GRUEVSKI’S “GREAT ESCAPE” / WILD GOOSE CHASE – was it orchestrated by the US?

– comment by Sasha Uzunov

Did the United States “allow” ex Macedonia Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, recently convicted of corruption, to escape jail time in Macedonia in order to turn focus off name change of the country?

It is fashionable to pin various conspiracies upon the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) such as the Kennedy assassination and even bizarrely 9/11 attacks on New York City. One thing is for sure tiny Macedonia has been under US control ever since it broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991.

To highlight this, there is the 2003 Khaled El Masri scandal – where a visiting German Lebanese man was taken into custody by the Macedonian authorities and handed over to the CIA to “render” – that is torture – in the mistaken belief that El Masri was a terrorist linked to Al Qaeda. He was flown to Afghanistan. That went pear-shaped when it was discovered the US had the wrong man and he was released back into Macedonia via Albania – interesting route you’ll note. more on El Masri here 

Report by the European Court of Human Rights. UBK is Macedonian intelligence.

1994 US press article – link here











Nothing really happens without Washington knowing about it or pulling the strings in Macedonia such as installing and taking down governments to letting loose the Albanian Kosovar KLA’s Macedonian terror franchise led by Ali Ahmeti in the 2001 war.

The basic facts are as follows – in 2015/16 an anti corruption movement calling itself the Colour Revolution – and assisted by Serb NGO Canvas and funded by Western cash – began a series of protests against the Gruevski government (2006-16). Paint was thrown at Macedonian statues in protest against Gruevski’s penchant for Ancient Macedonian history.

Interestingly, and this will become important later, no paint was thrown at Albanian Nazi collaborator statues nor protests held outside the Serbian Embassy in Macedonia. Wiretaps of corrupt behaviour involving Gruevski and his crew were leaked and became known as bombs but nothing about Albanian politicians such as Ali Ahmeti who had been Gruevski’s coalition partner in government for a decade.

This was remarkable that Ahmeti could remain squeaky clean. But being an important American client he was needed to form government with SDSM, the Macedonian Social Democrats who had in 1999 jettisoned their pro Serb and pro Slobodan Milosevic regime position to becoming the US’s biggest supporters. It was nasty opportunism and cynicism from both camps.

During Gruevski’s “escape” Serb President Vucic confirmed that he allowed the ex Macedonian PM to pass through Serbia to get to Hungary. Yet not one protest has ever seen held by the leading actors of the so called Colour Revolution in Macedonia such as Pavle Bogoevski, Ivana Tufegdzik, Borjan Jovanovski, Ivana Jordanovska, Branko Geroski and a host of others at the Serb Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia at this “assistance” – which only confirms that the Colour Revolution movement against corruption in Macedonia was phoney to begin with. The real motive was to bring about name change on behalf of Greece and to satisfy US strategic needs in bedding down the Balkans. see link about the Colour Revolution here

These so called activists have remained silent over the World War II Albanian Nazi collaborator statues that have been built in Macedonia by Albanian politicians post 2001 war. It’s not a good idea to point out that the US’s political client – Albanian politicians – also “dabble” in Neo Nazism. Wouldn’t look good for Washington’s image. So a deliberate silence remains over these statues.

To cut a long story short – the Opposition, SDSM (Social Democrats) boycotted the Macedonian Parliament for a year or so; Gruevski resigned as Prime Minister in early 2016 as part of the controversial EU brokered Przino Agreement which would “return” SDSM to parliament and a caretaker government came into effect until new elections could be held later in 2016.

Gruevski’s VMRO-DPMNE won the most seats but not enough to form government in its own right and sought a coalition with its previous partner in “crime” – so to speak – for over a decade – Albanian nationalist party, DUI, led by terrorist turned politician Ali Ahmeti.

Just after the elections the “Tirana Platform” – a set of unreasonable demands made during a gathering of Albanian politicians from Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo in the Albanian capital and chaired by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama – in effect the Platform would turn Macedonia into a federalised state and pave the way for Albanian secession and a Greater Albanian project. Suspicion remains that the Tirana Platform – like the Prespa Agreement – was the work of the US. Outgoing CIA Director just happened to be passing though Tirana and dropped in to discuss “counter terrorism” just before the Platform was announced.

Be that as it may, Gruevski was unable to form government and after enormous US arm twisting by State Department official Brian Hoyt Yee, Macedonia’s President George Ivanov reluctantly gave Zoran Zaev, the leader of SDSM, a mandate to form a government, which he did post haste.

On 27 April 2017, the Macedonian Parliament was stormed by VMRO-DPMNE supporters and Macedonians in general who were opposed to Talat Xhaferi, the former Albanian terrorist and Macedonian Army deserter who had become Macedonia’s Defence Minister under ironically Gruevski in 2013, from being elected Parliamentary Speaker as part of the Zaev Government.

