Yugoslavia is officially dead. The last remaining vestige of that artificial nation, a loose confederation known as Serbia and Montenegro, was shattered in Sunday's referendum on independence for the tiny republic of Montenegro. 55.4% of Montenegrins (yes, that is the correct spelling) voted to finally unhitch themselves from their much larger partner, Serbia.
Yugoslavia was a noble experiment, seeking to unite the Slavic peoples of the Balkans. However, it was doomed from the beginning by the fact that the people of the region already had very defined national identities and it disintegrated in a bloody conflagration over which ethnic group should have control (Slobodan Milosevic's wars over Croatia and Bosnia in the 1990s). I have always argued that arbitrarily drawn borders that disregard deeply-rooted ethnic divisions are a recipe for disaster, and Yugoslavia. Hopefully, the region known as the powder keg of Europe will finally have peace now that all of the people groups of the Balkans have their own nation-states.
Yugoslavia was (in my opinion) a horrible mistake. Hopefully things will go better for Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro now that they can all control their own destinies.Congratulations to the people of the newly independent nation of Montenegro!