Thursday, March 29, 2018


CIA CAN’T  CONFIRM OR DENY FILE ON YUGOSLAVIST WRITER - cites US Presidential Obama Executive Order

by Sasha Uzunov
Melbourne, Australia

The United States’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has blocked a Freedom of Information request for any file it might hold on a prominent Yugoslavist writer and founder of Macedonia’s Helsinki Watch Committee, the late Meto Jovanovski.

Team Uzunov Blog was involved in a legal tussle - lasting almost a year tear - with the CIA over a Freedom of Information request and 1 lost an appeal in May 2017 to gain access to any files, should they exist.

The CIA cited an Executive Order numbered 13526 signed by US President Barak Obama as one of the legal justifications in neither confirming nor denying the existence of any files on the late Yugoslavist writer from Macedonia, Meto Jovanovski, who passed away in December 2016.

TEAM UZUNOV blog lodged an appeal against the CIA rejection of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

CIA rejects appeal 


Monday, March 12, 2018


by Sasha Uzunov

A Balkan Insight news website journalist in Macedonia has called for a controversial monument to a hard core 1930s Serb colonial Mayor/architect Josif Mihailovic of Skopje, now the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, to be built in the centre of that city in the place of Alexander the Great.

Mr Goce Trpkovski, who writes for a number of publications including Balkan Insight, has posted on social media a call for a monument to Mihailovic. (related story at this link )

Mihailovic was an architect and loyal monarchist handpicked by the then Serb King Alexander I in 1929 to become Mayor and Chief Architect of Skopje, the major city of Macedonia then under brutal Serbian colonial rule (lasting from 1912 to 1941).

The Macedonian language and identity were banned under Serbian colonial rule and a policy of forced Serbianisation was in place.

A 1941 British Foreign Office report on “colonialism” in what it's now the Republic of Macedonia -

His Majesty's British Minister to Belgrade, R.I. Campbell writing to Lord Halifax, Her Majesty's British Foreign Secretary, in 1941:

"Since the occupation by Serbia in 1913 of the Macedonian districts, the Government has carried out in this area, with greater or lesser severity, a policy of suppression and assimilation. In the years  following the Great War land was taken away from the inhabitants and given to Serbian colonists. Macedonians were compelled to change their names and the Government did little or nothing to assist the economic development of the country…"

Citation: British Foreign Office document - FO371/29785, Campbell (Belgrade) to Halifax, 6 January 1941.
The purpose of building up Skopje in the 1930s would have been to attract Serb colonialists to Macedonia and to turn Skopje, referred to as Skoplje in Serbian, into a Serbian city.

Mihailovic was Mayor of Skopje (1929-36 and 1939-41) during a brutal crackdown on Macedonians seeking independence from Serbian rule. He was immensely loyal to King Alexander I, later assassinated in France in 1934. (pictured below).

Mihailovic does have a street named after him in present day Skopje despite his past controversial role in a colonial regime which brutally repressed Macedonians.

A 1926 British Foreign Office report on Macedonia -

British Diplomat RA Gallop:

"The most striking thing to one familiar with North Serbia [Serbia proper], who has been accustomed to hear Macedonia described as Southern Serbia and its inhabitants as Serbs, was the complete difference of atmosphere which was noticeable almost as soon as we had crossed the pre-1913 frontier some miles south of Vranje. One felt as though one had entered a foreign country. Officials and officers from North Serbia seemed to feel this too, and I noticed especially in the cafes and hotels of Skopje that they formed groups by themselves and mixed little with the Macedo-Slavs. Those of the latter that I met were equally insistent on calling themselves neither Serbs nor Bulgars, but Macedonians.... There seemed to be no love lost for the Bulgars in most places. Their brutality during the war had lost them the affection even of those who before the Balkan War had been their friends."

