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The Battle of Vrbanja Bridge occurred on 27 May 1995 between United Nations peacekeepers from the French Army and elements of the Bosnian Serb–aligned Army of Republika Srpska (VRS). It began after the VRS seized French-manned observation posts of the United Nations Protection Force at both ends of the Vrbanja Bridge in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the Bosnian War, taking twelve French peacekeepers hostage. Two of them remained held at the bridge as human shields. A platoon of 30 French peacekeepers, led by then-Captain François Lecointre, recaptured the bridge with the support of 70 French infantrymen and direct fire from armoured vehicles. Two French soldiers were killed and seventeen were wounded during the battle. VRS casualties were four killed, several wounded and four captured. VRS forces were subsequently less likely to engage French UN peacekeepers deployed in the city. In 2017, Lecointre was appointed Chief of the Defence Staff of France with the rank of army general. (Full article...)
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The Roman emperors were the rulers of the Roman Empire from the granting of the title Augustus to Octavian (pictured) in 27 BC. The English word emperor derives from imperator, an ancient honorific that served as one of the several titles of the emperor. Early emperors ruled behind a republican facade and avoided monarchical titles, but this changed over the following centuries, after which the position became more akin to an absolute monarchy. After the Crisis of the Third Century, the empire was split into a Greek East and Latin West, each with its own emperor. The Western Empire fell to foreign invaders in 476, marking the traditional start of the Middle Ages in Europe. The Eastern Empire, or Byzantine Empire, continued for another thousand years until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, marking the end of the medieval period, although its power and extent had long been in decline. Several foreign rulers have also claimed the title of Roman emperor, regarding themselves as the true successors to Roman civilization. (Full list...)