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History Clubs, Historical Myths and Nostalgia for the Soviet Union



Just a few years back, the news that children from Pazardzhik, members of the Para Military Organization (and trained by Russian military instructors on the outskirts of Moscow to throw grenades and fire Kalashnikovs), were reciting Pushkin to the Russian Ambassador, in the center of Pazardzhik, was received more than positively by the media. Just as the unveiling of yet another monument to a Russian General and the joint celebration of Bulgaria's National Holidays, which are invariably associated with Russia, and Bulgarian history in particular, were received positively.


The Importance of History and Mythology for the Russian Propaganda Machine

In the speech, in an indirect speech- President Radev confirmed his thesis that- Russians and Ukrainians are brothers, and the war is fratricidal, or in other words civil (de facto Russian civil war- which is the main thesis of the Russian propaganda machine.). Second, in direct, condemn those who want to help Ukraine- calling it disarming our military. Third, it called Bulgaria and Macedonia one nation, trampling on Macedonia's struggle for national identity. By rebuking those who help Macedonia become part of the EU and NATO, as an independent nation. Fifth, he expressed the Extreme Importance of History, such as it is, and the Paramount Importance of Preserving it!


We and Them

A key part of Nazi ideology and what we have today comming from Russia is the concept of the enemy in terms of historical arguments. The modern Putin National Socialism is to define the enemy and those who posed a threat to the so-called Slavic Ethno Group. Modern Russian Nazi propaganda is essential in promoting the myth of the “ethno community” and identifying who are the enemies. Achieving Total and Direct Control over all cultural institutions is under the pretext that it protects the nation from degrading influences (bessov). By ensuring the preservation of Ethnic memory, Ethnic culture and Ethnic traditions.

When we talk about Art (in Bulgaria and Russia), about East and West, it is an interesting thing in President Radev's speech is that he talked about the Bessove(Devils) who have come to Bulgaria(educated in the West) and that they should be expelled. One of the main mouthpieces of Putin's propaganda, and the key to funding in Russian culture, the Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov, who is closest to Putin, has a cultural TV Project on the national Russian television, Friday evening prime time - Chasing the Bes(Devils)- Bessogon TV.


Part of the celebration of March 3, 2023:

"The Day of the Liberation of Bulgaria from Turkish Slavery, thanks to Russia." General of the Bulgarian Army Dimitar Shivikov gives a speech at the beginning. He is a former senior officer of the Bulgarian Army, who participated in NATO missions, as well as specialized in the USA.

The evening of celebrations end in Pazardzhik, Bulgarian Army General Dimitar Shivikov delivers a pro-Russian speech in Pazardzhik.


The history of the Patriotic Pro Russian History Clubs in Pazardzhik

The history of the Patriotic Pro Russian History Clubs in Pazardzhik dates back to the creation of the Para Military Organization Vityazi.


Advertisement of the New History Club formed in Pazardzhik. The first topic is the liberation of Pazardzhik from slavery:

On the 9th of February, 2023, in Pazardzhik, in the Artists' Club, took place the formation of a historical club and the holding of a historical discussion on the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Slavery, thanks to Russia. The event brought together a dream team of culture, art and literature of Pazardzhik.


The History Club is made up of pedagogues from Georgi Bregov School, twinned with a similar school in Stavropol, Russia. The reason for the twinning and the cultural exchange not only between the Bulgarian and the Russian school, but also between the towns is the gratitude for the Russian Liberation. Marin works in the local library.


When we talk about influence there is a word from the time of the USSR that is still valid today. It is called authoritative. The more authoritative a person is, the more influence he himself has. As the censor for the ladder of Socialist Prestige is Educational Census, awards and certificates.


National Traitors (or as the Communists called them "Enemies of the People" is one of the loudest topics of the new History Club.

