On 28 June 1914 Austria-Hungary used the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Bosnian Serb as an excuse to invade Serbia, sparking WWI. As the war concluded and both the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires fell, it paved the way for unity between Slovaks, Croats and Serbs, thus the inception of Yugoslavia.
In WWII, Nazi’s bombed Belgrade and conquered Serbia and the rest of Yugoslavia. The genocide of Serbs was ruthless and even after the war communists shot Serbs seemingly without remorse. Estimates put Yugoslav losses at 1.7 million dead and national damages of $1.9billion (prices of that period). Tito became the first president of Yugoslavia with a communist ideology for his kingdom.
Many regarded 1989 as the highlight of the Yugoslav reign, they were economically strong, living standards were at their peak and capitalism was creeping into their policy-making. So when Croats and Serbs beginning warring in 1990 it came as quite a shock to the outside world. The war sparked the beginning of the end for Yugoslavia and it broke up in 1992. This initially led to Serbia & Montenegro gaining a joint independence but in 2006 Serbia became a sovereign state.
A recent Prime Minister was assassinated attempting to expose criminal activity of the previous regime. The subsequent re-elections failed on the first three attempts due to voter apathy and a worrying sway in opinion towards nationalism appears to be brewing. Although Serbia is progressing economically they are well behind neighbouring countries. Privatising their banks now means foreigners own 70% of the Serbian banking. Debts during the economic crisis have risen so high that the international Monetary Fund had to intervene with $4billion. Serbia has on-going negotiations over Kosovo’s independence but is otherwise a peaceful country, seemingly on the up.