(Former) Yugoslavia; key historical events
Page last modified 15/4/2021
See also Eastern Europe
See also Greece/Turkey
See also Russia/USSR
Bosnia pre-1875, see below
Croatia pre-1919, see below
Montenegro pre-1922, see below
26/5/2011, Former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic was arrested in Serbia, for crimes of genocide.
28/2/2009, Former Serbian President Milan Milosevic was acquitted of war crimes by the International Criminal Tribune for the Former Yugoslavia.
21/7/2008, Radovan Karadic, Serbian leader during the break-up of Yugoslavia, wanted for war crimes against the Bosnians, was captured and sent to The Hague for trial.
17/2/2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia.� The EU and NATO backed Kosovo, but Russia opposed it.
3/6/2006, Montenegro declared independence from Serbia.
11/3/2006, Former President Slobodan Milosevic died, see 13/2/2002.
2004, Macedonia granted more autonomy to its Albanian-ethnic areas, and applied to join the EU.
23/7/2004, The historic Mostar Bridge, destroyed on 9/11/1993, and subsequently restored, was reopened by Charles, Prince of Wales.
12/3/2003, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic was assassinated in Belgrade.
13/2/2002, The trial of former President Milosevic (born 20 August 1941) began in The Hague, under a UN war crimes tribunal. He was accused of presiding over the deaths of 250,000 non-Serbs in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. He died on 11 March 2006, with the trial still underway.
7/5/2001, In Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosnia, Muslims attempted to reconstruct the Ferhadja Mosque.� However a mass riot by Serb Nationalists ensued, and 300 elderly Bosnian Muslims were beaten and stoned to death.
1/4/2001, Former President Milosevic surrendered to police special forces, to be tried at The Hague for war crimes.
23/1/2001, The UN War Crimes prosecutor Del Ponte demanded that Serbia hand over ex-President Milosovic.
1/11/2000, Yugoslavia�s new democratic government joined the UN, after 8 years of the country being ostracised from the UN under President Milosevic.
5/10/2000, President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia resigned after widespread demonstrations across Serbia and the withdrawal of Russian support. He had lost the elections of 24/9/2000 but failed to acknowledge defeat; crowds stormed the parliament building and TV station in Belgrade in protest. Finally the election winner, Vojislav Kostunica, was able to take office.
10/12/1999, Franjo Tudjman, President of Croatia, died.
19/8/1999, In Belgrade, thousands of demonstrators demanded the resignation of President Slobodan Milosevic.
12/6/1999, The UN and NATO peacekeeping force KFOR entered Kosovo.
10/6/1999, NATO suspended air strikes against the Serbs after Slobodan Milosevic agreed to withdraw his forces from Kosovo.
9/6/1999, In the Kosovo War, Yugoslavia and NATO signed a peace treaty.
7/5/1999, In Yugoslavia, three Chinese Embassy workers were killed and twenty wounded when a NATO aircraft mistakenly bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.
24/3/1999. NATO launched air strikes against Yugoslavia.� This was the first attack by NATO on a sovereign country. In Kosovo, there was escalating violence between Serbs and ethnic Albanians, and President Slobodan Milosevic was accused of ethnic cleansing, driving thousands of Albanians from their homes. NATO�s Operation Allied Force was to curb Serbian military activities.
20/3/1999, Serbs launched an offensive in Kosovo.
15/1/1999, Massacre at Racak, Kosovo, during the Yugoslav civil war.
22/3/1996. The War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague made its first indictment; three Muslims and a Croat were charged with torture, rape, and murder of Serbs.
19/3/1996, Sarajevo was reunited when Bosniak authorities took control of the last district occupied by Sertbs.
29/2/1996, The siege of Sarajevo ended.
2/1/1996, UN troops entered Bosnia on a peacekeeping mission.
14/12/1995, The Dayton Peace Accord was signed in Paris, ending the Yugoslav conflict.
4/12/1995, NATO troops landed in the Balkans.
