Skip navigation
Help

Ratko Mladić

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/vhosts/sayforward.com/subdomains/recorder/httpdocs/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

The photographs in the gallery above are from the book Bosnia 1992 – 1995, available July 2012. The book will be self-published by the photographers who covered the Bosnian conflict—which began 20 years ago today—and printed in Bosnia. The captions below these photographs are the personal reflections of the photographers on their experiences in the region.

If the last lines of the 20th century were written in Moscow in December 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the prelude to the 21st century was written months later—and 20 years ago this month—in Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo, as the disorderly break-up of Yugoslavia turned into genocide. In that bloody April, America’s moment of triumph over totalitarianism was transformed into a tribalist nightmare as Bosnian Serbs, determined to seize large parts of Bosnia as part of a plan to create a Greater Serbia, targeted Muslims for extermination. What some at the time hoped was just a communist death-rattle at the periphery of the Soviet empire, now looks like the birth cries of our current geopolitical reality.

In Bosnia the U.S. learned it would preside over a world where borders and ideology mattered less and transnational allegiances of ethnicity and sectarianism mattered more. Interviewed by TIME in August 1995, weeks after his troops had slaughtered more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys near the town of Srebrenica, Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, now on trial for war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at The Hague, declared he was acting out of fear of a new Islamic push through the Balkans to Europe. “By this demographic explosion Muslims are overflowing not only the cradle of Christianity in the Balkans but have left their tracks even in the Pyrenees,” Mladic said.

As the slaughter unfolded in Bosnia, and Europe and the U.S. belatedly mustered the will to stop it, Western attitudes towards the post-Cold War world took shape, as well. Neoconservatives and hawkish Democrats found common cause in humanitarian intervention. The media and the public learned from the NATO action in August and September 1995 and the Dayton peace agreement in November that American military might could impose stability—for a time. But 20 years later, with international military and police forces still keeping the peace in Bosnia, we have found there—and at much greater cost elsewhere—that an initially successful intervention by America’s unmatched armed forces cannot impose sectarian comity.

Massimo Calabresi covered the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo as TIME’s Central Europe bureau chief from 1995 to 1999.

0
Your rating: None

The Pictures of the Week is a collection of the best images from around the world as compiled by The Denver Post. This week’s images are from space and the funeral for a former first lady among other top stories.

A panoramic view provided by NASA was photographed from the International Space Station, looking past the docked space shuttle Atlantis’ cargo bay as the joint complex passed over the southern hemisphere. Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights can be seen on Earth’s horizon.

A military honor guard carries the casket of former first lady Betty Ford into her funeral at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, California. Family and dignitaries, including first lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton attended the service at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.

Japan players celebrate with the trophy after winning the final match between Japan and the United States at the Womenís Soccer World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, July 17, 2011. The Japanese women’s soccer team won their first World Cup Sunday after defeating USA in a penalty shoot-out.

 July 15, 2011

1

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, 20-year-old beekeeper Lu Kongjiang waves as bees cover his body during a contest against 42-year-old Wang Dalin, also a beekeeper, in Longhui County of Shaoyang City, central China's Hunan Province, Sunday, July 17, 2011. Wang finally won in the hour-long duel since 26 kilograms (57 pounds) of bees covered his body, Xinhua said. (AP Photo/Xinhua/Lu Jianshe) #

 July 15, 2011

2

In this July 14, 2011 photo, a reflection of Becky Petrehen's hot air balloon, named "Peaceful World," flies over a small body of water in Chillicothe, Ill. (AP Photo/Journal Star, Lauren Wood) #

 July 15, 2011

3

Male members of the Hugh and Anya Nguyen pose under Seward Johnson's 26-foot-tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe, in her most famous wind-blown pose, on Michigan Ave. Friday, July 15, 2011 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) #

 July 15, 2011

4

POTOCARI, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - JULY 10: Two young Muslim women weep over one of 613 coffins of victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in a hall at the Potocari cemetery and memorial near Srebrenica on July 10, 2011 in Potocari, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The newly-identified remains of the 613 victims are scheuled to be buried in a ceremony to be held on July 11, the 16th anniversary of the massacre. At least 8,3000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys who had sought safe heaven at the U.N.-protected enclave at Srebrenica were killed by members of the Bosnian Serb army under the leadership of General Ratko Mladic, who is currently facing charges of war crimes in The Hague, during the Bosnian war in 1995. A Dutch court recently found the Dutch government responsible for the deaths of three of the victims when Dutch U.N. peacekeepers handed the three men, who had been working on the Dutch base in Srebrenica, over to Serbian soldiers. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #

