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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 February 2008, 10:14 GMT
How Yugoslavia vanished from maps

A REGION TRANSFORMED

Created out of the ashes of Austria-Hungary's defeat in WWI, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes - changed to Yugoslavia in 1929 - was in theory a single autonomous state, but ethnic tensions were not far from the surface.


After invasion and a series of overlapping civil wars in WWII, a lid was kept on national aspirations by the creation of a federation of six nominally equal republics. In Serbia, Kosovo and Vojvodina were given autonomous status. But from 1991 Yugoslavia fell apart.

A series of splits saw the bloodiest fighting in Croatia and Bosnia. A peace deal created the self-governing Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Srpska) and Muslim Croat Federation. Kosovo become a UN protectorate after inter-ethnic fighting and Nato bombardment in 1999.

In 2003 Yugoslavia disappeared from the map of Europe. Replaced for a short time by the looser union of Serbia and Montenegro, the latter broke away in 2006. Two years later, Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanians declared independence from Serbia.

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