Bulgarian nationalists have no lobby in the representative bodies, and their movement is still in its formative stage, but the desire for international cooperation with the military-political force of AZOV does exist.
Meeting with Bulgarian nationalists took place in the main street of the capital of Bulgaria - in Sofia, Vitosha Boulevard.
First of all, a brief overview of media resources made us conclude that Bulgaria is thoroughly pro-Russian in a political sense. However, it is necessary to make a small excursion into the historical background of this opinion to explain the difficulties of its interpretation. At the root of understanding why an overwhelming number of Bulgarians remain the victims of Russian propaganda is a series of historical facts and a lack of media attention to our conflict.
the first day we were surprised to see in the souvenir shops a huge edition of T-shirts with the face of Putin and various slogans in support of Russian military aggression against Ukraine. Further we saw dozens of people whose clothes expressed their political position on the war in the East.
Most of the streets in Sofia are decorated with the architectural monuments, even entire architectural ensembles (for instance, the park named after Tsar Boris ["Borisova Gradina"] - mass grave of the anti-fascists who died in August of the mid-XX century), and the memorial plaques. In the city center there is also Alexander Nevsky Square and Cathedral of the same title (by the way, it was built in memory of Russian soldiers who laid down their lives for the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman kingdom in the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878), as well a giant monument to "Tsar Alexander II, the Liberator of Bulgaria"...
According to Bulgarian nationalists, still one can not talk about the consistent historic support of Russians as "liberators" by the Bulgarians, because it's enough to remind of Bulgaria's participation in the Quadruple alliance in the times of the First World War or alliance with the Third Reich in the Second. However, 45 years of the subsequent Soviet occupation after the Second World War, until 1990, gave birth in the Bulgarian society to the powerful segment of the pro-communist (which means pro-Russian, too) people. As for what concerns influence of the media, a standard set of channels includes Russian "First Channel," which shows how strong the Kremlin propaganda in Bulgaria is. Skepticism regarding the US policy (in particular, there are many complaints about the oil wars) is common among the ordinary Bulgarians. Bulgarian economy is partly dependent on Russian investment, and the tourism sector is often filled with Russians. The only oil company in the country which provides thousands of jobs across its territory is Russian "Lukoil." After all, traditions, language, religion (about 80% of the population profess Orthodoxy) are similar to Russian, which is also a powerful factor of the Bulgarians' geopolitical choice.
Regarding the current situation in the Bulgarian government. Immediately after the fall of communism, in Bulgaria emerged two political powers: "The Union of Democratic Forces," which took the pro-European and anti-communist stance, and "Bulgarian Socialist Party," which, in turn, promotes the nostalgic mood for the days of the communist rule. "Right-wingers" in the Bulgarian parliament are represented by the party "Attack." However, according to the local nationalists, it is difficult to call it "right-wing, " because in 2013 "Attack" formed a coalition with the socialists and Turks, which was the exact opposite of the party program and the ideological vector of the party. The electorate felt deceived, and during the next election "Attack" lost 60% of the former voters. At the moment "Attack" supports Russia's aggression in Eastern Ukraine, which is also a repulsive factor for the local nationalists. The party indulges in the anti-American and anti-NATO discourse, strongly expresses support for the religious population, etc., that is, engages in populism to rehabilitate itself in the eyes of the electorate. Accordingly, Bulgarian support for the events in the Maidan and the subsequent war was mostly carried out by the pro-Western and liberal forces : for example, the Bulgarian government showed its support by providing treatment for Ukrainian militaries in the hospitals of Sofia.
In the community of Bulgarian nationalists is being formed an initiative group which wants to create a new powerful political force that could be unifying and would fill an empty niche - that of the right-wing formation that advocates the ideology of militarism, pan-Europeanism and nationalism. In accord with the geopolitical concept of the Europe of Nations they support Ukraine, and consider the events in Ukraine as an origin and a center of the future changes in the geopolitical map of Europe and the world. Currently, Bulgarian nationalists gather volunteer aid for the soldiers of the military unit "AZOV."
Among the small right-wing organizations that for the most part support Ukraine may be mentioned "National Resistance Bulgaria" and "Bulgarian National Alliance." The latter organization deserves special attention, because it has a strong structure, but does not make the official statements due to the fact that, having yielded to the pressure of the Kremlin's propaganda, the leadership condemns "the US aid," and anti-Americanism is proclaimed in their ideological program. On the contrary, Bulgarian "Blood and Honor" expresses its support for the Ukrainian side in the Donbas conflict.
Also, Bulgarian nationalists officially invite the representatives of "AZOV" to join the series of events dedicated to the loss of Bulgarian territorial integrity as a result of signing the Treaty of Neuilly after the First World War. In particular, will be held a march and a joint concert of the RAC-scene's bands like "Lunikoff."
We, as the representatives of the Azovian political force, handed the battle flag of "AZOV" to the fraternal movement of Bulgarian nationalists. Besides, we arranged the joint struggle in the international nationalist media arena followed by the educational activities and agitation among the European rightists, especially in the Balkans. Bulgarian comrades also share our views on the prospects of the Baltic-Black Sea Union as an alternative of the Euro-Atlantic coalition.
Finally, there is a good note. On the last day of our stay in Sofia, on Vitosha Boulevard blasted from the speakers Ukrainian national anthem, and many passing by people were smiling; some put a hand on the heart. So we are not forgotten there, too.