| Burials in Račak after the 1999 massacre Source newsbbccouk | MR Online Burials in Račak after the 1999 massacre. [Source: news.bbc.co.uk]

NATO/CIA false flag operation in Račak in 1999 set precedent for similar operations in Syria and Ukraine that were designed to create a pretext for military intervention

Originally published: CovertAction Magazine on July 7, 2023 by Olga Peterson (more by CovertAction Magazine)  | (Posted Jul 11, 2023)

A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

— Mark Twain

We are living in terrible times. The great hegemon—the United States of America—and its false flags abound all around. Where do I start? Remember Bucha anyone? Let me tell you about the Račak massacre in Serbian Kosovo and Metohija in 1999, yet another brutal U.S.-NATO false flag that was used to justify military intervention and bombing.

The Serbs have been trying for more than two decades to present the truth about this 1999 false pretext for NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, which at the time consisted of Serbia and Montenegro.

The alleged massacre, which helped mobilize public opinion against the Serbs, occurred on the night and early morning hours of January 14 and 15, 1999, during a period of military conflict between the Serbian security forces and members of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

If any CovertAction Magazine readers get the impression that the KLA resembles ISIS in some respects, your intuition is good.

Forty-five members of the KLA were killed in the so-called Račak massacre, though Serbia has been trying to defend the truth about it for more than 20 years.

Namely, Serbian institutions have been trying to communicate to the broader public that the claims about a massacre in Račak, allegedly committed upon civilians, were an outright lie and that it was, in fact, an armed conflict between Serbian security forces and KLA members.

| Investigative Judge Danica Marinković William Walker | MR Online

Investigative Judge Danica Marinković / William Walker

Investigative Judge Danica Marinković, who has been working on the case for years, now claims with utmost credibility that William Walker, a veteran U.S. diplomat and head of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) who had covered up the murder of six U.S. nuns by death squads when he was ambassador to El Salvador, told the media his own distorted version of the course of events that night without ever waiting for the competent and unbiased authorities to investigate the whole affair.

She points out that, later, the Hague Tribunal accepted the truth that there was no massacre in Račak. Judge Marinković has repeated many times that a huge amount of weapons and ammunition, such as grenade launchers and automatic guns, were found on the spot people were killed immediately after the conflict.

The spot of the alleged massacre was the same location as the KLA headquarters and the people killed were found with KLA military insignia on their uniforms.

| KLA terrorists Source youtubecom | MR Online

KLA terrorists. [Source: youtube.com]

Judge Marinković stated that the Serbian police received the intelligence information that the region was ridden with terrorists and some information about their actions prior to that event.

Serbian police had indeed been forced to deal with KLA terrorists in the region.

Judge Marinković reported that a number of the deaths occurred due to wounds inflicted by firearms shot from a distance. There was no evidence suggesting that the deaths occurred because they may have been bashed by dull objects or by maltreatment or physical torture, that is, the way Walker falsely claimed.

| Dr Helena Ranta Source nalstenaaniri | MR Online

Dr. Helena Ranta [Source: nalstenaani.ri]

A reputable Finnish forensic expert, Dr. Helena Ranta, who worked on the case in real time, together with her team of experts, later confirmed that William Walker exerted a considerable amount of pressure on her while she was preparing her report. She also believed that he expected her to support his explanation of the events that night. With this admission from Dr. Ranta, the grim story may have been given the epilogue the Serbs were hoping for.

In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act — George Orwell

Judge Marinković has bravely repeated a number of times that William Walker’s claim that an alleged massacre happened in Račak by Serbian forces, which supposedly constituted a war crime, was a blatant and unscrupulous lie and an arbitrary misconstruction.

