Several dozen supporters attended the funeral of Mirjana Markovic, the widow of late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic who was dubbed the “Lady Macbeth” of the Balkans because of the huge influence she had on her husband.
Markovic’s ashes on Saturday were placed in her husband’s grave in the backyard of the family house in the central Serbian town of Pozarevac. Milosevic was buried there in 2006 after he died in the middle of his trial on genocide charges at a UN war crimes tribunal.
The couple’s son, Marko, and daughter, Marija, did not attend the burial. Those who did included a former president of neighboring Montenegro, members of Milosevic’s Socialist Party and others.
Markovic, 76, died last week in Russia, where she had been granted asylum. Serbia’s former first lady had fled to Russia in 2003 after Milosevic was ousted from power in a popular revolt and handed over to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.
“Slobo and Miro, you haven’t lost honor and Serbia must remember that,” Milovan Bojic, a former minister during Milosevic’s era, said at the funeral Saturday. “Milosevic was a great Serbian leader, a Serbian martyr, and the judgment of history will clear the name of Mirjana Markovic.”
Milosevic is widely considered to be the politician most responsible for the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia that resulted in the deaths of at least 120,000 people in wars in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo during the early 1990s. The wars devastated the Balkans, forcing millions to flee their homes.