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For regular updates on events and issues in the former Yugoslavia, see also
Balkan Insight by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN)

See also:
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia      Women in Black      International Crisis Group

On Serbian Nationalism

The Death of Slobodan Milosevic

Note: Each article shown below represents the opinion of the author, and not necessarily of anyone else.

NEW Vucic's second inauguration shows off the new face of power in the region By Eric Gordy, June 28, 2017
Demystifying "NATO Aggression and the Fight against Shiptar Terrorists" Humanitarian Law Center, March 25, 2015
Youth Initiative for Human Rights January 17, 2015
The minister, his mentor, and the fight against a suspect system in Serbia Reuters, June 23, 2014
Interview with Sonja Biserko Vreme, November 21, 2013
War crimes apologies could help reconciliation
Southeast European Times, February 26, 2013
Memories of a better future in the aftermath of the Srebrenica genocide By Hariz Halilovich, openDemocracy, June 13, 2011
How Ratko Mladic’s Evil Dream Lives On By Aleksandar Hemon, May 29, 2011
Serb Fugitive Slowly Starved of Friends and Cash By Doreen Carvajal and Steven Erlanger, The New York Times, May 29, 2011
Ratko Mladic's arrest is a hollow victory in a country that refuses to apologise By Ed Vulliamy, May 28, 2011
The long-delayed arrest of accused war criminal Gen. Ratko Mladic  By Peter Lippman, May 28, 2011
Mladic Arrest: The Silence of the Ghosts By Jasmina Tesanovic, May 26, 2011

Serbia and Kosovo: war of nerves By Milan Marinkovic, OpenDemocracy, April 22, 2011
Europe Tested as War Crimes Suspect Remains Free New York Times, October 22, 2010
Nationalism in Serbia - Dangerous dream of a great empire By Christian Schwarz-Schilling, Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich), August 15, 2010

Early warnings to Serbia about Kosovo may come true By Zeljko Pantelic, August 17, 2010
Private security firms in the Balkans harbor corruption, observers say Deutsche Welle, June 20, 2010
The Pink Panthers By David Samuels, The New Yorker, April 12, 2010

Serbia pursues Ejup Ganic for war crimes. Or is it a vendetta? By Roy Gutman, The Christian Science Monitor, April 12, 2010
Patching things up - Serbia tries to repair its local relationships The Economist, March 31, 2010
What lies behind the arrest of Ejup Ganic By Branka Magas, Bosnian Institute, March 4, 2010
Biserko: Serbia Still ‘At War’, Using Other Means Interview by Dragana Erjavec, BIRN, November 4, 2009
Radovan Karadzic's New-Age Adventure By Jack Hitt, New York Times Magazine, July 26, 2009
Dealing with impunity in Serbia: options and obstacles
(Executive summary) By Impunity Watch, July 2009

Action to Combat Impunity in Serbia: Options and Obstacles By Impunity Watch, December 2008 (PDF)
Serbia after Karadzic - the Serbian Predicament By Jeremy Harding, London Review of Books, August 14, 2008
Genocide's Epic Hero By Aleksandar Hemon, The New York Times, July 27, 2008
First justice. Next, truth. Only then is reconciliation possible By Slavenka Drakulic, The Guardian (UK), July 23, 2008

Women in Bosnia and Serbia Hail the Arrest of Radovan Karadzic The Advocacy Project, July 22, 2008
Time For Serbs To Say 'We Knew What Happened' On Bosnian War Crimes Interview with Janja Bec-Neumann, May 9, 2008
Serbian Government Bans Peace March commemorating International Women's Day Amid Kosovo Backlash The Advocacy Project, March 10, 2008
Collapse of the Kosovo Myth By Sonja Biserko, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, March 5, 2008
Belgrade: an old script, replayed By Dragan Klaic, OpenDemocracy, February 27, 2008
Revival of Hate Speech in Serbia
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, February 23, 2008
Serbia must not become a Balkan Belorussia By Latinka Perovic, Globus (Zagreb), February 8, 2008
The Renegade by Charles Simic, New York Review of Books, December 20, 2007
To Belgrade with (tough) love By Richard Byrne, December 18, 2007

Open Letter to Serbia By Richard Byrne, Evropa, December 7, 2007
Advocates launch campaign to protect women human rights defenders in Serbia The Advocacy Project, June 21, 2007

Survey: Only half of Serbs believe Srebrenica massacre happened OSCE, March 2007
Serbian Press Seeks Jail for Women Peace Activists who Advocate Independence for Kosovo The Advocacy Project, February 21, 2007

Women In Black Criticizes Serbian Politicians and Rejects a Nationalist Solution To the Kosovo Crisis February 7, 2007
Let Radicals Take the Rap for Loss of Kosovo By Daniel Serwer, Balkan Insight, September 21, 2006
We’ll take vengeance on the Turks By Sonja Biserko, May 11, 2006
Some perspectives on the death of Slobodan Milosevic, March 11, 2006
Serbia Faces Trial for Bosnia Genocide
By Nidzara Ahmetasevic, BIRN, February 22, 2006
No Sign of Serbia’s Adenauer By Marcus Tanner, IWPR, June 18, 2004
Backsliding in Serbia By Sonja Biserko, IWPR, April 8, 2004
Serbia in the vicious circle of nationalism Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, December 2003
EU Urges Montenegro to Maintain Federation By Alexandra Poolos, RFE/RL, February 7, 2002
Tracking Yugoslavia's Dirty Money
By Isabel Vincent, National Post (Canada), December 15, 2001
Serbian Government Promotes Rights Abuser By Human Rights Watch, February 2, 2001
Can Serbia's new leaders overcome the legacy of Slobodan Milosevic? By Misha Glenny, The New Yorker, October 30, 2000
Serbia's Obligations By Natasha Kandic, Humanitarian Law Center, October 27, 2000
What did your dad do for Milosevic? By Tim Luckhurst, The New Statesman, October 16, 2000
Humanitarian Law Center Publicly Accuses Former Yugoslav President, His Wife and Son By Natasha Kandic, Humanitarian Law Center, October 7, 2000
Repression of Political Opponents in Serbia Humanitarian Law Center, September 20, 2000