The Račak incident has often been referred to as a “massacre” of innocent civilians.

| Family members grieve victim at Račak Those who were killed appear to have been mostly soldiers Source washingtonpostcom | MR Online

Family members grieve victim at Račak. Those who were killed appear to have been mostly soldiers. [Source: washingtonpost.com]

However, it should be noted that it is not within the scope of the EU Forensic Team or any other person to draw any such inferences; neither is it within their competence to use the term “massacre,” having participated solely in examinations of the bodies. The arbitrary use of the term “massacre” cannot be based on medico-legal facts because it is a description of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of persons as determined after a thoroughly prepared analysis of all available evidence.

Judge Marinković has often emphasized that Walker did not wait for national authorities and competent independent bodies to investigate further and provide facts. Dr. Ranta, the Finnish forensic expert, being aware of the restrictions to her mandate, later refrained from describing the incident in Račak as a “massacre.”

She still stands by her statement from earlier in the investigation about the pressure Walker exerted. Another team of forensic experts, from Belarus, confirmed the same

At the professional level, the expert team experienced no problems in collaborating with Yugoslav or Belarussian pathologists.

| Source blicrs | MR Online

[Source: blic.rs]

After the autopsies were completed in January, the Serbian and Belarussian pathologists decided to draw up common reports in order to summarize their findings. The Finnish team, however, refused to sign off for mysterious, and what appear to be political, reasons. (Finland recently set its goals to join NATO and has historically been fomenting anti-Russia, anti-Belarus sentiments—Russia supported the Serbs in the war.)

After a thorough investigation by the Serbian police, subsequently confirmed by Judge Marinković’s team, there were no children or women among the murder victims, most of the dead had several layers of clothes and military boots on, and they used guns. A paraffin test was used for gunshot residue analysis (GSR) by Judge Marinković’s team but the Finnish team refused to do so. The paraffin test was positive for 37 of the 40 persons killed.

Judge Marinković has stated that the deaths of all 40 people whose bodies were found in the nearby mosque, were caused by injuries inflicted by firearms shot from a distance and from a sedentary position by a person/people who shot at them, which is still applicable to this day, based on the evidence collected. The evidence goes to prove that there was no massacre in Račak and the people who died were neither civilians nor were they innocent local villagers of either Serbian or Albanian population, as the Pristina officials keep claiming.

| Renaud Girard Source lefigarofr | MR Online

Renaud Girard [Source: lefigaro.fr]

Based on these blatant lies by William Walker and his OSCE team as background, this U.S.-NATO false-flag incident was used as a pretext to bomb Serbia and launch the NATO aggression on the then SRJ—Judge Marinković points out in the documentary DOSIJE KOSOVO.

An eminent French reporter with Le Figaro, Renaud Girard, who witnessed what was going on at the time in Račak, and Kosovo and Metohija in general, claims that the events in Račak were a skillful manipulation by KLA so as to provoke and set off an international military intervention against the Serbs.

Regrettably, they had “wholehearted” support by the then-director of the OSCE mission, the unscrupulous William Walker. When a day later he arrived in the village of Račak, he found the KLA members in military uniforms in the whole village and only the body of men lying stretched out on the ground one next to each other one by one.

Perhaps the Serbian authorities may not have abided by the rules of warfare but that was certainly not a massacre on civilians in the village of Račak. Girard added that, in the village, one could see military trenches everywhere, and he was utterly confused at seeing them there.

He told himself the world must know the truth about this: “I owe the truth to the world. I wrote an article the next day based on those facts. I wrote that William Walker may have rushed only too quickly to provide his conclusions. It was the breaking news at the time. Le Figaro published it the following morning and Le Monde the following afternoon,” Girard remembers.

The Guardian also reported about Girard’s views. That article, he pointed out, caused an outrage in the general public.

