Article War in Macedonia at 2001 year.Oleg Valecki


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Apr 21, 2005
War in Macedonia at 2001 year- O
leg Valeckii

When Western media put the reason for the Albanian rebellion in Kosovo and Metohiya as repressions of Serbian security services they sidestep similar rebellion of Albanians in Macedonia where the conflict of interests was even more complicated than in Kosovo and Metohiya; Macedonians are divided into supporters of independence and supporters of unification with Bulgaria.

It is clear that we cannot negate ethnical and cultural peculiarities of Macedonia, but this region formerly called Old Serbia, was populated by Serbs, according to all historical documents. It is a matter of fact, that a part of Macedonia by was populated by Bulgarians, indeed Bulgarians populating the eastern part of Macedonia, were not Macedonians; we do not touch the issue of to which Slavic nation the population of nowadays’ Bulgaria belonged before Turkish tribes of Bulgarians appeared there.

In accordance with a number of Serbian sources, e.g. Milos Miloyevic and Olga Lukovic-Pyanovic, the territory of Aegean Macedonia obtained by Greece after the Second Balkan war, historically represented itself not just Macedonia but it was a part of Serbian lands.

The essence itself of the conflict between Greeks and Macedonians , ongoing for decades, is stipulated by the fact that Greece has established its authority over the region of Northern Epirus where the Slavic population used to be autochthonous and, though Greek authorities are ‘’Hellenizing’’ the population successfully enough the fact that the population of the Aegean Macedonia is Slavic could hardly be denied.
The Macedonian nation itself was created during the process of forcible ‘’Bulgarization’’ of the Serb population of Macedonia which was ongoing during the second half of the XIX century and the first half of the XX century.; there were no Macedonians in Macedonia, only either Serbs or Bulgarians.

The history of ‘’Bulgarianization’’ of Serbs can be traced through the history of life and activities of the Serb ‘’chetnik’’ voyvoda(commandant in free translation), war lord Mirko Kyrstic (1855-1908), from the region of Porecje on the territories of contemporary Makedonski Brod and Prilep in Central Macedonia.
According to the book published in Scopye called ‘’Voyvoda Mirko-life and activities’’ written by his fellow campaigner Kodja (publishing house Krajnicanac, 1930), after the Serbian/Turkish war of 1876-77, in which war lord Mirko Kyrstic took part personally as a volunteer, Serb rebellions against Turks started in Macedonia as well, and an important part in these played those Serbs who fought against Turks in the Serbian army.
During the Russian/Turkish war of 1877-78 the Serbian rebellion supported by Serbia has encompassed the whole region of Kumanovo, and then in 1880 started also in regions Kichevo and Poreca under the leadership of Ivan Delija, Mirko Kyrstic, Risto Konstadinovic and Anjelko Tanasovic.

After rebellions in Porch and Kichevo have been suppressed in 1882 Turkey decided-as a lesser evil- to allow expansion of Bulgarian schools from regions Bitola, Kostur and Lerinja to regions of Kichevo, Prilep, Velez and Skopje.

The Bulgarian political movement which appeared with support of Sophia had its own military wing –“comities”, - who besides attacking Turks forcibly established its power on Serbian territories.

After the defeat of the Serbian army during the Serbian/Bulgarian war of 1885 the government of the newly-created Bulgaria has managed to put under its influence a considerable part of the anti-Turkish movement in Macedonia. In Thessaloniki in 1894 was Central Bulgarian Revolutionary Committee was formed. This Committee -with support of the Bulgarian Government- organized a raid of four “comities’ detachments under the command of Bulgarian officers with purpose of attacks on Turks in Macedonia

Using the Greek/Turkish war of 1897 Bulgarian prince Ferdinand was able, according to the book ‘’Voyvoda Micko - life and activities’’, to receive two Serbian dioceses under the jurisdiction of the orthodox Church from Sultan Abdul Khamid.
After Turkish suppression of the Bulgarian rebellion in 1903 in Western Macedonia the Bulgarian government started a cultural/political campaign for the assimilation of Serbs and Greeks who were under the Turkish authority committing terrorist acts by ‘’comits’’ organizations against those same Serbs and Greeks who were opposing assimilation.