25/11/1995, A ceasefire was declared in the Republics of former Yugoslavia, following a peace agreement signed at Dayton, Ohio. Bosnia would be a united Republic comprising the Muslim-Croat areas and the Serb Republic, unifying the city of Sarajevo. Individuals charged with war crimes were banned from holding public office.
16/11/1995, The UN tribunal charged Radovan Karadic and Ratko Mladic with genocide during the Bosnian War.
1/11/1995, Participants in the Yugoslav War began negotiations at the Wright� -Patterson air force base, Ohio, USA.
30/8/1995. UN forces attacked key Serb positions in Bosnia.� The NATO campaign continued into October.
28/8/1995, Serbian mortar bomb near Sarajevo market killed 37 civilians.
5/8/1995, Croatian forces captured the town on Knin.
4/8/1995, Croatians launched Operation Storm, against Serbian forces in Krajina, compelling them to retreat to Bosnia.
11/7/1995. Bosnian Serbs marched into Srebrenica as Dutch UN peacekeepers left. Later; large numbers of Bosniak men and boys were massacred.
3/6/1995. UN rapid intervention force sent to Bosnia.
5/8/1994. NATO air strike on Bosnian Serb positions near Sarajevo.
10/4/1994. NATO air strikes against the Serbs around Gorazde.
13/3/1994, In former Yugoslavia, Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims formed an anti-Serb alliance.
28/2/1994. Four Serbian planes shot down by US F-16 pilots over Bosnia, for violating the US-imposed no-fly zone there.
9/2/1994, The Vance-Owen peace plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina was announced.
5/2/1994. 70 killed and 200 injured in a Serb mortar attack on Sarajevo marketplace.
17/12/1993. Warring parties in Bosnia agreed to a ceasefire from the 23rd December to the 3rd January. However despite the ceasefire, on 25/12/1993, Serb gunmen fired over 1,300 rounds into Sarajevo, killing 6 civilians.
9/11/1993. The historic 16th century Mostar Bridge was demolished by a barrage of shells from Croat forces fighting Muslims.
13/6/1993. Serb shells hit a hospital in the Muslim town of Gorazde, killing 50 people.
18/4/1993. The Muslim town of Srebrenica surrendered to Serb forces.
7/4/1993. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia joined the United Nations.
1/4/1993. Britain agreed to send aircraft to enforce the no-fly zone over Bosnia.
19/3/1993. UN relief convoy reached Srebrenica, Yugoslavia.
2/3/1992, Violent clashes in Sarajevo between Serbs, Croats and Muslims.
1/3/1992, A referendum in Bosnia-Hercegovina, boycotted by Serbs, produced a majority in favour of independence from Yugoslavia.
25/2/1993. The USA announced it was to drop food and medicine to Muslims besieged by Serbs in Bosnia.
14/1/1993. The UK aircraft carrier Ark Royal set sail for the Adriatic as part of British reinforcements for peacekeeping troops in Bosnia. Also today the first British soldier was killed, shot by a sniper, in Bosnia, whilst escorting an ambulance.
29/10/1992. The Muslim town of Jajce fell to the Serbs.
3/8/1992. Reports from Bosnia told of Nazi-style concentration camps and ethnic cleansing.
30/5/1992. The UN agreed wide-ranging sanctions against what was left of Yugoslavia as the Belgrade �Serbian government suppressed other races and attempted to establish a �greater Serbia� by force. When in January 1992 the EC recognised Croatian and Slovenian independence, a third of Croatia was occupied by Serb forces. A new phrase entered the language � �ethnic cleansing�, as Bosnian Muslims and other non-Serbs were forcibly expelled from villages overrun by Serb forces. Images of concentration camps reminded people, of the horrors of World War Two as pictures of skeletal Bosnian detainees behind barbed wire reached the West. By mid-July 1992 the Bosnian capital Sarajevo had been under siege for over 100 days, shelled by Serb gunners in the hills above the city, and snipers roamed freely in the streets. Civilian casualties were appalling, and by the end of September 1992 relief efforts stalled. Winter loomed, and with it the spectre of mass starvation in the heart of Europe.