Walker said that the article was horrible and that he would not allow me to interview him. An American friend told me,

You, scumbag, you killed the story.

| William Walker left head of the Kosovo Verification Mission visits the OSCE office in Malisevo and inspects a firearms sign in January 1999 Source osceorg | MR Online

William Walker, left, head of the Kosovo Verification Mission, visits the OSCE office in Malisevo and inspects a firearms sign in January 1999. [Source: osce.org]

I say that what they love doing is the “Hollywoodization” of the media in which you show the bad guys killing the good guys and the West looking at all that whilst doing nothing. Captain Scott was there in Račak when that article was published. Giraud said of him:

His name was Scott. We had dinner together. We asked what happened? Why didn’t you tell [New York Times journalist Nicholas] Kristoff what happened. Why were you waiting for Saturday for OVK [KLA] to arrive and tell the world that there had been a massacre? What happened?

Scott allegedly replied:

That is rather difficult. We do know that there was nobody by that gully on Friday. [A KLA soldier] told us that he was passing through the villages on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and that the guys told him that sometimes somebody has to be sacrificed. ‘If you have to fight for a higher goal, you have to sacrifice something.’

| General Vladimir Lazarević Source wikipediaorg | MR Online

General Vladimir Lazarević [Source: wikipedia.org]

The dead bodies were moved elsewhere, uniforms were taken off and persistent lies were spread by the world media.

The international committee headed by William Walker made sure that the world found out a different interpretation of what truly happened.

By moving around the dead bodies of Albanian Shqiptari (paramilitary) fighters, by taking off their uniforms and by persistently telling blatant lies to the world media, they have managed to make a police action against the terrorists look and sound like a massacre of innocent civilians. And that is the way history will remember it if Western sources are to be believed.

Allegedly, the Shqiptari are funding a book by Walker with 70,000 euros for him to falsify history.

Amazingly, Walker got himself a monument in Priština in the pseudo state of Kosovo in 2017.

For what it is worth, Tony Blair, with a proven record of war crimes, was honored in the same way. For the record, Walker’s actions on that night and the day after back in 1999 prompted a strong reaction from Yugoslav authorities, which declared Walker “persona non grata” and asked him to leave the country immediately.

All hell broke loose on Kosovo and Metohija when the OSCE mission arrived there headed by William Walker.

General Vladimir Lazarević said in an interview for Politika that the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVK) was a huge international deception on a massive scale.

Neither Walker nor the “verifiers” (the officials who were working for the Verification Mission) even tried to hide their ill intent, which was to cause a conflict with the Serbian security forces in Kosovo at any cost, and then to expel the Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija, says General Lazarević, Commander of the Priština Corps of the Serbian Army and later of the Third (Niška) Corps of the Yugoslav Army.

General Lazarević added that OSCE had a goal to consolidate, re-orgranize and transform and then arm the terrorist KLA, completely demolished after the failed preparations and their efforts to start an uprising in October 1998. General Lazarević said that there were constant rumors that the KLA, aided by the U.S., were being prepared for the warring Kosovo Spring (the equivalent to the Arab Spring).

| Shukri Buja Source korasevinfo | MR Online

Shukri Buja [Source: korasev.info]

In the period before January 1999 there were a high number of provocations by the Shqiptari terrorists and brutal attacks on the Serbian civilians in Kosovo. In the region of Nerodimlja in that period, there was the so-called 161st KLA brigade with its headquarters in Račak, led by notorious terrorist Shukri Buja. This paramilitary formation was notoriously in charge of liquidations, kidnapping and other monstrous crimes on the local Serbian population.

There were even efforts to repeat the monstrosities from Markale in 1994 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the way that they planted explosives in Podujevo, Priština and Mitrovica. Many civilians died due to that but the international community did not react in any way whatsoever.

Walker did not just sit doing nothing

Although none of these things had been successful prior to Račak, nobody in OSCE and KVK just sat doing nothing. Quite the opposite. They were concocting perfidious atrocities and then they cooked up a plan to orchestrate Račak, a false-flag operation with such an easily recognizable CIA signature behind it. The Račak incident was used as a pretext to launch a NATO attack and a brutal aggression on SR Yugoslavia which was all assisted by the CIA and the Pentagon.

