The Ambassador of Macedonia to London stated today that the Albanian UCK factions fighting in the north and west of Macedonia are not Macedonian Albanians and as such, they are considered as invaders and foreigners. He stated that any negotiation with these terrorists was out of the question because the legal representatives of the Albanians in Macedonia, the Albanian political parties both in government and in the opposition, condemned the violence. Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is on his way to Skopje because President Vladimir Putin is reported to be worried that the violence is spiralling out of control. That this is the case, there is no doubt whatsoever. Pravda.Ru contacts in Skopje warn that groups of Albanians are organising themselves all over the country, as the foreigners infiltrate and call on all able-bodied Albanians everywhere to join the cause. Macedonia, whose regular army numbers between 15,000 and 20,000, according to the local press, has called up its reservists, increasing its capacity to 120,000 men. On the other side, there are conflicting reports as to the exact number of the UCK separatists. Macedonian authorities state that there are no more than 500, with 200 operating around Tetovo. However, the Albanian factions themselves state that they have received over 4,000 new recruits in the last week alone. If the truth is somewhere in the middle, even with 2,000 trained and highly mobile and motivated terrorists under arms, the prospect for the Macedonian army is daunting, although evidently the Macedonian army will act. Nobody in Skopje believes that if the Germans and Americans wanted, they could stop this traffic in terror because they know who the Kosovar Albanian commanders are (NATO trained them, after all) and they know where they operate. NATO would gain a lot of respect if someone issued a statement saying that this organisation made a grave mistake when it entered the Balkans. Now Russia is left to sort out the mess that NATO made.
JOHN ASHTEAD, PRAVDA.RU, LONDON
Marianna Budanov, the wife of the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov, was poisoned. it was said that the woman was diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning