site.btaBulgarian Officials Visit North Macedonia to Mark Gen. Konstantin Kavarnaliev's 109th Death Anniversary

Bulgarian Officials Visit North Macedonia to Mark Gen. Konstantin Kavarnaliev's 109th Death Anniversary
Bulgarian Officials Visit North Macedonia to Mark Gen. Konstantin Kavarnaliev's 109th Death Anniversary
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The 109th death anniversary of Bulgarian general Konstantin Kavarnaliev was marked with a memorial service at his monument near Dojran, North Macedonia on Saturday. The monument stands at the site where, after facing an enemy force 14 times as large as the one under his command during the Second Balkan War, Kavarnaliev died fighting not only for his motherland but also for the defence of the civilian population in the Dojran area.

During Saturday's ceremony, Bulgarian officials laid wreaths and observed a minute of silence in honour of Kavarnaliev and five Bulgarian soldiers buried next to him, who were killed in the area during World War I. The Bulgarian officials included the Defence Minister's adviser Gen. Kolyo Milev (Res.), the Defence Ministry's Director for Social Policy and Patriotic Education Dian Valyanov, Brig. Gen. Mitko Grigorov of the Defence Staff, the Ambassador to Skopje Angel Angelov, Defence Attache Col. Yordan Filev and Deputy Defence Attache Maj. Dian Dinev, Consul General in Bitola Dimitar Ivanov, other officials from the Bulgarian Embassy in Skopje, the director of the Sofia-based Military Television Channel, representatives of patriotic organizations and members of the Bulgarian community in North Macedonia. Italy's Deputy Defence Attache was also there.

Ambassador Angelov said in a statement: "Many battles were fought in the Dojran area, claiming the lives of Bulgarian, Greek, Serbian, French, British, Italian and Irish soldiers. Some estimates put the number of those killed here in the wars of the 20th century at 1.2 million. This monument reminds us of the bloodshed, so that we never repeat it, but are able to contribute to the preservation of peace in the region, as we have done for a long time now. Our two countries, Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia, are already allies in NATO, but in order to be efficient and good allies, we should learn how to watch each other's backs just like Col. Kavarnaliev did for his soldiers."

Gen. Kolyo Milev (Res.) said that Kavarnaliev belonged to that generation of Bulgarian military who laid down the foundations of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. He taught everyone a lesson by personally leading his soldiers in battle and using the command "Follow me!" instead of "Forward, go!"

Konstantin Kavarnaliev was born in Shumen, in today's northeastern Bulgaria, on February 15, 1866. During the First Balkan War (September 1912 - May 1913), he led an infantry regiment. During the Second Balkan War (June-August 1913), the brigade in his charge within 3rd Balkan Infantry Division fought for three days to allow the residents of Kukush, or Kilkis (in the north of present-day Greece) to flee to Bulgaria without losing any lives. Later, the Greek army destroyed Kukush by fire and headed for Dojran, where another episode of combat action occurred. There, Col. Kavarnaliev could use only 3,000 soldiers against a 42,000-strong Greek force. He personally fought in the battle. The Bulgarians held out, but Kavarnaliev was wounded in the leg, with the bullet damaging an important artery. He died on June 23, 1913. He was posthumously promoted to Major General.

A monument to Kavarnaliev was built near Dojran in 1916. It became the focal point of a military cemetery holding the mortal remains of Bulgarians who were killed in the area during World War I. In 1966, the monument was blown up by "unidentified persons of dubious moral character", as Ambassador Angelov described them in his statement on Saturday. The ruins of the monument still stand today. Over the course of 13 years, Bulgaria tried to get the monument restored. In its present form, the monument was inaugurated on August 1, 2019 by the then prime ministers Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria and Zoran Zaev of North Macedonia.

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By 03:12 on 12.08.2022 Today`s news

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