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Ratko Mladić

Mladić, Ratko (rätˈkō mlädˈĭch) [key], 1942–, Bosnian Serb military leader. Raised in Tito's Yugoslavia, he joined the army, rising through the officer corps to become a lieutenant general. In 1992, as Yugoslavia splintered and Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence, Bosnian Serbs established the Serb Republic, and Mladić was appointed commander of the Bosnian Serb army. His forces seized about 70% of Bosnia, mounted a siege of Sarajevo (1992–96) in which some 10,000 died, and killed some 8,000 unarmed Bosian Muslims after the siege of Srebrenica in the worst massacre in Europe since World War II. A hero to many Serbs, Mladić lived openly in Belgrade after the war. He went into hiding in 2001 after Serbia's President Milošević was ousted and arrested, and was not captured until May, 2011. Extradited from Serbia to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague, he was charged with genocide and crimes against humanity.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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