 July 15, 2011

5

TOPSHOTS Bales of straw tagged with the nuclear sign by unknown people are seen on sunrise next to the mortorway Lausanne to Geneva, in Luins, Western Switzerland, on July 18, 2011. The Swiss parliament begun examining in June a government proposal to phase out the country's nuclear plants by 2034. A final decision will be made only in a few months' time through amendments of the legislation. AFP PHOTO/ FABRICE COFFRINI #

 July 15, 2011

6

A military honor guard carries the casket of former first lady Betty Ford into her funeral at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church July 12, 2011 in Palm Desert, California. Family, dignitaries, including first lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton attended the service at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, during which former first lady Rosalynn Carter and journalist Cokie Roberts presented eulogies for the outspoken Ford, who will be buried alongside her husband, former President Gerald R. Ford, in Grand Rapids, Michigan following a second service July 14. (Photo by Jae C. Hong-Pool/Getty Images) #

 July 15, 2011

7

Indian Railway workers remove debris of a derailed passenger train, near Bhatkuchi, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) west of Gauhati, India Monday, July 11, 2011. Four coaches of the Guwahati-Puri Express derailed following a possible explosion, local police and railway sources said. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath) #

 July 15, 2011

8

Indian train passengers crowd into an over-packed train traveling to the eastern state of Bihar, from the railway station in New Delhi, India, Monday, July 11, 2011. Many trains were canceled from leaving the Indian capital after the Kalka Mail passenger train derailed and crashed Sunday in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

 July 15, 2011

9

The pack rides during the 11th stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 167.5 kilometers (104.8 miles) starting in Blaye les Mines and finishing in Lavaur, south central France, Wednesday July 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) #

 July 15, 2011

10

A group of Sri Lankan young Buddhist monks parade, seeking alms in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, July 13, 2011. In Buddhism, giving of alms is the beginning of one's journey to Nirvana, the state of perfect bliss.(AP Photo/ Eranga Jayawardena) #

 July 15, 2011

11

This panoramic view provided by NASA was photographed from the International Space Station, looking past the docked space shuttle Atlantis' cargo bay and part of the station including a solar array panel toward Earth, was taken on July 14, 2011 as the joint complex passed over the southern hemisphere. Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights can be seen on Earth's horizon and a number of stars are visible also. (AP Photo/NASA) #

 July 15, 2011

12

Fireworks illuminate the Eiffel Tower in Paris during Bastille Day celebrations late Thursday, July 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) #

 July 15, 2011

13

Schooners pass the Rockland Breakwater Light during the Parade of Sail, Friday, July 15, 2011, in Rockland, Maine. The parade is part of the festivities celebrating the 75th anniversary of the windjamming industry. The tall ships, which now carry paying customers, originally carried fish, granite and lumber prior to the advent of steamships and trains. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) #

 July 15, 2011

14

A girl waves her wet skirt in an effort to dry it up near her family laundry hung on a fence on a riverside in Beijing, China, Friday, July 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan) #

 July 15, 2011

15

Japan players celebrate with the trophy after winning the final match between Japan and the United States at the Women’s Soccer World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, July 17, 2011. The Japanese women's soccer team won their first World Cup Sunday after defeating USA in a penalty shoot-out. (AP Photo/Michael Probst) #

 July 15, 2011

16

Fans cheer the Japanese team playing with the United States in their Women’s Soccer World Cup final match, at the Rooney2008 sports bar in Tokyo Monday morning, July 18, 2011. Japan became the first Asian nation to win the Women's World Cup on Sunday, July 17 in Frankfurt, Germany. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) #

 July 15, 2011

17

A woman prays next to the grave of her relative at the Potocari memorial cemetery near Srebrenica, some 160 kilometers east of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Saturday, July 9, 2011. A burial ceremony for 614 victims will be held on Monday, July 11, 2011 in Potocari, on the 16th anniversary of the Srebrenica tragedy when in 1995 Bosnian Serb forces stormed the enclave and systematically killed thousands of Bosnian Muslims. (AP Photo/ Marko Drobnjakovic) #

 July 15, 2011

18

Spanish bull fighter Alberto Aguilar looks at a Dolores Aguirre Ybarra's ranch fighting bull during a bullfight at San Fermin fiestas in Pamplona northern Spain, Saturday July 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) #

 July 15, 2011

19

Japan's Yukiko Inui and Chisa Kobayashi compete in the technical duets preliminary round synchronised swimming competition in the FINA World Championships at the natatorium of the Oriental Sports Center, in Shanghai, on July 17, 2011. AFP PHOTO / PETER PARKS #

 July 15, 2011

20

This picture taken on June 15, 2011 shows Buddhist novice monk and aspiring ladyboy Pipop Thanajindawong (C) getting a twice-monthly head shave in a backyard of the Wat Kreung Tai temple, in Thailand's northern border town of Chiang Khong. The Kreung Tai temple has run a course to teach masculinity to boys who are "katoeys", the Thai term for transsexuals or ladyboys, aged between 11 and 18 since 2008. AFP PHOTO/Christophe ARCHAMBAULT #

