1 Monday, 22 November 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before the accused calls the next witness,
7 there are a limited number of procedural matters that I thought it helpful
8 to raise in court rather than in writing given that the accused is certain
9 to hear and deal with matters that I raise in court if the Court so
10 decides. With your leave, may I just list a very limited number of
11 matters, because I think their resolution now or in the near future will
12 assist in the economic use of time.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: If it will assist in the economic use of time,
14 but normally I would prefer to go to the evidence.
15 MR. NICE: So would we all, but --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Go ahead.
17 MR. NICE: Yes, Your Honour. There are a couple of points about
18 the 65 ter summaries, which are very short. Two of them, one coming up
19 this week and one coming up later, suggest to us that they really are
20 witnesses for whom reports should have been or should be made available.
21 May I simply identify the two witnesses concerned. One is the witness
22 Jokanovic, referred to amongst other things in the 65 ter summary as a
23 constitutional law expert, and he is due to come at the end of this week.
24 And the second is the witness Jurgen Elsaesser, who is journalist who
25 simply interviewed a number of people about the events in the former
1 Yugoslavia and published a book. That 65 ter summary would suggest that
2 at best his evidence might be available under the general heading of
3 expertise but would require advance notice in detail because otherwise we
4 simply won't be able to deal with it.
5 I'm not asking for resolution of the matter, I'm asking to get the
6 matter through to the accused at the moment.
7 The second problem, small problem, is that a long time ago now,
8 the accused explained that he was going to provide us or make available to
9 us a copy of a diary by Karadzic, which he -- on the basis of which he
10 conducted some cross-examination. We've made attempts to get that diary
11 informally and I think through the Registry and have been invited to refer
12 the request back to the Chamber. And again I can give the Chamber the
13 date of the hearing. It was on the 26th of November of 2003 that the
14 matter was raised. Obviously this is a document that will have been
15 retained, it seems to us, and is likely to be of value in the general
16 exploration of the issues before the Court.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, the accused may want to get the transcript
18 for that date --
19 MR. NICE: Certainly.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- to refresh his memory about it.
21 MR. NICE: Sticking with what we know about Jokanovic, there is
22 still the outstanding issue of the possible Kosovo legal expert, the
23 Chamber recalling our position on all of that. We had thought we were
24 going to be able to find one in the Milutinovic case, but I think that
25 that prospect is disappearing. We know the Chamber was going at one stage
1 to press the parties for representations on the relevant law relating to
2 Kosovo and changes in its constitutional position, and given the way the
3 evidence is developing, would respectfully invite the Court's
4 consideration of what the position is. We continue to try and find an
5 expert, but we continue to have the difficulties.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're not suggesting Mr. Jokanovic could be such
7 an expert.
8 MR. NICE: No. But that's one of the problems with what his 65
9 ter summary forecasts.
10 May I very respectfully suggest that the tape of the Gazimestan
11 speech that was presented by the accused last week as an exhibit but that
12 we didn't have time to view and which in any event did not have an English
13 translation with it is an exhibit that the Chamber may wish to view in
14 whole or part for its general flavour. It's quite an interesting tape,
15 although it lasts about 15 minutes. We can, although I haven't teed this
16 up now, identify the particular passage in the tape where there is a
17 reference to the word "battles." The Chamber will recall the significance
18 of that. It's right towards the end of the tape, and the Chamber would --
19 and if we'd had time to cross-examine on it, I would have invited the
20 Chamber to consider this, would be able to see the reaction of the crowd
21 on whom the camera was focused at the time of that passage of the speech.
22 Lastly, a problem that I address to this Court but for the
23 consideration of the accused and his legal representatives, they only be
24 in any sense on the record in this court. A problem has arisen in the
25 Milutinovic case where investigations of potential witnesses, two in
1 number, have been met by the witnesses saying that they have been
2 forbidden by Mr. Tomanovic, who is one of the associates of the accused,
3 to speak to the Prosecution. That response led to the inference these two
4 witnesses are witnesses included in the as-yet pseudonymous or unnamed
5 witnesses, so we had no advance knowledge before going to see them for the
6 Milutinovic case that they might be identified by the accused, although
7 not to us as, potential witnesses.
8 Considerable efforts were made to establish with Mr. Tomanovic
9 whether such instructions had been given, to no satisfactory conclusion.
10 A considerable amount of time and resources were expended or wasted in
11 trying to speak to witnesses whose disinclination or inability to do so
12 was premised on an apparent instruction that they should not do so, and we
13 would invite the Court to consider making it clear, if this is the
14 understanding of the Court, that there is no property in a witness and
15 that such instruction cannot properly be given.
16 I should say that the Office of the Prosecutor, as
17 representatives, made it clear to both those witnesses that of course if
18 they wanted a lawyer present at their interview there was no objection to
19 that, but of course that's entirely different from any instruction that
20 they simply cannot speak to the Prosecution. And that issue therefore
21 also, because they were apparently pseudonymous witnesses, that gives rise
22 to the issue, the general issue which is now somewhat lost in the more
23 recent past, the general issue as to whether the accused has met the
24 Chamber's requirements as to identifying by name the majority of the
25 witnesses on his very long list and, alternatively, whether he has
1 complied with whatever may have been required by way of seeking protective
2 measures for those witnesses who would not be named.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: I understand the relationship that that has to
4 this case, but that would be a matter that more directly relates to the
5 management of the Milutinovic pre-trial --
6 MR. NICE: Absolutely, but of course the associates are not
7 involved in that case nor on the record in that case, and it would appear
8 that whatever advice was given was given because of this case, it coming
9 to us by chance that the witnesses were potentially sought by us in the
10 Milutinovic case and associated by the accused with this case.
11 Those are the only matters I wanted to raise but it seemed, given
12 that the accused's engagement in the process of defending himself, that
13 it's easier to get the messages to him through a short passage like this
14 than to do it in writing with no guarantee of his responding.
15 JUDGE KWON: If you could give the name of the witnesses. The
16 second witness about whom you raised some concern about his expertise.
17 MR. NICE: Yes, certainly. The first one was Jokanovic and the
18 second one was --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Nice.
20 JUDGE KWON: Microphone, please.
21 MR. NICE: The first one was Jokanovic due, at the moment, at the
22 end of this week. The second one is Jurgen Elsaesser, Defence witness
23 number 961, 65 ter list number 1004. And as I say, all that he has said
24 is that he's a journalist reporting on matters reported to him.
25 JUDGE KWON: He does not appear in the recent witness schedule.
1 MR. NICE: No. But he has, I think, been -- in the earlier
2 listings the accused has given us, he has featured comparatively high.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Nice.
5 Mr. Milosevic, I don't want you to respond to these matters now.
6 You can prepare yourself for a response if and when the matter is raised.
7 I wish you to call your witness now.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I just clear one thing up,
9 Mr. Robinson. Vukasin Jokanovic was never treated on my list as an expert
10 witness. Vukasin Jokanovic is a personality that was president of the
11 Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija when the constitutional amendments were
12 adopted in 1989. I don't know who indicated that he was an expert. I
13 certainly did not. He certainly has the expertise, because he's a lawyer
14 and he was a minister and he was federal public prosecutor - he held many
15 seniors positions - but I have not proposed to call him as an expert
16 witness but as a fact witness. I don't know where Mr. Nice got that from.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think he got it from the 65 ter list which
18 refers to him as a constitutional law expert. But be that as it may,
19 we'll deal with that when it arises. Call your witness for today.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, I call Ryzhkov, Nikolai
21 Ryzhkov, Nikolai Ivanovic Ryzhkov.
22 Before the witness comes, may I add a few words? Mr. Robinson, I
23 don't know which diary of Karadzic's Mr. Nice is mentioning. I never had
24 Karadzic's diary. I don't remember ever mentioning that I would submit
25 Karadzic's diary. There are Karadzic's books that have been published.
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, it is a diary of Karadzic's secretary
2 which you referred to once in the cross-examination. Please refer to the
3 transcript of November 26 of 2003.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: A copy of the transcript will be provided by the
5 Deputy Registrar to you in the break.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
11 WITNESS: NIKOLAI RYZHKOV
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, before you begin, let me just say
14 that this witness's testimony will be done using the whispering method
15 into Russian, so it's all the more important to observe pauses between
16 questions and answers. And I'd like the witness to note that as well.
17 You may begin.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Robinson.
19 Examined by Mr. Milosevic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Ryzhkov.
21 A. Good afternoon, Mr. President.
22 Q. Will you please give us your full name and surname, please.
23 A. My last name is Ryzhkov. My name is Nikolai. My patronymic is
25 Q. Could you please give us just a few of the highlights of your
1 career so -- and biography so that we know who we have in front of us.
2 A. Fine. My name is Nikolai Ryzhkov. I was born in 1929. By
3 education I'm an engineer in machinery. I graduated from the Urals
4 Polytechnical University. For 25 years I was working at the largest
5 factory of the Soviet Union, called Ural NOS. I started to work as a
6 master and I finished my career at the factory as the general director.
7 For four years I was the first deputy minister of heavy machinery
8 in Moscow. For the same amount of time I was in the position of the first
9 deputy chairman of the state planning organisation of the Soviet Union.
10 For three years I was the secretary of the Central Committee of the party
11 dealing with the economic issues, and for more than five years I was the
12 chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union; in other words,
13 the head of the government of the Soviet Union.
14 During the subsequent years, for the eight subsequent years,
15 1990s, I was the deputy of the state Duma of two conventions. The state
16 Duma is the Lower Chamber of the state Duma. And as of October last year
17 I am a member of the Council of the Federation, a senator of our
18 parliament, of the Upper Chamber.
19 Q. There was here an error. I think you have been a deputy in the
20 state Duma after 1990.
21 A. I said in 1990s. This was 1995. As of 1995 till 2003, I was a
22 deputy of the state Duma. Starting from October 2003 until the current
23 time, I am a senator.
24 Besides that, during the period starting from 1990, I was a
25 chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union. At the same
1 time, I was a member of the presidential council of our country.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I just draw your attention to
3 the fact that I'm getting the interpretation that Mr. Ryzhkov was a
4 deputy, meaning a stand-in in the state Duma, but he was not a deputy, a
5 stand-in, but he was a member of the state Duma, and later a member of the
6 senate, which he still is.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is that so, Mr. Ryzhkov?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is a correct observation
9 by Mr. President. Being a deputy of the state Duma, I, for a certain
10 period of time, almost up to five years, was a chairman of a special
11 commission on Yugoslavia. This commission was established in 1999, and it
12 lasted until the fall of 2003. Yes, indeed I was the chairman of a
13 special commission on Yugoslavia, hence, in these circumstances, the
14 correction by Mr. Milosevic is quite justified.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, during your career and particularly during the last
17 ten years, have you been dealing with developments in the area of
19 A. Well, I -- in a more closer way, I dealt with the issue of
20 Yugoslavia starting from 1993. In 1993 and 1994, I was in Serbia but as a
21 -- as a public figure. But from 1999, I headed, as I already mentioned,
22 a special commission, and of course in a most detailed way I was involved
23 and I got to study and scrutinise the whole substance of the issues which
24 could be found in Yugoslavia. And of course I paid a great amount of
25 attention to all the events happening in Yugoslavia.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 During that time, on numerous occasions I visited Yugoslavia, both
2 before the aggression and after. That is why I have an understanding of
3 what was happening in Yugoslavia. And moreover, since I was dealing
4 directly with these issues in Moscow, I was always aware of what was
5 happening in Yugoslavia.
6 Q. In what way were you involved in studying questions relating to
8 A. Well, generally it involved the study of the events which took
9 place in Yugoslavia. I also -- I did this in 1993. Since 1993 till 1994
10 were the years when I, as a public figure, visited Yugoslavia, and I saw
11 the situation which was taking place there. But in 1999, as I already
12 said, I headed the commission, the special commission of the state Duma on
14 Well, firstly, my trips to Yugoslavia, especially in March and
15 April of 1999 and subsequently -- in the subsequent months of 1999 and
16 2000, they allowed me to -- to see with my own eyes what was happening
17 there. At that time, I was in Serbia, I also visited Kosovo, and with my
18 own very eyes I could see what was happening there and what had happened
20 Of course, the greater part of our conclusions, and since we did
21 our analysis of the situation there and drew our own conclusions, the
22 majority of such conclusions were drawn on the basis of those materials
23 which we had at our disposal in our country, in Russia. The parliament on
24 numerous occasions conducted the hearings of our leaders and heads of
25 ministries, including the minister of foreign affairs, the minister of
1 defence. We had closed hearings where we also obtained very interesting
2 materials and quite useful materials. And on the basis of those materials
3 and on the basis of those data which were at our disposal, we were able to
4 draw our conclusions and make our decisions.
5 Decisions were being made starting from October 1998 and
6 subsequently we had the sittings in March and the following months.
7 Hence, in our decisions we were being guided -- the decisions which were
8 being adopted by the state Duma, we were being guided by such facts which
9 we had at our disposal.
10 Q. Very well. Thank you. Thank you, Nikolai Ivanovic. May I
11 simplify things a little and say that you are testifying and that you
12 dealt with Yugoslavia primarily on the basis of your personal knowledge
13 but also and at the same time on the basis of information of the competent
14 state bodies of the Russian Federation; is that right?
