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The second phase of the fighting was marked by the significant recapturing of territory by Croat and Bosnian troops.
There was fighting between Croats and Bosniacs, too, most notably in the Herzegovinian city of Mostar.
Fear spread in Serb communities in Croatia and Bosnia that a similar fate could await them. The newly elected Croatian government under Franjo Tudjman planned to turn the Serbs in Croatia into an official minority with minority rights. What does the infamous term "ethnic cleansing" refer to?
This laid the foundation for the ideology of a "Greater Serbia." That state would comprise not only Serbia itself, but also those parts of Bosnia and Croatia where large Serb populations lived. The term "ethnic cleansing" was chosen as the "non-word of the year" in Germany in 1992.
With the support of Serb nationalists from Kosovo and the help of allies in Serbian state television, he proceeded to spread fear among the Serb minorities in Croatia and Bosnia.
Serbian television showed extensive footage of massacres committed by Croat fascists against in Serbs during World War II. There were also nationalist groups among Croats and Bosniacs.
Serb civilians, too, fell victim to massacres that Bosnian and Croat fighters perpetrated in retaliation. In the first phase, which largely took place in 19, Serbs conquered large parts of Croatia (roughly one third of the territory) and Bosnia (more than two thirds of the territory).