Improved weather conditions lead to the most intense bombing of the campaign. The US begins deploying Apache helicopters. Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, declares that Nato troops will protect refugee sanctuaries on the Macedonian border. Albanian Prime Minister, Pandeli Majko, describes the exodus as a "biblical deluge... a new Holocaust". Britain offers to take refugees, but underlines the aim of returning them home.


There are clear signs of panic in Western capitals over the scale of the refugee crisis. Refugees begin dying of disease and exhaustion. Clare Short, Secretary of State for International Development, tours refugee camps in Macedonia. Robin Cook says there will be no peace in Kosovo until ethnic cleansing is reversed. Nato concedes that efforts to stop Serbian ethnic cleansing have failed. A drift towards a ground conflict looks increasingly inevitable.


Serbia declares a unilateral cease-fire ahead of the Orthodox Easter festivities. The White House states: "Hollow, half-measures will not stop the bombing." UNHCR chief, Sadako Ogata, says: "It is frightening that this century, as in its darkest hours, should end with the mass deportation of innocent people." Kosovo Albanians form a government in exile run by the KLA.


30,000 refugees go missing after Macedonian authorities evacuate at least 50,000 from Blace, many of them back into Kosovo. Some are so weak they do not complain. Azize Marina, 70, from Pristina says: "I would rather die than be here." The Canadian government becomes the first Nato government to publicly acknowledge the need for ground forces. The US names nine Yugoslav military commanders who it claims are responsible for war crimes.


Nato announces it will send 8,000 troops to Albania to provide "military support" to the aid effort. Spyros Kyprianou, Speaker of the Cypriot parliament, arrives in Belgrade to try to secure the release of three US prisoners of war. Nato gives a short-lived ultimatum that Serbian radio and television stations will be attacked. Thousands gather on Belgrade's last two remaining bridges to act as human shields.


The Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, warns Nato that his armed forces will not stand idly by if Nato tries to invade Kosovo. He tells the alliance: "Don't push us." Russia is reported to have ordered missiles to be aimed at countries bombing Yugoslavia, later denied. Nato estimates up to 200,000 Kosovan refugees are living rough in the woods and mountains of Kosovo, unable to leave because the Serbs have sealed the borders. Spyros Kyprianou meets with Slobodan Milosevic. Nato unleashes wide-ranging air-strikes against Yugoslavia on Orthodox Good Friday.


Yugoslavia reopens border with Albania to expel 2,000 Kosovo Albanians, after sealing the frontier for more than two days. Yugoslav army issues a strong warning to Albania not to allow "terrorists" to attack Yugoslavia from its territory, saying such actions risked a possible escalation of the war in the Balkans. Spyros Kyprianou returns home after failing to persuade Milosevic to free the American POWs.