7/4/1992. The EC and USA recognised Bosnia-Hercegovina�s independence.
6/4/1992, Serbian troops began the siege of Sarajevo, after Serbs in Bosnia objected to Bosniaks and Croats seeking independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina from Serbia.
21/2/1992, The UN Security Council approved Resolution 743 and decided to send peacekeeping troops to Yugoslavia.
2/2/1992, Serbia accepted the UN Peace Plan.
15/1/1992. As the old Yugoslavia broke up, the EC recognised Slovenian and Croatian independence.
8/1/1992, Bosnian Serbs declared their own Republic within Bosnia and Hercegovina in protest at Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats decision to seek recognition from the EC.
7/12/1991, After a 67-day siege, Serbian forces bombarded the centre of Dubrovnik.
11/1991, The US passed the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act 1991. Under this Act, US financial support would be withdrawn by those Yugoslav states that failed to declare independence from Serbia/Yugoslavia within 6 months.
23/11/1991. Croats in Vukovar surrendered to Serb forces. Serbs now planned to attack the 150,000 Croats in Osijek region. Capture of Osijek would give the Serbs control of the fertile eastern plains of Croatia.
26/10/1991. The Yugoslav army was besieging Dubrovnik and shelling its historic centre.
8/10/1991, The Croatian Parliament cut all remaining ties with Yugoslavia.
2/10/1991, The Yugoslav Army bombarded Dubrovnik.
8/9/1991, Macedonia became independent from Yugoslavia.
26/8/1991. Yugoslav Federal forces and Serb guerrillas launched a fierce attack on Vukovar in eastern Croatia. The city of 50,000 people was roughly half Serb and half Croat. Yugoslav planes bombed Vinkovici, 20 miles from Vukovar.
29/7/1991, Yugoslavia edged further into civil war. The country�s ethnic mix in 1991 was 36% Serb, 20% Croatian, 9% Moslem, 8% Slovene, 8% Albanian, 6% Macedonian, 3% Montenegrin, 2% Hungarian. The two richest republics, Slovenia and Croatia, seceded, against the wishes of the militarily strongest republic, Serbia. Two helicopters were shot down over the Slovenian capital, Llubljana, where Federal tanks were on the streets. Airports and borders were closed. An EC delegation went to Belgrade to warn that all EC aid will be cut off if the Federal, Yugoslav, army did not return to barracks in Slovenia and elsewhere.
27/7/1991. A week of violence in Yugoslavia left 50 dead.
11/7/1991. Violence between Serbs and Croats continued to escalate, especially in eastern Croatia where Serb and Croat villages and even houses were mixed together.
25/6/1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. The European Community and the USA said they would not recognise this move.
12/5/1991. Serbs in Croatia voted for union with Serbia. On 20/5/1991 Croatia voted overwhelmingly for independence from Serbia. Croatia formally declared independence on 30/5/1991. This was the beginning of a bloody conflict that ended with the disintegration of Yugoslavia.
6/3/1936, Yugoslavian Prime Minister Milan Stojadinović survived an assassination attempt when a Macedonian deputy shot at him on the floor of the Chamber. Stojadinović was unhurt as another deputy struck the assailant's arm and caused the shots to go wild.
(1888 � 1934), King of Yugoslavia since 1921, was assassinated by Croatian
terrorists from the Ustase Movement in
16/2/1933, Fearing German aggression, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia formed the Little Entente, with a Permanent Council,
1930, The Balkan Entente was set up. It included Greece, Romania, Turkey and Yugoslavia; it was essentially a defensive alliance against the expansionist aims of Bulgaria, which was seeking to regain territories lost to Greece and Yugoslavia under the Treaty of Neuilly (1919). In the 1930, as authoritarian regimes gained power in all members of the Balkan Entente, the entire region moved politically closer to Germany and Italy.
