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No comment: US included Bulgarian President Radev's election in Russian propaganda report


In the State Department's special report on Russian disinformation and the Kremlin's propaganda ecosystem, the US included the election of Radev and BSP during the 2016 vote in the country.

According to the report, Leonid Reshetnikov, a retired lieutenant general from Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, interfered in Bulgaria's 2016 presidential election just as Rumen Radev resigned as commander of the Air Force and won the presidency a short time later. The department's report also says that through the BSP, Reshetnikov tried to spread fake news and promote exaggerated polling data, "24 hours" reported.

In June 2016, a forum of the ruling United Russia party was held in Moscow, attended by Nikolai Malinov and the chairmen of the BSP and ABV, Kornelia Ninova and Georgi Parvanov. Shortly afterwards, the Reshetnikov Institute commissioned an opinion poll on the upcoming presidential elections in Bulgaria, which aims to discover the profile of the future BSP candidate. The poll was conducted from 1 to 15 July in 2016, and the results showed rising support for Russia and falling support for the US, the EU and NATO. 12% said they were strong Russophiles and 25% moderate. 2/3 of respondents said that "Bulgaria should restore and maintain friendly relations with Russia to the maximum extent possible." Finally, the profile of the "winning BSP candidate is described: 'Rather male. No older than 60, with a successful career, but not an intellectual. Uncorrupt. Has demonstrated courage and asserted greater sovereignty within the EU and NATO.

Two weeks after the conclusion of the study, on 1 August, Gen. Rumen Radev resigned as commander of the Air Force. Just a few days later, the BSP and the ABV were already talking about him as a presidential candidate. Rumen Radev meets all the recommendations in the study commissioned by Reshetnikov.

After Radev won the election, Leonid Reshetnikov announced that he had indeed discussed his candidacy with BSP leader Kornelia Ninova.

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