Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia (/ˌjuːɡoʊˈslɑːviə/; Serbo-Croatian: Jugoslavija/Југославија [juɡǒslaːʋija]; Slovene: Jugoslavija [juɡɔˈslàːʋija]; Macedonian: Југославија [juɡɔˈsɫavija]; Pannonian Rusyn: Югославия, transcr. Juhoslavija;[A] literally "Land of Southern Slavs") was a country in Southeastern and Central Europe for most of the 20th century. It came into existence after World War I in 1918[B] under the name of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes by the merger of the provisional State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (it was formed from territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire) with the Kingdom of Serbia, and constituted the first union of the South Slavic people as a sovereign state, following centuries in which the region had been part of the Ottoman Empire and then Austria-Hungary. Peter I of Serbia was its first sovereign. The kingdom gained international recognition on 13 July 1922 at the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris.[2] The official name of the state was changed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia on 3 October 1929.

Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis powers on 6 April 1941. In 1943, a Democratic Federal Yugoslavia was proclaimed by the Partisan resistance. In 1944 King Peter II, then living in exile, recognised it as the legitimate government. The monarchy was subsequently abolished in November 1945. Yugoslavia was renamed the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia in 1946, when a communist government was established. It acquired the territories of Istria, Rijeka, and Zadar from Italy. Partisan leader Josip Broz Tito ruled the country as president until his death in 1980. In 1963, the country was renamed again, as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY).

The six constituent republics that made up the SFRY were the SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SR Croatia, SR Macedonia, SR Montenegro, SR Serbia, and SR Slovenia. Serbia contained two Socialist Autonomous Provinces, Vojvodina and Kosovo, which after 1974 were largely equal to the other members of the federation.[3][4] After an economic and political crisis in the 1980s and the rise of nationalism, Yugoslavia broke up along its republics' borders, at first into five countries, leading to the Yugoslav Wars. From 1993 to 2017, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia tried political and military leaders from the former Yugoslavia for war crimes, genocide and other crimes.

After the breakup, the republics of Serbia and Montenegro formed a reduced federation, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), which aspired to the status of sole legal successor to the SFRY, but those claims were opposed by the other former republics. Eventually, Serbia and Montenegro accepted the opinion of the Badinter Arbitration Committee about shared succession.[5] In 2003 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was renamed to State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. The union peacefully broke up when Serbia and Montenegro became independent states in 2006, while Kosovo proclaimed its independence from Serbia in 2008.

Yugoslavia

Југославија
Jugoslavija
1918–1941
1945–1992
1941–1945: Government-in-exile
Flag of Yugoslavia (1918–1941)
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992)
Flag
Top: 1918–1941
Bottom: 1945–1992
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Emblem of SFR Yugoslavia
Top: Coat of arms 1918–1941
Bottom: Emblem 1945–1992
Anthem: "Himna Kraljevine Jugoslavije" (1919–1941)

"Hej, Slaveni" (1945–1992)
Yugoslavia during Interwar period and Cold War
Yugoslavia during Interwar period and Cold War
Capital
and largest city
Belgrade
44°49′N 20°27′E / 44.817°N 20.450°ECoordinates: 44°49′N 20°27′E / 44.817°N 20.450°E
Official languagesSerbo-Croatian
Macedonian
Slovene
Demonym(s)Yugoslav
GovernmentMonarchy (1918–1941)
Socialist republic (1945–1992)
Parliamentary republic (1992–2006)
Historical era20th century
• Creation
1 December 1918
6 April 1941
• Admitted to the UN
24 October 1945
29 November 1945
27 April 1992
CurrencyYugoslav dinar
Calling code38
Internet TLD.yu
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Serbia
Montenegro
Austro-Hungarian Bosnia and Herzegovina
Croatia-Slavonia
Carniola
Dalmatia
Fiume
Croatia
Slovenia
Macedonia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Today part of Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Croatia
 Kosovo
 Montenegro
 North Macedonia
 Serbia
 Slovenia

Background

The concept of Yugoslavia, as a single state for all South Slavic peoples, emerged in the late 17th century and gained prominence through the Illyrian Movement of the 19th century. The name was created by the combination of the Slavic words "jug" (south) and "slaveni" (Slavs). Yugoslavia was the result of the Corfu Declaration, as a project of the Serbian Parliament in exile and the Serbian royal Karađorđević dynasty, who became the Yugoslav royal dynasty.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia

Banovine Jugoslavia
Banovinas of Yugoslavia, 1929–39. After 1939 the Sava and Littoral banovinas were merged into the Banovina of Croatia

The country was formed in 1918 immediately after World War I as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes by union of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs and the Kingdom of Serbia. It was commonly referred to at the time as the "Versailles state". Later, the government renamed the country leading to the first official use of Yugoslavia in 1929.

King Alexander

On 20 June 1928, Serb deputy Puniša Račić shot at five members of the opposition Croatian Peasant Party in the National Assembly resulting in the death of two deputies on the spot and that of leader Stjepan Radić a few weeks later.[6] On 6 January 1929 King Alexander I suspended the constitution, banned national political parties, assumed executive power and renamed the country Yugoslavia.[7] He hoped to curb separatist tendencies and mitigate nationalist passions. He imposed a new constitution and relinquished his dictatorship in 1931.[8] However, Alexander's policies later encountered opposition from other European powers stemming from developments in Italy and Germany, where Fascists and Nazis rose to power, and the Soviet Union, where Joseph Stalin became absolute ruler. None of these three regimes favored the policy pursued by Alexander I. In fact, Italy and Germany wanted to revise the international treaties signed after World War I, and the Soviets were determined to regain their positions in Europe and pursue a more active international policy.

Alexander attempted to create a centralised Yugoslavia. He decided to abolish Yugoslavia's historic regions, and new internal boundaries were drawn for provinces or banovinas. The banovinas were named after rivers. Many politicians were jailed or kept under police surveillance. The effect of Alexander's dictatorship was to further alienate the non-Serbs from the idea of unity.[9] During his reign the flags of Yugoslav nations were banned. Communist ideas were banned also.

The king was assassinated in Marseille during an official visit to France in 1934 by Vlado Chernozemski, an experienced marksman from Ivan Mihailov's Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization with the cooperation of the Ustaše, a Croatian fascist revolutionary organisation. Alexander was succeeded by his eleven-year-old son Peter II and a regency council headed by his cousin, Prince Paul.

1934–1941

The international political scene in the late 1930s was marked by growing intolerance between the principal figures, by the aggressive attitude of the totalitarian regimes and by the certainty that the order set up after World War I was losing its strongholds and its sponsors were losing their strength. Supported and pressured by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, Croatian leader Vladko Maček and his party managed the creation of the Banovina of Croatia (Autonomous Region with significant internal self-government) in 1939. The agreement specified that Croatia was to remain part of Yugoslavia, but it was hurriedly building an independent political identity in international relations. The entire kingdom was to be federalised but World War II stopped the fulfillment of those plans.

Prince Paul submitted to the fascist pressure and signed the Tripartite Pact in Vienna on 25 March 1941, hoping to still keep Yugoslavia out of the war. But this was at the expense of popular support for Paul's regency. Senior military officers were also opposed to the treaty and launched a coup d'état when the king returned on 27 March. Army General Dušan Simović seized power, arrested the Vienna delegation, exiled Paul, and ended the regency, giving 17-year-old King Peter full powers. Hitler then decided to attack Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941, followed immediately by an invasion of Greece where Mussolini had previously been repelled.[10]

World War II

Stjepan Stevo Filipović
Partisan Stjepan Filipović shouting "Death to fascism, freedom to the people!" shortly before his execution

At 5:12 AM on 6 April 1941, German, Italian and Hungarian forces invaded Yugoslavia.[11] The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) bombed Belgrade and other major Yugoslav cities. On 17 April, representatives of Yugoslavia's various regions signed an armistice with Germany in Belgrade, ending eleven days of resistance against the invading German forces.[12] More than 300,000 Yugoslav officers and soldiers were taken prisoner.[13]

The Axis Powers occupied Yugoslavia and split it up. The Independent State of Croatia was established as a Nazi satellite state, ruled by the fascist militia known as the Ustaše that came into existence in 1929, but was relatively limited in its activities until 1941. German troops occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as part of Serbia and Slovenia, while other parts of the country were occupied by Bulgaria, Hungary, and Italy. From 1941–45, the Croatian Ustaše regime murdered around 500,000 people, 250,000 were expelled, and another 200,000 were forced to convert to Catholicism.

From the start, the Yugoslav resistance forces consisted of two factions: the communist-led Yugoslav Partisans and the royalist Chetniks, with the former receiving Allied recognition only at the Tehran conference (1943). The heavily pro-Serbian Chetniks were led by Draža Mihajlović, while the pan-Yugoslav oriented Partisans were led by Josip Broz Tito.

The Partisans initiated a guerrilla campaign that developed into the largest resistance army in occupied Western and Central Europe. The Chetniks were initially supported by the exiled royal government and the Allies, but they soon focused increasingly on combating the Partisans rather than the occupying Axis forces. By the end of the war, the Chetnik movement transformed into a collaborationist Serb nationalist militia completely dependent on Axis supplies.[14] The highly mobile Partisans, however, carried on their guerrilla warfare with great success. Most notable of the victories against the occupying forces were the battles of Neretva and Sutjeska.

On 25 November 1942, the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia was convened in Bihać, modern day Bosnia and Herzegovina. The council reconvened on 29 November 1943, in Jajce, also in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and established the basis for post-war organisation of the country, establishing a federation (this date was celebrated as Republic Day after the war).

The Yugoslav Partisans were able to expel the Axis from Serbia in 1944 and the rest of Yugoslavia in 1945. The Red Army provided limited assistance with the liberation of Belgrade and withdrew after the war was over. In May 1945, the Partisans met with Allied forces outside former Yugoslav borders, after also taking over Trieste and parts of the southern Austrian provinces of Styria and Carinthia. However, the Partisans withdrew from Trieste in June of the same year under heavy pressure from Stalin, who did not want a confrontation with the other Allies.