5/6/1921, Italy and Yugoslavia signed an agreement over control of Fiume.
12/11/1920, The first Treaty of Rapallo was signed,
20/8/1920, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia agreed a mutual defence pact, �The Little Entente� at Belgrade.
For main European events of World War One see France-Germany
30/5/1913. Turkey signed a peace treaty with the Balkan League (the Treaty of London), ending their war.� Under this Treaty Salonika was formally assigned to Greece. The Great Powers formally recognised Albanian sovereignty.
18/10/1912. The Ottoman Turks agreed to cede Tripoli and Cyrenaica (now Libya) to Italy, at the Peace of Lausanne.� Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia declared war on Turkey. The Greek Army had been well-equipped under Venizelos, and the Turks were pushed back, to the point where Istanbul itself was threatened; the city was only saved by bad weather making the roads impassable and a cholera outbreak, halting military operations.
13/3/1912, Under Russian influence (wanting to undermine Austro-Hungary), Serbia and Bulgaria buried their territorial rivalries for the time being (but see 29/6/1913), and, along with Greece and Montenegro, formed the Balkan League. Originally directed against the large multi-ethnic Austro-Hungarian Empire (which contained many ethnic Serbs within its borders), the League redirected its efforts against Ottoman Turkey, ultimately aiming to oust the Turks entirely from all its European territories. Serbia and Bulgaria signed a mutual defence pact. Balkan nationalism was on the rise. The pact also divided northern Macedonia between them. It was assumed that southern Macedonia would be divided between Bulgaria and Greece. On 30/5/1913 the Treaty of London divided up the Balkans amongst the members of the Balkan League, leaving Ottoman Turkey with only a sliver of European territory immediately west of Istanbul.
13/2/1912, Bulgaria and Serbia signed an agreement forming the Balkan League.
1911, The secret organisation �Ujedinjenje ili Smrt� (Unification of Death), commonly known as the �Black Hand� was formed by Serbian nationalist Army officers. Its objective was the political unificastion of all Serbian peoples in the Balkans; this organisation was behind the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, the event that precipitated World War One.
made demands on
1/9/1903, Macedonian rebels blew up a Hungarian steamer, killing 29.
31/8/1903, Unrest continued in the Balkans, with atrocities committed by all sides.
15/6/1903, The Serbian Assembly elected Prince Peter, 59, to succeed Alexander I, who had been assassinated on 11/6/1903 along with his wife and several courtiers.
3/1/1889, King Milan Obrenovich IV promulgated a new more liberal Constitution for Serbica.
1886, Serbia was defeated by Bulgaria.
15/11/1885, The Union of Rumelia and Bulgaria caused anxiety for Serbia, and Serbia declared war on Bulgaria. The Serbians were heavily defeated at the Battles of Slivinksa and Pirot, and Austria had to intervene to help Serbia.
1882, Milan Obrenovich IV became King of Serbia.
6/3/1878, Serbia was formally constituted an independent kingdom.
14/8/1876, Alexander Obrenovich, King of Serbia, was born.
1358, The Republic of Dubrovnik was founded when the territory ceased to recognise Venetian sovereignty. It suffered a major earthquake in 1667. In 1806 it was occupied by Napoleon I, and became part of the Illyrian Provinces (1809-1813). The Congress of Vienna (1814-15) awarded the territory to Austria; it remained under the rule of Vienna as part of Dalmatia until 1918, whenh it became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia).
3,500 BCE, Earliest copper mines sunk, in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria.
29/7/1875. The peasants of the two mountain provinces of Bosnia and Hercegovina put up resistance to the Ottoman Turks.� The Bosnians wanted to join Serbia but the Hercegovinians wanted to join Montenegro. See 16/9/1875.
1481, The last Bosnian King, Stefan Tomasevic, was beheaded by the Ottoman Turks.
1463, The Ottomans took Bosnia.
1426, Ottoman Turkey took control of Bosnia.
1101, Bosnia was annexed from Byzantium by Hungary.
