Russian businessman funds opponents of Macedonia’s name change
On July 16, 2018, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) reported that Russian businessman Ivan Savvidi funneled at least €300,000 to various groups in Macedonia that opposed the referendum to change the country’s official name to “North Macedonia.” The move would have opened the door to NATO and EU membership for Macedonia. Savvidi, based in Greece, sent the money to Macedonian politicians, members of nationalist organizations, and soccer hooligans who participated in riots against the agreement. According to The New York Times, U.S. officials “intercepted communications” in June 2018 that proved that Savvidi was working against the referendum on Russia’s behalf.

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Incident Metadata

Date: June - September 2018
Country: Macedonia
Source: Source Source 2