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Russian VDV Operation Pristina Airport

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Does anyone have any good info on it that I can read? I searched the net and I can find little snippets but that is about it.

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Does anyone have any good info on it that I can read? I searched the net and I can find little snippets but that is about it.


I take it your on about the race to get to the airport about 10 years or so ago to stop NATO in the Balkans ?

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I take it your on about the race to get to the airport about 10 years or so ago to stop NATO in the Balkans ?



I thinks the brits had a paras battalion intended to seize it before the russians, however, drop was called off to prevent any chance of clash.

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Not to stop NATO but to give them a good headache. :grin:

Apparentrly our MoD even issued a special medal for those who took part in the operation.


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Yep that mission that suprised NATO. I was looking for info about how the operation was carried out etc etc



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Found some here...


Russian sources...in russian,for sure



Translated by google...


<<March into Kosovo>>


Before throwing


"In those days, when Kosovo's dramatic events unfolded, we, the soldiers of Russia peacekeeping brigade in Bosnia and Herzegovina, closely followed what is happening in your neighborhood. Round-bombers of the alliance flew on bombing Serbia, just above our base area. June 10 about 14 hours I was called on us the brigade commander, Colonel Nikolai Ignatov and orientated on the possible battalion on the march long distances. He was ordered to 18 hours to arrive at the brigade headquarters for the formulation of the problem.


"Arriving at the brigade headquarters, was the commander of the military order: the battalion as a vanguard to make a 620-mile march and by the morning of June 12 to capture the Slatina airport, 12 kilometers southwest of Pristina. Time ready to march was determined 3.00 11 June. So way, at my disposal to train was 8 hours, including daylight hours - 3 hours.


Arriving in Simin Han, became convinced that under the leadership of the Chief of Staff Major Vadim Poloyana people prepare quietly and without fuss. Sleep that night happened to anyone, call apparatus SAG (secure communications equipment. - AH) was heard at 5.00. Time to act, and all the military mechanism to work.


The battalion went. Sure, beautifully, powerfully. "




"The march started at low speed. Once again, I saw in good technology, the ability of drivers to withstand specified distance and speed, held radiotrenirovku. In an area where we waited for a Senior Task Force, Major-General Vladimir Rybkin, and the brigade commander, Colonel N. Ignatov.


After conferring, we decided to leave part of the technique to "ease" column. We already have reliable information that the advance elements of NATO troops crossed the border of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. We had to hurry, because we had to overcome a much longer way than they did.


It was early morning. Rare passers-Serbs, accustomed to our troops, especially not pay attention to us. The column was quietly Bijeljina, came out into the open, and ... start of the race. Soon slipped the Drina river and were on the territory of Yugoslavia.


Any thoughts were in my head, but the main one - in time. The column was at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour or higher on the complex route, which at Zhigulis difficult to overcome, not something that the military equipment. And all this at 36-degree heat.


The news of our appearance, apparently, instantly spread throughout the country. Began to appear cameramen, crowds applauded us on the streets. Men rejoiced, crying women.


Time left less and less. In one breath flew Belgrade. Moving has become more difficult: the roads were filled with columns coming out of Kosovo, Yugoslav troops. Serbian military almost got out of their cabs, welcoming our soldiers.


Noon we stopped to refuel. I called Major-General V. Rybkin and led to a short man with a tired face. It was Lieutenant-General V. Zavarzin. He said that he was instructed to ensure the wiring battalion in Kosovo.


Again in the way forward and only forward. I thought that now about our appearance in Yugoslavia know everything in the world. Imagine the panic going on in the NATO headquarters, as stretched face "of our" American commander in Bosnia, Kevin Burns, when he was out from under the nose quietly left Russia battalion.




