Today marks the 21st anniversary of the start of one of the most difficult battles to defend Serbia in recent history – the Battle of Košara, in which 108 soldiers were killed defending a state border from Albanian forces during the 1999 NATO aggression.
Among the soldiers killed were 50 young men on military service, some of whom were sent to the basket of the basket after only two months of training and sworn oaths.
The Battle of Košara at the border of what was then the FR Yugoslavia and Albania is considered to be the largest battle in recent Serbian history, in which just over 1,000 naked Serbian soldiers, without enough ammunition, defended their homeland from attacks by forces between 5,000 and 6,000 Albanians and their helpers.
The largest number of Serb forces in Košara consisted of soldiers on regular military service, with an average age of between 19 and 20 years, and Serb volunteers from abroad and Cossacks fought.
The Battle of Košara began on April 9 and lasted until the bombing on June 10, that is, the signing of the so-called Kumanovo Agreement and the withdrawal of the Yugoslav army from Kosovo and Metohija.
The attack by Albanian terrorists, aided by NATO aviation, began around the Raša Košares border crossing, at the Yugoslav-Albanian border, and aimed at allowing ground invasion and seizure of Kosovo and Metohija by cutting off communications between Yugoslav Army units in Gjakova and Prizren.
Parts of the 125th and 549th Motorized Brigades of the Yugoslav Army, elements of the 63rd and 72nd Special Brigades participated in the fighting, as well as a group of foreign volunteers, most of whom were Russians.
From the Albanian, numerically superior side, KLA members, the Albanian Regular Army, the Foreign Legion, and NATO aviation participated, whose planes daily bombarded Yugoslav Army positions and made it difficult to deliver food, ammunition and reinforcements.
Basket fighters, as well as participants in the Battle of Pashtrik that followed in late May, succeeded in a superhuman effort to prevent Albanian terrorists from penetrating their country’s territory.
Twenty-one officers and non-commissioned officers were killed in the baskets, 50 young men on military service, 13 conscripts and 24 volunteers, and 256 wounded.