His election remains disputed. What isn’t in dispute is the deliberate choice of Xhaferi as Parlimentary Speaker – having served as Defence Minister under Gruevski why then the opposition to him being elected Speaker? Most Macedonians didn’t support Xhaferi becoming Defence Minister let alone Parliamentary Speaker.

First and foremost, Gruevski was installed by the US. Therefore, it makes sense that Xhaferi became Defence Minister and an amnesty for the KLA killers from the 2001 war was shepherded though the Macedonian Parliament by Gruevski. The US had to get its political clients off the hook for starting the 2001 war in Macedonia in the first place.

Gruevski’s downfall has more to do with his unwillingness to change Macedonia’s name – rather than his corruption or failure to pander to Albanian nationalist demands.

THE RISE AND FALL OF GRUEVSKI – 2008 Dimitrov seals Gruevski’s fate.

The key to understanding this is Nikola Dimitrov, a haughty diplomat cum national security advisor. We have courtesy of two wikileaks 2008 US diplomatic cables which reveal Dimitrov as an informer for the US. see link here

Dimitrov is now the Foreign Minister of Macedonia and put his name to the controversial Prespa Agreement with Greece, which will see Macedonia change its name and lose its identity in the process.

Add to that the so called Good Neighbourly Agreement with Bulgaria signed in 2017- which is nothing more than blackmail by Sofia. The objective, like the Prespa Agreement, is to have Macedonia give up its history and “soften” Bulgaria’s brutal WWII occupation of Macedonia. Both Greece and Bulgaria and NATO and EU members and have used that powerful lever against Macedonia. In order to keeps its allies happy, the US has opted to go for the path of least resistance, that is wiping out Macedonian identity.

In one of the 2008 cables, written by then US Ambassador Phillip T. Reeker:

“There is some evidence that the Gruevski government is laying the groundwork for preparing the Macedonian people for remaining outside the Alliance and the EU for some years to come.”

During an August 2018 visit to Macedonia, now an US official posted to NATO, Reeker couldn’t contain his joy at “regime” and “name change” by giving Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev a big bear hug.

Croat trip-wire doesn’t go off? – DIMITROV’S HOOK TURN.

A Croat intelligence SOA source told Team Uzunov blog/Alternate Comms that it was taken by surprise at the Gruevski “escape” via hook turn at Albania-Montenegro. Did US want Gruevski out of Macedonia?

Why didn’t Foreign Minister Dimitrov send a prior note to neighbouring states after Gruevski’s civilian and diplomatic passports were confiscated by the courts -as a condition of his bail-not to let him enter their territories?

The whole purpose of confiscating someone’s passport is to not allow them to leave the state. It’s only logical that once Gruevski’s passports were taken, the next step should have been for Dimitrov to have sent a diplomatic note months ago to Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and the all EU countries not to allow Gruevski to enter their territory regardless if he held a valid ID or not and even if no arrest warrant was issued. This is either incompetence or deliberate action on the part of Dimitrov.

Dimitrov is a former Presidential National Security Advsidor and ex Macedonian Ambassador to the US. According to a 2008 US diplomatic cable, he is an informer, a protected confidential source for the US.

Albania and Montenegro are CIA & German Intelligence (BND) turf. If Gruevski had fled directly through Serbia for Hungary that would have set off Croat Intelligence, which maintains a small intelligence team in Macedonia closely monitoring its long time rival Serbia.


Despite the fact that the Prespa Agreement on Macedonian name-change was heavily boycotted at the 30 September referendum, the ruling SDSM (pushed heavily by the West) continues to act like nothing happened, as it steamrollers ahead with its plans to alter Macedonia’s constitution by 15 January.