In retort, Serbia, using the ‘’chetnik’’ organization formed at that time, has organized a Serb rebellion in the region of Prilep headed in April of 1904 by the voyvoda(warlord in free translation) Micko Kyrstic who was released from Turkish jail.

Bulgarians, however, have managed to re-organize themselves, and in 1905 the political organization VMORO (Internal Macedonian/Odrinska Revolutionary organization) was formed; it had its military wing, whilst Serbs did not have a single organization in Macedonia.

After the ‘’Young Turks’’’ revolution of 1908 , attacks on Turks by Serbian ‘’chetniks’’ and Bulgarian ‘’comities’’ practically ceased, however mutual Serb/Bulgarian hatred was only growing which has led to the Second Balkan war in which Bulgaria was defeated having lost all Macedonia.

Along with that the inclusion of all Macedonia, with its traditionally Bulgarian lands in the east , into Serbia did not lead it to pacification, and as soon as the WWI was over Macedonia has become a battlefield for actions of VMRO (Internal Macedonian Revolutionary organization) formed in Sophia in 1919 which raised rebellions both in Vardar Macedonia in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croatians and Slovenes, and in the Kingdom of Greece in Aegean Macedonia.
In 1925 the VMRO new leadership headed by Ivan Mihaylov, supported by the Bulgarian army, created the ‘’chetnik’’ forces numbering 15,000 men and started a guerilla warfare in Macedonia, both on the Serbian side and the Greek one.
VMRO was fulfilling full-scale armed assaults on bodies of Royal authorities and Serb colonists in Macedonia, in which it had support of both the detachments of Albanian ‘’kachaks’’ (outlaws) and Yugoslav communists.

The campaign of the VMRO armed fighting peaked in the murder of King Alexander committed by the unified forces of VMRO and Croatian ‘’ustashes’’ in Marseilles, France in 1934.

As the communist party of Yugoslavia declared Serb nationalism and Royal authorities to be their main enemy, it is no wonder that with the establishment of communist power in Macedonia there started a forced assimilation policy of Serbs by efforts of party/state functionaries of the then Socialist Republic of Macedonia with full connivance of the official Belgrade.

The Socialist Macedonia from its very beginning was out of the Belgrade influence, and in accordance with the book by Veselin Diuretic ‘’Extermination of Serbian domain in XX century-ideological utilization of history’’ (Serbian academy of sciences and arts. Institute of Balkanology. Belgrade, 1992), at the second sitting (November 29,1943) of the so-called AVNOJ-Peoples’ Parliament- (Anti-fascist Chamber of People’s Liberation of Yugoslavia), formed by the communist party of Yugoslavia, the decision was taken that the whole region around the town of Debar was to be included into the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, though by the data of the Debar/Velez diocese quoted by the same Diuretic, (‘’Archive of Serbia’’, MID-PP, 1908,No.256 , ‘’Educational opportunities in Velez-Debar diocese
Milic Petrovic) yet in 1908that region was Serbian mostly, there 24585 Serbs lived and there were 64 Orthodox churches and one monastery.

