96 Srboljub Bogdanovic and Daniel Bukumirovic, "Special Upbringing," Evropljanin, August 27, 1998, and Filip Svarm, "Go To Kosovo," Vreme, March 28, 1998.
    97 Anastasijevic, "The Boys from Brazil."
    98 See, for example, Zoran B. Mijatovic, "How the SPS and JUL Destroyed the State Security Service," Nedeljni Telegraf, November 8, 2000.
    99 Andrew Purvis and Dejan Anastasijevic, "The Bloody Red Berets,", March 12, 2001.
    100 VIP Report, May 7, 2001.
    101 Ibid.
    102 United Kingom, Ministry of Defense,, March 20, 2001.
    103 See "Justice for Kosovo," American RadioWorks website.
    104 Vecernje Novosti, June 30, 1999.
    105 Arkan's Tigers were also known as the Serb Volunteer Guard. They were founded by Zeljko Raznatovic ("Arkan"), who was indicted by the ICTY on September 30, 1997, for crimes in Bosnia. He was killed by gunmen in a Belgrade hotel in January 2000.
    106 The White Eagles were a paramilitary formation under the command of Vojislav Seselj, a deputy prime minister in the Serbian government and head of the Serbian Radical Party.
    107 According to the OSCE, the Republika Srpska Delta Force came from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republika Srpska. See OSCE/ODIHR, Kosovo/Kosova: As Seen, As Told, Part I. p. 24.
    108 Ibid.
    109 Ibid.
    110 Human Rights Watch interview with M.J., Dobratin, Kosovo, July 13, 1999.
    111 Philip Sherwell, "Focus the Ethnic Cleansing Business: "We Didn't Rape or Kill Enough._. . ," Sunday Telegraph (London), June 27, 1999.
    112 James M. Dorsey "Death Factory: For These Serbs, Ethnic Cleansing Was a Business Proposition," Wall Street Journal Europe, August 31, 1999.
    113 Jack Kelley, "Remorseless Troops Tell About Pillaging Kosovo," USA Today, July 22, 1999.
    114 See "Justice for Kosovo," American RadioWorks website.
    115 Ibid.
    116 Humanitarian Law Center, Kosovo Roma: Targets of Abuse and Violence, March 24-September 1, 1999, 1999.
    117 See the following: Roy Gutman, "Russian `Volunteers' Allegedly Helped Serbs," Newsday, June 22, 1999; Maggie O'Kane, "Russian Soldiers' Peace Role Gives Refugees Chills," Guardian (London), June 24, 1999; "Retour des Russes sous l'habit de la KFOR: Tusus n'y croit pas," France 3 Infos, June 21, 1999.
    118 Ron Ben-Yishay, "The Israeli Soldiers of the Serb Army," Tel Aviv Yedi'ot Aharonot, June 11, 1999.
    119 "Danish Mercenary Set Free With Charges," Agence France Presse, August 31, 1999.
    120 Sainovic chaired the commission for cooperation with the OSCE's KVM mission and was a member of the Serbian delegation at the Rambouillet talks in February 1999. On May 11, 2001, the Yugoslav parliament voted to lift the immunity of Sainovic and Jovan Zebic, both former Yugoslav Deputy Prime Ministers. Sainovic and Zebic are wanted by the Belgrade District Court to answer charges that they abused their official position to help President Milosevic siphon off state funds.
    121 Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Adopted May 25, 1993, amended May 13, 1998. Articles two through five of the statute list the punishable crimes: Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, violations of the laws or customs of war, genocide, and crimes against humanity (such as murder, deportation, torture, and rape).
    122 In a January 16, 2001, interview with Belgrade's Radio B92, General Pavkovic was asked directly about civilian casualties and mass graves in Kosovo. He answered: "The thing I do know is that the Army firmly observed all the terms of the Geneva Convention and the international agreements." When asked "How about war crimes?" Pavkovic responded, "I am not aware of any such thing." See, April 28, 2001.
