British Member of Parliament Llew Smith filed a motion in 2004 which is being talked about today because one of the MPs who signed in support of it was Jeremy Corbyn, now leader of the opposition of the United Kingdom. It included the claim that there was no genocide in Kosovo:

That this House welcomes John Pilger's column for the New Statesman issue of 13th December, reminding readers of the devastating human cost of the so-termed 'humanitarian' invasion of Kosovo, led by NATO and the United States in the Spring of 1999, without any sanction of the United Nations Security Council; congratulates John Pilger on his expose of the fraudulent justifications for intervening in a 'genocide' that never really existed in Kosovo; recalls President Clinton's Secretary of Defense William Cohen claimed, entirely without foundation, that 'we've now seen about 100,000 military-aged [Albanian] men missing.....they may have been murdered' and that David Scheffer, the US ambassador-at-large for war crimes, announced with equal inaccuracy that as many as '225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59' may have been killed; recalls that the leader of a Spanish forensic team sent to Kosovo returned home, complaining angrily that he and his colleagues had become part of 'a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines, because we did not find one mass grave'; further recalls that one year later, the International War Crimes Tribunal, a body de facto set up by NATO, announced that the final count of bodies found in Kosovo's 'mass graves' was 2,788; believes the pollution impact of the bombing of Kosovo is still emerging, including the impact of the use of depleted uranium munitions; and calls on the Government to provide full assistance in the clean up of Kosovo.

John Pilger has since maintained that there was no genocide in Kosovo. From John Pilger on why we shouldn't forget what happened in Yugoslavia, published in 2008

With the Nato bombing over, international teams descended upon Kosovo to exhume the "holocaust". The FBI failed to find a single mass grave and went home. The Spanish forensic team did the same, its leader angrily denouncing "a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines". A year later, Del Ponte's tribunal announced the final count of the dead in Kosovo: 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the KLA. There was no genocide in Kosovo. The "holocaust" was a lie. The Nato attack had been fraudulent.

Did no genocide occur in Kosovo?

  • 1
    I like the intent of this question but it's currently a question of definitions.
    – Sklivvz
    Nov 25, 2017 at 6:52
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    I am trying to find out what is disputed. There were claims during the Kosovo War that hundreds of thousands of people were missing and/or killed, but later, when more evidence was collected, the estimates were revised down drastically. Is this in doubt?
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 25, 2017 at 7:24
  • @Oddthinking would it help if I found people claiming that genocide did happen in Kosovo? Nov 25, 2017 at 7:35
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    @AndrewGrimm genocide is "the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group." In my opinion 2788 ethnically motivated killings, on top of all the other ethnic cleansing widely evidenced on Wikipedia, represent genocide. But -- whatever constitutes a large enough group is an opinion and what was the motivation is a question on motives.
    – Sklivvz
    Nov 25, 2017 at 9:31
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    @Sklivvz I think we can probably narrow it to the "fraudulent justifications" part? This seems to be the main substance of the motion: the claim that the specific evidence cited in the official case for the war in 1998/98 was proven by John Pilger and others to be "fraudulent". That seems answerable. The "'genocide' that never really existed" part seems to be rhetoric based almost entirely on faulty logic (that if evidence for X turns out to be untrue, X must be untrue, ignoring the possibility of later evidence). It's also the part most relevant to what Corbyn still says about this today. Nov 25, 2017 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


Well yeah. Old news.


The Yugoslav and Belarusian autopsies [of the alleged genocide ] were conducted on 19 January under the auspices of the Pristina Forensic Medical Institute. Its director, Professor Saša Dobričanin, stated that "Not a single body bears any sign of execution. The bodies were not massacred." He told the media that he suspected that the bodies had been mutilated posthumously to fabricate the appearance of an execution

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    The claim is that there was no genocide because of the numbers, but your source claims there was no genocide because of the motivation of the killings. It does not confirm what Corbyn is saying at all.
    – Sklivvz
    Nov 25, 2017 at 10:22
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    Small quibble, it's not something "Corbyn is saying", it's something Llew Smith said that Corbyn and 24 others formally supported in 2004 (editted to clarify). There's an example of what he's currently saying here. It's similar: saying he "had my doubts" that there was a sufficiently "clear threat of genocide" compared to Rwanda to justify the "the degree of bombing that went on" Nov 25, 2017 at 12:31

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