 July 15, 2011

21

Interstate 405 is completely free of traffic, seen looking southbound from the Skirball Drive bridge, in preparation for the demolition of the Mulholland Drive bridge, just after midnight early Saturday morning, July 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) #

 July 15, 2011

22

Army personnel burn marijuana plants at a plantation discovered near San Quintin, Baja California state, Mexico, Friday, July 15, 2011. Soldiers have found the largest marijuana plantation ever detected in Mexico, a huge field covering almost 300 acres (120 hectares), covered by shaded netting, the Defense Department said Thursday. The plantation is four times larger than the previous record discovery by authorities at a ranch in northern Chihuahua state in 1984. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

 July 15, 2011

23

A long exposure photo shows the light trails of candles held by Buddhists as they walk around a statue to give homage Buddha during Asaha Bucha Day at Buddhamonthon, a suburb of Bangkok on July 15, 2011. Asaha Bucha is one of the most important festivals in the Buddhist calendar and celebrates the occasion of the first sermon given by the Lord Buddha. AFP PHOTO / PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL #

 July 15, 2011

24

Students throw stones to a riot police tear gas truck during a protest against the government of President Sebastian Pinera and a new education law, in Santiago on July 14, 2011. Thursday, July 14, 2011. HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images #

 July 15, 2011

25

Riot police arrest a student protesting against the government of President Sebastian Pinera and a new education law, in the surroundings of the presidential palace La Moneda, in Santiago on July 14, 2011. CLAUDIO SANTANA/AFP/Getty Images #

 July 15, 2011

26

President Barack Obama shakes the prosthetic hand of U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Leroy Arthur Petry of Santa Fe, N.M., who received the Medal of Honor for his valor in Afghanistan in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2011. Petry lost his right hand as he tossed aside a live grenade during a 2008 firefight in Afghanistan, sparing the lives of his fellow Army Rangers. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) #

 July 15, 2011

27

Two-year-old, Aden Salaad, looks up toward his mother, unseen, as she bathes him in a tub at a Doctors Without Borders hospital, where Aden is receiving treatment for malnutrition, in Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya, Monday, July 11, 2011. U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres said Sunday that drought-ridden Somalia is the "worst humanitarian disaster" in the world, after meeting with refugees who endured unspeakable hardship to reach the world's largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

 July 15, 2011

28

A crowd of spectators cram against a fence of a soccer stadium in South Sudan's capital Juba in an effort to watch their country's soccer national squad play their first international football game on July 10, 2011. South Sudan became independent from the Sudan on 09 July and became the newest country on earth. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images #

 July 15, 2011

29

An Indian farmer pick up paddy saplings for planting in a rice paddy on the outskirts of Gauhati, India, Monday, July 18, 2011.The annual monsoon season from June to October brings rains that are vital to agriculture in India. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath) #

0
Your rating: None

David R Arnott writes

Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic appeared before a court in The Hague Friday to hear charges of genocide. Follow the latest developments in the case here, and read a story from a survivor of Bosnia's killing fields here. In the wake of Mladic's arrest, Reuters photographer Damir Sagolj, who served in the Bosnian army during the war of 1992-95, recounted his personal recollections of working in Srebrenica:

"I've been to more than one hundred mass graves, mass funerals and witnessed the long, exhaustive process of victim 
identification. I've taken pictures of bones found in caves and rivers, dug from mud, recovered from woods and mines or 
just left by the road.

"Most of these terrible assignments were around the small, end-of-the-road town of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

One of hundreds of coffins with remains of Bosnian Muslims is taken to a cemetery near Srebrenica, late July 10, 2007. The mass burial of 465 victims of the 1995 massacre of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces was held the following day at a joint cemetery near Srebrenica.

"The international criminal court says that a genocide was committed in Srebrenica in July of 1995 when Bosnian Serb forces massacred thousands of Muslims after the enclave, ironically under U.N. protection as a safe haven, was overrun by an army led by its ruthless commander.

"Ratko Mladic, a typical officer from what used to be the Yugoslav people's army, was the commander of the forces that overran the enclave. He described it as revenge upon the Turks for the events of the early 19th century. Thousands of white Muslim gravestones at the terrifying and extremely sad Srebrenica memorial remain as a symbol of that 'revenge'. Thousands are still missing, their bones hidden in heavy Bosnian soil.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

A woman holds a photo of her missing son as Bosnian Muslim relatives of the victims and survivors of the Srebrenica massacre meet with ex-Dutch peacekeepers in a former U.N base in Potocari on October 17, 2007. A group of Dutch ex-peacekeepers whose mission was to protect civilians in the U.N. safe haven of Srebrenica visited the site and met with survivors and relatives of victims.