Serbia: Elections Unlikely to be Free or Fair Human Rights Watch, September 15, 2000
Serbia's pre-election atmosphere spills over onto the football terraces By Istvan Molnar, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), September 1, 2000
I Do Not Want to Remain Silent Over the Horrors By Natasha Kandic, Humanitarian Law Center (Belgrade), August 21, 2000

Prison Awaits "Real" Journalists By Petar Lukovic, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), August 1, 2000
Violence Against Students Escalates By Human Rights Watch, July 20, 2000
Montenegro On the Brink By Milka Tadic-Mijovic, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), July 14, 2000
So Milosevic Leaves Serbia -- and Goes Where? By Misha Glenny, June 23, 2000
Escalating Repression in Serbia: An Update on Harassment of the Otpor (Resistance) Movement Human Rights Watch, June 1, 2000
Opposition Campaign Fizzles Out By Laura Rozen, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), May 31, 2000
Regime Shuts Down Universities By Petar Lukovic, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), May 26, 2000
Civil War Gets Off to a Flying Start By Petar Lukovic, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), May 19, 2000
Media Wars: Serbian Clampdown on Independent Media By Dejan Sretenovic, May 18, 2000
Otpor's Challenge to Milosevic By Gabriel Partos, BBC, May 15, 2000
Wars Start in the Spring By Stasa Zajovic, Women in Black, March 17, 2000
Serbs Defy Draft By Miroslav Filipovic, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), March 14, 2000
The Belgrade Stranglehold By Sonja Biserko, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), February 11, 2000
Serbian Human Rights Campaigner Faces Opposition Wrath By Vlado Mares, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), February 11, 2000
Social situation in Serbia and its influence on political situation in the country By Jelena Santic, December 3, 1999
Interview with Latinka Perovic: Part 1  Part 2 December, 1999
Belgrade's Paramilitaries Set Up Base In Montenegro By Milka Tadic, IWPR, November 26, 1999
Ignoring Scars, Milosevic Is Stubbornly Pressing On By Steven Erlanger, The New York Times, October 30, 1999
The Next War
By William Finnegan, The New Yorker, September 20, 1999
The Milosevic Generation By Blaine Harden, The New York Times, August 29, 1999

Summaries of articles listed above

NEW Vucic's second inauguration shows off the new face of power in the region We have been witnessing the generation of a state type in the semi-periphery that revolves around its own image of stability while engaging with frighteningly little of the concrete stuff that makes states and societies stable. By Eric Gordy, June 28, 2017

Demystifying "NATO Aggression and the Fight against Shiptar Terrorists" The war-time authorities of Serbia, some of whose generals still hold office in the institutions of the army and police, must not be absolved of responsibility for the death of the 758 people who were killed in the NATO attacks. The politics advocated at the time by Slobodan Milosevic, the highest representatives of state institutions, and of the army and police generals, was the very cause of the NATO bombing. It was this kind of politics that turned the army into marauding hordes, while the generals were sending young soldiers to war, who were never to return to their families. After 16 years it is time to address the responsibility for the bombing of the country and the deaths of 758 people in the context of these facts. Humanitarian Law Center (Belgrade), March 25, 2015

Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) delivered a copy of the OSCE reports "Kosovo: As Seen, As Told" (volumes one and two) to Serbian government ministers, along with a request that the ministers read, acknowledge, and publicly refer to these reports. January 16, 2015

The minister, his mentor, and the fight against a suspect system in Serbia When a group of British-based Serbian academics dared to question the doctoral thesis of Serbia's interior minister this month, his PhD mentor was quick to defend him. Reuters, June 23, 2014

Interview with Sonja Biserko A wide-ranging interview with the president of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, occasioned by the media witch-hunt being conducted against her, accompanied by death-threats, following the leaking of information that she had agreed to appear as a witness in Croatia's case against Serbia for genocide. Vreme (Belgrade), November 21, 2013

War crimes apologies could help reconciliation The unexpected apology of a former Yugoslav Army general for war crimes may help the Kosovo-Serbia reconciliation process. Southeast European Times, February 26, 2013

Memories of a better future in the aftermath of the Srebrenica genocide Nothing in Serbian President Tadić’s statement acknowledged that Mladić was Serbia’s general – and not some foreign infiltrator unexpectedly discovered in the country which had nothing to do with his crimes. As much as this saga is about the alleged war criminal General Ratko Mladić, no less is it about Serbia’s role in the 1992-95 war in Bosnia. By Hariz Halilovich, openDemocracy, June 13, 2011

How Ratko Mladic’s Evil Dream Lives On General Mladic precisely formulated the racist pathology of Serbian nationalism. By Aleksandar Hemon, May 29, 2011

Serb Fugitive Slowly Starved of Friends and Cash What the Serbian government knew about Mladic's whereabouts, and when they knew it. By Doreen Carvajal and Steven Erlanger, The New York Times, May 29, 2011

