Mirjana Marković

Last updated

Mirjana Marković
First Lady of Yugoslavia
In office
23 July 1997 7 October 2000
Preceded by Ljubica Brković Lilić
Succeeded by Zorica Radović
Personal details
Born(1942-07-10)10 July 1942
Požarevac, German-occupied Serbia
Died14 April 2019(2019-04-14) (aged 76)
Sochi, Russia
Political party League of Communists – Movement for Yugoslavia (1990–1994)
Yugoslav Left (1994–2003)
Slobodan Milošević
(m. 1965;his death 2006)
Children Marko and Marija Milošević
Parents Moma Marković (father)
Vera Miletić (mother)
OccupationProfessor of Sociology

Mirjana "Mira" Marković (Serbian Cyrillic : Мирјана "Мира" Марковић, pronounced  [mǐrjana mǐːra mǎːrkɔʋit͡ɕ] ; 10 July 1942 – 14 April 2019) was a Serbian politician, academic and the wife of the Yugoslav and Serbian president Slobodan Milošević (1941-2006). [2] Among her opponents, she was known as The Red Witch) and the Lady Macbeth of Belgrade. She was the leader of the now defunct Yugoslav United Left (JUL) political party which governed in coalition with her husband's Socialist Party of Serbia after the Bosnian War ended in 1995. [2] Marković lived under political asylum in Russia from February 2003 until her death on 14 April 2019. [3] In June 2018, she was convicted of fraud by a court in Belgrade, and sentenced in absentia to a year's imprisonment, [4] but the verdict was overturned on appeal in March 2019. [5]

The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet is an adaptation of the Cyrillic script for Serbo-Croatian, developed in 1818 by Serbian linguist Vuk Karadžić. It is one of the two alphabets used to write standard modern Serbian and Montenegrin, the other being Latin. In Croatian and Bosnian, only the Latin alphabet is used.

President of Serbia and Montenegro position

The President of Serbia and Montenegro was the head of state of Serbia and Montenegro. From its establishment in 1992 until 2003, when the country was reconstituted as a confederacy via constitutional reform, the head of state was known as the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. With the constitutional reforms of 2003 and the merging of the offices of head of government and head of state, the full title of the president was President of Serbia and Montenegro and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Serbia and Montenegro. In 2006 the office was abolished as the state union was dissolved, with Serbia and Montenegro becoming independent countries. Kosovo became an independent country in 2008.

Slobodan Milošević Yugoslavian and Serbian politician

Slobodan Milošević was a Yugoslav politician and the President of Serbia from 1989 to 1997 and President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. He also led the Socialist Party of Serbia from its foundation in 1990. He rose to power as Serbian President after he and his supporters claimed the need to reform the 1974 Constitution of Yugoslavia due to both the marginalization of Serbia and its political incapacity to deter Albanian separatist unrest in the Serbian province of Kosovo.



Early life

Marković was the daughter of Moma Marković and Vera Miletić, who were both fighting for the Yugoslav Partisans at the time of her birth. Her aunt was Davorjanka Paunović, private secretary and alleged mistress of Josip Broz Tito. Her mother Vera was captured by German troops and allegedly released sensitive information, under torture. [6] She was then executed in the Banjica concentration camp by the Nazis.

Moma Marković Serbian political commissar (1912-1992)

Momčilo "Moma" Marković was a Serbian politician.

Vera Miletić was a Serbian student and soldier. She was notable for being the mother of Mira Marković, making her the mother-in-law of Serbian president Slobodan Milošević.

Yugoslav Partisans Yugoslavian resistance movement

The Yugoslav Partisans, or the National Liberation Army, officially the National Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments of Yugoslavia, was the Communist-led resistance to the Axis powers in occupied Yugoslavia during World War II.

Marković met Slobodan Milošević when they were in high school together. They married in 1965. [1] The couple had two children, son Marko and daughter Marija, who founded TV Košava in 1998 and was its owner until 5 October 2000.

Marko Milošević is the son of former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević. He was allegedly involved in organized crime in Serbia during the Yugoslav Wars until he fled the country following his father's removal from power on 5 October 2000. Milošević was later granted refugee status by Russia, and is likely living in Moscow with his wife Milica Gajić and son Marko.

TV Košava was a Serbian television network with national coverage. It broadcast across Serbia in time-sharing with children's channel Happy TV, and then merged into this TV, and now bears the name of Happy TV.

Education and career

Marković held a Ph.D. in Sociology and taught the subject at the University of Belgrade. Later, she became an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. She wrote a political column in the weekly Duga during her husband's years in power.

University of Belgrade university in Belgrade, Serbia

The University of Belgrade is a public university in Serbia. It is the oldest and largest university in Serbia, and one of the most important educational and research centers in Southeast Europe.

Russian Academy of Sciences academy of sciences

The Russian Academy of Sciences consists of the national academy of Russia; a network of scientific research institutes from across the Russian Federation; and additional scientific and social units such as libraries, publishing units, and hospitals.

