In order to appreciate the situation and events leading to the bloody destruction of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (the SFRY), or better to say Titoslavia, in 1991−1995 followed by the Kosovo War in 1998−1999 and NATO aggression on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), it has to be made an overview of the general situation in the SFRY after the death of Josip Broz Tito (1892−1980). It is assumed that the post-Tito’s leaders of Croatia (Franjo Tuđman), Bosnia-Herzegovina (Alija Izetbegović), and Serbia (Slobodan Milošević) who won elections in their republics in 1990 mostly personally contributed to the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia from inside backed by the USA and the EU from outside. However, above all, Slobodan Milošević was blamed by the West to be the focal executor of Titoslavia that was more dirty propaganda than reality. Nevertheless, in this article, I would like to contribute by personal observation as a “witness” to the pre-war biography of Slobodan Milošević – a “butcher of Yugoslavia” as usually he is portrayed in the West.
As a matter of fact, J. B. Tito (half Croat, half Slovenian) left no prominent figure on the political scene who would at least partially take over the stir of the Yugoslav boat after his death. In fact, it was not by accident that nobody was capable of ruling the country after a personal dictatorship of Tito. In the 1980−1989 period, the Yugoslav boat of Titonic was moving slowly, by the force of inertia, almost floating. In fact, even before Tito’s death, the state was in a state of sleepy indolence, since J. B. Tito was old and could (would) not care for the domestic affairs, confining his attention to his international activities most probably for the sake to get very much wished a Nobel Prize for the Peace.
The state economy was ruined, but this fact was not conspicuous since the state was heavily in foreign debts and lived “on credits” which J. B. Tito used to get for his “nonalignment policy”, but after his death (May 4th, 1980) foreign donators started to press their debtors and it was the beginning of the end of Titoslavia. After his death, the one-man rule was substituted by “no-man rule”, by essentially “technical government”, where the principal concern of Tito’s descendants was to share everything in equal proportion and not allow anybody to become prominent especially from other (rival) republics. In the 1980s, the Yugoslav Titonic was passing through the economic crisis, with notorious shortages of many goods, like eating oil, coffee, sugar, petrol, etc. In the period of economic difficulties, those republics (Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia) used to donate to underdeveloped regions of the SFRY (Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo-Metochia, and Macedonia) felt they were exploited by the rest of the state and started meditating secession. The first was Slovenia and to a less extent Croatia. The question was mainly what will turn out to trigger secession. The first motive appeared in the form of Kosovo-Metochia, better to say the Shqiptars (Albanians). The second was the pretext in the person of Slobodan Milošević.
Slobodan Milošević (popularly known as Slobo) was a son of Montenegrins from Montenegro (Ljijeva Rijeka, Tuzi), whose father was a secondary school teacher. Slobodan Milošević was allegedly born at Požarevac (August 20th, 1941), in Central Serbia, as the case was with his wife, Mirjana Marković. Though he grew up in Serbia, his mental structure was a typical Dinaroid (of the Yugoslav Highlanders) one. One of the principal features of the Dinariods has been their notorious inflexibility (it includes the Albanian case). He graduated in law from Belgrade University (Faculty of Law). He met his future wife, Mirjana Marković at the grammar school at Požarevac, and the romantic love was initiated, to be terminated by Slobo’s death in 2006, at the Hague Tribunal. Mirjana was a daughter of a medium-range Serbian communist apparatchik, Moma Marković. Another story has been maintained in Serbia, this time about Mirjana’s biological father. Namely, when her mother was imprisoned as a communist, she was tortured and, accordingly, revealed her collaborators, who were caught and executed. Mirjana’s mother was spared since she became, the story goes, mistress of the commandant of the prison (who happened to be a Muslim). Mira (as she is called in Serbia) has suffered from these traumatic events her entire life. In particular, she used to wear a white flower in her hair (wig?), as a memory of her unfortunate mother.
It has to be dwelling on these, otherwise bizarre, matters, since they have played an important role in the life of the couple who used to rule Serbia for 13 years (1987−2000). Mira was a devote communist and both Slobo and her were great admirers of Marshal Tito. Mira maintained her internationalism and never entered nationalistic disputes, as they started in Serbia when Slobo took power in 1987. It has to be stressed here that S. Milošević himself, as a good communist, was away from nationalism at the time. In fact, strictly speaking, accusing him of Serb nationalism is absurd, since he was neither Serb nor chauvinist.
