Slobodan Milošević
Overview
 
Slobodan Milošević (sometimes transliterated
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

 as Miloshevich; slɔbɔ̌dan milɔ̌ːʃɛʋitɕ; Serbian Cyrillic: Слободан Милошевић; 20 August 1941 – 11 March 2006) was President of Serbia
President of Serbia
The President of Serbia is the head of state of Serbia. Presently serving as the head of state is Boris Tadić. He was elected with a narrow majority of 50.31% in the 2008 Serbian presidential elections.-Authority, legal and constitutional rights:...

 and Yugoslavia. He served as the President of Socialist Republic of Serbia
Socialist Republic of Serbia
Socialist Republic of Serbia was a socialist state that was a constituent country of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It is a predecessor of modern day Serbia, which served as the biggest republic in the Yugoslav federation and held the largest population of all the Yugoslav...

 and Republic of Serbia from 1989 until 1997 in three terms and as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. He also led the Socialist Party of Serbia
Socialist Party of Serbia
The Socialist Party of Serbia is officially a democratic socialist political party in Serbia. It is also widely recognized as a de facto Serbian nationalist party, though the party itself does not officially acknowledge this...

 from its foundation in 1990.
Encyclopedia
Slobodan Milošević (sometimes transliterated
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

 as Miloshevich; slɔbɔ̌dan milɔ̌ːʃɛʋitɕ; Serbian Cyrillic: Слободан Милошевић; 20 August 1941 – 11 March 2006) was President of Serbia
President of Serbia
The President of Serbia is the head of state of Serbia. Presently serving as the head of state is Boris Tadić. He was elected with a narrow majority of 50.31% in the 2008 Serbian presidential elections.-Authority, legal and constitutional rights:...

 and Yugoslavia. He served as the President of Socialist Republic of Serbia
Socialist Republic of Serbia
Socialist Republic of Serbia was a socialist state that was a constituent country of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It is a predecessor of modern day Serbia, which served as the biggest republic in the Yugoslav federation and held the largest population of all the Yugoslav...

 and Republic of Serbia from 1989 until 1997 in three terms and as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. He also led the Socialist Party of Serbia
Socialist Party of Serbia
The Socialist Party of Serbia is officially a democratic socialist political party in Serbia. It is also widely recognized as a de facto Serbian nationalist party, though the party itself does not officially acknowledge this...

 from its foundation in 1990. His presidency was marked by the breakup of Yugoslavia and the subsequent Yugoslav wars
Yugoslav wars
The Yugoslav Wars were a series of wars, fought throughout the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995. The wars were complex: characterized by bitter ethnic conflicts among the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, mostly between Serbs on the one side and Croats and Bosniaks on the other; but also...

. In the midst of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was NATO's military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. The strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999...

, Milošević was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with the wars in Bosnia
Bosnian War
The Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995. The war involved several sides...

, Croatia
Croatian War of Independence
The Croatian War of Independence was fought from 1991 to 1995 between forces loyal to the government of Croatia—which had declared independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia —and the Serb-controlled Yugoslav People's Army and local Serb forces, with the JNA ending its combat...

 and Kosovo
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a...

 (ICTY).

Milošević resigned the Yugoslav presidency
Presidency
The word presidency is often used to describe the administration or the executive, the collective administrative and governmental entity that exists around an office of president of a state or nation...

 amid demonstrations, following the disputed presidential election of 24 September 2000. He was arrested by Yugoslav federal authorities on Saturday, 31 March 2001, on suspicion of corruption, abuse of power, and embezzlement
Embezzlement
Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly appropriating or secreting assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted....

. The initial investigation into Milošević faltered for lack of evidence, prompting the Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić to send him to The Hague
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a...

 to stand trial for charges of war crime
War crime
War crimes are serious violations of the laws applicable in armed conflict giving rise to individual criminal responsibility...

s instead. Milošević conducted his own defense in the five-year long trial, which ended without a verdict when he died
Death of Slobodan Miloševic
On 11 March 2006, former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević died in his cell, apparently from a heart attack, while being tried for war crimes at the ICTY in The Hague, which was a major political event, especially for Serbia and Russia. Milošević died a few months before the verdict was due for...

 on 11 March 2006 in his prison cell in The Hague. Milošević, who suffered from heart ailments and high blood pressure
Blood pressure
Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels, and is one of the principal vital signs. When used without further specification, "blood pressure" usually refers to the arterial pressure of the systemic circulation. During each heartbeat, BP varies...

, died of a heart attack. The Tribunal denies any responsibility for Milošević's death. They claim that he refused to take prescribed medicines and medicated himself instead.

Early life

Milošević had roots in the Vasojevići
Vasojevici
The Vasojevići tribe is the largest Serb clan in Montenegro. It occupies the area between Vjetarnih Lijeva Rijeka in the South and Bihor under Bijelo Polje in the North, Mateševo in the West to Plav in the East. The clan is one of seven "highland clans"...

 Serb clan
Serb clans
Serb clans is a general term referring to what are known as plemena and bratstva , traditional geo-political units of the Western Balkans that now richly attest social anthropology and family history . The descendants of the clans are divided by regional and lately, national affiliation...

. He was born and raised in Požarevac
Požarevac
Požarevac is a city and municipality in eastern Serbia. It is the administrative center of the Braničevo District of Serbia...

, Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

 during the Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 occupation of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. His parents separated in the aftermath of the war
Aftermath of World War II
After World War II a new era of tensions emerged based on opposing ideologies, mutual distrust between nations, and a nuclear arms race. This emerged into an environment dominated by a international balance of power that had changed significantly from the status quo before the war...

. His father, the Serb Orthodox deacon
Deacon
Deacon is a ministry in the Christian Church that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions...

 Svetozar Milošević, shot himself
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 in 1962, and his mother, Stanislava Resanović, a school teacher and also an active member of the Communist Party
Communist party
A political party described as a Communist party includes those that advocate the application of the social principles of communism through a communist form of government...

, committed suicide in 1972. Milošević went on to study law at the University of Belgrade
University of Belgrade
The University of Belgrade is the oldest and largest university of Serbia.Founded in 1808 as the Belgrade Higher School in revolutionary Serbia, by 1838 it merged with the Kragujevac-based departments into a single university...

's Law School
University of Belgrade Faculty of Law
The University of Belgrade Faculty of Law , also known as the Belgrade Law School, is one of the first-tier educational institutions of the University of Belgrade, Serbia...

, where he became the head of the ideology committee of the Yugoslav Communist League
League of Communists of Yugoslavia
League of Communists of Yugoslavia , before 1952 the Communist Party of Yugoslavia League of Communists of Yugoslavia (Serbo-Croatian: Savez komunista Jugoslavije/Савез комуниста Југославије, Slovene: Zveza komunistov Jugoslavije, Macedonian: Сојуз на комунистите на Југославија, Sojuz na...

's (SKJ) student branch
Young Communist League of Yugoslavia
Young Communist League of Yugoslavia, commonly known by its abbreviation SKOJ was the youth wing of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia from 1919 to 1948...

 (SSOJ). While at the university, he befriended Ivan Stambolić
Ivan Stambolic
Ivan Stambolić was a Communist Party of Yugoslavia official and the President of the Republic of Serbia in the 1980s who was later victim of an assassination....

, whose uncle Petar Stambolić
Petar Stambolic
Petar Stambolić was a Yugoslav communist politician who served as the President of the Federal Executive Council of Yugoslavia from 1963 to 1967 and President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia from 1982 until 1983.Stambolić was born in Brezova, Ivanjica, Kingdom of Serbia and died in Belgrade, Serbia...

 had been a president of Serbian Executive Council (the Communist equivalent of a prime minister). This was to prove a crucial connection for Milošević's career prospects, as Stambolić sponsored his rise through the SKJ hierarchy.

After graduating from university in 1966, Milošević became an economic advisor to the Mayor of Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

. Five years later, he married Mirjana Marković
Mirjana Markovic
Mirjana "Mira" Marković is the leader of the Yugoslav Left political party and the widow and childhood friend of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević.-Personal life:...

, whom he had known since childhood. Marković would have some influence on Milošević's political career both before and after his rise to power; she was also leader of her husband's junior coalition partner, Yugoslav Left
Yugoslav Left
Yugoslav Left was a left-wing political party in Serbia and Montenegro. It was formed in 1994 as is a coalition of 23 left-wing and communist parties, led by the League of Communists - Movement for Yugoslavia . It has been led by Mirjana Marković, the wife of Slobodan Milošević...

 (JUL) in the 1990s. In 1968, Milošević got a job at the Tehnogas company, where Stambolić was working, and became its chairman in 1973. By 1978, Stambolić's sponsorship had enabled Milošević to become the head of Beobanka, one of Yugoslavia's largest banks; his frequent trips to Paris and New York gave him the opportunity to learn English.

