Other Post VJ forces in Kosovo 1999-Desertion issue?


Mi Recruit
MI.Net Member
Jan 2, 2018
Did the Yugoslav forces in Kosovo, especially during the NATO air attacks experience problems with desertions?, I'm aware that the JNA had massive problems in 1991 in Croatia but the evidence on Kosovo appears very patchy, some problems towards the end of the aerial attacks, late May 1999 with some units deserting...Was it a major issue for the VJ?
I'm not sure if this is what your looking for but here goes...

This first link covers how deserters should be treated and if they should be deported from neighbouring countries where they sought refuge

This second link seems to be more of what your looking for

Ironically, it was not the relentless NATO bombing that inspired anywhere from 500 to 2,000 mostly conscripts and reservists to desert their positions. The soldiers feared for their relatives’ safety when they heard rumors that police were mistreating people involved in the demonstrations.The demonstrations were said to have thrown the government of President Slobodan Milosevic into "near panic." With the benefit of hindsight we may now conclude that although the potential spread of the desertions and simultaneous antiwar demonstrations throughout the country threatened the Yugoslav Government’s war effort, the fact that a large number of deserters were conscripts and not professional soldiers (80% from a brigade based in Istok, western Kosovo headed for Krusevac in the first days of the protests were conscripts) made this threat less of a factor. We only got a real sense of the condition and morale of the Yugoslav Army once the peace agreement was signed and the pullout from Kosovo began.
Yep, if you examine the ICTY transcripts the problems of the desertion of that unit are mentioned and the response of Pavkovic was to try and engage with the issue more or less straight away...It never materialised into the Croatian style desertion numbers...

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