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Playing In The Snow With Mladic

A TV grab reportedly shows war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic and his wife.

A TV grab reportedly shows war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic and his wife.

What was Ratko Mladic doing dancing at parties and playing in the snow with his family, reportedly just a few months ago?

Isn't he accused by the UN war crimes tribunal of genocide? Aren't Serbian authorities supposed to be doing everything they can to arrest the fugitive?

Bosnia's Federation TV has aired video of Mladic that it says was most probably shot last year. The footage has caused a storm of controversy.

It's "simply impossible," one Serbian minister told the BBC, that the footage could have been taken in 2008.

Federation TV thinks otherwise, telling viewers that their videos show Mladic living freely in Belgrade, including visiting with his newborn granddaughter.

And he's not just living freely, he's having a good time. Footage shows him "walking with a stick and joking with his wife and daughter-in-law, who threw snowballs at him on a mountainside," Reuters reports.

This is bad news for Serbia, because Mladic's arrest would boost its chances of European Union membership.

Things are not looking good on that score.

A former Mladic bodyguard testified on June 9 that his charge had been allowed to move freely in the country under army protection until 2002, despite being indicted twice by the tribunal on war crimes over the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995 and the 43-month siege of Sarajevo.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at