In the years of SFRY the Serb identity was successfully enough uprooted in the majority of former Serbs of Macedonia who started to consider themselves Macedonians alongside with a part of Macedonians who were regarded as Bulgarians in Bulgaria, but identified by SFRY authorities as Macedonians.
The leadership of the then Macedonia during their fight against Serbian nationalism reduced attention to Albanians who comprised in the SFRY years up to a quarter of the population of Macedonia, moreover, some Albanians during the census declared themselves as Turks, and as Mirolyub Yevtic writes in his book ‘’Shiptares and Islam’’, among the residents of the then Republic of Macedonia who declared that their nationality is Turkish, 17,5% had Albanian as their mother tongue.
The count of the number of Albanians was made difficult enough because they en masse factually sabotaged the activities of the state bodies, and the latter were not too much insisting on executing of state laws in Albanian villages fearing to be accused of ‘’fascism’’, as in SFRY the idea of ‘’anti-fascism’’ was an official ideological line , and any actions differing from the idea of ‘’brotherhood and unity’’ of Yugoslav nations could be characterized as fascism. Meanwhile, as a difference from Serbs, Albanians in the Socialist Macedonia were segregating Macedonians hard enough.
It is indicative that in populated localities, religious and ethnic segregation was preserved, and even in Skopje, on the Vardar river left bank, already in the 80-ties, according to Miroljb Yevtic’s book ‘’Shiptares and Islam’’ Muslims dominated in the structure of the population, and the main mass of the Macedonian Muslims were Albanians, beside then loyal to the state ethnic Turks, Macedonian Muslims and Gypsies.
In Macedonia the overwhelming mass of Albanians were Muslim, though in the neighboring Albania there was a considerable percentage of Orthodox and Catholics.
[FONT=&quot]Besides, according to Mirolyub Yevtic book ‘’Shiptares and Islam’’, after the victory of communists in Albania the ‘’dervish’’ institution of ‘’bektashes’’ relocated from Albania to the then Yugoslav republic of Macedonia where it continued to exist nicely enough.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]As Mirolyub Yevtic writes, ‘’bektashes’’ traditionally were the source of ideas about national unity of Albanians, though they represented a sufficiently separate trend in Sunni Islam, often differing from traditional Islam. In Macedonian conditions where as a difference from Albania, practically all Albanians were Muslims, the ideas of ‘’bektashes’’ started to feed the idea of exceptionalism of Albanians regarding both Serbs and Macedonians. [/FONT]
By the end of the 80-ties Albanians were the majority in Macedonian Municipalities of Tetovo, Gostivar, Debar and Struga, whereas in Kichevo and Kumanovo they comprised one third of the population, and in Skopje –one fifth of the population.
Because of, and taking into consideration the campaign of civil disobedience of Albanians which started with riots set up by Albanian students from Prishtina university in 1981, which were accompanied with attacks on Serbs, the leadership of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia should have foreseen the possibility of that scenario.
It never happened in reality, and both party and government officials here, up till the dissolution of SFRY, continued to assure the society in the immutability of the ideas of socialism.

As Serb nationalism continued to remain the main adversary of Yugoslav communists until the dissolution of SFRY, it is only logical that no ’’Serb aggression’’ towards Macedonia has taken place.

After the referendum of September 8, 1991, regarding independence of Macedonia, when the majority of population of Macedonia voted for independence, JNA left Macedonia without a shot, which by itself proves the absence of any serious plans with the then Yugoslav authorities about formation of ‘’Greater Serbia’’, maps of which were printed by both Serbian opposition and western media.

Because of this not a single influential Serbian political organization appeared in Macedonia despite presence of considerable number of Serb population in the region of Kumanovo and in Skopsko Montenegro, where the biggest Serb populated locality was the village of Kuchevisti.

By the way, like in the rest of the SFRY, first parties appeared in Macedonia in 1990.
During these elections the nationalistic Macedonian party VMRO-DPMNE (Internal Macedonian revolutionary Organization- Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity) received 38 places in the Parliament, the Albanian PDP- 23 places whereas the former Union of Communists later re-named as SDSM (Social-Democratic Union of Macedonia) got 32 places, losing, in fact.
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War in Macedonia at 2001 year.Oleg Valecki-2

