10 July 1942 |
Požarevac, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
|Occupation||leader of Yugoslav Left|
Murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija
|Criminal status||Exiled in Russia|
|Spouse(s)||Slobodan Milošević (1971–2006)|
|Children||Marko and Marija Milošević|
Mirjana "Mira" Marković (pronounced [mǐrjana mǐːra mǎːrkɔʋit͡ɕ]; born 10 July 1942) is the leader of the Yugoslav Left political party (JUL/ЈУЛ is the Serbian acronym). She was the wife and childhood friend of former Yugoslav and Serbian president Slobodan Milošević.
"Working together, Markovic and her husband Milosevic jointly presided over the transformation of the Serbian government into a criminal enterprise. Beyond the prosecution of the Balkan wars, the Milosevic regime made a handful of friends very rich, inspired a number of gangland-style murders and impoverished the country." Milosevic was eventually indicted on war crimes charges by the International Criminal Tribunal, while Markovic today lives in Russia despite Serbia requests for extradition.
Marković is the daughter of Moma Marković, a wartime communist partisan, and Vera Miletić. Her aunt was Davorjanka Paunović, private secretary and mistress of Josip Broz Tito. Her mother was a member of Tito's partisans during the war. She was captured by German troops and allegedly released sensitive information, under torture. Upon return, she was executed by the partisans, allegedly under the orders of her own father. However, according to her grandmother, the story is a little different. Her father had betrayed her to the Gestapo in order to get rid of her, and she was captured as a Partisan courier, wearing clothes which included a handkerchief with flowers. She was then executed in Banjica prison by the Germans.
Her father had five children out of wedlock all around Serbia. He had three legitimate children later on, and his wife made him recognize all of his children after the war. Thus, he finally admitted Mira Marković-Miletić (her mother's maiden name, that she carried until then, after her mother Vera), as his daughter when she was 13. It was then that Slobodan Milosević became interested in her. She wore a flower in her hair in memory of her mother.
Her nickname was "Baca" at the time, that her grandparents gave her. It is because she was dropped ("baciti" means "to drop" in Serbian) by her father into the brook, when their grandparents, who lost all their children, were hiding her from Chetniks in the local mill. When they called him and gave Mira to him, he dropped her shouting "Ne treba mi pasce od kuje!". ("I don't need a hound from the bitch"). She was left scarred at the forehead; and later maintained bangs to hide the scar.
Marković met Slobodan Milošević when they were in high school together. They married in 1965. The couple had two children, son Marko and daughter Marija, which founded a Serbian television Košava in 1998, and she was an owner of this television until 5th October of 2000.
She was professor of Sociology at Belgrade University, in which she had PhD. Later on, she became honour member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Arts. She had a political column in Duga weekly during her husband's years in power. She was considered very powerful and the only person who her husband trusted and consulted. Also, as the leader of Yugoslav United Left, she used to have independent political influence. Mira is also the author of numerous books, which are translated and sold in Canada, Russia, China and India.
Marković's political views tended to be hard-line Communist. Although she often claimed that she agreed with her husband on everything, Slobodan seems to have been less of an authoritarian than Mira. Mira had little respect for the Bosnian Serb leaders. Vojislav Šešelj appeared before a court on 18 June 1994 after he broke microphone cables in the Parliament. He read off a statement, saying, "Mr. Judge, all I can say in my defense is that Milošević is Serbia's biggest criminal." Marković replied by calling Seselj a "primitive Turk who is afraid to fight like a man, and instead sits around insulting other people's wives." Karadžić was apparently unable to telephone Milosević, because Mira would not tolerate his calls. She was also a feminist.
When commenting on her husband's arrest, 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 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 their minds up.||”|
After her husband's arrest, Marković went in exile to Russia. The authorities of Serbia have issued an arrest warrant for her on fraud charges which has been circulated via Interpol, but the Russian authorities have refused to arrest her. In December 2006, nine months after her husband's death during his trial at The Hague, a Serbian court ordered her arrest on charges of ordering the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. Minister Vuk Drašković stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will demand extradition of Marković from Russia. In 2008, a Serbian prosecutor announced that Marković may be tried in absentia.
Marković was largely responsible for erecting the Eternal flame in Belgrade monument in 2000 shortly before the October 5th revolution. After the 2012 elections, a spokesperson for the victorious Serbian nationalist party said that Markovic and her son were welcome back, but did not drop the charges against them. 
- Dai Richards (Series Producer/Director) (2003-01). The Fall of Milosevic (Documentary). BBC TWO.
- Yugoslav Left Information on the Yugoslav Left (JUL) party. Two books - Answer and Night & Day a Diary are published in English by Quarry Press in Canada
- Adam LeBor, "Milosevic: a biography", p.183-5
- Djukić, Slavoljub. Milosević and Marković: The End of the Serbian Fairytale. Page 93
- Adam LeBor, "Milosevic: a biography", p.114-6
- Blane Harden, "The Unrepentant", New York Times Sunday magazine, 20th January, 2002.
- Milosevic's widow, son could be tried in absentia, prosecutor says
- Politika article on the Eternal flame monument
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