Western attempts to reunite the Partisans, who denied the supremacy of the old government of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and the émigrés loyal to the king led to the Tito-Šubašić Agreement in June 1944; however, Marshal Josip Broz Tito was in control and was determined to lead an independent communist state, starting as a prime minister. He had the support of Moscow and London and led by far the strongest partisan force with 800,000 men.[15][16]

The official Yugoslav post-war estimate of victims in Yugoslavia during World War II is 1,704,000. Subsequent data gathering in the 1980s by historians Vladimir Žerjavić and Bogoljub Kočović showed that the actual number of dead was about 1 million.

SFR Yugoslavia

On 11 November 1945 elections were held with only the Communist-led National Front appearing on the ballot, securing all 354 seats. On 29 November, while still in exile, King Peter II was deposed by Yugoslavia's Constituent Assembly, and the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia was declared.[17] However, he refused to abdicate. Marshal Tito was now in full control, and all opposition elements were eliminated.[18]

On 31 January 1946, the new constitution of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, modelled after the Soviet Union, established six republics, an autonomous province, and an autonomous district that were part of SR Serbia. The federal capital was Belgrade. The policy focused on a strong central government under the control of the Communist Party, and on recognition of the multiple nationalities.[18] The flags of the republics used versions of the red flag or Slavic tricolor, with a red star in the centre or in the canton.

Name
Capital
Flag
Coat of arms
Location
Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1946–1992)
Coat of Arms of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg
Socialist Republic of Croatia Zagreb
Flag of Croatia (1947–1990)
Coat of Arms of the Socialist Republic of Croatia.svg
Socialist Republic of Macedonia Skopje
Flag of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia (1946–1992)
Coat of arms of Macedonia (1946-2009).svg
Socialist Republic of Montenegro Titograd
Flag of Montenegro (1946–1993)
Coat of arms of Montenegro (1945–1994).svg
Socialist Republic of Serbia
Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo
Socialist Autonomous Province of Vojvodina
Belgrade
Priština
Novi Sad
Flag of Serbia (1947–1992)
Coat of arms of Serbia (1947–2004).svg
Socialist Republic of Slovenia Ljubljana
Flag of Slovenia (1945–1991)
Coat of Arms of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia.svg

Tito's regional goal was to expand south and take control of Albania and parts of Greece. In 1947, negotiations between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria led to the Bled agreement, which proposed to form a close relationship between the two Communist countries, and enable Yugoslavia to start a civil war in Greece and use Albania and Bulgaria as bases. Stalin vetoed this agreement and it was never realised. The break between Belgrade and Moscow was now imminent.[19]

Yugoslavia solved the national issue of nations and nationalities (national minorities) in a way that all nations and nationalities had the same rights. However, most of the German minority of Yugoslavia, most of whom collaborated during occupation and had been recruited to German forces, were expelled towards Germany or Austria.[20]

The 1948 Yugoslavia-Soviet split

The country distanced itself from the Soviets in 1948 (cf. Cominform and Informbiro) and started to build its own way to socialism under the strong political leadership of Josip Broz Tito.

All the Communist European Countries had deferred to Stalin and rejected the Marshall Plan aid in 1947. Tito, at first went along and rejected the Marshall plan. However, in 1948 Tito broke decisively with Stalin on other issues, making Yugoslavia an independent communist state. Yugoslavia requested American aid. American leaders were internally divided, but finally agreed and began sending money on a small scale in 1949, and on a much larger scale 1950–53. The American aid was not part of the Marshall plan.[21]

Tito criticised both Eastern Bloc and NATO nations and, together with India and other countries, started the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961, which remained the official affiliation of the country until it dissolved.

In 1974, the two provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo-Metohija (for the latter had by then been upgraded to the status of a province), as well as the republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, were granted greater autonomy to the point that Albanian and Hungarian became nationally recognised minority languages, and the Serbo-Croat of Bosnia and Montenegro altered to a form based on the speech of the local people and not on the standards of Zagreb and Belgrade. In Slovenia the recognized minorities were Hungarians and Italians.

Vojvodina and Kosovo-Metohija formed a part of the Republic of Serbia but those provinces also formed part of the federation, which led to the unique situation that Central Serbia did not have its own assembly but a joint assembly with its provinces represented in it.

Demographics

Yugoslavia had always been a home to a very diverse population, not only in terms of national affiliation, but also religious affiliation. Of the many religions, Islam, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, and Protestantism, as well as various Eastern Orthodox faiths, composed the religions of Yugoslavia, comprising over 40 in all. The religious demographics of Yugoslavia changed dramatically since World War II. A census taken in 1921 and later in 1948 show that 99% of the population appeared to be deeply involved with their religion and practices. With postwar government programs of modernisation and urbanisation, the percentage of religious believers took a dramatic plunge. Connections between religious belief and nationality posed a serious threat to the post-war Communist government's policies on national unity and state structure.[22]

After the rise of communism, a survey taken in 1964 showed that just over 70% of the total population of Yugoslavia considered themselves to be religious believers. The places of highest religious concentration were that of Kosovo with 91% and Bosnia and Herzegovina with 83.8%. The places of lowest religious concentration were Slovenia 65.4%, Serbia with 63.7% and Croatia with 63.6%. Religious differences between Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats, Muslim Bosniaks, and Albanians alongside the rise of nationalism contributed to the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991.[22]

Government

On 7 April 1963, the nation changed its official name to Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Josip Broz Tito was named President for life. In the SFRY, each republic and province had its own constitution, supreme court, parliament, president and prime minister. At the top of the Yugoslav government were the President (Tito), the federal Prime Minister, and the federal Parliament (a collective Presidency was formed after Tito's death in 1980). Also important were the Communist Party general secretaries for each republic and province, and the general secretary of Central Committee of the Communist Party.

Tito was the most powerful person in the country, followed by republican and provincial premiers and presidents, and Communist Party presidents. Slobodan Penezić Krcun, Tito's chief of secret police in Serbia, fell victim to a dubious traffic incident after he started to complain about Tito's politics. Minister of the interior Aleksandar Ranković lost all of his titles and rights after a major disagreement with Tito regarding state politics. Some influential ministers in government, such as Edvard Kardelj or Stane Dolanc, were more important than the Prime Minister.

First cracks in the tightly governed system surfaced when students in Belgrade and several other cities joined the worldwide protests of 1968. President Josip Broz Tito gradually stopped the protests by giving in to some of the students' demands and saying that "students are right" during a televised speech. But in the following years, he dealt with the leaders of the protests by sacking them from university and Communist party posts.[23]

A more severe sign of disobedience was so-called Croatian Spring of 1970–1971, when students in Zagreb organised demonstrations for greater civil liberties and greater Croatian autonomy, followed by mass manifestations across Croatia. The regime stifled the public protest and incarcerated the leaders, but many key Croatian representatives in the Party silently supported this cause, lobbying within the Party ranks for a reorganisation of the country. As a result, a new Constitution was ratified in 1974, which gave more rights to the individual republics in Yugoslavia and provinces in Serbia.

Ethnic tensions and economic crisis

The Yugoslav federation was constructed against a double background: an inter-war Yugoslavia which had been dominated by the Serbian ruling class; and a war-time division of the country, as Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany split the country apart and endorsed an extreme Croatian nationalist faction called the Ustaše. A small faction of Bosniak nationalists joined the Axis forces and attacked Serbs while extreme Serb nationalists engaged in attacks on Bosniaks and Croats.

Yugoslav Partisans took over the country at the end of the war and banned nationalism from being publicly promoted. Overall relative peace was retained under Tito's rule, though nationalist protests did occur, but these were usually repressed and nationalist leaders were arrested and some were executed by Yugoslav officials. However, the "Croatian Spring" protest in the 1970s was backed by large numbers of Croats who claimed that Yugoslavia remained a Serb hegemony and demanded that Serbia's powers be reduced.

Tito, whose home republic was Croatia, was concerned over the stability of the country and responded in a manner to appease both Croats and Serbs, he ordered the arrest of the Croat protestors, while at the same time conceding to some of their demands. In 1974, Serbia's influence in the country was significantly reduced as autonomous provinces were created in ethnic Albanian-majority populated Kosovo and the mixed-populated Vojvodina.

These autonomous provinces held the same voting power as the republics but unlike the republics, they could not legally separate from Yugoslavia. This concession satisfied Croatia and Slovenia, but in Serbia and in the new autonomous province of Kosovo, reaction was different. Serbs saw the new constitution as conceding to Croat and ethnic Albanian nationalists. Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo saw the creation of an autonomous province as not being enough, and demanded that Kosovo become a constituent republic with the right to separate from Yugoslavia. This created tensions within the Communist leadership, particularly among Communist Serb officials who resented the 1974 constitution as weakening Serbia's influence and jeopardising the unity of the country by allowing the republics the right to separate.

According to official statistics, from the 1950s to the early 1980s, Yugoslavia was among the fastest growing countries, approaching the ranges reported in South Korea and other miracle countries. The unique socialist system in Yugoslavia, where factories were worker cooperatives and decision-making was less centralized than in other socialist countries, may have led to the stronger growth. However, even if the absolute value of the growth rates was not as high as indicated by the official statistics, both the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia were characterized by surprisingly high growth rates of both income and education during the 1950s.

The period of European growth ended after the oil price shock in 1970s. Following that, in Yugoslavia an economic crisis erupted, and that as a product of disastrous errors by Yugoslav governments, such as borrowing vast amounts of Western capital in order to fund growth through exports.[24] At the same time, Western economies went into recession, decreasing demand for Yugoslavian imports, creating a large debt problem.

In 1989, according to official sources, 248 firms were declared bankrupt or were liquidated and 89,400 workers were laid off. During the first nine months of 1990 directly following the adoption of the IMF programme, another 889 enterprises with a combined work-force of 525,000 workers suffered the same fate. In other words, in less than two years "the trigger mechanism" (under the Financial Operations Act) had led to the lay off of more than 600,000 workers out of a total industrial workforce of the order of 2.7 million. An additional 20% of the work force, or half a million people, were not paid wages during the early months of 1990 as enterprises sought to avoid bankruptcy. The largest concentrations of bankrupt firms and lay-offs were in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo. Real earnings were in a free fall and social programmes had collapsed; creating within the population an atmosphere of social despair and hopelessness. This was a critical turning point in the events to follow.

