Military Review Marshal Tito's controversial legacy


Hands off Jadran

On June 11, 1980, a month after the death of Marshal Josip Broz Tito, the first bell sounded about the preparation of Yugoslavia for the collapse. The leadership of the Union of Communists of Croatia that day invited the communist Union of the whole of Yugoslavia to discuss the expansion of the political and economic rights of all the republics of a still single country.

It was about the establishment of individual republican consulates and trade missions abroad, as well as about the opportunity to discuss the issue of granting Kosovo the status of a republic. The latter was a real shock for Belgrade. And these initiatives of Zagreb were not purely Croatian; they were actually “entrusted” to Croatia by the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the semi-criminal Kosovo-Albanian groups.

Assembly building in Belgrade

An appropriate meeting was soon convened in Belgrade, but the SFRY authorities participating in it were taking time to try to “wind up” those issues in all kinds of discussions and clarifications of legal issues. Nothing concrete was decided at the meeting, but the incentive to expand national separatism unexpectedly proved to be very powerful. (see details “After Tito there was a flood. The heavy legacy of the master of Yugoslavia ”).

However, this meeting practically did not discuss, for example, the long-standing claims of the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina on a part of the Adriatic (Jadran) coast. Throughout the 70s and early 80s, Sarajevo regularly but unsuccessfully demanded that Belgrade change the disproportionately large territory of the Adriatic coast of Croatia in favor of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which actually blocked the neighboring republic from the sea.

Historically, from the time of the Habsburg rule, Bosnia and Herzegovina had access to the Adriatic for only 20 km, which, however, “rested” on the Croatian islands and peninsulas. In response to the demands of the Bosnian leadership, the authorities in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, directly threatened to leave the SFRY, which was clearly feared in Belgrade. Under the threat of Croatian separatism, the territorial claims of Bosnia and Herzegovina against Zagreb were regularly rejected.

On the map of 1879, not only a 20-km stretch of the Bosnian coast is visible, but also the Montenegrin coast occupied by the Austrians

The legacy of the collapsed Habsburg empire turned out to be such that over 80% of the entire Adriatic coast of royal and post-war Yugoslavia was part of Croatia. It was not without difficulty that they were slightly cut back in favor of Slovenia - north of the Istrian peninsula, as well as Montenegro, which was invariably loyal to Serbia and Belgrade as the center of a unified Yugoslavia. Serbia and Montenegro tried to take away from the Croats and Dubrovnik (ancient Ragusa), populated mainly by no means Croats, but did not succeed.

The Croatian Adriatic coast has invariably attracted the West, and not only in terms of tourism. It later turned out to be very “convenient” for direct military intervention in Yugoslavia. In addition, the “coastal” factor allowed Zagreb in 1990-1991. block foreign trade transportation of the decaying SFRY, for over 80% of the country's marine and about a third of the river port facilities are located again in Croatia.

Zagreb - not Belgrade

Serbia did not want to recognize Turkish domination, traditionally gravitated towards Russia, and in the summer of 1914 fearlessly got into a fight with the huge Austro-Hungarian empire. Which then included Croatia and even Bosnia and Herzegovina, annexed by Vienna just a few years before World War II. For official Belgrade, monarchist or socialist, centripetal tendencies have always been characteristic.

But Zagreb traditionally looked, and now it looks mainly at the West, and it is very aggressively defending its special positions not only in the region, but even in united Europe. So it’s hardly worth wondering that it was Croatia, for a variety of reasons, that turned out to be, literally, the main “shooter” of the collapse of Yugoslavia (for more details, see “When Tito left. Inheritance and heirs ").

