Blast From The Past

SRDJAN ILIC/AP

REQUIEM: An honor guard stands vigil by Djindjic's coffin

In early October 2000, just before Slobodan Milosevic was overthrown in a bloodless popular revolt, the leader of that movement, Zoran Djindjic, placed a call to one of the most feared men in Serbia: Milorad Lukovic, known to his friends as Legija, or the Legionnaire. Djindjic knew that Lukovic, a square-jawed former paramilitary who was commander of the élite Serbian police unit called the Red Berets, could have crushed the uprising that ousted Milosevic. Djindjic wanted assurances that he would not. But he recognized the risk he was taking by even agreeing to meet Lukovic. "If Milosevic wanted to kill me,...

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