A protest is to be held in Sofia on February 21 2015 calling for the “termination of the Kremlin’s information aggression in Bulgaria,” organisers told a news conference on February 18.
The protest comes some days after far-right ultra-nationalist minority opposition party Ataka held a February 15 protest in the Bulgarian capital against what they said was a campaign to get the country involved in a war in Ukraine against Russia, and also called for the country to quit Nato.
A few days before that, on February 10, a group from the Bulgarian Socialist Party Youth called for the country to refuse to allow the placement of Nato military equipment in Bulgaria. The BSP protesters also campaigned against sanctions against Russia.
In Bulgaria, the dividing lines on the conflict in Ukraine are largely between centre-right political parties in government that favour a tough line on Russia – while Prime Minister Boiko Borissov has ruled out any Bulgarian military involvement in the conflict in Ukraine – and on the other side, far-right and socialist groupings that traditionally are well-disposed towards the Kremlin.
Bulgarian government leaders have been annoyed by repeated allegations from Ataka of a supposed “secret mobilisation” of Bulgarian reserve officers. Cabinet ministers have issued, practically daily, repeated denials of this, further adding that Bulgaria has no intention of being involved in any armed conflict.
President Rossen Plevneliev also has spoken out against the disinformation campaign, including the false claims of a mobilisation.
The February 18 news conference was told that the February 21 protest against the Kremlin’s propaganda campaign in Bulgaria had been organised by a few citizens connected with each other through social networks and who have no ties to any political party or state institution.
The protest, at 11am outside the Presidency, had various goals, including the cessation of the “increasing hysteria by the Kremlin’s fifth column” that got media coverage, as well as the statements by “certain politicians and party headquarters”.
Those who were to protest stood for Bulgaria’s Euro-Atlantic choice: “Our country is and will be a loyal member of the EU and Nato. Politicians, organisations and media that aggressively stand against this our choice and try to break us away from the European community should be treated as national traitors”.
“We express our full support for the people of Ukraine, who at the cost of many casualties are fighting against Russian military aggression for its European choice and path of development. We insist that the EU and Bulgaria provide economic, political and logistical support to the Ukrainian people,” the protest organisers said.
(Photo montage: The BSP and Ataka protests)