Macedonian history and Macedonian identity are something complex, and if you want to understand them, you have to look back into the history of the Balkans. The year is 680 A.D. The place – the territory of today’s North Macedonia. A Bulgarian ruler together with his 400 thousand Bulgarians founded Kuberova Bulgaria. The population of the state by ethnic composition is the same as that of its brother – Asparuh Danube Bulgaria, namely – Bulgarians. Kubers Bulgaria never fought with the Danube Bulgaria. Moreover, although it was subordinate to Byzantium, it never provided troops to it in its numerous campaigns against the Bulgarians in the north. So that under Khan Presian these territories inhabited by the descendants of Kuber Bulgars were already part of Danubian Bulgaria. And when Bulgaria converted to Christianity, the Ohrid Literary School became the most important cultural and educational center of the Bulgarian Kingdom, along with the capital.
Skopje, Prespa, Ohrid and Bitola – here was the seat of the Bulgarian Patriarch and the center of the Bulgarian state.
In the following years, the Bulgarians together went through almost two centuries of Byzantine rule. This was followed by the establishment of the Second Bulgarian State and centuries of enslavement by the Ottoman Empire. Then followed long years of resistance, struggles and uprisings of the Bulgarian people. April Uprising, Razlov Uprising, Shipka Uprising, Kresna-Razlog Uprising, Gorno-Jumay Uprising, Ilinden-Preobrazhensk Uprising, Macedonian-Drinsk Uprising, are listed one after another. Resistance, struggles and uprisings. Much blood was shed and thousands of sacrifices were made for freedom. Finally, they managed to win it. Nevertheless, after the Berlin Congress of 1878 Macedonia remained in the Ottoman Empire. The great powers did not want a strong state to emerge on the Balkan Peninsula, as Bulgaria could have been. Until this moment, there are neither Byzantine chronicles nor Ottoman or European historians who describe or recognize anything like a Macedonian identity.
The wars have not changed anything.
During the First and Second World War, attempts were made to save this lost part. After a short-lived success comes the beginning of a long and painful period for Macedonia. It was divided into three parts – Vardar, which went to the Kingdom of Serbia, Aegean to the Kingdom of Greece and Pirin to the Kingdom of Bulgaria. And at that moment, something began that no nation should experience. In the part that was under Serbian control, the Bulgarians suddenly became “Southern Serbs,” and Vardar Macedonia became “Southern Serbia.” The language – a dialect of Serbo-Croatian. In order to assert their dominance in Vardar Macedonia, the Serbs began to spread anti-Bulgarian ideas. In the beginning there was the so-called Greater Serbian idea, which was later replaced by the ideology of “Yugoslavism”.
From the beginning of the thirties it passed into the so-called “Macedonism”. And in their barbarism, which continues to this day, they are supported by Russia. It most eagerly helps the Serbian propagandists to carry out their genocide on the Bulgarian people. The ruling elite in Russia has tirelessly and relentlessly supported the enslavement of Bulgarians in Macedonia for more than a century. Serbian troops, emboldened by Russia’s unstinting support, are waging fierce persecutions against the Bulgarian population. Neither rights, nor contracts, nor agreements are respected. Serbia has only one goal – the destruction of all Bulgarian culture and annihilation of the people with bulgarian consciousness.
About 600,000 Bulgarians from the Macedonian region, an entire people, have sought refuge in Bulgaria after the confiscation of their homes and because of repression by Serbia. These were the people who can stand on the way of the new Macedonian identity. Thousands fled, leaving all their possessions behind. Often they even left part of their families behind to escape the persecutions and cruelties of the slave owners. They are of the same blood, have the same language and the same traditions and for them Bulgaria was the only salvation. Thus, at the beginning of the 20th century, of Sofia’s 70,000 inhabitants, more than 20,000 alone came from Macedonia.
The year is 1944. Macedonia already has the status of a federal entity within the existing Yugoslav Federation and is called the People’s Republic of Macedonia. Macedonia becomes more and more a valley of tears, blood and death. Under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito, it became one of the six republics of federal Yugoslavia. There, with full force and active support from Stalin,“Macedonism” flourished, elevated to the rank of state doctrine by Tito’s loyal Serbs. Mass repressions and murders against everything Bulgarian and against all persons with Bulgarian national consciousness continued. They were forced into prisons and concentration camps and killed without trial or conviction.
Skopje, Prespa, Ohrid and Bitola are no longer the cultural center of the Bulgarian state, they are its Golgotha. The Bulgarians in Macedonia became “Macedonians” and their language became “Macedonian”.
Within a short time, linguistic propaganda commissions were set up in Belgrade and Moscow to denationalize the Macedonian Bulgarians. The Macedonian written language was developed and unified by the introduction of a Macedonian alphabet and a Macedonian orthography. In other words the beginning of Macedonian historiography was given. Thus, with the help of the falsification of history, the Macedonian nation came into being. From the conquest of Vardar Macedonia in 1912 until the collapse of Yugoslavia, Belgrade’s bloody regime massacred over 70,000 Macedonian Bulgarians. More than 150,000 were placed in camps and prisons, and over 600,000 were rescued abroad. Is Macedonian identity a result of Russia’s geostrategic policy?
It was the year 1991. The Republic of Macedonia is now a separate, independent state. Bulgaria is the first country in the world to recognize this new state and succeeds in convincing Russia to do the same. So that two years later, the Republic of Macedonia is accepted as a member of the United Nations, and in 2020 it becomes a member of NATO.
Is there a Macedonian identity or not? Who wrote the Macedonian history and is it a fiction? Do we have a Macedonian geopolitical puppet on the Balkans? Today, not many people ask themselves these questions. There are also not many people looking for the answers. And where does the problem actually lie and is there one at all?
Maybe only for the Bulgarians on the other side of the border there is no problem, because for them it is a torture. When a Bulgarian woman in Macedonia is repeatedly raped by a Serbian soldier, when she becomes pregnant and gives birth to a child by that soldier, when he beats her to death because she gave birth to his child, that is pain. When a Bulgarian is tied up in Macedonia and has to watch his 12-year-old daughter being raped by Serbian soldiers, that is pain. Pain is when a child in Macedonia loses his mind because his mother and father were slaughtered in front of his eyes. And if this is all because they are not supposed to be Bulgarians, then this is Bulgarian pain.
There are things, events, personalities and spoken words that have existed on this earth, and it was not too long ago, and no historical fiction can change that. And whether the people in Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia know the past and whether they know the history is not clear. But one thing is for sure: everyone in this world has the right to know what happened and is happening to the Bulgarians who did not give up their identity and did not ask to be called Macedonians. And while they were locked up somewhere, unable to sit or lie down, while they could hardly breathe from pain, hunger and faintness, while they asked themselves a thousand times the question “Why?”, they believed that the Bulgarians who would come after them would find the answer.
Macedonian identity will continue to be the elephant in the glass when it comes to diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and northern Macedonia. Only time will tell whether this social engineering born of Russian imperial interests will survive the blows of truth on social self-awareness. If the hatred of Bulgarians is eliminated and the Bulgarian population in Macedonia is recognized as such, the Macedonian identity will disintegrate and remain only a terrible example of hypocritical geopolitical decisions of the powerful of the day. Are the days of Macedonian identity numbered?