Zlata Filopovic lived in Sarajevo during the Yugoslavian civil war. The city was under siege for four years, starting in 1992 when she wrote her diary. Especially at the time it is written, most people in the world would neither recognize nor be able to locate the new nations that had been formed out of the old federal state of Yugoslavia.
Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia all were former provinces within Yugoslavia, and many had broken away by the time of Zlata's experience, including the city where she lives, which is the capital of Bosnia then and now. The war and her diary forced people in other countries to look again at the geography of the region and the reasons why the civil war was happening.