An indirect benefit of a possible F-16 deal for the Bulgarian Air Force is that the Kremlin’s visible agents of influence will emerge on the surface – individuals like Rumen Petkov, Parvanov, Mareshki and Siderov. Borisov’s GERB will have to, at least temporarily, subdue their pro-Russian hedge. One of the largest problems of Bulgarian democracy has been that membership in the EU and NATO did not succeed debate over, or a search for, common ground on the costs and benefits and the risks and the challenges that the budget and the people will face. To a large extent, geopolitical arguments supersede an elaborate and discrete process that often ends in troubled waters. The rare instances when trying to engage in winning hearts and minds by the reborn nomenclature, motivated


  The creation of Freemasonry lodges and Supreme Councils in our country is becoming business and politics     The Russian hybrid war in Bulgaria has a new important target – the unity of Bulgarian Freemasonry. After breaking this unity, the next step would be their subsequent subordination to Kremlin interests and the resulting domination of Russian Masons in the Balkans.   The first considerable breakthrough is already a fact – on May 5th this year a constituent assembly for the installation of a new Second Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was held in Plovdiv. It elected as Grand Commander a very controversial person – Ivan Sariev, who until a year ago was the Grand Master of the local Masons. Just a few weeks later, on

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  The Eurozone effect   Bulgaria’s entry into NATO is not a betrayal to Russia, but its continued membership is Alexander Dugin Intellectual guru of Russia’s Euro-Asian doctrine   Let’s consider the reference to the Russian threat when achieving the other key goal of Bulgarian foreign and monetary policy – membership in the Eurozone.   The metrics of the accession-ready status are not just embodied in a set of formal criteria but reflect a generic reference to key system indicators, including the resilience of the economy to external shocks, the ability to sustain high growth and wealth generation rates; capability of institutions to provide efficient governance, mitigate risks and stick to obligations; and capacity of citizens to profit from rights, opportunities and cope with the challenges of “life in the


  A year ago, the stars’ alignment seemed perfect for Mr. Putin’s plans to subdue the West, scoring media coups and consecutive foreign policy successes. He rejoiced with the image of a strong and omnipotent leader, profiting from the intentionally blurred difference between his real and perceived power, while enjoying the privilege of operational surprise over his opponents. The dominant perception was that he is capable of penetrating the most intimate political and social fabrics of Western democracies. The refugee wave in Europe acted as a catalyst to the stun policy – the EU was on the brink of being overwhelmed by the Kremlin’s multi-layered hybrid war machine.   Putin’s campaigns of influence ridiculed the few sobering voices in the West, easily dismissing warnings of an all-out assault against the


  After the elections the Bulgarian Socialists look more like a sister party of the French National Front than of other PES members.   As much as one might try to portray the election results as a success of the Socialists, reality checks and conclusions aren’t comforting. Most of the mistakes that explain their ultimate loss are not new, but the tenacity with which the new leadership perseveres is remarkable.   Most flops stem from the failure of the leftists during the transition period to upgrade their post-communist political party fundament within the EU and NATO political superstructure and practices that could help propel the socialists to power. In reality, the Bulgarian left stifled timid attempts by fractions within the BSP or smaller leftist parties members to introduce an EU

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  The publication in the Wall Street Journal about Russian instructions given to the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) leaders should not surprise anyone. Bungled attempts to ignore the scandalous revelations of probably the most influential American newspaper and total silence on the part of the institutions can mean only one thing – someone is caught red-handed, and Bulgarian authorities are afraid to react. Since the case is too hot and there is lack of response, it is most likely that the President and Government will find it hard to keep face. When you say “a” by publicly announcing the findings, you need to follow with “b” and expel from your rasdFnks at least one of the seconded experts, overt and secret agents of foreign agencies, sent to help pro-Russian parties

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Bulgaria has recently become one of the targets of the ongoing Kremlin influence campaign, evidenced by pivots made by Russia’s propaganda war machine – “Russia Today” and “Sputnik International”.   Until recently, Sofia had been spared the ‘’benevolence’’ of Putin’s media spearheads, as Moscow had been concentrating its chief hybrid efforts on the main battlefronts – first Greece, then Brexit and finally the citadel of the West – the US and the presidential race. A quick comparison between RT’s and Sputnik’s coverage of events in Bulgaria during 2014, 2015 and 2016, and at present will suffice to reach a conclusion – Bulgaria has entered the final and decisive leg of the Kremlin’s hybrid operation. In the rare instances in the past when news from Sofia appeared on their newswire, the coverage


  The anguish of the Bulgarian political elite following several interviews given by the chief of the influential Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), Leonid Reshetnikov, has surprised few if any. In the interviews, Reshetnikov sheds light on the activity of his institute and its role in the design and execution of Russian foreign policy in the Balkans, as well as in shaping the new ideology of the Third Way and the contours of what may be designated as the project Novorossiya for the Balkans.   Reshetnikov confirmed that last summer while vacationing on the Black Sea coast that he held meetings with leaders of several Bulgarian political parties, discussing the candidate selection process and the platforms in the then-upcoming presidential elections. The fundamental interests of the Russian lieutenant general,