Croatia unveils monument to late wartime leader Tudjman

Croatia unveils monument to late wartime leader Tudjman
A monument to late President Franjo Tujdman is unveiled in Zagreb, Croatia, Monday, Dec. 10,2018. Franjo Tujdman led the country to independence from the former Yugoslavia and through the 1992-95 war but is regarded by many as a hardline nationalist. Top officials attended the ceremony in the capital Zagreb also marking the 19th anniversary of Tujdman's death. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic) (Darko Bandic)

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia has unveiled a monument to late leader Franjo Tudjman, who led the country to independence from the former Yugoslavia but has also been criticized for his nationalist policies.

Top Croatian officials attended the ceremony in Zagreb on Monday that marked the 19th anniversary of Tudjman's death.

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said Tudjman has "indebted us for many centuries." Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic praised his "wisdom."

Tudjman is adored by nationalists in Croatia for leading the country through the 1992-95 war that erupted when minority Serbs rebelled against the country's independence.

Outside Croatia, Tudjman was widely seen as a right-wing nationalist whose policies helped fuel ethnic hatred and bloodshed in neighboring Bosnia.

Croatia's president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, seen on a screen, unveils a monument to late President Franjo Tujdman in Zagreb, Croatia, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. Franjo Tujdman led the country to independence from the former Yugoslavia and through the 1992-95 war but is regarded by many as a hardline nationalist. Top officials attended the ceremony in the capital Zagreb also marking the 19th anniversary of Tujdman's death. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
Croatia's president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, seen on a screen, unveils a monument to late President Franjo Tujdman in Zagreb, Croatia, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. Franjo Tujdman led the country to independence from the former Yugoslavia and through the 1992-95 war but is regarded by many as a hardline nationalist. Top officials attended the ceremony in the capital Zagreb also marking the 19th anniversary of Tujdman's death. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic) (AP)

Tudjman's Croatian Democratic Union party has been in power in Croatia for most of the post-independence period.

A monument to late President Franjo Tujdman is unveiled in Zagreb, Croatia, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. Tujdman led the country to independence from the former Yugoslavia and through the 1992-95 war but is regarded by many as a hardline nationalist. Top officials attended the ceremony in the capital Zagreb also marking the 19th anniversary of Tujdman's death. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
A monument to late President Franjo Tujdman is unveiled in Zagreb, Croatia, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. Tujdman led the country to independence from the former Yugoslavia and through the 1992-95 war but is regarded by many as a hardline nationalist. Top officials attended the ceremony in the capital Zagreb also marking the 19th anniversary of Tujdman's death. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic) (AP)