Feature

Slobodan and Mirjana: A love story.

The week's news at a glance.

Serbia and Montenegro

Slavenka DrakulicFrankfurter Rundschau (Germany)

Slobodan Milosevic died for love, said Croatian author Slavenka Drakulic in Germany’s Frankfurter Rundschau. The Butcher of the Balkans apparently took drugs to worsen his heart condition because he hoped that if he became ill enough, he would be transferred to Russia and reunited with his wife, who lived in exile in Moscow. “It was the plan of a desperate man.” The tyrant who started four wars that killed hundreds of thousands of Bosnians, Croats, and Serbs, it turns out, could not function without his beloved Mira. Milosevic fell in love with Mirjana Markovic when the two were in high school in Serbia. Both were orphans. “Alone and unloved, they created their own world, a world that had little to do with reality—a pathological world.” Mira had the stronger personality, but around her husband this frumpy woman acted like a giggly teenager, cooing endearments in her “high, lisping voice.” The two were rarely apart for more than a few hours. But then in 2001, Milosevic was sent to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes. A distraught Mira visited as often as the rules allowed, until she herself was indicted by Serbian authorities in 2003 for ordering the murder of one of her husband’s rivals. Mira fled to Russia. If she returned to Europe, she would be arrested. Bereft, Milosevic spent less and less time on his defense and more and more plotting ways to get to his true love—until one of his plots finally killed him. Technically, Milosevic died of a heart attack. It may be more accurate to say he died of a broken heart.

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