Yet, pursuant to an unprecedented resolution by The Hague Tribunal prosecution this incident was used as the first point in the indictment in the legal proceedings against the President of Serbia Slobodan Milošević, and then later against other Serbian politicians and military commanders, which also featured in the indictment for the alleged massacre in Račak.

| Slobodan Milošević Source ictyorg | MR Online

Slobodan Milošević [Source: icty.org]

General Lazarević goes on to say that one of The Hague investigators, William Kelly, concluded by using NATO satellite images showing that there were seven murdered KLA terrorists in two locations and, upon the order of William Walker, about 40 murdered KLA terrorists were moved, dragged or possibly transported to the gully  nearby that afternoon, whose clothes were then changed into the clothes of civilians.

It was William Walker who declared it a massacre on civilians by the Serbian police and the Serbian Army, but that grand deception was immediately seen through, above all by Judge Marinković and the Serbian investigative team in Priština, which was the first one to arrive in Račak.

She later presented her evidence to The Hague Tribunal that no civilian was murdered on that occasion. When General Lazarević heard of Walker’s plans to have his book on Račak published, he stated that it would be more honest if Walker admitted he deceived the whole international community, even though he still feels no remorse for all the evil he has committed.

Sadly, the alleged Račak massacre false flag—U.S.-NATO style—stuck the final nail in the coffin of Serbia at the time, before the NATO bombing unleashed two months afterwards.

| Nikola Selaković Sergey Lavrov | MR Online

Nikola Selaković / Sergey Lavrov

Yet, thanks to indefatigable investigation and research and the testimonies of Judge Marinković and the Finnish forensic expert and her team, no Serbian individual was charged with a crime in The Hague on account of Račak, though the consequences of the NATO bombing has left an indelible mark of atrocities on Serbia and her nation for decades to come.

Fast forward to 2023, the Public Prosecution in Priština has recently issued an arrest warrant for 18 Serbs who are allegedly guilty for what happened in Račak 1999. Albin Kurti, the pseudo PM of the pseudo, illegal state of Kosovo stated, in the temporary Priština institutions at the commemorative meeting on the anniversary of that event, his baseless claims about Serbia: that those who deny genocide wish to repeat it. The world now is aware this was neither a massacre nor a genocide, and was not done against civilians.

But as much as they are trying to use and abuse the orchestrated indictments, and as much as they keep attacking the Serbs to desperately try to whitewash and arbitrarily revise the true nature of Serbian anti-terrorist military action in Račak 24 years ago, Serbia will not allow them to do any such thing, responded Serbian Minister Nikola Selaković.

| 1999 Rambouillet conference Source dwcom | MR Online

1999 Rambouillet conference. [Source: dw.com]

Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, recently compared Bucha and Račak. He added that, due to the American colonial mentality, they like to think that they can do anything. He recalled the bombing of Yugoslavia and added that Bucha, a U.S. false-flag operation in Ukraine 2022, was almost identical to that of Račak in 1999.

The world has slowly come to realize that the whole false-flag case was fabricated by the United States and its extended hands of OSCE and NATO. It was used to get the then hesitant governments of the collective West to agree to the start of the NATO bombing. At that point the negotiations in Rambouillet came to a political halt at a critical moment because the Serbian government did not agree to the establishment of a military alliance protectorate over the whole country.

The hidden agenda behind the Račak massacre was to pressure other NATO countries into an illegal aggression against SR Yugoslavia, commenced without the approval of the UN Security Council. The whole scenario was pre-planned much earlier and the U.S. and NATO were just waiting for the right moment to unleash hell in their grand Drang nach Osten plan masterminded as far back as 1945 immediately after the end of World War II.

Olga Peterson is a writer and translator living in Serbia.

Monthly Review does not necessarily adhere to all of the views conveyed in articles republished at MR Online. Our goal is to share a variety of left perspectives that we think our readers will find interesting or useful. —Eds.