Ratko Mladic's arrest is a hollow victory in a country that refuses to apologise The Serbian state was ostensibly hunting this man while he enjoyed a military salary and pension. I spent a drunken night in Belgrade not long ago with Mladic's lunatic entourage – men who had been arrested for sheltering him and who made it very clear they were in communication with their mentor. There has been no real reckoning among the Bosnian Serbs – and very little in Serbia proper – of the kind the Germans underwent. The EU may deem that sufficient movement towards amends has been made to warrant negotiations for Serbian entry into its family of nations, but on the ground nothing has actually occurred. The north-west of Bosnia and the Drina Valley in which the worst atrocities occurred remain cesspools of the hatred that led to the slaughter; a crazed, nonsensical mixture of justification and denial which suggests that, given a fair wind, the communities for whom Mladic is a hero would do it all again. "Reckoning" is one of the harshest words in the English language. It means coming to terms with what was done in the wake of calamity, staring at oneself in the mirror, and making amends, historical, political and material. The delivery of Mladic for trial is an important moment, but for justice rather than reckoning. The substance of reckoning is on the ground and among the people who gladly carried out Mladic's heinous orders. There, it is not happening. And without reckoning, there can be no reconciliation, and thereby no real peace. By Ed Vulliamy, May 28, 2011

The long-delayed arrest of accused war criminal Gen. Ratko Mladic His arrest had much more to do with political expediency for Serbia than with justice. The apprehension of Mladic and other fugitives, as part of cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), has been a condition for granting Serbia's candidate status for membership in the European Union. By Peter Lippman, May 28, 2011

Mladic Arrest: The Silence of the Ghosts Recent polls say that, despite the suffering and ignominy Ratko Mladic brought them, 51 percent of Serbian citizens would not have given him up to the international war tribunal in the Hague. No, not for any money. We citizens of Serbia all knew that Mladic was hiding among us; don’t ask me why, but we never believed the many tales spread about his death or his exile. Given his modest rural circumstances, he was concealed more discreetly than the Pakistanis hid Osama bin Laden — but the parallels there are obvious. Mladic had his protectors in the covert wing of the government, and the Serbian government is traditionally an enterprise in which everything is covert, and yet everybody knows. Ask them not why they turned him in, but why they delayed until today. By Jasmina Tesanovic, May 26, 2011

Serbia and Kosovo: war of nerves Since the ICJ ruled Kosovo’s independence legal last year, Serbia’s position on Kosovo has become untenable, both politically and in international law. Will the country’s politicians finally recognize that it is in their own interests to recognize Kosovo? By Milan Marinkovic, OpenDemocracy, April 22, 2011

Europe Tested as War Crimes Suspect Remains Free After 15 years on the run, sometimes in plain sight at soccer matches and weddings and sometimes deep in the secretive fabric of Belgrade, Europe’s most wanted war-crimes suspect, Ratko Mladic, is being hidden by no more than a handful of loyalists New York Times, October 22, 2010

Nationalism in Serbia - Dangerous dream of a great empire Belgrade has still not cut itself loose from the nationalist ideology of Greater Serbia, which in the 1990s led to the worst genocide in Europe since the Second World War and resulted in the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia. But there is also another factor that prevents positive developments in the region: it is the unfocused, inconsistent and short-sighted policy of Europe. Europe still does not want to admit how much harm it has caused with its constant concessions to Serbia's policies, and how much this has contributed to the current disastrous situation in Kosovo, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Serbia. By Christian Schwarz-Schilling, Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich), August 15, 2010

Early warnings to Serbia about Kosovo may come true Serbia hasn't gained anything on Kosovo in the EU in recent years. It has only lost a lot of the support for speeding up its own European integration. Patience and understanding for Serbian politics towards Kosovo is evaporating. By Zeljko Pantelic, August 17, 2010

Private security firms in the Balkans harbor corruption, observers say Organized crime has infiltrated southeastern Europe, particularly Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, and corrupted legitimate business in the region, according to a regional network of investigative journalists. The Sarajevo-based Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) said this development put into question the ability and willingness of the region's governments to combat crime and detain war criminals. Deutsche Welle, June 20, 2010

The Pink Panthers Milosevic, apart from being a very brutal autocrat, essentially criminalized the state completely. When Milosevic was removed from power, in 2000, the climate of corruption that he had fostered remained remarkably intact. Meanwhile, a generation of young people had grown up in a state run by thieves, murderers, and other criminals. Many currency dealers worked directly for the state, in a vast system of theft organized by the Serbian government. Once the Serbian state had transformed itself into a criminal enterprise, many Serbs turned themselves, willingly or reluctantly, into criminals. By David Samuels, The New Yorker, April 12, 2010

Serbia pursues Ejup Ganic for war crimes. Or is it a vendetta? The isn't the first time Serbia has sought to press charges against Bosnian leaders where the cited facts are shaky at best. The tribunal investigated similar allegations against Ganic, who at the time was vice president of Bosnia, for nearly a year and dismissed the case in June 2003 for insufficient evidence. Last July, Interpol, the police clearing house, rejected a Serb request for an international warrant against Ganic. By Roy Gutman, The Christian Science Monitor, April 12, 2010

Patching things up - Serbia tries to repair its local relationships Serbia's Parliament passes a resolution condemning the Srebrenica massacre - barely. The Economist, March 31, 2010

