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

Summary

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.

Disproof

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).

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 188
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Bulgarian
  • Country: Bulgaria, Turkey, Russia
  • Keywords: Diplomacy with Russia
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Washington is testing options for invading the Kaliningrad region

About 37,000 soldiers from 18 countries will take part in the military exercise “Defender Europe 2020”. 20,000 of them are American military personnel. The main goal is to practice the rapid deployment of American forces to the Russian border. Experts believe that Washington is testing options for invading the territory of the Kaliningrad region.

Disproof

This article is in line with the pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative of encircling Russia, claiming that US-led military exercise "Defender-Europe 2020" is directed against Russia. Find similar cases here. Exercise Defender-Europe 2020 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theatre to various training areas. The aim of the exercises is to increase strategic readiness and interoperability by exercising the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly deploy a large combat-credible force and equipment from the United States to Europe; and alongside its allies and partners, quickly respond to a potential crisis. "The joint, multinational training exercise is scheduled to take place from April to May 2020, with personnel and equipment movements occurring from February through July 2020. The exercise supports objectives defined by NATO to build readiness within the alliance and deter potential adversaries. Approximately 37,000 U.S., allied, and partner nation service members are expected to participate with roughly 20,000 soldiers deploying from the U.S," states the official web site of the exercises. Eighteen countries are expected to participate, with exercise activities occurring across 10 countries. More details about the exercise can be found here. At a press conference in Berlin on January 14, 2020, the Deputy Commander of the US Armed Forces in Europe, General Andrew Rawling, announced that Defender 2020 is not directed against Russia or against another country: "These manoeuvres are not related to any particular country. In this, they differ from past exercises of the Cold War. It is a question of defence in general under various crisis scenarios." Read similar cases about the Kaliningrad region being threatened by NATO and US.

Euromaidan was a coup d'état carried out by oligarchs

The events of 2014 are not even Maidan, it was a coup d’état.

We see that the coup d’état was made artificially. It was not a revolution for people, it was just a coup d’état that the oligarchs carried out.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives painting the 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution as a coup d'etat that was artificially orchestrated. It was also alleged that the Euromaidan was led by fascists and neo-Nazis and carried out by Western intelligence.

The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last-minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU as a result of Russian pressure. For more cases about the Euromaidan protests, see here.

Ukraine is a quasi-state with failed economy

Ukraine is a quasi-state. Everything that has happened over the past 30 years has worsened the situation of these territories. Ukraine is one of the few examples in the post-Soviet space when the economy has not only ceased to improve over 30 years but has been in a recession.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine as a failed state. Consistent with pro-Kremlin narratives alleging that Ukraine is a degrading state that has failed to become Europe.

Ukraine has a functioning government and economy, it is a member of many international organisations, such as the United Nations and the Council of Europe, and a party to international agreements. Ukraine has bilateral diplomatic relations with the majority of states.