Trusted Mole: A Soldier's Journey into Bosnia's Heart of Darkness

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9780002570244: Trusted Mole: A Soldier's Journey into Bosnia's Heart of Darkness

A high-octane account by a decorated major in the British Army of his high-level dealings with the Bosnian Serb leadership, of his running a ‘Schindler’s List’ operation in Sarajevo, and of his extraordinary subsequent arrest by Ministry of Defence police on suspicion of betraying secrets to the Serbs.

Trusted Mole is the powerful and disturbing first-hand account of a British soldier of part Yugoslav origin painfully caught up in the savage maelstrom of the Bosnian war. Armed only with the pseudonym ‘Mike Stanley’ and an antiquated Serbo-Croat vocabulary, Milos Stankovic – an officer in the Parachute Regiment – worked as interpreter and go-between for two British brigadiers and two British UN generals, Mike Rose and Rupert Smith.

His experiences plunged him deeper and deeper into Bosnia’s heart of darkness, where all human life was lived in extremis. His own Balkan heritage likewise drew him in: his Scottish grandmother had been a nurse on the Salonika front in the First World War; his father was a former Royalist Yugoslav who had fought in the Second World War; and his mother in 1945 had driven one of the first UN ambulances around Bosnia and Montenegro.

In helping to negotiate ceasefires between rival warlords, securing the release of UN hostages and organising the escape from Sarajevo of stricken families, Milos Stankovic was propelled from one nerve-wracking crisis to another. Throughout he was engaged in the highly dangerous game of bridging the gap between alien Balkan and Western mentalities. His was a role for which there was no military rule-book, and in the general climate of suspicion and paranoia his close contacts with the Bosnian Serb leadership of Dr Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic caused him to be branded by the Americans and the Bosnian Muslims as a Serb spy in the UN and later as a British spy – General Rose’s ‘trusted mole’.

In a final, horrific twist, the author was arrested by the British authorities on suspicion of being a Serb spy. At journey’s end, Milos Stankovic was now confronted with the awful and inescapable truth of ‘Mike Stanley’.

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From the Back Cover:

'Trusted Mole' is the powerful and disturbing first-hand account of a British soldier of part Yugoslav origin painfully caught up in the savage maelstrom of the Bosnian war. Armed only with the pseudonym 'Mike Stanley' and an antiquated Serbo-Croat vocabulary, Milos Stankovic – an officer in the Parachute Regiment – worked brigadiers and two British UN generals, Mike Rose and Rupert Smith.

His experiences plunged him deeper and deeper into Bosnia's heart of darkness, where all human life was lived 'in extremis'. His own Balkan heritage likewise drew him in: his Scottish grandmother had been a nurse on the Salonika front in the First World War; his father was a former Royalist Yugoslav who had fought in the Second World War; and his mother in 1945 had driven one of the first UN ambulances around Bosnia and Montenegro.

In helping to negotiate cease-fires between rival warlords, securing the release of UN hostages and organising the escape Sarajevo of stricken families, Milos Stankovic was propelled from one nerve-wracking crisis to another. Throughout he was engaged in the highly dangerous game of bridging the gap between alien Balkan and western mentalities. His was a role for which there was no military rule-book, and in the general climate of suspicion and paranoia his close contacts with the Bosnian Serb leadership of Dr Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic caused him to be branded by the Americans and the Bosnian Muslims as a Serb spy in the UN and later as a British spy – General Rose's 'trusted mole'.

In a final, horrific twist, the author was arrested by the British authorities on suspicion of being a Serb spy. At journey's end, Milos Stankovic was now confronted with the awful and inescapable truth of 'Mike Stanley'.

About the Author:

Milos Stankovic was born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia in 1962 – a British citizen with Scottish and Royalist Yugoslav parents, themselves refugees from Yugoslavia. Educated in England, he enlisted in the Parachute Regiment in 1981; the Army sent him to university where he studied Russian at Manchester and in Minsk in the Soviet Union. He has served with the British Army in Belize, Northern Ireland and Africa, and with the UN in post-war Kuwait and Iraq, and two long tours in Bosnia between December 1992 and April 1995.
• Prior to his arrest at Staff College in October 1997, Major Stankovic served as a company commander with the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment.

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