15 A. Yes, this is right. Yes. This is indeed so. I had my personal
16 impressions and opinions because I saw that with my own eyes, and I
17 visited Yugoslavia, Serbia, and Kosovo. And of course, as I already
18 mentioned, we had at our disposal vast materials in the competent
19 authorities of our country.
20 Q. Thank you very much. Would you tell us, please, what you knew
21 about the events in Kosovo for the -- in the critical period of time that
22 we are discussing here.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the answers given by the accused [sic] so
25 far suggest that he will be speaking from what he has described as vast
1 materials of the competent authority in his own country, including what is
2 clearing going to be confidential material that had to be given in closed
3 session hearings. None of this material has thus far been made available
4 to the Prosecution for it to consider in the form of a report, as would
5 inevitably have happened if we had, in the Prosecution, sought to rely on
6 such material and had served such a witness or sought to rely on such a
8 Without access to, sight of, or ability to consider the underlying
9 material, it is as impossible for us adequately to cross-examine this
10 witness as it will be for the Court to make an assessment of the value of
11 his evidence insofar as it reflects that material, and I would invite the
12 Court to say that he should not be allowed to speak, to reflect such
13 material, and that the best he can give is evidence of his own personal
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: But this is material to which he would have been
16 privy as part of his official functions.
17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we have had witnesses who have given
18 opinion or summarising evidence on the basis of other material. OSCE, for
19 example; Human Rights Watch. In each case, they have identified fully the
20 material upon which they've relied, and it's either been summarised or
21 it's been available for inspection and consideration. This is several
22 stages removed from that, and in my submission, is too far to bring any
23 value to the exercise in which the Court is engaged. It may also be an
24 attempt to rely on intelligence material - for example, the material
25 referred to is given in closed session - which will simply be barred from
1 us in any event by the authorities were we to seek now to obtain it to
2 verify what the witness says.
3 The problem we face is, of course, one of the problems that arises
4 from these very short 65 ter summaries. Had I known in advance that this
5 is what this witness was going to attempt to rely on, I would have raised
6 the issue in advance, but I didn't.
7 So my submission is that this evidence should not be admitted in
8 the form currently forecast by the question and answer.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let me hear from Mr. Milosevic, and then we'll
10 consider it.
11 Mr. Milosevic, you heard the point raised by the Prosecutor. What
12 do you say?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that this witness is a
14 highly relevant witness, that he is not testifying here about any opinions
15 of his but he's presenting assessments based on data of competent state
16 bodies of a large country. And when I say competent state bodies, I mean
17 the Defence Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, and all the other ministries,
18 and which were reviewed in the highest legislative body of the Russian
19 Federation, that is the state Duma, of which this witness was a member
20 then and is to this day, only as a senator. So this is no hearsay
21 knowledge. I have just said that his testimony is based on personal
22 knowledge and also on the knowledge of the competent state bodies of his
23 state, and these two coincide anyway.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll consider it.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, we'll deal with the issue that you have
2 raised if and when it does -- if and when it does arise.
3 Continue, Mr. Milosevic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Robinson.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Ryzhkov, what was your understanding, your
7 knowledge about the events in Kosovo and the measures taken by the
8 authorities of Serbia? Very briefly.
9 A. We were closely following the situation which was taking place in
10 Kosovo, especially in 1998 and 1999 and 2000. Our opinion was based, and
11 once again I would like to outline this, was based not only on personal
12 impressions but on the data which we had at our disposal in the Ministry
13 of Foreign Affairs of our country, the Ministry of Defence, and naturally
14 the task of our commission. And I will be guided mostly by the decisions
15 of the parliament, because the commission was in subordination to the
16 parliament and the parliament was adopting certain decisions by vote.
17 So our decision was that in 1998, in Kosovo, practically there was
18 -- there were attempts undertaken by Albanian terrorists to carry out
19 separatism, and we never viewed those events in any other light. And I
20 know that the West in those days also viewed those acts as terrorist acts.
21 We also had understanding to the fact that the leadership of
22 Serbia and Yugoslavia took all the measures in order to prevent
23 international or inter-ethnic conflicts in that region, to prevent that,
24 what happened there. And we understood this and we also saw that the
25 situation was escalating to a very extreme point.
1 I would like to submit to the International Tribunal that we have
2 the data, and if need be we can tender that data. And we also have
3 opinions of special commissions and groups which presented their
4 assessments of those events in those days.
5 The state Duma, on the 2nd of October, 1998, passed a special
6 resolution which dealt with these issues and outlined what was happening
7 in those days in Kosovo. I can quote from what was written on the 2nd of
8 October, 1998.
9 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I just --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is what was written there.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
12 MR. NICE: I hope I'll make this my last observation on this
13 point, because this very answer -- I didn't want to interrupt it earlier,
14 but this very answer makes it quite clear that the issue I raised earlier
15 now does fall for determination because the witness has made it clear that
16 his answer is based not only on his own opinion -- beg your pardon, on his
17 own experience but also on a wide range of other data coming to the
18 parliament. He says that the material may be available to us now. I'm
19 not so sure that we would necessarily have success in any application to
20 get it, but in any event, it would just be too late in reality to see --
21 to see material of this type now and to act on it later.
22 The Chamber will recall that the general approach to material of
23 this type - for example, information reports by military -- international
24 military units on the territory of the former Yugoslavia - has been to
25 produce through the relevant witnesses those reports and generally let the
1 reports speak for themselves rather than for the witness to summarise
3 So translated to the circumstances of diplomats and government
4 officials, at the very least the raw material one would expect to have
5 available to consider would be the diplomatic cables reporting on events
6 or documents of similar proximity to the events themselves, and the issue
7 I raised earlier now, in my respectful submission, falls for
8 determination. I shan't, of course, make the point again. The witness
9 has himself made clear the degree to which he is dependent on this
10 material for the opinion evidence he is going to be giving.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let me ask the witness.
12 Mr. Ryzhkov, you said you were going to quote from what was
13 written on the 2nd of October --
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute.
16 -- 1998. What is the document you're going to quote from?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have to say that I
18 did not understand very well the observation by the Prosecution.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're not asked to understand it. What is it
20 that you're going to quote from? That's the question I asked.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to quote --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no. What are you -- I'm asking you a
23 question. What is it that you are going to quote from, what document?
24 Where does it emanate from?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a document, a resolution of
1 the state Duma of the Russian Federation of the 2nd of October, 1998.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Of which you were a member at that time?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, I was a deputy of the
4 state Duma.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, before you consult,
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Would you please bear in mind that
10 the witness is not quoting somebody else's documents. He's referring to
11 official documents in the drafting of which he himself participated and
12 which coincide with his own knowledge. So he's not relying on anybody
13 else's documents that he may have got hold of, but he was a participant in
14 the process of establishing these assessments. These are not opinions but
15 assessments of the highest legislative body of the Russian Federation
16 based on what the witness did and what other bodies of the Russian
17 Federation actually did. And he is a direct participant in determining
18 those assessments.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you're speaking as though you're a
20 lawyer from the common law jurisdiction.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber will hear the evidence. We
23 understand the point being made by the Prosecutor. We think ultimately it
24 will be a matter for the Chamber to determine what weight to attach to it,
25 and you need to bear that in mind, Mr. Milosevic. But go ahead and
1 provide the information which you are going to give.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Robinson.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, you mentioned assessments contained in an official
5 document of the state Duma dated the 2nd of October, 1998.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before you answer my question, I
7 just wish to tell you gentlemen that the liaison officer has copies of all
8 these documents with which Mr. Ryzhkov brought with him, and copies have
9 also been provided to the interpreters.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, in that event, as you lead the witness
11 through the testimony, Mr. Milosevic, you must make the documents
12 available to the Prosecutor and, of course, to the assigned counsel and
13 the Chamber.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. First of all, this document of the 2nd of October, 1998, please
16 quote only what you consider to be the most important from it.
17 A. Thank you, Your Honour. I would like to quote only some --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you say the documents are
19 available. You must organise your examination-in-chief in such a way that
20 the documents are submitted to the Court. Do you have copies?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The documents were just given,
23 copies in the original, but the interpreters can interpret what Mr.
24 Ryzhkov is going to quote from those documents.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters do not have a copy of this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 particular document. It would be nice if we could have it on the ELMO.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's a document dated the 2nd of
3 October, 1998.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: For the benefit of the interpreters -- for the
5 benefit of the interpreters, have the document placed on the ELMO.
6 The witness may now proceed.
7 I think the difficulty, Mr. Milosevic, is that, the document
8 having been placed on the ELMO, the witness doesn't have it before him,
9 immediately before him.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That is why it is more rational if
11 the witness quotes or reads from the document and the interpreters can
12 interpret what he says.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will proceed in that way, then. But in
14 future, Mr. Milosevic, as I told you before, you must organise and arrange
15 your examination-in-chief. You cannot to come into court and expect to
16 proceed in this way. You saw the way the Prosecutor handled his
17 examination-in-chief, and you should follow that.
18 Go ahead, Mr. Ryzhkov.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I quite understand, Mr. Robinson. I
20 quite understand what you are saying, but I had only one day available to
21 me to talk to the witness prior to his testimony. Therefore, I couldn't
22 know in advance which documents he would bring with him for the testimony.
23 He did bring a number of documents which I think are very important and
24 should be presented here in court.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Go ahead, Mr. Ryzhkov.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to quote from a
2 document. This is a resolution of the state Duma of the Federal Assembly
3 of the Russian Federation of the 2nd of October, 1992 [as interpreted].
4 This was a long time before the 24th of March. I would like to quote.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. 1998.
7 A. "The preparation for the forced actions of NATO against Yugoslavia
8 was already transferred into the practical dimension. Quite blasphemous
9 were the explanations by the leadership of the United States of America
10 and NATO that the missile and bomb strikes against Serbia were being
11 prepared for the alleged solution of the humanitarian problems."
12 This was the position of the parliament of our country, and once
13 again, I would like to outline that this was prior to the aggression.
14 Our next statement was on the 17th of February, 1999, also prior
15 to those events. I would like to quote as well a few sentences.
16 "It is not precluded that under certain pretexts the military
17 forces of NATO could be used against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia."
18 The parliament adopted the following: "It is inadmissible that the Kosovo
19 settlement should be done by missile and bomb strikes against the Federal
20 Republic of Yugoslavia and the introduction of armed forces of NATO into
21 the territory of the former Yugoslavia on the basis of the unilateral
22 decision of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation."
23 And also a few days prior to the 24th of March, 1999, our
24 parliament adopted an address to the parliaments of the states members of
25 the United Nations organisation in light of the elaboration of a new
1 strategic concept of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or NATO. I
2 quote: "The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation --" Alliance correction of
3 interpreter -- "intends to undertake the rights to carry out military
4 operations without the sanction of the Security Council the United Nations
5 organisation --"
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ryzhkov. Mr. Ryzhkov, you're being asked to
7 slow down, to read a little more slowly.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] "As is known, the charter of the
9 United Nations organisation obliges Member States of the United Nations
10 organisations to refrain from the use of force or the threat of the use of
12 "Another quite alerting aspect is the intention of NATO to expand
13 the so-called area of its responsibility. By inclusion into it, the
14 territories outside of Europe from where, according to the NATO states,
15 they can be threatened. This allows them to use force against any state
16 or group of states. And the recent missile and bomb strikes against the
17 territories of Afghanistan, Sudan, and others, and also the former
18 Yugoslavia, are an explicit example of such doctrine of the expansion of
19 the NATO sphere of activities."
20 I quoted from three documents which were adopted by our parliament
21 on the eve of -- this is our position, this is our vision.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please stop for the moment. You have quoted
23 three or four passages.
24 Please ask a question now, Mr. Milosevic. But I don't want a long
25 unending narration by the witness.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, is it thus obvious that the authorities of Russia and
3 its bodies had knowledge prior to the aggression against Yugoslavia to the
4 effect that the aggression is being prepared as early as autumn 1998?
5 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice is on his feet.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 MR. NICE: -- to interrupt but the accused wishes to run this case
9 himself and he has been reminded of the limited value of leading questions
10 and their inappropriate nature in the examination-in-chief of a witness,
11 and a question that starts off, "Is it thus obvious that the authorities
12 of Russia had knowledge of prior -- knowledge prior to the aggression ..."
13 if it's significant in this case, and presumably that's why the evidence
14 is being given, is something that ought to come from the witness and not
15 from the questioner.
16 It's very difficult to draw the line between interrupting too
17 often, which I'm very anxious not to do, and allowing the accused to fall
18 into habits that are not going to help the Chamber, but it seems to me I
19 must remind the Chamber when the accused errs, as he has just done.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, that question, though, seems to be no
21 more than a summary of the effect of the three answers that were given --
22 or the three passages that were quoted.
23 MR. NICE: Well, I'm afraid I'm been trying to follow them,
24 between one or two other things, from a document of which I have had no
25 advance sight and of which I have no translation, and I'm not in a
1 position to accurately accept or reject that. I can see Your Honour's
2 point in the most general terms, but even so, such questions are generally
3 either of no value or not permitted.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I remind you again that you are
6 not to ask leading questions.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I believe Mr. Bonomy
9 understood very well my point. I did not ask a leading question.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, stop. There is at least one
13 aspect of it, in my view, that is leading. Reference to the aggression,
14 prior to the aggression against your country, that's an issue that has to
15 be determined. Let the witness give the evidence.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, this document that you have just quoted from is dated
19 2nd October, 1998; is that correct? Just say yes or no. 2nd October
21 A. Yes. The first document I quoted from -- from which I quoted
22 experts, rather, is related to a document adopted by the state Duma on the
23 2nd October, 1998. The other two documents are from February 1999, and
24 they specifically give the evaluation of the parliament on the issue.
