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Authors: Adam LeBor


BOOK: Milosevic
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A Biography

Adam LeBor

In Loving Memory
Maurice LeBor

‘I urge you to read Adam LeBor's excellent new biography of Slobodan Milosevic. I fancied that I already knew a great deal of the story but LeBor has combined journalistic flair with a historian's grasp of detail to bring us a haunting portrait of the man the West said it ‘could do business with' . . . For those who witnessed the destruction of the former Yugoslavia this will be a sad book. For those who stood by and did nothing it is a book that should make them wince. I recommend it to both but also to a wider public who should know about the policies pursued in their name' Fergal Keane,
Mail on Sunday

‘It charts a cogent path through the interminable complexities of Balkan politics, and the sense of victimhood on which Milosevic's rise to power was based'
Evening Standard

‘An engaging account of the Milosevic years and the misjudgements that caused ethnic cleansing, official corruption and a collapse into war and penury'
Financial Times

‘The most engrossing biography so far of a man as complex and shifting as the regions he tore apart. This vigorous book takes Milosevic himself as its focal point: LeBor is able to point to a remarkable black hole at the centre of modern Balkan history – Milosevic's complete lack of moral scruple which infected almost all those closest to him'
The Times

‘LeBor charts with dexterity and black humour the rise, and eventual fall, of this provincial Communist functionary . . . LeBor is right to link Milosevic's politics with his domestic life, and peek behind the closely-guarded doors leading into Slobo and Mira's kitchen. For it is there, it appears, that the destinies of millions were decided'

A miracle alone can save the Balkans from war, and I firmly avow the belief that the days of miracles are over, even at the risk of proving myself a false prophet. The Near East is nothing but a vast field of conjectures, and so it is difficult to know where to begin.

Reginald Wyon, British foreign correspondent
The Balkans from Within


Dramatis Personae


Growing Up in Brotherhood and Unity: 1941–58

Meeting Mira
Teenage Sweethearts: 1958–62

Building In
First Steps up the Party Ladder: 1962–77

The Capitalist Years
Slobodan in America: 1978–82

Capturing Belgrade
Using the Network: 1982–4

All the President's Men
Wooing Two Constitutencies: 1985–6

Unleashing Nationalism: 1986–April 1987

Et Tu
Ousting Stambolic: August–September 1987

There Are No Friends Anymore
The Reform Commission and the Yoghurt Revolution: 1988

Coronation in Kosovo
1989 and All That

War No. 1, Slovenia
Small War in Slovenia, Not Many Dead: 1989–91

War No. 2, Croatia
A Joint Criminal Enterprise: 1990–2

Street Protests
Ten Days That Shook Belgrade: March 1991

What a Carve Up
Preparing for War No. 3, Bosnia: 1991–2

War No. 3, Bosnia
The Bosnian Serb Republic: 1993

Milan Panic
The Two Republics of Federal Yugoslavia: 1992–3

on the Home Front
Hijacking the Yugoslav Economy: 1992–3

Weathering Operation Storm
NATO Bombs the Bosnian Serbs: 1994–5

America to the Rescue
Sarajevo Relieved, Eventually: Summer 1995

The Only Man Who Matters
Dayton: November 1995

Enter Mira
Stage Left
Setting up JUL: 1995–7

War No. 4
Kosovo – Part 1
Finishing Unfinished Business: 1998

War No. 4
Kosovo – Part 2
NATO Bombs the Serbs: 1999

Toppling Milosevic from Budapest
One Day that Shook the World: 5 October 2000

Slobodan at The Hague
‘It's Your Problem': 2001–2


Picture Section


Appendix 1: Milosevic and Tudjman Court Yugoslavia's Jews

Appendix 2: Terms of Surrender





A Note on the Author

By the Same Author

List of Illustrations

Dramatis Personae

Antic, Dragan Hadzi

Former chief of
newspaper, associate of Milosevic family


Paramilitary leader, indicted for war crimes

Austin, David

British diplomat, negotiated with Slobodan Milosevic in mid-1990s

Avramovic, Dragoslav

Former governor of Yugoslav national bank. Stabilised economy in 1994

Babic, Milan

Political leader of Krajina Serbs during early 1990s

Bassiouni, Professor Cherif

UN Special Rapporteur on Bosnia. Author of standard work on ethnic cleansing in Bosnia

Berisavljevic, Zivan

Former Yugoslav ambassador to London

Bildt, Carl

European diplomat representing the EU in negotiations with Milosevic. Worked with David Austin