Mira & Slobo
Mira’s belonging to the old communist class (better to say – cast) helped greatly the promotion of her husband politically, at the beginning of his career. S. Milošević joined in 1959 the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. He became chairman of the university committee on ideology before graduating in 1964. He was an economic and legal adviser to the Belgrade Communist Party. When in power, the couple acted as a formidable tandem, similar to the other famous Balkan couple, Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu. If Mira secured Slobo’s place in the communist cast, it was his best man, Ivan Stambolić, who launched him into the highest political orbit in Serbia. S. Milošević became the President of a big Serbian bank (Beogradska banka) in 1978. He became a full-time party worker as leader of the Belgrade branch of Serbia’s communist party in 1984 and General Secretary of the Serbian Communist Party in 1987. From 1989 to 1992, he was President of Serbia and from 1992 to 2000 President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro).
As the first step to paying tribute to Ivan Stambolić, who became the President of the Socialist Republic of Serbia, was to overthrow him from this position and wipe him out of the political scene altogether. As the final gesture of thankfulness, S. Milošević had his best man and political mentor kidnapped and secretly executed, on Mt. Fruška Gora, near Novi Sad, in the northern autonomous province of Serbia – Vojvodina.
As the pressure from Slovenia and Croatia for democratization and secessionism grew, S. Milošević decided to mock the multi-party concept, playing with formal political diversity what, in fact, did the same Franjo Tuđman in Croatia. Slobo merged the so-called League of Socialist Working People of Serbia and the League of Communists of Serbia, forming a new party, the Socialist Party of Serbia (the SPS). How serious he was about democracy is best illustrated that he did not border to consult members of either merging leagues, but nobody even noticed this illegal procedure. His wife, in revenge, founded her own party, the so-called Yugoslav United Left (the YUL), a ridiculous remnant of the former the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. As Milošević’s party (SPS – Socijalistička partija Srbije) was an organ for ensuring the continuation of the communist autocracy, Mira’s YUL (Jugoslovenska udružena levica) was a cover of notorious criminal activities, including political one. It was a group of unscrupulous corrupted people, who took control over state administrative and financial affairs. Mira’s influence was instrumental in the personal promotion/degradation of prominent members of her husband’s SPS.
The daughter, Maria, was an irresponsible person, accused to be engaged in many illegal activities, including drugs, notorious for making scandals in Serbia, after divorcing. The younger brother, Marko, became accused to be a common criminal, who took advantage of his father’s political position to develop many activities which are characteristic of organized crime (car stealing, extortion, etc.). Making use of state money, the family developed various kinds of business. Mira was running a pork farm, Maria a TV station, Marko a chain of duty-free shops, an entertainment park (in the Disneyland style), etc. The whole family Milošević, therefore, turned out criminal one, in one way or other. It was the rationale for many in Serbia to demand bringing Slobo (and his family) to the court here in Serbia, before even considering the Hague Tribunal. This would not only clean up Serbia from this disastrous family but even more importantly, spare Serbia of the Western blame and humiliation, which Montenegrin Milošević put on her shoulders.
Managerial Dinariod mentality
Concerning S. Milošević, it must be stressed one of the principal features of his mentality – an extreme rigidity (which he shared with the majority of the Yugoslav Highlanders – Dinaroids). His mind operated in terms 0−1, without any shading or effort to compromise (the USA administration in the majority of the cases of foreign policy acts in the same way). As an elderly economist, Dr. Dragoslav Avramović, (whom S. Milošević had engaged to save Serbia from the hyper-inflation in 1993, with great success), put it:
“Milošević keeps on rejecting any negotiation with resolute NO, and then suddenly ‘takes the pants off’”.
It was this rigidity that led to the 1999 Kumanovo Agreement when he delivered Serbia’s most sacred soil to the intruders.
As with most Dinaroids, S. Milošević’s mental structure was army-officer-like. He could recognize a hierarchical relationship only and be unable to communicate “horizontally”, on equal, footing. He started his professional career first as a bank manager, then as a chair of the party’s committee, a chair of the central party’s committee, and finally as the President of the state, first of Serbia, and then of shorter Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro), without much experience with dealing with the people. He expected total obedience of those from the “lower-level” and exercised the same to the upper one. But he always strives to reach the upper level and did not hesitate to overthrow all above himself, craving for power.