25 Q. So it is not in dispute that the 2nd October is almost six months
1 prior to the aggression which started on the 24th of March, 1999. And the
2 first half of February is more than a month before the aggression.
3 A. Yes, that is so. That is indeed so. These documents were adopted
4 considerably prior to the aggression, but they did provide an assessment
5 of the situation that was developing in Kosovo.
6 Q. And they also pointed out the illegal attempt or, rather, the
7 upcoming aggression against Yugoslavia on the part of NATO?
8 A. That is correct. Indeed, these documents, if you read them
9 carefully, whereas I read only a couple of excerpts, show that we were
10 indeed very, very concerned. When I say "we," I mean Russia and I speak
11 on behalf of the parliament. We were deeply concerned to witness a
12 preparation of an aggression against Yugoslavia, and these documents
13 specifically confirm our deepest concern over this issue.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ryzhkov. Please tell me, since the aggression
15 began on the 24th of March, 1999, what did the state Duma note in its
16 official document of the 27th of March as a continuation of its views
17 expressed prior to the aggression?
18 A. The documents I quoted from before were developed on the eve of
19 the aggression, indeed.
20 On the 24th of March, as everybody knows, the aggression was
21 carried out. It started. And three days later, on the 27th of March, the
22 state Duma endorsed a special extraordinary document titled The Statement
23 of the State Duma in Connection With the Aggression of the North Atlantic
24 Treaty Organisation Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This is a
25 decision of the state Duma.
1 I will again read only excerpts. "On the 24th of March, 1999, the
2 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO, by starting airstrikes,
3 unleashed a war against a sovereign state, the Federal Republic of
4 Yugoslavia. Since the reason for the bombing were the attempts of
5 Yugoslavia to oppose armed aggressive separatism on its own territory, it
6 is an indisputable fact that the use of force by NATO constitutes an act
7 of an aggression -" and I underline this act of aggression - "grossly
8 subverting the charter of the United Nations, the generally recognised
9 principles and norms of international law. This day became a black day in
10 the history of Europe. Through the fault of NATO, the continent found
11 itself on the verge of the most serious military and political crisis in
12 the past few decades."
13 Second excerpt: "Despite the hypocritical statements by NATO
14 leaders, it is obvious that the armed aggression against Yugoslavia will
15 not prevent but only deteriorate the humanitarian crisis in the south-east
16 of Europe, lead to the deaths of peaceful citizens and enormous
17 devastation. This insanity must be stopped."
18 Third excerpt: "The state Duma of the Federal Assembly of the
19 Russian Federation resolutely condemns the aggression of NATO and
20 expresses its solidarity with the people of brother Yugoslavia. In
21 keeping with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, the Federal
22 Republic of Yugoslavia is entitled to individual or collective
23 self-defence. Consequently, it has the right to protect itself from
24 aggression by all and any available means."
25 So, there. I quoted from the document that was adopted on the
1 27th of March. On the 12th of May --
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ryzhkov --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note that Mr. Ryzhkov quotes too
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- you're being asked to slow down.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, I also wanted to ask you to read more slowly because
10 of the interpreters. We have multiple interpretation here. But before I
11 ask you to present Russia's assessments of the 12th of May -- before I ask
12 you to do that, there is an event that deserves to be mentioned in your
13 testimony, and it is this: Did you personally, in the meantime, between
14 the 27th of March and 12th May, and more specifically, according to my
15 information, it was in the beginning of April, did you visit Yugoslavia?
16 A. Yes, I did, Mr. President. After the beginning of the aggression,
17 on the 24th of March, and after the decision of the 27th of March taken by
18 our parliament, it was decided that several MPs headed by the speaker of
19 our parliament, Mr. Seleznyov, accompanied by several MPs, including
20 myself, would visit Yugoslavia. So in early April, we arrived in Serbia,
21 Yugoslavia, and spent a couple of days --
22 Q. Excuse me. What is being interpreted here is that you were headed
23 by the spokesperson. You were not -- you were not headed by the
24 spokesperson; you were headed by the speaker of your parliament, the
25 president of your parliament.
1 A. Yes. I do confirm that the delegation which visited Yugoslavia in
2 those very hard days, ten days after the beginning of the aggression, was
3 headed by the president or speaker of our Chamber of the parliament, Mr.
4 Seleznyov. He was accompanied by several other MPs, including myself. We
5 visited Serbia, including towns like Novi Sad and a number of other towns,
6 and we witnessed what was going on. If you need details or my personal
7 impressions as I was called here to do, to present only my personal
8 impressions, I do have them.
9 We were able to see not only the results of the airstrikes, but we
10 saw the bombs falling and the houses being destroyed. Novi Sad is a town
11 which was bombed literally two or three hours before we arrived. The oil
12 refinery was targeted and many other plants and factories. We were in
13 Belgrade when -- in the centre of the city when, tens of minutes after our
14 arrival, buildings in close proximity were targeted and destroyed and
15 badly damaged.
16 We saw a lot of devastation, but that was only ten days after the
17 start of the aggression, so that we had the impression then, which we of
18 course reported to the parliament upon our return, that led to the
19 endorsement of some other decisions such as the one on the 12th of May.
20 And, yes, indeed, in addition to the documents we had available, we were
21 able to see with our own eyes what was going on in Yugoslavia.
22 May I quote from the decision of the 12th of May?
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you are in charge of the
24 examination-in-chief. You're leading the witness. You're marshalling
25 your evidence. Don't let him run away. Ask --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Certainly.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Don't you worry as far as questions are concerned. Mr. Ryzhkov,
4 during your visit, you were able to see, you and the other members of your
5 delegation were able to see with your own eyes NATO airstrikes against
6 civilian targets in Yugoslavia from the northernmost parts to the south
7 Serbia, including Belgrade.
8 A. Yes. In the course of that visit, we saw with our own eyes what
9 was going on at the time in Serbia. We flew in via Budapest because
10 planes were not able to land in Belgrade at that time. And on the way
11 there, around Novi Sad, we heard and saw the planes, and two or three
12 hours later we saw the destruction of the oil refinery.
13 We saw the destroyed bridges floating in the Danube. That's
14 something that we saw ourselves. And there was only one bridge at the
15 time that was not damaged around Novi Sad only because the NATO rocket
16 missed it and caused a lot of destruction around.
17 In Belgrade, we saw damage and devastation on the buildings such
18 as the TV centre, the TV tower, certain buildings inside the city. But
19 generally speaking, we saw a lot of damage. And to be quite honest, I
20 didn't see any military targets destroyed. All that I saw in terms of
21 devastation were civilian targets, civilian objects. I saw nothing else.
22 It was a very, very hard impression.
23 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, were you able to conclude from the character of those
24 NATO strikes that they were coinciding with statements made by NATO
25 leaders to the effect that the strikes were being carried out to protect
1 ethnic Albanian population in Kosovo?
2 A. Mr. Milosevic, I think I'm hard put to answer this question. How
3 can anybody be punished for events in Kosovo when strikes were carried out
4 in a completely different place? Novi Sad is on the opposite end of
5 Kosovo. It was simply an aggression against a sovereign country. It was
6 simple and pure intimidation, if you ask me. It was a case of inflicting
7 punishment against a country because it opposed certain aims and
8 aspirations in Kosovo.
9 So it had nothing to do, if you ask me, with the resolution of the
10 Kosovo problem. It was a case of intimidation and punishment of one
11 nation, one country.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ryzhkov, are you able to give a specific
13 answer to the question that the airstrikes were being carried out to
14 protect the ethnic Albanian population [Realtime transcript read in error,
15 "operation"] in Kosovo?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I could not confirm
17 that. These airstrikes were carried out not to protect the Albanian
18 population in Kosovo. What I saw, I saw in Serbia. What I saw later,
19 several months later, in August 1999, was in Kosovo. I saw what really
20 happened in Kosovo, which I visited only in August. There were airstrikes
21 there too. There was bombing, but it was quite different from what I had
22 seen earlier in Serbia. So I cannot confirm what you just asked me.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: For the record, I referred to ethnic Albanian
24 population, not "operation" as is on the transcript.
25 Mr. Milosevic.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, speaking of this issue, the attack against
3 Yugoslavia, your colleague from the state Duma, deputy chairman of the
4 Duma committee for international affairs Natalya Narotshnitskaya, she's
5 somebody you know, don't you?
6 A. Yes, I know her. I know her, Mr. Milosevic. She is a deputy.
7 She's currently a deputy to the state Duma.
8 Q. I will quote from her statement very carefully: "It is precisely
9 this Albanian terrorism in Kosovo, out of the entirety of the phenomena
10 united under this umbrella term --"
11 MR. NICE: Your Honour, something irregular is beginning to
12 happen. We understand that the accused is now quoting from a statement
13 not provided to us given in circumstances he hasn't identified, to this
14 witness simply on the basis that this witness knows the deputy concerned.
15 It doesn't seem to me to be an approach to evidence that the Chamber has
16 previously encountered or allowed.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is your objection, that it's -- is it that
18 it's hearsay or to the fact that no copies have been provided?
19 MR. NICE: I think I probably have many potential objections.
20 First of all, I don't know what is meant by "her statement." Is this a
21 statement she made in the Duma? Is it a statement that she's made to the
22 accused and that he's reading from? Is it a statement she made somewhere
24 Even if and when the nature of the statement is identified, its
25 admissibility or value to the Chamber should be assessed. And so I simply
1 would require more detail before I could amplify or, conceivably, withdraw
2 my objection.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you have to lay a proper
5 foundation before you put the question. What is -- what is this
6 statement? Where does it come from?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was just about to ask Mr. Ryzhkov
8 if he was aware of the statement made by the deputy chairman of the Duma
9 committee for international affairs, Natalya Narotshnitskaya, which I was
10 about to read, and whether he agrees with her or he doesn't agree with her
11 or he has a comment to make. Because her statement is complementary to
12 his testimony.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: When was this statement made?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The statement was made at the same
15 time at the state Duma. And at the end of the day, the witness is here to
16 confirm whether I'm right or not, whether I'm stating it correctly or not,
17 whereas the substance lies in the contents of the statement. I suppose
18 nobody is raising the issue of falsification of a statement by Natalya
19 Narotshnitskaya. It is a very important evaluation given by a competent,
20 highly placed official, deputy chairman of the state Duma committee for
21 international affairs, and in addition, a Ph.D. in history.
22 No, I was not intending to, but I can call her. I was not
23 intending to because you have limited my time so much that it is almost
24 impossible to call her.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: How long is the statement that you are going to
1 read, the statement from the deputy?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Twenty seconds.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we are going to take the
5 adjournment now. I can tell you that the Chamber is becoming increasingly
6 concerned at the pattern that is developing in your examination-in-chief.
7 At the very outset, one of the ground rules that I laid down was that if
8 you are going to rely on a document, you should have it copied and
9 translated. And there is a good reason for that, because the Chamber has
10 to be put in the best position to assess the evidence, and it can only do
11 that if it has copies of the documents on which you are relying.
12 We are going to adjourn, and we will consider the matter in the
13 adjournment. We will adjourn for 20 minutes.
14 --- Recess taken at 3.42 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the Chamber will allow you to put
17 the question, but I wish to reiterate that, as a general rule, where you
18 intend to rely on documents in your examination-in-chief, you must produce
19 copies of the documents and with translation.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I understand that full
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone, please.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's all right now. So,
24 Mr. Robinson, I was saying I understand that perfectly, but please bear in
25 mind the following: Russian is one of the official languages of the
1 United Nations. Unfortunately, that is not the case here. The witness
2 came here, and I had a chance to see him on Friday. On that day, I handed
3 to the liaison officer virtually all these documents and they were copied
4 in a sufficient number of copies, but unfortunately, as there were no
5 translators, they were not translated for you because you only have
6 interpreters for Russian on a short-term basis for today and tomorrow, I
7 understand. But that is not my problem.
8 So I can give you these documents, I have them all here, but they
9 are in Russian and I don't think they will be very helpful if you have
10 them in front of you. But I passed them on on the day I saw the witness,
11 and that was the only day I had available.
12 But so as not to waste any time, I will continue with my
13 examination-in-chief. I will ask you to admit them into evidence, and
14 then your services can have them translated and you can read through them.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before you proceed, I had two other points to
16 make. I want to stress again what I said, and if there is no compliance
17 with what I just said, the Chamber will not hear the evidence. And what I
18 have said operates as a general rule.
19 You mentioned earlier that you only had a day in which to prepare
20 or proof witnesses. Again, I want to stress that that is not an excuse,
21 because you have a number of people to do that. You will not be able to
22 get through the evidence, Mr. Milosevic, if you prepare and proof
23 witnesses personally. You heard Mr. Nice say that he didn't do that
24 personally. You have associates, and you have the assigned counsel. So I
25 don't wish to hear that excuse again.
1 As far as this evidence is concerned, opinions of the Russian
2 parliament or any other parliament about the NATO attack is not very
3 helpful. Not helpful. The Chamber may ultimately have to decide on that
4 question. It is not helped by evidence as to the opinion of the Russian
5 or the English or the American parliament on the issue. So you should
6 move to another -- another issue. But you may ask this specific question
7 subject to the comments that I made.