Breakup

Breakup of Yugoslavia-TRY2
Breakup of Yugoslavia

Though the 1974 Constitution reduced the power of the federal government, Tito's authority substituted for this weakness until his death in 1980.

After Tito's death on 4 May 1980, ethnic tensions grew in Yugoslavia. The legacy of the Constitution of 1974 was used to throw the system of decision-making into a state of paralysis, made all the more hopeless as the conflict of interests had become irreconcilable. The Albanian majority in Kosovo demanded the status of a republic in the 1981 protests in Kosovo while Serbian authorities suppressed this sentiment and proceeded to reduce the province's autonomy.

In 1986, the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts drafted a memorandum addressing some burning issues concerning the position of Serbs as the most numerous people in Yugoslavia. The largest Yugoslav republic in territory and population, Serbia's influence over the regions of Kosovo and Vojvodina was reduced by the 1974 Constitution. Because its two autonomous provinces had de facto prerogatives of full-fledged republics, Serbia found that its hands were tied, for the republican government was restricted in making and carrying out decisions that would apply to the provinces. Since the provinces had a vote in the Federal Presidency Council (an eight-member council composed of representatives from the six republics and the two autonomous provinces), they sometimes even entered into coalition with other republics, thus outvoting Serbia. Serbia's political impotence made it possible for others to exert pressure on the 2 million Serbs (20% of the total Serbian population) living outside Serbia.

Serbian communist leader Slobodan Milošević sought to restore pre-1974 Serbian sovereignty. After Tito's death, Milosevic made his way to becoming the next superior figure and political official for Serbia.[25] Other republics, especially Slovenia and Croatia, denounced this move as a revival of greater Serbian hegemonism. Through a series of moves known as the "anti-bureaucratic revolution", Milošević succeeded in reducing the autonomy of Vojvodina and of Kosovo and Metohija, but both entities retained a vote in the Yugoslav Presidency Council. The very instrument that reduced Serbian influence before was now used to increase it: in the eight-member Council, Serbia could now count on four votes at a minimum: Serbia proper, then-loyal Montenegro, Vojvodina, and Kosovo.

As a result of these events, ethnic Albanian miners in Kosovo organised the 1989 Kosovo miners' strike, which dovetailed into ethnic conflict between the Albanians and the non-Albanians in the province. At around 80% of the population of Kosovo in the 1980s, ethnic-Albanians were the majority. With Milosevic gaining control over Kosovo in 1989, the original residency changed drastically leaving only a minimum amount of Serbians left in the region.[25] The number of Slavs in Kosovo (mainly Serbs) was quickly declining for several reasons, among them the ever-increasing ethnic tensions and subsequent emigration from the area. By 1999 the Slavs formed as little as 10% of the total population in Kosovo.

Meanwhile, Slovenia, under the presidency of Milan Kučan, and Croatia supported the Albanian miners and their struggle for formal recognition. Initial strikes turned into widespread demonstrations demanding a Kosovan republic. This angered Serbia's leadership which proceeded to use police force, and later even the Federal Army was sent to the province by the order of the Serbia-held majority in the Yugoslav Presidency Council.

In January 1990, the extraordinary 14th Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia was convened. For most of the time, the Slovenian and Serbian delegations were arguing over the future of the League of Communists and Yugoslavia. The Serbian delegation, led by Milošević, insisted on a policy of "one person, one vote", which would empower the plurality population, the Serbs. In turn, the Slovenes, supported by Croats, sought to reform Yugoslavia by devolving even more power to republics, but were voted down. As a result, the Slovenian and Croatian delegations left the Congress and the all-Yugoslav Communist party was dissolved.

The constitutional crisis that inevitably followed resulted in a rise of nationalism in all republics: Slovenia and Croatia voiced demands for looser ties within the Federation.

Following the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, each of the republics held multi-party elections in 1990. Slovenia and Croatia held the elections in April since their communist parties chose to cede power peacefully. Other Yugoslav republics—especially Serbia—were more or less dissatisfied with the democratisation in two of the republics and proposed different sanctions (e.g. Serbian "customs tax" for Slovenian products) against the two, but as the year progressed, other republics' communist parties saw the inevitability of the democratisation process; in December, as the last member of the federation, Serbia held parliamentary elections which confirmed former communists' rule in this republic.

The unresolved issues however remained. In particular, Slovenia and Croatia elected governments oriented towards greater autonomy of the republics (under Milan Kučan and Franjo Tuđman, respectively), since it became clear that Serbian domination attempts and increasingly different levels of democratic standards were becoming increasingly incompatible. Serbia and Montenegro elected candidates who favoured Yugoslav unity.

The Croat quest for independence led to large Serb communities within Croatia rebelling and trying to secede from the Croat republic. Serbs in Croatia would not accept a status of a national minority in a sovereign Croatia, since they would be demoted from the status of a constituent nation of the entirety of Yugoslavia.

Yugoslav Wars

The war broke out when the new regimes tried to replace Yugoslav civilian and military forces with secessionist forces. When, in August 1990, Croatia attempted to replace police in the Serb populated Croat Krajina by force, the population first looked for refuge in the Yugoslavian Army barracks, while the army remained passive. The civilians then organised armed resistance. These armed conflicts between the Croatian armed forces ("police") and civilians mark the beginning of the Yugoslav war that inflamed the region. Similarly, the attempt to replace Yugoslav frontier police by Slovenian police forces provoked regional armed conflicts which finished with a minimal number of victims.

A similar attempt in Bosnia and Herzegovina led to a war that lasted more than three years (see below). The results of all these conflicts are almost complete emigration of the Serbs from all three regions, massive displacement of the populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and establishment of the three new independent states. The separation of Macedonia was peaceful, although the Yugoslav Army occupied the peak of the Straža mountain on the Macedonian soil.

Serbian uprisings in Croatia began in August 1990 by blocking roads leading from the Dalmatian coast towards the interior almost a year before Croatian leadership made any move towards independence. These uprisings were more or less discreetly backed up by the Serb-dominated federal army (JNA). The Serbs in Croatia proclaimed "Serb autonomous areas", later united into the Republic of Serb Krajina. The federal army tried to disarm the territorial defence forces of Slovenia (republics had their local defence forces similar to the Home Guard) in 1990 but was not completely successful. Still, Slovenia began to covertly import arms to replenish its armed forces.

Croatia also embarked upon the illegal import of arms, (following the disarmament of the republics' armed forces by the federal army) mainly from Hungary, and were under constant surveillance which produced a video of a secret meeting between the Croatian Defence minister Martin Špegelj and the two men, filmed by the Yugoslav counter-intelligence (KOS, Kontra-obavještajna služba). Špegelj announced that they were at war with the army and gave instructions about arms smuggling as well as methods of dealing with the Yugoslav Army's officers stationed in Croatian cities. Serbia and JNA used this discovery of Croatian rearmament for propaganda purposes.

Guns were also fired from army bases through Croatia. Elsewhere, tensions were running high.

In the same month, the Army leaders met with the Presidency of Yugoslavia in an attempt to get them to declare a state of emergency which would allow for the army to take control of the country. The army was seen as an arm of the Serbian government by that time so the consequence feared by the other republics was to be total Serbian domination of the union. The representatives of Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Vojvodina voted for the decision, while all other republics, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, voted against. The tie delayed an escalation of conflicts, but not for long.

Following the first multi-party election results, in the autumn of 1990, the republics of Slovenia and Croatia proposed transforming Yugoslavia into a loose confederation of six republics. By this proposal, republics would have right to self-determination. However Milošević rejected all such proposals, arguing that like Slovenes and Croats, the Serbs (having in mind Croatian Serbs) should also have a right to self-determination.

On 9 March 1991, demonstrations were held against Slobodan Milošević in Belgrade, but the police and the military were deployed in the streets to restore order, killing two people. In late March 1991, the Plitvice Lakes incident was one of the first sparks of open war in Croatia. The Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), whose superior officers were mainly of Serbian ethnicity, maintained an impression of being neutral, but as time went on, they got more and more involved in state politics.

On 25 June 1991, Slovenia and Croatia became the first republics to declare independence from Yugoslavia. The federal customs officers in Slovenia on the border crossings with Italy, Austria, and Hungary mainly just changed uniforms since most of them were local Slovenes. The following day (26 June), the Federal Executive Council specifically ordered the army to take control of the "internationally recognised borders", leading to the Ten-Day War. As Slovenia and Croatia  fights towards independence,  the Serbian and Croatian forces indulged into a violent and perilous rivalry. [25]

The Yugoslav People's Army forces, based in barracks in Slovenia and Croatia, attempted to carry out the task within the next 48 hours. However, because of misinformation given to the Yugoslav Army conscripts that the Federation was under attack by foreign forces and the fact that the majority of them did not wish to engage in a war on the ground where they served their conscription, the Slovene territorial defence forces retook most of the posts within several days with only minimal loss of life on both sides.

There was a suspected incident of a war crime, as the Austrian ORF TV network showed footage of three Yugoslav Army soldiers surrendering to the territorial defence force, before gunfire was heard and the troops were seen falling down. However, none were killed in the incident. There were however numerous cases of destruction of civilian property and civilian life by the Yugoslav People's Army, including houses and a church. A civilian airport, along with a hangar and aircraft inside the hangar, was bombarded; truck drivers on the road from Ljubljana to Zagreb and Austrian journalists at the Ljubljana Airport were killed.

A ceasefire was eventually agreed upon. According to the Brioni Agreement, recognised by representatives of all republics, the international community pressured Slovenia and Croatia to place a three-month moratorium on their independence.