Boban, Mate

Leader of Bosnian Croats in early 1990s

Bogdanovic, Radmilo

Serbian interior minister under Milosevic

Bulatovic, Momir

President of Montenegro 1990–8

Carrington, Lord

Host of the 1991 peace conference at The Hague, under EU auspices

Christopher, Warren

US Secretary of State under Clinton

Clarke, General Wesley

NATO Supreme Commander during 1999 bombing of Serbia

Cosic, Dobrica

Serbian nationalist writer, seen as nation's intellectual godfather

Covic, Nebojsa

Former mayor of Belgrade in mid-1990s, Serbian deputy prime minister in post-Milosevic government

Crnobrnja, Mihailo

Former economic adviser to Milosevic, until 1989

Curuvija, Slavko

Murdered opposition journalist

Dedakovic, Milan

Leader of defence of Vukovar

Djilas, Milovan

Yugoslavia's most famous dissident in the Tito era

Dizdarevic, Raif

Former president of Federal Yugoslavia

Djindjic, Zoran

President of Serbia after Milosevic era. Assassinated in March 2003

Djokic, Ljubislav

Bulldozer driver during 5 October 2000

Djukic, Slavoljub

Serbian biographer of Milosevic

Doko, Jerko

Former Bosnian defence minister

Draskovic, Danica

Wife of below

Draskovic, Vuk

Opposition leader in Milosevic era

Eagleburger, Lawrence

Former US ambassador to Belgrade

Gajic, Milica

Wife of Marko Milosevic

Gajic-Glisic, Dobrila

Former secretary of Serb defence minister General Tomislav Simovic

Galic, Stanislav

Bosnian Serb General, commander of soldiers shelling Sarajevo. On trial at ICTY for war crimes

Ganic, Ejup

Muslim Bosnian politician

Garasanin, Ilija

Nineteenth-century Serb nationalist theoretician

Gotovina, Ante

General in Croatian army, commander of Operation Storm in summer 1995 when Serbs fled from Krajina

Grubacic, Braca

Belgrade publisher of

Gracanin, Petar

President of Serbia 1988-9

Grizelj, Jug

Former leader of Yugoslav journalists' association

Hadzic, Goran

Serb leader in Vukovar area in 1991

Hasanovic, Tahir

Vice president of the New Democracy Party, former boyfriend of Marija Milosevic

Holbrooke, Richard

US Special envoy to the Balkans. Regarded as author of Dayton peace agreement

Hurd, Lord

Former British foreign secretary

Ilic, Vladimir

Mayor of southern Serbian city of Cacak. A leader of the 5 October uprising

Izetbegovic, Alija

Former president of Bosnia during war of independence

Jansa, Janez

Minister of defence in Slovene independence war in summer 1991

Jezda, Gazda

Full name Jezdimir Vasiljevic. Head of Jugoskandik pyramid scheme

Jashari, Adem

KLA leader killed by Serb forces in March 1998

Jovic, Borisav

Former high-ranking Serb politician and close associate of Milosevic

Kadijevic, Veljko

Federal minister of defence 1988-92

Kapetanovic, Muhamed

Bosnian youth, injured by shelling in Sarajevo

Karadjordjevic, Prince Aleksandar

Yugoslav ruler before WWII

Karadzic, Radovan

Bosnian Serb leader, indicted for war crimes

Karic, Boguljub

Banker, businessman and former minister in Milosevic government

Kertes, Mihalj

Head of customs under Milosevic

Kontic, Radoje

Yugoslav prime minister in mid-1990s under Milosevic

Kostunica, Vojislav

President of Yugoslavia

Kovacevic, Vlada

Aka ‘Tref'. Belgrade businessman, partner of Marko Milosevic

Kovacevic, Zivorad

Former mayor of Belgrade and Yugoslav ambassador to the United States

Krajisnik, Momcilo

Bosnian Serb leader. In custody at ICTY, charged with war crimes and genocide

Krunic, Bosko

Communist Party official in Novi Sad in 1988

Kucan, Milan

President of Slovenia

Lilic, Zoran

Former president of Yugoslavia in mid 1990s

Lukovic, Milorad (Legija)

Former commander of Special Operations Unit. Wanted at time of writing (April 2003) by Serbian authorities in connection with murder of Zoran Djindjic

Mandic, Klara

Head of Serbian-Jewish Friendship Society

Markovic, Ante

Yugoslav prime minister in early 1990s

Markovic, Draza

Former partisan and politician. Uncle of Mira Markovic

Markovic, Ljubica

Daughter of Momcilo Markovic (i.e. half-sister of Mira)

Markovic, Mira (Mirjana)

Wife of Slobodan Milosevic

Markovic, Momcilo (Moma)

Father of Mira. Serbian politican, brother of Draza

Markovic, Rade

Head of Serbian intelligence service late 1998 to end 2000
Arrested by new regime in January 2001

