General Vladimir Lazarevic a Serbian general who was convicted of war crimes has been invited to teach at the Serb military academy along with two other senior officers who took part in the bloody crackdown in Kosovo against the Albanians.

Serb Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin praised Lazarevic and the other senior officers despite his being sentenced to 14 years in prison by the U.N. for atrocities committed against the Albanians by his Serb troops during the 1998-99 bloody fighting that left over 10,000 dead and a million homeless. The only way NATO got the bloodshed to stop was a marathon 78-day bombing campaign.

Vulin told Serbia’s state TV on Thursday that Lazarevic, current army chief-of-staff Gen. Ljubisa Dikovic and former Gen. Bozidar Delic are “exceptional people” who would be sought by “any military academy in the world.”

Lazarevic, who commanded Serb troops in Kosovo during the crackdown, was released from prison in 2015 after serving two-thirds of his sentence. Both Dikovic and Delic, who also fought in the former Serbian province, have been accused by human rights groups of war crimes, but they were never tried or convicted.

Vulin said that they are to “relay their war experiences” to the military academy cadets.

“I’m certain that the professors will be exceptional and that any army would desire to get their experience,” Vulin said.

Lazarevic struck a defiant tone while saying he was honored to be asked to teach and is ready to serve his country. He then took a shot at the west and the UN by stating, “I have never hidden during the NATO aggression and I will not hide now,” Lazarevic said.

Many see this as a step back to nationalist policies of the 1990s as Serbia seeks to gain European Union membership.

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