The policies of the Macedonian nationalism, created during the SFRY years, have led to the formation of the Macedonian autocephalous church. This church appeared by the will of the Macedonian authorities, and the decision concerning its creation was absolutely non-canonical, and both the Serbian Orthodox church and the rest Orthodox churches did not recognize it. Besides, Vatican has made its contribution into the schism demanding the non-recognized Macedonia Orthodox church to be unified with Catholics.[/FONT]

At the same time the leveling of the Serbian influence and the victory of the Macedonian nationalists could not already be utilized by Bulgaria which was en route to the ‘’European integration’’ and thus could not venture for the accession of Macedonia.
Alongside with that because of the disinterest of the official Belgrade in the lot of Macedonia, the influence of the official Sophia on the fate of Macedonia has grown considerably.
Indeed, the neighboring Greece had its impact on the destiny of Macedonia; Greece, to whom Aegean Macedonia belonged, was arguing with now independent Macedonia the right to its name, although it did not hamper the influx of the Greek capital into Macedonian economy.
Turkey had also a considerable influence on Macedonia; Turkey was trying to play its own game on Greek/ Macedonian antinomies.
Beside Turkey, other Islamic world countries were displaying certain interest in the events in former Yugoslavia and thus in Macedonia; yet Lyubomir Firkovsky, former Minister of Interior in the government of the former Macedonian communist leader Kiro Gligorov, who has become President in 1992, made declarations about Saudi Arabian and Iranian Intelligences services’ activities in Macedonia.
Macedonia was a much easier gain for foreign intelligence than Serbia, and it was no accident that the flames of war were thrown into` Macedonia in 2001.

Despite the present opinion, this fire was not prevented by the fact that Macedonia, after gaining independence was moving towards NATO and EU membership at full speed.
Thus, directly after the Macedonian independence, under the pretext of defense from Serbian aggression, a thousand of American and Scandinavian soldiers turned-up in Macedonia within the UN peace-keeping contingent, who at once received a JNA military, range Krivolak and also Petrovac airport.

It was though visible in what way Americans imagined the future of Macedonia through their plans of unification of Macedonia and Albania, whereas Macedonians had no idea of how to get rid of their own Albanians who, like in Kosovo, have formed their own illegal authorities.
Already on January 11, 1992, in the west of Macedonia Albanians have conducted a referendum concerning autonomy; this referendum was recognized illegal by the authorities, and on march 31, 1992 there were mass demonstrations of Albanians demanding autonomy.

During the next unrest in Skopje on November 6, 1992, blood has been shed and 4 Albanians were killed and 36 wounded.

Because of all the more weakening of the state apparatus Macedonia in the 90-ties started to steadily move towards a national war, and in that case an important part was played by the fact that Albanian political parties, using the fear of Kiro Gligorov to lose power, were wresting concessions from him one after another, and these parties had the support of American diplomacy in that..
The American support was largely stipulated by the influence of the US Albanian lobby; many political analysts are inclined to associate that lobby with narcomafia.
Senator Bob Dole and Congressman Ben Gilmour were drawn to the side of that lobby.

Owing to that lobby, when in Tetovo-western Macedonia-on February 15,1995 an Albanian university was declared open, without any permission from the Ministry of education of Macedonia, a rather big number of American guests gathered there, among which American Senators were present, e.g. Joseph Diogardi, as well as directors of American Universities and Congressional Committees Chairmen.
As Macedonian authorities were displeased by the fact, perceiving this as an attempt to form a center of Albanian separatism in Tetovo, Macedonia police were called in and riots initiated by local Albanians started where one Albanian was killed.

High American guests in that case have read a lesson to the President of Macedonia Gligorov, and it is no wonder taking into consideration that Albanians were financing some American companies busy with paid propaganda (PR), as well as some independent newspapers well paid for journalists’ ‘’objectivity’’.

Thanks to this diplomatic and propaganda campaign the Albanian mafia has turned Macedonia into a Balkan Columbia of sorts, where drug manufacturing has become perhaps the most important sector of production.

