RUSSIAN COMMANDER QUESTIONS UN PROBE INTO SARAJEVO ATTACK
Sunday, September 3, 1995
ZAGREB, SEPTEMBER 3
THE RESULTS OF A U. N. INVESTIGATION INTO THE SHELLING OF SARAJEVO'S MARKALE MARKETPLACE WERE FALSIFIED, COLONEL ANDREI DEMURENKO, CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE SECTOR SARAJEVO, SAID.
HE SAID THE FIRE HAD NOT BEEN CONDUCTED FROM THE POSITIONS INDICATED IN AN OFFICIAL REPORT PREPARED BY U. N. EXPERTS WHO PROBED INTO THE AUGUST 28 SHELLING WHICH KILLED AND WOUNDED OVER 100 BOSNIAN MOSLEMS.
THE CALCULATIONS OF THE TRAJECTORY OF THE MORTAR SHELL THAT HIT THE MARKETPLACE MADE BY DEMURENKO AND HIS STUDY OF THE TERRAIN CHALLENGE THE OFFICIAL VERSION OF THE TRAGEDY. "NO ONE IN THE WORLD CAN NOW PROVE THAT THE MATERIALS OF THE U. N. COMMISSION TELL THE TRUTH," HE SAID.
DEMURENKO TOLD ITAR-TASS THAT DESPITE U. N. OFFICIAL'S RESISTANCE, HE AND A GUIDE STUDIED ON FRIDAY THE LOCATIONS INDICATED IN THE REPORT AS THE LIKELY FIRING POSITIONS. "NOW I HAVE THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THESE PLACES AND THE NECESSARY CALCULATIONS. THE MOST IMPORTANT OF THEM ARE IN A SAFE PLACE. SO EVEN IF THEY GET RID OF ME NOTHING WILL CHANGE," HE SAID.
HE DID NOT RULE OUT THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE SERB SIDE MIGHT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ATTACK, DEMURENKO ASSERTED THAT THE POLITICAL DECISION TO USE NATO AIR POWER AND THE RAPID REACTION FORCE WAS ADOPTED ON THE BASIS OF A FALSIFIED REPORT.
DEMURENKO'S PRIVATE INVESTIGATION HAS ALREADY ANGERED MANY OFFICIAL BODIES WHOSE INTERESTS MAY BE HURT IF HIS VERSION PROVES TO BE CORRECT. CONFIDENTIAL SOURCES IN THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE U. N. PROTECTION FORCE TOLD ITAR-TASS THAT DEMURENKO MAY SOON BECOME A PERSONA NON-GRATA FOR THE BOSNIAN AUTHORITIES AND AN UNWANTED PERSON FOR THE U. N. COMMANDERS.
Agence France Presse, September 2, 1995
Russian UN officer disputes Serb guilt for market blast
SARAJEVO, Sept 2
A Russian UN officer in Sarajevo disputed Saturday the findings of a UN investigation into Monday's mortar blast that killed 38 people and led to this week's unprecedented NATO action against the Bosnian Serbs.
Colonel Andrei Demurenko, the chief of staff for UN peacekeepers in the Bosnian capital, said the findings of the UN investigation "was absolutely unacceptable for me and my military friends in this area."
A UN investigation into Monday's attack concluded "beyond all reasonable doubt" that the Bosnian Serbs fired the weapon that devasted the downtown marketplace.
Demurenko gave an extensive television interview broadcast on a Bosnian Serb evening news programme in which he drew maps and showed technical data that he said proved the mortar could not have been fired from the Bosnian Serb side.
The Russian officer said he had visited various sites from which the mortar could have been fired and concluded that the place the UN investigators said the weapon was launched from was an "unacceptable place to fire this shell."
UN spokesman Chris Vernon refused to comment on the Russian's claims but said the "detailed and extensive" UN investigation showed "that beyond reasonable doubt" the mortar came from the Bosnian Serbs.
The blast prompted the United Nations and NATO to launch a major campaign lasting three days in which Bosnian Serb military installations were attacked and more than 30 heavy guns around the city were shelled by the rapid reaction force...
A UN official who requested anonymity said Demurenko would probably "be sacked" for his remarks...
Reuters, September 2, 1995
Russian U.N. Colonel questions massacre finding
A senior Russian U.N. officer has publicly contradicted the U.N. inquiry into Monday's mortar massacre in Sarajevo, which found "beyond a reasonable doubt" that Serb forces were to blame, U.N. sources said Saturday.
The officer, Col. Andrei Demurenko, an artillery officer, is chief of staff for the Sarajevo sector of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Bosnia.
His report, which one U.N. official called a "unilateral effort" went as far as U.N. headquarters in New York.
Demurenko says his own technical analysis shows that a 120 mm mortar bomb which killed 37 people and wounded 85 Monday could NOT have come from Bosnian Serb Army positions...
...(Lt.-Col. Chris Vernon) said Demurenko was not the only person to make a report questioning the official judgement: "Several reports critical of our findings have made their way to U.N. headquarters in New York including one from an officer here in Sarajevo and two which originated in the United States."
Bosnian Serb television and media in neighboring Serbia made much of the challenge to the U.N. verdict, showing Demurenko using charts and maps to explain his analysis and saying it was "impossible" Serbs could have fired the mortar.