During these three months, the Yugoslav Army completed its pull-out from Slovenia, but in Croatia, a bloody war broke out in the autumn of 1991. Ethnic Serbs, who had created their own state Republic of Serbian Krajina in heavily Serb-populated regions resisted the police forces of the Republic of Croatia who were trying to bring that breakaway region back under Croatian jurisdiction. In some strategic places, the Yugoslav Army acted as a buffer zone; in most others it was protecting or aiding Serbs with resources and even manpower in their confrontation with the new Croatian army and their police force.

In September 1991, the Republic of Macedonia also declared independence, becoming the only former republic to gain sovereignty without resistance from the Belgrade-based Yugoslav authorities. 500 U.S. soldiers were then deployed under the U.N. banner to monitor Macedonia's northern borders with the Republic of Serbia. Macedonia's first president, Kiro Gligorov, maintained good relations with Belgrade and the other breakaway republics and there have to date been no problems between Macedonian and Serbian border police even though small pockets of Kosovo and the Preševo valley complete the northern reaches of the historical region known as Macedonia (Prohor Pčinjski part), which would otherwise create a border dispute if ever Macedonian nationalism should resurface (see VMRO). This was despite the fact that the Yugoslav Army refused to abandon its military infrastructure on the top of the Straža Mountain up to the year 2000.

As a result of the conflict, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted UN Security Council Resolution 721 on 27 November 1991, which paved the way to the establishment of peacekeeping operations in Yugoslavia.[26]

In Bosnia and Herzegovina in November 1991, the Bosnian Serbs held a referendum which resulted in an overwhelming vote in favour of forming a Serbian republic within the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina and staying in a common state with Serbia and Montenegro. On 9 January 1992, the self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb assembly proclaimed a separate "Republic of the Serb people of Bosnia and Herzegovina". The referendum and creation of SARs were proclaimed unconstitutional by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and declared illegal and invalid. However, in February–March 1992, the government held a national referendum on Bosnian independence from Yugoslavia. That referendum was in turn declared contrary to the BiH and the Federal constitution by the federal Constitutional Court in Belgrade and the newly established Bosnian Serb government.

The referendum was largely boycotted by the Bosnian Serbs. The Federal court in Belgrade did not decide on the matter of the referendum of the Bosnian Serbs. The turnout was somewhere between 64–67% and 98% of the voters voted for independence. It was not clear what the two-thirds majority requirement actually meant and whether it was satisfied. The republic's government declared its independence on 5 April, and the Serbs immediately declared the independence of Republika Srpska. The war in Bosnia followed shortly thereafter.

Timeline

Various dates are considered the end of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia:

  • 25 June 1991, when Croatia and Slovenia declared independence
  • 8 September 1991, following a referendum the Republic of Macedonia declared independence
  • 8 October 1991, when the 9 July moratorium on Slovenian and Croatian secession ended and Croatia restated its independence in the Croatian Parliament (that day is celebrated as Independence Day in Croatia)
  • 15 January 1992, when Slovenia and Croatia were internationally recognised by most European countries
  • 6 April 1992, full recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina's independence by the U.S. and most European countries
  • 28 April 1992, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is formed
  • 14 December 1995, the Dayton Agreement is signed by the leaders of FR Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia

New states

Succession, 1992–2003

Map of war in Yugoslavia, 1992
Yugoslavia at the time of its dissolution, early 1992
Former Yugoslavia 2008
The state of affairs of the territory of the former Yugoslavia, 2008

As the Yugoslav Wars raged through Croatia and Bosnia, the republics of Serbia and Montenegro, which remained relatively untouched by the war, formed a rump state known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in 1992. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia aspired to be a sole legal successor to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but those claims were opposed by the other former republics. The United Nations also denied its request to automatically continue the membership of the former state.[27] In 2000, Milosevic was prosecuted for atrocities committed in his ten-year rule in Serbia and the Yugoslav Wars.[25] Eventually, after the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević from power as president of the federation in 2000, the country dropped those aspirations, accepted the opinion of the Badinter Arbitration Committee about shared succession, and reapplied for and gained UN membership on 2 November 2000.[5] From 1992 to 2000, some countries, including the United States, had referred to the FRY as Serbia and Montenegro[28] as they viewed its claim to Yugoslavia's successorship as illegitimate.[29] In April 2001, the five successor states extant at the time drafted an Agreement on Succession Issues, signing the agreement in June 2001.[30][31] Marking an important transition in its history, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was officially renamed Serbia and Montenegro in 2003.

According to the Succession Agreement signed in Vienna on 29 June 2001, all assets of former Yugoslavia were divided between five successor states:[31]

Name Capital Flag Coat of arms Declared date of independence United Nations membership[32]
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
later renamed to
Serbia and Montenegro in 2003
Belgrade Flag of Serbia and Montenegro (2003–2006) Coat of arms of Serbia and Montenegro.svg 27 April 1992
date of the proclamation of FR Yugoslavia
1 November 2000
membership succeeded by Serbia on 3 June 2006
Croatia Zagreb Flag of Croatia Coat of arms of Croatia.svg 25 June 1991 22 May 1992
Slovenia Ljubljana Flag of Slovenia Coat of arms of Slovenia.svg 25 June 1991 22 May 1992
Macedonia Skopje Flag of North Macedonia Coat of arms of Macedonia (1946-2009).svg 8 September 1991 8 April 1993
Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina Coat of arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg 1 March 1992 22 May 1992

Succession, 2006–present

In June 2006, Montenegro became an independent nation after the results of a May 2006 referendum, therefore rendering Serbia and Montenegro no longer existent. After Montenegro's independence, Serbia became the legal successor of Serbia and Montenegro, while Montenegro re-applied for membership in international organisations. In February 2008, the Republic of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, leading to an ongoing dispute on whether Kosovo is a legally recognised state. Kosovo is not a member of the United Nations, but 115 states, including the United States and various members of the European Union, have recognised Kosovo as a sovereign state.

Yugosphere

In 2009, The Economist coined the term Yugosphere to describe the present-day physical areas that formed Yugoslavia, as well as its culture and influence.[33][34]

The similarity of the languages and the long history of common life have left many ties among the peoples of the new states, even though the individual state policies of the new states favour differentiation, particularly in language. The Serbo-Croatian language is linguistically a single language, with several literary and spoken variants since the language of the government was imposed where other languages dominated (Slovenia, Macedonia). Now, separate sociolinguistic standards exist for the Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian languages.

Remembrance of the time of the joint state and its positive attributes is referred to as Yugonostalgia. Many aspects of Yugonostalgia refer to the socialist system and the sense of social security it provided. There are still people from the former Yugoslavia who self-identify as Yugoslavs; this identifier is commonly seen in demographics relating to ethnicity in today's independent states.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Albanian: Jugosllavia; Hungarian: Jugoszlávia; Slovak: Juhoslávia; Romanian: Iugoslavia; Czech: Jugoslávie; Italian: Iugoslavia [juɡozˈlaːvja]; Turkish: Yugoslavya; Bulgarian: Югославия, transcr. Jugoslavija
  2. ^ The Yugoslav Committee, led by Dalmatian Croat politician Ante Trumbić, lobbied the Allies to support the creation of an independent South Slavic state and delivered the proposal in the Corfu Declaration on 20 July 1917.[1]

References

  1. ^ Spencer Tucker. Encyclopedia of World War I: A Political, Social, and Military History. Santa Barbara, California, USA: ABC-CLIO, 2005. Pp. 1189.
  2. ^ "orderofdanilo.org". Archived from the original on 16 May 2009.
  3. ^ Huntington, Samuel P. (1996). The clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order. Simon & Schuster. p. 260. ISBN 0-684-84441-9.
  4. ^ "History, bloody history". BBC News. 24 March 1999. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  5. ^ a b "FR Yugoslavia Investment Profile 2001" (PDF). EBRD Country Promotion Programme. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011.
  6. ^ Ramet 2006, p. 73.
  7. ^ Indiana University (October 2002). "Chronology 1929". indiana.edu.
  8. ^ Indiana University (October 2002). "Chronology 1929". indiana.edu.
  9. ^ The Balkans since 1453. p. 624.
  10. ^ "April 6: Germany Invades Yugoslavia and Greece". arquivo.pt. Archived from the original on 15 October 2009.
  11. ^ Dr. Stephen A. Hart; British Broadcasting Corporation (February 17, 2011). "Partisans: War in the Balkans 1941–1945". bbc.com.
  12. ^ History Channel (2014). "Apr 17, 1941: Yugoslavia surrenders". history.com.
  13. ^ Indiana University (October 2002). "Chronology 1929". indiana.edu.
  14. ^ 7David Martin, Ally Betrayed: The Uncensored Story of Tito and Mihailovich, (New York: Prentice Hall, 1946), 34.
  15. ^ Michael Lees, The Rape of Serbia: The British Role in Tito's Grab for Power, 1943–1944 (1990).
  16. ^ James R. Arnold; Roberta Wiener (January 2012). Cold War: The Essential Reference Guide. ABC-CLIO. p. 216.
  17. ^ Jessup, John E. (1989). A Chronology of Conflict and Resolution, 1945–1985. New York: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-24308-5.
  18. ^ a b Arnold and Wiener (2012). Cold War: The Essential Reference Guide. p. 216.
  19. ^ John O. Iatrides; Linda Wrigley (2004). Greece at the Crossroads: The Civil War and Its Legacy. Penn State University Press. pp. 267–73.
  20. ^ Portmann M (2010). "Die orthodoxe Abweichung. Ansiedlungspolitik in der Vojvodina zwischen 1944 und 1947". Bohemica. A Journal of History and Civilisation in East Central Europe. 50 (1): 95–120. doi:10.18447/BoZ-2010-2474.
  21. ^ John R. Lampe; et al. (1990). Yugoslav-American Economic Relations Since World War II. Duke University Press. pp. 28–37.
  22. ^ a b "Yugoslavia – Religious Demographics". Atheism.about.com. 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  23. ^ Žilnik, Želimir (2009). "Yugoslavia: "Down with the Red Bourgeoisie!"" (PDF). Bulletin of the GHI (1968: Memories and Legacies of a Global Revolt). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2013.
  24. ^ Baten, Jörg (2016). A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present. Cambridge University Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-107-50718-0.
  25. ^ a b c d Hunt, Michael (2014). The World Transformed 1945 to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 522. ISBN 978-0-19-937102-0.
  26. ^ "Resolution 721". N.A.T.O. 25 September 1991. Retrieved 21 July 2006.
  27. ^ "Participation of Former Yugoslav States in the United Nations". Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law (PDF). pp. 241–243. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2010.
  28. ^ 1999 CIA World Factbook: Serbia and Montenegro
  29. ^ "CIA -- The World Factbook 1999 -- Serbia and Montenegro". 16 August 2000. Archived from the original on 16 August 2000. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  30. ^ "Yugoslav Agreement on Succession Issues (2001)". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  31. ^ a b "AGREEMENT ON SUCCESSION ISSUES BETWEEN THE FIVE SUCCESSOR STATES OF THE FORMER STATE OF YUGOSLAVIA".
  32. ^ "Member States". United Nations.
  33. ^ "Former Yugoslavia patches itself together: Entering the Yugosphere". The Economist. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  34. ^ Ljubica Spaskovska (28 September 2009). "The 'Yugo-sphere'". The University of Edinburgh School of Law. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2011.

