Bojan Dimitrijević, PhD
Institute for Contemporary History
Belgrade, Republic of Serbia



Vol. XXXIX, 1/2021, pp. 175–196



The article provides activities of the Yugoslav Army (Vojska Jugoslavije, VJ) and especially its General Staff in the period prior to and after the federal Yugoslav election held on 24th September 2000. The majority of initial activities were linked to the political situation in Montenegro. The article reveals the preparation of the VJ “top brass” to deploy the forces against the protesters during the mass post-election rallies in Belgrade and all over Serbia. Those protests led to Slobodan Milošević’s fall from political power and from his position as president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The newly elected FRY president became Vojislav Koštunica, leader of the Democratic Party of Serbia, who soon became accepted as the supreme commander of the Yugoslav Army’s General Staff as the key military institution in the state. In the beginning it looked like the Army would take part against the protesters using standard repertoire of armored, engineer, and special forces. A preserved document testifies that preparations for intervention had been done, but that the huge opposition movement, masses of people on the streets, and the general disappointment with Milošević’s twelve-year rule prevented the army from taking any action in the streets. The calming down of the post-revolutionary events and the top military brass remaining unchanged was satisfactory to the General Staff. An article was written on the unrevealed Vojska Jugoslavije documents. In 2003, Federal Defense Minister Boris Tadić asked the General Staff to provide the relevant documents on the role of the VJ in events around and during 5th October. The other group of documents represents transcripts from the General Staff meetings held in September and October of 2000, which had been declassified by that time by Lt General Ponoš, chief of the General Staff.


KEYWORDS: Serbia, Montenegro, Election, 5th October 2000, Slobodan Milošević, Vojislav Koštunica, Nebojša Pavković, Yugoslav Army, General Staff



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