The most defiantly Croatian separatism was supported by Germany and the Vatican. The latter is understandable, given that in four-million Croatia, 86% of believers are Catholics, moreover, they are as Orthodox as, for example, Poles. Characteristic in this regard is the point of view of Peter Frolov, adviser-envoy of the Russian Federation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015-18:

“In the early stages of the crisis in Yugoslavia, an unusually tough line emerged for a united Germany, which led the rest of the EU countries to recognize Croatia and Slovenia as independent states. The leading countries of Europe, including the Vatican, rallied to support their co-religionists. Without caring at the same time about the possibility of growth conflict. "

P. Frolov drew particular attention to the fact that in parallel with the support of Catholics, “believers” of a completely different sense also managed to get their own:

"... some Islamic states began providing financial and military assistance to Bosnian Muslims. So, Iran delivered to Bosnia weapon; Lebanese groups began to transfer their militants to Bosnia. By the end of 1992, Saudi Arabia funded the supply of Bosnian Muslims with arms and food. It should be noted that the Bosnian Croats received the same assistance from Germany. "

Demolishing mosques in the old Bosnian Mostar would never occur to anyone

Agree, it is indicative of how the “remote” Muslims of Bosnia stimulated the bow of Tehran and Riyadh, which is absolutely unthinkable, in the opinion of straightforward Western politicians. On the whole, a motley, but capable anti-Yugoslav coalition can even be envied in a sense ...

It is interesting how the authoritative Serbian politician Dobrivoe Vidic assessed Croatian claims for independence, whom I. B. Tito considered either a rival or a potential successor. D. Vidich was twice the ambassador of Yugoslavia to the USSR, then he headed the Assembly - the parliament of the unified SFRY, and repeatedly warned the aging "master of Yugoslavia" about the danger of Croatian separatism. After the death of Marshal Tito, he wrote:

“The support of Croatian nationalists in Yugoslavia in the West itself has intensified since the beginning of the 70s, when in terms of economic growth, it became a leader in the SFRY, retaining its leadership until the collapse of the country. In the West, it was believed that Croatia was economically ready to exit the SFRY. This role of Croatia also stemmed from the fact that Western investments went mainly to Croatia, and the Belgrade authorities organized flows of subsidies and investments, mainly also to Croatia. ”

This, in Vidic’s view, was due, among other things, to the fact that Josip Broz Tito himself was Croatian by nationality, although he built a single country, relying primarily on Serbia and the Serbs in all Yugoslav republics. The “internationalists” who came to power either did not dare to change the specific national alignment or simply did not want to. It is possible that Vidic believed that this happened "due to the sharply intensified Croatian separatism, which became increasingly active soon after Tito and the Croatian authorities."

Last flight of Biedich

In conclusion, an important but little-known detail: on January 18, 1977, at the Bateinitsa airfield in Belgrade, Marshal Josip Broz Tito, who began his last visit to Libya, was seen off by Jemal Biedich and his wife. The Bosnian communist Biedich was at that time not only the head of the single Yugoslav authority - the Union Veche, but also the chairman of the Assembly, as well as the informal leader of the Union of Communists of Yugoslavia. Tito safely departed to visit Colonel Gaddafi, and the Biedich couple went home, to Sarajevo, on a Learjet 25.

At such a Learjet 25, perhaps the best heir to Tito crashed

This flight ended in disaster: a small business class airliner suddenly crashed into Mount Inaz in northeastern Bosnia. Died Jemal Biedich and his wife Razia, work colleagues Ziyo Alikalfich and Smayo Hrla, pilots Stevan Lek and Murat Hanich. According to the official version, the weather became the cause of the disaster, but rumors and versions about the “organized” disaster immediately spread.

The speculation was greatly fueled by the fact that J. Biedich, a Bosnian from Herzegovina, did not support either local, Croatian, or Albanian-Kosovo separatists. Moreover, in the leadership of the SFRY, he oversaw the relations of the federal republic with Albania - not only Stalinist, but also openly anti-Titan.

Biedich managed almost impossible - not to bring the contradictions to aggravation. It was his political activity that contributed in the mid-70s to the development of transport and general economic relations between the two countries. According to the same versions, the underground Islamic-extremist group of the notorious Aliya Izetbegovich could well have been involved in the disaster.