What lies behind the arrest of Ejup Ganic The London arrest of a Bosnian wartime leader heralds a new phase in Serbia's unrelenting aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina, in which the British authorities have now made themselves unwitting pawns. A member of Bosnia's war-time presidency, who subsequently served as president of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ejup Ganic, was arrested at London's Heathrow airport on 1 March 2010, at the request of the Serbian war-crimes prosecutor and on the basis of a European extradition treaty. Ganic appeared at a London court on the evening of his arrest, and has been remanded in custody until 29 March; bail was refused on 3 March and he remains in Wandsworth prison, denied contact with his family or lawyer. It is becoming increasingly difficult to understand the British government's own role in the arrest. By Branka Magas, Bosnian Institute, March 4, 2010

Serbia Still ‘At War’, Using Other Means Sonja Biserko, head of Serbia’s Helsinki Committee, says Serbia still relativizes its crimes and has failed to tell young people the truth of what happened in the 1990s. Interview by Dragana Erjavec, BIRN, November 4, 2009

Radovan Karadzic's New-Age Adventure His fictitious fugitive life as a quack medicine peddler. By Jack Hitt, New York Times Magazine, July 26, 2009

Dealing with impunity in Serbia: options and obstacles (Executive summary) The brutality of the wars of Yugoslav dissolution in the 1990s took the world, and many Yugoslavs, by surprise. While the region is certainly not the only one in recent times to experience mass violations of human rights, its location in the heart of Europe provoked a special sense of shame and responsibility among the international community, which led to its engagement in conflict resolution, peace-building, and development measures, not least in the field of transitional justice. Yet despite this investment, willingness in the war-affected states to confront their past and end impunity for the crimes then committed remains weak, sustained only by the persistence of democracy and human rights activists, and the range of carrots and sticks offered by the international community to take up the measures it proposes. By Impunity Watch, July 2009

Action to Combat Impunity in Serbia: Options and Obstacles Examines the root causes and nature of impunity for crimes committed by the Serbian state and citizens during the wars of Yugoslavia's dissolution during the 1990s. The 86-page document presents research findings, along with policy recommendations drawn from wide-ranging policy consultations with state and non-state actors for better achieving truth, justice, reparations, and guarantees of non-repetition of grave crimes against international law.  By Impunity Watch, December 2008 (PDF)

Serbia after Karadzic - the Serbian Predicament Reflections on the recent Serbian elections, Serbia's position in Europe, Kosovo after independence, and the Kosovo war. By Jeremy Harding, London Review of Books, August 14, 2008

Genocide's Epic Hero After the initial exhilaration, many Bosnians find Radovan Karadzic’s arrest less satisfying than one would expect. Though he might spend the rest of his life in the comfortable dungeons of the Western European prison system, he will live eternally in the verses of decasyllabic meter written by those for whom the demolition of Bosnia was but material for the grand epic poetry of Serbhood. Bosnians know he should have been booed and run off the stage at the peak of his performance. He should have been seen for what he really was: a thuggish puppet whose head was bloated with delusions of grandeur. He should have let us live outside his epic fantasies. By Aleksandar Hemon, The New York Times, July 27, 2008

First justice. Next, truth. Only then is reconciliation possible With the fall of charismatic murderer-poet-doctor Radovan Karadzic, Serbia can lift the veil of denial over its past. By Slavenka Drakulic, The Guardian (UK), July 23, 2008

Women in Bosnia and Serbia Hail the Arrest of Radovan Karadzic Mr. Karadzic was one of the two architects of the Srebrenica massacre, which claimed the lives of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men in July 1995. "Not only is this good news for the victims who need justice, but it is an important step for the future and the next generation," said Beba Hadzic, founder of the Bosnian Family (BOSFAM), a Tuzla-based women's organization. Stasa Zajovic, founder of

-Serbia, a leading women's advocacy group and AP partner, called Monday's arrest a "victory of justice for the victims of genocide." The Advocacy Project, July 22, 2008

Time For Serbs To Say 'We Knew What Happened' On Bosnian War Crimes There's still a very small hope that Serbia will pronounce the words, "We knew what happened." The next step would be, "We are ashamed," and, finally, "We are very sorry." I agree with Marlene Dietrich who, when asked after World War II whether she was aware of what had happened in Germany during the Holocaust, said that all those who wanted to know knew. Interview with Janja Bec-Neumann, May 9, 2008

Serbian Government Bans Peace March commemorating International Women's Day Amid Kosovo Backlash In a sign of the growing pressure on Serbian civil society in the wake of Kosovo's declaration of independence, the Serbian government has cancelled a peace march by Women in Black Network from Serbia. The Advocacy Project, March 10, 2008

Collapse of the Kosovo Myth The loss of Kosovo serves for staging an "internal aggression" and showdown with the liberal-minded camp in Serbia. In parallel Vojislav Koštunica uses the Kosovo issue to ensure his own political future and to obstruct the pro-European current in Serbia. By Sonja Biserko, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, March 5, 2008

Belgrade: an old script, replayed Serbia's official demonstration against Kosovo's independence reveals a political class still trapped in a complex of regressive, self-defeating nationalism. Belgrade was experiencing a rerun of the same hate-inducing dramaturgy, the same performed defiance, the same orchestration of nationalist fury, and the same outpouring of ranting rhetoric from politicians, Orthodox bishops, academics, and artists, as in the Milosevic years. By Dragan Klaic, Open Democracy, February 27, 2008

Revival of Hate Speech in Serbia Frustration due to proclamation of independence of Kosovo engendered a strong revival of hate speech in public discourse, notably in the print media. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, February 23, 2008

