By Biljana Vankovska
Text of report by Macedonian newspaper Nova Makedonija on 12 June
Commentary by Biljana Vankovska: “Russia ante portas!”
The UK The Guardian recently issued a bombastic report based on certain intelligence leaks, apparently resembling WikiLeaks, that revealed the big and terrifying secret of the Russian bad boys working on Macedonia’s distancing from the West for nearly 10 years through the use of old-fashioned methods (strange and mysterious spies and conspirators) and sophisticated means of influence via public diplomacy and “soft power”.
This crown “evidence” has fitted in perfectly with the subtle campaign that a number of national media has been leading for a while now, promoting the “intimidating notion” of the Macedonians regarding Russia as a friendly country. An opinion poll on our foreign political orientations has indicated that as many as 17 per cent of the respondents have a positive view on Russia.
Imagine, these impertinent persons have dared reduce the incredible 95 per cent of people who support the West, which was typical only of [Albanian communist leader] Enver Hoxha’s Albania and Bulgaria during [Bulgarian communist leader] Zhivkov’s era!
This thesis is being reiterated ad nauseam and serves a double purpose: first, it should prove the harmful effects of the perfidious policies of the VMRO-DPMNE’s [Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity] fake patriots and, second, such an approach of the journalists’ genuine shock and concern is a preventive disciplinary measure for those who – Heaven forbid – would dare criticise the West.
It is interesting that The Guardian report deals with the “self-leakage” of the Macedonian Counterintelligence Agency and that the text was prepared by famous Macedonian journalists.
The story of Russia’s clout, spread through the media propaganda of our journalists who think that it is virtuous to play into the West’s hands, has (once again) imposed our country as an instrument to settle a score between the great powers. Read More »
By Biljana Vankovska
Biljana Vankovska has decided to resign from the post of public advocate due to the obstacles she has faced as described below.
Strangely enough, it appears that the Republic of Macedonia, once the southernmost and poorest republic of the former Yugoslavia, has always lagged behind the rest, in weal or woe. If one considers the achievements of the states in the region, when success is measured by the degree of their integration into the EU, one gets the impression that, while the rest of them, including Kosovo, are making steps forward, Macedonia is retrogressing.
The violent conflict in 2001 was the last episode in the succession of wars and internal armed conflicts on the territory of the former common state. It was an unusual conflict by Yugoslav standards: in terms of duration, number of casualties and degree of destruction, as well as of the rapidity of the recovery.
When violence broke out in this former ‘oasis of peace’, as Macedonia was called in international circles during the bloodshed in Croatia or the genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, some observers were alarmed and feared that an escalation without precedent would involve neighbouring states too (i.e. those that were not part of the SFRY).
Others, who looked at things with a cooler head, soon came to the conclusion that the conflict was the “biggest set-up in these parts since the war in Slovenia”. Be that as it may, its consequences for the people and the society in general are not negligible even today, although they have never been the subject of any serious public debate and concern. Read More »
By Biljana Vankovska – Билјана Ванковска
Recently a short statement (from a longer interview) that “Macedonia and Bosnia are post-Yugoslav states that, in fact, are not states because Bosnia is a protectorate of some kind and Macedonia is a type of an ambiguously collapsed state which never united in order to be able to fall apart” echoed as an earthquake with the public.
Even “Vodno” [President’s office] was visibly upset and angered at the statement of one of the most authoritative professors and public intellectuals from the area of former Yugoslavia, Zarko Puhovski. He is one step away of being labeled persona non grata. The very fact that part of the establishment dramatically took to heart a media statement of a professor from a third country, as if said by an influential political factor or a center or power, is a clear indication of the accuracy of the thesis that we are not a true state. By the way, Puhovski had given statements such as: Serbia is “an unfinished state”, Kosovo is “ a caricature of the other independent states in the region”, and that there is more democracy in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China than in EU.
Can you imagine a serious state reacting to a media assessment of an intellectual, regardless of his influence? At the same time, our authorities are deaf to the criticism that comes from the citizens, the domestic intellectuals, and even those that come from EU, OSCE, and the State Department. Read More »
By Biljana Vankovska
There is something very bizarre and alike in the selection of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winners and the Time’s person of the year. Coincidence (or rather not), the three Nobel laureates (two of them from Liberia and one from Yemen) and the Protester are all female and pictured as “ordinary” activists, i.e. actresses in the developments that marked 2011.Read More »
By Biljana Vankovska
In the eve of the holiday season last year I had decided to devote my column to a nonconventional theme. Instead of a usual text for this time of a year I wrote about happiness, the one that is not a gift of/by the state/politics but the one that is achieved in spite of it. My readers graded it quite poorly. Aware that the same may happen again I have decided to dedicate this last column in 2011 to a similar issue. This time it is a short and unexpected tractate in defence of love.Read More »
Born 14 November 1959 in Skopje, Macedonia
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