News Release

Russians in Kosovo: Analysis


Co-author of Revolution From Above: The Demise of the Soviet System and professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Kotz said Monday: “The Russians’ preemptive move into Kosovo is a consequence of the two-track strategy that NATO followed regarding ending the war. The first track was their insistence on a NATO force in Kosovo. The second track was to bring the Russians on board and to get a UN resolution. This gave the Russians the opportunity to move into Kosovo when NATO refused to give the Russians a contingent not under NATO command. The very mild reaction of NATO is not just politeness — it is also a recognition that what the Russians did was within the bounds of the UN resolution, which gives Russia as much right as anyone to enter Kosovo for peacekeeping.”

The editor of The Nation and co-author of Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev’s Reformers, vanden Heuvel said Monday: “The Russian troops in Pristina are the starkest reminders of how profound and dangerous the impact of the war has been on the deteriorating U.S.-Russian relationship. Today, the Clinton administration’s relations are almost entirely with a tiny and dying Yeltsin regime, which is fighting ferociously over succession, power and property. We still don’t know who made the decision to send in Russian troops. Was Yeltsin convinced of the wisdom of the action or was it in effect imposed on him by a humiliated and angry military? What is clear is that the Russian military has been angered and emboldened by the war and NATO’s attempt to cut it out of Kosovo. For the first time in years, the military leadership is speaking up and acting out. Are we seeing the beginnings of a coup against Yeltsin’s foreign policy?”
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Co-author of Revolution From Above: The Demise of the Soviet System and Moscow correspondent for Canadian Press (Canada’s national wire service), Weir said Monday: “The Russians felt they were used and pushed aside on Yugoslavia. Now they have put ‘facts on the ground’ which NATO will have to take into account.”

An associate professor of economics at Hofstra University who regularly writes on Russia, Kozlov said Monday: “The NATO powers might be playing the economic-aid card. NATO apparently felt it could proceed with the Yugoslavia operation because of Russia’s economic — and therefore military and political — weakness. There are already signs that Russia is going ahead with an increase in military expenditures, not just from the Duma, but also now directly from the government which up until now has been urging reductions.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167