    123 March 26, 1999, Announcement, MUP website, March 20, 2001.
    124 May 4, 1999, Announcement, MUP website, March 20, 2001.
    125 See (March 20, 2001).
    126 Radio B92 interview with Gen. Nebojsa Pavkovic, available at, April 22, 2001.
    127 The police records were left behind in Pec district offices and were viewed by Human Rights Watch in July 1999.
    128 See "Justice for Kosovo," American RadioWorks website.
    129 In 2001, the new Serbian government and the VJ began prosecuting some cases. See Work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
    130 Dusan Stojanovic, "Milosevic Makes Public Appearance," Associated Press, November 25, 2000.
    131 Members of the Security Organs and Services on the Security Day May 13, MUP website, (March 20, 2001).
    132 "Humanitarian Law Center Director's letter to the Yugoslav Army's General Staff," Danas, August 21, 2000.
    133 In 1998, a splinter group tried to form a parallel fighting force: FARK-Forcave Armatosure e Republikes e Kosovos (Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosova), under the command of Bujar Bukoshi, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Kosovo government. FARK was disbanded and, by March 1999, its members were fighting alongside the KLA.
    134 The British press published unconfirmed reports in October 1999 that Ceku was under investigation by the war crimes tribunal for crimes committed by Croatian Army forces against ethnic Serbs in 1993. The tribunal neither confirmed nor denied the speculation, in accordance with its policy of not commenting on investigations. See, "Kosovo Commander Denies War Crimes in Croatia," Agence France Presse, October 12, 1999.
    135 Other members of the KLA's General Staff included Jakup Krasniqi, Azem Syla, Xhavit Haliti, Rame Buja, and Sokol Bashota, all in the political directorate, as well as Fatmir Limaj and Rexhep Selimi.
    136 Rexha was gunned down by unknown assailants in front of his home in Prizren on May 8, 2000.
    137 For details on some of the KLA personalities, see reports by the International Crisis Group, Critical Implementation Issues and a "Who's Who" of Key Players, March 1999, Who's Who in Kosovo, August 1999, and What Happened to the KLA?, March 2000. See also Zoran Kusovac, "The KLA: Braced to Defend and Control," Jane's Intelligence Review, April 7, 1999.
    138 Koha Ditore, July 12, 1998.
    139 KLA Communique Nr. 51, as published in Koha Ditore, August 26, 1998.
    140 "Kosovo Reintegration Efforts are Bearing Fruits," IOM release, March 16, 2000.
    141 The demilitarization agreement signed by the KLA on June 20, 1999, tended to confirm that non-Kosovo Albanians had participated in the KLA. Point 23(e) stipulated the withdrawal from Kosovo of "all UCK personnel, who are not of local origin, whether or not they are legally within Kosovo, including individual advisors, freedom fighters, trainers, volunteers, and personnel from neighboring and other States." (The "Undertaking of Demilitarization and Transformation by the UCK" is available at, March 20, 2001.)
    142 For details, see, Roger Boyes and Eske Wright, "Drugs Money Linked to the Kosovo Rebels," The Times (London), March 24, 1999; Frank Viviano, "Separatists Supporting Themselves with Traffic in Narcotics," San Francisco Chronicle, June 10, 1994; "Speculation Plentiful, Facts Few About Kosovo Separatist Group," Baltimore Sun, March 6, 1998; Zoran Kusovac, "Another Balkans Bloodbath?-Part One, Jane's Intelligence Review, February 1, 1998; "TV report says Kosovo Albanians involved in Illegal Business in Germany," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, AND news agency, Berlin, June 28, 1999.
    143 "Sreten Lukic Promoted to the Rank of Two-Star General of the Police," Politika, May 13, 1999. See also the MUP website.
    144 "Awards for the Defense of the Homeland," Policajac, July 1999.
    145 "Three Thousand Officers, Non-commissioned Officers, Soldiers and Civilians Employed in the Services of the VJ," Politika, June 16, 1999.
    146 Ibid.
    147 "Examples of Heroism and Patriotism," Politika, July 11, 1999. See also the MUP website. There Djordjevic is called a Lieutenant General, Stavanovic is a Major General, and Lukic is a Major General.
    148 "Radojko Stefanovic New Commander of the Pristina Corps," Hronika, December 30, 1999.
    149 "The War That We Were Involved in Was the Most Unequal War Ever Known," Politika, November 27-30, 1999.
    150 May 13, 2000 Announcement, MUP website (March 20, 2001).
    151 July 5, 2000, Announcement, MUP website (March 20, 2001).