Serbia’s sociopath

Robert Fox looks at an account of the horror that followed Yugoslavia’s collapse

The World Today
3 minute READ

Robert Fox

Defence Editor, Evening Standard

Conversations with Milosevic
Ivor Roberts, The University of Georgia Press $32.95

‘For the future of Yugoslavia you cannot have unity and democracy, you will have to choose,’ Italy’s foreign minister Gianni De Michelis warned European ministers at a crisis meeting in July 1991. Coming from Venice, where he was noted for his disco dancing, De Michelis seemed to sense that Tito’s confection of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was in its last days. What he cannot have predicted is how disastrous the series of wars of Yugoslav dissolution would be for its people and the region as a whole.

Was the loss of so many hundreds of thousands of lives, the uprooting of entire communities and the pointless acts of spite and vengeance so inevitable? How much was down to the malice of principals such as Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic and Franjo Tudjman of Croatia, who often seemed to play Robin to Milosevic’s Batman.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.