"We cross the administrative border of Kosovo province. We're almost there. The main front - the airfield. In time, just to make it. We approach the Kosovo capital of Pristina. Two hours of the night, and on the streets of the entire population of the city. What is there to set up! Firing of small arms, explosions of firecrackers, flares take off, the crowds on the sidewalks, shouting, whistling, camera flashes everywhere, on the way people kneel in front of armored personnel carriers. My God, What should I do? "After all, they will not miss us. I give the command to close all the hatches, the movement did not stop.


Hour and a half finally get out of Pristina. Ahead - Kosovo Polje. The historic and sacred place for Serbs, as for us Borodino or Kulikovo field. We all also not "produce" the Serbs, escorted dozens of cars and motorcycles. We stop again refine the task of seizing the airfield, hear scouts and forward. Here he awaited, the most crucial moment. Battalion as a spring taken from the stopper, off and forward to the airfield. Incessantly received reports of commanders. Hear, briefly give the instructions. Aggrieved, as if not to run anyone a minefield. Schemes a minefield we do not have them here but by the thousand: tried and themselves Serbs, and all and sundry. Of all the forces trying engineers Colonel Morev: lead engineer reconnaissance, doing a passages, but still the risk is great - something impenetrable darkness.


Periodically distributed random shootings, somewhere heard explosions min. Situation is messy: retreating Serbs, then one or the other place there are the fighters of the Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army, the sky was illuminated by flares, the route of bullets, air filled with reports of unit commanders. Great to work scouts Major S. Matvienko: can not imagine how this mess can understand and give clear information! Indeed, no intelligence anywhere.


Soon delineated first success: the platoon commander Lieutenant N. Yatsyk reported the capture of the site roads to the south-east of the airfield. Important for our success, because from this direction pressed oakovtsy, because there must come the British. Now Yatsykovu have to "bury" in the ground and keep the roads, until we, all the rest, will do its job. He reported to the company commander, Major A. Simakov: two platoons of his company under the command of lieutenants P. Kachanov and A. Mushkaeva made their way to the runway. Excellent! Now we must build on the success and without delay to advance further: assertive, bold ... and very carefully. In the air commander's voice breaks in 4-th company of Major Kovalev: a company went to the specified threshold, capturing the airport building. Good Kovalev! And then one after the other reports are: Lieutenant A. Kiiko seized fuel storage, Lt. D. Rybentsev beats per residential town, a platoon captain S. Vakhrusheva blocked tunnel, Lt. D. Zamiralov seized the item of supply. As long as everything goes according to our scenario. The main thing - do not miss the initiative, proper use of surprise - all stun, to capture the vital airport facilities, to consolidate and stay until the arrival of the main forces.


Starts to get light. At dawn realize how big the airport: runway length of 2500 meters, the mass taxiways, hangars, defensive works, and performed exceptionally sensibly and powerfully, a huge residential town. And almost all mined.


Only now we realize how little. How to keep this edifice? After all we had some two hundred bayonets, but for the seizure and retention of the airport need at least a regiment, with artillery, air defense, security units. Thus, each load of a falling branch. Well, let's hold.


Consider the same fellows after all our soldiers. Young guys in my life did not really experienced, do not end up in trouble, but here in reality, and the eyes make history. Times change, priorities, values, but never change the essence of our people - is still in our people a rod. Yes, the good soldiers of the British, French, Italians, impressive look American dvuhmetrovorostye-negros "pitching." But not in them what is in our, sometimes plain-looking soldier from the Ryazan and Vologda heartland. Do not they understand what is "necessary" and how it is when "a can not."


"Who came first, the one and loot"


"By five o'clock in the morning on June 12 the airfield was captured. Now the main task - to gain a foothold, create a system of protection and defense. The soldiers were falling down, but we must hold on, have to" dig "into the ground and hide technique to prepare reserve positions. At 7.30 am enrolled from the observation post of the first report on the nomination of the British colony. Here and waited. A little later the head of one of the outposts, a senior lieutenant N. Yatsyk, reports that the battle outpost British attempts to break through to the airfield, but this is the Yatsyk to someone miss. put forward to post and watch now: standing in the way of our BTR-80, blocking the way for the British Parachute Battalion. On one side is Lt. N. Yatsyk and explaining something to a British officer. In addition to the face of amazement: whence there are Russian and this is why them, British, do not pass? "And do not miss because they're late." As we say in the people: "Who gets up early, that God gives." Or perhaps more precisely once said ancient: "Who came first, that and loot. "Now we'll going to dictate terms.