If the First Historical Pillar that the Russian propaganda machine in Bulgaria erects it is Slavery and Russian Liberation. But the Second Historical and no less important Pillar is for the National Traitors. This Pillar is typical of Totalitarian Regimes, eliminating any form of pluralism, even historical. Because if we are to be historically honest and truthful, a large scale genocide and persecution was carried out against the Turkish population in Bulgaria with the entry of Turkish troops. The demographic picture of Pazardzhik, for example, was completely changed after 1878. As the land and property of the Turkish population was completely taken away. Like the second entry of Russian troops into Bulgaria in 1944, when all property of people engaged in business, trade or having anything to do with the Tsarist or German regime was completely taken away, and they were either killed or deported. But Russian propaganda both during Communism and since has been pushing a defensive shaft called "National Traitors," a term that sums up any opinion other than that served by Moscow and its proxies in Bulgaria.

The People's Court and Self-Execution is from the rhetoric of the gaining momentum pro-Russian Renaissance Party. Publicly, in various forms, it is said that the moment they come to power, there will be tribunals and all traitors will get what they deserve - execution. The Power of Terror- Bulgaria, next to Ukraine (theangel.today)


After all, the People's Traitors is an ideologem that dominates public consciousness in Bulgaria. It is still a staple of not only non-formal clubs (led by titled teachers and historians), but part of the curriculum in general. Because almost a decade ago in Pazardzhik the first pro-Russian History Club started a rather ambitious activity, forming around it the Russian Cultural Center and the Russian Youth Para Military Organization. The first cultural - information center of the Association "Vityazi - Khan Asparuh" in Bulgaria was opened on March 3, 2015 in Pazardzhik. This became possible thanks to the businessman Georgi Delchev, who provided the NGO with premises in the building on ul. "In front of the audience Albena and Milena Galabinov presented the activities of the "Knights(Vityazi)", which have been operating in our country since 2013. In Russia, however, the association has been active since 1992.



Nothing in the field of Culture, Education, Youth and Literature has happened in Pazardzhik in the last 40 years without being directly or indirectly under the eye of one of the most influential personalities both before and after the transition, Georgi Spasov. Whose son, by the way, is an employee of the District Library.


Georgi Spasov- The Old Guard of Pazardzhik

When talking about the cultural(and political) trends in Pazardzhik in the last 15 years, Georgi Spasov is the man who constructed the overall cultural vision of the city as Director of the Department of Culture at Pazardzhik City Hall. Georgi Spasov was the Director of the Pioneer House (the Youth Organization of the Communist Party, responsible for political training and propaganda among the youth) during the communist regime. Also director of the People's Enlightenment - the ideological body of the Communist Party caring for all teachers and educators in the Pazardzhik Region. After the collapse of Communism, Georgi Spasov was the director of the most elite school in Pazardzhik - the language lyceum. Today, he's on the ballot for the MP of what claims to be the Pro-Western Party of Change led in Pazardzhik by a Russian MA graduate Diplomacy in Moscow University of Foreign Relations, son of one of the famous Bulgarian counter spies and former Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior(Police) until 1989.


How The History was Written

In the local media you can read a heartbreaking and positive story about an old lady whose books will be republished by an awake teacher with the Pazardzhik taxpayers' money. The Municipality of Pazardzhik will finance the printing book by Bistra Rindova "Pages from the past of Pazardzhik". The news was announced by the teacher Iliya Mihaylov, who is also the organizer of the historical club, and on whose initiative this significant historical study(according to his words) of Bistra Rindova will have a second printing. The first, published in 1995, was small and quickly sold out. The news item reports that she is a researcher(with 15 historical books about Pazardzhik), that she has worked in Pazardzhik(what is not said), what exactly her research is only mentioned as being about Pazardzhik. Общината ще финансира емблематична книга на Бистра Риндова (marica.bg)

What the information about the author omits is that she was a Colonel(Pedagogue, which translated from the time of Communism means ideological training and preparation against Western Ideological Diversion) in the Communist Militia, worked in the only school in Bulgaria during Communism for senior police officers(located in Pazardzhik) and that she was the head of a group involved in collecting and preserving information about Russian troops during the Russo-Turkish War, working together with the Russian Foreign Intelligence responsible for these archives.