8 Mr. Nice.
9 MR. NICE: May I -- may I, through the Chamber, help the accused.
10 I see at line 25 he explains to you that he got the documents on Friday,
11 handed them to the liaison officer in sufficient numbers, observes that
12 there were no Russian translators on a short-term basis, and then says,
13 "That is not my problem."
14 Now, the accused may not be aware but should be aware that there
15 is a substantial lead time for the preparation of translations of
16 documents used in exhibits generally. For B/C/S documents, using the
17 services that are available to the accused, I understand from Ms. Dicklich
18 who has dealt with this now for a year or two years, that to calculate on
19 anything less than a lead time of two weeks would be unrealistic, and
20 through the Chamber I'd invite the accused to come to grips with the
21 reality of preparing materials for this Court.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's a very timely reminder, Mr. Milosevic.
23 You are being allowed to present your case substantially on your own, but
24 you must comply with the procedures. We have been fairly lenient with
25 you, but there will come a time when we cannot bend the Rules any further.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just a remark, Mr. Robinson. What
3 you call opinions of the state Duma are not opinions, but they are
4 assessments. And the witness said that those assessments were based on
5 information and assessments of the highest and most responsible bodies of
6 his country. He mentioned the defence ministry, the foreign ministry.
7 Therefore, these are assessments interpreted in the official documents of
8 the state Duma. They are assessments of the state bodies and not
9 opinions, especially not individual opinions.
10 So let me continue.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, Natalya Narotshnitskaya --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before you do, I have asked for a copy of this
14 document, albeit in Russian, and I would like to have that before you pose
15 the question.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Here are the documents that have
17 been quoted from up to now by the witness.
18 JUDGE KWON: Do you have the statement of the lady deputy with you
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do have this paragraph, which is
21 very brief. It's a very brief paragraph of what the vice-president of the
22 Committee for International Relations said, and the witness is aware of
23 it, and I would like him to comment on it, nothing more than that. He
24 will just confirm whether that is --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: That is not the only concern. We need to see the
1 documents. We need to establish their provenance. And you're going to
2 run into difficulties if you continue like this. The Chamber will not
3 allow you to lead evidence in this way.
4 We have three documents here, but we don't know -- we don't know
5 which is the one that you're referring to.
6 JUDGE KWON: No. These are the statements of the state Duma.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Have you handed that in, the document on which
8 you're now relying?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I haven't handed in that document
10 because I have the paragraph noted down, and I just wanted to put a
11 question to the witness about it.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Show the accused -- show Mr. Milosevic these
13 three documents and ask him if it is any of these.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, no. Those are documents that
15 the witness has already been quoting from; the 27th of March, the 17th of
16 February that Mr. Ryzhkov has quoted from already, and he was just about
17 to quote from the document dated the 12th of May, a copy of which I have
18 also provided you with, and there are some other documents as well.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Milosevic, do I have -- I've got these three
20 documents you've just been referring to. Do I have in my hand what you
21 are about to read out to the witness?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. No.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Why not?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Because it's a paragraph, a
25 statement by a Russian official that I have noted down, and I wanted to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 ask the witness about it. I thought that was permissible. Why would I
2 have to have every statement in writing? The witness will confirm whether
3 that was the position held and what he thinks about it. He may say it's
4 not correct, he knows nothing about it.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: So will you establish when it was said, where it
6 was said, and in what circumstances it was said before asking the question
7 so that we know the basis on which this is being presented.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It was stated at the time of the
9 aggression in the state Duma by the vice-president of the International
10 Relations Committee, and that's what I'm asking Mr. Ryzhkov about, who was
11 also in that same Duma, sitting with this lady.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Well, on the basis that it's a very short
14 quotation, go ahead.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Robinson.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. So the quotation is as follows: "That Albanian terrorism in
18 Kosmet represents a new structural element of world reality. It is
19 terrorism as an instrument for dealing with geopolitical tasks. This new
20 worldwide phenomenon was born and nurtured by those who are pretending to
21 be the main fighters against terrorism, and this terrorism threatens with
22 geopolitical explosions and redrawing of boundaries. It is a terrorism
23 one end of which is directed at the Balkans and the other at Chechnya or,
24 rather, the Caucasus."
25 That is the end of the quotation. Are you aware of this position?
1 Do you share such a position or not? Just give me a brief answer,
2 Mr. Ryzhkov, if you can, please.
3 A. Yes, I am familiar with this position of Dr. Narotshnitskaya. I
4 share with Mr. Milosevic this position. I believe that Albanian terrorism
5 was followed by Chechen terrorism. This is an instrument of solution of
6 geopolitical tasks. We saw that in Russia when we encountered our Chechen
7 problems. The same thing was happening in Kosovo. That is why I would
8 agree with her conclusions, and I believe that this is very dangerous for
9 the whole world, because today we see it happen in two spots, but tomorrow
10 we can never be sure where it will appear again in order to settle
11 geopolitical issues.
12 So, I agree that today terrorism in many aspects has become an
13 instrument for the geopolitical tasks.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ryzhkov. How did you personally and in the
15 position you held and also the Russian authorities, how did they qualify
16 the KLA, please? How did they qualify the KLA? How did they define it?
17 A. I'm sorry, I did not understand the question. Will you be so kind
18 as to repeat the question.
19 Q. How did you understand the Kosovo Liberation Army, the KLA?
20 A. Thank you. Now it is clear, because one of the abbreviations was
21 not known to us. We know the Kosovo Liberation Army, and I have a clear
22 understanding and also a personal one, and also as a person who
23 participated in the preparation of documents, some of which I have already
24 quoted here, we believe that the Kosovo Liberation Army is a terrorist
25 organisation which --
1 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Do you know anything at all about where
2 the separatists of Kosovo got their weapons from? Do you know which
3 countries the weapons came from? Do you know how they were trained, who
4 provided the instructors to train them?
5 A. Yes. We had such information that Albanian separatists were being
6 trained in camps in Albania, other countries as well, that there were many
7 mercenaries, including from the Middle East. According to our data, about
8 800.000 people were mercenaries.
9 We also had the information that the financing was done partially
10 from Europe, partially from the Middle East. And we also had the
11 information that the weapons were supplied primarily from Germany and
12 other countries.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ryzhkov, you said you had information that
14 about 800.000 people were mercenaries. Is that really the information
15 that you had?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we had this information, Your
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, what was the true cause of the massive exodus of
20 refugees from Kosovo and Metohija in the period from March to May 1999?
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, Mr. Milosevic, before you ask the witness
22 that question, you should lay some foundation to satisfy us that the
23 witness is in a position to comment on that. Where would this information
24 have come from? How would he have gathered that information? What's the
25 factual foundation?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Ryzhkov was in Yugoslavia. He
2 was present during the airstrikes on Yugoslavia. Mr. Ryzhkov held a very
3 high position --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. You are not to give the evidence. You must
5 elicit that from him. You're not to give the evidence; you must elicit
6 that from him. I think you have a technical problem in marshalling, in
7 leading the evidence. You must get the foundation from questions that you
8 ask, that you put to him.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Let me rephrase the
10 question, though I hope that this was not leading at all. I just asked
11 him what the reason was. I didn't ask him whether he agreed that
12 something was the reason for it, but let me try again.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. In view of the charges against me, and it is stated in the
15 indictment, "a campaign of terror and violence with a view to expelling a
16 significant portion of the Albanian population from the province." That
17 is what it says in the indictment, "a campaign of terror and violence" in
18 order to chase out a major portion of the population of Kosovo and
20 As I am challenging this, I am asking the witness what was,
21 according to his own knowledge and the knowledge of the Russian
22 authorities, the real cause of the massive movement of refugees from
24 A. My opinion is grounded by, inter alia, personal observations of
25 the events which were happening there and also the materials at the
1 disposal of the Russian authorities, including the parliament, is that the
2 massive exodus of Albanians - and not only Albanians but also Serbs - at
3 that time was the result of the shellings and the aggression which was
4 outleashed in the form of bombs and missiles on Kosovo.
5 I will not quote you many examples which are well known and which
6 appeared in the world press when civilian population was being fired upon,
7 including the Albanians, when they were en route in columns and when they
8 were fleeing the place, and then apologies represented that we are sorry,
9 we thought it was something else, et cetera. That is why I'm firmly
10 convinced that the main reason for the mass fleeing of people was the
11 aggression of NATO.
12 Secondly, with regards to the existing opinion that the ethnical
13 cleansings, et cetera, took place, I would like to present my opinion on
14 this as well as a witness.
15 The real or the true ethnical cleansings took place in Kosovo --
16 started to take place in Kosovo only after the international forces
17 appeared there, which made it possible for the Albanians to do things
18 which they were doing, which was terror against the Serbs. And you know
19 that as a result 250 or more thousand Serbs had to flee their habitation.
20 Hence, the international forces made it possible to carry out those things
21 which the Albanians did.
22 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, at one point you were going to quote from the Duma's
23 assessment, from their document of the 12th of May. Would you be kind
24 enough to do that now, please.
25 A. Yes. I would like to quote, but we have wandered away a little
1 bit. I would like to quote from two documents, with your permission. One
2 is as of the 12th of May, as I had requested your permission to quote just
3 one paragraph.
4 Once again, I would like to outline that this was the 12th of May,
5 1999. "The problem of refugees from Kosovo, with the use of NATO as the
6 reason for the escalation of aggression, was being presented exclusively
7 from the position of NATO. At the same time, the responsibility for the
8 humanitarian catastrophe, the result of which was the bombarding by the
9 aviation of NATO of Kosovo and Metohija is laid upon the Yugoslavian
10 party. The humanitarian catastrophe of the Serbian population in Kosovo
11 is being completely silenced as well as the fact that they had to evacuate
12 themselves to Serbia and Montenegro."
13 This is as far as the document of the 19th -- the 12th of May,
15 I would like to quote as well and bring to your attention, Your
16 Honour, that there is a document of the 17th of June, 1999. This is the
17 resolution of the state Duma regarding the necessity to bring to
18 responsibility the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty
19 Organisation, Mr. Solana, who was the organiser of the NATO aggression
20 against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
21 "Mr. Solana, who as the Secretary-General undertook the
22 responsibility to pass the order to attack by NATO troops on the 24th of
23 March, 1999, and who supported, encouraged, and justified during 70 days
24 this genocide should be brought to trial representing all those guilty in
25 front -- as a military criminal before the International Tribunal."
1 This was the resolution of the state Duma, and this is an another
2 example of the true reasons of what was happening there in Kosovo in those
4 Q. On the 24th of November, you had a report dated August 1999, and
5 you saw what was going on in Kosovo, and that was when you travelled
6 there; is that right?
7 A. Yes. In August 1999, during my -- during another visit to
8 Yugoslavia, members of our commission - there were several other deputies
9 of the state Duma - had another glance on what was done in Serbia, had a
10 chance to go to Kosovo. Our impression from what we had seen then is as
11 follows: Firstly, as I already said, I witnessed the pressing out of
12 Serbs. On the road as we were going there, we saw houses burning which
13 had been set on fire. We also saw a large destruction, especially the
14 destruction of churches, temples, monasteries, Serbian houses, et cetera.
15 Hence our impression was very heavy.
16 Speaking of Pristina, I would like to say that the situation was
17 as such that it was practically impossible even to appear there because
18 the -- the moves were not only anti-Serbian but also anti-Russian and so
20 I would like to submit to you one example. We were with our
21 military peacemakers. We were getting to know their work, and we had very
22 good impressions about their work. They indeed had done a lot of work to
23 help out the civilian population. As we were approaching them, and
24 bearing in mind that we stayed there for the night and did not return to
25 Belgrade, we were placed -- it was decided to place us for the night into
1 a hospital.
2 As we approached it, there was a big traffic jam. There was a big
3 congestion of different types of military equipment which was in the
4 proximity of the hospital where we had to spend the night. And in one
5 cafe where the Serbs used to meet, a grenade was launched. And when we
6 approached that place, we saw five people being taken out from there and
7 taken to hospital, five people who were injured as a result of that
9 So this was a very high-tension type of a situation. And the same
10 thing could be seen during the flight over that area. We flew over in the
11 helicopter of our troops and we could see what was happening there. And
12 so this was the situation. This was my opinion.
13 Q. All these acts of violence, torchings and killings, all this was
14 happening in August 1999 in the presence of United Nations forces; isn't
15 that right?
16 A. Yes, this is so. At that time, to my mind the greatest number of
17 peacemakers was -- at that time I believe it was the greatest number
18 there, and all this was being done in front of the peacemakers who were
19 present in Kosovo at that time. Unfortunately, this is really so, and I
20 can confirm that. They could not and did not stop what was being -- what
21 was happening there.
22 Q. On the 24th of November, 1999, you submitted a report to the Duma?
23 A. In December, the mandate of the third state Duma was expiring.
24 Excuse me, it was the second state Duma.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Correction by the witness.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the established
2 procedure and laws, all the commissions which are being established in our
3 parliament, they shall operate within the framework of that state Duma,
4 the mandate for which is issued for four years. The four-year period was
5 expiring in December 1999. We had the elections to the new parliament
6 which was to start its work in January 2000, hence the commission was
7 obliged to report on its activities, and we presented the report to the
8 parliament, to the Chamber, and the parliament approved of the activities
9 of our commission, and I can present all the necessary documents to
10 confirm this. It was written there to approve the activities of the
11 commission during that period.
