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The Hague Tribunal continues the trial of once the most wanted man on earth - the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. For some, he is a war criminal who has wiped out tens of thousands of people. For others, he is the symbol of the struggle of the Serbs for their rights and statehood.

Radovan Karadzic was born on June 19, 1945 in Montenegro. In the late 1950s his family moved to Sarajevo. In the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1971, he graduated from medical school at the local university, specializing in psychiatry. In his youth, he took part in student rallies, but never claimed to be a nationalist. In addition, he has repeatedly said that "nationalism was a much greater evil than communism."

In the 1970s, Karadzic worked as a psychiatrist at a hospital in Sarajevo, helping players of a local football team to alleviate stress. At the turn of the 1970s and 1980s he lived in Belgrade for some time, where he studied literature. He published several volumes of poetry (including children's), and novels. Many of them have been published at the time when he was wanted internationally.

In late 1980s, Communist rule in Yugoslavia was unstable, and politicians who exploited nationalist ideas gained increasing popularity in the republics. Radovan Karadzic, who in 1989 established Serbian Democratic Party in Bosnia-Herzegovina, was not one of them. He understood that in Bosnia, where representatives of the three communities (Muslim, Serb and Croat) live side by side, there would be three types of "nationalism," which is fraught with a war. He therefore advocated "universal democratic values."

Nationalists who spoke for the secession of Bosnia from Yugoslavia and the establishment of an Islamic state became increasingly more popular among Muslims. The nationalist Croatian Democratic Union became popular with the Croatians. Karadzic and his Social Democratic Party were popular among Serbian voters.

In 1991, Muslims and Croats, ignoring the opinion of the Serbs, headed for the withdrawal of Bosnia from Yugoslavia. In response, Karadzic has dramatically changed his political platform and began asserting the interests of his fellow nationals instead of "universal values." He announced that in case of dissolution of the unified Yugoslavia, the Bosnian Serbs will unite with Serbia that then was still a part of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). "Do you really think that we, the Serbs, will reconcile with the dismemberment of Yugoslavia and the forcible separation of the Serbian nation?" he explained his position.

In spring of 1992, the international community with the filing of Germany (to a lesser extent other EU countries and the U.S.) recognized the independence of Bosnia, which broke out a terrible massacre. Muslims fought for "a unified Islamic Bosnia and Herzegovina," the local Serbs and Croats have established their own national entities expecting to unite with "their" states. On April 7, 1992, in the Sarajevo suburb of Pale, Republika Srpska was announced. Radovan Karadzic became its first President. The international community has not acknowledged the new entity.

The Bosnian war, in which Karadzic was one of the central figures, continued from 1992 to 1995. It claimed 200,000 lives. Fierce fighting is attributed to the fact that the three peoples live in Bosnia side by side, with virtually no pure ethnical areas. In order to fully take this or that territory under control, all parties often either killed or expelled the "aliens."

The man who used to treat people and write poems now appeared in public almost exclusively in camouflage. Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic have managed to create quite a strong army of the Republika Srpska. By the beginning of 1994 it controlled almost two-thirds of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Detachments of the Muslims, aided by foreign mercenaries from the Islamic countries, have suffered defeat after defeat. (Karadzic barely fought with local Croats).

The Western world watched the success of Bosnian Serbs with horror. Since 1994, NATO has not just put pressure on them - it conducted airstrikes at their regular positions. American and European media called Karadzic the main culprit of Bosnian massacre. Established in 1993, The International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (better known as The Hague) declared its desire to see him in court on charges of war crimes. Nothing was said about the leaders of Muslims and Croats.

Putting all the blame for the Bosnian events on Karadzic was at least strange. We can think at least about Islamic mercenaries cutting heads of Serbs and Croats. And the fact that none other than Osama bin Laden fought in Bosnia. As a manifestation of gratitude for the "services," the President of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic granted him Bosnian citizenship. Local Croats, who were openly helped by the army of Croatia, did not display humanism either.


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