Bistra Rindova
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In the State Archive - Pazardzhik, documents are kept from a long collecting work of a circle led by the teacher at the Secondary Militia School - Pazardzhik, Bistra Rindova. After 1990 Rindova published 5 books about the past of Pazardzhik and Pazardzhik. A small part of these documents are also about the stay of Soviet troops in Pazardzhik in 1945-1946. The materials were collected after contacts, correspondence with archives, organizations, institutions in our country and in the USSR, with soldiers and officers. There are also over 300 letters, over 400 photos, including those of the aviator Alexei Maresiev, 2 times Hero of the USSR, Gen. Fyodorov, commander of a partisan brigade, in which the Bulgarian Lilia Karastoyanova was also, of Gen. В. Vassilev, Gen. А. Ratov, whose grandfather fought on Shipka, to the writer Gr. Baklanov, who as a platoon commander of the 1232 artillery regiment resided in Pazardzhik.


Another extremely interesting area of Bistra's research is the Macedonian Question. The topic is closely related to the displacement of the Turkish population from Pazardzhik at the end of the 19th century as well as the huge settlement from Macedonia. And at the moment it is very topical with the mythology that blocks the enlargement of NATO and the EU through Macedonia and Albania. Зам.-областен управител и журналист подготвят филм за войводата Стоян Мълчанков - Труд (trud.bg)


In 2022, the State Archive - Pazardzhik proposes Bistra Rindova as "Honorary Citizen of the town of Pazardzhik". Pazardzhik and the Municipality"

In 2022 received the Badge of Honour of Pazardzhik, for Contribution

The teacher and writer Iliya Mikhailov, who is at the centre of the History Club, is at the heart of Bistra Rondova's project. Before legendizing the colonel who worked directly with the KGB, Ilia Mikhailov was named teacher of the year, as well as receiving a huge dose of PR. Iliya was also at the heart of promoting Nostalgia for Communism in Pazardzhik:

In various forms, pre-1989 socialist practices are presented in an extremely positive and non-intrusive light. Even the images of Teachers and Academics, so important during Communism:

Ilia Mikhailov on receiving his award for Worthy Bulgarian for 2022, together with the Academician of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the most established and promoted Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov. More about the Bulgarian Literature and how is founded by Russian money here... Bulgarian literature in Europe as a "Spiritual Gateway" to Russia (theangel.today)



The Hosts of the Event

The event was hosted by the Painters' Club, of which Margarita Ivanova is the president. Margarita Ivanova and Spas Kirichev are the most famous and successful couple of artists from Pazardzhik. Margarita has been the President of the Painters' Union for several terms. Spas Kirichev has made a large number of monuments, including the one to the Russian Liberator of Pazardzhik General Brock.

Chairman of the Union of Artists in Pazardzhik in the last decade, in Russian costume, celebrating a Russian holiday. Putin's portrait can be seen behind her.



In 2018, Margarita and Spas showed incredible boldness and courage by becoming one of the few European artists to visit the occupied Crimea and participate in Art Performances. An event more than positively received by the Pazardzhik media and casually missed by the "supposedly" free pro-Western ones. In the meantime, they missed a lot of things.




Margarita at an event dedicated to Russia with another prominent and influential Pazardzhik figure- Nadia Klisurksam, and the Russian Ambassador celebrating. She was a member of the BSP (former communist party), where Margarita was a candidate. Nadia was also the Minister of Social Welfare during the government of President Radev. Nadia is the daughter of the first mayor of Pazardzhik after the fall of the Communist Regime, a socialist like her.



Margarita and Spas Kirichev in the centre of cultural life in Pazardzhik. 2023, Art Exhibition about the Bulgarian Transition after the fall of Communism and the Bulgarian Democracy of the Teacher at the German Educational Center in Pazardzhik - Koko Anastasov.



In 2023, while the whole world condemns Russia, Pazardzhik, an EU and NATO city, is littered with pro-Russian events.