12 And secondly, it was suggested to the commission -- or to me as
13 the chairman of the commission, to present the documents to The Hague, to
14 the International Tribunal on those materials which we had at our
15 disposal, which we had managed to accumulate during that period, and this
16 decision was passed and such documents had been presented.
17 If need be, I can continue.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. Don't continue unless Mr. Milosevic wants
19 that. And I see no point in continuing.
20 Ask another question, Mr. Milosevic.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, according to my information, you submitted a letter
23 signed by you to Mrs. Del Ponte. This was on the 23rd of December, 1999;
24 is that right?
25 A. Yes, this is so, Mr. President. According to the decision --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Mr. Ryzhkov.
2 What is the relevance of this letter that was submitted to
3 Mrs. Del Ponte?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The relevance is that the letter
5 contains the conclusions and findings of the Russian authorities which was
6 the basis for their belief that Ms. Del Ponte was competent to file
7 criminal proceedings against the perpetrators of those crimes. This
8 letter was submitted by Ms. Pletneva as a member of the commission, and
9 Madam Del Ponte provided a letter saying that they were competent.
10 So that is what I know, but I would like Mr. Ryzhkov to confirm
11 it, and the relevance can be seen from the letter itself, and I've given
12 you the letter in English. You have an English translation.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not clear how that letter will assist us in
14 issues that we have to resolve.
15 JUDGE KWON: Or why and how it is relevant to the indictment, more
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is relevant for my indictment
18 because it can be seen from this document who is the real perpetrators for
19 the tragic events that happened in Kosovo and in the former Yugoslavia on
20 the basis of documents, facts, and information at the disposal of the
21 bodies of the Russian Federation.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Go ahead, Mr. Milosevic.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, would you be kind enough to quote from this letter
25 the passages that you consider to be of the greatest importance; or would
1 you prefer me to do that?
2 MR. NICE: This document you should have before you. It's one of
3 the, I think nine, documents that were produced by the pro se associate
4 this morning, all but one being in Russian, but this one is in English,
5 and of course we could have found it ourselves in any event. I gather you
6 didn't get the nine documents yourselves.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, for once we have the document. We're going
8 to look at it.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. Don't ask the question yet.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you should direct the witness to
15 specific areas that you want to have him testify to, but I don't want you
16 to just read out the letter.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, please don't read the whole letter. Just read a few
19 passages that you consider to be necessary and then I will put a question
20 to you.
21 THE INTERPRETER: No microphone, sorry.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, it is for you. You must direct
23 him. It is not for the witness to select the passages. You select the
24 passage and ask him a question on it.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Robinson. Let me
1 select the passage.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, I am reading from the English, paragraph one. And
4 these are the positions of the state Duma of Russia, and in paragraph 1 it
5 says: "The NATO decision to attack Yugoslavia is [in English] an act of
6 aggression which the international law considers is one of the heaviest
7 crimes. NATO military action against the FRY is completely false under
8 the definition of aggression formulated by the UN General Assembly on
9 December 14, 1974. Actions of NATO Member States violate a number of the
10 international treaties and norms of international humanitarian law."
11 [Interpretation] Those are your conclusions.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, don't spend too much time on this.
13 I myself participated in the negotiations that led to that 1974
14 declaration. I'm very familiar with it. We have the letter in front of
15 us, and we can read it. We can read it for ourselves.
16 Questions of law are for the Chamber. It's not going to help us,
17 it's not going to take the matter any further to have a view expressed as
18 to the legality of the NATO attack. That's a matter which the Chamber has
19 to pass on ultimately.
20 So point to something else in the letter that you'd like to have
21 read or which you'd wish the witness to highlight.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] These are conclusions of the state
23 Duma of Russia, and at the end, in the last paragraph, it is stated that:
24 "The state Duma commission believes Article 7, personal criminal
25 liability, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Charter of the international law,
1 provides the basis for raising the issue of personal responsibility of the
2 president of the United States of America, William Clinton; the Prime
3 Minister of Great Britain, Anthony Blair; the chancellor of the Federal
4 Republic of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder; the president of the French
5 republic, Jacques Chirac; U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright," et
6 cetera; Solana and others; and the supreme commander of NATO forces,
7 Wesley Clark; and other officials, et cetera, et cetera. [In English] The
8 state Duma commission on studying and summarising of the information about
9 crimes committed during NATO aggression against the Federal Republic of
10 Yugoslavia express confidence that new members of state Duma of Russian
11 Federation will continue [Interpretation] in that direction," et cetera,
12 et cetera.
13 So, Mr. Ryzhkov, is there a well-documented basis on the basis of
14 what you yourself established, what the commission found and the documents
15 collected that NATO acts were acts -- crimes against humanity?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's not for -- that's not for the witness to
17 comment on. That's for the Chamber to determine.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, when and in what form was this assessment and the
21 supporting arguments regarding NATO crimes submitted to Madam Carla Del
23 A. Once again I would like to outline that the letter which was
24 signed -- which I signed to the Chief Prosecutor, Ms. Del Ponte, was the
25 result of the activities which I already mentioned. This was the summing
1 up of the activities of our commission. On the basis of paragraph 2, we
2 prepared this document, some provisions of which were just quoted by
3 Mr. Milosevic.
4 The situation was as such: On the 20th of December, as the
5 chairman of the commission and upon instruction of the parliament, I
6 signed a memorandum to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Tribunal,
7 Madam Del Ponte. On the 23rd of December, my deputy in this commission,
8 Professor Tamara Pletneva, and responsible secretary Mr. Tetyorkin, came
9 to The Hague here and personally handed over to Carla Del Ponte this
10 document. Moreover, two books were presented regarding the situation
11 which took place around the aggression of NATO and those missile and bomb
13 She listened to us with attention, read the letter and took notice
14 of it, and our deputy and representatives came back and reported that the
15 question which we raised and especially the responsibility of the
16 mentioned persons for the aggression which had been done, as was already
17 quoted by Mr. Milosevic, was within the competence of the International
18 Tribunal. And we were hoping that the time would come and eventually the
19 necessary decisions would be made in order to bring to responsibility
20 those people who were responsible for that aggression. But several months
21 later we received a response from her where she said that she or the
22 Tribunals in general did not find it to be in the competence of the
23 International Tribunal, although initially she said that yes, this should
24 be investigated.
25 Q. How do you interpret the fact that persons from NATO member
1 countries who issued orders and whose acts resulted in massive deaths of
2 citizen civilians are not being charged, relieved of responsibility,
3 whereas the leaders of a country that was the victim of aggression are
4 being tried in court?
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Don't answer that question.
6 Ask another question. You have gone as far as you can go in that
7 direction, Mr. Milosevic. Move on to another area.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I have another topic for you, Mr. Ryzhkov. During your
11 involvement, were you familiar with the documents of the Yugoslav
12 authorities, the Yugoslav army or, rather, the army of Yugoslavia, which
13 provided instructions or, rather, orders regarding the behaviour, the
14 conduct of the army in Kosovo and Metohija, especially with regard to
15 civilians and generally during the war operations?
16 A. Yes. During my work on the commission, quite naturally we also
17 were interested in this question because the interethnical conflicts are
18 the most cruel ones, and we could not help but get interested in what was
19 happening there.
20 It was known to us with reliability that the authorities, the
21 military authorities of Yugoslavia, and I even remember that this was on
22 the third day following the aggression, this was on the 27th of March,
23 they signed an elaborated -- elaborated and signed the orders. And I now
24 recall it was for the 3rd Army, where the commander -- for the commander
25 where -- which clearly stipulated that any criminal behaviour, including
1 looting and robbery of the civilian population, were strictly prohibited.
2 And I read this document, and I realised that the state in such a state of
3 condition was protecting its civilian population.
4 It was also known to us that this order, along with other similar
5 orders to the military of Yugoslavia, they were observed. And it was
6 known to us that during two years, I know about 172, as far as I remember,
7 servicemen who were brought to responsibility, both soldiers and officers,
8 who had violated that order. And they were captured and caught during
9 inadmissible activities.
10 This is another example of the fact that the Yugoslav army, the
11 Ministry of the Interior, and the state in general was doing its best in
12 order to prevent such an attitude to the civilian population.
13 I believe that this is the right thing to do, and I'm not
14 mentioning the superior authorities, I'm speaking about the orders, the
15 military orders which were given directly to the troops regarding these
17 Q. Will you please tell me, what were your impressions about the
18 conflict in Kosovo, about the parties to the conflict, about the conduct
19 of those parties?
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's very general, Mr. Milosevic. I think you
21 should be a little more specific.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I will be specific. I'm
23 just trying not to be leading.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, did you have any knowledge about coordinated
1 activities of Albanian terrorists and the NATO forces in Kosovo?
2 A. I have already spoken, Mr. Milosevic, about the existence of
3 several stages in the situation that had developed in Kosovo. The first
4 stage was evaluated in the documents, in the resolutions of the state Duma
5 I have already quoted from.
6 However, when the peace troops arrived was, in my opinion, the
7 moment when the real terror began. Until then, the defence forces of
8 Yugoslavia had indisputably contained what had been going on until then
9 since February, including protection of the peaceful citizens and
10 restriction of terrorist activity. However, when the peace troops arrived
11 was exactly the moment when the real terror began.
12 I know, and I emphasise after the peace force arrived, over 1.000
13 civilians were killed by Albanian terrorists, about a thousand went
14 missing, over 100 of historical monuments of architecture were destroyed,
15 such as temples, monasteries. I mean to say that the peak of terrorist
16 activity fell within that period.
17 Speaking of the echoes in the international community, we know
18 that first Albanians were first terrorists, then in 1998 they were
19 insurgents, but nowadays, however, I believe that the international
20 community realises that Albanian terrorists are indeed real terrorists.
21 However, the worst of it coincided with the period the peace troops
22 arrived. I don't think they wished or tried to contain them.
23 Q. Do you know anything about the role in all these events of the
24 drug cartels, the role of the drug cartels in the events related to
1 A. Yes, we did have at our disposal information to the effect that in
2 addition to direct assistance available to the KLA, the Albanian
3 terrorists, and I already said where that direct assistance came from in
4 the form of weaponry, but also most importantly financing, the financing
5 came from drug trafficking, the drug business, if I can call it that.
6 According to our information, about 80 per cent of all drugs originating
7 from Afghanistan went through the hands of these terrorists. I believe
8 that to this day it is their main source of financing. This criminal
9 activity is their main source of financing.
10 Q. I have just a few more questions left, if you agree, Mr. Ryzhkov,
11 to go through them briefly with me.
12 You went to Yugoslavia in 1993, 1994, and later on and were able
13 to form a broader picture about the situation, weren't you?
14 A. Yes. I went there in 1993 and 1994, twice. First as a prominent
15 public figure, as a man who in the recent past had headed the Russian
16 government, was interested primarily in finding out what was actually
17 happening in Yugoslavia. But if you want to know my opinion, we were
18 looking at Yugoslavia, seeing at the same time our own country, the Soviet
19 Union, because what was going on in Yugoslavia was analogous to the
20 developments in our own country. So to me as a politically active man, it
21 was very interesting to see what was going on in Yugoslavia.
22 In 1994, by the way, I came together with a group of scientists,
23 including six academicians, members of the Russian academy of sciences.
24 Our opinion was the following: Namely, that the Western states
25 intentionally took steps to eventually bring about the break-up and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 destruction of Yugoslavia, and it ended up that way. Yugoslavia ended up
2 as five different countries. The Soviet Union ended up as 15 different
3 countries. So since that time, we have 20 new countries, although there
4 is the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 which spoke of the territorial integrity
5 and inviolability of borders. However, since 1975, what happened has
7 It began, and we saw how it began, in Croatia. We saw what
8 happened in Slovenia. We understood perfectly well that there was
9 ambition to separate certain republics from the mother state, and there
10 was one main figure standing behind these ambitions; that was Germany.
11 Then came Bosnia and Herzegovina and the civil war in that
12 republic. That civil war eventually led to the secession from Yugoslavia
13 in 1992, and then -- then came the moment of Kosovo. I'm not going to
14 mention Macedonia.
15 In 1992, we believed there was a deliberate activity going on to
16 break up a country, and it eventually succeeded. It is only the methods
17 that differed. One method was used in Slovenia, a second method in
18 Croatia, a third one in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the aim was the same.
19 At the time, I drew my own conclusions. And unfortunately, the
20 same thing was happening back in the Soviet Union.
21 Q. Out of all this experience and the insight that you had, did you
22 form any impression as to the leadership of Serbia leading some military
23 activities outside of Serbia?
24 A. In all honesty, I didn't know the leaders of Croatia very well, I
25 didn't know the leaders of Slovenia, and therefore, I cannot say anything
1 about them, because I did not deal specifically with those countries.
2 I had meetings with Karadzic, who headed, at the time, the Serbian
3 Krajina or the Republika Srpska. I did have meetings with him in 1993 and
4 1994. At that time, my impression did not exactly coincide with the
5 writings I could find in the press and in the mass media to the effect
6 that Serbia was guiding or leading the Serbian part of the Bosnian
7 leadership, that the Bosnian Serbs were subordinated to the Serbian
8 leadership and taking their cue from them. I formed a completely
9 different opinion.