Rise to power

On 16 April 1984, Milošević was elected president of the Belgrade League of Communists City Committee. On 21 February 1986 the Socialist Alliance of Working People unanimously supported him as presidential candidate for the SKJ's Serbian branch
League of Communists of Serbia
The League of Communists of Serbia was the Serbian branch of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, the sole legal party of Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1990. Under a new constitution ratified in 1974, greater power was devolved to the various republic level branches. In the late 1980s, the party was...

 Central Committee. Milošević was elected by a majority vote at the 10th Congress of the Serbian League of Communists on 28 May 1986.

Milošević emerged
8th Session of the Serbian Communist Party
The 8th Session of the League of Communists of Serbia took place on 22 September 1987 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. This session proved to be a turning point in Serbian politics, as it marked the rise of Slobodan Milošević as a key force in Serbian politics....

 in 1987 as a force in Serbian politics after he declared support for Serbs in Kosovo, who claimed they were being oppressed by the government of the Serbian autonomous province of Kosovo, which was dominated by Kosovo's majority nationality, ethnic Albanians. Milošević claimed that Albanian authorities had abused their powers, that the autonomy of Kosovo was allowing the entrenchment of separatism in Kosovo, and that the rights of the minority Serbs in Kosovo were being regularly violated. As a solution, he called for political change to reduce the autonomy of Kosovo, protect minority Serb rights, and initiate a strong crackdown on separatism in Kosovo.

Milošević was criticized by opponents, who claimed he and his allies were attempting to strengthen the position of Serbs in Yugoslavia at the expense of Kosovo Albanians and other nationalities, a policy they accused of being nationalist, which was a taboo
Taboo
A taboo is a strong social prohibition relating to any area of human activity or social custom that is sacred and or forbidden based on moral judgment, religious beliefs and or scientific consensus. Breaking the taboo is usually considered objectionable or abhorrent by society...

 in the Yugoslav Communist system and effectively a political crime, as nationalism was identified as a violation of the Yugoslav Communists' commitment to Brotherhood and Unity
Brotherhood and unity
Brotherhood and Unity was a popular slogan of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia that was coined during the Yugoslav People's Liberation War , and which evolved into a guiding principle of Yugoslavia's post-war inter-ethnic policy....

. Milošević always denied allegations that he was a nationalist or that he exploited Serbian nationalism in his rise to power. In a 1995 interview with TIME, he defended himself from these accusations by claiming he stood for every nationality in Yugoslavia, (though he notably made no direct or indirect mention of Macedonians
Macedonians (ethnic group)
The Macedonians also referred to as Macedonian Slavs: "... the term Slavomacedonian was introduced and was accepted by the community itself, which at the time had a much more widespread non-Greek Macedonian ethnic consciousness...

 or Montenegrins who are often seen by Serbs in Serbia as being Serbs by ethnic heritage): "All my speeches up to '89 were published in my book. You can see that there was no nationalism in those speeches. We were explaining why we think it is good to preserve Yugoslavia for all Serbs
Serbs
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

, all Croats
Croats
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have...

, all Muslims and all Slovenians as our joint country. Nothing else."

As animosity between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo deepened during the 1980s, Milošević was sent to address a crowd of Serbs in Kosovo Polje
Kosovo Polje
Kosovo Polje or Fushë Kosova is a town and municipality in the Pristina district of central Kosovo, at 42.63° North, 21.12° East, or approximately eight kilometres south-west of the capital Pristina...

 on 24 April 1987. While Milošević was talking to the leadership inside the local cultural hall, demonstrators outside clashed with the local Kosovo-Albanian police force.

The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

reported that "a crowd of 15,000 Serbs and Montenegrins hurled stones at the police after they used truncheons to push people away from the entrance to the cultural center of Kosovo Polje."

Milošević heard the commotion and was sent outside to calm the situation. A videotape of the event shows Milošević responding to complaints from the crowd that the police were beating people by saying "You will not be beaten". Later that evening, Serbian television aired the video of Milošević's encounter.

In Adam LeBor's biography of Milošević, he says that the crowd attacked the police and Milošević's response was "No one should dare to beat you again!"

The Federal Secretariat of the SFRY Interior Ministry however, condemned the police's use of rubber truncheons as not in keeping within the provisions of Articles 100 and 101 of the rules of procedure for "conducting the work of law enforcement", they had found that "the total conduct of the citizenry in the mass rally before the cultural hall in Kosovo Polje cannot be assessed as negative or extremist
Extremism
Extremism is any ideology or political act far outside the perceived political center of a society; or otherwise claimed to violate common moral standards...

. There was no significant violation of law and order."

Although Milošević was only addressing a small group of people around him – not the public, a great deal of significance has been attached to that remark. Stambolić, after his reign as President, said that he had seen that day as "the end of Yugoslavia".

Dragiša Pavlović, a Stambolic ally and Milošević's successor at the head of the Belgrade Committee of the party, was expelled from the party during the 8th Session of the League of Communists of Serbia after he publicly criticized the party's Kosovo policy. The central committee voted overwhelmingly for his dismissal: 106 members voted for his expulsion, eight voted against, and 18 abstained.

Stambolić was fired after Communist officials in Belgrade accused him of abusing his office during the Pavlović affair. Stambolic was accused of sending a secret letter to the party Presidium, in what was seen as an attempt to misuse the weight of his position as Serbian President, to prevent the central committee's vote on Pavlović's expulsion from the party.

In 2002 Adam LeBor
Adam LeBor
Adam LeBor is a British author and journalist based in Budapest, Hungary. He has worked as a foreign correspondent since 1991, covering the collapse of Communism and the Yugoslav wars and since working in over 30 different countries. He currently reports from Central Europe for The Times and...

 and Louis Sell would write that Pavlović was really dismissed because he opposed Milošević's policies towards Kosovo-Serbs. They contend that, contrary to advice from Stambolić, Milošević had denounced Pavlović as being soft on Albanian
Albanians
Albanians are a nation and ethnic group native to Albania and neighbouring countries. They speak the Albanian language. More than half of all Albanians live in Albania and Kosovo...

 radicals. LeBor and Sell assert that Milošević prepared the ground for his ascent to power by quietly replacing Stambolić's supporters with his own people, thereby forcing Pavlović and Stambolić from power.

In February 1988, Stambolić's resignation was formalized, allowing Milošević to take his place as Serbia's President. Milošević then initiated a program of IMF
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

-supported free-market reforms, setting up in May 1988 the "Milošević Commission" comprising Belgrade's leading neoliberal economists.

Anti-bureaucratic revolution

Starting in 1988, the Anti-bureaucratic revolution
Anti-bureaucratic revolution
Anti-bureaucratic revolution as a term, refers to a series of mass protests against governments of Yugoslavian republics and autonomous provinces during 1988 and 1989, which led to resignations of leaderships of Kosovo, Vojvodina and Montenegro, and the capture of power by politicians close to...

 led to the resignation of the governments of Vojvodina
Socialist Autonomous Province of Vojvodina
Socialist Autonomous Province of Vojvodina , also known shortly as SAP Vojvodina , was one of the two socialist autonomous provinces of the Socialist Republic of Serbia from 1963 to 1990 and one of the federal units of the Socialist Federal...

 and Montenegro
Socialist Republic of Montenegro
Socialist Republic of Montenegro or SR Montenegro in shortened form, was a socialist state that was a constituent country in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It is a predecessor of the modern day Montenegro...

 and to the election of officials allied with Milošević.

According to the Hague indictment against Milošević: "From July 1988 to March 1989, a series of demonstrations and rallies supportive of Slobodan Milošević's policies – the 'Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution' – took place in Vojvodina and Montenegro. These protests led to the ouster of the respective provincial and republican governments; the new governments were then supportive of, and indebted to, Slobodan Milošević."

Milošević's supporters say the anti-bureaucratic revolution was an authentic grass-roots political movement. Reacting to the indictment, Dr. Branko Kostić
Branko Kostic
Branko Kostić was a Montenegrin Serb politician. He served as the President of the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Montenegro from March 1989 to December 1990, and then as the acting Chairman of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1991 to 1992...

, Montenegro's then-representative on the Yugoslav state presidency said, "Well, it sounds like nonsense to me. If a government or a leadership were supportive of Milošević, then it would be normal for him to feel indebted to them, not the other way around." He said Milošević enjoyed genuine grassroots support because "his name at that time shone brightly on the political arena of the entire federal Yugoslavia ... and many people saw him as a person who would be finally able to make things move, to get things going." Kosta Bulatović, an organizer of the anti-bureaucratic rallies, said "All of this was spontaneous" the motivation to protest was "coming from the grassroots."

