Journalists, politicians and other public figures who have been spreading Russian propaganda about the invasion of Ukraine have been paid for it.
2,000 euros per month, almost 3 times the average salary in Bulgaria
This information has been revealed by Lena Borislavova, head of the political cabinet of the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Kiril Petkov, in an interview broadcast by Darik Radio that was echoed by the Dnevnik newspaper last Saturday: “The public and political spokesmen of the Russia’s position in Bulgaria, who are shapers of public opinion, who participate in debates and show their faces, often do not act entirely gratuitously. The Bulgarian services have data on this since February, since the beginning of the attack on Ukraine, receiving payments, including from the Russian state, of 4,000 leva per month” (about 2,045 euros or 2,133 dollars). This is a considerable amount, considering that the average net salary in Bulgaria is around 600 euros per month.
Politicians, journalists, analysts and political scientists
Borislavova has stated that the purpose of these payments is “to mold public opinion in favor of the convenience of the Russian Federation.” According to Euractiv, in that interview Borislavova said: “All those who spit on the EU and NATO for free, in addition to supporting Putin’s actions in Ukraine, should know. you guys are screwed. Those who inspire you to do so are paid. Monthly.” The head of the Prime Minister’s political cabinet also said that this money was given by Russia to politicians, famous journalists, analysts, political scientists and other people who appear in the public media. For the time being, the Bulgarian government has not identified specific names.
The Bulgarian Socialist Party, the most pro-Russian
According to the recent report carried out by the NGO VoteWatch (you can see the PDF here and the interactive map here), in Bulgaria the parties most opposed to the interests of Russia are those of the center-right. At the opposite pole, of those represented in the European Parliament, the most pro-Russian party in the country is the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), a member of the Socialist International and the European Socialist Party, which currently holds 26 of the 240 seats of the Bulgarian National Assembly. In 2017, the BSP opposed the extension of European sanctions on Russia over the illegal annexation of Crimea. It has also opposed European sanctions on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.
Bulgaria and Russia, on the verge of breaking off diplomatic relations
Last Tuesday, June 28, Bulgaria announced the expulsion of 70 members of the Russian diplomatic delegation, declaring them persona non grata. After the expulsion of these diplomats (the date set for their departure from Bulgaria was July 3), there are still 40 members of the Russian diplomatic delegation in the country. Now, both countries are on the verge of severing diplomatic relations, after the Russian ambassador, Eleonora Mitrofanova, asked Moscow to close the Russian embassy in Sofia, which would also lead to the closure of the Bulgarian embassy in Moscow. Relations between the two countries have deteriorated due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At the end of April, Bulgaria was, along with Poland, one of the first countries to have its gas supply cut off by Russia.
Photo: Alexander Ryumin/TASS/ZUMA.
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