The Russian hospital in Prokuple as a symbol of friendship
During the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999, Belgrade was under international blockade and international humanitarian organizations were evacuated from the country. More than 500 thousand refugees from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina who were situated in Serbia at that time found themselves in a difficult situation. Already in May the same year, Russia had reacted to this disaster which happened to its brotherhood country. Dozens of KAMAZ tracks were sent to Serbia to deliver humanitarian cargo to refugee camps, whilst transport companies refused to carry out this mission because of NATO bombing danger. In addition, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations sent an airmobile hospital and medical personnel to help Serbian people, including 42 specialists, equipment and medical reserves. After the advice of locals, the hospital was deployed on the outskirt of Prokuplje. As it turned out later, in addition to providing medical assistance to more than 3 thousand people, the hospital saved the city from NATO bomb attacks.
The hospital worked for about two months. Later, Ministry’s doctors returned to Russia, and the hospital with all equipment and medicines was given to the Serbian people as a gift, so local doctors continued to use hospital according to its purpose.
Prokuplje administration created a working group to consider the issue of creating a memoriable sign on a place where the hospital was located and its opening is planned for May 2018. City residents support this initiative.