Legionar: The Life and Crimes of Milorad Ulemek Legija
Milorad Ulemek Legija is a former Serbian paramilitary commander and convicted murderer of the first democratically elected prime minister of Serbia, Zoran ÄinÄiÄ. He is also the author of several books, including Legionar, which recounts his experiences as a member of the French Foreign Legion.
Legija was born in Belgrade in 1968 and joined the Yugoslav People's Army at the age of 18. He deserted in 1989 and fled to France, where he enlisted in the Foreign Legion under a false name. He served in various conflicts around the world, including the Gulf War, Somalia, Bosnia and Rwanda. He earned a reputation as a fearless and ruthless soldier, but also as a troublemaker and a rebel.
In 1992, he returned to Serbia and joined the notorious paramilitary unit known as Arkan's Tigers, led by Zeljko RaÅnatoviÄ Arkan, a warlord and criminal. He participated in some of the worst atrocities of the Yugoslav wars, such as the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims and Croats. He later became the commander of another paramilitary group, the Red Berets, which was loyal to Slobodan MiloÅeviÄ, the former president of Serbia and Yugoslavia.
After MiloÅeviÄ's fall in 2000, Legija became involved in politics and organized crime. He was one of the leaders of the Special Operations Unit (JSO), an elite police force that resisted the reforms of the new democratic government. He also formed a powerful criminal network that controlled drug trafficking, extortion and assassination in Serbia.
In 2003, Legija masterminded the assassination of Zoran ÄinÄiÄ, who was seen as a pro-Western reformer and a threat to Legija's interests. ÄinÄiÄ was shot by a sniper outside a government building in Belgrade on March 12. Legija and his accomplices went into hiding and sparked a massive manhunt that lasted for two months. He was eventually captured and sentenced to 40 years in prison for his role in the murder.
While in jail, Legija wrote several books about his life and views. One of them is Legionar, which was published in 2006. In this book, he describes his experiences as a Foreign Legionnaire and his views on war, politics and morality. He claims that he joined the Legion to escape from his troubled past and to find a sense of belonging and adventure. He also portrays himself as a patriot who fought for Serbia and its people.
Legionar is a controversial book that has been criticized for its glorification of violence, nationalism and criminality. It has also been accused of being full of lies, exaggerations and self-justifications. However, it has also been praised for its honesty, realism and insight into the psychology of a soldier and a killer.
Legionar is not only a memoir, but also a testimony of one of the most turbulent periods in Serbian history. It is a book that reveals the dark side of human nature and the consequences of war and power.Legija has written 19 books so far, according to Goodreads[^1^]. Some of them are:
Gvozdeni rov (The Iron Trench), published in 2004, which is his first book and a sequel to Legionar. It covers his involvement in the Yugoslav wars as a commander of Arkan's Tigers and the Red Berets.
Babo (Dad), published in 2020, which is a tribute to his father, who died in 2019. It tells the story of his father's life, from his childhood in Bosnia to his migration to Serbia, his work as a policeman and a taxi driver, and his relationship with his son.
U tigrovom gnezdu (In the Tiger's Nest), published in 2019, which is a collection of short stories based on his experiences as a paramilitary leader and a prisoner. It also includes some of his poems and letters.
Revolution - izmeÄu razuma i srca (Revolution - Between Reason and Heart), published in 2018, which is a political manifesto that criticizes the current state of Serbia and calls for a radical change. It also expresses his support for the Serbian Radical Party and its leader Vojislav Å eÅelj.
Tajna moga srca (The Secret of My Heart), published in 2017, which is a love letter to his wife Aleksandra, who he married in 2016 while in prison. It reveals his romantic side and his devotion to his wife.
Legija's books are popular among some segments of the Serbian society, especially those who share his nationalist and anti-establishment views. However, they are also controversial and banned from some bookstores and libraries. They have been criticized for their lack of literary quality, historical accuracy and moral responsibility. 061ffe29dd