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Russian press furore over Milosevic
Russian press

The death of Slobodan Milosevic has sparked a battle royal in the Russian press.

Some newspapers hail the former Yugoslav leader as a hero who stood up to the West, while others condemn him for bringing hardship to his country.

Commentator in Gazeta

To die undefeated is a great honour these days. For the deposed president this is a gift of fate - and for his contemporaries, a lesson....

The last humanist died in a Hague jail on Saturday. The time has come to resist force with force. This may preserve thousands of lives all over the world more successfully than humanism has done...

By all accounts, Iran is learning this lesson better than many... In revenge for the 2,800 who died in New York, those who put Milosevic on trial have turned Afghanistan and Iraq into ruins, steadily pushing them into the cauldron of civil war.

Over the last 15 years Western forces have killed far more people than those whom they accused of crimes against humanity. Iran is the next target.

Commentary in Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Milosevic has died uncondemned and thus undefeated. The Hague Tribunal closes on itself. Milosevic's death forces the judges to switch from war crimes to the tribunal's internal problems.

Commentator in Moskovskaya Pravda

In memory of a man who believed in Russia. The president of former Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, regarded the Hague tribunal as an instrument of political reprisal and appealed for assistance to Russia, forgetting that the tribunal operates on the basis of a UN Security Council resolution which the Russian Federation also signed.

Why it did so is a big question, since the UN Security Council had no mandate to establish 'tribunals' of this kind. Consequently, all the tribunal's investigations and sentences are meaningless and illegal...

Commentator in pro-Communist daily Sovetskaya Rossiya

President Bill Clinton's responsibility for the Balkan wars is also obvious. Following in his footsteps is British Prime Minister Blair, who was the most aggressive participant in the Nato intervention against the former Yugoslavia.

His country played a key role in the reprisals against Milosevic. The judges, prosecutors, pseudo-lawyers and prison governor were from Great Britain.

The culprits include the current prime minister of Serbia and former president of Yugoslavia, Vojislav Kostunica, who agreed to extradite Milosevic to The Hague...

In my view, [former Russian President Boris] Yeltsin and his envoy [former Prime Minister Viktor] Chernomyrdin are also complicit in Milosevic's death. So, there are many people who had a hand in Yugoslavia's tragedy and they will not escape the responsibility and shame.

Commentator in business broadsheet Kommersant

In reality, Russia, as well as Yugoslavia and the Serbs, was always just a bargaining chip in Slobodan Milosevic's big game, the main prize being his absolute power.

He simply used Russia, trying to bring it into conflict with the West for his own advantage.

The formula of Slobodan Milosevic's life is a formula of gaining power and keeping it at any price. Slobodan Milosevic always applied that formula to Russia, rejecting its help every time he saw the slightest opportunity to strike a deal with the West independently.

Commentary in Kommersant

The death of the former Yugoslav president has already placed Russia on the brink of an unpleasant squabble with the West over the future of the Hague tribunal, for the establishment of which Moscow voted at the UN Security Council in the past.

And this squabble may become a preamble to a more serious settling of scores between Russia and the West. As Slobodan Milosevic would himself say: this is worth living and dying for.

Commentator in Novaya Gazeta

For many, Milosevic will enter history as an ardent patriot and the leader of the Serb nation.

That is, of course, if one is to see patriotism as readiness, for the sake of abstract interests of the nation, to kill and humiliate real people and to divide them into friends and foes on the basis of their blood and religion.

Commentator in Moskovskiy Komsomolets

We will never know now whether or not Milosevic would have been saved by doctors in Moscow. However, it is extremely important for the Russians to have a sober assessment of the former Serb and Yugoslav leader.

If in the early 1990s the USSR and Russia had been led by politicians similar to Milosevic, we would now be living in an incomparably more sinister and unhappy country.

One can criticize Yeltsin for many things but, at least, he did not make the same horrible mistakes as Milosevic.

Editorial in Vedomosti

The death of Slobodan Milosevic in the prison of the International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia interrupted a process which had effectively reached a stalemate.

The Nato countries which bombed Yugoslavia in 1999 failed to create for themselves a clear image of victors while The Hague tribunal failed to obtain unequivocal legitimacy.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




SEE ALSO:
The press in Russia
19 Aug 05 |  Europe


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