Probably the next hotspot in the Cold War between NATO and Russia — is Kosovo. The news is moving fast, this morning I have this piece; and also this piece, both by reporter Anton Nikitin who is following this story by the minute!
Some readers may remember this series of posts I did not that long ago, you can read that to review the backstory. My current piece is basically a continuation of that story, with breaking developments. In a nutshell: the Albanians have crossed what was already defined as a red line and seized the approaches to Gazivode. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has asked Russia to help Serbia in the same way they just helped Syria. And Russia has agreed. That’s the gist. Now the details:
“In two days I will be meeting with President Putin, we will discuss all the important issues facing Serbia; it goes without saying that the priority is the situation in Kosovo-Metohija. We shall inform President Putin about everything that is happening, and we will request his help on all international forums, we will ask for his advice, without any doubt.”
Asked the key question if he will request Russian military assistance, as did Syrian President Assad, Vučić replied that he would do anything he had to, to preserve peace in the region: “I would hope that Serbia — taking into account all our respect and love for Syria and her people — would remain a peaceful country, a country with a successful economy; a country looking forward into the future; and I will do everything in my power to preserve peace.”
[TRANSLATION: We really really really don’t want war on our territory again; but it may not be up to us! In which case, maybe Big Brother Russia can help us out.]
According to Serbian media, the meeting between the Presidents of Russia and Serbia will take place in Moscow two days from now, October 2. Recall that the Serbian army is at a state of the highest military alert, following the actions of the Albanian forces near the hydroelectric complex in Gazivode. [One might also assume, intelligently, that the Albanians did not take these aggressive actions without first getting permission from their Big Brother in Washington D.C. !]
Meanwhile, without even waiting for the Moscow meeting of the two Presidents, the Russian Ministry of Defense suddenly decided spontaneously [sarc] to launch joint Russian-Serbian war games called “BARS-2018”. The games involve light air offensive and defensive forces of the Russian and Serbian air forces. According to the Russian military:
“In the course of the game, the air force will conclude the interception of air targets, will also engage in certain types of aerial dog-fights, advanced and complicated pilotage will be rehearsed, also tactical strikes on ground targets, and will also rehearse airbone landings (parachuting) and search and rescue missions on the ground.”
The games will start tomorrow (October 1) and continue through October 5. Taking part in the games will be several Russian MI-8 helicopters, as well as some MIG-29 planes. Serbian anti-air defenses will also be put to the test during the exercises. Just to make sure that everybody is ready, for what happens next.