Serbia must not become a Balkan Belorussia One of Serbia's most eminent historians and bravest critics of the existing political order discusses her country's past and future in the light of the recent elections, especially the strong showing of the Radicals. By Latinka Perovic, Globus (Zagreb), February 8, 2008

The Renegade Smug in their ethnocentricity, certain of their own superiority, indifferent to the cultural, religious, and political concerns of their neighbors, all the Serbs needed in 1990 was a leader to lead them into disaster. The most repellent crimes in the former Yugoslavia had the enthusiastic support of people whose education and past accomplishments would lead one to believe that they would know better. The role of the patriotic intellectual in Serbia was to make excuses for the killers of women and children. As for journalists and political commentators, their function was to spread lies and then prove that these lies were true. I was being asked by my own people to become an accomplice in a crime by pretending to understand and forgive acts that I knew were unforgivable. By Charles Simic, New York Review of Books, December 20, 2007

To Belgrade with (tough) love I wrote an open letter to Serbia. Now Serbia's writing back, and the responses prove how difficult integrating the country into Europe will be. By Richard Byrne, December 18, 2007

Open Letter to Serbia When Kosovo leaves, you will be alone at last. Is this really what you wanted? And, if not, how did it happen? Why do all your neighbors look the other way now? (Some perceptive advice to Serbia from an American friend, though he could have explained in slightly more detail why any advice from an American might seem presumptuous. --Balkan Witness Editor) By Richard Byrne, Evropa, December 7, 2007

Advocates launch campaign to protect women human rights defenders in Serbia Advocates in Serbia have launched a major campaign to pressure the Serbian government and international community to better protect Serbian women who defend human rights. The Advocacy Project, June 21, 2007

Survey: Only half of Serbs believe Srebrenica massacre happened A large number of Serbian citizens still lack information on war crimes and negate them, with 71% of Serbians having heard about the Srebrenica massacre, and only half of them believing that a large number of Bosnian Muslims were killed there, according to a survey conducted by a Belgrade-based agency. OSCE, March 2007

Serbian Press Seeks Jail for Women Peace Activists who Advocate Independence for Kosovo In an attempt to intimidate advocates of a peaceful solution to the Serbia-Kosovo conflict, a leading Serbian nationalist newspaper has called for the prosecution of the Women’s Peace Coalition, a joint initiative of women activists, for advocating for the independence of Kosovo. The Advocacy Project, February 21, 2007

Women In Black Criticizes Serbian Politicians and Rejects a Nationalist Solution To the Kosovo Crisis The Serbian women’s group has accused Serbian politicians of condemning Serbia to further international isolation and perpetuating the policies of the late Slobodan Milošević by rejecting a UN plan for the independence of Kosovo. February 7, 2007

More than ten years after the Bosnia war, and with the approach of a resolution of the status of Kosovo, each of the parties is looking forward to integration with the European Union. But much of Serbian government and society remains gripped by denial of Serbian crimes in the wars of the 1990s. Several articles examine this problem from varying perspectives:

Let Radicals Take the Rap for Loss of Kosovo The West must not delay independence in order to prop up the government in Belgrade. By Daniel Serwer, Balkan Insight, September 21, 2006

We’ll take vengeance on the Turks Reflection upon the anti-Muslim campaign that, over thirty years, bombarded Serbs with propaganda designed to prepare them psychologically to wage a genocidal war. The demonisation of innocent Muslims, and the use of brutal methods ranging from persecution to genocide, have left a deep imprint upon relations in a region in which Serbs and Muslims continue to live next to one another. A revival of mutual trust is impossible without the acceptance of this truth. -- Sonja Biserko, May 11, 2006

Some perspectives on the death of Slobodan Milosevic, March 11, 2006

Serbia Faces Trial for Bosnia Genocide After years of delays, an international court will finally decide whether the Serbian state is guilty of this grave crime. -- Nidzara Ahmetasevic, BIRN, February 22, 2006

No Sign of Serbia’s Adenauer What Serbia needs is a break from the past, as happened in post-1945 Germany. But right now it looks more like the chaos of the Weimar Republic. One sign of the poor health of Serbia’s new democracy is that when discussing their preference for the moderate candidate Boris Tadic, many people told me that “at least he is not a criminal”. In other words, the mere fact of not having been convicted of theft, fraud, or bribery has in Serbia become a qualification for holding the highest office in the land. -- Marcus Tanner, IWPR, June 18, 2004

Backsliding in Serbia Serbia's new government has begun restoring many facets of the regime of Slobodan Milosevic. Parliament has pushed through a law providing assistance to war crime indictees in The Hague.  -- Sonja Biserko, IWPR, April 8, 2004 (Republished February 21, 2005)

Serbia in the vicious circle of nationalism This study is an effort to bring to light new forms of nationalism in post-Milosevic Serbia and show that Serbia has not yet found an alternative to nationalism. -- Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, December 2003

EU Urges Montenegro to Maintain Federation Montenegrin leaders are reiterating their plans to leave the Yugoslav federation just one day after the European Union warned against trying to turn the small republic into an independent state. -- Alexandra Poolos, RFE/RL, February 7, 2002

Tracking Yugoslavia's Dirty Money Yugoslav authorities indicted a Milosevic-era tycoon for siphoning large sums of money out of the former Yugoslavia and hiding it abroad. Yugoslavia was well on the way to economic self-destruction long before the spring of 1999. So far, the investigation's main revelations have focused on Mr. Milosevic, himself a former banker, who came to power in 1989 and presided over a government whose main purpose, investigators say, was to acquire wealth and spirit it out of the country. A three-part series about the biggest corruption scandal in Yugoslav history. -- Isabel Vincent, National Post (Canada), December 15, 2001

