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Vasile Milea : biography

1 January 1927 - 22 December 1989

Vasile Milea (1 January 1927, Lerești, Argeş – 22 December 1989) was Nicolae Ceauşescu's minister of defense during the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and was involved in the reprisal phase of the revolution that took 162 lives.

On 22 December 1989, Ceauşescu sacked him for not ordering his men to fire on the demonstrators who'd taken to the streets of Bucharest a day earlier. According to the official account, Ceauşescu considered this an act of treason, and Milea committed suicide shortly afterward. However, several members of his family claim that he was killed on the orders of Ceauşescu. Milea was already in severe disfavour for sending troops to quell the uprising in Timisoara without ammunition. Whatever the case, Milea's death caused the rank-and-file soldiers to go over almost en masse to the revolution, effectively ending Communist rule in Romania.

A report from 2005 after a full investigation including a postmortem concludes that Milea killed himself using the weapon of one of his attendants. It seems that he only tried to get incapacitated in order to be relieved from office. But the bullet hit an artery and he died soon afterwards.


  • Vasile Milea, Victor Atanasiu, România în anii primului război mondial: caracterul drept, eliberator al participării României la război, vol. 2, Ed. Militară, Bucharest, 1987.

Category:Chiefs of the General Staff of Romania Category:People from Argeș County Category:People of the Romanian Revolution of 1989 Category:Romanian Land Forces generals Category:Romanian Ministers of Defense Category:Romanian communists Category:Members of the Great National Assembly Category:Deaths by firearm in Romania Category:1927 births Category:1989 deaths

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