Milošević's critics claim that he cynically planned and organized the anti-bureaucratic revolution to strengthen his political power. Yugoslav president of presidency Stjepan Mesić
Stjepan Mesić
Stjepan "Stipe" Mesić is a Croatian politician and former President of Croatia. Before his ten-year presidential term between 2000 and 2010 he held the posts of Speaker of the Croatian Parliament , Prime Minister of Croatia , the last President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia , Secretary General...

 said, "Milošević, with the policy he waged, broke down the autonomous [government in] Vojvodina, which was legally elected, in Montenegro he implemented an anti-bureaucratic revolution, as it's called, by which he destroyed Yugoslavia." Commenting on Milošević's role in the anti-bureaucratic revolution, Slovene president Milan Kučan
Milan Kucan
Milan Kučan is a Slovenian politician and statesman. He was the first President of Slovenia.-Early life and political beginnings:...

 said, "none of us believed in Slovenia that these were spontaneous meetings and rallies." He accused the Serbian government of deliberately fanning nationalist passions and Slovene newspapers published articles comparing Milošević to Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

, a one-time Marxist who turned to nationalism. Milošević contended that such criticism was unfounded and amounted to "spreading fear of Serbia
Serbophobia
Anti-Serb sentiment is a generic term used to describe a sentiment of hostility or hatred towards Serbs, Serbia or Serbian Orthodoxy...

".

In Vojvodina
Vojvodina
Vojvodina, officially called Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Its capital and largest city is Novi Sad...

, where 54 percent of the population was Serbian, an estimated 100,000 demonstrators rallied outside the Communist Party headquarters in Novi Sad
Novi Sad
Novi Sad is the capital of the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, and the administrative centre of the South Bačka District. The city is located in the southern part of Pannonian Plain on the Danube river....

 on 6 October 1988 to demand the resignation of the provincial leadership. The majority of protesters were workers from the Vojvodina town of Bačka Palanka, 40 kilometres west of Novi Sad. They were supportive of Milošević and opposed the provincial government's moves to block forthcoming amendments to the Serbian constitution.

The New York Times reported that the demonstrations were held "with the support of Slobodan Milošević" and that "Diplomats and Yugoslavs speculated about whether Mr. Milošević, whose hold over crowds [was] great, had had a hand in organizing the Novi Sad demonstrations."

The demonstrations were successful. The provincial leadership resigned, and Vojvodina League of Communists elected a new leadership.

In the elections that followed Dr. Dragutin Zelenović
Dragutin Zelenovic
-References:...

, a Milošević ally, was elected member of the SFRY Presidency from Vojvodina

On 10 January 1989 the anti-bureaucratic
Bureaucracy
A bureaucracy is an organization of non-elected officials of a governmental or organization who implement the rules, laws, and functions of their institution, and are occasionally characterized by officialism and red tape.-Weberian bureaucracy:...

 revolution continued in Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

, which had the lowest average monthly wage in Yugoslavia, an unemployment rate of nearly 25 percent, and where one-fifth of the population lived below the poverty line. 50,000 demonstrators gathered in the Montenegrin capital of Titograd (now Podgorica) to protest the republic's economic situation and to demand the resignation of its leadership.

The next day Montenegro's state presidency tendered its collective resignation along with the Montenegrin delegates in the Yugoslav Politburo
Politburo
Politburo , literally "Political Bureau [of the Central Committee]," is the executive committee for a number of communist political parties.-Marxist-Leninist states:...

. Montenegro's representative on the federal presidency, Veselin Đuranović, said the decision to step down "was motivated by a sense of responsibility for the economic situation."

Demonstrators were seen carrying portraits of Milošević and shouting his name, but the New York Times reported "there is no evidence that the Serbian leader played an organizing role" in the demonstrations.

Multiparty elections were held in Montenegro for the first time after the anti-bureaucratic revolution. Nenad Bućin, an opponent of Milošević's policies, was elected Montenegro's representative on Yugoslavia's collective presidency and Momir Bulatović
Momir Bulatovic
Momir Bulatović , formerly served as a Yugoslavian and Montenegrin politician. Bulatović became federal President of Montenegro while Montenegro was part of a Yugoslav federation, and also Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia...

, a Milošević ally, was elected Montenegrin President.

Amending the constitutions of Serbia and of Yugoslavia, 1989–1992

Starting in 1982 and 1983, in response to nationalist Albanian riots in Kosovo, the Central Committee of the SFRY League of Communists adopted a set of conclusions aimed at centralizing Serbia’s control over law enforcement and the judiciary in its Kosovo and Vojvodina provinces.

In 1986 Serbian president Ivan Stambolic established a commission to amend the Serbian Constitution in keeping with conclusions adopted by the federal Communist Party.

The constitutional commission worked for three years to harmonize its positions and in 1989 an amended Serbian constitution was submitted to the governments of Kosovo, Vojvodina and Serbia for approval.

On 10 March 1989 the Vojvodina Assembly approved the amendments, followed by the Kosovo Assembly on 23 March, and the Serbian Assembly on 28 March.

In the Kosovo Assembly 187 of the 190 assembly members were present when the vote was taken: 10 voted against the amendments, two abstained, and the remaining 175 voted in favor of the amendments.

Although the ethnic composition of the Kosovo Assembly was over 70 percent Albanian, Kosovo-Albanian nationalists reacted violently to the constitutional amendments. The UPI wire service reported that "unrest began [in Kosovo] when amendments were approved returning to Serbia control over the province's police, courts, national defence and foreign affairs ... mass demonstrations turned into violent street rioting when demonstrators began using firearms against police." According to the report the rioting killed 29 people and injured 30 policemen and 97 civilians.

In the wake of the unrest following the 1989 constitutional amendments, ethnic Albanians in Kosovo largely boycotted the provincial government and refused to vote in the elections. Azem Vllasi
Azem Vllasi
- Early years :In his youth and student years, Vllasi chaired a number of youth organizations; the student league of Kosovo and of Yugoslavia, and from 1974, the League of Socialist Youth of Yugoslavia. As socialist youth chairman, he became popular and gained the support of President Tito, which...

, leader of the League of Communists of Kosovo, was arrested for inciting rioting amid a strike by Kosovo-Albanian miners. In the wake of the Albanian boycott, supporters of Slobodan Milošević were elected to positions of authority by the remaining Serbian voters in Kosovo.

The anti-bureaucratic revolutions in Montenegro and Vojvodina coupled with the Albanian boycott in Kosovo effectively meant that Slobodan Milošević and his supporters held power in four out of the eight republics and autonomous provinces that made-up the Yugoslav federation. Whether this was cynically engineered by Milošević is a matter of controversy between his critics and his supporters.

Because Milošević's supporters controlled half of the votes in the SFRY presidency, his critics charge that he undermined the Yugoslav federation. This, his detractors argue, upset the balance of power in Yugoslavia and provoked separatism elsewhere in the federation.

Milošević's supporters contend that the representatives of the SFRY presidency were elected according to the law. They say that Milošević enjoyed genuine popular support so it was perfectly logical for his allies to be elected to the presidency. His supporters dismiss allegations that he upset the balance of power in Yugoslavia as a propaganda ploy designed to justify separatism.

In 1990, after other republics abandoned the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and adopted democratic multiparty systems, Milošević's government quickly followed suit and the 1990 Serbian Constitution was created. The 1990 Constitution officially renamed the Socialist Republic of Serbia to the Republic of Serbia and abandoned the one-party communist system and created a democratic multiparty system.

After the creation of a multiparty system in Serbia, Milošević and his political allies in Serbia elsewhere in Yugoslavia pushed for the creation of a democratic multiparty system of government at the federal level, such as Serbian state media appealing to the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 in early 1992 with the promise that Bosnia and Herzegovina could peacefully coexist in a democratic Yugoslav federation alongside the republics of Serbia and Montenegro. Outside of the Serb population, the remainder of Bosnian and Herzegovinian population voted in favour of secession. In the aftermath, Serbia and Montenegro agreed to create the new Yugoslav federation called the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992, which dismantled the remaining communist infrastructure and created a federal democratic multiparty system of government.

Civil and political rights in Serbia and Yugoslavia under Milošević's rule

Milošević's government policies on civil and political rights when serving as Serbian President and later Yugoslav president were controversial.

Milošević's government exercised influence and censorship in the media. An example was in March 1991, Serbia's Public Prosecutor ordered a 36-hour blackout of two independent media stations, B92 Radio and Studio B television to prevent the broadcast of a demonstration against the Serbian government taking place in Belgrade. The two media stations appealed to the Public Prosecutor against the ban but the Public Prosecutor failed to respond.

Upon the creation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Milošević's government engaged in reforms to the Serbian Penal Code regarding restrictions on free speech, which were seen by critics as highly authoritarian. In particular Article 98 of the Serbian Penal Code during the 1990s punished imprisonment of up to three years for the following:

"...public ridicule [of] the Republic of Serbia or another Republic within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, their flag, coat of arms or anthem, their presidencies, assemblies or executive councils, the president of the executive council in connection with the performance of their office..."

The federal criminal code for Yugoslavia also protected the presidents of federal institutions, the Yugoslav Army and federal emblems. Both the Serbian and federal Yugoslav laws granted limited exemptions to journalists. The result was multiple charges against a variety of people opposed to the policies of the Serbian and Yugoslav governments even including a Serbian cartoonist who designed political satire.

