The marshal has done his job, the marshal can leave
On May 4, 1980, Josip Broz Tito died in the surgical clinic of Ljubljana, the capital of socialist Slovenia. Among world leaders, he was one of the oldest, he was supposed to turn 88 that May. Marshal Tito was the founder and permanent head of the federal Yugoslavia, which replaced the so-called kingdom of the SHS, Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, where, besides them, there were Bosniaks, Macedonians, and Montenegrins.
First, the republic was called FPRY - federal and people's, then SFRY - also federal, but above all - socialist. As many politicians and experts later noted, the disintegration of socialist Yugoslavia had accelerated more than a year earlier - in fact, from the moment when, on January 3, 1980, the Yugoslav media briefly reported about Tito's deteriorating health and that he was admitted to a clinic.
Marshal died for a long time, and fell ill in mid-December 1979, and, as some Yugoslav diplomats recalled, Tito's doctors and closest colleagues insisted that he be treated in Slovenia. There, they say, high-class medicine, but Ljubljana is so far not only from Belgrade, but also from Croatia, native for the patient … But in the Ljubljana clinic, he lay in a coma for more than 100 days.
It is known that immediately after the death of the Yugoslav leader, the medical history and documents on Tito's treatment were classified for 75 years - they will be opened only in 2055! Doesn't all this mean that quite certain circles, aimed at the accelerated disintegration of Yugoslavia, decided to "get rid" of Tito?
In any case, until the fall of 1979, the central and local media of the SFRY only occasionally reported on nationalist sentiments and forays in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Slovenia. But since the end of December 1979, such messages have become more "extensive" and more frequent. But still only with rare mentions of the involvement of the special services of the West in such excesses. The Yugoslavs, as it were, were being prepared for the inevitable collapse of the country …
Tito's Yugoslavia (like Stalin's Albania and Romania under Ceausescu) was needed by the West not only as geopolitical barriers to the "red infection", but also as a kind of ideological "pads". And the FPRY / SFRY also acted as a socio-economic showcase against the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. With the beginning of the notorious "perestroika", which in itself accelerated the collapse of the USSR and the social community, such barriers were no longer needed.
Therefore, already in the mid-1980s, the West promptly curtailed the Yugoslavian Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's concessional lending program, increasingly demanding that Belgrade pay off its accumulating debts. By the end of the 1980s, they exceeded $ 28 billion. Among other things, they talked about the repayment of fines for non-payments and for shortfalls in deliveries of Yugoslav goods. At the same time, no one in the leadership of the SFRY could even remotely compare with Tito's erudition, authority, and political abilities. This made it all the more easier for the West to stimulate the destruction of Yugoslavia.
In short, the description of the Tito period by the Russian Balkanist Yevgeny Matonin is quite objective:
“Out of his 88 years, Josip Broz ruled Yugoslavia for 35 years. He skillfully maneuvered between the USSR and the USA, took from them one by one on concessional terms, large loans (as a result, by the beginning of the 80s, the country came close to bankruptcy … - Approx.auth.). But after the death of Tito, Yugoslavia barely held out for another decade and bloody collapsed, bringing terror to the whole world."
In this connection, it is characteristic that Tito himself confessed in a conversation with Kim Il Sung during the marshal's unprecedented visit to the DPRK in August 1977:
“Our socialism is based on the principles of socialist democracy, which excludes the directive role of party bodies. Such socialism is showing its effectiveness. But it depends primarily on the political unity of the peoples of our country. I am concerned that such unity will be shattered if I am not there."
Tito expressed similar assessments, or rather, fears, during negotiations with the head of the PRC, Hua Guofeng, during an equally unprecedented visit to the PRC in August 1977. communist movement ". It is interesting that in the same way, under a carbon copy, the marshal and his policy were called in Moscow and in the countries of people's democracies. But the "Non-Aligned Movement" initiated by Tito was considered almost an ally in the USSR, but in Beijing it was called nothing but "a special project of the imperialist special services in developing countries and the world national liberation movement."
Stalin's strange "namesake"
During his visits to China and North Korea, the aging marshal tried to reconcile with "these Stalinists", who, however, according to Nicolae Ceausescu, Tito's Romanian colleague, had "stronger socialism than the USSR." It didn't work out very well, but the Chinese reconciled the marshal with his late namesake. And not only that, and Tito admitted this in an interview with Yugoslav journalists:
“I was able to make peace with Stalin and Mao Zedong, having visited Beijing and saw in Tiananmen with a huge portrait of Stalin, which is next to the same portraits of Marx, Engels and Lenin. I think the restoration of relations with China for Yugoslavia and for me personally is more important than anything else today."
