During the early 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the six republics of the former Yugoslavia began to break apart, beginning with a declaration of independence by Slovenia in 1991. The declaration was challenged by the forces of the Yugoslav People's Army, directed from Belgrade, Serbia. Full-scale war spread to the other Yugoslav republics, and in 1999, nato forces intervened. A massive bombing campaign of Serbia and Kosovo lasted seventy-eight days, and included the targeting of Belgrade. At the time, public opinion in the West was inflamed against Serbia and the Serbian people in general, who were seen as supporting the policies of President Slobodan Milos.ević. u.s. President Bill Clinton defended the bombing, calling it necessary to stop the Serbs from committing genocide. Following the war, President Milos.ević was arrested, then charged by the u.n.'s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia with crimes against humanity; he died at The Hague while awaiting trial.—Editor


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