Vasile Milea

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Vasile Milea
39th Chief of the Romanian General Staff
In office
31 March 1980 – 16 February 1985
President Nicolae Ceaușescu
Preceded by Ion Hortopan (ro)
Succeeded by Ștefan Gușă
89th Minister of National Defense of Romania
In office
16 December 1985 – 22 December 1989
President Nicolae Ceaușescu
Preceded by Constantin Olteanu (ro)
Succeeded by Nicolae Militaru
Personal details
Born 1 January 1927
Lerești, Argeș, Romania
Died 22 December 1989 (aged 62)
Bucharest, Romania
Profession Military Officer
Military service
Rank General colonel

Vasile Milea (1 January 1927, Lerești, Argeș – 22 December 1989) was Nicolae Ceaușescu's minister of defense during the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and was involved in the reprisal phase of the revolution that caused the deaths of 162 people.

On 22 December 1989, Ceaușescu sacked him for not ordering his men to fire on the demonstrators who'd taken to the streets of Bucharest a day earlier. According to the official account, Ceaușescu considered this an act of treason, and Milea committed suicide shortly afterward. However, several members of his family claim that he was killed on the orders of Ceaușescu. Milea was already in severe disfavour for sending troops to quell the uprising in Timișoara without ammunition.[1] Whatever the case, Milea's death caused the rank-and-file soldiers to go over almost en masse to the revolution, effectively ending Communist rule in Romania.[2]

A report from 2005 after a full investigation including a postmortem concludes that Milea killed himself using the weapon of one of his attendants. It seems that he only tried to get incapacitated in order to be relieved from office. But the bullet hit an artery and he died soon afterwards.[3]


  1. ^ Sebetsyen, Victor (2009). Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire. New York City: Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-375-42532-2. 
  2. ^ Bransten, Jeremy (1999), "Romania: The Bloody Revolution in 1989: Chaos As The Ceausescus Are Executed", Ten Years After: The Fall of the Communism in East/Central Europe, Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  3. ^ Marcau, Flavius Cristian, "Revolution of 1989: Milea's Suicide", University of Târgu Jiu, Letter and Social Science Series, Issue 4, 2013, Retrieved February 27, 2016.


  • Vasile Milea, Victor Atanasiu, România în anii primului război mondial: caracterul drept, eliberator al participării României la război, vol. 2, Ed. Militară, Bucharest, 1987. OCLC 18616519