Obviously, comparaison is not reason, but it is not irrelevant to compare the motives that drive Russia to launch its military operation in Ukraine and those that triggered NATO’s bombing of Serbia in 1999 and Libya in 2011.
Here are the motives that NATO put forward to justify Serbia’s bombing.
- NATO has been leading a peace-support operation in Kosovo – the Kosovo Force (KFOR) – since June 1999.
- KFOR was established when NATO’s 78-day air campaign against Milosevic’s regime, aimed at putting an end to violence in Kosovo, was over.
- The operation derives its mandate from United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) and the Military-Technical Agreement between NATO, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia.
- KFOR’s original objectives were to deter renewed hostilities, establish a secure environment and ensure public safety and order, demilitarise the Kosovo Liberation Army, support the international humanitarian effort and coordinate with the international civil presence.
- Today, KFOR continues to contribute towards maintaining a safe and secure environment in Kosovo and freedom of movement for all.
- NATO strongly supports the Belgrade-Pristina EU-brokered Normalisation Agreement (2013).
Aiming at regime change in the rich oil Libya, fomenting violence and demonstrations behind the scene in the city of Benghazi starting on February 17,2011, the USA, France,UK and their lackeys in the Arab world and in Africa, have used the United Nations as tool to impose a no fly zone in the North African nation and providing a veneer of legality to their war of aggression by invoking humanitarian interventionism and the responsibility to protect civilians threatened by horrible dictator.
On 17 March 2011, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 authorizing the use of force in Libya.2 While Germany, Brazil, China, India, and Russia abstained, the resolution drafted by France and the United Kingdom and cosponsored by Lebanon and the United States received ten favourable votes out of fifteen (South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, France, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States).
Focusing on protecting the civilian population, Resolution 1973 called for an immediate cease-fire and the complete cessation of violence against civilians. It authorized Member States to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, while excluding any form of occupation of Libyan territory.3 In addition, it allowed Member States to take all measures required to implement the flight ban over Libyan airspace (the ‘No-Fly Zone’). Finally, the text strengthened the arms embargo, banning flights of Libyan airlines and freezing Libyan financial assets such as those already defined in Resolution 1970 of 26 February 2011. Implicitly underlying this call for the protection of civilians was the concept of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), although the R2P concept was not always explicitly raised in the debates leading to the adoption of the resolutions.
Russia’s humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect of civilian population in Ukraine’s Donbass
Russia’s military operation in Ukraine a month ago, on February 24 provoked hysteric response in the West denouncing Putin’s invasion and his so called war crimes. If we compare NATO’s bombing of Serbia and Libya in the name of humanitarian interventionism and the responsibility to protect, one can observe Putin has used the same humanitarian interventionism and the responsibility to protect as justification to intervene militarily in Ukraine.
President Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine in order to protect people “who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years.”
The situation on the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. At that time, Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian military over past months, which damaged civilian infrastructure and caused civilian casualties. On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Subsequent treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance were signed with their leaders.
NATO’s relentless and pervasive propaganda wants us to make believe its bombing of Serbia and Libya has been motivated by mere humanitarian and moral principles while Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine is presented as a war of aggression and invasion of «independent state». In fact, Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine has really the form of humanitarian intervention and applying the principle of the responsibility to protect the civilian population in the two popular republics in Donbass and by no means invasion and war of aggression according to NATO’s motives by bombing Serbia and Libya. In looking at things in this way, Imperial west shows its binary mind and the dominance of the principle of double standard when it comes to protect its strategic and economic interests all over the world, to perform a regime change or to topple recalcitrant leaders looking for a genuine independence and development of their nation.