Friday, May 30, 2014


Photo source: Programme de coopération décentralisée entre la 
Région Basse-Normandie et la République de Macédoine 

By Sasha Uzunov

We do the heavy lifting in research but Dnevnik newspaper in Skopje & TV Station Orbis in Bitola take the credit.... It's not our fault if we don't sit around all day in a Skopje or Bitola cafe drinking coffee and chain smoking. Some of us like to actually "work" as journalist !


We solved a 70 year mystery over Pande Matevski (Panta Matevich) - the US soldier from Bitola, Macedonia who was killed in Normandy 1944- but Dnevnik reporter Zaneta Zdravkovska doesn't give us credit for uncovering that he enlited in the US Army under the name of Panta Matevich and his rank was Private First Class and not Petty Officer.

However, the Dnevnik article keeps repeating the mistake that he was in Airbourne (desant). He was in infantry. The Dnevnik article also keeps repeating the mistake that Pande Matevski was a "junior officer - podoficir."

Private First Class is not an officer rank nor is it an NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer rank - Staresina-in Macedonian- Corporal, Sergeant, etc).

We also mentioned his brother Peter.

The original Dnevnik article, on April 8 2014, which broke this story could not understand why Matevski's name did not appear in US military records. This is where we solved the mystery by going through US immigration and Army records and uncovering Matevski's family: his sister Kalopia Tasseff, his brother Peter, his father and mother.

After we solved this mystery, all of a sudden Zdravkovska has quoted an organisation based in Skopje called 
Programme de coopération décentralisée entre la Région Basse-Normandie et la République de Macédoine (see the link) the with the answers on 27 May 2014...This organisation has given funding to TV Station Orbis in Bitola to make a short documentary about Private Matevski. We have not been contacted by any of the three organisations.

But prior to this no one had any idea...about why his name did not exist in US Army records. Hilarious.

Even the idea or theme such as the Saving Private Ryan/Steven Spielberg tagline for the documentary film mentioned in the Dnevnik article is similiar to our introductory paragraph of our April 28, 2014 story:


by Sasha Uzunov

June/July 1944 D-Day and Normandy Landings - Steven Spielberg had Saving Private Ryan, we have SOLVING PRIVATE MATEVSKI .

With the 70th anniversary of D-Day approaching... I began seeking any information on a Private First Class Panta Matevich (Pande Matevski) 28th Infantry regiment, 8th Infantry Division, US Army, who fell in July 1944 in Normandy.

The Dnevnik article:

За неговата трагична животна приказна Асоцијацијата на агенции за локална демократија со финансии од Франција снимија краток документарен филм, кој ќе биде прикажан по повод 70-годишнината од десантот во Нормандија. Филмот се вика „Војникот Рајан од Битола“, а насловот е инспириран од оскаровецот „Спасувајќи го војникот Рајан“ на Стивен Спилберг. Премиерно ќе биде прикажан утре (петок) во 12 часот во Центарот за култура во Битола, а за неколку дена, најверојатно, и на главната манифестација во Франција.

- Жанета Здравковска -

On Facebook - April 9, 2014 we uncovered Pande Matevski had enlisted in the US Army under the name of Panta Matevich. On 28 April we published our story...

Note on Facebook homepage

Sasha Uzunov
April 9 ·
I believe I might have solved the mystery of the Macedonian, Pande Matevski (1914-44), serving in the US Army who was killed in Normany, 1944.

According to US military records a Private First Class Panta Matevich, born 1914, enlisted in the US Army from Cook County, Chicago Ilinois, US. Army ID number is 36032731. Later killed in Action.

He was an unskilled labourer, single, working with metals in civilian life.

Note: the Republic of Macedonia was from 1913 to 1941 under the occupation of the Kingdoms of Serbia & later Yugoslavia and names had been forcibly changed or Serbianised.

This might be the gentleman referred to the article below but we would still need more confirmation:

see link 

The Australian Macedonian Today (Denes) newspaper, 5 June 2014 - gives credit where credit is due and puts the overall story in context. The caption to my photo reads: "Australian journalist Sasha Uzunov's role in solving the mystery behind Pande Matevski (Panda Matevich)."

Friday, May 23, 2014


Former Macedonian Intelligence Officer, Alexander Dinevski, no stranger to controversy.

Unearthed document: 1992 formal complaint to the Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov and Parliament

THE JORDAN MIJALKOV MYSTERY DEEPENS - Why did Macedonia's Interior Minister Frckoski order intelligence officer's arrest in 1992?

by Sasha Uzunov

Professor Doctor Ljubomir Danailov Frckoski, who in recent times has cultivated the image of a mild mannered public intellectual who critiques mock baroque statues, had a more ruthless side to his stage personna as Macedonia's Interior Minister, ordering the arrest of a highly respected counter-intelligence officer and seizing documents relating to his successor Jordan Mijalkov killed in a mysterious car crash in Serbia in late 1991.


