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Russia Protest

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iliev 1

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ilian vassilev

  There is little doubt that the hackers attack on the National Revenue Agency’s (NPA) database has been engineered and sponsored by the Russian secret services. In the best of Russian tsarist masquerade traditions, the act will be disguised as a lone effort by a concerned Russian citizen who has taken to heart the destiny of Bulgaria and its society. This is what propaganda and Byzantine politics are all about. The hackers will assume the moral high ground, claiming that the Bulgarian government is corrupt and inadequate. And while much of this rings true, demagoguery lies at the core of the hybrid warfare waged by the Russian special services. The use of credible and tangible weak spots and vulnerabilities in the governance of the country will arouse mistrust and undermine

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transbalkan1

  Let us state the publicly known facts and try to assess the business merits of the deal. Bit by bit, slowly and systematically, so that even non-experts can understand.   We have a standing valid gas transit contract between Gazexport and Bulgartransgaz, using the current Trans-Balkan Pipeline, until 2030 with “secure” revenues of $ 1.2 billion. This is not the total contract amount, just the ‘ship or pay’ segment, accrued until the end of the contract. This is regardless of whether Gazprom decides to end transit through Ukraine, to take up alternative routes through Turkey, Germany or the North Pole. Cash in hand. Or almost.   Giving up on these receivables is a condition sine qua non, set by Gazprom, if we want to enter into the new venture

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russia-in-decline-alex-alexiev

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putin_gazprom

  This is the key line Russian President Putin used at the plenary session of the International Arctic Forum, which was instantly relayed by all Russian media, mainly by TASS, Russia Today and Sputnik. There is nothing new in this vintage Russian propaganda, which is echoed by pro-Russian politicians in the EU – Russian gas is indispensable and the cheapest gas in the world, while US-sourced LNG is expensive and inferior in quality.   EU budgets, he asserts further, will have to compensate European consumers for the price difference between US LNG and pipeline gas from Russia. Even if one sets aside the basic fact that the budgets of EU countries and that of the Russian state are profoundly different in structure, the EU legal and regulatory bases make it

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Vladimir Putin and Vladislav Surkov / photo: obozrevatel.com

  Vladislav Surkov has enlightened us on the state of mind at the Kremlin. He has been on and off at the top of Putin’s confidants’ list, yet his current status is nowhere near the peak of his influence, some 15 years ago, when he was perceived as the guru in Putin’s entourage, akin to Mikhail Suslov in the Politburo of the Soviet Communist Party. Those days are long gone, and the article published in Nezavisimaya Gazetta, although carrying some weight and deserving attention, does not go far enough to challenge the perception of a falling star.   The title, The Deep State of Putin (Dolgoe Gosudarstvo Putina), would certainly prompt analytical work in the Russian and Western media, much like in the old days of the Soviet Union, when

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konflikt_azov_

  We live in a world of post-truth. Everyone has his own “facts,” his own truth. After the annexation of Crimea, Russia annexed the ‘truth’ for the Russian public and proxies around the world. Adding the Crimean Peninsula meant new borders, new territorial waters and new conflicts. Closing the Kerch Strait by building the bridge connecting continental Russia with its new territory meant that large ships are disallowed, effectively imposing illegal control of traffic, blocking access to and from the Ukrainian coast of the Sea of Azov, including the towns of Mariupol and Berdyansk. The EU and U.S. are looking closely and pondering how to respond – from a safe distance, as usual. They will not interfere – except with sedative lecturing.   Chancellor Merkel cherishes Nord Stream-2 more than Ukraine as a shield of

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poster_2

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