But, as you know, since 1979, the PRC has abruptly changed both its foreign policy and domestic economic course. At the same time, while still maintaining the attributes of adherence to Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong. Therefore, Beijing did nothing to help either the post-Lithuanian Yugoslavia, or the same Ceausescu, or the GDR with Honecker, or the anti-Gorbachev opposition …
An equally characteristic touch: contemporaries testify that the daughter of the "leader of the peoples" Svetlana Alliluyeva at the turn of the 60s - 70s more than once asked Josip Broz Tito for a visa to visit Yugoslavia. It would seem that for Tito her visit would be an important "justification" for his post-war position on Stalin and the breakup of "Tito's" Yugoslavia with the USSR in 1948-1953.
However, Tito managed to rise above this kind of fuss, showing political and human decency in relation to Stalin, already defamed and reburied in the USSR. He refused Alliluyeva visas, explaining his position as follows:
"My and Yugoslavian disagreements in general with Stalin are by no means a reason for his notorious daughter to use Yugoslavia in any way to settle her accounts with her father who has already died."
The interethnic monarchy, created on the ruins of the First World War, left all its problems and contradictions as a legacy to the People's Federal Republic. This predetermined the collapse of the country in the early 90s. The fact is that in any epoch more than half of the Yugoslav population were peoples and confessions that were secretly or openly against a single state according to the Russian or Soviet model.
Serbian hegemony in governing the country in the interwar period, and then in the postwar period, did not suit anyone, starting with the Croats and Slovenes, and ending with the Macedonians and even "almost" Serbs - Montenegrins. They constantly recalled that the Serbs are no more than a third of all Yugoslavia, both in territory and in population, and their decisive contribution to the victories over the occupiers in the two world wars simply did not bother anyone.
Recall that the Serbs fought in the partisans until the liberation of Yugoslavia, the anti-fascist resistance was, in terms of the number of its participants, almost 90% Orthodox - Serbian or Pro-Serb. At the same time, just a week after the invasion of German and Italian troops in April 1941, the Yugoslav kingdom immediately disintegrated into several puppet "quasi-states". On their territories, already in 1941, a monstrous terror was unleashed against the Serbs and Yugoslavian Orthodoxy in general.
However, the head of the anti-fascist resistance, mainly Serbian, was, oddly enough, the Croat communist Josip Broz Tito, who since 1945 led the new Yugoslavia. His political authority and talent for maneuvering between national elites in the regions made it possible to restrain negative factors. Tito understood that the formation of Yugoslavia and its development along a centralized Soviet or Chinese model - already for national and geographical reasons - would quickly lead to the collapse of the country.
Therefore, the federal option was chosen on the verge of confederation. At the same time, the ruling Communist Party also became united - the Union of Communists of Yugoslavia, in which the rights of the constituent parts were much broader than those of the central apparatus. Yes, it, by and large, did not exist at all: the Central Committee gathered only for congresses and conferences and was basically an ideological shell, and not the ruling core of such a country.
Yugoslav socialism immediately became a strategic antipode of Soviet and Chinese, when all objects in the country, except for the defense industry, were managed by local councils of local workers and leaders nominated by them (a system of workers' self-government). They were elected for no more than two years, with the right to be re-elected only once. All this was subjected to fierce criticism from Moscow and Beijing, even when they came to a military confrontation.
Almost never the leadership of the CPSU could not come to terms with the Yugoslav principles of government, reasonably fearing that they might be adopted in other countries of the socialist camp. The political conflict between Belgrade and Moscow only deepened, and in the socialist countries neighboring Yugoslavia, for example, in Hungary, the centers and carriers of the Tito variant of socialism were, as they say, in the bud liquidated.
Nevertheless, Yugoslavia also had its own dissidents and even a semblance of its own "gulag". In seven Yugoslav special concentration camps, four of which were in Croatia, not only communists from among the opponents of Tito's socialism, but also tens of thousands of non-party supporters of friendship with the USSR and China, were isolated in terrible conditions. The fate of at least a third of the "inhabitants" of those camps is still unknown. The Titov camps, unlike many of the Stalinist ones, were closed in 1962-1963.
Now you shouldn't be surprised that, for obvious reasons, Marshal Tito's Yugoslavia began to orient itself more and more towards the West. Even when Stalin was still alive, Belgrade managed to sign an indefinite agreement on military-political cooperation with the United States and joined the NATO-initiated "Balkan Pact", which included NATO members Greece and Turkey. The pact successfully existed until the collapse of Yugoslavia.