Alexander (Aleksandar) "Aco" Dinevski , an officer with the Interior Ministry's SDB (Sluzba za Drzavna Bezbednost - State Security Service) was arrested on the 13 July 1992 whilst on annual summer vacation in his father's village of Brajcino, in the Lake Prespa region of Macedonia. The order had come from Interior Minister Frckoski over claims that Dinevski had been leaking secrets.

The Interior Ministry runs the police force and intelligence services.

Dinevski, flanked by SDB officers, was then driven back to Skopje, the capital of Macedonia and made to hand over his work files from his office safe as well as having his flat (apartment) in Skopje searched and private documents and books seized, including material relating to Mijalkov.

He later was released from custody and began court proceedings against Minister Frckoski over wrongful dismissal. In 1993 during my time as a reporter with the MILS news agency in Skopje I met Dinevski and attended his court trial on 18 March 1993. His lawyer being the well known attorney Rafael Cerepnalkovski-Rafe, later to become a Supreme Court judge. The matter was eventually settled.

Dinevski is no stranger to controversy. As a young reformist intelligence officer, he together with seven other colleagues, known as The Eight (Osumminata na RSVR), began pushing for reforms in Macedonia's interitor ministry then under Federal Communist Yugoslav control. His group also exposed corruption and abuse of power by Macedonia's communist ruling elite, namely Lazar Kolisevski, a close collaborater with Yugoslav ruler Marshal Tito.

In 1991 Macedonia became independent after leaving the collapsing Federal Yugoslavia, caused in most part in Serbian leader's attempts to set up a Greater Serbia.

Recently, Dinevski was in the news after being arrested on alleged espionage charges by the current Gruevski government.

In 1993 Dinevski gave me a copy of his 1992 deposition and formal complaint to the the President of Macedonia, Kiro Gligorov, seeking Frckoski's sacking.

The document reads (in Macedonian):

"I had documents taken from my flat that did not relate to state security. I had a book that was personally signed by Dragan Bogdanovski [Macedonian dissident imprisoned by Communist Yugoslavia in 1977]. This book is readily available overseas. I wanted to study Bogdanovski's signature [rakopis]."

Dinevski then adds:

"I had drafted a "Proclamation [Proglas] for public resistance against JNA [Yugoslav People's Army] aggression against Republic of Macedonia" during 3 or 4 July 1991 on the instructions of the late Interior Minister Jordan Mijalkov. We were expecting JNA armed intervention when armed police vehicles had surrounded the Macedonian Parliament, MRTV [State broadcaster] office. A number of copies of this proclamation were lodged in a number of places just in case the JNA had liquidated the Macedonian political leadership.

"This paper was made known to the SDB chain of command. It never carried any security classification."

Dinevski also reveals he had a document, in the public domain, about Slave Vasovski, indicted for a bombing in Skopje in 1974.

Another document taken related to fellow SDB officer Mile Ilievski, one of The Eight, who committed suicide 6 May 1992; and a proposal from an SDB commander and later advisor to Minister Frckoski, that Ilievski's phone (number 208-189 in Skopje) should be tapped from 30 April to 8 May 1992.


Dinevski became a critic of Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's Lustration Commission, a judicial body set up to investigate former Communist informers.

Dinevski told EU pundit Sinisa Jakov-Marusic: “From my experience in the security forces, I know that many operatives were adding stuff to their reports that was not true, naming informants they never met… and now we pronounce people as spies based on those documents."

Dinevski's 1992 deposition - making a formal complaint to the President of Macedonia, Kiro Gligorov and asking for the sacking of then Interior Minister Ljubomir Danailov Frckoski

Related Story - link

THE JORDAN MIJALKOV HIT - was the Macedonian Minister assassinated?

by Sasha Uzunov

Just before Christmas 1991, I got a phone call from two Melbourne based branch members, Andon Lazarevski and Vidan Zvezdakovski, from VMRO-DPMNE, now the governing party in Macedonia. They were faxing media releases about the unexpected death of Jordan Mijalkov, Macedonia's Interior Minister. One was sent to the BBC in London but with no response.

They asked if I, as an independent freelance journalist, was interested in the story? I said I was happy to talk to anyone from any political party, including Macedonia's Social Democrats (SDSM), or ethnic background for information. It is a hard business trying to steer an independent course amongst Macedonia's two major political parties.

In December 1991 Jordan Mijalkov, was killed in a car accident as he was rushing to meet with his Serbian counterpart. At the time there was speculation his death had been arranged by person or persons unknown. The other possibility was it was a genuine car crash.
read more - go to above link

Monday, May 19, 2014


The Serb Ambassador Dusanka Divjak-Tomic breaks down in tears in Skopje, the capital city of Macedonia, over her gratitude for Macedonia's offer of humanitarian assistance to flood victims in Serbia. source: vistina mk - link


The cultural difference between Macedonia & Serbia:
by Sasha Uzunov

HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE - when news of the devastating floods in Serbia and Bosnia hit, the Macedonian public and media quite rightly and instinctively offered to provide assistance to Serbia. They put aside their concerns about their powerful and capricious neighbour to the north. It's simply called human decency. People are people, regardless of the race, creed, colour.