The American government - sending its troops to Panama to fight drug cartels - did not utter a word about it, though the Albanian mafia produced drugs not only for the European market, but for American market as well.

Under these conditions the campaign of civil disobedience in neighboring Kosovo and Metohiya, with the ensuing wave of terrorism had an impact on events in Macedonia where growth of strength and influence of the Kosovo KLA (or UCK-Liberation Army of Kosovo) was noticeable, and whose gunmen could me encountered not only in Tetovo but in Skopje as well.
In regions bordering Kosovo, from Kumanovo to Tetovo, where Albanians were the majority, Macedonian authorities existed only nominally because Albanian parties have managed to gain delimitation of Macedonian and Albanian communities by the ethnic principle by which they have secured the legal basis of Albanians’ obtaining the autonomy.
In the 1996 elections in cities of Tetovo and Gostivar candidates of the Albanian party DPA, correspondingly Alaydin Demiri and Rufi Osmanli, got the positions of Mayors who at once gave instructions to put up Albanian flags in front of local government buildings.
Macedonia Prime Minister Branko Cyrvenkovsky gave the order to conduct a Police operation in Gostivar and Tetovo.
During this operation, on July 9, 1997, accompanied by mass riots, Demiri and Osmanli were arrested and later the first one was convicted to two years in jail, and the second one – to 13 years in jail, but after the new Parliamentary elections both were granted amnesty.

With the beginning of war in Kosovo and Metohiya in 1998 Macedonia has become a logistic base of the Albanian KLA (UCK) and soon direct armed clashes began between Macedonian border guards and Albanian UCK gunmen.
As a considerable number of Albanians-citizens of Macedonia fought for UCK in Kosovo, there was little time before the start of the civil war in Macedonia itself.

From March of 1999 with the beginning of the NATO campaign against Yugoslavia and the start of the full-scale offensive of the Yugoslav army and Serbian Police in Kosovo and Metohiya 2,5000 Albanians ran from Kosovo to Macedonia itself, many of whom were there mobilized to Albanian KLA.
KLA forces were attacking Serbian troops from the Macedonian territory, whereas Serbian units often attacked KLA and NATO forces deployed in Macedonia, and during one of these attacks they captures three American servicemen.

Macedonian army with its 3 army corps (with HQs in Kumanovo, Bitola and Skopje) t3 light infantry reserve divisions, 22 brigades and 8 regiments numbered only 15,000 men, mainly drafted, and the army had 4 T-34 tanks, 3 dozen T-55 tanks, 150 120-milimeter mortars, 60-70 multiple rocket launchers ‘’Plamen’’ and ‘’Ogan’’ , caliber of 128 millimeters, and ‘’Grad’’ , caliber of 122 millimeters; 4 MI-17 helicopters, 2 ground attack airplanes J-21 ‘’Orao’’, 2 obsolete light ground attack airplanes J-22 and 2 obsolete training/combat airplanes ‘’Galeb’’ G-2.
However, further on, before the beginning of war in Macedonia, Bulgaria supplied Macedonia with a rather large stock of armaments including a hundred M-30 howitzers, caliber of122 millimeters and 5 dozen T-55 tanks, with the obligation to supply 50 more tanks during the course of war.

Seeing the inevitability of war, the Macedonian government bought in Ukraine yet in 2001-2002 four MI-8MT, two MI-17, eight MI-24B, two MI 24K, together with four SU-25 (though media wrote concerning the latter as having been leased), and Ukrainian pilots were flying these.

In that case, the fact that Macedonia has sold a mobile telephone network to Greece and got considerable financial means from that bargain has facilitated the armaments of Macedonia.

Beside that, in 1998-1999 in accordance with the NATO military assistance program, the Macedonian army received from Germany up to 200 APCs of BTR-70 and TAM-170, and from Italy APC M-113; from the USA they got four dozen of ‘’Hummers’’, whereas in Kazakhstan they bought 12 APC BTR-80 for special forces.