Further reading

  • Allcock, John B.: Explaining Yugoslavia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000
  • Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob: Sarajevo Roses: War Memoirs of a Peacekeeper. Oshun, 2002. ISBN 1-77007-031-1
  • Bataković, Dušan T., ed. (2005). Histoire du peuple serbe [History of the Serbian People] (in French). Lausanne: L’Age d’Homme.
  • Chan, Adrian: Free to Choose: A Teacher's Resource and Activity Guide to Revolution and Reform in Eastern Europe. Stanford, CA: SPICE, 1991. ED 351 248
  • Cigar, Norman, : Genocide in Bosnia: The Policy of Ethnic-Cleansing. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1995
  • Cohen, Lenard J.: Broken Bonds: The Disintegration of Yugoslavia. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1993
  • Conversi, Daniele: German -Bashing and the Breakup of Yugoslavia, The Donald W. Treadgold Papers in Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, no. 16, March 1998 (University of Washington: HMJ School of International Studies)
  • Djilas, Milovan: Land without Justice, [with] introd. and notes by William Jovanovich. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1958.
  • Dragnich, Alex N.: Serbs and Croats. The Struggle in Yugoslavia. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992
  • Fisher, Sharon: Political Change in Post-Communist Slovakia and Croatia: From Nationalist to Europeanist. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006 ISBN 1-4039-7286-9
  • Glenny, Mischa: The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804–1999 (London: Penguin Books Ltd, 2000)
  • Glenny, Mischa: The fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War, ISBN 0-14-026101-X
  • Gutman, Roy.: A Witness to Genocide. The 1993 Pulitzer Prize-winning Dispatches on the "Ethnic Cleansing" of Bosnia. New York: Macmillan, 1993
  • Hall, Brian: The Impossible Country: A Journey Through the Last Days of Yugoslavia. Penguin Books. New York, 1994
  • Harris, Judy J.: Yugoslavia Today. Southern Social Studies Journal 16 (Fall 1990): 78–101. EJ 430 520
  • Hayden, Robert M.: Blueprints for a House Divided: The Constitutional Logic of the Yugoslav Conflicts. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000
  • Hoare, Marko A., A History of Bosnia: From the Middle Ages to the Present Day. London: Saqi, 2007
  • Hornyak, Arpad. Hungarian-Yugoslav Diplomatic Relations, 1918–1927 (East European Monographs, distributed by Columbia University Press; 2013) 426 pages
  • Jelavich, Barbara: History of the Balkans: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Volume 1. New York: American Council of Learned Societies, 1983 ED 236 093
  • Jelavich, Barbara: History of the Balkans: Twentieth Century, Volume 2. New York: American Council of Learned Societies, 1983. ED 236 094
  • Kohlmann, Evan F.: Al-Qaida's Jihad in Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network Berg, New York 2004, ISBN 1-85973-802-8; ISBN 1-85973-807-9
  • Lampe, John R: Yugoslavia As History: Twice There Was a Country Great Britain, Cambridge, 1996, ISBN 0-521-46705-5
  • Malesevic, Sinisa: Ideology, Legitimacy and the New State: Yugoslavia, Serbia and Croatia. London: Routledge, 2002.
  • Owen, David. Balkan Odyssey Harcourt (Harvest Book), 1997
  • Pavlowitch, Stevan K. The improbable survivor: Yugoslavia and its problems, 1918-1988 (1988). online free to borrow
  • Pavlowitch, Stevan K. Tito--Yugoslavia's great dictator : a reassessment (1992) online free to borrow
  • Pavlowitch, Steven. Hitler's New Disorder: The Second World War in Yugoslavia (2008) excerpt and text search
  • Ramet, Sabrina P. (2006). The Three Yugoslavias: State-Building and Legitimation, 1918–2005. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34656-8.
  • Roberts, Walter R.: Tito, Mihailovic, and the Allies: 1941–1945. Duke University Press, 1987; ISBN 0-8223-0773-1
  • Sacco, Joe: Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992–1995. Fantagraphics Books, January 2002
  • Silber, Laura and Allan Little:Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation. New York: Penguin Books, 1997
  • West, Rebecca: Black Lamb and Gray Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia. Viking, 1941
  • White, T.: Another fool in the Balkans – in the footsteps of Rebbecca West. Cadogan Guides, London, 2006
  • Time homepage: New Power

External links

Belgrade

Belgrade ( BEL-grayd; Serbian: Београд / Beograd, meaning "white city", Serbian pronunciation: [beǒɡrad] (listen); names in other languages) 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. The urban area of the City of Belgrade has a population of 1.23 million, while nearly 1.7 million people live within its administrative limits.One of the most important prehistoric cultures of Europe, the Vinča culture, evolved within the Belgrade area in the 6th millennium BC. In antiquity, Thraco–Dacians inhabited the region and after 279 BC Celts conquered the city, naming it Singidūn. It was conquered by the Romans during the reign of Augustus, and awarded city rights in the mid-2nd century. It was settled by the Slavs in the 520s, and changed hands several times between the Byzantine Empire, Frankish Empire, Bulgarian Empire and Kingdom of Hungary before it became the capital of Serbian king Stephen Dragutin (ruled 1282–1316). In 1521, Belgrade was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and became the seat of the Sanjak of Smederevo. It frequently passed from Ottoman to Habsburg rule, which saw the destruction of most of the city during the Austro-Ottoman wars. Belgrade was again named the capital of Serbia in 1841. Northern Belgrade remained the southernmost Habsburg post until 1918, when the city was reunited. As a strategic location, the city was battled over in 115 wars and razed 44 times. Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia from its creation in 1918 to its dissolution in 2006.

Belgrade has a special administrative status within Serbia and it is one of five statistical regions of Serbia. Its metropolitan territory is divided into 17 municipalities, each with its own local council. The city of Belgrade covers 3.6% of Serbia's territory, and around 24% of the country's population lives within its administrative limits. It is classified as a Beta-Global City.

Breakup of Yugoslavia

The breakup of Yugoslavia occurred as a result of a series of political upheavals and conflicts during the early 1990s. After a period of political and economic crisis in the 1980s, constituent republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia split apart, but the unresolved issues caused bitter inter-ethnic Yugoslav wars. The wars primarily affected Bosnia and Herzegovina, neighboring parts of Croatia and some years later, Kosovo.

After the Allied victory in World War II, Yugoslavia was set up as a federation of six republics, with borders drawn along ethnic and historical lines: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. In addition, two autonomous provinces were established within Serbia: Vojvodina and Kosovo. Each of the republics had its own branch of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia party and a ruling elite, and any tensions were solved on the federal level. The Yugoslav model of state organization, as well as a "middle way" between planned and liberal economy, had been a relative success, and the country experienced a period of strong economic growth and relative political stability up to the 1980s, under the rule of president-for-life Josip Broz Tito. After his death in 1980, the weakened system of federal government was left unable to cope with rising economic and political challenges.

In the 1980s, Albanians of Kosovo started to demand that their autonomous province be granted the status of a constituent republic, starting with the 1981 protests. Ethnic tensions between Albanians and Kosovo Serbs remained high over the whole decade, which resulted in the growth across Yugoslavia of Serb opposition to the high autonomy of provinces and ineffective system of consensus at the federal level, which were seen as an obstacle for Serb interests. In 1987, Slobodan Milošević came to power in Serbia, and through a series of populist moves acquired de facto control over Kosovo, Vojvodina, and Montenegro, garnering a high level of support among Serbs for his centralist policies. Milošević was met with opposition by party leaders of the western republics of Slovenia and Croatia, who also advocated greater democratization of the country in line with the Revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe. The League of Communists of Yugoslavia dissolved in January 1990 along federal lines. Republican communist organizations became the separate socialist parties.

During 1990, the socialists (former communists) lost power to ethnic separatist parties in the first multi-party elections held across the country, except in Serbia and Montenegro, where Milošević and his allies won. Nationalist rhetoric on all sides became increasingly heated. Between June 1991 and April 1992, four republics declared independence (only Serbia and Montenegro remained federated), but the status of ethnic Serbs outside Serbia and Montenegro, and that of ethnic Croats outside Croatia, remained unsolved. After a string of inter-ethnic incidents, the Yugoslav Wars ensued, first in Croatia and then, most severely, in multi-ethnic Bosnia and Herzegovina. The wars left long-term economic and political damage in the region, which are still felt today.