For the Russians Liberators in Pazardzhik. This is not only a historical but also a cultural theme that concerns the minds and creativity of Pazardzhik artists and exhibition halls. On January 13, 2023 at 5 pm in the central building of the Regional History Museum - Pazardzhik, pl. "Konstantin Velichkov" № 15, an exhibition "For the Freedom of the Fatherland" will be opened - on the occasion of the 145th anniversary of the liberation of Pazardzhik. The exhibition presents one of the most important moments in the history of the city - its liberation, as well as the participation of the citizens of Pazardzhik in the Russo-Turkish War.




Celebrating with the Liberators in Plovdiv(30 km from Pazardzhik)

Welcoming the Russian Ambassador by Bulgarian Citizens.

the Russian Ambassador


Celebrating with the Liberators in Plovdiv

Celebrating with the Liberators in Plovdiv

The Great Myth of Bulgarian Slavery and Russian Liberation

Turkish slavery, Russian liberators and other legends



"The myth that Russia has revived us on the map of the world has become entrenched in Bulgarian consciousness. Experts talk about the myths in Bulgarian history."


Bulgarian historiography still fails to offer a critical reading of national history that is accessible to the general public. As a result, historical facts and objective testimonies are still replaced by myths in the cultural memory of the nation. Here is what the philosopher Kalin Yanakiev and the historians Lyudmil Spasov and Hristo Matanov had to say on the subject. According to prof. Hristo Matanov from Sofia University, Bulgarians find it difficult to trust archives and documented historical facts when they contradict the established public notions of a permanent "heroic past". That is why the attempts of a part of the scientific community to remove the mystical halo of national history are too painful. "I could not even make an abbreviated list of the myths of Bulgarian history. Most of them are the fruit of efforts to make ourselves out to be greater than we were. Immature national consciousness always seeks to inculcate a kind of national grandomania," the historian says, explaining that it is this grandomania that gives rise to historical manipulations. And their popularity in society and in the media means that a gap has opened between people's idealised notions and reality. "As professional historians, we try to dispel entrenched myths, but not infrequently along the way we create new myths. Textbooks and teaching content are not completely cleansed of the legends in Bulgarian history because they pursue primarily educational goals, not the dissemination of knowledge based on documents and objective analysis," Matanov added. "There was no classical slavery in Bulgaria" Philosopher Kalin Yanakiev explains in turn that mythologies in Bulgarian cultural memory appeared in the period of national revival. "In the 19th century European nations began to assert themselves. Then, under the influence of national liberalism, they began to look back at their past and construct glorifying or traumatic myths about that past. The aim is to strengthen a fragile national identity. Except that these myths, which were natural for the 19th century, should have long outlived their usefulness after the constitution of nations. In Bulgaria, however, this is definitely not the case," says Yanakiev. According to him, the false national consciousness is based on exaggerations about some glorious medieval or even ancient past and on the permanently inculcated national antagonism towards the self-proclaimed "oppressors". "There was no classical slavery in Bulgaria. Our Renaissance writers may speak of 'slavery', but it is an emotional category with a literary flavour. It feeds the whole mythology of our liberation and explains the collapse of our national ideals," says Prof. Matanov. But he makes the caveat that when one denies the existence of slavery under Ottoman rule, one should not go to the other extreme: that, you see, life in the Ottoman Empire was wonderful for the Bulgarians. "It is noteworthy, however, that some of the clichés implanted by Russian propaganda continue to circulate in Bulgarian historiography. We should not forget that for longer or shorter periods in the late 19th century and in the second half of the 20th century Bulgaria was directly ruled by Moscow. Mass Russophilia after the Liberation contributed to the inculcation of the suggestions produced by Russian propaganda. For example, about the centuries-old and selfless friendship between Big Brother and the "brothers", as well as the eternal gratitude that Bulgaria owes to its "double" liberators," Matanov says. The historian stresses that Russian propaganda is far from elementary - it relies on veiled methods to push its messages. "The BSP's New TV and its host Velizar Enchev, for example, have set themselves the task of telling viewers that 'Turkish slavery' is pure historical truth, and that denying this metaphor is tantamount to national betrayal. But to suggest that your ancestors were slaves to someone is simply a sign of low self-esteem and national complexes. Only in such an environment can all sorts of historical myths and legends flourish," the historian points out. The Russian project of securing Bulgaria His colleague Lyudmil Spasov from Plovdiv University defines the Soviet occupation of Bulgaria in 1944 as the beginning of an even more aggressive mythologizing of Bulgarian history. "Already on March 3, 1945, just five months after the invasion of the Red Army and the waves of mass terror and indiscriminate executions that followed, the puppet government of Kimon Georgiev, under orders from Moscow, convened an All-Slavic Council in Sofia. One of its aims was to proclaim Bolshevik Russia the double liberator of the Bulgarians and the other Slavs. In fact, since the time of tsarism, the pan-Slavic idea of the unification of all Slavic peoples under the Kremlin's scepter has been part of the toolkit of Russian imperialism. While destroying tsarism, the Soviet authorities did not shy away from using the propaganda clichés of the Romanov era. The Soviet Union continued the geopolitical project of Russian tsarism to consolidate Bulgaria, the real aim of which was to create a protectorate in the immediate vicinity of the Straits. For both imperial Russia and all its incarnations have always fought for control of the Straits," Spasov recalls. The historian also talks about another myth of Soviet propaganda and its Bulgarian heralds: that the Third Bulgarian Kingdom was a "fascist state". According to the official cliché, this is precisely why Moscow participated in the "anti-fascist" September Uprising in 1923 and in the "liberation" occupation in 1944. What the Russian "liberations" had in common, according to prof. Spasov, is that Bulgaria has always paid an incredibly high price to its "liberator" - direct counter-rebuses, plunder of national wealth, occupation and long-lasting enslavement. The philosopher Kalin Yanakiev believes that Bulgarian historiography makes little effort to educate Bulgarians with the means of a thorough and critical reading of history. "Thus "Turkish slavery" becomes a kind of surrogate self-justification for some negative national traits. Take for example the unproblematic spread of phobias among Bulgarians towards migrants and refugees. The organisers of the campaigns that sow hatred against asylum seekers scare Bulgarians with the Islamic 'threat' to the country," Yanakiev recalls. "This is a deep delusion" Lyudmil Spasov explains Bulgarian complexes regarding the country's historical fate this way: unlike Greece and Serbia, where uprisings against the sultan's rule sometimes lasted decades and eventually led to the independent liberation of these former Ottoman possessions, Bulgarian uprisings were very rare and ended in a few days or weeks.

