War in the Balkans: Protest - Solzhenitsyn angry at attacks on Serbs

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The Independent Online
ALEXANDER Solzhenitsyn, the Russian writer, says Nato's air strikes against Yugoslavia recall events in Europe in the 1930s with the rise of Nazi Germany.

The Nobel laureate, who is a staunch nationalist, said Nato was not acting to defend ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, but was seeking to suppress the Serbs of Yugoslavia. "The aggressors have kicked aside the UN, opening a new era where might is right," Solzhenitsyn said on Tuesday in an interview with the Itar-Tass news agency.

"Nato has opened a new epoch for us, like Hitler, who withdrew from the League of Nations, and the Second World War started as a result," he was quoted as saying.

Russia has denounced the Nato air strikes and called for a peaceful solution of the dispute. Russian nationalists like Solzhenitsyn have demanded that Moscow aid Yugoslavia because it is a fellow Slav nation, but the Russian government has said it will not be dragged in to the war.

Since returning to Russia after years of exile during the Soviet era, Solzhenitsyn has also berated Russians for what he sees as their close ties with the West. He receives little public attention. AP