Invasion of Yugoslavia

The invasion of Yugoslavia, also known as the April War or Operation 25, was a German-led attack on the Kingdom of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers which began on 6 April 1941 during World War II. The order for the invasion was put forward in "Führer Directive No. 25", which Adolf Hitler issued on 27 March 1941, following the Yugoslav coup d'état.The invasion commenced with an overwhelming air attack on Belgrade and facilities of the Royal Yugoslav Air Force (VVKJ) by the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) and attacks by German land forces from southwestern Bulgaria. These attacks were followed by German thrusts from Romania, Hungary and the Ostmark. Italian forces were limited to air and artillery attacks until 11 April, when the Italian army attacked towards Ljubljana (in modern-day Slovenia) and through Istria and Lika and down the Dalmatian coast. On the same day, Hungarian forces entered Yugoslav Bačka and Baranya, but like the Italians they faced practically no resistance. A Yugoslav attack into the northern parts of the Italian protectorate of Albania met with initial success, but was inconsequential due to the collapse of the rest of the Yugoslav forces.

Scholars have proposed several theories for the Royal Yugoslav Army's sudden collapse, including poor training and equipment, generals eager to secure a quick cessation of hostilities, and a sizeable Croatian nationalist fifth column. The invasion ended when an armistice was signed on 17 April 1941, based on the unconditional surrender of the Yugoslav army, which came into effect at noon on 18 April. Yugoslavia was then occupied and partitioned by the Axis powers. Some areas of Yugoslavia were annexed by neighboring Axis countries, some areas remained occupied, and in other areas Axis puppet states such as the Independent State of Croatia (Serbo-Croatian: Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, or NDH) were created during the invasion on 10 April. Along with Italy's stalled invasion of Greece on 28 October 1940, and the German-led invasion of Greece (Operation Marita) and invasion of Crete (Operation Merkur), the invasion of Yugoslavia was part of the German Balkan Campaign (German: Balkanfeldzug).

Josip Broz Tito

Josip Broz (Cyrillic: Јосип Броз, pronounced [jǒsip brôːz]; 7 May 1892 – 4 May 1980), commonly known as Tito (; Cyrillic: Тито, pronounced [tîto]), was a Yugoslav communist revolutionary and statesman, serving in various roles from 1943 until his death in 1980. During World War II, he was the leader of the Partisans, often regarded as the most effective resistance movement in occupied Europe. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian and concerns about the repression of political opponents have been raised, most Yugoslavs considered him popular and a benevolent dictator. He was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad. Viewed as a unifying symbol, his internal policies maintained the peaceful coexistence of the nations of the Yugoslav federation. He gained further international attention as the chief leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, alongside Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Nicolae Ceaușescu of Romania, Sukarno of Indonesia, and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.Broz was born to a Croat father and Slovene mother in the village of Kumrovec, Austria-Hungary (now in Croatia). Drafted into military service, he distinguished himself, becoming the youngest sergeant major in the Austro-Hungarian Army of that time. After being seriously wounded and captured by the Imperial Russians during World War I, he was sent to a work camp in the Ural Mountains. He participated in some events of the Russian Revolution in 1917 and subsequent Civil War. Upon his return home, Broz found himself in the newly established Kingdom of Yugoslavia, where he joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ).

He was General Secretary (later Chairman of the Presidium) of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (1939–1980) and went on to lead the World War II Yugoslav guerrilla movement, the Partisans (1941–1945). After the war, he was the Prime Minister (1944–1963), President (later President for Life) (1953–1980) of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). From 1943 to his death in 1980, he held the rank of Marshal of Yugoslavia, serving as the supreme commander of the Yugoslav military, the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA). With a highly favourable reputation abroad in both Cold War blocs, he received some 98 foreign decorations, including the Legion of Honour and the Order of the Bath.

Tito was the chief architect of the second Yugoslavia, a socialist federation that lasted from November 1943 until April 1992. Despite being one of the founders of Cominform, he became the first Cominform member to defy Soviet hegemony in 1948 and the only one in Joseph Stalin's time to manage to leave Cominform and begin with its own socialist program with elements of market socialism. Economists active in the former Yugoslavia, including Czech-born Jaroslav Vanek and Croat-born Branko Horvat, promoted a model of market socialism dubbed the Illyrian model, where firms were socially owned by their employees and structured on workers' self-management and competed with each other in open and free markets.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia (Serbo-Croatian: Краљевина Југославија / Kraljevina Jugoslavija; Slovene: Kraljevina Jugoslavija) was a state in Southeast Europe and Central Europe that existed from 1929 until 1941, during the interwar period and beginning of World War II.

The preliminary kingdom was formed in 1918 by the merger of the provisional State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (itself formed from territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire) with the formerly independent Kingdom of Serbia. The Kingdom of Montenegro had united with Serbia five days previously, whereas the regions of Kosovo, Vojvodina and Vardar Macedonia were parts of Serbia prior to the unification.

Initially, it was officially called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Serbo-Croatian: Краљевина Срба, Хрвата и Словенаца / Kraljevina Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca; Slovene: Kraljevina Srbov, Hrvatov in Slovencev), but the term "Yugoslavia" (literally "Land of Southern Slavs") was its colloquial name from its origins. The official name of the state was changed to "Kingdom of Yugoslavia" by King Alexander I on 3 October 1929.The state was ruled by the Serbian dynasty of Karađorđević, which previously ruled the Kingdom of Serbia under Peter I from 1903 (after the May Overthrow) onward. Peter I became the first king of Yugoslavia until his death in 1921. He was succeeded by his son Alexander I, who had been regent for his father. He was known as "Alexander the Unifier" and he renamed the kingdom "Yugoslavia" in 1929. He was assassinated in Marseille by Vlado Chernozemski, a member of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), during his visit to France in 1934. The crown passed to his then-still under-aged son Peter. Alexander's cousin Paul ruled as Prince regent until 1941, when Peter II would come of age. The royal family flew to London the same year, prior to the country being invaded by the Axis powers.

In April 1941, the country was occupied and partitioned by the Axis powers. A royal government-in-exile, recognized by the United Kingdom and, later, by all the Allies, was established in London. In 1944, after pressure from the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the King recognized the government of Democratic Federal Yugoslavia as the legitimate government. This was established on 2 November following the signing of the Treaty of Vis by Ivan Šubašić (on behalf of the Kingdom) and Josip Broz Tito (on behalf of the Yugoslav Partisans).

Kosovo

Kosovo (; Albanian: Kosova pronounced [kɔˈsɔva] or Kosovë pronounced [kɔˈsɔvə]; Serbian Cyrillic: Косово pronounced [kôsoʋo]), officially the Republic of Kosovo (Albanian: Republika e Kosovës; Serbian: Република Косово/ Republika Kosovo), is a partially-recognized state and disputed territory in Southeastern Europe.Defined in an area of 10,908 square kilometres (4,212 sq mi), Kosovo is landlocked in the center of the Balkans and bordered by the uncontested territory of Serbia to the north and east, North Macedonia to the southeast, Albania to the southwest and Montenegro to the west.

Geographically, Kosovo possesses varied and opposing landscapes for its size determined by the ideal climate along with the geology and hydrology. Most of central Kosovo is dominated by the vast plains of Dukagjin and Kosovo. The Albanian Alps and Šar Mountains rise in the southwest and southeast respectively.

The history of Kosovo dates back to the Paleolithic era, represented by the Vinča and Starčevo cultures. During the Classical period, it was inhabited by the Illyrian-Dardanian and Celtic people. In 168 BC, the area was annexed by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, it was conquered by the Byzantine, Bulgarian and Serbian Empires. The Battle of Kosovo of 1389 is considered to be one of the defining moments in Serbian medieval history. The region was the core of the Serbian medieval state, which has also been the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the 14th century, when its status was upgraded to a patriarchate.Kosovo was part of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th to the early 20th century. In the late 19th century, it became the centre of the Albanian National Awakening. Following their defeat in the Balkan Wars, the Ottomans ceded Kosovo to Serbia and Montenegro. Both countries joined Yugoslavia after World War I, and following a period of Yugoslav unitarianism in the Kingdom, the post-World War II Yugoslav constitution established the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within the Yugoslav constituent republic of Serbia. Tensions between Kosovo's Albanian and Serb communities simmered through the 20th century and occasionally erupted into major violence, culminating in the Kosovo War of 1998 and 1999, which resulted in the withdrawal of the Yugoslav army and the establishment of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo.

On 17 February 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia. It has since gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by 113 UN member states. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as a sovereign state, although with the Brussels Agreement of 2013, it has accepted its institutions. While Serbia recognizes administration of the territory by Kosovo's elected government, it continues to claim it as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija.

Kosovo has a lower-middle-income economy and has experienced solid economic growth over the last decade by international financial institutions, and has experienced growth every year since the onset of the 2008 global financial crisis. Kosovo is a member of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Regional Cooperation Council, and has applied for membership of Interpol and for observer status in the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation.

League of Communists of Yugoslavia

The League of Communists of Yugoslavia, before 1952 the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, was the country's largest communist party, and the ruling party of SFR Yugoslavia. It was founded as an opposition party in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1919.

After initial successes in the elections, it was proscribed by the royal government and remained an illegal underground group until World War II; at times, it was harshly and violently suppressed. After the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1941, the communist-led Yugoslav Partisans became embroiled in the Yugoslav People's Liberation War and defeated the Axis forces and their local auxiliaries in a bloody civil war. After the liberation from foreign occupation in 1945, the party consolidated its power and established a single party state in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which existed until the 1990 breakup of Yugoslavia.

The party, which was led by Josip Broz Tito from 1937 to 1980, was the first communist party in power in the history of the Eastern Bloc that openly opposed the Soviet Union and thus was expelled from the Cominform in 1948 after the Tito-Stalin split. After internal purges of pro-Soviet members, the party renamed itself the League of Communists and adopted the politics of workers' self-management and independent communism, known as Titoism.

Montenegro

Montenegro ( (listen); Montenegrin: Црна Гора / Crna Gora [tsr̩̂ːnaː ɡɔ̌ra]) is a country in Southeastern Europe on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Bosnia and Herzegovina to the north; Serbia and the disputed country of Kosovo to the east, Albania to the south and Croatia to the west. Montenegro has an area of 13,812 square kilometres and a population of 678.000 most of whom are Orthodox Christians. Its capital Podgorica is one of the twenty-three municipalities in the country. Cetinje is designated as the Old Royal Capital.

