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The Ruins of Yugoslav Ministry of Defence Building in Belgrade

In 1999, about a dozen countries under the umbrella of NATO launched a military attack against Yugoslavia, which they said was an operation to stop human rights abuses that were allegedly taking place in Kosovo. Serbian authorities were accused of mass killing Albanian civilians, and despite not having an approval from the United Nations, NATO believed that the correct thing to do was bomb the country to stop any potential war crimes.

For two and a half months, bombs rained down on Yugoslavian cities destroying bridges, military and public buildings, industrial plants, official government facilities, as well as private business and residences. About 500 civilians were killed.


Photo credit: Bestalex/Wikimedia

One of the buildings damaged by the bombing was the Ministry of Defence in Belgrade. The building was built between 1957 and 1965 and was designed to resemble a canyon of the Sutjeska river, where one of the most significant battles of WWII in Yugoslavia was fought, with the street as a river dividing the two sides. The building was severely damaged by bombing on 30 April 1999. Although the building could have been repaired, it was chosen not to, and instead preserved as cultural heritage and monument to the Kosovo war. Today, it is Belgrade’s most famous ruin and a popular tourist attraction. 


Photo credit: Byron Howes/Flickr


Photo credit: Byron Howes/Flickr

Sources: / Wikipedia

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