“Russophiles” aim to steer Bulgaria away from NATO

Pro-Russian demonstration in Bulgaria. Photo: Zuma/ TASS 


Article by: Kseniya Kirillova

Some curious news concerning the recent meeting of the National Movement of “Russophiles” in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, appeared recently on the website of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI).  The institute was formerly a part of the foreign intelligence service (SVR), but now falls under the Presidential Administration of Russia.

According to the website, the following individuals from Russia attended the meeting:  representative of the Deputies’ Group of the Gosduma (parliament) for cooperation with the Bulgarian Parliament and Deputy of the Yedinaya Rossiya Party Aleksandr Vasilenko, Secretary of the Russian Union of Writers Aleksandr Fomenko, First Secretary of the Russian Embassy in Bulgaria and representative of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science Robert Shestakov, and the advisor to the Director of RISI Professor Volokikhin.

The goals of the organization as described in the post are of particular interest.  

Besides the innocent study of the Russian language and increasing cultural ties, there also appears “opposition to the anti-Russian sanctions, the struggle against the increasing presence of NATO in the country, and a categorical objection to the slightest possibility of Bulgarian participation in potential NATO aggression against Russia.”

These goals of the “Russophiles” are being put into practice.  The chairman of the movement, Nikolay Malinov, noted that the organization (with some 34 thousand members) collected citizens’ signatures against American anti-missile installations in Bulgaria.  It’s clear that this is an attempt to break Bulgaria away from NATO under the leadership or at a minimum with the active support of Gosduma deputies and Russian intelligence analysts.

One of these “Russophile” goals is cause for concern, specifically the protest against the smallest possibility of Bulgarian participation in potential NATO aggression against Russia.

It’s evident that right now it is Russia which is acting aggressively against neighboring countries, but the myth of Western aggression (so-called “hybrid” war for now, but all-out war in the near future) is increasingly being exaggerated not only in Russian media but also in the reports of serious organizations.  Thus, a reading of the report recently offered by the Russian Committee for Foreign and Defense Policy on the strategy for Russian foreign policy for the period 2010 – 2020, it is clear that the Kremlin is beginning to believe its own propaganda.

One gets the same impression from a threatening petition from an obscure group of “Russians living in the USA.”  In particular, according to the document, in the case of war Russia “will certainly destroy the USA.”

“At most, the entire territory of the USA will be covered by a layer of radioactive ash.  We are telling you this not to alarm, but because according to everything we know, we ourselves are frightened.  If Russia is attacked, she will not retreat; she will respond and totally destroy the United States.”   

Given the above, based on their logic (according to the “logic” of Kremlin propaganda) that

“the leadership of the USA has done everything possible to bring the situation to the edge of catastrophe. It’s anti-Russian policy has convinced the Russian leadership that it is useless to retreat or negotiate with the West.”

It seems that an ever increasing number of Russians, both in the country and outside her borders, are becoming convinced of the mythical possibility of an attack from abroad – just as in the depths of the Cold War the Kremlin believed they Pentagon was planning a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the USSR.  Given this situation,  as the Russian world view becomes more out of focus, the more aggressive will become Russian actions, and the more assertive will become the activities of her agents of influence in the West.




Translated by: Michael Davidson

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  1. Avatar Mykola Banderachuk says:

    those russians are totally wacked out and delusional – basically they are paper tigers

    1. Avatar Quartermaster says:

      Toward the end of Yeltsin’s misrule, Russia was beginning to dig itself out of the hole the Soviet Union threw her in. For some reason, Putin has gotten it in his mind he needs to re-establish the Soviet Union and he thinks by creating a cold conflict that threatens to go hot, he can get the Russian people behind him.
      The problem is that Russia has less potential in that regard than the Soviet Union did. There is enough information floating around that if the Russian people would avail themselves of it, they would be able to see what Putin is doing to them, their country, and the future of their Children. He is beggaring the country to re-establish a fantasy he acquired while he was a KGB clown.

      1. Avatar Mykola Banderachuk says:

        Spot on correct

  2. Avatar Alex George says:

    The Kremlin is getting worried. The formation of a mini-alliance of Turkey, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria on its Black Sea flank is yet another sign that Moscow’s hold on the region is slipping.

    Russia doesn’t have the military or economic clout to break this up, so it has to resort to agents of influence and fifth columnists.

    1. Avatar Halou says:

      With Russia having devoted so much effort towards undermining the unity and credibility of NATO they’re somehow surprised that NATO members having lost faith in the alliance are now working to create more convincing independent alternatives? The Kremlin heads should be thanking the Black Sea states for forming their own separate alliance outside of NATO.

      But no, rather than appreciating Europe for acting independently and putting America to one side, rather than offering an alternative Russian project that gives European nations something in return for their taking part the Kremlin simply asserts that submission and obedience are expected from everyone as if being a part of the ‘Russian world’, willingly or not, is the pinnacle of human status and achievement.

      1. Avatar Alex George says:

        Very good points. The Kremlin could have built up an alternative narrative and shown alternative leadership, if it had just shown a modicum of respect and commitment to the interests of other nations.

        But the sheer greed and naked self interest of Putin and other Russian members of the elite has just made its “alternative” into a laughing-stock.