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In the bloodiest incident of the three-month peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, Russian soldiers on Monday killed three Serbs who fired on them after refusing to stop beating two wounded Albanians.

Authorities said Russian soldiers rushed to a road near Ranilug after hearing gunfire. They found three armed Serb men beating a wounded ethnic Albanian man. Two other Albanians, one critically wounded and one dead, were found in a nearby car.

The Russians ordered the Serbs to stop. Instead, the Serbs shot at the Russians, who returned fire, killing all three. There were no Russian casualties.

In Belgrade, meanwhile, a senior Russian diplomat accused NATO of trying to undercut Yugoslav sovereignty over Kosovo and warned that Moscow will oppose any Western plans for the Kosovo Liberation Army that fall short of dismantling it.

NATO sources said the alliance tentatively has agreed to transform the KLA into a "Kosovo Corps" after the Sept. 19 deadline for the former guerrillas to "demilitarize."

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