Fact Check: Mobilization Is NOT Underway In The Bulgarian Army

проверка на факти

  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: Mobilization Is NOT Underway In The Bulgarian Army Routine Update

Is it true that call-up military orders have been sent to mobilize the Bulgarian army? No, that's not true: Sending call-up orders is a routine activity of the Central Military District and its structures in Bulgaria. It has nothing to do with the military conflict in Ukraine. It is a routine process of updating the database of people from the military reserves as per the requirements of the Armed Forces Reserve Act.

The claim аppeared in a ТikTok video (archived here) published on September 29, 2023, under the title "Call-up order to reserve corporal 2nd class Deyan Angelov Ivanov," as translated by Lead Stories staff from Bulgarian to English. It opened:

On the 21st of September I received a phone call telling me that I was to receive a call-up letter from the Bulgarian Army. I was confused because I had not been in the army for 5 years. As soon as I received it, I asked what exactly the call-up letter was about, because it was obvious that it was not about accountability. There was no time limit to report, but a meeting point - the town hall, a deployment location - the regional warehouse of Sliven, I even had a military reporting rank. The military district officer explained briefly: "When the National Assembly orders mobilization, you will know where to report and what your role will be."

‼In a nutshell, only a decision of the National Assembly keeps me away from mobilization and the battlefield!‼" Deyan Ivanov

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

Screenshot 2023-10-05 213327.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Oct 5 18:33:29 2023 UTC)

Numerous publications on social media and websites in Bulgaria share the false claim that there is a mobilization of the Bulgarian army. They all share a picture of a call-up order with an attached story of its recipient. Here is another example of the shared false claim by a website stating:

There are several possible scenarios why Deyan Ivanov received a military call-up order: One scenario is that this is part of the Ministry of Defense's plan to increase the readiness of the Bulgarian Army. In the last few years, our country has been in a complex geopolitical situation that requires increased vigilance. The other scenario is that the call is related to the war in Ukraine. The Bulgarian government has declared its readiness to send troops to Ukraine if requested by NATO. In this case, the call-up would be part of the preparations for sending Bulgarian troops to Ukraine.

Screenshot 2023-10-05 214540.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Oct 5 18:45:42 2023 UTC)

The Central Military District and its structures in Bulgaria update the database of reservists each year. For this reason, they send out call-up orders to citizens to be mobilized in case of war. However, they do not take them into actual military service and do not mobilize them. Mobilization is started only with a decision of the National Assembly and a presidential decree. No one has the right to announce mobilization and mobilize Bulgarian citizens without these requirements. In order to comply with the Law on the Reserve of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria, citizens who receive a call-up order for military service must visit the relevant military district of residence and provide up-to-date data on height and measurements. This ensures that when called up or mobilized for actual military service, reserve military personnel are provided with uniforms and shoes.

The Ministry of Defense refuted the false claim to Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) and shared the following:

According to the organization established by the Central Military District, the replacement of reserve military personnel and equipment is carried out mainly in the months of February, March, April, August, September and October. Reserve military personnel and owners of reserve equipment without a mobilization date are notified that they must appear in person at the military districts to receive their call-up orders and further clarifications on the spot. If they do not fulfill their duties as reserve military personnel or owners of reserve equipment, they will be subject to administrative and criminal liability. This is a routine activity of the military districts and any information other than the above is false and distorted.

Lead Stories have previously debunked the false claim that Bulgaria does not plan to send troops to Ukraine here.

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