February 18, 1994 – The view from Sarajevo this day included columns of Bosnian Serb tanks and artillery rolling down from the snow-covered hills around the besieged city. Russian diplomacy and peacekeepers and a threat of NATO airstrikes prompted the withdrawal, Bosnia Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said the withdrawal would be finished by 3:00 pm Pacific time on the 20th, some 25 hours ahead of the NATO deadline. Karadzic went on to say if this withdrawal worked in Sarajevo, it could work in other areas of the region. The clear indication was the Serbs were complying in a big way and that maybe, just maybe this peace move would stick. Others were less giddy, countering the optimism with an “We’ll believe it when we see it” response. Time would only tell.
In other news – Israeli and PLO negotiators met in Egypt to resolve outstanding issues on Police and civilian government matters. PLO chief Arafat was asked if a final agreement could be signed in a month. Arafat answered: “It has to”.
State Department officials denied they tried to discourage the release of Russian documents on Americans captured during the Vietnam War. A classified cable given to the N.Y. Times indicated Russian officials complained of getting mixed messages from the Americans on the POW issue. Activists said supporters of normalizing relations with Vietnam were afraid incriminating Russian documents might derail that process.
And Olympic Speed Skater Dan Jansen, skating in the last race of his jinxed Olympic career finally won a Gold medal at the Lillehammer Winter Olympics, setting a world record in the 1,000 meter race. Jansen’s wife sobbed in the stands and Jansen himself said he had doubts he would win. Instead, he told himself to “just skate – Relax – whatever’s going to happen is going to happen”. Meanwhile, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were out on the practice ice again this day. Harding fell several times and was favoring a bad ankle. She was scheduled to call a news conference later on in the day.
And that’s a small slice of what happened, this February 18, 1994 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.