|— Municipality and Town —|
|House of Culture in Varvarin|
|• Mayor||Zoran Milenković (SPO)|
|• Municipality||249 km2 (96 sq mi)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code||+381 37|
Varvarin (Serbian Cyrillic: Варварин, pronounced [ʋarʋǎriːn]) is a small town and municipality in the Šumadija region of central Serbia. Population of the town is 2,133, and population of the municipality is 17,772. It is part of the Rasina District of Serbia.
The town is notable as being the site of an 1810 battle between the Turks and a combined Russian and Serbian army. A statue to the Russian commander, Joseph Cornelius O'Rourke, was erected in 1910.
On a clear Sunday, 30 May 1999, shortly after 1 p.m., a bridge crossing the Velika Morava river in Varvarin was struck by laser-guided bombs fired by one or two low-flying NATO F-16 warplanes conducting attack operations in the Kosovo war. The area around the bridge was filled with hundreds of people celebrating an Orthodox holiday in and around the nearby church, a market place and a fairground. No precautions against air attacks had been taken, as the town is far from Kosovo (approx. 200 km), the aged and narrow bridge was considered insignificant and no military installations were to be found within a radius of 20 km. Ten civilians were killed and 17 severely injured, some with permanent disabilities, in two attack waves a few minutes apart. Most of the casualties occurred in the second wave, when people had rushed to the bridge to help those wounded in the initial wave.
To this date, NATO has refused to release further details of the airstrike – specifically the nationality of the attacking planes. In a public statement made by NATO spokesman Jamie Shea on 31 May 1999, he declared the Varvarin bridge a legitimate military target. No explanations or other statements have been issued by NATO since then.
The airstrike gave rise to a lawsuit against the German government (one of the NATO countries involved in the conflict). The case was decided against the Serbian plaintiffs, but it is under appeal to Germany's highest court.
- "Municipalities of Serbia, 2006". Statistical Office of Serbia. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- "2011 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in The Republic of Serbia: Ethnicity - Data by municipalities and cities". Statistical Office of Republic Of Serbia, Belgrade. 2012. ISBN 978-86-6161-023-3. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Varvarin|
- Direkcija.org.rs - Urban Planning and Construction
- Varvarin.org.yu - Official web presentation of Varvarin city
- Varvarin.net - Unofficial but interesting web presentation of Varvarin, small city near river Velika Morava
- 2003-10-15 Deutsche Welle World Service: Serbian Families Sue Germans Over NATO Bombing
- 1999-05-31 The Irish Times: "NATO bombers hit town `full of people'"
- 1999-05-31 BBC news report
- Photos of the effects of NATO bombing on Varvarin bridge