It is indicative that the then Yugoslavia was much less active than Bulgaria and Ukraine in Macedonia, and has supplied to Macedonia only limited quantity of arms and units of light arms and anti tank weapons, namely sniper rifles ‘’Cyrna strela(Black Arrow)’’, caliber 12,7 millimeters and grenade launchers M-90 , caliber 120 millimeters, and also has dispatched only in late July-early August a couple of dozen instructors to Macedonian Ministry of Interior.
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War in Macedonia at 2001 year.Oleg Valecki-3

The war in Macedonia itself started rapidly enough, when KLA which got combat experience and weapons during the war in Kosovo and Metohiya (1998-1999),-which was under the control of the international security forces of NATO-KFOR- has stricken a blow on Macedonia from Kosovo territory in the spring of 2001. Besides that, forces from Preshevo and Buyanovac (on Serbian territory) started to be redeployed to Macedonia by the decision of the former KLA; there, with the assistance of international diplomats, peace was signed after the armed conflict of 2000-2001.

On March 15, 2001 a group of around 15 Albanian gunmen attacked the forces of Macedonian Police opening rifle fire in the district of kale in Tetovo. 18 Macedonian Policemen and 1 Albanian gunman were wounded in the attack. Then the group left for the border with Kosovo.

It was the start of the war, and soon Albanians began a more massive attack and have established their control over the Albanian village of Malinovo Malo. On the next day Albanians from neighboring villages and those who came from Kosovo started a rifle and mortar shooting upon all Tetovo, first and foremost on the Koltuk district where mainly Macedonians resided, and on March 17 Albanian attacked the Police building in Kumanovo.

A German KFOR unit barracks was shot at as well and then one German serviceman was wounded; this unit was deployed in Tetovo since 1999.

Special Forces of Macedonian MIA and Macedonian army entered the fight on March 18 near Tetovo, and on March 19 four tanks of Macedonian army which had been obtained before the war from Bulgaria entered Tetovo.

Despite that armed Albanians entered the city on March 20, and they reached districts of Mala Rechica and Teke. As a retort, new forces of Macedonian army were redeployed to Tetovo, and artillery bombardment was begun upon Albanian positions.

At last on March 21 MI-24 helicopters stroke a blow on Albanian positions near Tetovo, and Macedonian MIA Special Forces started to attack and threw Albanians out of Tetovo, and after a fight took the Albanian village Gaire. On the next day units of Macedonian army entered the fight, and in the region of village Dzjermo where an Albanian logistics center was located, paratroopers landed from helicopters, with air support from MI-24.

As a result of the general attack of Macedonian forces Albanians were discarded to Tetovo, and by March 24 Macedonians took control over villages Selce, Veice, Lahce, and on March 27 over villages Lisec, Drenok and Tece, reaching the Kosovo border.

On March 29 the ‘’Tigers’’ special unit of Macedonian MIA and special units ‘’Wolves’’ and ‘’Scorpions’’ after the fight took the village Tanushevci, but under international diplomatic pressure the attack was ceased and a KFOR unit from Kosovo entered the village.

On March 30 the Macedonian troops’ offensive near Tetovo was over, but the village of Radusha at the Kosovo border was preserved under Albanian control, and Albanian detachments, though they suffered heavy losses, but they evaded demolition and came out of the blow of Macedonian troops.

Taking into consideration that Albanians were mainly armed with small arms and light anti tank weapons, for them that was a success; they had in possession also anti tank mines, 20 millimeter anti aircraft guns, several APC seized from Macedonians, and a limited number of anti-aircraft rocket complexes‘’Strela-2’’ bought by Albanian mafia from former Yugoslavia.

