NATO's bombings of Serbia in 1999 had one small episode that is remembered with glee by many Russians. In a surprise deployment, Russian troops seized a strategic airport near Pristina right under the nose of the British. Exactly 20 years ago, Russian troops deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the UN-mandated peacekeeping Stabilization Force (SFOR) executed a highly secretive operation. Amid a training exercise outside their base, 15 BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, two dozen support vehicles, and 200 paratroopers sneaked out and sped southeast. Their destination was over 600km away in Kosovo, the breakaway Serbian region that was about to gain independence from Belgrade on the back of NATO's three-month bombing campaign. The Serbs were defeated and agreed to retreat while NATO troops were preparing to move in. The Russians were racing against them and militants of the Kosovo Liberation Army to take control of Slatina Air Base, the only airfield in Kosovo suitable for...
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