10 When I met with Karadzic twice, and before that I hadn't known him
11 and since then I hadn't seen him, I formed the impression that Karadzic
12 was not exactly inclined to obey Mr. Milosevic. He was critical, I would
13 say, of the actions of Mr. Milosevic regarding the peaceful settlement of
14 the problem of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In fact, he thought that Milosevic
15 was doing everything wrong, that he was standing in the way of various
16 developments. So there was, I thought, a certain controversy between
17 Karadzic and President Milosevic.
18 I knew the other leaders very poorly, and I can't say anything
19 about them.
20 Q. All right. Let's not go into this controversy. You met with me a
21 couple of times.
22 A. Yes. I met with President Milosevic many times, beginning in 1993
23 until the moment when he ended up here in your hands. I met with him many
24 times, indeed on every visit to Yugoslavia that I made during my work on
25 the commission, before that, and after that. And I formed a perfectly
1 clear picture about the leadership, specifically about Mr. Milosevic who
2 is sitting here in the dock.
3 I thought that Mr. Milosevic was protecting the interests of his
4 country, that President Milosevic was making every effort to find a
5 peaceful solution to the very complex problem of the break-up of
6 Yugoslavia when various pieces of what once used to be a single country
7 were disintegrating, and all that was accompanied by international
8 conflict. And all I ever heard from him was insistence on peaceful means.
9 And I know that his actions and decisions didn't always meet with the
10 approval of his own entourage, his own people, but he was always seeking a
11 peaceful solution. There were other voices, however, who favoured more
12 radical solutions.
13 I believe in any way that Mr. Milosevic's policy was oriented
14 towards peaceful means. I will not enumerate any conferences and meetings
15 that I know you are perfectly well aware of where he made appearances, but
16 I know for a fact that that was the main thrust of his policy. His main
17 aspiration was to protect the interests of his country. Any political
18 leader, any political activist has the interests of his people at heart.
19 Otherwise, he would not be a good president. And he conducted precisely
20 this policy. So I believe that his actions in his time as a president,
21 and I know that firsthand, were completely in keeping with modern norms.
22 I met not only with him but with his closest aides as well. I had
23 countless meetings with them, and I had to analyse various matters with
24 them. I don't want to go into all that now, but my main mission as an MP
25 then and senator now was to analyse, draw conclusions, to understand, to
1 try to understand why things were happening in the way that they were
2 happening and how to deal with them. At the time, and nowadays as well, I
3 had indeed a lot of contacts, and that helped me form my impressions about
4 the leaders of Yugoslavia.
5 Q. And just one more question. I would appreciate a brief answer, if
6 you please.
7 You had talks with the leadership of Serbia and the leadership of
8 Yugoslavia, which you just mentioned. Can you confirm or deny the
9 allegation that the objective of that leadership or my personal objective
10 was to create some sort of Greater Serbia?
11 A. You know, Mr. Milosevic, Mr. President, I found out about that
12 when the indictment was brought against you here in the ICTY. I wish to
13 bring to everybody's notice that not only during my meetings with
14 Mr. Milosevic and not only during my meetings and consultations with his
15 closest aides and various political figures, I never once heard any
16 mention of any Greater Serbia. I never heard anybody breathe a single
17 word about Greater Serbia. I never heard anybody saying that there was
18 such an objective. I heard that only in the context of the charges
19 levelled against him here. And what I'm saying is based on my experience
20 of the ten years which I spent in close contacts with the leadership of
21 Serbia and Yugoslavia.
22 But to be honest, I heard about something quite contrary, about
23 the idea of the creation of Greater Albania, which is as old as the
24 nineteenth century. I heard that Adolf Hitler, in autumn 1943, tried to
25 promote this idea among the Albanians in order to give a hard time to his
1 own ally, Italy, and he favoured -- Hitler favoured, in 1943, the creation
2 of a Greater Albania, an idea which was proclaimed as far back as 1818.
3 I don't think this idea has been eliminated from the agenda of
4 Albanian separatists. I suppose that Western states which have in unison
5 come crushing upon Yugoslavia will yet have to deal with this idea of
6 Greater Albania. To have such a festering ulcer in the middle of Europe
7 that can burst any time is very, very dangerous indeed.
8 But to answer your question, I never heard anything about a
9 Greater Serbia. All I heard was about Greater Albania.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ryzhkov.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I have asked -- or,
12 rather, I have left exactly 60 per cent of the time for cross-examination
13 relative to the time I used up in examination-in-chief, despite the
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank for your mathematics.
16 Mr. Nice. We'll take the adjournment now. We're just two minutes
17 away. Twenty minutes.
18 --- Recess taken at 5.28 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 5.55 p.m.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice. Mr. Nice, the witness appears to
21 be indicating something.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to make a
23 statement as follows: When I spoke about terrorists, Albanian terrorists,
24 and that there are mercenaries, I quoted the number from 800 to 1.000. I
25 probably was misunderstood and it was recorded 800.000. Therefore, I
1 would like to ask for the record to be reflected from 800 up to 1.000
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. That's consistent with the evidence we have
4 received, I think.
5 Mr. Nice.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
7 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, I'd like you first to consider, if you please, a
8 letter that you sent on the 28th of June, 2002. Copies available for the
9 Chamber. A letter sent by yourself as president of the Russian Federation
10 Duma's commission to assist Yugoslavs overcome the consequences of NATO
11 aggression. To Mirko Marjanovic, vice-president of the Socialist Party of
12 Serbia, and can you please confirm that in that letter - and Your Honours
13 I'm only going to read from the second paragraph - that letter said as
14 follows: "This criminal act" - that's the arrest of this accused -
15 "underlines that the aim of his arrest was primarily the national
16 humiliation of the Serbs. I am convinced, however, that the moral spirit
17 of the Serbs has not been broken. The heroic conduct of Slobodan
18 Milosevic in court and your meeting today demonstrate that the historic
19 traditions of opposing aggression and occupation are still alive as
20 before, and that you resolve to continue -- and that your resolve to
21 continue this resistance has not been exhausted."
22 You go on to say: "The court against Slobodan Milosevic is a
23 continuation of the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia. We in Russia
24 reject the illegal Hague Tribunal and demand it cease its activities."
25 Is that still your view?
1 A. Yes, I adhere to this position. Yes, I did write this letter to
2 the Prime Minister of Serbia, and I presented my assessment of what was
3 happening in Serbia, including the position of President Milosevic. Yes,
4 I do adhere to the position that he resisted the occupation. He resisted
5 the destruction of his state. And to this very day, I continue to be
6 convinced that this is what he did.
7 As far as the International Tribunal is concerned, where I have
8 the honour to be present today, this is not only my opinion, this is the
9 opinion of the state Duma. I simply today did not submit to you those
10 documents, and if need be, I'm ready to do so, which present this
11 assessment that this court, this International Tribunal, is not in line
12 with those international norms or the charter of the United Nations
13 organisation. This is my position.
14 MR. NICE: May the witness have the next exhibit, please, which is
15 a joint communique of the 12th of September of 2003.
16 Q. This is a communique signed by 30 MPs or deputies, including
17 yourself as -- and we can see this in the second paragraph on the exhibit
18 as copied for the Judges -- as former Soviet Prime Minister and chairman
19 of the Duma commission. And we're informed from this extract that when
20 the communique was prepared, the MPs who signed it represent the fact --
21 in fact the absolute majority in the Duma.
22 And before we come to the contents of the communique, the third
23 paragraph before the Judges and the last line of that says that, "If the
24 accused would not be provided with adequate conditions to prepare his case
25 and if the visit ban and other forms of pressure, lack of medical care
1 continue, it would be a definitive confirmation that political harassment
2 which goes on at The Hague has nothing in common with judiciary."
3 Do you remember, Mr. Ryzhkov, being a signatory to this joint
5 A. I would like to repeat the substance of this communique, because I
6 had a chance to read only one paragraph. Can you please repeat the
7 substance of the question.
8 Q. Well, what I've been reading you was a summary of the
9 circumstances in which it was presented, but if you can remember the
10 communique, there's only one part I want to ask you about. Did you put
11 your -- and it's in the third line of the communique itself.
12 Did you put your signature and your reputation to an allegation
13 that in this process here, this trial process against this accused, there
14 had been submitted "mountains of suspicious documents" and that we had
15 brought "hundreds of false witnesses"? Did you lend your support to a
16 document saying that, Mr. Ryzhkov?
17 A. I do not regret signing that document. As I already said before,
18 I believe that other people should be brought to court, those who
19 conducted the aggression against a sovereign state. That is why I always
20 said, and I will continue to say that the current leadership of Serbia,
21 when they took the decision to send Milosevic here, made an inadmissible
22 thing. And I believe that a person who defended the interests of his
23 state, the person who defended the interests of his people, shouldn't be
24 brought to court.
25 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov --
1 A. If I may, I would like to finish.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: What you're doing at the moment, I'm afraid, is not
3 answering the question.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the way he put the question,
5 and that's why I answered this question this way.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. The answer, I think, Mr. Ryzhkov, is that you did lend your
8 support to this document, and you said that you don't regret that.
9 I'd like you, please, to help the Judges by identifying which you
10 say were the hundreds of false witnesses brought before this court. By
11 name, please.
12 A. Mr. Nice, my task as a political person was not to seek the
13 details. My task was to conduct an analysis, to draw conclusions, to
14 prepare summaries and to prepare documents, which I already mentioned
15 here. That is why, as far as the false testimony -- false witnesses are
16 concern, I shall say that here when in the first part there was the
17 accusation of Mr. Milosevic, there were many witnesses present here during
18 the Prosecution case who, if I put it mildly, can hardly be called
19 witnesses. There were such people here, a witness who I think it would be
20 a shame even to listen to them. So we have such data, we have such
21 information that there were too many false witnesses of this nature, and
22 serious witnesses, I would say, and this is why I believe this was my duty
23 to sign this document.
24 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, as you have been prepared to make clear, you were a
25 man in public life with a public image and, no doubt, a public reputation.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 You chose to put that behind an assertion that hundreds of false witnesses
2 had been brought before this Tribunal. Can you name one of them?
3 A. I have put my reputation -- I have always strived to put my
4 reputation and bet my reputation on truth. I have lived a long enough
5 life in order not to change my convictions.
6 As far as false witnesses or non-serious witnesses are concerned,
7 it would be difficult for me to tell you their names precisely, but if a
8 person testified that he was shot from a heavy calibre machine-gun and
9 that there were marks on his shirt and when Mr. Milosevic asked to -- How
10 did you survive that? and the answer was, God helped me, well, how can we
11 treat this? This was just one of the examples, and I believe there were
12 many examples of this nature.
13 Q. Well, let's move on. Help me with this much about Russian
14 politics generally: In the no doubt extremely complex structure and
15 history of Russian politics, is there nevertheless a broad -- one broad
16 distinction between those who favour the Slavs and those who face towards
17 the West, known as Zapadniki on the one side, those who favour the West,
18 and the Slavanja [phoen] or Slavanjaphile [phoen] who favour the Slav
19 side? Is there a distinction that's helpful for us to have in mind?
20 A. Mr. Nice, I am grateful to you for showing interest in our history
21 and in modern history and also the history of the recent past. Since you
22 have asked these questions to me, I would like to try to answer them.
23 Firstly, today, unlike the nineteenth century, there is no
24 clear-cut line between the Slavanjaphiles and the Slavanjaphobes like in
25 the past, in the nineteenth century as it used to be, because some were
1 advocating only the Slav culture and it was total disregard of the West,
2 and the rest were advocating only the country and putting to subject in
3 doubt everything made inside the country. This is all history now.
4 Today we have different views in our country, other tendencies
5 which can be seen in our state.
6 Russia is a great "Pala," is a great country. Eighty-five per
7 cent are Russians or Slavs, 15 per cent are other nationalities, and our
8 task as political people is to create such conditions which would allow
9 all the people to live in our country equally, both as Slavs, non-Slavs,
10 Muslims, Catholics, et cetera. And this is our policy line and so far we
11 have been successful except for Chechnya, as you know.
12 Today our main apple of discord in the political, economic and
13 public life is the -- or the watershed in our policy is the policy between
14 the liberals and the state policy. We have some political forces in our
15 country which believe that it is necessary to adhere only to liberal
17 Q. I'm going to interrupt you only for this purpose. I asked a
18 question and you're entitled to answer it, but insofar as the distinction
19 between Slavophiles and Slavophobes, as you described it, survives, would
20 you accept that you are firmly in the camp of those who favour the Slavs?
21 Very firmly?
22 A. How can I be not supporting the Slavs when I'm a Slav myself? I'm
23 of Slavic origins, I am an orthodox by faith, but I have always treated
24 with tolerance and due respect to other nations or peoples who live in our
25 country. So if you say that Slavophiles or those who do not recognise any
1 other nation, you are wrong, Mr. Nice. I am a Slav, but I treat equally
2 all other nations which inhabit Russia. I'm not insane to advocate in a
3 multi-ethnic state the supremacy of any one nation. This would lead to a
4 civil war. This would result in the disintegration of our country. I'm
5 not ashamed of being a Slav. Shall I cease being a Slav, then?
6 Q. Thank you. Just before we look at some extracts from a book of
7 yours and to set a little bit more the context, in 1991, in June of 1991,
8 you ran against Boris Yeltsin for president of the Russian Federation, and
9 he defeated you substantially.
