On March 24, 1999, NATO launched Operation Allied Force against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) during the Kosovo War.
NATO said the large-scale air campaign was intended to halt Serbian forces’ ethnic cleansing against ethnic Albanian Muslims in Kosovo. The bombing came to an end on June 10, 1999, after FRY President Slobodan Milosevic agreed to withdraw troops from Kosovo and allow in peacekeepers.
This week, Russia, which has always condemned the NATO airstrikes in the FRY as illegal, issued a statement via its British embassy on the 22nd anniversary of the NATO campaign.
“#OTD in 1999 #NATO started its military aggression against #Yugoslavia. During the barbaric bombings over 2000 peaceful civilians, incl children, lost their lives. That @NATO aggression became the first armed offence against a sovereign state in Europe since the end of #WWII,” the embassy tweeted.
Many aspects of this statement are false or lacking context.
Although there might be some debate over what constitutes a “sovereign" state, the Soviet Union launched several military offensives in Europe, outside the Soviet Union’s borders, prior to Operation Allied Force.