DECIANY, KOSOVO, JANUARY 7, 2004, /RIA-NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT OLGA LIPICH/ -- Kosovo's Albanians stoned a bus carrying members of a Russian delegation from the non-governmental St. Andrew foundation here today. The Russian delegation is staying on a humanitarian mission in Kosovo since January 4.
The incident happened in Deciany town where Kosovars live, after an Orthodox Christmas service involving Russian-delegation members wound up. Russian journalists, who are accompanying the delegation, were mostly riding in the bus.
One bus window was shattered; happily enough, no one was hurt.
The Russian delegation is escorted by large KFOR units all over Kosovo.
Previously, the Russian delegation met Serb families in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. Only about 150 Serbs are now staying in Pristina, the Russian delegation was told; all of them have to live inside one apartment house, which is guarded by peace-keepers. They have virtually become isolated.
Pristina university professor Lubisa Folic says that 40,000 Serbs used to live in Pristina before the introduction of KFOR units in 1999, accounting for 40 percent of the entire local population. Folic now works in the city of Kosovska-Mitrovica where most Serbs now live, and where his university was forcibly transferred in 1999.
Folic once came home to find that his apartment had been burglarized and seized by Kosovars. They suggested that Folic sell his apartment for half its price, kicking him out when he refused.
Quite a few Serb apartments were seized by Kosovars. Meanwhile local courts have recently started siding with former apartment owners, provided they can submit documents proving the apartments had previously belonged to them, Russian peace-keepers say. (About 100 Russian peace-keepers are currently stationed in Kosovo -- Ed.) However, those few Serbs, who have the guts to move back, are being killed rather often.