Citation: FO371/11405, Kennard (Belgrade) to A. Chamberlain, 21 April 1926, Enclosure, R.A. Gallop, “Conditions in Macedonia,” 19 April 1926. - link

-This 1930 newspaper article reports on the harshness of Serbian rule towards Macedonians and Croats. link here

Macedonia had been one territory under Ottoman Turkish Imperial rule for close to 500 years when it was partitioned by Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria in 1912-13 during the Balkan Wars which saw the Turks expelled from Macedonia. The new occupiers of Macedonia began their own brutal colonisation.

The part under Serbian rule was occupied by fascist Bulgaria in 1941 until 1944 during World War II. A native Macedonian partisan resistance movement sprung up consisting of an unofficial alliance of Macedonian communists aligned with Marshal Tito and Macedonian non-communists led by Metodija Andonov Cento. Macedonia was elevated to republican status in Tito’s Yugoslavia but a ruthless clampdown on former non communist wartime allies followed in 1946 with the imprisonment of Cento on trumped up charges during an infamous show trial.

1933 article in the American press - Mihailovich’s loyalty to his Serbian King Alexander. He had been dissuaded from leaving his post - leaving not so much over the concerns for the welfare and human rights of the local native ethnic Macedonian population but more out of fatigue at the amount of work he put in into turning Skopje into a Serbian colonial outpost.

- see link here 

CIA Archives - US Presidential memorandum

1944-45:- Macedonians don’t want return of Serbian King nor colonialism.

US Presidential memorandum - World War II - Stalin urges Macedonia receive representation in post war Yugoslavia:

"You have not the territory of Russia nor the people of Russia. You are a small country of small landowners in the heart of Europe. You will have to build your state upon democratic principles with equal representation for all the national groups of Yugoslavia. You will have to seek economic assistance from America the way we here in Russia are planning to do after the war is over.' Stalin, according to Subasic, spoke in ‘very warm terms about the United States.

“Discussing the monarchy, Stalin wanted to know from Subasic what the people’s feelings are about [Serb] King Peter, II. [ex Yugoslav royalist politican Ivan] Subasic confided in me for the first time that the King is not popular in Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia but that he has some following, of course, in Serbia, and that he told this to Stalin...” link here


In September 1991 Macedonia declared independence from Yugoslavia but has had Greece as a constant thorn in its side; Greece and Bulgaria refuses to recognise the existence of Macedonians.

Macedonians in Greece and Bulgaria have fared worse than their ethnic kin in the Republic of Macedonia, which now faces an existential threat to its very existence over its name and identity - which are being used as blackmail by Greece and Bulgaria in order for Macedonia to join the European Union and NATO, of which Greece and Bulgaria are both members of.

Trump and Macedonia - part 1 - “The Draskovic Double Act.”
see link here

Saturday, March 03, 2018

AUSTRALIA’S AMBASSADOR: worrying trend Albanian Nazi statues in Macedonia

by Sasha Uzunov

Australia’s Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia, Ms Julia Feeney, said there are “worrying trends” about the rise of neo fascism in Europe in response to Australian-Macedonian concerns over Albanian Nazi collaborator statues that have popped up in Macedonia in recent times.

“We are concerned about the rise of new fascism and extremism wherever it occurs and agree there are some worrying trends in Europe at this time,” she told TEAM UZUNOV blog.

A TEAM UZUNOV blog investigation (see links here and here) has uncovered two statues “honouring” World War II Nazi collaborators built by Macedonia’s ethnic Albanian political bloc - the first in 2006 and the second in 2015. So far the Germany Deputy Ambassador Marco Aquatacci and the Council of Europe, the continent’s peak human rights watch dog, have reacted to concerns - put by TEAM UZUNOV blog - over these statues but there has been silence, so far, from the Macedonia’s Deputy Prime Minister Mr Bujar Osmani, from ethnic Albanian nationalist party DUI - a coalition partner of Prime Minister Mr Zoran Zaev’s government - the US Ambassador to Macedonia Mr Jess Baily, and NATO Secretary General Mr Jens Stoltenberg amongst others.