During the Early Medieval period, three Serb principalities were located on the territory of modern-day Montenegro: Duklja, roughly corresponding to the southern half; Travunia, the west; and Rascia proper, the north. In 1042, archon Stefan Vojislav led a revolt that resulted in the independence of Duklja from the Byzantine Empire and the establishment of the Vojislavljević dynasty. The independent Principality of Zeta emerged in the 14th and 15th centuries, ruled by the House of Balšić between 1356 and 1421, and by the House of Crnojević between 1431 and 1498, when the name Montenegro started being used for the country. After falling under Ottoman rule, Montenegro regained de facto independence in 1697 under the rule of the House of Petrović-Njegoš, first under the theocratic rule of prince-bishops, before being transformed into a secular principality in 1852. Montenegro's de jure independence was recognised by the Great Powers at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, following the Montenegrin–Ottoman War. In 1905, the country became a kingdom. After World War I, it became part of Yugoslavia. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, the republics of Serbia and Montenegro together established a federation known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was renamed State Union of Serbia and Montenegro in 2003. On the basis of an independence referendum held in May 2006, Montenegro declared independence and the federation peacefully dissolved on 3 June of that year.

Since 1990, the sovereign state of Montenegro has been governed by the Democratic Party of Socialists and its minor coalition partners. Classified by the World Bank as an upper middle-income country, Montenegro is a member of the UN, NATO, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe, and the Central European Free Trade Agreement. It is a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean.

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia

The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) during the Kosovo War. The air strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999. The official NATO operation code name was Operation Allied Force; the United States called it "Operation Noble Anvil", while in Yugoslavia, the operation was incorrectly called "Merciful Angel" (Serbian: Милосрдни анђео/Milosrdni anđeo), as a result of a misunderstanding or mistranslation. The bombings continued until an agreement was reached that led to the withdrawal of Yugoslav armed forces from Kosovo, and the establishment of United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), a UN peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.

The bloodshed, ethnic cleansing of thousands of Albanians driving them into neighbouring countries, and the potential of it to destabilize the region provoked intervention by international organizations and agencies, such as the United Nations, NATO, and INGOs.

NATO countries attempted to gain authorisation from the United Nations Security Council for military action, but were opposed by China and Russia that indicated they would veto such a proposal. NATO launched a campaign without UN authorisation, which it described as a humanitarian intervention. The FRY described the NATO campaign as an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign country that was in violation of international law because it did not have UN Security Council support.

The bombing killed between 489 and 528 civilians, and destroyed bridges, industrial plants, public buildings, private businesses, as well as barracks and military installations.

The NATO bombing marked the second major combat operation in its history, following the 1995 NATO bombing campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was the first time that NATO had used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council.

North Macedonia

North Macedonia (Macedonian: Северна Македонија, translit. Severna Makedonija; Albanian: Maqedonia e Veriut), officially the Republic of North Macedonia (Macedonian: Република Северна Македонија, translit. Republika Severna Makedonija; Albanian: Republika e Maqedonisë së Veriut), is a country in the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in September 1991 under the name Republic of Macedonia, and it is still sometimes referred to as Macedonia.

The country became a member of the United Nations in April 1993, but, as a result of a dispute with Greece over the name, it was admitted under the provisional description the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (abbreviated as FYR Macedonia and FYROM), a term that was also used by some other international organizations. In June 2018, Macedonia and Greece resolved the conflict with an agreement that the country should rename itself to "North Macedonia", erga omnes. This renaming came into effect in February 2019, with a several months-long transition for passports, license plates, currency, customs, border signs, and government websites, inter alia.A landlocked country, North Macedonia has borders with Kosovo to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, and Albania to the west. It constitutes approximately the northern third of the larger geographical region of Macedonia, which also comprises the neighbouring parts of northern Greece and southwestern Bulgaria. The country's geography is defined primarily by mountains, valleys, and rivers. The capital and largest city, Skopje, is home to roughly a quarter of the nation's 2.06 million inhabitants. The majority of the residents are ethnic Macedonians, a South Slavic people. Albanians form a significant minority at around 25%, followed by Turks, Romani, Serbs, Bosniaks, Aromanians, and Bulgarians.

The history of the region dates back to antiquity, beginning with the kingdom of Paeonia, probably a mixed Thraco-Illyrian polity. In the late sixth century BC, the area was incorporated into the Persian Achaemenid Empire, then annexed by the kingdom of Macedonia in the fourth century BC. The Romans conquered the region in the second century BC and made it part of the much larger province of Macedonia. Τhe area remained part of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire, but was often raided and settled by Slavic tribes beginning in the sixth century of the Christian era. Following centuries of contention between the Bulgarian, Byzantine, and Serbian Empire, it was part of the Ottoman dominion from the mid-14th until the early 20th century, when following the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, the modern territory of North Macedonia came under Serbian rule. During the First World War (1915–1918) it was ruled by Bulgaria, but after the end of the war, it returned under Serbian rule as part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Later, during the Second World War (1941–1944), it was ruled by Bulgaria again, and in 1945 it was established as a constituent social republic into the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, which it remained until its peaceful secession in 1991.

North Macedonia is a parliamentary republic and member of the UN and of the Council of Europe. Since 2005 it has also been a candidate for joining the European Union and has applied for NATO membership. One of the poorest countries in Europe, North Macedonia has made significant progress in developing an open, market-based economy.

Serbia

Serbia (Serbian: Србија / Srbija [sř̩bija]), officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian: Република Србија / Republika Srbija [repǔblika sř̩bija]), is a country situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe in the southern Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. The sovereign state borders Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest. The country claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia's population is about seven million. Its capital, Belgrade, ranks among the oldest and largest citiеs in Europe.Inhabited since the Paleolithic Age, the Slavic migrations to the Balkans in the 6th century established several sovereign states in the early Middle Ages which at times nominally recognized Byzantine, Frankish and Hungarian overrule. The Serbian Kingdom obtained recognition by the Vatican and Constantinople in 1217, reaching its peak in 1346 as a relatively short-lived Serbian Empire. By the mid-16th century, the entire modern-day Serbia was annexed by the Ottomans, at times interrupted by the Habsburg Empire, which started expanding towards Central Serbia from the end of the 17th century, while maintaining a foothold in modern-day Vojvodina. In the early 19th century, the Serbian Revolution established the nation-state as the region's first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory. Following disastrous casualties in World War I, and the subsequent unification of the former Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina (and other territories) with Serbia, the country co-founded Yugoslavia with other South Slavic peoples, which would exist in various political formations until the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. During the breakup of Yugoslavia, Serbia formed a union with Montenegro, which was peacefully dissolved in 2006. In 2008, the parliament of the province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence, with mixed responses from the international community.

Serbia is a member of the UN, CoE, CERN, OSCE, PfP, BSEC, CEFTA, and it is acceding to the WTO. Since 2014 the country has been negotiating its EU accession with perspective of joining the European Union by 2025. Serbia has dropped in ranking from Free to Partly Free on the latest Freedom House report. Since 2007, Serbia formally adheres to the policy of military neutrality. An upper-middle income economy with a dominant service sector followed by the industrial sector and agriculture, the country ranks relatively high on the Human Development Index (66th), Social Progress Index (45th) as well as the Global Peace Index (54th).

Serbia and Montenegro

Serbia and Montenegro (Serbian: Србија и Црна Гора, СЦГ / Srbija i Crna Gora, SCG), officially the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro (Државна Заједница Србија и Црна Гора / Državna Zajednica Srbija i Crna Gora), also known as Yugoslavia before 2003, was a country in Southeast Europe, created from the two remaining federal republics of Yugoslavia after its breakup in 1992. The republics of Serbia and Montenegro together established a federation in 1992 as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FR Yugoslavia or FRY; Савезна Република Југославија / Savezna Republika Jugoslavija),.

For the first several years of its existence, the state aspired to be recognized as the sole legal successor to Yugoslavia, but those claims were opposed by other former constituent republics. The United Nations also denied its request to take up Yugoslavia's membership. Eventually, after the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević from power as president of the federation in 2000, the country rescinded those aspirations and accepted the opinion of the Badinter Arbitration Committee about shared succession. It re-applied for UN membership on 27 October and was admitted on 1 November 2000.The FRY was initially dominated by Slobodan Milošević as President of Serbia (1989–1997) and then President of Yugoslavia (1997–2000). Milošević installed and forced the removal of several federal presidents (such as Dobrica Ćosić) and prime ministers (such as Milan Panić). However, the Montenegrin government, initially enthusiastic supporters of Milošević, started gradually distancing themselves from his policies. That culminated in regime change in 1996, when his former ally Milo Đukanović reversed his policies, became leader of Montenegro's ruling party and subsequently dismissed former Montenegrin leader Momir Bulatović, who remained loyal to the Milošević government. As Bulatović was given central positions in Belgrade from that time (as federal Prime Minister), Đukanović continued to govern Montenegro and further isolated it from Serbia. Thus from 1996 to 2006 Montenegro and Serbia were only nominally one country—governance at every feasible level was conducted locally, in Belgrade for Serbia and in Podgorica for Montenegro.

As a loose union or confederacy, Serbia and Montenegro were united only in certain realms, such as defence. The two constituent republics functioned separately throughout the period of the Federal Republic, and continued to operate under separate economic policies, as well as using separate currencies (the euro was the only legal tender in Montenegro). On 21 May 2006, the Montenegrin independence referendum was held, and 55.5% of voters voted in favour of independence. The last remnants of the former Yugoslavia, after 88 years since its creation, came to an end upon Montenegro's formal declaration of independence on 3 June 2006, and Serbia's formal declaration of independence on 5 June. After the dissolution, Serbia became the legal successor of the union, while the newly independent Montenegro re-applied for membership in international organizations.

