Disinfo: Bulgaria owes gratitude to Russia for its liberation from Ottoman rule


Bulgaria owes its liberation from Ottoman rule to Russia and should therefore demonstrate gratitude. Count Nikolay Ignatiev – Russian diplomat and Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, played an especially prominent role by supporting the Bulgarians’ political and economic independence and the restoration of a large Bulgarian state. He negotiated these terms in the Treaty of San Stefano (which ended the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878 and enshrined autonomy to the Principality of Bulgaria) and stood up to Western powers against the dismemberment of Bulgarian territories.


One of numerous Russian attempts at historical revisionism.

The article promotes a one-sided and exaggerated interpretation of the benevolent role of Count Ignatiev in the process of Bulgaria’s regaining of independence. Rather than being a selfless defender of the Bulgarian cause of liberation, Ignatiev’s main goal focused on the aggressive promotion of Russian imperialism, manifested in the establishment of dominance over the Slavic nations in the Balkans and insulating them from the West. According to Ottoman archives, Ignatiev’s ambiguous role in Bulgarian history was displayed in the fact that he vehemently opposed Bulgaria’s Church Independence and likely supported the Ottoman authorities in the trial and execution of Vassil Levski (a central figure in the Bulgarian revolutionary movement for independence).


  • Reported in: Issue 188
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Bulgarian
  • Country: Turkey, Bulgaria, Russia
  • Keywords: Diplomacy with Russia


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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