"I was in Sarajevo when the news came to us, transmitted over a noisy, primitive radio system. Local reporters from Srebrenica - who would disappear themselves over the next few days - sent the dramatic message that Ratko's troops were entering the town. We all knew it was going to be bad, but still I had no idea of the scale of the tragedy. Yes, the enclave had fallen, but the U.N. were there, so the civilians and prisoners of war should be treated in accordance with the Geneva conventions. How wrong and naive I was!

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

A destroyed house is seen from inside a car on December 20, 2007 near the site where the Srebrenica massacre occurred.

"I have never seen Ratko Mladic, I never photographed him, but his bloody signature is written all over my pictures. Every time I would go to another mass grave or a mass funeral of victims of his 'revenge', the face of a man confident he is doing the right thing would come into the frame. Sleeves rolled up, binoculars in his hands as he ordered his artillery 'Don't let them sleep. Make them lose their minds.'

"I will carry the mud from mass graves and the smell of decomposing bodies on my shoes wherever I go. I will continue shooting my Srebrenica pictures on every story of crimes against humanity no matter how far away and how different they may be.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

Bosnian Muslim returnees to Srebrenica arrive for morning prayers on the first day of Eid al-Adha celebrations, December 20, 2007.

"Last week, after more than 15 years on the run, Ratko Mladic was captured in a small village in Serbia. Looking at the pictures of an old man emerging from a Belgrade court – Mladic is almost seventy now – sends chills down my spine. I'm not even sure I want to see him any more, to hear what he has to say. His words from back then were enough, there is not much else to say.

"All that is important can be understood from the pictures – a sea of coffins lined up for the funeral every 11th of July, a wrinkled face of a woman, the only survivor in her family, as she holds a photo of her dead son, bones bulldozed in the mass graves, the names on the memorial…

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

A Bosnian Muslim man searches for the name of a killed relative amongst gravestones of victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, following morning prayers on the first day of Eid al-Fitr in Srebrenica on October 12, 2007.

"Covering a story like this is not an easy thing to do, no matter how big and important it is. Fifteen years of the same – one could ask 'Does anyone care anymore? How many times can the same story be written?'

"The threshold was raised as the years passed and questions were asked – How many at this mass grave, is it over one hundred? Anything special? A baby skull with a bullet hole, maybe a body impaled on the stake? Only thirty bodies?

"As I went from one atrocity site to another Mladic was still in hiding, raising questions that made my head hurt like hell. He would only appear from time to time on the posters or T-shirts of his supporters – there are people still calling him a hero. That is where reality bites and the pictures get scary – ghosts of victims dancing between white grave marks in our photos are harmless.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

Bosnian Muslim women look through the bars as U.N. chief war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte arrives for a mass funeral at a cemetery near Srebrenica on July 11, 2007. Families of victims of the Srebrenica massacre gathered to bury more remains in an annual ceremony that has become the main event of their lives since the 1995 atrocity by Bosnian Serb forces.

"The general is in custody now, but, just like these pictures, his 'revenge' remains imprinted in the sad history of a beautiful country.

"Some of the best advice I've ever heard in our profession was to take every assignment as if it had never been done before and
you were the only one to witness it. No matter what year it was – 1995 or 2005 – every time I went to Srebrenica, I had the feeling that I was doing something more that just a regular story.

It is, simply, the biggest story of my life."

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

A flower is placed onto the names of the Srebrenica victims as relatives visit their memorial in Potocari, near Srebrenica on October 16, 2007.

 

0
Your rating: None

TAKING OFF
TAKING OFF: A plane carrying former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic took off from Belgrade, Serbia, en route to Rotterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday. Mr. Mladic was extradited to stand trial before a U.N. war-crimes tribunal on charges he oversaw the genocide of thousands of Muslims. (Srdjan Suki/European Pressphoto Agency)

CAMP KISS
CAMP KISS: A couple kissed at their protest camp in a square in Madrid Tuesday. Thousands of Spaniards have been protesting lawmakers’ handling of the country’s economic crisis. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press)

BEACHED WHALE
BEACHED WHALE: A 44-foot long dead sperm whale lay on a beach in Redcar, England, Tuesday. Rescuers were unable to save the whale, which washed ashore alive. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters)

WEDDING DISASTER
WEDDING DISASTER: Rescuers carried a body out of the water after a bus transporting a wedding party plunged 15 feet into a lake west of Guwahati, India, Monday. The would-be groom was among the 28 people killed when a wooden bridge collapsed. (Anupam Nath/Associated Press)

DRINK UP
DRINK UP: A worker paused for a drink of water as he worked on a construction site in New Delhi Tuesday. (Manan Vatsyayana/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

0
Your rating: None