A deeply depressing but very important book that should be required reading for anyone interested in the Siege of Sarajevo. This book provides a `behind-the-scenes' view of the `backstage' events of the siege - the black marketeering, the prostitution rings (some of those young UN peacekeepers needed a good brothel to relax in, it seems, after a hard day's work keeping the peace), the people trafficking etc. So while most of Sarajevo's inhabitants cowered from the shells and endured starvation, Andreas' well-researched and detailed account shows how war profiteers on both sides of the siege lines made and broke deals with each other and, in the process, ended up becoming extremely rich.
Some of the criminal acts Andreas describes in this book were not only about money: he details, for example, the Sarajevo city officials' refusal to turn on an emergency water treatment system provided by a relief organization. The system would have provided the city's people with running water for at least part of the day, but it would also have meant an end to the heart-wrenching imagery of Sarajevans struggling to get water while the snipers fired down on them. And heart-wrenching imagery was a vital public relations tool in the city's struggle for international sympathy and support. In addition, the government agencies charged with delivering water throughout the besieged city received a fuel allocation, some of which they would sell off on the black market, so they too were adverse to the water treatment system becoming operational. Fascinating, eye-opening but depressing stuff.