Milošević’s role in the Yugoslav wars

The Hague indictment alleges that, starting in 1987, Milošević "endorsed a Serbian nationalist
Serbian nationalism
Serbian nationalism refers to the ethnic nationalism of Serbs. Originally arising in the context of the general rise of nationalism in the Balkans under Ottoman rule, under the influence of Serbian linguist Vuk Stefanović Karadžić and Ilija Garašanin....

 agenda" and "exploited a growing wave of Serbian nationalism in order to strengthen centralised rule
Centralization
Centralisation, or centralization , is the process by which the activities of an organisation, particularly those regarding planning and decision-making, become concentrated within a particular location and/or group....

 in the SFRY". Prosecutors at the Hague argued that "the [Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo] indictments were all part of a common scheme, strategy or plan
Joint Criminal Enterprise
Joint criminal enterprise ' is a legal doctrine used by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to prosecute political and military leaders for mass war crimes, including genocide, committed during the Yugoslav wars 1991-1999....

 on the part of the accused [Milošević] to create a 'Greater Serbia', a centralized Serbian state encompassing the Serb-populated areas of Croatia and Bosnia and all of Kosovo, and that this plan was to be achieved by forcibly removing
Deportation
Deportation means the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. Today it often refers to the expulsion of foreign nationals whereas the expulsion of nationals is called banishment, exile, or penal transportation...

 non-Serbs from large geographical areas through the commission of the crimes charged in the indictments. Although the events in Kosovo were separated from those in Croatia and Bosnia by more than three years, they were no more than a continuation of that plan, and they could only be understood completely by reference to what had happened in Croatia and Bosnia." Milošević's defenders claim that the Hague Prosecutors could not produce a single order issued by his government to Serbian fighters in Croatia or Bosnia. Near the end of the Prosecution's case, Prosecution analyst Reynaud Theunens admitted under cross-examination that the Prosecution didn't have any orders issued by Milošević's government to any of fighters in Croatia or Bosnia. However, Theunens was quick to point out, "the fact that we don't have orders doesn't mean that they don't exist" to which Milošević replied "There are none, that's why you haven't got one."

Since the wars, it is assessed that during his career and the wars, Milošević above all was a political opportunist. Claims that Milošević was principally motivated by a desire for power have been supported by many people who had known or had worked for him. Some believe Milošević's original goal until the breaking apart of Yugoslavia was to take control of Yugoslavia, with the ambition of becoming its next great leader, a "second Tito". According to this, Milosevic exploited nationalism to use as a tool to seize power in Serbia, while not holding any particular commitment to it. During his first twenty-five years of career in the communist regime of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

 Milošević was a typical civil servant who did not appear to have nationalist aims. Later Milošević attempted to present himself as a peacemaker in the Yugoslav Wars and abandoned support of nationalism. He returned to support nationalism during the Kosovo War
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

 and appealed to anti-imperialist
Anti-imperialism
Anti-imperialism, strictly speaking, is a term that may be applied to a movement opposed to any form of colonialism or imperialism. Anti-imperialism includes opposition to wars of conquest, particularly of non-contiguous territory or people with a different language or culture; it also includes...

 sentiments. The spread of violent nationalism has also been imputed to indifference
Apathy
Apathy is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical or physical life.They may lack a sense of purpose or meaning in...

 to it by Milošević.

The source of Milošević's nationalistic agenda is believed to have been influenced by the policies of the popular prominent Serbian Communist official and former Yugoslav Partisan Aleksandar Ranković
Aleksandar Rankovic
Aleksandar "Leka" Ranković was a Yugoslav communist politician of Serbian origin considered to be the third most powerful man in Yugoslavia after Josip Broz Tito and Edvard Kardelj....

 who was known to promote Serbian national interests in Yugoslavia and his hardline police actions against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. He supported a centralized Yugoslavia and opposed efforts that promoted decentralization that he deemed to be against the interests of Serb unity. Ranković imposed harsh repressive measures on Kosovo Albanians based on accusations that they there were sympathizers of the Stalinist
Stalinism
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

 regime of Enver Hoxha
Enver Hoxha
Enver Halil Hoxha was a Marxist–Leninist revolutionary andthe leader of Albania from the end of World War II until his death in 1985, as the First Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania...

 of Albania. In 1956, a show trial in Pristina was held in which multiple Albanian Communists of Kosovo were convicted of being infiltrators from Albania and were given long prison sentences. Ranković sought to secure the position of the Serbs in Kosovo and gave them dominance in Kosovo's nomenklatura
Nomenklatura
The nomenklatura were a category of people within the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries who held various key administrative positions in all spheres of those countries' activity: government, industry, agriculture, education, etc., whose positions were granted only with approval by the...

. Under Ranković's influence, Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 in Kosovo at this time was repressed and both Albanians and Muslim Slavs were encouraged to declare themselves to be Turkish and emigrate to Turkey. At the same time Serbs
Serbs
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

 and Montenegrins dominated the government, security forces, and industrial employment in Kosovo. The popularity of Ranković's nationalistic policies in Serbia became apparent at Ranković's funeral in Serbia in 1983 where large numbers of people attended the funeral and many considered Ranković a Serbian "national" leader. This event is believed to have possibly influenced Milošević, who attended Ranković's funeral, to recognize the popularity of Ranković's agenda. This connection to legacy of Ranković was recognized by a number of Yugoslavs who regarded Milošević's policies upon his to power in Serbia as effectively "bringing Ranković back in".

During the Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution, Milošević urged Serbians and Montenegrins to "take to the streets" and utilized the slogan "Strong Serbia, Strong Yugoslavia" that drew support from Serbs but alienated Bosnian Muslims, Croats, Kosovo Albanians, Macedonians, and Slovenes. To these groups, Milošević's agenda reminded them of the Serb hegemonic political affairs of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

 and Ranković's policies. Milošević appealed to nationalist and populist passion by speaking of Serbia's importance to the world and in a Belgrade speech on 19 November 1988, he spoke of Serbia as facing battles against both internal and external enemies. In Vojvodina, a mob of pro-Milošević demonstrators that included 500 Kosovo Serbs and local Serbs demonstrated at the provincial capital, accusing the leadership in Vojvodina of supporting separatism and for being "traitors". In August 1988, meetings by supporters of the Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution were held in many locations in Serbia and Montenegro, with increasingly violent nature, with calls being heard such as "Give us arms!", "We want weapons!", "Long live Serbia—death to Albanians!", and "Montenegro is Serbia!". In the same month, Milošević began efforts designed to destabilize the governments in Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina to allow him to install his followers in those republics. By 1989, Milošević and his supporters controlled Central Serbia along with the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina, supporters in the leadership of Montenegro, and agents of the Serbian security service were pursuing efforts to destablize the government in Bosnia & Herzegovina. In 1989, Serbian media began to speak of "the alleged imperilment of the Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina", as tensions between Serbs and Bosnian Muslims and Croats increased over Serbs' support for Milošević. Efforts to spread the cult of personality of Milošević into the republic of Macedonia began in 1989 with slogans, graffiti, and songs glorifying Milošević spreading in the republic. Furthermore, Milošević proposed a law to restore land titles held by Serbs in the interwar period that effectively provided a legal basis for large numbers of Serbs to move to Kosovo and Macedonia to regain those lands while dislocating the current residents there. Beginning in 1989, Milošević had given support to Croatian Serbs who were vouching for the creation of an autonomous province for Croatia's Serbs that was opposed by Croatia's communist authorities. In the late 1980s Milošević allowed the mobilization of Serb nationalist organizations to go unhindered by actions from the Serbian government, with Chetniks holding demonstrations, and the Serbian government embraced the Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

 and restored its legitimacy in Serbia.

Croatia and Slovenia denounced the actions by Milošević and began to demand that Yugoslavia be made a full multi-party confederal state. Milošević claimed that he opposed a confederal system but also declared that should a confederal system be created, the external borders of Serbia would be an "open question". Tensions between the republics escalated to crisis beginning in 1988, with Slovenia accusing Serbia of pursuing Stalinism
Stalinism
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

 while Serbia accused Slovenia of betrayal. Serbs boycotted Slovenian products and Belgrade citizens began removing their savings from the Slovenian Bank of Ljubljana. Slovenia accused Serbia of persecuting Kosovo Albanians and declared its solidarity with the Kosovo Albanian people while Milošević in turn, accused Slovenia of being a "lackey" of Western Europe. In response to the escalating tensions, Croatia expressed support for Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina declared neutrality, while Montenegro supported Serbia. Slovenia reformed its constitution in 1989 that declared Slovenia's right to secession, these changes provoked accusations by Serbian media that these changes were "destabilizing". Serbia's response was a plan to hold demonstrations in Ljubljana with 30,000 to 40,000 Serbs to supposedly inform Slovenes about the situation in Kosovo, while this was suspected to be an action aimed at destabilizing the Slovenian government. Croatia and Slovenia prevented the Serb protestors from crossing by train into Slovenia. Serbia responded by breaking political links between the two republics and 329 Serbian businesses broke ties with Slovenia. With these events in 1989, nationalism soared in response along with acts of intolerance, discrimination, and ethnic violence increasing. In that year, officials from Bosnia & Herzegovina noted rising tensions between Bosnian Muslims, Croats, and Serbs; active rumours spread of incidents between Croats and Serbs; and arguments by Croats and Serbs that Bosnian Muslims were not a real nation escalated.

