Exactly 15 years ago, the Russian army with around two hundred soldiers, marched over 600km across Serbia and entered Pristina, Kosovo to occupy the nearby airport “Slatina”. They say this was the only airport around that was capable of receiving the heavy transport planes and NATO wanted to take control of it. However, Russian commanders were said to be unhappy that most of the decisions in Kosovo and Serbia at time were made without consulting with them. They decided to bypass NATO and occupy a part of Kosovo by themselves, blocking NATO forces from using the vital airport and in this way control all the nearby region all by themselves.
They ordered 200 Russian soldiers to move out of the NATO base where they were located and cross six hundred kilometers across the country. The soldiers didn’t know where they were going. They were tasked to go as fast as possible, however local Serbian citizens often slowed them down.
Not because they wanted to block Russian invaders, but because they wanted to say “Thank You!” and give the flowers to the column of Russian BTRs and vehicles waving Russian flags moving through Serbia.
Later, they managed to reach the airport before the NATO forces and blocked it. English and American forces tried to enter the airport but had to give up, as they were warned off with guns. The Russian BTRs moved to every NATO helicopter that was trying to land on the airfield and interfered with landings, so nobody landed.
Reportedly, it didn’t take long for the two hundred military men to run out of food and water. According to the initial plan, supplies and more troops had to be delivered from Russia by transport planes, however Hungary and Bulgaria denied Russian planes access to their air space due to their affiliation with NATO.
They say the NATO soldiers helped them with water and supplies, but they still didn’t let them in.
That’s a NATO tank standing near the locked gate at the entrance to the airport.
Later, during the talks in Helsinki, Finland, the work around was found. However, they say that at some point in time the commander of NATO forces ordered General Jackson to “suppress the airport defense”, which Jackson recalls “in practice meant to kill the Russians, which I didn’t plan to do”. So he didn’t carry out the order.
Whoever is interested in reading more might refer to wiki article on this.