After the communist dictator Josip Tito died in 1980, longstanding ethnic, religious, and economic tensions within Yugoslavia became more apparent. Although the country comprised six republics and two self-governing provinces, Serbia (the largest republic) dominated the federal government and army. Resentment of Serbia grew when Slobodan Milosevic (1941-), who eventually became president of the republic, began stirring up Serbian nationalism in 1987. The prosperous republics of Slovenia and Croatia, no longer willing to subsidize less-developed Serbia or to accpet a centralized federal government under its control, declared their independence from Yugoslavia on June 25, 1991. After Slovenia took control of its border crossings, its defense forces blockaded federal army bases in the republic and captured about 2,300 federal soldiers. Meanwhile, the federal army moved tanks in and bombed the airport at ljubljana, the Slovenian capital, and some border posts. Fighting continued until mid-July 1991 by which time several dozen people had been killed. The war ended when the federal army withdrew its tanks and troops to concentrate on the neighboring secessionist republic of Croatia (where, in contrast to ethnically homogeneous Slovenia, there was a significant Serb minority). In February 1992 the European Community recognized Slovenia as a state, and in May 1992 the country joined the United Nations.