10 A. To be quite frank, I don't know why this question has been put.
11 How is it relevant to today's hearing? But since you have asked it,
12 Honourable Prosecutor, I will answer. Yes, in June 1991, I did indeed run
13 for president of the Russian Federation. I was at the time on the Council
14 of Ministers, but as you know, in 1990, the Soviet Union ceased to exist.
15 I do not regret doing this. I did this consciously. I knew
16 Mr. Yeltsin very well. I lived in the same town in the Urals and worked
17 with him at the same plant. He is a mechanical engineer just as I am. We
18 knew each other very, very well. I was very familiar with his political
19 credo. I knew where he would lead the country. I knew the country was in
20 for a great misfortune, and I was simply faced with the no-choice
21 situation. I had to run in order to stop that man. In order to stop him
22 from doing the damage that he ended up doing to our state. And I fought,
23 yes. And I would like you to know that I ended up with the second largest
24 number of votes.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Correction of the interpreter: The year was
1 1990, not 1991.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
3 MR. NICE: Thank you.
4 Q. Finally, on these matters of background and to understand your
5 position, I would like you please to have and for us to have produced as
6 an exhibit some extracts from your book Yugoslavskaya Golgofa, written by
7 yourself with V. Tetekin and published by Olma Press in 2000.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honours -- Your Honours may recall that this
9 witness was listed, was then unwilling to attend pending resolution of the
10 Appeals Chamber's decision, and the very stretched resources of
11 interpretation mean that the interpretation that I have here today is a
12 draft translation of one or two extracts of the book, but I hope that
13 because the witness will be able to follow if he looks at the third page
14 onwards - if you give him a copy, he can see the passages highlighted - I
15 hope that the passages I read will be an accurate reflection of what he
16 wrote, and I'm very grateful to my colleague Russian speaker who was able
17 to provide the draft translation at very short notice.
18 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, at page 22 of your book, if you follow the passage
19 there for yourself, you said this: "A blow is being struck against the
20 nation that is closest to Russian civilisation. Bombs and cruise missiles
21 are destroying historical monuments of --"
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice is reading a translation
25 done by a colleague of his. I have here a Russian edition of the book
1 called the Yugoslav Golgotha and I can offer it to Mr. Ryzhkov so he can
2 follow the pages in Russian so that the interpreter doesn't have to sight
3 translate it for him or do it on the spot.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
5 MR. NICE: That's very helpful of the accused but it seems the
6 witness has his own version and we've already copied the pages for him.
7 So I hope one or another I hope the witness won't be inconvenienced.
8 Q. I read on: "Serbia is an outpost of our civilisation. That is
9 why the heart of the Balkans, populated by South Slavs, has over the
10 course of centuries been the object of continuous pressure by the West.
11 Catholicism, which has played such an ominous or possibly sinister role in
12 the breaking up of Slavic unity, in subjugating Poland and the Czechs to
13 Western interests has been intensively taking root also in the land of the
14 Southern Slavs. The fierceness of the conflict between Serbs and Croats,
15 Slavic nations separated by religion, is a reflection of attempts by the
16 West to destroy the frontier of our civilisation in the Balkans. Hitler
17 also tried to do this, but he didn't succeed, and now recently 19
18 countries of the West, with the collaboration of several Russian
19 politicians, again tried to do that which Hitler had thought to do."
20 A few questions in a series, and the first one can be answered
21 very shortly. Are you content with the translation as being broadly a
22 reflection of what you wrote?
23 A. I have before me the Russian text. That's the book I have here
24 with me. I am grateful to the Serbian people, Mr. Nice, because in 1941
25 and in the years that followed --
1 Q. Forgive me --
2 A. I am answering your question. You just quoted, and I just want to
3 make a comment.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just answer the specific question, which was
5 whether you are happy, you are satisfied with the translation that he has
6 offered as generally being accurate.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot answer that question. Let
8 an expert sitting here who knows the English language answer this for me.
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. Very well. Then my substantive questions from the passage are as
11 follows: Do you still regard Serbia as an outpost of your own
13 A. Mr. Nice, I am reading the Russian text before me, and I will
14 answer in Russian, and I will comment upon the passages that you quoted.
15 With your leave, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no. Mr. Ryzhkov, Mr. Nice has the authority
17 to ask you questions. Your duty is to answer the questions that he has
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. I am answering his
20 question very specifically now.
21 Do I support the position reflected here in these passages just
22 read lying before me? Yes, I do support that position. I am grateful to
23 the Serbian people and to Yugoslavia, because in the hardest times for the
24 Soviet Union, in 1941 and the years that followed, the years of the Second
25 World War, in addition to resisting Hitler, they tied in on their
1 territory 25 divisions who could have been instead fighting Russians on
2 the Eastern front.
3 Next question, let me answer. I adhere to the theory on the
4 so-called civilisation, as it is very well known. You know that such a
5 science exists with accompanying research.
6 Yes, I believe there is a Slav civilisation, the civilisation of
7 Eastern Slavs. And we always believed that our brothers are Southern
8 Slavs, Yugoslavs. And we believe that they have roots in our
9 civilisation. There is nothing shameful about that.
10 We didn't see anything wrong in what they were doing. They were
11 indeed an outpost, and I can support this with historical examples. They
12 tied in a lot of forces who were aspiring to destroy our civilisation. I
13 believe there is more than one civilisation in the world. It was believed
14 that there were six continents and six civilisations in the world,
15 including ours. It can be called Slav and there is also a civilisation of
16 the Western Europe. Just as there are many civilisations, there is a
17 conflict, a war of civilisations, and I believe that Yugoslavs were an
18 outpost of this struggle. There is a difference and conflict between
19 different ways of life. Yes, we are protecting our interests, but we are
20 never trying to crush another's way of life.
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. My second and last question on this extract is that you refer to
23 the 19 countries of the West with the collaboration of Russian politicians
24 seeking to do what Hitler had thought to do. Can you identify, please,
25 some of the Russian politicians, by name, who you say were joining with
1 the West, and were they joining with the West by endorsing to a greater
2 and varied extent the actions and the reports of the United Nations?
3 A. I think there is no doubt about that. There is no doubt that 19
4 countries launched an aggression against Yugoslavia. Everybody knows
5 that. And there is no need for me to explain that here. I already told
6 you about my beliefs as to who should be on trial today.
7 As for our Russian politicians, what you read was in brackets. I
8 specifically refrained from quoting their names, but I can say, with
9 regret, that we have -- or, rather, had Russian politicians who supported
10 what happened around Yugoslavia. They thought it was perfectly all right.
11 For instance, if you want me to name names, there is a party called
12 Jabloka meaning "apple."
13 Q. We'll see something else about Jabloka later possibly. To save
14 time, I'll move on to the next extract, please, Mr. Ryzhkov, at pages 24
15 to 25. We'll do the same exercise; I will read the three comparatively
16 short paragraphs and ask you some questions limited in number.
17 "Russia has a rich and fruitful experience of living together
18 with the Muslim world. The USA, however, attempts to use the energy of
19 Islam to further its own geopolitical goals. Formally taking a position
20 opposed to Muslim fundamentalism, Americans in actuality direct the
21 extremists against their own opponents. First and foremost against Russia
22 and Yugoslavia and, to an ever-increasing degree, against Europe,
23 establishing a kind of Islamic greenbelt of instability in the south of
24 Eurasia. The plan of the USA consists of bringing into conflict several
25 civilisations; Russian civilisation with Islamic, Iranian with Western
1 European, Western European with Russian. It is not at all accidental that
2 the Americans tried to prove to us that Saudi Osama bin Laden was behind
3 Chechen terrorism while mercenaries from Muslim countries set out toward
4 Chechnya unhindered through the territory of Turkey, a country belonging
5 to NATO. It is precisely for this reason that the conflict in Kosovo
6 became especially attractive for the Americans where long-standing
7 contradictions between two nations, Serbian and Albanian, have a strongly
8 pronounced religious tinge transforming an ordinary territorial dispute
9 into a sharp conflict between orthodoxy and Islam was one of the most
10 important instruments of American policy in the Caucasus and the Balkans
11 from the beginning of the 1990s. In Kosovo this instrument was applied
12 with especially destructive force."
13 Before I ask you a couple of questions about that passage, can you
14 confirm - by a simple yes or no, I hope - that in your judgement the South
15 Slavs do not include Kosovo Albanians? They are not part of the South
16 Slav civilisation.
17 A. Mr. Nice, I am very grateful to you for studying my book so
18 carefully. You know, I could have expected to have any reader but you,
19 and it is a great privilege for me that you read my book so carefully.
20 But as for ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, as far as I know the Kosovo
21 history, and I did study it while dealing with Yugoslav issues, I always
22 considered the region of Kosovo - let me call it a region - as part of
23 Yugoslavia. An autonomous part of Serbia, and a part of Yugoslavia as
24 well. So putting the question that way, namely, do I believe Kosovo
25 Albanians to be part of that civilisation, is not quite clear. I believe
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that Kosovo is part of the civilisation of Southern Slavs. You can put it
2 that way. It is equally true that our civilisation is the Russian
3 civilisation, but how would you then qualify those people who live in
4 Baskiria and other regions who are Muslims?
5 Q. Very well.
6 A. If you asked me whether the Serbs and Albanians living in Kosovo
7 are part of the same civilisation, I would say yes because they have a
8 root in the same civilisation. There are no monoethnic nations anywhere
9 in the world today.
10 Q. As to the passage that I just read to you on pages 24 and -5, your
11 very explicit description of what happened being the result of American
12 policy and planning, in effect, leads to this question: When do you say
13 the Americans first started the process of destroying the former
14 Yugoslavia in the way you describe, and how?
15 A. Mr. Nice, in my answers to Mr. Milosevic, I said that terrorism is
16 being used nowadays by some countries as an instrument for achieving
17 geopolitical aims, and I confirmed this view now to you. If you wish to
18 speak about the United States of America, as you insist, I will answer as
19 follows: You know, as well as everybody else, that Osama bin Laden is a
20 creature of the United States of America. They created him when they
21 needed him. Now that he's no longer needed, he became an outcast. I am
22 convinced that the US, as well as some other Western countries, are using
23 terrorism as an instrument for achieving geopolitical objectives. Of
24 course America finds it easier to do that because it is across the ocean.
25 But I absolutely subscribe to and confirm the words written here.
1 Q. So what was it that the Americans did? What was their first step
2 that you've set out here in your book to destroy Yugoslavia? What was the
3 first --
4 A. If the Americans had taken a different position, I don't think it
5 would have been easy to gather another 18 countries who would have been
6 willing to start this aggression against Yugoslavia. The main calls, the
7 main appeals originated from America. It was America. It was the United
8 States who aspired to break up Yugoslavia in the first place. Everybody
9 else simply joined in and attacked a sovereign country. It was an
10 American idea.
11 Q. Can I focus your attention, because I want you to have a chance to
12 deal with a passage - you may want to correct it - which says in terms
13 that American policy in the Caucasus and the Balkans from the beginning of
14 the 1990s was one of the most important instruments. Please tell us, in
15 respect of a state that divided first by losing Slovenia, then Croatia,
16 with a history of records of complaints of interference with civil rights
17 by the Kosovo Albanians going right back to the beginning of the 1990s,
18 please tell us which was the first act in the early 1990s of America that
19 led to this disaster.
20 A. I think that everybody, at least those who are involved in
21 politics and those who follow the developments in the world, the
22 developments in the 1990s, see absolutely clearly that without the United
23 States, similar actions in Europe and Russia could not have been possible.
24 Thus, America was the very basis for it. If you look at the decisions
25 adopted then, they're crystal clear. But let us look more closely from
1 today's point of view.
2 Don't we all remember how two years ago, when the international
3 community was absolutely opposed to the American intrusion in Iraq, they
4 spit upon the United Nations. They spit upon the Security Council and
5 started this incursion. Now, today, the same America is telling us, "Let
6 us speak about it in the United Nations."
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I've tried the question twice and I'll
8 pass on to the next question.
9 Q. Perhaps we could look at page 29, Mr. Ryzhkov. On page 29, under
10 the heading "Russian Civilisation," you wrote: "Yugoslavia was chosen as
11 an object for destruction because it persisted in its determination to
12 preserve its cultural individuality, economic autonomy, and political
13 independence while practically all other Slavic nations, having fallen
14 into a feeling of being lost after the destruction of the Soviet Union,
15 fell into a rigid dependence on the West, became tied to it through NATO
16 and other mechanisms."
17 So your thesis in the book was that Yugoslavia was chosen for
18 destruction because of its willingness to preserve individuality. Can you
19 tell us, please, what's your evidence for it having been chosen by Western
20 powers and America for destruction? Because that's what you said.
21 A. Mr. Prosecutor, the evaluation that I gave in 2000 was confirmed
22 by the time since then. Some time passed since I wrote these lines. Now,
23 many years later, I can say that I was right at the time.
24 Now I will try to answer your questions more specifically. Why
25 did everybody join against Yugoslavia? Because Yugoslavia preserved its
1 sovereignty. It didn't permit NATO to command its country. It didn't
2 permit NATO to deploy its bases there. That is why Yugoslavia became
3 undesirable. It's absolutely clear, and that's why it became imperative
4 to destroy that country.
5 And yes, I did write that some Slav countries did not withstand
6 the pressure. Look at Poland. Are you going to tell me that I'm wrong
7 when I wrote about what was going to happen to other countries? Poland is
8 already part of NATO. I can give you other examples as well.
