Russia Accused of Paying Bulgarian Public Figures to Spread Propaganda

The Bulgarian government spokesperson and head of the prime minister’s office, Lena Borislavova, accused Russia over the weekend of paying about €2000 per month to Bulgarian public figures to spread Russian propaganda in the country.

In support of her accusations, Borislavova quoted data provided by the Bulgarian secret services showing the money provided by the Russian state was being given to politicians, analysts, famous journalists, political scientists, and other persons appearing in the public media in Bulgaria to shape public opinion.

Bellingcat’s Bulgarian investigative journalist Hristo Grozev was working on a project to highlight Russian influence and propaganda and funding in the Bulgarian media after the start of the war in Ukraine but no information on the subject has been presented yet.

She sent a message to all Bulgarians who support Putin’s actions in Ukraine and spit on the EU and NATO for free, noting that those who inspire them to do so are paid monthly to confuse the public and play with misconceptions and fears.

Borislavova underscored that the red lines for her party, “Change Continues,” are the foreign interests disguised as Bulgarian national interests and promoted by some public speakers.

Although it has lost a no-confidence vote, the Bulgarian government will stay in power until a new one is formed or – if that is impossible – until the president dissolves parliament.

Borislavova also commented on the demand made by the Russian ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova that Sofia recalls the expulsion of 70 Russian diplomats and staff members of the Russian Embassy in Bulgaria, which the government refused, prompting all Russians declared persona non grata to leave for Moscow on Sunday.

She stressed that Moscow cannot expect to avoid Sofia’s strong reaction after declaring Bulgaria an enemy country and unilaterally- despite the current treaties – cutting off their gas.

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