The article is devoted to the actions of the officials of Belgrade and Sofia to create in Russia such an image of Macedonia and its inhabitants that would prove their right to join these territories.These actions began after 1885 and continued with varying degrees of intensity until 1913. They consisted of publishing books and articles in Russia that described their point of view. Bulgarian propaganda took a passive position, because there was a well-established opinion that Bulgarians live in Macedonia. The Serbs had to be more active and take into account the situation, so their propaganda went through four stages. At the first stage, they proved that Serbs, not Bulgarians, live in Macedonia. In the second stage, the stake was placed on the existence of a separate Macedonian people. At the third stage, there was a good idea that these lands are inhabited by a Slavic population that does not have a clear national identity. At the final stage, the arguments were supplemented with political arguments. At the same time, at all stages of the propaganda, there was a historical right — the entry of Macedonia into the Kingdom of Stefan Dusan, numerous architectural monuments of the time of Serbian rule, Serbian heroes of epic tales of the Macedonian Slavs. The Bulgarian propaganda, because of its lack of initiative, only defended itself, repeated previous theses and conceded positions, and on the question of historical rights it failed to formulate a clear answer. But at the end of this discussion, there was also a Macedonian view of the history of the Balkans.The article considers the Bulgarian-Serbian dispute in its development, specifies its main participants and arguments of the parties.
The research was carried out at the expense of a grant from the Russian science Foundation (project no.20–18–00294) in Scientific Research Institute of Theory and History of Architecture and Urban Planning, branch of the Central Institute for Research and Design of the Ministry of Construction and Housing and Communal Services of the Russian Federation.
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