Fact Check: The US Embassy In Bulgaria Does NOT Plan To Eliminate Bulgarians From Key Government Roles And Their Own Country

проверка на факти

  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: The US Embassy In Bulgaria Does NOT Plan To Eliminate Bulgarians From Key Government Roles And Their Own Country No Such Plans

Does the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria not want Bulgarians to govern their own country and are there "American plans" so that no Bulgarians "will be left in their own country?" No, there is no evidence of such plans by the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria. The claim is based only on allegations posted on Facebook. A search for different phrases used in the claim circulating on social media, performed by Lead Stories on September 4, 2023, using Google News' index of thousands of credible news sites, did not return any results.

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok (archived here) published by @lionheart474 on August 18, 2023.

The Bulgarian title above the photo reads as:

Bulgaria. Without Bulgarians.

The text in Bulgarian under the photo reads:

That's what the U.S. embassy wants - that no Bulgarians be left! Neither in the government nor in the millennia-old country.

(All translations from Bulgarian to English by Lead Stories staff).

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-09-04 at 9.25.38.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Sep 4 06:30:12 2023 UTC)

The statement circulating on Bulgarian social media was made by former National Service for Protection (NSP) officer Nikolay Markov. The NSP is a specialized military state service that reports directly to the President of the Republic of Bulgaria. Markov was fired in 2007 by then-President Georgi Parvanov.

Markov's claims about the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria were made in a Facebook post dated June 30, 2023. In a long rant full of anti-semitic references, Markov stated that the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense is run entirely by foreign interests and controlled by former foreign minister Solomon Passy, a Bulgarian citizen with Jewish roots, whom he calls:

Solomon Passy - the grey eminence of the war!

However, Passy - founder and president of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, an organization promoting Western values - last participated in the country's administration in 2005 as minister of Foreign Affairs and in 2009 as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy.

Markov is not new to controversial statements. An article from June 25, 2023, quoted the former officer of the National Service, defining himself as a "Russophile." According to another article dated June 18, 2023, the security expert has publicly admitted to being a Russian spy. The media cited his social media post from June 16, 2023, in which he commented on arms exports to Ukraine, claiming he was sending information and video clips to the Kremlin:

Every day, I receive on intelligence channels dozens of videos about the export of all kinds of weapons to Ukraine.

He continues:

I am sending them by secret channel directly to Moscow for information and instructions.

Pro-Russian parties in Bulgaria often make allegations similar to the ones made in the above TikTok video. In a comment to the media from May 30, 2023, the U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria, Kenneth Merten, addressed similar allegations on purported U.S. interferences in Bulgaria's political affairs:

We respect Bulgaria as a sovereign state. These are decisions that must be made by Bulgarians.

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