Kalin Yanakiev draws attention to the opposite side of the same problem: Bulgaria does not put enough emphasis on certain facts of history of which Bulgarians should rightly be proud. For example, despite the will and total presence of imperial Russia in the country, Bulgaria carried out the Unification itself and liquidated the Serbian invasion, instigated by St. Petersburg. "In the Bulgarian national consciousness the myth that Russia has reborn us on the map of the world has become established. It prevents us from seeing the true facts of our liberation and the role of Western European civilization in the development of the country. To call the San Stefano accords "liberation", let alone "the birth of a new Bulgaria", is a profound fallacy. The Russian Empire never wanted the emergence of a vast, strong and, above all, independent Bulgarian state. Even today, as under communism, any mention of the contribution of Western and Central Europe to the building of modern Bulgaria remains taboo because of the fact that it casts a shadow over the myth of our selfless liberation from Russia. This malignant legacy is in fact a symbol-credo of all parties and movements in today's Bulgaria that profess Euroscepticism, Eurasian and Slavophile mythologies, thrown at them by the propaganda machine of Putin's regime", summarizes Prof. Yanakiev. Отбелязаха 60-годишнината на паметника Альоша с гневна реч на руския посланик и сепаратистки знамена - Фактор (faktor.bg) Митрофанова на Альоша: Правят се опити да бъде пренаписана историята, (СНИМКИ) - Пловдив - Дарик (darik.bg) Отбелязаха 60-годишнината на паметника Альоша с гневна реч на руския посланик и сепаратистки знамена - Фактор (faktor.bg)





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