While in any normal country the opposition would be up in arms, the reality is that in Macedonia that weak and divided VMRO-DPMNE is barely putting up a fight. But the real ‘elephant in the room’- the one who is no longer in the room- is Nikola Gruevski, the former party president who bolted for Hungary a month ago when the going got tough. Strangely, the West has shown no interest in returning to justice this alleged corrupt politician, who was the main target of the 2016 ‘Colourful Revolution’ against the then VMRO-DPMNE government.
Alternate Comms / TEAM UZUNOV blog takes a closer look at the current moving and shaking on the Macedonian political scene and what Gruevski’s ‘great escape’ might mean…
The Zoran Zaev-led SDSM government is now trying to pass all the amendments to the constitution by mid-January as envisioned by June’s Prespa Agreement with Greece. Seven amendments were suggested this week – by both ethnic Albanian parties and the ‘Gang of Eight’ former members of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE, who were expelled by the conservative party when they voted to open the constitution to changes together with Zaev and his pals.
VMRO-DPMNE, which has claimed its members were either bribed or paid off or suffered family pressure, etc. to support the government policy meanwhile announced it is boycotting the rest of the debate on constitutional changes, on 18 December.
Yet despite its tough talk, the opposition party has oddly enough failed to mention the name issue in its recent protests about issues like the poor state of the economy and corruption. Unless current VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickovski is some secret genius with some master plan in the wings, the party itself will simply buckle under to Western pressure in the end. VMRO-DPMNE has been notably criticised for weakness and failing to leave parliament when the whole mess started, by the online protest group Bojkotiram, which brought down the 30 September referendum on the Prespa Agreement. The success of this mostly anonymous group embarrassed the government and its Western backers, who had been assured the referendum would succeed- but also the VMRO-DPMNE which only called on its voters to abandon the referendum at the very last moment, seeing that it had underestimated the public anger over the name-change agreement.
This week’s events in parliament are therefore part of an unexpected rush job to finish the process that they had thought would go much smoother than it has. The unexpected failure of the referendum (a fact that the foreign media and diplomats still stubbornly refuse to admit) turned up the temperature in politics- the government seeks assurances for its Western backers that it will be able to get the required two-thirds majority needed for such sweeping changes. The recent passage of a new amnesty law for (some) participants in the violent protests of 27 April 2017 at Parliament with 95 votes in favour indicates the government continues to legislate based on this urgent need.
Three former VMRO-DPMNE parliamentarians are among those pardoned, so long as they vote for ‘North’ Macedonia as the Prespa Agreement dictates. VMRO-DPMNE had called for a blanket amnesty, not just for those who would vote, but didn’t get its way, whereas from the complete opposite end of the spectrum Zijadin Sela (an ethnic Albanian leader who was beaten on the 27 April event) did not want any of the MPs amnestied.
The brazen nature of the ‘extortion’ aspect of the amnesty bill was the hypocritical reaction of the EU, which had previously been steadfastly opposed to amnesties on principle. However, when Zaev visited Brussels a day later, EU bosses praised him for pushing through the amnesty bill, since it was and is in the EU’s interests to force Macedonia to change its name by any and all means.
A question that has to be asked is whether the November ‘great escape’ to Hungary of former VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski is ‘what’s in the goulash?’ as it has tarred opponents of Prespa deal with the same brush.
When the shocking escape was announced, the loudest critics in Macedonia were the left-wing activists close to his rivals- the SDSM-led government; they were angry that the government had failed to foresee and block the getaway of the man who they have castigated as a corrupt nationalist for the past four years of political crisis.
But as time has worn on and Gruevski seems well settled-in in his new Budapest quarters, the critics of his decision to evade the Zaev government seem to be switching. Thus, supporters of Gruevski’s own VMRO-DPMNE party have noted the apparent double standard whereby the party leader either escaped or was handed a get-out-of-jail-free card by Macedonia’s controlling Western powers- even while relatively minor officials and citizens accused of much smaller crimes are left hanging.
The real possibility that Gruevski’s getaway was a pre-negotiated deal in order to get him to influence VMRO-DPMNE parliamentarians to support the government’s policy on rewriting the constitution and renaming the country to please the Greeks could end up making the three-term prime minister’s legacy much different than what it once seemed. While it is certainly far too soon to know, it is clear that Gruevski is still actively involved, and having some sort of effect in Macedonia. For example, Hungarian paparazzi filmed him meeting Aleksandar Trajkovski, a person accused together with Gruevski, in an entirely unrelated case going back years. Upon his return the latter told the judge and media that he had gone to Budapest just to get his sinuses checked!


On the 13th of November, Gruevski claimed through Facebook that he would be seeking political asylum in Hungary because of ‘death threats’ against him. Republika reported at that time that the fugitive PM had escaped to Budapest because of the two-year prison sentence he had been given by the US-backed Special Prosecutor’s officer. The pro-VMRO-DPMNE media claimed that the case against Gruevski was ‘purely political’ and executed because he had ‘refused’ to change Macedonia’s name through a negotiation with Greece and thus been toppled from power. 

One week later, Gruevski announced that his application for asylum had been approved by the Viktor Orban government, citing the Special Prosecutor and the judicial system in general as obedient servants of the Zaev government. Gruevski said that fleeing to Hungary was the only way he could protect his safety in the supposedly dramatic final days of death threats.


The Macedonian politician’s dramatic getaway was more than a bit suspicious, firstly because the initial reports were conflicting about how he had even gotten to Hungary. Serb ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj even claimed that a Chetnik vanguard had escorted Gruevski through Serbia, a laughable scenario. The accepted narrative later became that Gruevski went with Hungarian diplomatic escort through Albania, Montenegro and Serbia in order to reach Hungary.