Since the mid-70s, it has acted on Bosnian lands and far beyond their borders, for example, in Kosovo. Its leader, a Bosniak and an ultra-Islamist abruptly al-Qaeda leaders (banned in Russia), became the head of Bosnia and Herzegovina only later - from 1991 to 1996. But about this figure, as well as about the "traitor" Franjo Tudjman - in our next essay.
Photos used:
LIFE magazine,,,, photo authors
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  1. captain
    captain 11 June 2020 04: 50 New
    Lenin's national policy and state system proved to be very unviable for states built on the basis of union republics. . Not a single state built on Leninist principles has resisted separatism. USSR, SFRY, Czechoslovakia-all collapsed. The teachings of Lenin turned out to be utopian.
    1. Basil50
      Basil50 11 June 2020 07: 12 New
      Just the Leninist model of creating the state turned out to be VERY SUSTAINABLE and Viable. They destroyed it for a very long time, up to frank provocations. Really forgot? But all the same, even despite so many years of revelry of nationalists and billions of dollars invested in the destruction of OUR MOTHERLAND, the absolute majority of the people, even among young people, maintain friendship between nations and hate racists.
      Tito stood for the fact that all the special services of Yugoslavia, in CLOSE COOPERATION with the American-British-French and other countries with democratic regimes, carried out provocations against the SOVIET UNION and CITIZENS of the SOVIET UNION.
      It is worth remembering the putsch in Europe, the assassination of Soviet citizens.
      Even Milosevic distinguished himself with his Russophobic statements and provocations against RUSSIA. Really forgot?
      1. CSKA
        CSKA 11 June 2020 12: 45 New
        Quote: Vasily50
        Just the Leninist model of the creation of the state turned out to be VERY SUSTAINABLE and Viable

        You are joking? Does the USSR example not suit you? Stalin and Ordzhonikidze proposed to include the Ukrainian SSR and BSSR in the RSFSR and so what? Lenin listened? No. What this all led to we all know. All conflicts in the territory of the former USSR is another result of the creation of a bunch of autonomies and republics. And he drew borders so simply words are missing some mats.
        1. vladcub
          vladcub 11 June 2020 21: 17 New
          I completely agree with you: it seemed to every national "elite" that they were the first after God, and this is a serious reason for conflict + administrative-territorial division.
          If there were no specific "elites" then 60 percent of life would be better
      2. vladcub
        vladcub 11 June 2020 21: 24 New
        Vasily, do you remember why Stalin broke up with Tito? One of the reasons for the gap was that Tito built a federal state. Stalin even then foresaw what this state building would lead to.
    2. bober1982
      bober1982 11 June 2020 08: 49 New
      Quote: captain
      Lenin's doctrine turned out to be a utopia

      Yes, he was wrong.
      Lenin recognized the right of nations to self-determination, but stipulated that this does not oblige to support any demand for national self-determination.
      And, he put forward a completely fantastic thesis, namely, that the party’s main task was to promote self-determination not of peoples and nations, but of the proletariat in each nationality.
      This was a utopia.
    3. alebor
      alebor 11 June 2020 09: 22 New
      Lenin’s national policy and state system turned out to be very not viable,

      In fact, this is not about Lenin. The Russian Empire and Austria-Hungary fell apart without Lenin's participation (especially Austria-Hungary where Lenin was not). If we take the times closer to us, we can recall Eritrea and East Timor. Wherever there are compact territories with a predominant population of any one nationality, there is a threat of separatism. The percentage of peoples is also important. For China, where the state-forming Han people make up 98% of the population, separatism is not so dangerous. For Russia, where the percentage of Russians is constantly decreasing, the situation is more dangerous. It is another matter that it is much easier and more convenient for a state, organized according to the Leninist national-territorial principle, with separate national republics, to disintegrate. the national republics already have a quasi-state structure, the "preparation" of a separate state. In this sense, despite the collapse of the USSR, a ticking time bomb continues to lie under modern Russia, which in certain periods of state weakness can explode again.
      1. Sergej1972
        Sergej1972 11 June 2020 10: 48 New
        You overstated the percentage of Han. According to official Chinese data, they are 92%. Non-Han nationalities, even though they are 8%, are still more than 100 million people. The official propaganda of the PRC constantly emphasizes the multinational character of the PRC. Autonomous regions of the PRC strongly commemorate the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic during the Soviet era.
      2. captain
        captain 11 June 2020 16: 52 New
        No need to attract by the ears what does not correspond to the comment I wrote. Austria-Hungary was not a union of republics. It was rather a federal state. There were autonomy. But there were no allied states.
    4. ccsr
      ccsr 11 June 2020 12: 38 New
      Quote: captain
      USSR, SFRY, Czechoslovakia-all collapsed. The teachings of Lenin turned out to be utopian.