With the collapse of the Yugoslav Communist Party, multiparty elections were held in Serbia in 1990, with a number of nationalist parties running on the agenda of creating a Greater Serbia
Greater Serbia
The term Greater Serbia or Great Serbia applies to the Serbian nationalist and irredentist ideology directed towards the creation of a Serbian land which would incorporate all regions of traditional significance to the Serbian nation...

 as Yugoslavia fell apart. From 1990 onward, as Serbs in Croatia pushed for autonomy and began to arm themselves, the Serbian state-run newspaper Politika denounced the Croatian government of Franjo Tudjman for allegedly trying to restore the Ustase and for copying Tito and pledged the support of Belgrade Serbs for the Serbs of Croatia. The Yugoslav Peoples Army began providing weapons to the Serbs in Croatia while the situation in Belgrade grew more intense as Serbs demonstrated outside of the parliament, shouting "We want arms" and "Let's go to Croatia!".

Milošević and other members of the Serbian leadership in the 1980s attempted to gain support amongst Serb nationalists by appealing to revisionism
Historical revisionism
In historiography, historical revisionism is the reinterpretation of orthodox views on evidence, motivations, and decision-making processes surrounding a historical event...

 of the history of Yugoslavia in World War II. To do this, the Tito-era tradition of focusing on rallying the population of Yugoslavia in remembering the total casualties of Yugoslavs in World War II at the hands of Axis forces was replaced with the Milošević government's focus on remembering the Serb casualties of World War II as victims of the Croatian Ustase
Ustaše
The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border...

. This attempt to gain nationalist support also had the effect of increasing the radicalization of Serbian nationalism. In the late 1980s conspiracy theories that vilified the Roman Catholic Church began to become widespread and were supported by Serbian publishers, this was of particular significance since these were attacks on the national religion of the Croats. The political climate in Serbia and Serb territories fostered the rise of ultranationalism and created tense and, at times, violent confrontations between Serbs themselves, particularly between nationalist Serbs and non-nationalist Serbs. Serbs who publicly opposed the nationalist agenda were reported to have been harassed, threatened, or killed.

The Serbian media during Milošević's era was known to espouse Serb nationalism and patriotism while promoting xenophobia
Xenophobia
Xenophobia is defined as "an unreasonable fear of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange". It comes from the Greek words ξένος , meaning "stranger," "foreigner" and φόβος , meaning "fear."...

 toward the other ethnicities in Yugoslavia. Ethnic Albanians were commonly characterised in the media as anti-Yugoslav counter-revolutionaries, rapists, and a threat to the Serb nation. The Serbian state-run newspaper Politika
Politika
Politika is a Serbian newspaper. It is considered the newspaper of record and is the oldest daily in the Balkans, having been founded on January 25, 1904 by Vladislav Ribnikar. It is currently being published by Politika Newspapers and Magazines , a joint venture between Politika AD and...

had a number of xenophobic headlines such as in 1991, saying "The Šiptars [Albanians] are watching and waiting". Politika attacked Croats for the election of Franjo Tuđman as president, saying "Croatian leadership again shames the Croatian people". Politika attempted to assert that Croats and ethnic Albanians were cooperating in a campaign against the Serbian government during the 1991 protests in Belgrade against Milošević's government, denying that Serbs took part in the protest while claiming "It was the Šiptars and Croats who demonstrated". When war erupted in Croatia, Politika promoted Serb nationalism, hostility towards Croatia, and violence, on 2 April 1991, Politika's headline was "Krajina decides to join Serbia", one of Politika's stories was "Serbian unity—saving Krajina". On 5 June 1991, Politika ekpres ran a piece titled "Serbs must get weapons". On 25 June 1991 and 3 July 1991, Politika began to openly promote partitioning Croatia, saying "We can't accept Croatia keeping these borders", "Krajina in the same state with Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia-Herzegovina", and prominently quoted Jovan Marjanovic of the Serbian Renewal Movement
Serbian Renewal Movement
The Serbian Renewal Movement is a political party in Serbia.It was founded in 1990.In 1997 a dissident group abandoned the party and formed New Serbia....

, who said "The [Yugoslav] Army must come into Croatia and occupy the line Benkovac
Benkovac
Benkovac is a town and municipality in the interior of Zadar County, Croatia.- Geography :Benkovac is located where the plain of Ravni Kotari and the karstic plateau of Bukovica meet, 20 km from the town of Biograd na Moru and 30 km from Zadar. The Zagreb-Split motorway and Zadar-Knin...

-Karlovac
Karlovac
Karlovac is a city and municipality in central Croatia. The city proper has a population of 49,082, while the municipality has a population of 59,395 inhabitants .Karlovac is the administrative centre of Karlovac County...

-Pakrac
Pakrac
Pakrac is a town in western Slavonia, Croatia, population 4,852, total municipality population 8,482 . Pakrac is located on the road and railroad connecting the regions of Posavina and Podravina.-Name:...

-Baranja
Baranya (region)
Baranya or Baranja is a geographical region between the Danube and the Drava rivers. Its territory is divided between Hungary and Croatia...

" which would essentially have occupied almost all of Croatia and all the territories in Croatia that were claimed by nationalist promoters of a Greater Serbia
Greater Serbia
The term Greater Serbia or Great Serbia applies to the Serbian nationalist and irredentist ideology directed towards the creation of a Serbian land which would incorporate all regions of traditional significance to the Serbian nation...

. To promote fear and anger amongst Serbs towards Croatia, on 25 June 1991, Politika reminded Serbs about the atrocities by the Croatian fascist Ustase
Ustaše
The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border...

 against Serbs during World War II by saying "Jasenovac
Jasenovac
Jasenovac is a village and a municipality in Croatian Slavonia, in the southern part of the Sisak-Moslavina county at the confluence of the river Una into Sava.The name means "ash tree" or "ash forest" in Croatian, the area being ringed by such a forest....

 [an Ustase concentration camp in World War II] mustn't be forgotten". According to Borisav Jović
Borisav Jovic
Borisav Jović is a former Serbian communist politician, who served as the Serbian member of the collective presidency of Yugoslavia during the late 1980s and early 1990s...

, who was formerly a close Milošević ally, Milošević exercised media censorship and maintained strong personal influence over Serbia's state media outlets, having "personally appointed editors-in-chief of newspapers and news programs...". Serbian state media during the wars featured controversial reportage which villainized the other ethnic factions. In one such program, a Croatian Serb woman denounced the old "communist policy" in Croatia, claiming that under it "[t]he majority of Serbs would be assimilated in ten years", while another interviewee stated "Where Serbian blood was shed by Ustasha knives, there will be our boundaries." Various Serbian state television reports featured a guest speaker, Jovan Rašković
Jovan Raškovic
Jovan Rašković was an ethnic Serbian psychiatrist and politician from Croatia....

, who claimed that the Croat people had a "genocidal nature". These repeatedly negative media depictions of the opposing ethnic factions have been said to have been examples of Milošević's state media promoting fear-mongering and utilizing xenophobic
Xenophobia
Xenophobia is defined as "an unreasonable fear of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange". It comes from the Greek words ξένος , meaning "stranger," "foreigner" and φόβος , meaning "fear."...

 nationalist sentiments to draw Serbs to support the wars. The director of Radio Television of Serbia
Radio Television of Serbia
Radio Television of Serbia or Serbian Broadcasting Corporation is the public broadcaster in Serbia. It broadcasts and produces a variety of news, drama, and sports programming through radio, television and the Internet. RTS is, since July 2001, a member of the European Broadcasting Union. RTS is...

 during Milošević's era, Dušan Mitević
Dušan Mitevic
Dušan Mitević was the director of Radio Television of Serbia during the 1980s and 1990s, Serbia's official state media and the largest TV outlet in Serbia.Mitević has since made a statement about the nature of state media in Serbia under Milošević's guidance: "the things that...

, has since admitted on a PBS documentary "the things that happened at state TV, warmongering, things we can admit to now: false information, biased reporting. That went directly from Milošević to the head of TV."

Milošević was uninterested in maintaining Slovenia within the Yugoslav federation, as Slovenia had very few Serbs living within it and Milošević suggested a political deal with Slovenian president Kucan, Serbia would recognize the right of the self-determination of the Slovene nation to independence if Slovenia in turn recognized the right of self-determination of the Serb nation to remain united with Serbia. Such a deal would have set a precadent for Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia to remain in one state with Serbia. Milošević's ally in the Yugoslav federal government, Borisav Jovic stated "I put it pluntly. We didn't want a war with Slovenia. Serbia had no territorial claims there. It was an ethnically pure republic - no Serbs. We couldn't care less if they left Yugoslavia ... We would have been overstretched. With Slovenia out of the way, we could dictate terms to the Croats."

