Slobodan Milosevic will not be much mourned across the former Yugoslavia that he tore apart. His vision of Serb nationalism brought bloodshed from Croatia to Bosnia and then Kosovo, first through the tanks of the Yugoslav National Army, then through Belgrade-backed Serb paramilitaries and, finally, through the police squads of the Ministry of the Interior. In a few brutal years, more than a quarter-of-a-million people died in Milosevic’s failed wars.

But while Milosevic and his Bosnian Serb ciphers – Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic – must bear the bulk of the responsibility for the killing, an assessment of the career of Europe’s last mass murderer poses uncomfortable questions for a world that let him prosecute his crimes.

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