Later, there is English, Brigadier General. Also surprised, though more calm. Meet explained. Report to General Vladimir Rybkin atmosphere and accompanied by an English brigade commander to our headquarters for talks. So we met with NATO. And then flew to negotiate combined forces commander British General Michael Jackson, other chiefs. And the negotiations that there was no end.


And we have done their job: to examine the airfield, organized system of protection and defense. During the first two or three days we have thoroughly settled, even equipped with a bath. The airport building was half destroyed, the roof gaping huge holes, everywhere stuck wires under foot pile of broken glass and concrete. But above all these two flags proudly fluttered - and Russia's airborne troops. And that we were bound and attached forces. And we worked. Round the clock. And still waiting for reinforcements.


But was not destined to wait until soon, as our former "brothers in the socialist camp" did not give our aircraft from Russia, "corridor" for the flight. At night, were harassing the KLA and local guerrillas, who have provoked, in every way and constantly threatened to keep covered.


Soon we got good news - begins transfer of the main forces of Russia in Kosovo, with a combined way - by air and sea. Came long-awaited day, and we meet our planes with troops from Russia ...


... This is the moment of return to Bosnia. Accompanied us solemnly, with great gratitude. Summing up, I say: we have the great honor. We fulfilled the task, and proud of it. Whether at our place for others, sure, and they would have accomplished this task, because it was so necessary.



Colonel Sergey Pavlov

30 years served in the Airborne Troops.

He commanded a battalion of airborne troops, which of the Bosnian Simin Khan pulled Slatina in Kosovo.




Over the pages of memories


Strangely, the Balkans Pavlov went first in the life of a military mission. The son of a fighter pilot, a boy, he wanted to become a tank. But then with a friend went to try his luck in the Ryazan Higher Airborne Command School. Lucky. In 1973 he enrolled in 1977 graduated. He served in the 7 th Guards Airborne Division, and in 1981 became foreign exchange officer in the native school.


Bosnia in 1998 only for the Americans considered battleground. For our soldiers and officers in the service of the collective peacekeeping force (SFOR) was a "resort", which, moreover, paid 1000 dollars a month. But then dropped the test, and "resort" - poboku ...


I do not know commander Sergei Pavlov, and that he and his men that morning June 12, 1999 to engage in battle with U.S. Special Forces, or come under the NATO bombing of the bombers. Bill Clinton, President of the all-powerful America, was furious and the unpredictability of Russian perfidy of his "friend Boris." With an air base in Germany, the plane took off from the commandos. The course - in Kosovo. But take-off on board broke away from the mounting cylinder with oxygen. Pilots scared - of harm's way - "Hercules" immediately came in to land at the airfield takeoff.


Clinton telephoned the commander of KFOR (international peacekeeping force in Kosovo), British General Michael Jackson: Russian bomb! Then "will charge" on ignorance (Russian, in fact, entered without "knocking") environment, for example, thought that the bomb has not emerged from the Kosovo Serbs.


Gen. Michael Jackson, without hesitation he said the historic phrase:


- Mr President, I will not take responsibility for starting World War III.

Alexander Khokhlov




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Don't know anything in English :dntknw:


In Russian however there's an extract from the comment by the very colonel who was in charge of the operation. It was his first foreign deployment

Just what Erwin Hans posted, slightly better format (with a few pics) here http://otvaga2004.narod.ru/publ_w2/brosok.htm


Moving there at 80+ km/h on a difficult road in 36°C heat...

...explaining to the shocked Brits that they're sort of late.. :rofl:

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