Milošević rejected the independence of Croatia in 1991, and even after the formation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), it too did not initially recognize Croatia's independence. Plans by Milošević to carve out territory from Croatia to the local Serbs had begun by June 1990, according to the diary of Borisav Jović. The Serbian government along with a clique of pro-Milošević members of the Yugoslav army and its general staff, secretly adopted the RAM or "frame" plan that involved the partition of Croatia and Bosnia to give large amounts of territory to the local Serbs that would remain united with Serbia, effectively a Greater Serbia. Armaments and military equipment were placed in strategic positions throughout Croatia and Bosnia for use by the Serbs and local Serbs were trained as police and paramilitary soldiers in preparation for war.

Upon the Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

 seceding in 1991, the Serbian government declared that Macedonia was an "artificial nation" and Serbia allied with Greece against the Republic of Macedonia, even suggesting a partition of the Republic of Macedonia between the FRY and Greece. Subsequent interviews with government officials involved in these affairs have revealed that Milošević planned to arrest the Republic of Macedonia's political leadership and replace it with politicians loyal to Serbia. Milošević demanded the self-determination of Serbs in the Republic of Macedonia and did not recognize the independence of the Republic of Macedonia until 1996.

Milošević denounced the declaration of independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina from Yugoslavia in 1992, and said that "Bosnia and Herzegovina was illegally proclaimed as an independent state and recognized. That recognition was like when the Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 Caligula
Caligula
Caligula , also known as Gaius, was Roman Emperor from 37 AD to 41 AD. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most...

 appointed his horse
Incitatus
Incitatus was the favored horse of Roman emperor Caligula. Its name is a Latin adjective meaning "swift" or "at full gallop".According to Suetonius's Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Incitatus had a stable of marble, with an ivory manger, purple blankets, and a collar of precious stones...

 as a Senator: they recognized a state that never existed before. The Serbs there said, 'We want to stay within Yugoslavia. We don't want to be second-class citizens.' And then the conflicts were started by Muslims, no doubt. And the Serbs, in defending themselves, were always better fighters, no doubt. And they achieved results, no doubt. But please, we were insisting on peace. The international community gave premature recognition first of Slovenia and then of Croatia and supported the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina on a totally irregular basis." A telephone conversation between Milošević and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzić in September 1991 talking about the prospects of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina was tapped by Yugoslav intelligence which reported the transcript to Yugoslav prime minister Ante Marković
Ante Markovic
Ante Marković was a statesman of the former Yugoslavia. He was the last prime minister of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.- Early life :...

, who released the transcript to the public to discredit Milošević. The transcript involved Milošević ordering Karadzic to "Go to Uzelac [JNA commander in northern Bosnia], he'll tell you everything. If you have any problems, telephone me", and said "As long as there is the army no one can touch us ... Don't worry about Herzegovina. Momir [Bulatović, Montenegrin leader] said to his men: 'Whoever is not ready to die in Bosnia, step forward five paces.' No one did so." The conversation revealed that Milošević controlled the military strategy for the war in Bosnia and that Montenegro was under his control.

Vojislav Šešelj
Vojislav Šešelj
Vojislav Šešelj, JD is a Serbian politician, writer and lawyer. He is the founder and president of the Serbian Radical Party and was vice-president of Serbia between 1998 and 2000...

, leader of the Serbian Radical Party
Serbian Radical Party
The Serbian Radical Party is a far-right Serbian nationalist political party in Serbia, founded in 1991. Currently the second-largest party in the Serbian National Assembly, it has branches in three of the nations that currently border Serbia – all former federal republics of Yugoslavia...

 and a Serbian paramilitary leader during the Yugoslav wars claimed that Milošević was directly involved in supporting his paramilitaries and controlled Serb forces during the wars:
"Milošević organized everything. We gathered the volunteers and he gaves us a special barracks, Bubanj Potok, all our uniforms, arms, military technology and buses. All our units were always under the command of the Krajina [Serb army] or [Bosnian] Republika Srpska Army or the JNA. Of course I don't believe he signed anything, these were verbal orders. None of our talks was taped and I never took a paper and pencil when I talked with him. His key people were the commanders. Nothing could happen on the Serbian side without Milošević's order or his knowledge."

No direct orders to commit atrocities by Milošević have been discovered, though little or no effort was made by Milošević to punish people deemed responsible for such atrocities, including Ratko Mladić
Ratko Mladić
Ratko Mladić is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia...

 who, after being accused of allowing atrocities to occur against Croats in Vukovar
Vukovar
Vukovar is a city in eastern Croatia, and the biggest river port in Croatia located at the confluence of the Vuka river and the Danube. Vukovar is the center of the Vukovar-Syrmia County...

, was sent to lead the Bosnian Serb Army, in which capacity Mladić was accused of ordering atrocities, including the murder of thousands of Bosniaks in Srebrenica
Srebrenica massacre
The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide, refers to the July 1995 killing, during the Bosnian War, of more than 8,000 Bosniaks , mainly men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republika Srpska under the command of...

. Even after the reports of Srebrenica were released, Milošević refused to accept that Mladic was responsible for the crimes he was accused of. Wesley Clark
Wesley Clark
Wesley Kanne Clark, Sr., is a retired general of the United States Army. Graduating as valedictorian of the class of 1966 at West Point, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford where he obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and later graduated from the...

 who was a member of the US team that helped negotiate the 1995 peace agreement ending the Bosnian war, claimed in his testimony during the trial of Milošević that Milošević had prior knowledge of the Srebrenica massacre and knew of Mladić's plans. During the negotiations Clark had asked Milošević: 'Mr President, you say you have so much influence over the Bosnian Serbs, but how is it then, if you have such influence, that you allowed General Mladic to kill all those people in Srebrenica?' with Milošević answering: 'Well, General Clark... I warned Mladic not to do this, but he didn't listen to me.'"

Milošević's views

A large number of Slobodan Milošević's interviews have been collected online by his supporters. Milošević argued that the Yugoslav Constitution gave self-determination to constitutive nations, not to republics and Serbs were constitutive nation in both Socialistic Republic Croatia and Socialistic Republic Bosnia-and-Herzegovina. On this basis, he states that the Croatian Serbs and later the Bosnian Serbs should not have been subject to the declarations of independence by the Yugoslav republics Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Milošević denied that Serbia was at war during the wars in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia. Milošević was President of Serbia
President of Serbia
The President of Serbia is the head of state of Serbia. Presently serving as the head of state is Boris Tadić. He was elected with a narrow majority of 50.31% in the 2008 Serbian presidential elections.-Authority, legal and constitutional rights:...

, not of Yugoslavia, and claims that his government was only indirectly involved through support for Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia at some points. Others including former members of his cabinet such as Borisav Jović
Borisav Jovic
Borisav Jović is a former Serbian communist politician, who served as the Serbian member of the collective presidency of Yugoslavia during the late 1980s and early 1990s...

 have claimed that Milošević, while not head of state of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, in fact played a key role in the military affairs taken in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia. This included a scheme discussed and designed by both Jović and Milošević that transferred every Bosnian Serb unit from the Yugoslav army to the newly formed Bosnian Serb army upon Bosnia's separation from Yugoslavia, which meant that Yugoslavia could not be criticized for occupying parts of Bosnia as it was officially a civil war, although Jovic admits that the Bosnian Serb army was fully funded by Belgrade because the Bosnian Serb budget was too small to support such an army. Biographer Adam LeBor writes that Milošević cut off links with the Bosnian Serbs due to hyperinflation in Serbia rather than to objections over their tactics.

Milošević spent most of 1988–89 focusing his politics on the "Kosovo problem". In Kosovo, to seem non-contradictory, Milošević alleges that he supported the right of the Albanians to "self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

", but not to independence, as he claimed that Kosovo was an essential part of Serbia due to its history and its numerous churches and cultural relics. He also claimed that the KLA were a neo-Nazi organisation that sought an ethnically pure Kosovo, and he argued that independence would deliver Kosovo to their hands.

Milošević denies that he gave orders to massacre Albanians in 1998. He claims that the deaths were sporadic events confined to rural areas of West Kosovo committed by paramilitaries
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 and by rebels in the armed forces. Those from the Serbian army or police who were involved were all, he claims, arrested and many were sentenced to long prison sentences.

Former United States ambassador to Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmermann
Warren Zimmermann
Warren Zimmermann was a diplomat, humanitarian and the last US ambassador to Yugoslavia before its disintegration into civil war.-Background:...

, during his conversations with Milošević claimed that he was not a genuine nationalist, but rather a political opportunist. Zimmerman has claimed that unlike other politicians with whom he had discussions during the collapse of Yugoslavia, such as Franjo Tudjman and Radovan Karadžić, Milošević in public did not emphasize any hatred of ethnic groups and instead emphasized that Serbia would continue to be a multiethnic republic in Yugoslavia. Zimmerman has claimed that Milošević opportunistically used nationalism to allow him to rise to power in the Communist establishment in Serbia as Communism in eastern Europe became increasingly unpopular, and continued to advocate a nationalist agenda to draw in support for his government. However on another occasion Milošević revealed to Zimmerman his negative attitude towards ethnic Albanians who had demanded autonomy and in the 1990s, independence from Serbia and Yugoslavia. Milošević told Zimmerman jokingly that the Albanians of Kosovo were the most pampered minority in Europe. Milošević also was known to talk disparagingly about Slovenes, when he in conversation with an interviewer of what he thought of the Slovene delegations decision depart the League of Communists of Yugoslavia
League of Communists of Yugoslavia
League of Communists of Yugoslavia , before 1952 the Communist Party of Yugoslavia League of Communists of Yugoslavia (Serbo-Croatian: Savez komunista Jugoslavije/Савез комуниста Југославије, Slovene: Zveza komunistov Jugoslavije, Macedonian: Сојуз на комунистите на Југославија, Sojuz na...