Slobodan Milošević’s “political manners” are well illustrated when considering the Kosovo-Metochia issue. When he became Serbia’s communist party secretary, he summoned the local party leaders from all over Serbia, dictating instructions. A member of the Kosovo-Metochia’s party team, Ms. Katjusha Yashari (Albanian), a robust, driving person (from the powerful Shqiptar/Albanian nationalistic and extremist clan Yashari), started criticizing the Belgrade policy towards Kosovo-Metochia, S. Milošević got up, approached the window, and stared outside, smoking his cigar. “Comrade Milošević, asked Ms. Yashari, you do not seem to be interested in what I am talking?”. “O, yes, I am very interested”, he replied and left the room. This anecdote illustrates also well his approach to the very delicate political situation in Kosovo-Metochia but as well as his approach to beat Kosovo Albanian separatism and chauvinism.
Nevertheless, the mass-popularity of Slobodan Milošević in Serbia started after April 24th, 1987 when he visited the province of Kosovo-Metochia in Kosovo Polje as the only leader of Serbia who did it after separatist anti-Yugoslav Kosovo Albanian demonstrations in February 1981 followed by the organized Albanian terror over the local Serbs in Kosovo-Metochia. Further popularity of Slobo came soon in 1988 when on October 5th Vojvodina provincial anti-Serbian and pro-separatist leadership resigned in the face of mass demonstrations for the unification of Serbia. It was followed by the Montenegrin party’s leadership resignation after a mass protest organized by pro-Milošević’s faction led by Momir Bulatović. Finally, on March 23rd, 1989 the biggest political success of S. Milošević was that the provincial assembly of Kosovo-Metochia voted itself out of existence. Consequently, he could claim that Serbia became re-united and, therefore, politically equal with the other five Yugoslav republics. His popularity among the Serbs became widespread on the territory of all Yugoslavia even before the elections in 1990 in all Yugoslav republics.
Fellow to Center for Geostrategic Studies
© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2022
 About Tito’s biography, see [Перо Симић, Тито. Феномен 20. века, Треће допуњено издање, Београд: Службени гласник, 2011].
 Spain turned out an exception, but mainly due to Franco’s “generosity” before leaving for the “other world” and the fact that King Juan Carlos I was accepted by the state and people. Regarding Tito’s personality as dictator, see [Владимир Адамовић, Три диктатора. Стаљин, Хитлер, Тито. Психополитичка паралела, Београд: Informatika, 2008].
 According to the archival documentation, the Yugoslav authorities (of course under Tito’s initiative) for the first time discussed the proposal to nominate J. B. Tito for the Nobel Prize Winner for the Peace on May 30th, 1972 [Перо Симић, Звонимир Деспот (eds.), Тито. Строго поверљиво. Архивски документи, Београд: Службени гласник, 2010, 291−292].
 According to some sources, Slobodan Milošević – Slobo was born in Ljijeva Rijeka, too. According to the family tradition, Milošević’s family came originally, like many Montenegrins, from Kosovo-Metochia (Banjska). Slobodan Milošević personally never declared himself as the Serb. His brother declared himself as the Montenegrin and was buried in Montenegro.
 His father, mother, and uncle committed suicides, for various reasons. Slobodan Milošević’s own death in the Hague is treated by his political enemies practically as suicide, too. However, in fact, he was murdered in the custody due to the poor medical treatment.
 When Slobodan Milošević seized the power in Serbia, a story circled via the Internet about Slobo’s first love, Maria, who after being abandoned, finally committed suicide. As the story goes, Milošević’s daughter Maria got her name after Slobo’s first love.
 For the matter of comparison, J. B. Tito ruled Yugoslavia for 35 years while Milo Đukanović is ruling Montenegro for 30 years.
 This would be as absurd as accusing Herod the Great of Jewish fanaticism. S. Milošević never attacked, and even rarely mentioned, other nationalities in Yugoslavia, by the way.
 A rumor was at the time that S. Milošević was somehow responsible for the death of Stambolić’s daughter.
 Diminutive of Slobodan, in a typical Dinaric manner.
 Unfortunately, the “yellow democrats”, who took power in Serbia after Slobodan Milošević, have not been much better than he and his family regarding organized crime and other affairs. Many of anti-Milošević’s opposition leaders once being in power after October 5th, 2000 became rich overnight like, for instance, Čedomir Jovanović – a former leader of Belgrade students. Exactly due to corruption and financial affairs, the “yellow democrats” lost power at the elections in 2012 only after 12 years of leading Serbia.
 S. Milošević often acted as a supreme manager, since he did spend many years as the bank President.
Personal disclaimer: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.
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