Why Were the Balkans Considered a Powder Keg?


Quick Answer

The Western Balkans were a source of ethnic tensions primarily due to the fact that Yugoslavia was formed as a federation of distinct ethnic groups. Once the Soviet central leadership failed in Yugoslavia, many of the individual groups within the country saw no reason to remain federated.

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Why Were the Balkans Considered a Powder Keg?
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Full Answer

The Yugoslavian Civil Wars of the 1990s began when Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence from Yugoslavia, which was followed by a dispute between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia over territory. Kosovo's push for independence and the United Nations' intervention to prevent Serbian ethnic cleansing ultimately resulted in the country fragmenting into several different nations.

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