Markovic, Mihailo

Serbian nationalist ideologue, later joined the Socialist Party

Matic, Slavoljub

Mayor of Pozarevac after fall of Milosevic

Milan, Martic

Leader of Krajina rebel Serbs. Surrendered to ICTY in spring 2002

Mesic, Stipe

President of Croatia

Milanovic, Dafina

Former head of Dafiment pyramid scheme

Milanovic, Zoran

Former bartender at ‘Madona' disco, owned by Marko Milosevic (son of Slobodan)

Miletic, Vera

Mother of Mira Markovic

Milosevic, Borislav

Brother of Slobodan

Milosevic, Darinka

Sister of Svetozar Milosevic, father of Milosevic

Milosevic, Marija

Daughter of Slobodan

Milosevic, Marko

Son of Slobodan

Milosevic, Simeun

Grandfather of Slobodan

Milosevic, Stanislava

Mother of Slobodan Milosevic

Milosevic, Svetozar

Father of Slobodan Milosevic

Minovic, Zivorad

Former editor of

Milutinovic, Milan

Former president of Serbia. Surrendered to ICTY in January 2003

Mitevic, Dusan

Former head of Belgrade Television

Mladic, Ratko

Former head of Bosnian Serb army. Indicted for war crimes

Montgomery, William

US diplomat in Belgrade in 1970s. Ran the Office for Yugoslav Affairs in Budapest in summer 2000

Nagy, Imre

Leader of Hungarian revolution in 1956

Naumann, General Klaus

NATO General who negotiated with Milosevic in October 1998 and early 1999

Nenadovic, Aleksandar

Former editor of

Neville-Jones, Pauline

Former senior British diplomat, worked with Douglas Hurd for NatWest Markets

Ojdanic, Dragoljub

Former Yugoslav army chief of staff. Surrendered to the ICTY in 2002

Oric, Naser

Former bodyguard of Milosevic. Leader of Srebrenica Muslim fighters

Owen, Lord

European Union envoy to former Yugoslavia

Plavsic, Biljana

Former Bosnian Serb president. Sentenced at the ICTY in February 2003 to eleven years in prison for crimes against humanity

Panic, Milan

Serb-American businessman. Briefly Yugoslav prime minister in 1992

Pavkovic, General Nebojsa

Army chief of staff under Milosevic, sacked in June 2002

Pavlovic, Dragisa

Serb politician, opponent of Milosevic in late 1980s

Perisic, General Momcilo

Former army chief of staff, opponent of Milosevic in late 1990s

Predojevic, Vaso

Former officer in Yugoslav army

Popov, Nebojsa

University colleague of Milosevic, later opposition leader

Racan, Ivica

Croatian prime minister

Radovic, Aleksandar

President of the Commission for Investigating Economic and Financial Abuses of the Milosevic Regime

Rankovic, Aleksandar

Head of Tito-era secret police

Reihl-Kir, Josip

Croatian police chief in eastern Slavonia in 1991

Ristic, Ljubisa

Theatre director, president of Jugoslav United Left party, ally of Mira Markovic

Rose, General Sir Michael

British General in charge of UN troops in Bosnia in 1994

Smith, General Sir Rupert

Successor to General Sir Michael Rose

Rugova, Ibrahim

President of Kosovo (albeit unrecognised)

Sainovic, Nikola

Former minister in Serbia. In detention at the ICTY. Co-indicted with Milosevic for war crimes in Kosovo

Sarinic, Hrvoje

Tudjman's secret envoy to Milosevic

Seselj, Vojislav

Leader of ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party and former Milosevic ally. Surrendered to ICTY in February 2003

Silajdzic, Haris

Bosnian Muslim politician

Simatovic, Franko

Former commander of the Special Operations

(a.k.a. Frenki)

Unit (JSO). Arrested by Serbian authorities in March 2003

Simovic, Tomislav

Former Serb defence minister

Singer, Aca

Head of Yugoslav Jewish community

Sogorov, Milan

Communist party leader in Voivodina in 1988

Solevic, Miroslav

Former Serb nationalist leader in Kosovo

Spegelj, General Martin

Former Croatian defence minister

Stambolic, Bojana

Daughter of Ivan Stambolic

Stambolic, Ivan

Former friend and mentor of Slobodan Milosevic. Murdered in the summer of 2000

Stambolic, Katja

Wife of Ivan Stambolic

Stambolic, Petar

Uncle of Ivan Stambolic

Stanisic, Jovica

Head of Serbian State Security under Milosevic. Arrested by Serbian authorities in March 2003

BOOK: Milosevic
6.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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