, Milošević made a derogatory joke calling the Slovene League of Communists delegation, "those stingy Slovenes". Zimmerman later reported that Milošević's unusual and conflicting positions and mannerisms were almost schizophrenic in nature, as at times Milošević would behave in an arrogant, stubborn, authoritarian and aggressive manner towards others, which staunchly supported Serbian nationalism against all opponents, while at other times he would be polite, conciliatory, and be eager and willing to find moderate and peaceful solutions to the crisis in Yugoslavia. Zimmerman has concluded however that Milošević constantly demonstrated that he primarily saw Yugoslavia as a state for ensuring the unity of Serbs, and did not have much interest in preserving the unity of Yugoslavia outside areas of Serb national interests.

Milošević's personality according to others has indicated a similar double-sided nature as U.S. ambassador Zimmerman has claimed. In public appearances, he would appear strong, confident, bold and serious while in private, it is said that Milošević was very laid back, and according to the former director of Politika
Politika
Politika is a Serbian newspaper. It is considered the newspaper of record and is the oldest daily in the Balkans, having been founded on January 25, 1904 by Vladislav Ribnikar. It is currently being published by Politika Newspapers and Magazines , a joint venture between Politika AD and...

, Hadži Dragan Antić, Milošević was often interested in non-political things such as comic strips and Disney cartoons and admired the music of Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

. Milošević only allowed a close inner circle of personal friends to visit him while others including the former Information Minister of Serbia during Milošević's era, Alexander Tijanić have said that in private Milošević demonstrated elements of paranoia
Paranoia
Paranoia [] is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a perceived threat towards oneself...

 to many people outside of his inner circle, such as demanding that Tijanić remove the battery from his mobile-phone on each occasion that Tijanić met him. Milošević also refused to keep notes on talks on important issues and would only meet with his most trusted allies to which he simply gave directions and instructions and did not engage in any substantial discussions over such matters.

Murders of political opponents

In the summer of 2000 former Serbian President Ivan Stambolić
Ivan Stambolic
Ivan Stambolić was a Communist Party of Yugoslavia official and the President of the Republic of Serbia in the 1980s who was later victim of an assassination....

 was kidnapped; his body was found in 2003 and Milošević was charged with ordering his murder. In 2005, several members of the Serbian secret police and criminal gangs were convicted in Belgrade for a number of murders, including Stambolić's. These were the same people who arrested Milošević in April 2001. Later, Interior Minister Dušan Mihajlović denied that Milošević had been involved in Stambolić's death at Fruška Gora.

In June 2006 the Supreme Court of Serbia ruled that Milošević had ordered the murder of Stambolić. The Supreme Court accepted the previous ruling of the Special Court for Organized Crime in Belgrade which targeted Milošević as the main abettor of politically motivated murders in the 1990s.

Milošević's attorneys said the Court's ruling was of little value because he was never formally charged or given an opportunity to defend himself against the accusations.

Moreover, most of these murders were of Serbian and Yugoslavian government officials, such as high police official Radovan Stojičić, Defence Minister Pavle Bulatović
Pavle Bulatovic
Pavle Bulatović, was Yugoslavia's foreign minister from 1994 and later defense minister, was shot dead in Belgrade on the evening of February 7, 2000. The shooting took place at a restaurant in the suburb Banjica and Bulatovic later died at a military hospital...

, and the head of JAT Yugoslav Airlines Žika Petrović
Žika Petrović
Živorad "Žika" Petrović was a Serbian engineer and business executive. He was assassinated during spring 2000 while performing the CEO duties at Serbian flag carrier Jat Airways...

.

Downfall of presidency

On 4 February 1997, Milošević recognized the opposition victories in some local elections, after mass protests
1996-97 protests in Serbia
Anti-Milošević protests in Serbia in winter of 1996/1997 refers to the mass protests organized by the Serbian opposition and university students, in response to electoral fraud attempted by the regime of Slobodan Milošević after 1996 local elections.The protests started 17 November 1996 in Niš...

 lasting 96 days.

Constitutionally limited to two terms as president of Republic of Serbia
President of Serbia
The President of Serbia is the head of state of Serbia. Presently serving as the head of state is Boris Tadić. He was elected with a narrow majority of 50.31% in the 2008 Serbian presidential elections.-Authority, legal and constitutional rights:...

, on 23 July 1997, Milošević assumed the presidency of the Federation).

Armed actions by Albanian
Albanians
Albanians are a nation and ethnic group native to Albania and neighbouring countries. They speak the Albanian language. More than half of all Albanians live in Albania and Kosovo...

 separatist groups and Serbian police and military counter-action in Serbia's previously autonomous (and 90 percent Albanian) province of Kosovo culminated in escalating warfare in 1998, NATO air strikes
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

 against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia between March and June 1999, and finally a full withdrawal of all Yugoslav security forces from the province.
During the Kosovo War
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

 he was indicted on 27 May 1999, for war crime
War crime
War crimes are serious violations of the laws applicable in armed conflict giving rise to individual criminal responsibility...

s and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Kosovo, and he was standing trial, up until his death, at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a...

. He attempted to assert that the trial was illegal, having been established in contravention of the UN charter.

Ironically, Milošević lost his grip on power by losing in elections which he scheduled prematurely (before the end of his mandate) and which he did not even need to win in order to retain power which was centered in the parliaments which his party and its associates controlled.

In the five-man presidential race held on 24 September 2000, Milošević was defeated in the first round. The election was won by the opposition leader Koštunica, who won slightly more than 50% of votes. Initially refusing to acquiesce, Milošević had to concede defeat amidst street protests.

Milošević's rejection of claims of a first-round opposition victory in new elections for the Federal parliament and presidency in September 2000 led to mass demonstrations in Belgrade on 5 October, known as the Bulldozer Revolution. The Yugoslav constitution called for a second election round with all but the two leading candidates eliminated, in the event that no candidate won more than 50% of the vote. Official results put Koštunica ahead of Milošević but at under 50 percent. The internationally financed CeSID claimed otherwise, though its story changed throughout the two weeks between 24 September and 5 October.

Milošević was forced to accept this when commanders of the army whom he had expected to support him had indicated that in this instance they would not, and would permit the violent overthrow of the Serbian government. On 6 October, Milošević met with Democratic Opposition of Serbia
Democratic Opposition of Serbia
The Democratic Opposition of Serbia was a wide alliance of political parties in Serbia , formed as a coalition against the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia and its leader, Slobodan Milošević in 2000...

's presidential candidate leader Vojislav Koštunica
Vojislav Koštunica
Vojislav Koštunica is a Serbian politician, statesman and the president of the Democratic Party of Serbia. He was the last President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, succeeding Slobodan Milošević and serving from 2000 to 2003...

 and publicly accepted defeat. Koštunica finally took office as Yugoslav president on 7 October following Milošević's announcement.

Following a warrant for his arrest by the Yugoslav authorities on charges of corruption and abuse of power, Milošević was forced to surrender to security forces on 31 March 2001 following an armed stand off at his fortified villa in Belgrade.

The then president, Kostunica, was opposed to the hand-over of Milosevic to stand trial outside Yugoslavia. The pro-western elements in the Yugoslav cabinet were, however, not prepared to accept a domestic trial for Milosevic. They tried to get an act of parliament passed for the extradition to The Hague. In parliament, they failed to muster a majority as their allies from Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

 (the only other republic surviving in the federation) refused to support such a move. In such a situation, the Yugoslav cabinet passed a decree for extraditing Milosevic, which was patently illegal. Milosevic's lawyers appealed to the Constitutional Court which suspended the decree and asked the government not to effect the extradition for three weeks. In violation of the court order, the cabinet decided by a majority to hand over Milosevic on the same day to the NATO authorities.

On 28 June of the same year, Milošević was transferred by Yugoslav government officials from the jail in Belgrade where he was being held to United Nations custody just inside Bosnian territory. 28 June as St. Vid's Day
Vidovdan
-See also:*Divinity*Daeva*Deva *Vidovdan...

was possibly deliberately chosen as a significant date in Serbian history. He was then transported to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a...

. The Yugoslav Constitution prohibited extradition of Yugoslav citizens and Koštunica formally on legal grounds opposed the transfer that has been ordered by Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić.