Yugoslav state news agency Tanjug carried a report from Moscow saying the official report had falsified the facts of the mortar attack and quoting Demurenko as saying he feared he would be hounded for his conclusions.
"Photographs of these locations and calculations are in my hands. The most important part of them is at a safe location so that nothing can change in the event of my arrest," Tanjug quoted Demurenko as saying.
UN OFFICER INSISTS ON REPEAT INVESTIGATION OF MARKALE BOMBING
Sunday, September 4, 1995
ZAGREB, SEPTEMBER 4
COLONEL ANDREI DEMURENKO, CHIEF OF U. N. SECTOR SARAJEVO IN BOSNIA INSISTS THAT AN INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION SHOULD BE SET UP TO LOOK INTO THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MARKALE MARKET PLACE TRAGEDY BLAMED ON THE BOSNIAN SERBS.
COLONEL DEMURENKO SAID THE U. N. COMMISSION REPORT WHICH WAS USED AS AN EXCUSE FOR LAUNCHING MASSIVE AIRSTRIKES BY NATO AND THE U. N. RAPID REACTION FORCES AGAINST BOSNIAN SERB TARGETS ABOUNDED IN OMISSIONS AND INACCURACIES.
DEMURENKO SAID HE WAS PREPARED TO SUBMIT TO A PANEL OF SPECIALISTS MISSING EVIDENCE COLLECTED BY HIMSELF IN THE COURSE OF AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION.
THE RUSSIAN OFFICER WITH THE UNITED NATIONS PROTECTION FORCE (UNPROFOR) IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA SAID HE HAD INSPECTED AND PHOTOGRAPHED, AT THE END OF LAST WEEK, ALL THE SPOTS IN THE SERB-HELD AREAS IN SARAJEVO FROM WHICH, JUDGING BY THE U. N. MATERIALS, TITO STREET ADJACENT ON THE MARKALE MARKET PLACE COULD BE SHELLED ON AUGUST 28.
COL. DEMURENKO SAID THE U. N. PAPERS CONTAINED A LARGE NUMBER OF CONTRADICTING STATEMENTS. CONTRADICTIONS CAME TO LIGHT IN THE VERY FIRST HOURS FOLLOWING THE EXPLOSION THAT KILLED 37 PEOPLE AND INJURED MANY MORE, HE SAID. FOR EXAMPLE, A U. N. EXPERT REPORTED DIRECTLY AFTER THE EXPLOSION THAT A MORTAR SHELL HAD BEEN FIRED FROM ONE DIRECTION, WHILE A U. N . OFFICIAL TOLD A BRIEFING LATER THAT THE BOMB HAD COME FROM A DIFFERENT DIRECTION. DEMURENKO SUBSEQUENTLY DECIDED TO INSPECT EACH OF THOSE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE DIRECTIONS
THE OFFICER WHO KNOWS PERFECTLY WELL THE PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MORTARS IN SERVICE IN THE REGION IN WELL VERSED IN THE EXPERT BALLISTIC ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES FOUND SIX HYPOTHETICAL SPOTS FROM WHICH THE FATAL PROJECTILE MIGHT HAVE BEEN FIRED, JUDGING BY THE U. N. DATA. FOUR SUCH SPOTS WERE LOCATED ON SERB TERRITORY AND TWO IN MOSLEM-HELD AREAS.
DEMURENKO DECIDED AGAINST INSPECTING THE LAST TWO SPOTS AND CONCENTRATED ON INSPECTING AND PHOTOGRAPHING THE FOUR "SERB" LOCATIONS. HIS CONCLUSIONS WERE UNEQUIVOCAL, NONE OF THE SPOTS WAS SUITABLE FOR INSTALLING A MORTAR, THE SPOTS TO WHICH THE U. N. DOCUMENTS LED HIM WERE LOCATED EITHER ON STEEP SLOPES OR IN FOREST THICKETS, IN OTHER WORDS, PLACES UNSUITABLE FOR MORTAR FIRE.
NOW THE CAREER OF THE OFFICER, WHO REFUSED TO KEEP SILENT, IS HANGING IN THE BALANCE. BRITISH GENERAL RUPERT SMITH, WHO COMMANDS THE U. N. CONTINGENT IN BOSNIA, DECIDED ON SATURDAY TO SEND COL. DEMURENKO BACK TO RUSSIA, BUT RESCINDED HIS DECISION AT THE LAST MOMENT, ACCORDING TO SOURCES CLOSE TO HIM.
THE GENERAL HAD BEEN TALKED
OUT OF HIS EARLIER DECISION BY THE OFFICERS CLOSEST TO HIM. THEY INDICATED
THAT BY PUNISHING DEMURENKO THE COMMANDER WOULD SUGGEST THAT THE COLONEL
WAS RIGHT. SO INSTEAD OF BEING SENT HOME, THE RUSSIAN OFFICER WAS TOLD
NOT TO TALK TO JOURNALISTS, EXCEPT RUSSIAN. MEANWHILE, "SPADES WERE
DISTRIBUTED TO DIG A HOLE FOR DEMURENKO, " A SOURCE IN THE SARAJEVO
UNPROFOR HEADQUARTERS TOLD ITAR-TASS.
Who is Andrei Demurenko?
Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Timothy L. Thomas talks about Colonel Andrei Demurenko in "Military Review" (Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS)...
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Last revised: July 7, 1998