A kind of unofficial media and political blackout has been imposed over the issue in Macedonia - believed to be due to the Albanian political bloc in Macedonia being staunchly pro American and a close ally of Washington. Raising such an issue over the statues would no doubt paint the US in a negative light. - (see links here and here )

The controversial Albanian “Nazi collaborator statues” in the Republic of Macedonia. Top: Xhem Hasa in the village of Simnica, near the town of Gostivar. Bottom: Aqif Krosi Recani in the village of Recan, near Gostivar. Both figures were leaders of the Albanian nationalist militia Balli Kombetar in western Macedonia during World War II. The Balli Kombetar collaborated with Nazi Germany in conducting of ethnic cleansing of native ethnic Macedonians as well as murdering Albanians opposed to fascism. According to US author Richard Raschke, the Balli Kombetar’s overall leader Midhat Fraseri was actively involved in the Holocaust against the Jewish people.

Macedonian identity has come under ferocious attack from all quarters under the banner of “anti nationalism” and “anti corruption” - neighbouring Greece, Bulgaria as well the Albanian political bloc in Macedonia and some leading Serb commentators and politicians in Macedonia, including the country’s Defence Minister Radmila Sekerinska. - (see link here)

Many native ethnic Macedonians sees this as a poorly disguised attempt to erase their identity and name and are angered at this targeting since they have been victims of Greek, Serb and Bulgar colonialism beginning in 1912-13 with the partition of their traditional homeland. The part under Serbian colonial rule became a republic - de facto Macedonian nation state - in Tito’s federal Yugoslavia after World War II.

Macedonia, since gaining independence in 1991 from Yugoslavia, has been pressured by Greece to change its name in order to gain European Union and NATO membership. Greece and Bulgaria, both EU and NATO members, deny the existence of a Macedonian nationality or a Macedonian minority living within their borders. They have exacted a huge price in demands in order to allow Macedonia to gain membership to both the EU and NATO. - (see links here and here)

In 2001 the Kosovo Liberation Army invaded Macedonia in an attempt to take territory and create a Greater Albania but it was foiled by the country’s security forces - police and army - after being initially on the back foot.

Ambassador Feeney said she would watch closely the situation in Macedonia:

"I can assure you that Australian Embassy has, and will continue to, monitor political developments in-country. As we embrace diversity in Australia, here too we consider all Macedonian citizens equally, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds.  Australia continues to support the advancement of peace, democratic freedom and tolerance in the Western Balkans region.”

Australia has an Embassy to Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia in Belgrade, the Serb capital, despite there being more Macedonians than Serbs in Australia. Australia because of strong Greek lobbying recognises Macedonia under the term “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” whilst the US, Canada and over 120 odd countries recognise it under its constitutional name of Republic of Macedonia. (see link here)

Australian Macedonians will be holding nation wide rallies in the major cities - Sydney, Melbourne, Perth - on Sunday 4 March in support of Macedonia’s name and identity. 

Jewish Holocaust Centre, Skopje, Macedonia.

2011 - A museum dedicated to the memory of the Jews of Macedonia who perished in the Shoah has been inaugurated in the former Yugoslav republic, in the presence of the country’s president and representatives of international Jewish organisations, including the World Jewish Congress (WJC).

In his speech, the WJC’s Research Director Laurence Weinbaum pointed out that no Jewish community in Europe had suffered a greater degree of destruction than the Macedonian one. 

Referring to Macedonia's principled stand on the restitution issue and to its unwavering friendship with Jews and Israel, he said:

"In much of contemporary Europe, dead Jews are respected, but live ones are defamed. You honor the dead and the living, and in so doing you have set an example to which other nations should aspire. There are nations that are larger, richer, better known and more powerful than Macedonia, but none more decent, gracious, good-hearted and noble.” see link here