While working on the translation of the documentary “The Murder of Yugoslavia. The Shadow of Dayton.”, I’ve come across several materials that strongly resonate both with the documentary, and the events that are unfolding around NATO’s war in Ukraine, accompanied by the customary blame-shifting. Not least is the farce around the ICC Kangaroo Court in the Hague and their illegitimate arrest warrant against the President of the Russian Federation.
Below is a translation of an article from 2021 that looks at how Serbia, after if was “brought to heel” by incessant NATO bombing of its civilian population, abducted and handed over Slobodan Milosevic to that very same Kangaroo Court, and what rewards awaited the miscreant, who organised the abduction.
The reward in the form of a bullet. How Serbia handed over President Milosevic to The Hague
In the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s, Yugoslavia was one of the most successfully developing countries in Europe. Having found its niche between the East and the West, the state under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito confidently pursued its independent course.
The Time of Decay
However, Tito’s death was the beginning of a deep crisis that led in 1990 to the victory of the nationalists in the elections of the Yugoslav republics, who set a course for the destruction of a unitary state. The successors of the founder of the socialist Yugoslavia did not have his political weight to effectively resist destructive forces. In addition, the nationalists were actively supported by the countries of the West.
The breakup of Yugoslavia resulted in a bloody civil war that lasted for several years.
In 1995, under the auspices of the United States, the so-called Dayton Agreements were signed between President of Bosnia and Herzegovina Aliya Izetbegovic, President of Serbia Slobodan Milosevic and President of Croatia Franjo Tudjman. In fact, they recorded the defeat of the Croatian and Bosnian Serbs, who fought for the preservation of the right to self-determination and accession to Yugoslavia, which by that time only Serbia and Montenegro remained part of.
The Serbian Krajina in Croatia was eliminated by military means, and the Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina was incorporated into the united State of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is actually under the international control. In addition, Bosnian Serb resistance leaders Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and others were declared war criminals to be brought before the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Slobodan Milosevic’s signature under the Dayton Agreements was regarded by many Serbs as a betrayal. But the Serbian leader, who went to such a measure, failed to ensure the tranquillity of his country and normal relations with the West in this way. Already in 1996, ethnic Albanians in Kosovo launched a terrorist war for the separation of the province from Serbia. The West provided moral support to the Kosovars, while the militants received equipment and weapons from their brothers in faith in the Islamic countries.
In 1998, the situation escalated so much that Milosevic decided to use regular troops against the gangs. The West, which condemned Russia’s actions in Chechnya, while not daring to directly interfere in the events in the Caucasus, began to threaten Serbia with military intervention in this case.
In 1999, the United States called Milosevic a war criminal and, with the support of NATO – without a UN Security Council resolution – began bombing Yugoslavia. For the first time since the end of World War II, a full-scale military operations involving regular forces have unfolded in Europe. Moscow, which opposed the NATO military operation, sent its special representative Viktor Chernomyrdin to Belgrade, who convinced Milosevic to begin withdrawing troops from Kosovo.
Revolution under the sign of the bulldozer
The loss of the region that has the utmost important historical significance for the Serbs, was a tragedy for the people and the beginning of the end for Milosevic himself.
In September 2000, presidential elections were held in Yugoslavia, in the first round of which opposition representative Vojislav Kostunica beat Milosevic without gaining 50 percent + 1 vote. This meant that a second round of elections was to be held, but Kostunica announced that his victory had been stolen.
The pro—Western opposition began mass protests, dubbed the “Bulldozer Revolution” – one of the administrative buildings was stormed with the help of the construction equipment. After two days of clashes in Belgrade, the commanders of the army and police units stationed in the capital entered into negotiations with opposition leaders and reached an agreement with them on the observance of neutrality by the security forces in exchange for the absence of hostile actions by anti-Milosevic’s demonstrators.
After that, Milosevic conceded defeat, agreeing to resign. The ex-president was going to continue his political activity in the opposition, but his opponents had other plans.
To Sell Out
Milosevic, despite everything, remained an influential person in Serbia, and the insistent demands of the West to extradite him to The Hague Tribunal only added points to him in the eyes of ordinary Serbs. Kostunica, who became president of Yugoslavia, was a categorical opponent of Milosevic’s transfer to The Hague. He believed that a politician, if he is guilty, should answer to his own people.
Meanwhile, the United States and European countries said that Milosevic’s extradition would be a reason to lift sanctions against Yugoslavia, and would also pave the way for the transfer of a $1.25 billion economic aid package to Belgrade. Washington issued an ultimatum — further negotiations on the provision of economic assistance to Serbia will be possible only if Milosevic is arrested before April 1, 2001.
On the eve of the expiration of the ultimatum, a fierce confrontation between the security forces and Milosevic’s supporters unfolded at the walls of the ex-president’s residence. Many hours of negotiations ended with the fact that the former president, in order to avoid bloodshed, agreed to surrender voluntarily. At the same time, one of the leaders of the pro-Western forces, Zoran Djindjic, who served as Prime Minister of Serbia, said that there would be no extradition of Milosevic to The Hague, and he would be tried in Belgrade.
Mr. Djindjic’s plan
Despite these words, Djindjic tried to pass the decision on extradition through the parliament, but the majority of deputies were against it. Kostunica also continued to object. Djindjic, who began his opposition activities as a student under Tito, once said: “I was very rarely supported by the majority in this country.” The oppositionist, who had reached power, did not see the need to take into account the opinion of the majority.
For many in Yugoslavia, it was obvious that the pro—Western forces simply wanted to sell Milosevic to The Hague for money, at the same time getting rid of a political opponent. At the same time, the authorities had practically no chance to carry out this operation legally. As a result, the decision to transfer Milosevic to The Hague Tribunal was made by the Serbian Government. At the same time, Djindjic ignored the decision of the Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia, which decided to suspend this procedure.
As is usual with true Democrats, everything was done in a thievish way: Milosevic was taken out of the building of the Belgrade Central Prison in the evening in a prison car that transported bread. The ex-president was sent to a military airfield in Batanica, from where he was transported to Bosnian Tuzla. After that, the helicopter transported the prisoner to the territory of the Netherlands.
Kostunica tried to distance himself from the incident, calling the actions of the Serbian government “unconstitutional.” Djindjic was jubilant. In an interview with the New York Times, he said that he was ready for any decline in his personal popularity, provided that Serbia receives the money promised to it, the transfer of which was conditional on the extradition of Milosevic.
Serbia, having experienced a series of humiliations of national pride, was forced to swallow this one too. The West, having sent Milosevic to the dock, hoped to receive justification for the bombing of Yugoslav cities along with the verdict.
However, no one lived long enough to get official verdict in this story — neither Milosevic nor Djindjic.
Slobodan Milosevic died on March 11, 2006 in a prison in The Hague, after repeated refusals by representatives of the Tribunal to provide him with adequate medical care due to a heart condition. Milosevic, who asked to be released for treatment in Russia, which was ready to guarantee his return to The Hague, wrote three days before his death: “I think that the persistence with which I am not allowed to receive medical care in Russia is primarily motivated by the fear that as a result of careful research, it will inevitably be revealed how during the trial, a malicious campaign was waged against my health — its fact cannot be hidden from the Russian specialists.”
The ex-president of Yugoslavia was never recognized as a criminal, the trial in his case was terminated due to the death of the defendant.
As for Djindjic, on March 12, 2003, in the lobby of the Serbian Government House in Belgrade, he received two bullets from a sniper rifle. The wounded politician was taken to the hospital, where he died. The organizers of the assassination were former soldiers of the special forces “Red Berets” led by Lieutenant Colonel Zvezdan Yovanovich.