Serbian Government Promotes Rights Abuser Recent changes in the Serbian Ministry of Interior raise serious concerns about the new government's commitment to human rights and accountability. Two high-ranking police officials from the Milosevic era have been removed from office, but another official with a terrible record of human rights abuse has been promoted to an important position within the Ministry of Interior. -- Human Rights Watch, February 2, 2001

Can Serbia's new leaders overcome the legacy of Slobodan Milosevic? An eyewitness report on the overthrow of Milosevic. A key organizer of the protests said, "We're going to storm the parliament. It is all planned. We will demand the government's resignation and insist on the recognition of Kostunica." I was taking notes and realized that I had actually forgotten the date, so I asked one of the many young receptionists who are a hallmark of opposition activity to remind me. "Sudnji dan," she replied. Judgment Day.
Serbs would not have voted for Kostunica if he were not a nationalist. He attacked Milosevic relentlessly for what he calls the regime's "betrayal" of Serbs in Croatia and Kosovo, and he made it clear that he considered the United States complicit in that betrayal for supporting "Albanian terrorism" as a means to America's imperialist ends. -- Misha Glenny, The New Yorker, October 30, 2000

Serbia's Obligations The entire world is now looking to us, coddling us, taking care not to irritate us, cunningly holding us back from considering difficult issues such as the extradition of war crimes suspects. Our president Vojislav Kostunica says, "I won't hand over Milosevic - our priority is democracy," and the world replies, "Never mind, there's no hurry." By Natasha Kandic, Humanitarian Law Center, October 27, 2000

What did your dad do for Milosevic? The author finds collective amnesia in Serbia, as people assure him that, all along, they hated the dictator and supported the resistance. -- Tim Luckhurst, The New Statesman, October 16, 2000

Humanitarian Law Center Publicly Accuses Former Yugoslav President, His Wife and Son Is there anyone who does not know that Slobodan Milosevic, together with his wife and closest associates, did everything in his power to steal votes and pervert the will of the people? Is there any doubt about the culpability for the death and destruction in the series of wars waged by Milosevic? Where did the money kept in foreign bank accounts come from? Who dealt in contraband cigarettes, gasoline and our food? Who stole our money through inflation and bank manipulations? Will there be an official investigation? Will the guilty parties be taken into custody to prevent them from continuing their criminal activities or escaping? Unless the new government immediately apprehends the suspects and opens an investigation, it will not be up to the task set to it by the people who rebelled with just cause against such conduct. --Natasha Kandic, Humanitarian Law Center, October 7, 2000

Repression of Political Opponents in Serbia The stepped-up violence by the Serbian and FR Yugoslavia authorities against political opponents following the calling of the presidential and federal elections threatened fundamental human rights and liberties. The election campaign in Serbia is marked by daily arrests of activists of the Otpor (Resistance) movement, non-governmental organizations, and members of opposition political parties. -- Humanitarian Law Center, September 20, 2000

Serbia: Elections Unlikely to be Free or Fair The elections are not taking place in an atmosphere supportive of free choice: the government has carried out a pre-election campaign of intimidation and violence against the opposition, and through a brutal abuse of state media it seeks to prevent the electorate from making an informed judgment about the contestants. There are also numerous indications that the elections will not be fair, since the electoral laws allow for gross and unchecked fraud during voting and vote-counting. -- Human Rights Watch, September 15, 2000

Serbia's pre-election atmosphere spills over onto the football terraces Traditional terrace chants at Belgrade's premier football club Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) have given way to blatantly anti-government songs. The chants, including a smash hit dedicated to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic - "Slobodan, Save Serbia! Kill Yourself" - have proved too much for the government to bear, prompting heavy-handed police intervention. The regime is so unnerved by the fans that Serbian State TV has switched off the sound during football coverage when anti-Milosevic chants start up. At the recent Red Star-Torpedo Kutisi game, the commentator managed to ignore the entire battle unfolding in the stands, remarking instead upon the "wonderful ambience on this magical night of football." -- Istvan Molnar, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), September 1, 2000

I Do Not Want to Remain Silent Over the Horrors Natasha Kandic, director of the Belgrade/Prishtina-based Humanitarian Law Center, is one of very few Serb civilians who went into Kosovo during the NATO intervention to see what the Serb forces were doing there. Now she's being threatened with prosecution by the Serbian courts for talking about it, and this is her response.

...In Serbia today, everyone, including children, are under suspicion by the authorities of being terrorists. When anyone dares to raise the question of the responsibility of the Yugoslav Army, you respond with secret trials. I am one of those people who refuse to remain silent, even at the cost of being brought to trial by you. I will not remain silent about the horrors your generals sent young recruits to witness in Kosovo. The road from Kosovoska Mitrovica to Pec and Djakovica is engraved on my memory: a column of Albanian civilians, young soldiers going up to them with tears in their eyes,  pleading with them to accept their food, to forgive them, saying it was not their fault, that their officers ordered them to Kosovo, that they did not know where they were being taken. I will not be silent about the suffering of civilians I saw in Kosovo. ... -- Natasha Kandic, letter to the Belgrade daily Danas, August 21, 2000

