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By the early 21st century, the word collocation ethnic cleansing had firmly entered into everyday use. The frequent use of the term ethnic cleansing by mass media covering wars, especially the wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina that marked the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, popularized the notion of ethnic cleansing as one of the most typical war crimes, as something vaguely similar to genocide and crimes against humanity.

In reality, however, the term is of recent use and mostly refers to comparatively recent historical cases, it was not originally coined by lawyers, and despite existing precedents of its use in criminal courts and war crimes tribunals, it has no normatively accepted legal definition. In addition to that, ethnic cleansing is not equal in ...

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