Analysis 12 Jun 17

Russian Meddling in Balkans ‘a Matter of Supply and Demand’

The findings of a media investigation detailing the extent of Russian involvement in Macedonia’s political crisis – direct and via Belgrade and Sofia - have been supported by regional analysts but downplayed by local politicians.

Mariya Cheresheva, Maya Zivanovic
Sofia, Belgrade
Macedonian President George Ivanov with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Photo:

The publication of a media investigation revealing Macedonian counterintelligence documents allege Russian agents and diplomats have been actively interfering in the country’s politics in order to isolate it from Western influence has sparked a heated debate among political observers in Macedonia and the rest of the Balkans.

According to the investigation, published on June 2 by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, NOVA TV and the Crime and Corruption Reporting Network, Russian intelligence activities have been carried out by three agents from Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, SVR, overseen by a station in the Serbian capital Belgrade.

The report also claims four agents from the military Main Intelligence Agency, GRU, have also been active and were coordinated from the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

The Russian foreign ministry dismissed the allegations on June 5 as “nothing but another clumsy attempt to shift responsibility for bringing about a profound crisis of the Macedonian state’’.

Subscribe to Balkan Insight Premium to read the full article.

Please login to your account below if you are already a Premium Subscriber.

Buy Premium Subscription

Our Premium Service gives you full access to all content published on, including analyses, investigations, comments, interviews and more. Choose your subscription today and get unparalleled in-depth coverage of the Western Balkans.

Buy Premium Subscription

If you have trouble logging in or any other questions regarding you account, please contact us

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest News from the Balkans

13 Dec 17

Serbian Court Delays Srebrenica Massacre Trial

13 Dec 17

Support for EU Grows Again in Moldova

13 Dec 17

Subway Train Murder Shocks Romania

Premium Selection

14 Dec 17

Youth Olympics Kindle Hopes of Unity for Sarajevo

The Bosnian capital Sarajevo became divided from the mostly Serb-populated East Sarajevo because of the war, but they are now preparing to hold the 2019 European Youth Olympics Festival together.

14 Dec 17

Homecoming Kosovo Serbs Face an Uncertain Future

The secrecy surrounding a newly-built settlement in northern Kosovo highlights the problems facing Serbs who have returned to Kosovo after the war – and how they need security and jobs as well as houses.

08 Dec 17

Skiing Serbia: The Highs and the Lows