Special Report

The Most Ruthless Leaders of All Time

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Mengistu Haile Mariam
> Country: Ethiopia
> Years in charge: 1977-1991

Known as the “Butcher of Addis,” Mengistu Haile Mariam was the leader of a military junta that carried out a brutal campaign of massacres and torture called the “Red Terror.”

Source: Pool / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Saddam Hussein
> Country: Iraq
> Years in charge: 1979-2003

Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who killed tens of thousands of Iraqis during his 14-year rule. He was defeated in one war with the United States and overthrown in another.

Source: Michel Porro / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Slobodan Milošević
> Country: Yugoslavia
> Years in charge: 1989-1992, 1997-2000

Slobodan Milošević was president of Serbia and later the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Yugoslav Wars, which killed more than 200,000 people. He was the first European head of state to be prosecuted for genocide and war crimes.

Source: Pool / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Kim Jong-il
> Country: North Korea
> Years in charge: 1994-2011

Kim Jong-il succeeded his father Kim Il-Sung as supreme leader of North Korea and continued the same ruthless political and disastrous economic policies.

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