In the other direction-near Kumanovo- the actions of Albanian forces were more successful, and they have established control over the region of Mateyci village and lake Lipkovo, so Albanian patrols were coming out from the occupied by them Mateyci monastery to the foothills of mountains from where Skopje was seen at a glance. Besides Albanian redeployed to the village of Brest some forces from Kosovo, from the region of Gnyilane where there was a US army base.
In early May Albanian forces near Kumanovo and lake Lipkovo were reaching up to 4,000 men and they were unified by the structure of the Liberation peoples’ Army ONA, which was formally unifying the Albanian armed forces on the territory of Macedonia. [/FONT]
But in practice ONA existed only on paper and in fact combat actions were fulfilled by forces of the formally disbanded KLA whose commanding officers were in charge of the ‘’Kosovo Security Force’’ created with the support of the UN international administration in Kosovo and KFOR forces.

Besides that, according to the data from the ‘’White Book’’ compiled by the Serbian MIA, one of KLA leaders – Daut Haradinay-brother of Ramous Haradinay- organized redeployment of mujahedeens from Saudi Arabia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Afghanistan, Kosovo to the front in Macedonia, in which-according to the ‘’Serbian MIA ‘’White Book’’ an important part was played by the ‘’Islamic Relief’’ organization registered in Kosovo.
The total number of gunmen was reaching 150, according to the testimony of the arrested Seidulla Murati, a gunman of the ‘’Ismet Jashari’’ detachment which was operating in regions of Kumanovo and Lipkovo.

On June 9 several hundreds of armed Albanians among which were mujaheddins under the command of Djezair Sachiri entered village Arachinovo, populated mainly by Albanians; the distance to Skopje was only 8 kilometers.

There emerged a threat that Albanian forces would enter Skopje , where Albanians by that time comprised a quarter of the population, and that is why on June 22 Macedonian Army forces with General Panda Petrovsky at the lead started the operation for liberation of that village.

One of the most important roles in the fight for Arachinovo played Ukrainian pilots of Mt 24 helicopters and SU-25 ground assault airplanes who have managed to inflict serous losses upon positions of the opponent.

But the ground assault of the Macedonian forces onto the village despite the support of tanks and artillery went with great difficulty, even toxic agents were applied there; the key roles in the ranks of Macedonians played Macedonian MIA special force ‘’Tigers’’ and Macedonian army special unit ‘’Wolves’’.

The Macedonia offensive was continuing for 3 days, but success was only partial. After the arrival to Skopje of the EU representative Xavjer Solana ceasefire has been reached and on June 26 Albanian gunmen were transported out of encirclement by buses under the protection of the US KFOR contingent.

At the same time the operation of the Macedonian troops near the Lipkovo lake started, but it went bad and though Macedonian MIA special force ‘’Tigers’’ and Macedonian army special unit ‘’Wolves’’ together with Macedonian border guard brigade went to the direction of the Brest village, Albanians have managed to stop them applying anti tank mines.[/FONT]
But internal political instability in Macedonia and international pressure on Skopje when Western diplomats demanded to ‘’to sit down at the negotiations table’’ have facilitated the ill luck of the Macedonian side.

Whereas the Macedonia army was under the control of the SDSM party created on the basis of the former Union of Communists of Yugoslavia, the VMRO which was playing the national card, was controlling MIA, and the Minister of Interior Lyubomir Boskovsky was one of the key VMRO functionaries.

VMRO leadership, displeased both with SDSM and Macedonian President Boris Traykovsky who formally was an independent candidate, organized on June 26 of 2001 disturbances in Skopje, when several thousand of Macedonians, mainly from reserve Police personnel drafted from VMRO members first of all, stormed the Parliament after a tumultuous meeting; in Prilep at a meeting Macedonians-supporters of VMRO have burned down a XVI century mosque.

CDCM was compelled to give in to VMRO, but after the issues of internal political relations between Macedonian parties have been settled, the international community has managed to reach an agreement as per a peaceful settlement in Macedonia; British diplomacy was playing a key role in that.

It should be noted though that on August 7 during a police operation in Skopje there were 5 Albanians killed, and then Albanians undermined with anti tank mines first an APC of the Macedonia Military Police and then an army truck full of soldiers.