Prison Awaits "Real" Journalists For the first time in Serbia, a journalist has received a ferocious sentence for merely doing his job: gathering information, writing articles, and publishing them in foreign newspapers and on the Internet. But his imprisonment has a logic. It continues state repression against the media begun a decade ago. Thus begins the story of Miroslav Filipovic, who dared to do what the Serbian media could not do all these years: raise the question of war crimes. Filipovic's interviews with witnesses, the testimony and the data, demolish the cheap propaganda image of the Yugoslav Army as a respecter of the Geneva Convention. His pieces are about evil, about a pre-arranged plan to clean territory of the enemy population. They illustrate people's terrible dilemmas, the horror, the completion of the national project. This is why Filipovic was dangerous: because he showed - proved - that Kosovo was just a sequel to the anti-Croatian, anti-Bosnian, anti-civilisational politics of Belgrade. -- Petar Lukovic, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), August 1, 2000

Violence Against Students Escalates In the past six weeks, police have beaten opposition activists and members of Otpor (Resistance), an anti-government group mostly comprised of university students. Police have also refused to investigate attacks on opposition activists by plainclothes thugs believed to be working for the Serbian government. Previously, police harassment of students and opposition activists was limited mostly to detention and interrogation. -- Human Rights Watch, July 20, 2000

Montenegro On the Brink Outraged by changes to the Yugoslav constitution, the Montenegrin government has started preparing the ground for a referendum on independence. -- Milka Tadic-Mijovic, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), July 14, 2000

So Milosevic Leaves Serbia -- and Goes Where? The United States and some of its allies have put out feelers to Slobodan Milosevic offering a so-called exit strategy -- a deal whereby the Yugoslav president would be excused an appearance at the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague in exchange for his getting out of the Balkans. Despite the furious denials from Washington and elsewhere this week, this is a serious policy. Or rather, this is what masquerades as a serious policy.-- Misha Glenny, June 23, 2000

Escalating Repression in Serbia: An Update on Harassment of the Otpor (Resistance) Movement During May 2000, the Serbian government intensified its efforts to silence opposition to the government of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. -- Human Rights Watch, June 1, 2000

Opposition Campaign Fizzles Out The Serbian opposition's failure to offer the population any constructive response to the government's closure of key independent media, universities and beatings and arrests of pro-democracy activists underlines the utter bankruptcy of political life in the country. -- Laura Rozen, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), May 31, 2000 (Republished September 6, 2005)

Regime Shuts Down Universities Students are first in the firing line as repression in Serbia reaches a new level of brutality. -- Petar Lukovic, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), May 26, 2000

Civil War Gets Off to a Flying Start With the closure of its independent media, Serbia has moved a step closer to what even the most optimistic now see as unavoidable - civil war. -- Petar Lukovic, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), May 19, 2000

Media Wars: Serbian Clampdown on Independent Media The regime's war against independent and opposition media accelerates, but to understand the proper context of the event one needs more information on the specific Serbian political and media context at this very moment. -- Dejan Sretenovic, May 18, 2000

Otpor's Challenge to Milosevic Otpor now claims to have over 20,000 activists - most of them young people, especially students. It is not a traditional political party but a movement that often engages in unconventional activities. Street theatre is an important part of these protests. Activities have included displaying an effigy of Mr. Milosevic which passers-by could punch after paying one dinar; or painting red footsteps on the pavement - what they claimed to be Mr. Milosevic's bloodied steps - leaving office for the final time. -- Gabriel Partos, BBC, May 15, 2000

Wars Start in the Spring Women are calling us more than they usually do, repeating over and over again "We can not go on… I will not allow them to take my son, my husband away…" Yesterday an activist from Leskovac (southern Serbia) told me, "I tore up the draft call that the postman brought for my husband…" and another women from another city in Serbia said, "I did not want to accept the draft call, let my son go to jail, let him go to ten years of jail, I will not allow him to go to the front…" -- Stasa Zajovic, Women in Black, March 17, 2000

Serbs Defy Draft Government officials sent to round-up army reservists in the Kraljevo area of central Serbia got more than they bargained for when they arrived in the village of Stubal. About 200 protestors, upset by the death of three local men in the recent Kosovo conflict, met the officials with a barrage of insults and invective. "Red Gang! Go and Get Marko!" they shouted, referring to the son of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. "Fuck You Milosevic!" they chanted before driving the officials from the village with wooden staves. -- Miroslav Filipovic, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), March 14, 2000

The Belgrade Stranglehold The establishment in Serbia retains an iron grip on public debate, stamping out any attempts to consider real responsibility for the country's enormous defeat. -- Sonja Biserko, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), February 11, 2000

Serbian Human Rights Campaigner Faces Opposition Wrath The Serbian human rights activist Sonja Biserko is condemned by the opposition after accusing it of having close links to the Serbian leadership. -- Vlado Mares, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), February 11, 2000

Social situation in Serbia and its influence on political situation in the country In July 1991, the author was one of the founders of the Centre for Antiwar Action in Belgrade. She has been active in antiwar demonstrations and protests there ever since. -- Jelena Santic, December 3, 1999

Interview with Latinka Perovic: Part 1  Part 2 Purged by the Communist Party leadership in 1972, Perovic became known as one of the best experts on Serbian 19th century history. She discusses the present Serbian situation in a historical context. December, 1999

Belgrade's Paramilitaries Set Up Base In Montenegro Former Yugoslav Army chief Momcilo Perisic says squads of well-paid, battle-hardened troops are setting up base in Montenegro - loyal only to Belgrade and promising only trouble for the tiny republic. -- Milka Tadic, IWPR, November 26, 1999 (Republished November 10, 2005)

