According to a report on the Bulgarian investigative news site Obektivno, Sarjan Alexić, a lawyer from Nis, Serbia, is suing NATO on behalf of citizens of Serbia and its autonomous province of Kosovo who have cancer diagnoses of their own and deceased family members which, they allege, are directly related to NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, where over 15 tons of depleted uranium was dropping over 15 tons of depleted uranium was dropped on Kosovo and southern parts of Serbia such as Preševo, Bujanovac, and Vranje.
Since the end of the war, more than thirty thousand people are diagnosed with cancer every year in Serbia. Before the bombings in 1999, the number of people diagnosed with cancer was less than seven thousand a year. Serbia is the country in Europe with the highest death rate from cancer and the second in the world according to this indicator after Mongolia, according to data from the World Cancer Research Fund International.
The impact of NATO’s irresponsible use of depleted uranium is felt not only in Serbia. but also in neighboring countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, North Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina which have all seen huge increases in cancer diagnoses.
When depleted uranium bombs are dropped, particles scatter widely after hitting their target and it takes many years for the uranium to decay, remaining in the soil. Not only was NATO responsible for “crimes against humanity” by using these bombs, they also damaged and destroyed Serbia's ecosystem and biodiversity, according to the lawsuit.
According to Obektivno, Sarjan Alexić and his team of lawyers have collected the medical records of 1,500 citizens, and 35 cases have been filed in the High Court in Belgrade to date. Every month 10 new cases are filed. Alexić, who is doing the work pro bono has a personal motive, as his mother and several family members from his village near Bujanovac died of cancer after the NATO bombing.
NATO claims immunity and argues that it should not be held accountable to the high court in Belgrade because of a transit agreement signed in 2005 between Serbia and NATO regarding Serbia’s accession to the Partnership for Peace. The transit agreement, however, allows allied forces serving as part of KFOR to transit through Serbia. Alexić argues that immunity cannot be applied retroactively because the bombings took place in 1999 and the agreement was signed six years later.
Despite the overwhelming evidence of the dangers of using depleted uranium shells, the United States and other NATO countries are supplying these weapons to the Zelensky regime in Ukraine with reckless disregard for the long-term consequences of their decision.