|“||There are so many! It is going to be a feast. There will be blood up to your knees.||„|
|~ Mladic during the Srebrenica Massacre.|
Ratko Mladić (March 12th, 1942 - ) is a Bosnian-Serb colonel general and war criminal who served as the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska during the Yugoslav Wars. Known as "the Butcher of Bosnia", Mladić committed numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Yugoslav Wars, most notably being personally responsible for both the Siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica Massacre, the two bloodiest events of the Bosnian War.
After his capture in 2011, Mladić was convicted of ten counts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and violations of the international laws of war by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in November 2017, and is currently serving life in prison.
Mladic was born to Bosnian Serb parents during World War II. At the time, Bosnia was a fascist puppet state led by the Ustaše. His father was a member of the Communist-backed Yugoslav Partisans who was killed in action by the Ustaše in 1945 after leading an attack against the village of Ustaše leader Ante Pavelić. After the death of his father, his mother raised him and his 2 brothers by herself. Mladic worked as a whitesmith in 1961 and graduated in 1965. On the same year, Mladic enlisted into the Yugoslav Army and was stationed in Skopje. In 1976, Mladić began his higher military education at the "Komandno-štabne akademije" in Belgrade, finishing in first place with a grade of 9.57 (out of 10). He later joined the League of Communists of Yugoslavia until the party dissolved.
In 1989, Mladic was stationed in Kosovo as tensions rose between Kosovo Serbs and Kosovar Albanians. Mladic would eventually be transferred to Croatia to fight off the newly independent Republic of Croatia, under the Serbian Krajina battalion. With his extensive military experience, and the eruption of war in Bosnia, Mladic decided to return to his country of birth to fight for the Serb cause. He became a General for the Republika Srpska forces and quickly led the Serbs to victory taking over nearly 50% of Bosnia.
His first act of criminalility began in 1992. He ordered his forces to surround the city of Sarajevo and stop all traffic, food, and electricity to enter into the city. He then ordered his troops to shell Sarajevo in the longest siege of any capital city, known as the Siege of Sarajevo.
As the war progressed however, Mladić decided to focus on attacking United Nations Peacekeepers and assist Serb rebels in Croatia.
In 1995, Mladić’s forces overran and defeated the United Nations peacekeepers battalion. 40,000 Bosniak Muslim civilians were expelled by Serb forces. 8,300 unarmed Bosniak men and boys were all massacred in under three days, making it the worst act of genocide in European soil since World War 2.
As the Bosnian War ended, President Radovan Karadžić (himself later convicted of war crimes) wanted Mladić removed. Mladić was then removed in 1996 and continued to receive government pensions until 2005.
Capture, Conviction, and Aftermath
Mladić went into hiding for 16 years. He moved to Serbia and remained there, alongside his family, assuming the alias "Milorad Komadić". He, along with other Serbian Army officers such as Radovan Karadžić and Goran Hadzic were subject to a Red Notice, an international most wanted notice by INTEPOL. In the early morning 26 May 2011, the law finally caught up to him, and arrested him in his cousin's house in Lazareno, northern Serbia for war crimes. His arrest was carried out by over 2 dozen incognito Serbian special police officers in black uniform and masks accompanied by Security Information Agency (the intelligence agency of Serbia) and War Crimes Prosecutor's Office agents in 4 SUVs. They pulled over to 4 houses owned by his relatives. After being awaken due to pain, he was about to go for a walk in the yard when he was surrounded by agents who jumped the fence and tackled him to the ground near the entrance, demanding him to identify himself. After correctly identifying himself, he surrendered 2 pistols he carried. He was later extradited to Belgrade. His cousin Branislav, who owned the house he was captured in, was under surveillance after being deemed a suspect. One of his arms was paralyzed after suffering a series of strokes and he has aged considerably.
He first stood in front of a Serbian court, but was later extradited to The Hague where a six-year long series of court trials would occur. In November of 2017, Mladić was sentenced to life in prison for his various crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
Mladić is a sadistic ruthless general as expressed by his actions during the Bosnian War. Mladić is a Serb ultra-nationalist, and often justifies his actions as he often sources the Ottoman Empire and how the Muslims would discriminate the Serbs. His obsession with war and lust and his perceived “war against the Turks” shows his twisted demeanor. He often accused Western government and condemened them for supporting the Muslims later on in the war. Mladić is sometimes described as a Chetnik, and anti-Muslim.
- Mladić has two children.
- Mladić was protected by Slobodan Milošević until 2001.
- Was often seen in Thessalaniki and Moscow alongside his native Serbia.
- Graduated as the top 3 in his military class in Belgrade.
- His daughter used his gun to try to commit suicide in 1994. This attempted suicide further harmed him.
- Despite hiding, Serbian security forces provided protection to him ironically until about 2008 when tey asked INTERPOL to assist the government for his cpature.
- His capture was a precondition for Serbia to become a candidate to join the European Union.