Stratfor - 19990818
0055 GMT, 990830 Yugoslavia – Ethnic Albanians have stayed their ground for the seventh day of protests outside of Orahovac, Serbia. Dutch, German and Russian representatives of KFOR will resume discussions with local community leaders tomorrow, after taking a break over the weekend for private consultations. Protestors insist they will continue to barricade the town until Russian KFOR patrols are officially denied entry.
0045 GMT, 990830 Yugoslavia – U.S. Ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke arrived in Kosovo August 28. Holbrooke will spend three nights in Pristina before going on to Skopje, Tirana and Sarajevo. Reuters reported that the meetings and travel are intended to give Holbrooke a detailed look at the humanitarian situation in Kosovo. Holbrooke will not meet with Slobodan Milosevic, due to his indictment as a war criminal.
2245 GMT, 990829 Yugoslavia – The Democratic Party, one of Serbia’s most prominent opposition groups, announced its support for an ethnically segregated Kosovo August 28 . A plan drafted by Serbian community leader Momcilo Trajkovic for creating Serbian enclaves throughout Kosovo was rejected previously by Bernard Kouchner, the UN administrator for Kosovo.
1531 GMT, 990829 Yugoslavia – Vuk Draskovic, leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO), called for the dismissal of the top UN administrator in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner. Draskovic said August 29 that Kouchner, "led an anti-Serb demonstration", but a UN spokeswoman reported that Kouchner took part in a march of Albanians demanding the release of their families from Serb prisons.
0007 GMT, 990828 – Russian Retreat From Orahovac Seen as KLA Victory
Russian troops retreated August 27 from a five-day deadlock with ethnic Albanians, failing to enter the city of Orahovac. The Russians were scheduled to take over peacekeeping activities from Dutch KFOR troops this week.
"The main thing is to not destabilize [the region] and for the problem to be fixed in a peaceful way, without the use of force – that’s the line from our command," said Lieutenant-Colonel Mikhail Kovtunenko, spokesman for Russian forces. Kovtunenko also said Russian troops could wait months before returning.
2345 GMT, 990824 – Another Fracture in KFOR
Intensifying a standoff, leaders of the village of Orahovac on August 24 rebuffed the demands of Western and Russian negotiators who want Russian troops to enter the community in south-central Kosovo. More than a confrontation over a single village, the deadlock will likely trigger other such struggles, threatening Russia’s participation in KFOR and encouraging Moscow to carve an independent role for its troops in Kosovo.
# Leaders of the ethnic Albanian community met with Russian and NATO officials on August 24 to negotiate the entry of Russian troops who had been scheduled to replace German and Dutch troops. The residents allege that during the recent conflict, Russian mercenaries fought side by side with Serbs. [more] 2328 GMT, 990820 Russia May Be Seeking to Change Status Quo in Kosovo # 0226 GMT, 990820 Anti-Milosevic or Pro-Opposition? # 0235 GMT, 990810 With Few Options, NATO Turns Up Heat on KLA to Lukewarm # 0220 GMT, 990807 Montenegro Threatens Independence But Remains Willing to Wait # 2310 GMT, 990806 Kosovo Power Outage Follow-Up