      And China, where at least five major ethnic groups and hundreds of different nationalities, not under the slogans of Lenin built the first state in the world with the Communist Party at the head? It turns out that not everyone has collapsed, including multinational Cuba.
      1. Bagatur
        Bagatur 11 June 2020 15: 36 New
        In China, 93% of the population of China ...
        1. ccsr
          ccsr 11 June 2020 19: 02 New
          Quote: bagatura
          In China, 93% of the population of China ...

          The northern Chinese are much more different from the southern than the Russian people are different from the Belarusian or Tatar - this is just a note for you to understand that there is no single, monolithic Chinese people.
      2. captain
        captain 11 June 2020 16: 45 New
        Are there Union republics in China? And is China a union of republics? No, there are autonomy, and these are different things. The state system of China and the state system of the USSR are two different things.
        1. ccsr
          ccsr 11 June 2020 19: 03 New
          Quote: captain
          The state system of China and the state system of the USSR are two different things.

          I have no doubt that their history of the state is even several thousand years longer than that of Russia.
  2. Olgovich
    Olgovich 11 June 2020 06: 28 New
    Too different peoples were united in the SFRY, which have accumulated over the centuries a lot of mutual claims.

    With all this, the disgusting position of Germany itself was united, and Yugoslavia was destroyed impudently and rudely, spitting on all the norms of international law, its promises and obligations.
    She recognized the independence of Croatia, BiH first and, almost immediately, blackmailed others

    Germany took revenge on the Serbs for WWII.

    Most of all sorry, of course, the Serbs: the people fell victim to the stupid policy of the comm. authorities who, creating "republics" -states, included Serbian territories there, trying to cement a single state.

    Which led to the fact that there is no state, and the Serbs were there outside their Serbia and suffered all the torments of hell and genzid from the nationals.

    As it reminds another. big country ....
    1. tihonmarine
      tihonmarine 11 June 2020 07: 48 New
      Quote: Olgovich
      With all this, the disgusting position of Germany itself was united, and Yugoslavia was destroyed impudently and rudely, spitting on all the norms of international law, its promises and obligations.

      I completely agree with you. All actions directed by Germany against the SFRY led to the collapse of the country.
    2. antivirus
      antivirus 11 June 2020 09: 51 New
      the disgusting position of Germany itself was united, and Yugoslavia was destroyed impudently and rudely,

      Germany is only an executor-clerk, the USA gives money, the Germans "twist" it - manage the territories cut off to the collective West
      1. Reptiloid
        Reptiloid 12 June 2020 23: 24 New
        Quote: antivirus
        ...... Germany is only an executor-clerk, the USA gives money, the Germans "twist" it - manage the territories cut off to the collective West
        Germany has always understood the importance of this territory. During WWII and German occupation, Albanians began to populate these lands.
    3. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 12 June 2020 20: 43 New
      ......Germany took revenge on the Serbs ....
      immediately took a sharply pro-Croatian position. The Croats themselves loved the song THANKS YOU, GERMANY, often performed on the radio in the 90s
      The German BND acted in Croatia back in the 70s and 80s, about which Dejan Lucic, a Belgrade publicist, wrote a book
  3. knn54
    knn54 11 June 2020 06: 56 New
    During the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia, CELICOM's Croatian units sided with the Nazis. Croatian senior officers paralyzed the units entrusted to them by their actions.
    KSA materially interested in Kosovar to conception. They helped until the birth of the child. Further, the social guarantees of Yugoslavia.
    For some reason, Tito looked at the events in Kosovo through his fingers. In the 80s, the Serbs were not recommended to leave the house late at night.
    The Albanians, who were almost equal in number (for the above reason) with the Serbs even then felt themselves masters of the situation.
    The actions of the security forces were rather sluggish.
    1. tihonmarine
      tihonmarine 11 June 2020 07: 50 New
      Quote: knn54
      For some reason, Tito looked at the events in Kosovo through his fingers.