9 So I absolutely, absolutely support what I wrote then, and I
10 believe I was right. And as for the fact that Yugoslavia as a sovereign
11 state had its own doctrines and beliefs and did not allow anyone else to
12 implement their policies on its territory, that is the reason why it was
13 attacked. And there are various forms of pressures. The alternative is
14 to become -- to succumb to economic, political, and other dependence.
15 Q. Your proposition, which I understand, that it was selected for
16 destruction, would involve, would it not, the efforts of Lord Carrington,
17 Cyrus Vance, Lord David Owen, all being insincere, because they've all
18 told us they did everything they could to save the break-up, to save the
19 state. Are you saying that all these men, some of whom we've seen, were
20 insincere in what they were trying to do?
21 A. To the first part of your question I will answer yes. Yugoslavia
22 and the Soviet Union - and I put them in the same line - were really
23 selected as states that were undesirable to the United States of America
24 and Western countries, and everything was done to destroy them. The
25 destruction was implemented approximately at the same time, using
1 approximately the same methods.
2 As to the second part of your question, as to the people you
3 enumerated made efforts and were wrong, I cannot go as far as to say that.
4 Maybe those people were sincere in their actions, but you have to
5 understand that that was already a result. What came first was the
6 planning of activities. There were people who made plans and projected
7 the casualties that will have to be suffered. So I'm not going to go into
8 the second part.
9 Q. Very well. Page 35. Just three short extracts to go.
10 "It is a heavy matter of which to speak, but in the twenty-first
11 century, if steps are not taken towards the economic, political, and
12 spiritual rebirth of our until recently great state, the Balkan technology
13 will be brought down on Russia as well. This is the long-standing dream
14 of the West; to destroy the united, ancient state and destroy its unique
16 Do I take your view to be, your opinion to be, that the real
17 underlying aim of the West and of America is to bring Balkan technology,
18 that's military might, onto Russia itself? Is that really still your
20 A. You know, Mr. Nice, it's not view. It's the view of Mr. Jesenski.
21 He preaches to this day, and he's still supported by many politicians both
22 in the US and Europe, that Russia has to be broken up the same way as the
23 Soviet Union was broken up in its time. The Soviet Union was broken up
24 into 15 parts and the plan is to break up Russia into eight or ten
25 different countries. You know that Russia includes some far eastern
1 countries, European republics, other regions. That's not my view, it's
2 the view of Mr. Jesenski, I'm telling you again.
3 I personally am against it. I am against what was done with the
4 Soviet Union. If the same is done to Russia, it is not us who will
5 suffer. You will suffer. You in Europe will then understand what is
6 going on in Europe, and that's why I am firmly convinced, and I'm ready to
7 subscribe to this paragraph today, that greatest misery that can happen is
8 the destruction of Russia. And there are those who are aspiring to do
9 that. If not today, then tomorrow, but they are playing with fire.
10 Q. Page 115 to 116. And I'm going to ask you a little bit about the
11 Human Rights Watch report on Kosovo, if I find the time. So with that in
12 mind, this passage: "Even the human rights defence organisation Human
13 Rights Watch, founded originally by the Americans for interference in the
14 internal affairs of the USSR under the pretext of protection of human
15 rights, later the 79-page report reached the unambiguous conclusion that
16 NATO had committed gross or egregious violations of international
17 humanitarian law and contains a call for the formation of an independent
18 commission for investigation of these violations."
19 Can you just, please, tell us what the evidence is that Human
20 Rights Watch was founded solely by the Americans for interference in the
21 affairs of the USSR so that we can understand your opinion.
22 A. Your opinion is based on a 79-page report which contains certain
23 conclusions. Here I would see only some passages from that report and
24 nothing more.
25 Q. I don't think that's remotely responsive to my question. The
1 question was, Mr. Ryzhkov, and you can have a second chance to answer it:
2 In light of what you wrote in your book, can you explain what the evidence
3 is that Human Rights Watch was founded solely by the Americans for
4 interference in the affairs of the USSR?
5 A. Yes, I can confirm that this is what happened.
6 Q. Again, I think if I try a question twice, I shall move on.
7 Page 136, the last quotation -- citation: "Fourth myth. About
8 some commonality of interests of Russia and the West, claims by the
9 Russian patriotic opposition about the genetic enmity of the West towards
10 Russia have been more than convincingly confirmed. You can't believe the
11 West even for a --" it says penny, I think it's "grot" or "gros."
12 A. Gros.
13 Q. Gros. Now this is a public document, a book like this. Are you
14 really seriously subscribing, Mr. Ryzhkov, to the view that there is
15 something such as genetic enmity of a bloc of people called the West
16 towards Russia?
17 A. Mr. Nice, I did not assume, but I can affirm to you these words
18 because I wrote them myself, and I would like to draw your attention and
19 the attention of Your Honours that Mr. Nice did not quote further. He
20 simply ripped out a few lines from the whole paragraph, but he did not
21 continue to cite. Then I would like to ask you to quote in English to the
22 very end of this paragraph and then we will be able to draw a certain
23 understanding, because here I see only words ripped out of context, that
24 the situation was such that the position of the West or the actions of the
25 West with regards to Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union were such that they
1 created the circumstances where there was less trust towards the West and
2 Russia. And I would like to inform you that this is really so and --
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
4 A. Could you please read on further.
5 Q. If there is any question of something taken out of context, of
6 course you should put it in context. As I explained to Their Honours at
7 the beginning, time for translation has been limited. The learned Judges
8 have page 136 in the Cyrillic script. We can see it's about seven lines
9 with a reference to the 1945 war, probably, I'm not sure, but perhaps you
10 would like to just read on from the rest of the text and our interpreters
11 will provide us what we hadn't provided in advance, and I'm sorry if it is
12 out of context.
13 A. Mr. Nice, I will respond to the second part of the paragraph as
14 well. After 1945 - I'm not taking into account the Cold War period - but
15 at least there were certain normal relationships between the Soviet Union
16 and the West. There were some agreements, treaties, arrangements. There
17 were some common solutions, participation in the United Nations
18 organisation, et cetera.
19 Q. You're being invited by me to read out the passage, first of all,
20 on page 136 that begins immediately after the words " Nagros" [phoen].
21 A. Your Honour, I'm reading out: "Some uncommon positions between
22 the Soviet Union and the West and as testified by the Russian patriotic
23 opposition were more than clearly supported. The West cannot be trusted
24 by a penny," and I continue: "The United States of America and their
25 allies themselves overruled or overturned the system of political accords
1 which was being established with such difficulty and which has ensured
2 peace in Europe as -- since 1945. The West places its bet on the forced
3 solution. Today I doubt it is necessary to convince anybody in Russia
4 with regard to the necessity to -- to start the treaty and to start the
5 restoration of the military industrial complex and the power of our
6 military capacity."
7 I have read out this paragraph, and I can comment on this. Indeed
8 we were always for peace and common solutions of problems with the West,
9 but after what happened to Yugoslavia, after what happened to the Soviet
10 Union and the fact that Russia's threatened with disintegration as well
11 today, I can tell you that today in Russia there is such a position that
12 the West cannot be trusted. It is the West to blame that it created such
13 conditions when those forces which not always trusted the West received
14 confirmation of such a position, and this is a tragedy.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I think we've had enough of this
17 MR. NICE: Certainly. I've concluded all I wanted to ask and I
18 was only giving the witness a chance to deal with what he said was a
19 passage taken out of context.
20 May the documents I have produced be given exhibit numbers? There
21 are three in all.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be 788.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: 788. That is the last one?
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. Some short points, Mr. Ryzhkov. The Duma of which you were a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 member, would it be fair to say that that was broadly pro-Slav, whereas
2 the diplomats such as Yeltsin, Kozirev, Chernomyrdin and Churkin took a
3 different view from the Duma?
4 A. Can you please repeat the question? I did not understand it.
5 Q. Yes, the Duma of which you were a member and whose commission
6 reports you've told us about, was that broadly pro-Slav?
7 A. When speaking of the Duma I will tell you there are 450 deputies
8 in the Duma. I do not remember their nationalities, also how many Muslims
9 we had there, how many Jews, how many Russians, I simply do not remember
10 that, but as far as our commission is concerned, I can show you and I can
11 prove to you that one-third was non-Slav. Those were Doskievs [phoen],
12 those were Tartars, and to think that this is some pro-Slav organisation
13 would be totally wrong.
14 Besides that, Mr. Nice, why are we applying some national
15 principles to -- in order to judge some situations which appeared around
16 Yugoslavia, which appeared in Russia and which are being established in
17 the world? Why are we always making a -- the emphasis on this national
18 principle? I am surprised to see how this highly respected Tribunal is
19 advocating such ideas. I do not know how in other countries, but in our
20 state this would be inadmissible and there would be a call for order in
21 such circumstances.
22 Q. Mr. Ryzhkov, I'm trying to understand or help the Judges to
23 understand the position that you're describing with your commissions being
24 so very pro-Serbia, with the force of the practising politicians and
25 diplomats being supportive of what done by the international community,
1 and I'm asking you if, just so we can understand it, there was a broad --
2 I'm not criticising, I'm just asking -- a broad pro-Slav tendency in the
3 Duma different from that of people such as Yeltsin, Kozirev, Chernomyrdin
4 and Churkin, that's all.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection. Mr. Ryzhkov
7 did not testify only about the positions of the Duma. In answer to my
8 questions, he replied that those were the positions taken both on the
9 basis of assessments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of the
10 Ministry of Defence and other very important factors in the Russian
11 Federation. Therefore, Mr. Nice's efforts to confront the Russian
12 parliament with the executive has no sense, and it is pure manipulation,
13 as we have documents reflecting the positions of the military readership
14 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Ministry of Defence, and they
15 are all identical with the positions of the Duma at the time.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you will have a chance to
17 re-examine if you think it's necessary. The question goes to credibility.
18 MR. NICE: I had one other exhibit --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer, Your Honour, the
20 question which Mr. Nice has raised?
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Answer the question by Mr. Nice. I didn't ask a
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I will answer the question put
24 by Mr. Nice.
25 Several times in your questions you, to a certain extent, were
1 trying to oppose the Slavs and our Slav trends and Yugoslav trends to --
2 in our commission. Mr. Nice, the commission is just a small part of the
3 parliament. It's a very small particle of the parliament. The commission
4 has no right to issue resolutions or orders or degrees. Only the
5 parliament has the authority to do so. Yes, the commission was in charge
6 of these matters. The commission was summing up. The commission had the
7 materials and was preparing certain resolutions, draft resolutions, but
8 did not mean that they were being issued by the Chamber as soon as we
9 presented those draft proposals. The Chamber has 450 members. It's not
10 only the position of Mr. Ryzhkov by himself, this is the opinion of the
11 parliament. And the parliament is representative of not only Slavs but
12 many nations, and the accusations that we are Slavophiles conducting such
13 policy would be totally unjustified.
14 And secondly, I would like to reply, Mr. Nice, unfortunately I
15 would like to respond that Mr. Kozirev did not enjoy authority in our
16 country. We believe that he caused too much trouble to our country. That
17 is why when Mr. Kozirev supported the blockade, the economic blockade of
18 Yugoslavia, of course this entailed rather vivid reactions in our country.
19 And we should not -- Mr. Kozirev should not be brought up as a sample
20 before us. And in our history, Mr. Kozirev turned out to be a person
21 without any principles, and Mr. Yeltsin was obliged to free him from his
22 position in 1994. Therefore, Mr. Kozirev is no authority for us and we'd
23 never be guided by his example.
24 And there are other also political figures which you mentioned
25 here as well but I simply would not like to go deep into the development
1 of this line of thought regarding Mr. Chernomyrdin and others. I believe
2 this is not the venue to talk about, and including Mr. Yeltsin, of course.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I think we are coming to the time for
4 the evening break. Are you in a position to conclude or --
5 MR. NICE: I don't think I'm in a position really to conclude,
6 although I don't want to take much longer but I must raise one or two
7 issues with the witness.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Perhaps we can just have the exhibit numbers for
9 the exhibits put in by the accused.
10 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D252, with different tab numbers.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Which one is D252?
12 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 1 will be the document dated 17th of February,
13 1999. Tab 2 will be 24th of March, 1999.
14 JUDGE KWON: That's 27th of March.
15 THE REGISTRAR: 24th of March, 1999. And then the third one, tab
16 3, will be 12th of May, 1999. Tab 4 will be 17th of June, 1999. Tab 5
17 will be the letter sent to Ms. Carla Del Ponte.
18 JUDGE KWON: And why don't we identify the ten numbers for the
19 Prosecution's exhibit.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 1 will be the letter sent to the
21 vice-president of Socialist Party of Serbia, dated 28th of June, 2002.
22 Tab 2 will be this joint communique, and then tab 3 will be the excerpts
23 from the book.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] An omission has been made. The
2 first document of the Duma that Mr. Ryzhkov quoted from has been omitted.
3 It is dated the 2nd of October, 1998. That is the first one he quoted
4 from, dated the 2nd of October, 1998. And it is very significant because
5 it is six months before the beginning of the war. So could it be given an
6 exhibit number as well?
7 JUDGE KWON: It was not handed over to the Judges.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Ryzhkov quoted from it. So we
9 can provide with you a copy.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Have the copy submitted.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That will be tab 6.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: It will be tab 6.
13 We will adjourn until tomorrow morning at 9.00 a.m.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 23rd day of
16 November, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.