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Leipzig University

Bucerius Pre-Doctoral Grant

NATO planes in the sky, Milošević on the ground! Serbia and the 1999 NATO Bombing


At the end of a decade that had been defined by wars, sanctions and crises, NATO’s bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, meant as a reaction to the crimes committed by the Yugoslav Army in Kosovo, affected the people of Serbia in multiple ways. One the one hand, the daily air raids put them in the permanent danger of becoming a ‘collateral damage’ and caused severe living conditions like power shortages, health problems and restrictions of travel. On the other hand, people in Serbia experienced a (renewed) radical nationalisation and patriotic mobilisation that especially targeted those in opposition to the Milošević regime.
By taking into account ego documents and print media my research project explores the emotional lives of people during the bombing, asking about experiences with and reactions to the Kosovo war(s). I hereby argue that the NATO bombing formed a key moment in the Miloševićera and is therefore crucial for the understanding of the Serbian society in the past, present and future.

Elisa Satjukow studied History of East and South-East Europe, Slavic Studies and Comparative Literature Studies at the Universities of Leipzig, Germany, and Belgrade, Serbia. Since 2015, she works as a research assistant and PhD candidate at Leipzig University. Her research interests include contemporary history of Russia and the Balkans, cultures of remembrance, gender studies and oral history.

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