From heyday to decay
Already from the beginning of the 60s, Yugoslavia, whose citizens were also allowed to work abroad, was significantly ahead of the USSR and other socialist countries in terms of the level of actual per capita income. Often in the media of ex-Yugoslav countries it is still nostalgic, but quite objectively, in this regard, that their citizens have never been able to work so little and earn so much as under Marshal Tito.
But it is no coincidence that the maturity dates of most foreign accounts coincided so clearly in time with the growing crises in Yugoslavia immediately after Tito's death. The crisis of the most prosperous of the socialist countries turned out to be all-embracing - socio-economic, political, but most importantly, ethnic. The republic literally went bankrupt overnight. And in comparison with what all the former republics of Yugoslavia experienced later, with the possible exception of only Slovenia, not only the disintegration of some Austro-Hungary, but also the collapse of the USSR clearly pales.
All the old ethnic, political and related economic problems passed on to Tito's Yugoslavia. While the marshal was in power, they manifested themselves only "pointwise", but already from the mid-70s, as the personal power of the aging Tito weakened, they began to affect them too literally. And also publicly. It is not for nothing that the authorities of Yugoslavia since 1972 have greatly expanded the legal guarantees for rallies and strikes, allowed in the country since 1955.
In the mid-1950s, the divorce of the USSR and Yugoslavia was simply forgotten, although Yugoslavia never became a member of either the Warsaw Pact or the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. And this despite all the efforts and concrete measures of the Soviet leadership, starting with preferential and even gratuitous loans and borrowings, and ending with the imbalance in prices in favor of imports from Yugoslavia in relation to Soviet exports. Now few people will remember that with the financial and technical assistance of the USSR in Yugoslavia, more than 300 enterprises of various industry profiles, about 100 energy and transport facilities were created.
But the factors undermining the country continued to grow. The disintegration of Yugoslavia could have occurred as early as April 28, 1971 at a meeting of the heads of the national committees of the Yugoslavia and republican administrations. At this forum, after Tito's speech, the representatives of Croatia announced a possible withdrawal from the SFRY. They were supported by the representatives of Slovenia, but the delegations of Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia opposed them, the other delegations of the regions (Kosovo, Vojvodina, Bosnia and Herzegovina) preferred to refrain from discussion.
Tito did not participate in it either, but on the morning of the third day of the meeting, he left the hall. An hour and a half later he returned and reported his conversation with Leonid Brezhnev. “Comrades, excuse me for being late, but Comrade Brezhnev called me. He heard that we had problems and asked if I needed help for Yugoslavia,”he said loudly.
Everything calmed down at once: the local authorities realized that it was better to forget about nationalism. And soon at this forum, agreed decisions were made on the socio-economic development of the regions of the SFRY and strict observance of interethnic proportions in the selection and placement of personnel in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo.
However, it was not Brezhnev, but Tito who called Moscow, informing about the situation, and received assurances of military assistance to the SFRY. Nevertheless, Tito, boldly declaring that it was the Soviet leader who called him, made it clear that Moscow is carefully monitoring everything that happens in Yugoslavia. And soon, in the same 1971, Brezhnev's almost triumphant visit to the SFRY took place; the visit of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, which took place five years later, was furnished with no less pathos.
In several of his speeches, Brezhnev did not hesitate to explicitly declare that the USSR was ready to provide all-round assistance to Yugoslavia, including in the protection of its integrity. So the secretary general instantly reacted to the fact that in numerous conversations with him Tito was worried that the deterioration of his health was accompanied by an increase in separatism in Yugoslavia, in which the special services of the West and a number of Islamic countries were involved. The marshal also spoke in the sense that he did not see a worthy successor, and the scattering of the leadership of the republic and the Union of Communists "to national corners" would certainly lead them to disintegration.
Brezhnev, in turn, proposed strengthening the role of the "center" in the SFRY and transforming the Union of Communists into a capable ruling party, with which Tito did not agree. On the contrary, he proposed introducing a system of Yugoslav workers' self-government in the USSR, when enterprises and institutions are run by the workers themselves, and not by officials.
The Marshal, unlike Brezhnev, admitted that workers' strikes are quite acceptable under socialism: “this is the main signal about the mistakes of the ruling structures” (from Tito's interview with the Yugoslav media, April 1972). The Soviet leader responded by complaining about the dangers of decentralization and protest "loosening" under socialism. The positions of Moscow and Belgrade have always diverged too significantly, despite the traditional sympathies of the peoples towards each other.