29/10/1918, Croatia declared its independence.
1840, Hungary attempted to impose Hungarian as the official language in Croatia; this provoked the formation of a Croatian Nationalisy (Illyrian) Party under Count Draskovic.
16/10/1801, Josef Jellachich, Croatian statesman, was born (died 20/5/1859).
1573, Widespread peasant revolts across Croatia and Slovenia were crushed by the nobility.
1091, Ladislaus I, King of Hungary, took control of Croatia. His death in 1095 sparked a Croatian nationalist uprising, which was crushed in 1097 by Coloman,
1076, End if the reign of Slaviza of Croatia. Succeeded by Zvonimir Demetrius, who was crowned by the legate of Pope Gregory II, and who was virtually a vassal of The Papacy.
1073, End of the reign oif Kresemir Peter of Croatia (1058-73)
1058, End of the reign of King Stephen I of Croatia (1035-58).
1035, End of the reign of Kresimir II (The Great) of Croatia (1000-1035). He pushed back the Bulgarians, and expanded Croatia into Dalmatia, gaining control of some Italian cities. For a brief period at the end of the 10th� century, even Venice was forced to pay tribute to Croatia.
946, End of the regn of Kresimir I of Croatia (940-946).
910, An independent Croatian Kingdom was established. In 877 the Croats had been temporarily brought under the control of the Byzantine Empire, but now regained their autonomy. Tomislav was the first leader of this Kingdom, He was succeeded by Trpimir, and then Drzislav (ca. 978-1000), who was the first to assume officially the title of King.
635, The Croats entered what is now Croatia; They had originated in the western Carpathians, and been driven southwards by the Czechs. Byzantine Emperor Heraclius encouraged the Croats to attack and displace the Avars. See Roman Empire
Montenegro pre-1922 4-21
For more events of 1990s Yugoslav breakup and war see main Yugoslavia section above
6/2017, Montenegro joiu ned NATO, a move that alienated a former close ally, Russia.
12/2008, Montenegro applied to join the European Union.
11/2008, Montenegro officially recognised Kosovo�s declaration of independence; Serbia protested.
1/2007, Montenegro became a member of the IMF and the World Bank.
6/2006, Montenegro became the 192nd member of the United Nations.
5/2006, A referendum in Montenegro voted just over the required 55% for independence from Serbia.
2/2005, Montenegro suggested an end to the union with Serbia. Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica refused this independence.
12/2004, Montenegro applied to join the WTO.
2002, Montenegro and Serbia agreed on a political union. However in October 2002 elections Parties that were pro-Montenegrin independence did well.
1/2002, Montenegro adopted the Euro currency.
5/10/2000, President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia resigned after widespread demonstrations across Serbia and the withdrawal of Russian support.
1999, Djukanovic asserted Montenegrin independence from Serbia by declaring neutrality in the Serbia-Kosovo conflict (Kosovo was seeking independence from Serbia), and by adopting the Deutschmark as currency in place of the Dinar. Milosevic mounted air strikes against Kosovo, prompting NATO air strikes on Serbia.
1997, In Montenegrin elections, the pro-Milosevic (leader of Serbia) candidate was defeated by Milo Djukanovic.
1992, Montenegro became part of Serbia, as former Yigoslavia broke up.
28/8/1910. Montenegro declared independence from Turkey under King Nicholas I, 69, who ruled for 9 years.
12/8/1860, King Danilo I of Montenegro was assassinated. He was succeeded by his 19-year-old nephew, Nicholas I.
1798, The principality of Montenegro now enjoyed some autonomy from the Ottoman Empire.
1516, Prince Durad V Crnojevic of Montenegro handed over power to a Christian Orthodox Bishop and retired to Venice. This conversion of Montenegro to a Christian theocracy was intended to preserve its autonomy in the face of Ottoman expansion into SE Europe. As bishops were supposed to be celibate, the hereditary inheritance of Montenegro�s rule passed from uncle to nephew. This arrangement lasted until 1816 when princes began ruling again.