ad info
   middle east

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards





World - Europe

NATO strikes knock out Serb electrical power

The dome of the Yugoslav Parliament building in downtown Belgrade is lit by moonlight after NATO jets hit power plants in Serbia, plunging most of the country into darkness

related videoRELATED VIDEO:
What does Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin hope to gain by delivering his plan directly to President Clinton? CNN's Betsy Aaron investigates. (May 3)
Windows Media 28K 80K

Refugees arrive at the Albanian border night and day; the greetings and assistance they receive varies by their arrival time. CNN's Jane Arraf reports. (May 3)
Windows Media 28K 80K

       Windows Media Real

       28 K 80 K
Latest from Kosovo

The Kosovo refugees

Images of NATO bomb attack on Serbian TV headquarters

The Serbs and Kosovo
Where are they going?
Chernomyrdin heads to Washington with latest Russian proposal

Soldiers being reunited with families

Crisis in Kosovo
NATO officials describe the air campaign
NATO at 50

Strike on Yugoslavia

Refugee flow into Macedonia increases

May 3, 1999
Web posted at: 8:34 a.m. EDT (1234 GMT)

In this story:

Diplomatic efforts heat up

Yugoslav official: Strikes hurting Serbs

Macedonia refugee plight worsens


BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- Belgrade was lit only by moonlight overnight after NATO airstrikes knocked out electrical power to much of Serbia.

NATO confirmed striking power plants in Serbia, including a facility near Belgrade. CNN's Brent Sadler, reporting from the Yugoslav capital, said "Belgrade is now in darkness for as far as the eye can see." Officials later reported that power had been partly restored.

NATO's Jamie Shea said Monday the strikes were designed to damage facilities that distribute power to the military machine of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, and that care had been taken "to ensure that important civilian facilities, like hospitals, had ... back-up transformers to keep their systems running through these power outages."

"We regret the inconvenience that power outages have caused the Serb people," Shea said in Brussels, "but we had no choice to continue attacking every element of the Yugoslav armed forces until such time as President Milosevic meets the demands of the international community."

NATO bombs damaged a power plant in Kostolac, 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Belgrade along the Danube River, which supplies electricity to all subsidiary power plants across Serbia.

An official government source said NATO planes also hit a plant in the southern city of Nis and another in Obrenovac, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) west of Belgrade.

State-owned Serbian television, a repeated target of NATO airstrikes, went off the air around 9:45 p.m. (3:45 p.m. ET), as did all other television and radio stations.

Diplomatic efforts heat up

The latest bombing runs came just a day after Yugoslavia released three American soldiers held captive for more than a month. U.S. and NATO officials said they were pleased , but said the release would have no bearing on NATO's air campaign.

Milosevic must fully accept NATO conditions for a resolution to the civil conflict in Kosovo between separatist ethnic Albanians and Serbian forces before the alliance halts the airstrikes, the officials said.

Milosevic has thus far refused to accept the NATO terms, which include an armed international peacekeeping force in Serbia.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, an American civil rights activist who secured the release of the three American prisoners, is heading Washington from Germany carrying a letter from Milosevic to U.S. President Bill Clinton. The letter is reportedly the Yugoslav president's latest overtures to peace.

Clinton is also being pressed by Russia to negotiate an end to the conflict over Kosovo. Former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin will meet Monday with Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, a presidential spokesman said.

CNN's Betsy Aaron in Moscow said the visit is timed to take advantage of a diplomatic initiative which includes the prisoner release.

Yugoslav official: Strikes hurting Serbs

Meanwhile, a top Yugoslav official indicated that the strikes are causing hardship throughout the country.

Sounding fatigued and upset, Health Minister Leposava Milosevic told CNN in a telephone interview broadcast live that many hospitals had lost power and were functioning on backup generators which could fail within hours, affecting hospitalized patients, including infants in incubators.

"We have a very great problem with supplying water," she said. "The supplying is not possible without electricity." Leposava said she expected the power difficulties to be resolved, but added that "We also expect new attacks" from NATO.

"We have bombing every night, every day -- permanently," she said. "They hit the fuel, they hit everything we need to distribute the food -- everything the refugees need."

Leposava said Yugoslavia has 700,000 refugees within its borders from various regions but added that "You are caring just about Albanian refugees. You are not caring about other refugees."

Macedonia refugee plight worsens

But the ethnic Albanian refugee plight continued to worsen Monday. An overnight train arrived at Blace, Macedonia, on Monday, bringing the total number of refugees stalled at the border crossing to 11,000.

Some 5,000 were already at a holding camp at the border. A UNHCR official said another 2,000 arrived during the night, along with 4,000 on the train and buses.

"We had the first night train since the crisis began," said UNHCR spokeswoman Paula Ghedini.

Ghedini said the new arrivals will be put into the camp at Cegrane, which is still under construction.

"Many will have to sleep out in the open again," she said."

Around 80,000 refugees are currently in Macedonia, said British Brigadier Tim Cross, commander of the U.K. National Support Element, with 45,000 to 50,000 in the two main camps.

"The camps were never built for that sort of number on a long-term basis," Cross said Monday during a British Defense Ministry briefing. "They are in fact at about double their capacity.

The situation, Cross said, will only worsen as summer brings hotter weather.

"This is not a happy situation," he said, "but at least they have food and they have shelter."

Correspondents Brent Sadler, Jonathan Karl, Betsy Aaron, Amanda Kibel, Tom Mintier and Jane Arraf contributed to this report.

NATO strikes knock out Serb electrical power
May 3, 1999
NATO airstrikes press on despite prisoner release
May 2, 1999
Two jets crash in Kosovo campaign
May 2, 1999
More refugees pour into Albania, Macedonia
April 30, 1999
U.S. POWs send video messages home
April 30, 1999

Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites:
  • Kosovo

  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosovo - from

  • F-117s arrive at Aviano to support possible NATO operations
  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis

  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International

  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.