“Russophiles” aim to steer Bulgaria away from NATO

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

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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.


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Translated by: Michael Davidson

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