You can see in the photo above the Serb Ambassador in Macedonia overcome with tears with gratitude over Macedonia's help.

In contrast, in April of this year at a formal commemoration, the Serb state media snubbed the 25,000 Macedonian Partizans with the 15th Macedonian Army Corps who fought at the Syrmian Front (Sremski Front) in Serbia in 1945 during World War Two's last major ferocious battle as the Germans made their last stand in the Balkans. There was no acknowledgement, no thank you for the sacrifice or for the humanitarian assistance.

15th Macedonian Army Corps on its way to the Syrmian Front (Sremski Front).

Furthermore, the Serbian state, though secular, uses the false cover of religion to destabilise Macedonia. The Serbian Orthodox Church, lacking any compassion or humanity, refuses to recognise the existence of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

Diplomatic relationships are about building trust. In plain English it should be a two-way street.

The Macedonian people, on a whole, are a reasonable and tolerant people who have been forced to endure neighbouring states' contradictory behaviour: Greece's bullying over Macedonia's rightful name, Bulgarian refusal to recognise the existence of a separate Macedonian identity; and European Union and Western de-facto support for the ethnic Albanian insurgency in 2001 which nearly tore Macedonia apart.

For a small and peace-loving country it is being put through the ringer but can still uphold principles of decency and compassion.

We are surprised that EU pundit Sinisa Jakov Marusic of Balkan Insight website has gone "missing in action" over the story?

The article in the Serbian media leaves out the Macedonian contribution:

4/12/2014 3:40:00 PM

69 years since breakthrough of Syrmian Front

BELGRADE - Serbia marked on Saturday 69 years since the breakthrough of the Axis lines on the Syrmian Front after a 175-day campaign to liberate Yugoslavia from Nazi occupation in World War II.

The Syrmian Front campaign saw some of the most difficult and longest and most tragic WWII fighting. Over 250,000 soldiers fought in the trench battles from October 21, 1944 to April 12, 1945.

The Syrmian Front was an Axis defense line established along the western border of the Serbian region of Syrmia (Srem) after the final campaigns to liberate Belgrade and the country were started by the Yugoslav Partisans and their allies.

The Germans defended the front line heavily in desperate attempts to protect the withdrawal of its army's Group E from Greece through regions of Macedonia, Metohija, Kosovo, Sandzak and Bosnia.

On October 21, 1944, following the liberation of Belgrade, the 1st Proletarian Corps of the People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia (NOVJ) went into an offensive to capture the Axis's trenches to protect the liberated capital and continue pushing the enemy further to the west.

A total of 12 Yugoslav divisions were backed by the Soviet Red Army and the Bulgarian People's Army. A Slovenian battalion formed in the liberated Belgrade and an Italian brigade also joined the 1st Proletarian Corps's offensive.

The Yugoslav units consisted mostly of under-aged young men drafted en masse in Serbia in the winter of 1944 and 1945.

On the Axis side were units of the Nazi German army and Independent State of Croatia.

The difficult and bloody battles, fought in heavy snow and fierce winds, claimed the lives of at least 13,500 NOVJ soldiers, mostly young men sent to the front from Serbia and Montenegro, but the exact number and full names of the soldiers have never been established or listed.

The losses and casualties for the Russian Red Army numbered at least 1,100 soldiers, the Bulgarian Army lost 630 men and the Italian brigade went back home without 163 of their men. The Axis side saw about 30,000 killed or wounded.

History has it written that that all the units taking part in the fighting on the Syrmian Front had an ally in the population of Syrmia as the homes and facilities of these people proved secure shelters for their men.

The breakthrough of enemy lines on the Syrmian Front marked the end of World War II on the territory of today's Republic of Serbia. The entire territory of the former Yugoslavia was liberated in an allied offensive in less than a month after that.

The German Army Group E capitulated to Yugoslav Partisans on April 12, 1945, and its commander, General Alexander von Loehr, the mastermind behind a massive air attack aimed at destroying Belgrade in early April 1941, was captured. He was tried for war crimes and sentenced to death in February 1947.

Most historians concur that the Syrmian Front proved to be of huge importance for the Allies and crucial for the Yugoslav Partisans, but they are not sure if it was really necessary for so many young Serbian men to leave their bones in the mud of the Syrmian plains.
The official history - detailing the 15th Macedonian Army Corps participation at the Syrmian Front (Sremski Front) Bora Mitrovski: PETNAESTI (MAKEDONSKI) UDARNI KORPUS Vojnoizdavački zavod, Beograd, 1983  link