Relations with Russia

Historically, Russia has consistently had very close relations with Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with Russian influence on Serbia/Yugoslavia often strong. Russia and Serbia have significant affinities, including majority populations of Slavic ethno-linguistic
Natural language
In the philosophy of language, a natural language is any language which arises in an unpremeditated fashion as the result of the innate facility for language possessed by the human intellect. A natural language is typically used for communication, and may be spoken, signed, or written...

 groups, Orthodox Christianity
Orthodox Christianity
The term Orthodox Christianity may refer to:* the Eastern Orthodox Church and its various geographical subdivisions...

, multi-ethnic polities. Russia is remembered by Serbs for giving assistance to Serbia in becoming autonomous from the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and establishing the Kingdom of Serbia in 19th century. During Milošević's rule, Russia pursued policies that generally supported the Milošević regime. During the Kosovo conflict
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

 in 1999, some observers suggested the possibility of Russia deploying troops in support of Serbia. However, in spite of being considered as a great friend in need for Serbia, Russia has provided political asylum to Milošević's family, which the families of those murdered in the conflicts have protested.

Relations with People's Republic of China

Milošević first visited People's Republic of China in the early 1980s while head of Beobank. Milošević visited China again in 1997, after an invitation by Chinese president
President of the People's Republic of China
The President of the People's Republic of China is a ceremonial office and a part of State organs under the National People's Congress and it is the head of state of the People's Republic of China . The office was created by the 1982 Constitution...

 Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is a former Chinese politician, who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2005...

. Milošević was often popularly known in China by the nickname "Lao Mi" (老米), a shortened form of the informal Chinese-style nickname "Old Milošević" (老米洛舍维奇); among the state-operated media in China, Milošević was often referred to as "Comrade Milošević" (米洛舍维奇同志). Many sources hold that the Chinese government asserted strong backing of Milošević throughout his presidency until his surrender, and was one of the few countries supportive of him and the Yugoslav regime, at a time when most Western countries were strongly critical of the Milošević government. The New York Times states that People's Republic of China was "one of Mr. Milošević's staunchest supporters" during the Kosovo conflict. China vocally opposed NATO armed intervention in Kosovo throughout the campaign. Chinese parliamentary leader Li Peng
Li Peng
Li Peng served as the fourth Premier of the People's Republic of China, between 1987 and 1998, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body, from 1998 to 2003. For much of the 1990s Li was ranked second in the Communist Party of China ...

, was presented by Milošević with Yugoslavia's highest medal (the Great Star) in Belgrade in 2000.

The New York Times observed that Milošević, and particularly his wife Marković had "long viewed Beijing and its Communist party" as allied and "the sort of ideological comrades" lacking in Eastern Europe after the fall of Communism in the 1990s. After Milošević's indictment, China's public statements shifted toward emphasizing Yugoslav-Chinese relations rather than focusing on its support for Milošević, while after the election of Vojislav Koštunica as Yugoslav president, Chinese foreign ministry officially stated that "China respects the choice of the Yugoslavian people."

The Hague trial

Milošević was indicted in May 1999, during the Kosovo War
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

, by the UN's
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a...

 for crimes against humanity in Kosovo. Charges of violating the laws or customs of war, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions
Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

 in Croatia and Bosnia and genocide in Bosnia were added a year and a half later.

The charges on which Milošević was indicted were: genocide; complicity in genocide; deportation; murder; persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds; inhumane acts/forcible transfer; extermination; imprisonment; torture; wilful killing; unlawful confinement; wilfully causing great suffering; unlawful deportation or transfer; extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly; cruel treatment; plunder of public or private property; attacks on civilians; destruction or wilful damage done to historic monuments and institutions dedicated to education or religion; unlawful attacks on civilian objects.

Following Milošević's transfer, the original charges of war crimes in Kosovo were upgraded by adding charges of genocide in Bosnia and war crimes in Croatia. On 30 January 2002, Milošević accused the war crimes tribunal of an "evil and hostile attack" against him. The trial began at The Hague on 12 February 2002, with Milošević defending himself.

Rade Marković stated that a written statement he had made implicating Milošević had been extracted from him by ill-treatment legally amounting to torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

 by named NATO officers Judge May declared this to be "irrelevant", but Milošević stated that it was forbidden under the 1988 rules concerning evidence gained by torture.

The prosecution took two years to present its case in the first part of the trial, where they covered the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. Throughout the two-year period, the trial was being closely followed by the public of the involved former Yugoslav republics as it covered various notable events from the war and included several high-profile witnesses.

Milošević, while defending himself, read from Friedrich Naumann's book Mitteleuropa, claiming it was a long-standing objective of German foreign policy and the German liberal party in particular to "erase Serbia from the map", citing a number of alleged wrongdoings by Germany against Serbia during the last hundred years, including the recognition of Croatia and other countries. He pointed out that Klaus Kinkel
Klaus Kinkel
Klaus Kinkel is a German civil servant, lawyer, and politician of the liberal Free Democratic Party . He served as Federal Minister of Justice , Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany in the government of Helmut Kohl. He was also chairman of the liberal Free Democratic Party from 1993...

, the German Foreign Minister who proposed the creation of the tribunal, was a German liberal. In particular, he emphasized statements by Kinkel that Germany had to accomplish in Yugoslavia what it had "failed to accomplish twice before" and that "the Serbs should be brought to their knees."

A two part documentary titled "Slobodan Milosevic – Glosses at a trial" documents Milošević's trial.

Death

Milošević was found dead in his cell on 11 March 2006, in the UN war crimes tribunal's detention center, located in the Scheveningen section of The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

, Netherlands.

Autopsies soon established that Milošević had died of a heart attack. He had been suffering from heart problems and high blood pressure
Hypertension
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a cardiac chronic medical condition in which the systemic arterial blood pressure is elevated. What that means is that the heart is having to work harder than it should to pump the blood around the body. Blood pressure involves two measurements, systolic and...

. Many suspicions were voiced to the effect that the heart attack had been caused or made possible deliberately – by the ICTY, according to sympathizers, or by himself, according to critics.

Reactions

The reactions to Milošević's death were mixed: proponents of the ICTY lamented what they saw as Milošević's having remained unpunished, while opponents blamed the Tribunal for what had happened. ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte
Carla Del Ponte
Carla Del Ponte is a former Chief Prosecutor of two United Nations international criminal law tribunals. A former Swiss attorney general, she was appointed prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in August...

 delivered her public statement following Milošević's death:

In the indictment which was judicially confirmed in 2001, Milošević was accused of 66 counts of genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

 between 1991 and 1999. These crimes affected hundreds of thousands of victims throughout the former Yugoslavia.


During the prosecution case, 295 witnesses testified and 5,000 exhibits were presented to the court recording a mass of evidence. After the presentation of the prosecution case, the Trial Chamber, on 16 June 2004, rejected a defense motion to dismiss the charges for lack of evidence and ruled in accordance with Rule 98bis, that the prosecution case contains evidence capable of supporting a conviction on all 66 counts. The Defense was given the same amount of time as the prosecution to present its case. There were in total 466 hearing days, four hours per day. 40 hours were left in the Defense case, and the trial was on schedule to end by the end of the spring.

Funeral and legacy

A private funeral for Milošević was held by his friends and family in his hometown of Požarevac
Požarevac
Požarevac is a city and municipality in eastern Serbia. It is the administrative center of the Braničevo District of Serbia...

, after tens of thousands of his supporters attended a farewell ceremony in Belgrade. The return of Milošević's body and his widow's return to Serbia were very controversial, leading to great difficulties before their resolution. The last opinion poll taken in Serbia before Milošević's death listed him as the third most favourably rated politician in Serbia behind Serbian Radical Party
Serbian Radical Party
The Serbian Radical Party is a far-right Serbian nationalist political party in Serbia, founded in 1991. Currently the second-largest party in the Serbian National Assembly, it has branches in three of the nations that currently border Serbia – all former federal republics of Yugoslavia...

 chairman Tomislav Nikolić
Tomislav Nikolic
Tomislav "Toma" Nikolić is a Serbian politician, President of the Serbian Progressive Party. He is also a former member of the Serbian Radical Party, where he served as Deputy Leader of the party and parliamentary leader during the absence of Vojislav Šešelj...

 and Serbian President Boris Tadić
Boris Tadic
Boris Tadić is the President of Serbia and leader of the Democratic Party. He was elected to a five-year term on 27 June 2004, and was sworn into office on 11 July. He was re-elected for a de facto second five-year term on 3 February 2008 and was sworn in on 15 February...

. In February 2007, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) cleared Serbia of genocide, but ICJ's president stated that Milošević was aware of the risk of massacres occurring and did not act to prevent them. In 2010, Life magazine
Life (magazine)
Life generally refers to three American magazines:*A humor and general interest magazine published from 1883 to 1936. Time founder Henry Luce bought the magazine in 1936 solely so that he could acquire the rights to its name....

 included Milošević in its list as "The World's Worst Dictators".

See also

  • 1996–1997 protests in Serbia
  • Strategic Bombardment in the Kosovo War
  • Role of the media in the Yugoslav wars
  • Serbian war crimes in the Yugoslav Wars

Further reading


External links

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