Slobodan Milošević

Slobodan Milošević (; Serbo-Croatian: [slobǒdan milǒːʃeʋitɕ] (listen); Serbian Cyrillic: Слободан Милошевић; 20 August 1941 – 11 March 2006) was a Yugoslav and Serbian politician and the President of Serbia (originally the Socialist Republic of Serbia, a constituent republic within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) from 1989 to 1997 and President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. He also led the Socialist Party of Serbia from its foundation in 1990. He rose to power as Serbian President after he and his supporters claimed the need to reform the 1974 Constitution of Yugoslavia due to both the marginalization of Serbia and its political incapacity to deter Albanian separatist unrest in the Serbian province of Kosovo.

Milošević's presidency of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was marked by several major reforms to Serbia's constitution from the 1980s to the 1990s that reduced the powers of the autonomous provinces in Serbia. In 1990 Serbia transitioned from a Titoist, one-party system to a multi-party system and attempted reforms to the 1974 Constitution of Yugoslavia. The constituent republics of the country split apart amid the outbreak of wars, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was founded by the former SFRY republics of Serbia and Montenegro. Milošević negotiated the Dayton Agreement on behalf of the Bosnian Serbs, which ended the Bosnian War in 1995.

In the midst of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, Milošević was charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with war crimes in connection to the wars in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo. Milošević resigned from the Yugoslav presidency amid demonstrations, following the disputed presidential election of 24 September 2000. He was arrested by Yugoslav federal authorities on 31 March 2001 on suspicion of corruption, abuse of power, and embezzlement. The initial investigation into Milošević faltered for lack of evidence, prompting the Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić to extradite him to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to stand trial for charges of war crimes instead. At the outset of the trial, Milošević denounced the Tribunal as illegal because it had not been established with the consent of the United Nations General Assembly; therefore he refused to appoint counsel for his defence. Milošević conducted his own defence in the five-year-long trial, which ended without a verdict when he died in his prison cell in The Hague on 11 March 2006. Milošević, who suffered from heart ailments and hypertension, died of a heart attack. The Tribunal denied any responsibility for Milošević's death and stated that he had refused to take prescribed medicines and medicated himself instead.After Milošević's death, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concluded separately in the Bosnian Genocide Case that there was no evidence linking him to genocide committed by Bosnian Serb forces during the Bosnian War. However, the Court did find that Milošević and others in Serbia had committed a breach of the Genocide Convention by failing to prevent the genocide from occurring and for not cooperating with the ICTY in punishing the perpetrators of the genocide, in particular General Ratko Mladić, and for violating its obligation to comply with the provisional measures ordered by the Court. Milošević's rule has been described by observers as authoritarian or autocratic.

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFR Yugoslavia or SFRY) was a country located in central and Southeastern Europe that existed from its foundation in the aftermath of World War II until its dissolution in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. Covering an area of 255,804 km² (98,766 sq mi), the SFRY was bordered by the Adriatic Sea and Italy to the west, Austria and Hungary to the north, Bulgaria and Romania to the east, and Albania and Greece to the south.

The nation was a socialist state and a federation governed by the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia with Belgrade as its capital. In addition, it included two autonomous provinces within Serbia: Kosovo and Vojvodina.

The SFRY's origin is traced to 26 November 1942, when the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia was formed during World War II. On 29 November 1945, the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed after the deposition of King Peter II, thus ending the monarchy. Until 1948, the new communist government originally sided with the Eastern bloc under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito at the beginning of the Cold War, but after the Tito–Stalin split of 1948, the SFRY pursued a policy of neutrality. It became one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement, and transitioned from a planned economy to market socialism.

The SFR Yugoslavia maintained neutrality during the Cold War as part of its foreign policy. It was a founding member of CERN, the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, OSCE, IFAD, WTO, Eutelsat, and BTWC.

Following the death of Tito on 4 May 1980, the Yugoslav economy started to collapse, which increased unemployment and inflation. The economic crisis led to a rise in ethnic nationalism in the late 1980s and early 1990s; dissidence resulted among the multiple ethnicities within the constituent republics.

With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, inter-republic talks on transformation of the federation also failed. In 1991 some European states recognized their independence. The federation collapsed along federal borders, followed by the start of the Yugoslav Wars, and the final downfall and breakup of the federation on 27 April 1992. Two of its republics, Serbia and Montenegro, remained within a reconstituted state known as the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia", but this union was not recognized internationally as the official successor state to the SFRY. The term "former Yugoslavia" (bivša Jugoslavija/бивша Југославија) is now commonly used retrospectively.

World War II in Yugoslavia

Military operations in World War II in Yugoslavia began on 6 April 1941, when the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was swiftly conquered by Axis forces and partitioned between Germany, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria and client regimes. Subsequently, a guerrilla liberation war was fought against the Axis occupying forces and their locally established puppet regimes, including the fascist Independent State of Croatia and the Government of National Salvation in the German-occupied territory of Serbia, by the Communist-led republican Yugoslav Partisans. Simultaneously, a multi-side civil war was waged between the Partisans, the Serbian chauvinist Chetniks, the Croatian Ustashe and Home Guard, Serbian Volunteer Corps and State Guard, as well as Slovene Home Guard troops.Both the Yugoslav Partisans and the Chetnik movement initially resisted the occupation. However, after 1941, Chetniks extensively and systematically collaborated with the Italian occupation forces until the Italian capitulation, and thereon also with German and Ustashe forces. The Axis mounted a series of offensives intended to destroy the Partisans, coming close to doing so in the Battle of Neretva and Battle of Sutjeska in the spring and summer of 1943.

Despite the setbacks, the Partisans remained a credible fighting force, with their organization gaining recognition from the Western Allies at the Tehran Conference and laying the foundations for the post-war Yugoslav state. With support in logistics and air power from the Western Allies, and Soviet ground troops in the Belgrade Offensive, the Partisans eventually gained control of the entire country and of the border regions of Trieste and Carinthia.

The human cost of the war was enormous. The number of war victims is still in dispute, but is generally agreed to have been at least one million. Non-combat victims included the majority of the country's Jewish population, many of whom perished in concentration and extermination camps (e.g. Jasenovac, Banjica) run by the client regimes.

The Ustashe regime (mostly Croats, but also Muslims and others) committed genocide against Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-Fascist Croats. The Chetniks (mostly Serbs, but also Montenegrins and others) pursued genocide against Muslims, Croats and Pro-Partisan Serbs, and the Italian occupation authorities pursued violence and ethnic cleansing (Italianization) against Slovenes and Croats. The Wehrmacht carried out mass executions of civilians in retaliation for resistance activity e.g., the Kragujevac massacre. SS Division "Prinz Eugen" massacred large number of civilians and prisoners of war. Hungarian occupation troops massacred civilians (mostly Serbs and Jews) during the a major raid in southern Bačka, under the pretext of suppressing resistance activities.

Finally, during and after the final stages of the war, Yugoslav authorities and Partisan troops carried out reprisals, including the deportation of the Danube Swabian population, forced marches and executions of thousands of captured soldiers and civilians (predominantly Croats associated with the NDH, but also Slovenes and others) fleeing their advance (the Bleiburg repatriations), atrocities against the Italian population in Istria (the Foibe massacres) and purges against Serbs, Hungarians and Germans associated with the fascist forces.

Yugoslav Partisans

The Yugoslav Partisans, or the National Liberation Army, officially the National Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments of Yugoslavia, was the Communist-led resistance to the Axis powers (chiefly Germany) in occupied Yugoslavia during World War II.

It is considered to be Europe's most effective anti-Axis resistance movement during World War II, often compared to the Polish resistance movement, albeit the latter was a mostly non-communist autonomous movement. The Yugoslav Resistance was led by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia during World War II. Its commander was Marshal Josip Broz Tito.

Yugoslav People's Army

The Yugoslav People's Army (Serbo-Croatian: Jugoslovenska narodna armija / Југословенска народна армија / Jugoslavenska narodna armija; ,Slovenian:Jugoslovanska ljudska armada/JLA, also Yugoslav National Army), often referred-to simply by the initialism JNA, was the military of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Yugoslav Wars

The Yugoslav Wars were a series of separate but related ethnic conflicts, wars of independence and insurgencies fought in the former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 2001, which led to the breakup of the Yugoslav state. Its constituent republics declared independence, despite unresolved tensions between ethnic minorities in the new countries, fueling the wars.

Most of the wars ended through peace accords, involving full international recognition of new states, but with a massive human cost and economic damage to the region. Initially the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) sought to preserve the unity of the whole of Yugoslavia by crushing the secessionist governments, but it increasingly came under the influence of the Serbian government of Slobodan Milošević, which evoked Serbian nationalist rhetoric and was willing to use the Yugoslav cause to preserve the unity of Serbs in one state. As a result, the JNA began to lose Slovenes, Croats, Kosovar Albanians, Bosniaks, and ethnic Macedonians, and effectively became a Serb army. According to a 1994 United Nations report, the Serb side did not aim to restore Yugoslavia, but to create a "Greater Serbia" from parts of Croatia and Bosnia. Other irredentist movements have also been brought into connection with the wars, such as "Greater Albania" (from Kosovo, though it was abandoned following international diplomacy) and "Greater Croatia" (from parts of Herzegovina, until 1994 when the Washington agreement ended it).Often described as Europe's deadliest conflicts since World War II, the wars were marked by many war crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity and rape. The Bosnian genocide was the first European crime to be formally judged as genocidal in character since World War II, and many key individual participants were subsequently charged with war crimes. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established by the UN to prosecute these crimes.According to the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Yugoslav Wars resulted in the death of 140,000 people. The Humanitarian Law Center estimates that in the conflicts in the former Yugoslav republics at least 130,000 people were killed.

Yugoslavia national football team

The Yugoslavia national football team represented the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1918–1941, until 1929 as Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes), and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1943–1992, until November 29, 1945 as Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, 29 November 1945–1963 as Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia) in association football. It enjoyed success in international competition. In 1992, during the Yugoslav wars, the team was suspended from international competition as part of a United Nations sanction. In 1994, when the boycott was lifted, it was succeeded by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia national football team.

The Serbia national football team inherited Yugoslavia's spot within FIFA and UEFA and is considered by both organisations as the only successor of Yugoslavia.

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