Ignoring Scars, Milosevic Is Stubbornly Pressing On Slobodan Milosevic -- gray and remote, internationally isolated and politically unpopular, charged with war crimes, his army restive and its reservists outraged, his economy ruined and his factories bombed, his refineries and electricity system smashed and his sources of fuel unclear, his roads and railways holed and his bridges collapsed -- has not only survived the loss of Kosovo, but gained a second wind. -- Steven Erlanger, The New York Times, October 30, 1999

The Next War Look closely at the photographs of Serbian political opposition rallies and you may note, waving above the angry crowds, a disturbing number of three-fingered Serbian Orthodox salutes - the gang sign of militant Serb nationalism. Large parts of those crowds, in other words, are not unhappy with Milosevic for starting four wars in the last eight years. They are unhappy with him for losing those wars - for failing to secure a Greater Serbia. Montenegrins have special reason to be afraid, because the wars of the Yugoslav Succession are most likely not yet over, and little Montenegro - the only other republic left inside the rump Yugoslavia with big, incorrigibly aggressive Serbia - is now the prime candidate for Belgrade's next attempt to conquer and brutally absorb a neighbor. -- William Finnegan, The New Yorker, September 20, 1999

The Milosevic Generation The young Serbs of Belgrade watched their leader lose in Croatia, in Bosnia, and then in Kosovo. Now they're the ones who are lost. -- Blaine Harden, The New York Times, August 29, 1999


Some perspectives on the death of Slobodan Milosevic, March 11, 2006

"Patient: S. Milosevic." Reporter, a Dutch television-program, has published the entire medical file of Slobodan Milosevic on its website. The site contains internal memos from the ICTY, correspondence between his attending physicians, brain scans, hearing tests, lab results, medicine charts, and the medical examiners' report. Milosevic and his son wanted his medical file to be made public. June 2006

To His Death in Jail, Milosevic Exalted Image of Serb Suffering. By Roger Cohen, The New York Times, March 12, 2006

Slobodan Milosevic - Obituary A comprehensive history of Milosevic and his legacy. By Ian Traynor, The Guardian (UK), March 13, 2006

Milosevic's last victory Slobodan Milosevic's death robs his victims of justice and casts a shadow over Serbia's future. By Misha Glenny, March 13, 2006

Milosevic Cheats Victims of Justice Death of former Serbian strongman highlights flaws in the Hague tribunal prosecution strategy. By Emir Suljagic, March 13, 2006

Milosevic and I "Slobodan Milosevic is dead. But what about me? Did he take ten years of my life just like that?" By Dusan Velickovic, March 14, 2006

The Hague tribunal after Milosevic The death in custody of the first head of state on trial for war crimes does not diminish the importance of institutions of global justice. By Anthony Dworkin, March 14, 2006

Slobodan Milosevic: the spirit of the age The Serbian dictator's trajectory, as a communist who exploited nationalist and anti-imperialist sentiment to become the hard-left's hero, puts him at the centre of the new millennium's political choices. By Marko Attila Hoare, March 15, 2006

The Dark Side of Serbia Milosevic was not solely responsible for the malign energy in Serbia that caused so much death and destruction in the region. I refuse to lend exclusive importance to a man who was only the executor of forces behind him - the dark and dangerous forces of Serbian nationalism. By Gordana Igric, Balkan Insight, March 15, 2006)

Slobodan Milosevic: myth and responsibility The career of the Serbian leader who achieved power by exploiting the potency of the "Kosovo myth" carries a warning for Serbia’s and Kosovo’s future. By Julie A Mertus, March 16, 2006

Cases and warrants pending for Slobodan Milosevic's family members
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From the Associated Press,
March 13, 2006

MIRJANA MARKOVIC, Milosevic's wife
Charges filed in December 2002 of inciting abuse of office in a real estate scandal involving her grandson's nanny and others during her husband's rule.

At a November 2002 court appearance in Belgrade during a preliminary investigation, Markovic denied the accusations. The hearings began in March 2003, with Markovic as co-defendant along with several alleged associates.

Markovic left Serbia in February 2003 to join her son, Marko, in Russia, and an Interpol arrest warrant was issued against her the same month. It was briefly revoked and later reinstated after Markovic failed to appear in court in September 2005. The trial was last postponed in January 2006.

MARIJA MILOSEVIC, daughter
Charged with unlicensed possession of firearms and endangering public safety by shooting at police taking her father into custody on April 1, 2001, after a stand-off with police. The charges against her were filed Aug. 10, 2001.

Her trial began in Belgrade in December 2001, and she received a two-year suspended sentence in September 2002. But a higher court overturned the verdict and ordered a retrial, which began in November 2004 and is still ongoing. Marija Milosevic, who lives in Montenegro, failed to appear in court in February 2006; her lawyer said she had bronchitis.

There is no international arrest warrant for Marija Milosevic.

MARKO MILOSEVIC, son
Fled to Russia in October 2000 after his father lost power.

A court in the Serbian town of Pozarevac charged him in November 2001 with threatening to kill a prominent opposition activist with a chain saw during a scuffle at a disco. Seven other men were charged in the same incident.

Milosevic failed to appear at any of the scheduled court hearings, leading to an arrest warrant for him, followed by an Interpol warrant.

His trial began in absentia in March 2003 in Pozarevac. In July 2004, he was sentenced to six months in jail. But on an appeal, the Pozarevac court suspended the verdict in December 2004, returning the case for retrial.

In August 2005, a key witness revoked his testimony incriminating Marko Milosevic, claiming he no longer remembered what happened.

Both the Serbian and the Interpol arrest warrants were revoked in August 2005, and all charges against Marko Milosevic were dropped.