Yugoslavia's last defense minister dies in Moscow

Gen Veljko Kadijevic, who was Yugoslavia's last defense minister at the start of the country's bloody breakup, has died. He was 88.

Belgrade: Gen Veljko Kadijevic, who was Yugoslavia's last defense minister at the start of the country's bloody breakup, has died. He was 88.

Serbia's state television said today that Kadijevic died yesterday in Moscow, where he had lived since 2001.

Kadijevic became defense minister in 1988, shortly before the communist-run ex-federation dissolved along ethnic lines, triggering Europe's worst carnage since World War II.

Kadijevic led the military during the war in Croatia, including the siege of Vukovar, when the eastern Croatian town was completely destroyed by Serb-led Yugoslav army troops.

Croatia has accused Kadijevic of war crimes over the Vukovar siege and issued an international arrest warrant. But Kadijevic, who had adopted Russian citizenship, was never handed over to face the charges.

 

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