      The same question I have in my language "why Stalin overlooked separatism in Western Ukraine through his fingers, why did not he destroy the Banderaites".
      1. MstislavHrabr
        MstislavHrabr 11 June 2020 11: 29 New
        Bandera was released from prisons and returned to the West Khrushchev ...
        1. tihonmarine
          tihonmarine 11 June 2020 13: 15 New
          Quote: MstislavHrabr
          Bandera released from prisons and returned them to the West Khrushchev ..

          I remember this time, but many were afraid for what they had done. They lived with us for a long time, some even took root.
      2. Kronos
        Kronos 11 June 2020 13: 11 New
        Because tens of thousands of people would have to be killed
    2. Sergej1972
      Sergej1972 11 June 2020 10: 55 New
      In the 40-60s. The policy of the Yugoslav leadership towards the Kosovo separatists was very harsh. And then they switched from a carrot policy to a carrot policy. And so, there were more Albanians in Kosovo than there were Serbs in the 50s. In the 80s. Serbs and Montenegrins were in a clear minority in Kosovo. The peculiarity of Kosovo Albanians is that they are almost all Muslims. But a significant part of Albanians in Albania are Orthodox and Catholics.
      1. Soveticos
        Soveticos 11 June 2020 13: 29 New
        In 2010, according to the "Encyclopedia of Religions" by Bishop J. G. Melton, Muslims accounted for 63% of the population of Albania, Christians - 31%, unbelievers and atheists - 5%. And at present, the percentage of Christians is even less.
        1. Sergej1972
          Sergej1972 11 June 2020 17: 43 New
          This proportion has always been. And among Kosovo Albanians, almost all Muslims.
    3. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 12 June 2020 20: 26 New
      Quote: knn54
      .... Albanians, who were almost equal in number (for the above reason) with the Serbs, already felt themselves masters of the situation ...
      The Albanians did not catch up with the Serbs in Kosovo, in terms of numbers., But significantly exceeded them. In different sources I met 80-90% for Albanians in Kosovo for the 80s.
  4. Unknown
    Unknown 11 June 2020 07: 02 New
    Lenin has nothing to do with it. The history of the Balkans itself is very confusing. It’s not just that, for years, for centuries, ethnic contradictions have been accumulating. For example, a long stay of Albania and Bosnia, as part of the Ottoman Empire, on special rights, gave certain results. The mentality of Albanian and Bosnian Muslims is different from Serbs and Montenegrins. and the kingdom of Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, created in 1917, could not, in such a short time, unite their state. Russia is another matter. for centuries of existence, it has overgrown with many territories, and has digested many peoples in its composition. on the European part of the RUSSIAN state, never when there were interethnic wars, with the exception of the Caucasus and Transcaucasia. there was no ethnic cleansing in Russia, the peoples were not massacred here, but in the Balkans they were massacred. The USSR would have existed for a long time if statesmen came to the leadership, and not idle. That is what Comrade STALIN said on this topic. you can agree with him or maybe not, but the meaning is correct ............. I want to say a few words, maybe not festive. Russian tsars did a lot of bad things. They robbed and enslaved the people. They waged wars and seized territories in the interests of the landlords. But they did one good thing: they put together a huge state - up to Kamchatka. We inherited this state. And for the first time, we Bolsheviks united and strengthened this state as a single, indivisible state, not in the interests of the landlords and capitalists, but in favor of the working people, all the great peoples that make up this state. We united the state in such a way that every part that would be cut off from the common socialist state would not only harm the latter, but would also not be able to exist independently and would inevitably fall into someone else's bondage. Therefore, everyone who tries to destroy this unity of the socialist state, who seeks to separate from it a separate part and nationality, he is an enemy, a sworn enemy of the state, the peoples of the USSR. And we will destroy every such enemy, if he was an old Bolshevik, we will destroy his entire clan, his family. Everyone who, by his actions and thoughts, yes, and thoughts, encroaches on the unity of the socialist state, we will mercilessly destroy. For the destruction of all enemies to the end, themselves, their kind! ............
