Mirjana Markovic, the woman behind Slobodan Milosevic

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Many testimonies indicate it was Mirjana Markovic who motivated her future husband to dive into Communist ideology. He became a Communist Party member in 1959, at the age of 18. His father, an Eastern Orthodox priest, left the family and killed himself in 1962. His mother also took her own life 13 years later.

Slobodan and Mirjana were married in 1965 and had two children, Marija and Marko.

Single-bed coalition

Milosevic’s schoolmates allegedly believed Slobodan would most likely grow up to become a train station manager. With Mirjana’s enormous influence, however, he launched a political career.

Mirjana went on to study sociology and eventually become a university professor, parallel to writing books. With the rise of her husband, who imposed himself as a Serb leader in the late 1980s, her own influence also grew.

She became directly involved in politics by launching her Yugoslavian Left Party (JUL) in 1994. This organization was a permanent coalition partner for Milosevic’s Socialist Party. Most of JUL members came from culture and business circles, and according to murdered journalist Slavko Curuvija, criminal networks.

After the fall of Milosevic

In fact, many claim that that what eventually cost Curuvija his life was his acquaintance with Mirjana and their intense row over a new, draconian Information Law. Many also believe that she was behind the murder of former Milosevic mentor Ivan Stambolic and failed assassinations against right wing opposition leader Vuk Draskovic. None of this was ever proven.

After the anti-Milosevic uprising in 2000, the ousted president was arrested and then delivered to a UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague. His son Marko, deeply entangled with crime networks in Belgrade and Pozarevac, was the first to flee to Russia. In 2003, the man who led the anti-Milosevic movement, Zoran Djindjic, was assassinated by a paramilitary unit once loyal to Milosevic. In 2006, Milosevic died his jail cell in The Hague.

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