As a retort the MIA Special Forces with Johan Tarchulovsky at the lead and under the general command of the MIA Minister Lyubomir Boshkovsky has conducted a clean-up in the Macedonian/Albanian village of Lyuboten, from 10 to 12 August; that village was from the very beginning of the war under the Macedonian army command.

After Macedonian Police arrested several dozen of local Albanians, ten of them were shot on the order of Boshkovsky who was later arrested together with Tarchulovsky, and both of them were sent to the International Tribunal in The Hague where Boshkovsky was acquitted whereas Tarchulovsky got 10 years in jail.

Alongside with that, concerning Albanian war crimes, no criminal cases have been initiated, and it was facilitated by the fact that a mass grave of Macedonians near Tetovo was relocated by Albanians right after peace was signed, and the attempt of Macedonians to prevent that ended in a Macedonian APC en route to the mass grave being shot by Albanians from a grenade launcher.

As a result of the signing on August 13, 2001 of the Ohrid agreement , former Albanian terrorist have not only legalized themselves in Macedonia, but they have preserved their control over 2 regions seized by them- Tetovo region and Kumanovo-Lipkovsky region, where the control over the regions was transferred to ‘’International’’ Police, consisting of yesterday’ Albanian gunmen and Macedonian policemen, and control was transferred to the NATO peacekeeping troops deployed in Macedonia during the ‘’Pearl Fox’’ operation.

The deployment of NATO troops into Macedonia went without major problems, but only for one demonstration organized by Macedonians during which British servicemen were stoned; one of them was killed by a stone.
The Albanian ONA itself has been reformed into a political party with Ali Ahmeti at the head; the party participated in Parliamentary elections and managed to conduct a referendum in 2004 concerning changing of communities’ boundaries, owing to what Albanian political control over communities Tetovo, Gostivar, Struga and partial control over community Caska was established.

In general, it was a typical Balkan war of the time of Yugoslavia’s dissolution, in which private interests of party bureaucrats and oligarchs were dominating the state interests, so both sides in the war were controlled by the ‘’international community’’[/FONT]
On the strength of that instead of a rapid and decisive blow on the UCK units , many times inferior to Macedonian army and police, the military/political leadership of Macedonia was wasting time in endless clearing-up of relations between themselves and perpetual consultations with Western ‘’partners’’, for whom the victory of the armed forces of Macedonia over armed forces of UCK (reformed into TMK) supervised by UNMIK, was absolutely of no need.

That is why popular figures in that war were not those who without asking any additional questions would get down to fulfilling combat assignments, but those who were looking at that war as a means of rapid private beneficiation/enrichment either by way of banal stealing or by way of somewhat more sophisticated plans of reorganization and modernization alongside with searching for all the more new specimens of arms, although there was enough quantity of the existing ones. In fact, in that war, like in all the rest of wars of this type, there was first of all lack of real combat commanders and nothing more.

Author’s biography
Oleg Valecki was born in 1968 in Ukraine. He was a combatant during the period of the war in Yugoslavia in the 90-ties as a volunteer in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Army of Republic Srpska and in Kosovo with the army of Yugoslavia.

Author of the books: ‘’Yugoslav War’’ (‘’Kraft’’ publishing house, Moscow 2006, 2008); “Wolves White’’ (Serbia diary of a Russian volunteer 1993-1998) (‘’Grifon’’ publishing house,, Moscow, 2006); ‘’New strategy of USA and NATO and its impact on the development of foreign systems of armaments and munitions’’ , (‘’Arktika’’ publishing house, Moscow, 2008.); ‘’Landmine weapon -Issues of mining and de-mining” (‘’Kraft+’’ publishing house, 2009); ‘’Yugoslav war 1991-1995’’(‘’Kraft+’’, Moscow, 2001)
Translated by Sergei Kucherenko
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