Where Is Milosevic?

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As Slobodan Milosevic contemplates an uncertain future, he will no doubt spare a thought for his son Marko. Less than 24 hours after the senior Milosevic conceded defeat in a taped address on Oct. 6, Marko, who is believed to have powerful enemies in the Serbian underworld, was on his way to the Belgrade airport with his wife Milica and their 18-month-old son Marko Jr. for the early morning Yugoslav Airlines flight to Moscow. Marko was carrying only hand luggage, looking, according to one witness, "pale, unshaven, and visibly scared." The family was escorted by three bodyguards and checked in under the assumed surname of Jovanovic. One pilot said he initially refused to take off, but relented for the "sake of the other passengers."

When they arrived in Moscow, the Milosevics were refused entry, because of what one Russian official would only describe as "visa problems." The next day they were on a flight to Beijing, but that didn't work out either. A Chinese official later declined to confirm or deny that Marko had arrived and would say only that he had never legally set foot on Chinese soil. Marko is now thought to be back in Moscow, under the protection of his uncle, who is still the Yugoslav ambassador.

Marko's father has given no sign he plans to join his son as a fugitive at least not yet. Slobodan Milosevic retreated just after the election to a heavily guarded hunting lodge near the Bulgarian border, and rumors over the past week have put him everywhere from Moscow to the eastern Austrian town of Hartberg where a self-described "concerned citizen" says he saw Milosevic driving a car with Yugoslav plates. After a heavy chase by Austrian police, involving cars and helicopters, the man turned out to be "a 39-year-old Yugoslav citizen with some resemblance to Milosevic," according to police. The truth is that Milosevic is probably back in Belgrade where, according to an aide, he is holed up at the family villa in the posh hillside suburb of Dedinje with his wife Mira and daughter. The family is under the protection of an elite force of about 100 highly paid and heavily armed special police. The villa offers access to at least two other compounds, and two escape routes should he be forced to beat a hasty retreat. For most Serbs, that day cannot come soon enough.