Given that Macedonia is an American protectorate and that Albania and Montenegro are NATO members, it beggars belief to assume that Gruevski could have pulled a fast one on the Yanks by escaping in such a manner. One of the most high-profile Balkan politicians, under constant government surveillance for years, becoming suddenly capable of crossing through three countries to get away? It just doesn’t add up.

The theatrical element of Gruevski’s claimed but unspecified ‘death threats’ was more than met by PM Zaev, who floated the idea that Hungary had ‘kidnapped’ Gruevski and warned that the latter country should answer to him. Zaev announced that his government would do ‘everything in its power,’ media reported, to bring Gruevski back into Macedonian custody. Apparently his government’s power does not extend that far therefore, because a month later Gruevski is still apparently in Hungary. 

In that period, Zaev has also called upon the left-wing opposition in Hungary to help the quest to arrest his former main rival- the only result of this being to feed the issue of Gruevski as a domestic (Hungarian) internal political argument for parties there.


Alternate Comms/TEAM UZUNOV blog has observed the reactions to the Gruevski getaway in Macedonia and abroad, and it appears clear that most Macedonians (even VMRO supporters) are not particularly bothered either way. Gruevski lost public credibility after he failed to keep his word (back in early 2015) and come out and tell the public about the alleged foreign coup plot supporting Zaev, SDSM, and their subsequent American-funded ‘Colourful Revolution’ the following year. In the run-up to the December 2016 elections, Gruevski dramatically announced that SDSM would arrest his inner circle if it won power- but that he would be prepared for the consequences if it meant saving the country. 

The fact that Gruevski has managed to save his skin now while others, including people of marginal importance who committed little or no crimes (such as some of the protesters at parliament on 27 April 2017), makes a mockery of his former bravado and shows why few care about the alleged ordeal of Macedonia’s former kingpin.
On 6 December, EU Enlargement Spokeswoman Maja Kocincic confirmed that Minister Johannes Hahn had received an extraordinary letter from Gruevski, but did not comment on it.

Gruevski’s letter to EU bigwigs complained about the politicisation of the Special Prosecutor and the rest of the judiciary against VMRO-DPMNE. Incredibly enough, the fugitive leader even called for the EU to send its own expert judges to rule on cases in Macedonia- something that would seem to fly in the face of everything he and his party stood for, in claiming to want a sovereign and self-ruling state since the party was formed in 1991. Some EU leaders confirmed they had received the letter, but none have responded and there is a baffling silence among the media in Skopje about this controversial suggestion from Gruevski.

This is absolutely farcical situation is more than a bit concerning, when assessing Gruevski’s true motives. When the political crisis started in early 2015, the government (then run by Gruevski) accepted an EU ‘reform plan’ which created the Przino Agreement of July 2015 and the creation of a Special Prosecutor’s Office. The logic of the EU reformers was that Macedonian institutions were overly politicised, but the events of the last four years taken together indicate that the same problems remain- the only difference now being that the shoe is on the other foot, and SDSM is controlling the levers of power instead of its main rival. So Gruevski’s suggestion is basically an external endorsement of Brussels interventionism, disguised as a plea for justice from political persecution. It would be the irony of all ironies if Nikola Gruevski turned out to be the EU’s biggest cheerleader, after being under a withering EU assault for the last four years!
What is most puzzling however is the deafening silence from the foreign press, embassies and governments over Gruevski’s great escape. One would think that the exodus of the leader painted for the last few years by these same people as a corrupt and dictatorial ruler would be fiercely protested. But no, the very same pundits and diplomats who painted the deposed PM as a grave threat to democracy in Macedonia are oddly silent about his escape. The EU and US both have said they consider it an internal matter for the countries involved. No harsh denouncements from Washington or Brussels were made, demanding Gruevski’s extradition to face justice under the Special Prosecutor they had installed in Macedonia. Bizarre!
To Macedonians in the Republic and in the Diaspora, the rather mild reactions of the international movers and shakers made the whole affair smell fishy from the beginning. The Gruevski getaway smelled and still smells funny, bearing all the hallmarks of a pre-arranged deal to spare the former VMRO-DPMNE president in exchange for his (presumed) private pressuring of the party to allow Zaev’s unpopular votes to change the constitution to go through parliament. Gruevski’s recent letter to the EU, calling for the direct participation of European judges in Macedonian courts is even more suggestive of a politician who has been ‘flipped’- though whether out of coercion or for his own gain is impossible to know. This kind of demand goes beyond what Western diplomats have demanded, and if successful, would indicate that Macedonia is no longer a sovereign state by any stretch of the imagination. And the irony is that the alleged ‘mini-Putin’ nationalist dictator Nikola Gruevski is the one calling for it. More and more, it’s looking like Zoran Zaev and Nikola Gruevski are two sides of the same coin.