This text is the English version of the interview with Andrew Korybko which was recently published in the Italian journal “Eurasia: Rivista Di Studi Geopolitici“:
Mr. Andrew Korybko, thank you for your availability. First of all, can you please introduce yourself to our Italian readers?
I’m an American Moscow-based political analyst who has been living and working in Russia for the past six years. I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from The Ohio State University with three majors in International Relations, International Studies (Eastern Europe), and Russian language in 2010, after which I eventually moved to Moscow and received my master’s in International Relations from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). I’ve been closely following international affairs for the past half-decade and regularly analyze the latest happenings all across the world. In addition, I published my first book, “Hybrid Wars: The Indirect Adaptive Approach To Regime Change”, in 2015 and am preparing to release my second co-authored one later this summer about Pakistani geostrategy and perception management in the 21st century.
What do the Macedonian name change and recent SDSM victory represent for North Macedonia, primarily, and, more generally, for the Balkans?
The Republic of Macedonia — which used to be the country’s legal name and can be argued still is because it was changed through illegal means after the relevant referendum on this issue failed to meet the constitutional threshold for implementation — has been the victim of a rolling regime change operation over the past few years intended to block multipolar influence from the Balkans and geopolitically re-engineer the region. Russia’s TurkStream could have in theory run parallel to China’s planned Balkan Silk Road high-speed railway from Budapest to Piraeus had Prime Minister Gruevski remained in office and the Hybrid War on Macedonia never happened, though it’s precisely because of the grand strategic impact that this would have had on European geopolitics and consequently the course of the New Cold War that the said destabilization campaign was initiated. Moreover, Macedonia’s demographic composition makes it ripe for externally triggered destabilization and a prime target of the so-called “Greater Albania” plan, which in this case would lead to the erasure of Macedonia from the map and catalyze a chain reaction of other geopolitical changes in the region as well, such as in Serbia and Bosnia.
The recent “name change” and SDSM victory represent the success of the most immediate goals of the regime change operation, though the US’ plan for Macedonia is still far from over. The end result envisioned by American strategists is to “decentralize” the country into a collection of Albanian and Macedonian “cantons” prior to its “federalization” and eventual partition, after which the rump state will either remain geopolitically irrelevant or be annexed by neighboring Bulgaria. The US wants to reward its Albanian client state for its loyalty over the years as well as trigger other regional changes in Serbia and Bosnia vis-a-vis Kosovo and Republika Srpska, all of which would weaken Europe and thus entrench America’s influence through classic divide-and-rule tactics. In addition, Macedonia is a testing ground for perfecting political technologies that will be applied elsewhere such as the application of cutting-edge Color Revolution techniques and “Identity Federalism” (the “Bosnification” of identity-diverse states), which is why it’s so important for people to study who are interested in what might be coming next elsewhere in the world.