Vasil Adzhalarski

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Vasil Adzhalarski

Photograph of Vasil Adzhalarski
Born December 24, 1880
Adzhalari, Kosovo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire (now Republic of Macedonia)
Died November 14, 1909 (aged 28)
Skopje, Ottoman Empire (now Republic of Macedonia)
Organization IMARO

Vasil Stoyanov Staikov (Bulgarian: Васил Стоянов Стайков), known as Vasil Adzhalarski, was a Bulgarian revolutionary, an Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization (IMARO) leader of revolutionary bands in the regions of Skopje and Kumanovo.


Vasil Stoyanov was born in 1880 in the village of Adzhalari, in the Sanjak of Üsküp of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire (present-day Republic of Macedonia). He received his nickname after this village, which is now known as Miladinovtsi. In 1901 he moved with his family in Skopje. He entered IMARO and realized a series of tasks for the Organization – he carried post, hided and purchased weapons, but he was arrested and spent two years in the prison Kurshumli Han. He got released after an amnesty. In 1903 he became an illegal freedom fighter and at first he was an assistant of the band leader Sande Cholaka in Kumanovo. Later, he entered the revolutionary band of Bobi Stoichev and after that he himself became a leader, in the regions of Skopska Crna Gora and Skopska Blatiya, under the supervision of Dame Martinov. Adzhalarski distinguished himself from the other freedom fighters with the assassination of several Muslim beys who were suppressing the local Bulgarian inhabitants.[1]

In 1905 Vasil Adzhalarski became a regional leader of the Skopje region. From the end of 1904 until 1908 his revolutionary band conducted more than 10 massive battles with the Turkish military. Adzhalarski also took several successful actions against the armed Serbian propaganda. As a response to the murders of seven Bulgarians from the Chair neighborhood by a Serbian band, he killed 9 Serbomans in Brodets, after which the Serbian bands ceased this type of actions. In February 1907, he burned the Han in the village of Sopishte, that served as a base for the traverse of the Serbian bands to the region of Porechie.[1]

After the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, he was no more a freedom fighter, but he was killed in an ambush by the Ottoman authorities in Skopje in 1909.[2] His funeral was a reason for a massive protests by the Bulgarians from the region of Skopje against the authorities.

The revolutionary band of Vasil Adzhalarski after the Young Turk Revolution.

In 1918, Ivan Snegarov wrote the following about Vasil Adzhalarski:

He possessed all physical and spiritual qualities, necessary for fascinating agitation and attraction of the crowds. He was tall, stalwart, well-built… brisk and smart, determined in his actions and fearless in the fight, tireless in his deeds and impossible to catch, he undoubtedly stood before the imagination of the people as the old knights, and inspired them to create heroic epos. If we additionally mention that he was eloquent and had a phenomenal memory…, we will be able to imagine thoroughly the secret of the power of the local Organization in his time and the attraction with which the Bulgarians from Skopje still mention his name.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Снегаров, Иван. Васил Аджарларски, Родина (Скопие), г. ІІІ, бр. 660, 8 юли 1918, с. 2-3.
  2. Енциклопедия България, том 1, Издателство на БАН, София, 1978.