PG NewsPG delivery
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Home Page
PG News: Nation and World, Region and State, Neighborhoods, Business, Sports, Health and Science, Magazine, Forum
Sports: Headlines, Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, Collegiate, Scholastic
Lifestyle: Columnists, Food, Homes, Restaurants, Gardening, Travel, SEEN, Consumer, Pets
Arts and Entertainment: Movies, TV, Music, Books, Crossword, Lottery
Photo Journal: Post-Gazette photos
AP Wire: News and sports from the Associated Press
Business: Business: Business and Technology News, Personal Business, Consumer, Interact, Stock Quotes, PG Benchmarks, PG on Wheels
Classifieds: Jobs, Real Estate, Automotive, Celebrations and other Post-Gazette Classifieds
Web Extras: Marketplace, Bridal, Headlines by Email, Postcards
Weather: AccuWeather Forecast, Conditions, National Weather, Almanac
Health & Science: Health, Science and Environment
Search: Search by keyword or date
PG Store: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette merchandise
PG Delivery: Home Delivery, Back Copies, Mail Subscriptions


Headlines by E-mail

Headlines Region & State Neighborhoods Business
Sports Health & Science Magazine Forum

Yugoslavs here sad, scared for families and homeland

Friday, March 26, 1999

By Marylynne Pitz, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

It was difficult to call people in Yugoslavia yesterday, but Dr. Sava Nenic, a medical resident at UPMC Health System, was lucky and reached his father.

  Dr. Sava Nenic, a medical resident at the UPMC Health System, and his wife, Nada, hold two of their friend's children while expressing frustration with the bombings in Yugoslavia. The Nenics, who have been in the U.S. for four years, were visiting friends in Squirrel Hill. (Sammy Dallal, Post-Gazette)

Nenic's father spoke to his son on a cell phone from Novi Sad, a town 50 miles north of Belgrade.

"I told them what we heard on CNN," Nenic said, referring to the bombings.

"They said no, don't be silly," Nenic recalled, as he talked about the bombings.

Nenic's wife, Nada, reached her mother, who told her that the bombs had begun falling as she was walking her dog and that she thought: "Am I going to be able to reach home without dying?"

Nada Nenic said her mother told her: "This is worse than the worst nightmare."

Sava Nenic seemed emotionally wrung out.

"It seems to me that I don't have tears anymore after these two days and nights," he said.

The Nenics, who have been in the United States for four years, were visiting yesterday at the Squirrel Hill home of their friends, Natasha and Radisav Vidic.

The television blared in the Vidics' family room and, as experts appeared on CNN to discuss the bombings in more dispassionate tones, Radisav Vidic became animated.

The environmental engineer, a native of Serbia who has spent the last 11 years in this country, is an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

He believes Yugoslavia is being treated unfairly and harshly by the United States, NATO and its allies.

Instead of bombing Yugoslavia, Vidic said, NATO could have sent peacekeeping forces to Albania and Macedonia.

Several weeks ago, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was ready to sign an agreement during peace talks at a castle outside of Paris, he said. When Albania refused to sign, its delegation was given a few more days.

An altered version of that new agreement was offered to Yugoslavia by U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke. But in Vidic's view, the altered agreement was an ultimatum, not a negotiation.

Yugoslavia was unwilling to sign, he said, because it meant that, in three years, the region of Kosovo could become an independent state.

Kosovo was the birthplace of Serbia in the eighth century and, though largely populated by Albanians now, is still home to 1,100 Serbian Orthodox monasteries and churches.

Kosovo is to Serbs what Jerusalem is to Jews, Vidic said.

"Kosovo must stay in Serbia," he said.

By bombing Yugoslavia, Vidic said, "what the U.S. is doing is supporting a terrorist," referring to the Kosovo Liberation Army, a group he compared to the Irish Republican Army.

He said the Kosovo Liberation Army had shot Albanians who wanted to stay in Serbia, instead of seceding from it.

Vidic believes NATO is using the bombings to justify its existence.

"By protecting Muslims in Kosovo, they're scoring points with the Muslim world," he said.

The horror of what is happening overseas came through in numerous phone calls.

Sava Nenic, who also reached a female friend in his hometown of Novi Sad, said the woman told him people were sleeping in hallways of apartment buildings to avoid flying glass when bombs fall.

His friend, Nenic said, was crying and practically hysterical.

"She had bought milk for her 2-year-old son," he said. "She had just reached her apartment building" when the bombs began lighting up the sky.

All she could think about, Nenic said, was reaching her child.

"This is a humanitarian disaster," he said.

bottom navigation bar Terms of Use  Privacy Policy