    1. Tuzik
      Tuzik 12 June 2020 00: 00 New
      Yeah, it sounds bloody. In what year was this said?
      1. Unknown
        Unknown 12 June 2020 06: 59 New
        1937. just do not have to draw any analogies .. wishing to break up, then RI , then the USSR was always enough, and if you feel sorry for them, do not punish, then the result will be on the face. The same example of the collapse of RI, and the USSR too. war on the outskirts, thousands of dead and wounded, plus the broken lives of people scattered across different state formations of the family .. it all costs a couple of dozen, or hundreds of separatists destroyed, see for yourself.
  5. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 11 June 2020 07: 59 New
    I always felt sorry for the collapse in Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. Just humanly. Without any politicians, economies, stories ... Wonderful historical countries. And wonderful people, until they were given weapons and reminded of historical insults ...
    1. Andrey VOV
      Andrey VOV 11 June 2020 09: 22 New
      Czechoslovakia, thank God, was peacefully distributed ... without a sea of ​​blood and the horrors of war ... and Yugoslavia ... it seems to me like a single state it was doomed ...
      1. Sergej1972
        Sergej1972 11 June 2020 10: 58 New
        The most interesting thing is that most of the Slovaks and, especially, the Czechs really did not want the collapse of Czechoslovakia.
        1. Andrey VOV
          Andrey VOV 11 June 2020 11: 41 New
          Yes, I think so in most cases ... remember the Gorbachev referendum and what in the end?
  6. Sergej1972
    Sergej1972 11 June 2020 11: 00 New
    Interestingly, in the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, Croats and Serbs were called state-forming peoples.
  7. Sergej1972
    Sergej1972 11 June 2020 11: 04 New
    It seems to me that Yugoslavia was initially somewhat artificial. This was openly spoken by the Slovenian Kardel, the closest ally of Tito and the main party ideologist. He was very disliked in the USSR, believing that he had a bad influence on Tito.
    1. Bagatur
      Bagatur 11 June 2020 15: 33 New
      Yugoslavia, created Versailles peacekeeping along with Poland and Czechoslovakia to counterbalance Germany after the WWII. This is a flattered state, no less than Austria-Hungary. There everyone hated each other. Mutually cut themselves, more than the German troops! After 45 Yugoslavia recreated as a buffer between the West and the socialist camp. The USSR ordered to live a long time, Yugoslavia no longer needs anyone.
  8. slasha
    slasha 11 June 2020 11: 46 New
    Thank you for the article! After the 99th, I perceive with excitement everything related to Yugoslavia
    1. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 12 June 2020 20: 52 New
      Quote: slasha
      Thank you for the article! After the 99th, I perceive with excitement everything related to Yugoslavia
      I join in the gratitude. I really like the series of articles published by the authors.
      The events of the recent past are one of the most obscure.
  9. Operator
    Operator 11 June 2020 12: 14 New
    The problem of Yugoslavia was not in the Catholics of Slovenia / Croatia and the Muslims of Bosnia / Kosovo, but in the Croatian Tito, who infringed on Serbia all its way in its legitimate interests after WWII: He didn’t cut back on the territory of the Hitlerite allies of Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo in favor of the anti-Hitler Serbia, which also suffered from the genocide of Croats, Bosniaks and Kosovars. At the same time, the border territories of these neighboring republics and the autonomous region were monoethnically populated by Serbs.

    Kosovars in general should have been deported to their territory in Albania according to the experience of the Sudeten, Silesian and East Prussian Germans, Ukrainians, Poles, Hungarians and Romanians during the territorial demarcation in post-war Europe.
    1. Grishka cat
      Grishka cat 21 July 2020 13: 54 New
      Better yet, deport the Kosovars to Antarctica, but only the penguins will be against it.