She was considered to be the only person her husband trusted, her influence being considered a source for the increase in Milošević strong anti-western rhetoric and actions. Also, as the leader of her own political party, Yugoslav United Left she held some political influence. [7] Marković was largely responsible for erecting the Eternal Flame monument, shortly before the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević in 2000. [8] She was believed to have been involved in the murders of the journalist Slavko Ćuruvija in 1999 and the Serbian politician Ivan Stambolić, Milošević's former mentor, in 2000. [1]

Yugoslav Left

The Yugoslav Left was a left-wing political party in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. At its peak, the party had 20 seats in Republic of Serbia's National Assembly following the 1997 general election.

Eternal Flame (Belgrade)

The Eternal Flame is a memorial in the Park of Friendship in Belgrade, Serbia dedicated to the military and civilian victims of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

The overthrow of Slobodan Milošević occurred on 5 October 2000, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, following the presidential election on 24 September, and culminating in the downfall of Slobodan Milošević's government on 5 October 2000. It is sometimes referred to as the 5 October Overthrow and sometimes colloquially called the Bager revolucija, translated into English as Bulldozer Revolution, after one of the most memorable episodes from the day-long protest in which an engineering vehicle operator charged the RTS building, which was considered to be symbolic of the Milošević regime's propaganda.

Marković was the author of numerous books, which were translated and sold in Canada, Russia, China and India. [9]

Asylum in Russia and death

Pursued by legal authorities, Marković settled in Russia in 2003. [1] The authorities of Serbia issued an arrest warrant for her on fraud charges which was circulated via Interpol, but the Russian authorities refused to arrest her.

In March 2012 a collection of her columns for Pravda from 2007 to 2008, as well as for online portal Sloboda from 2010 to 2011, titled Destierrada e imperdida was published in Belgrade by Treći milenijum, a publishing house owned by Hadži Dragan Antić. [10] [11]

After the 2012 elections, a government minister, Milutin Mrkonjić of the Socialist Party (which he co-founded with Milošević) said that Marković and her son were welcome to return. [12] In June 2018, Marković was found guilty in absentia of real estate fraud charges, and sentenced to a year in prison. [4] The Serbian Appeals Court in March 2019 rejected her conviction, finding it unsound, and ordered a new trial. [5]

Marković underwent several operations, and died in a spa hospital in Sochi on 14 April 2019. [3]

Political views

Marković's political views tended to be hard-line Communist. Although she often claimed that she agreed with her husband on everything, Milošević seems to have had fewer authoritarian tendencies than Marković. [13] She claimed also to be a feminist. [14]

Marković reportedly had little respect for the Bosnian Serb leaders. Vojislav Šešelj appeared before a court on 18 June 1994 to face charges of breaking microphone cables in Parliament. He read a statement, saying, "Mr. Judge, all I can say in my defense is that Milošević is Serbia's biggest criminal." Marković replied by calling Šešelj a "primitive Turk who is afraid to fight like a man, and instead sits around insulting other people's wives." [15] Radovan Karadžić was apparently unable to telephone Milošević because Marković would not tolerate his calls.

Commenting on her husband's arrest to face war crimes charges, Marković stated:

Neither East nor West has betrayed him. The only person that can betray him is me. But people have short memories and you have to remind everyone of everything. In the early 1990s, my husband was accused by many circles, in Yugoslavia and abroad, that he had wanted to keep Yugoslavia alive, even though it was falling apart and the Croats and the Slovenes wanted to leave. That was his big sin. "Crazy Serbs and Crazy Slobo," they said, they want Yugoslavia. Now, in The Hague, they say he broke up Yugoslavia. Let them make up their minds. [16]


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  1. 1 2 3 4 Roberts, Sam. "Mirjana Markovic, the 'Lady Macbeth' of War-Torn Serbia, Dies at 76". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  2. 1 2 Prentice, Eve-Ann (15 April 2019). "Mira Marković obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  3. 1 2 "Preminula Mirjana Marković" (in Serbian). Večernje novosti. 14 April 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  4. 1 2 "Serbian court sentences Milosevic's wife for real estate fraud - report". Reuters. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  5. 1 2 "Serbia appeals court overturns verdict for Milosevic's widow". MSN. Associated Press. 26 March 2019. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  6. Dai Richards (Series Producer/Director) (January 2003). The Fall of Milosevic (Documentary). BBC TWO.
  7. "Mira Markovic: Power behind Milosevic". BBC. 13 January 2001. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  8. Mučibabić, Daliborka (13 July 2010). "„Večna vatra" – paljenje ili rušenje" (in Serbian). Politika. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  9. "Yugoslav Left". Free Serbia. 10 December 1999. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  10. "Mirina knjiga okupila drugove" (in Serbian). B92. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  11. "Nova knjiga Mirjane Marković" (in Serbian). RTS. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  12. "Official: Milosevic family welcome back in Serbia". Associated Press. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  13. LeBor 2002, pp. 183-5.
  14. LeBor 2002, pp. 114-6.
  15. Djukić 2001, p. 93.
  16. Harden, Blaine (20 January 2002). "The Unrepentant". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 28 March 2019.[ not in citation given ]


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