Lessons from Russian History for the Prepper Community (Part 3-of-3)

the-kosovo-war-1998-1999

Guest Post: by Brad

Scenario #3: The Kosovo War (1998 – 1999)

As many readers will recall (because you are not among the Sheeple who pay no attention to important events), in the mid-1990’s there was escalating violence and tension between the ethnicities and religions in Yugoslavia (for you younger readers, Yugoslavia used to be a country in Eastern Europe). During 1997 and 1998 there was a full blown war between different groups vying for power. During this conflict there were reports of genocide. Due to various reasons, NATO refused to sit by and let this fighting and slaughter continue, and NATO began a sustained bombing campaign in spring and summer of 1999. As a combination of the ground war between the various ethnicities and the bombing campaign of NATO, over 1 million souls were displaced and fled the region, becoming migrant refugees.

During that time period I was living in a Russian city that was close to the border. Literally tens of thousands of refugees from Yugoslavia found their way into the city and the outlying region. As you might expect, they were not welcomed with entirely open arms. As you will recall, Russia was still recovering from the financial crisis. It did not have money to spare. These refugees took up shelter in apartment buildings and other edifices that had been abandoned and condemned. I saw families living in concrete blocks where the foundation had sunk into the earth, resulting in the concrete floor having a strange tilt to it such that a marble would roll from one side of the room to another. There was no running water or plumbing or heat in these edifices. The families huddled under blankets to keep warm, and cooked over open fires, often made with discarded tires. Deplorable living conditions. And yet, they had shelter. There were many more who bedded down in the fields around the cities. As these refugees would wander the city looking for food and work, they were turned away on more than one occasion by the force of fist or boot. The refugees would then return the fist or boot with their own fist or boot. Violence often ensued.

So, again you ask, what’s the point? Well, here it is.

The mass of humanity that will roam the earth in search of shelter and food—like a giant cloud of locusts and which is sometimes referred to as “The Golden Horde”—is golden horde is a reality. The particular horde from Yugoslavia was unarmed, but I do not imagine that that would be the case in the USA. The golden horde in the USA would –I imagine–also take up residence in any edifice they could. Look for whatever food they could. Fight for whatever food they could. In short, it would look like one army of refugees against another army of refugees or an army defending its home turf. But the conflicts will be there.

So, the practical lesson here is, I believe, the golden horde will come, and it is to be avoided. It will be massive. They will work together as they are in the same boat. They will be after resources such as shelter, food and fuel.

In conclusion, these are three modern lessons of SHTF/TEOTWAWKI scenarios that actually happened. They all actually happened in a First World country. They are all things that could easily be repeated. Practical lesson: prepare accordingly.


The Siege of Leningrad
The Russian Financial Crisis of 1998


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  1. GoneWithTheWind June 16, 2011
  2. Deb June 25, 2011
    • Talon February 27, 2013
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