site.btaUPDATED Scientific Conference in Lovech Looks at Russian Factor in Bulgarian Crises
A two-day scientific conference on the Russian factor in Bulgarian crises took place here over the weekend. The programme included 16 reports, which were presented within four panels moderated by political expert Anton Todorov.
The conference was organized by Lovech Municipality. Participating were Bulgarian MEPs, politicians, historians and other experts.
Opening the forum on Saturday, Lovech Mayor Kornelia Marinova said that this is the second forum organized by Lovech Municipality in the last years. The goal is not just to present documents and archive materials but also to cover contemporary events, including the war in Ukraine and its impact on Bulgaria's socio-economic and political life, culture, and propaganda.
MEP Alexander Yordanov (EPP/GERB-UDF) said that until Bulgarians clarify for themselves Russia's role in their history, particularly in the 20th century, they will not know the truth about themselves. "The truth about Russia's interference in Bulgarian politics, statehood, society is practically the truth about ourselves," he argued. He described the conference as one about Bulgaria's future and proposed that the forum tour the country as a national campaign. "Russia has been leading a hybrid war against the Bulgarian people and Bulgaria for over two centuries," he said.
MEP Asim Ademov (EPP/GERB-UDF) said that every time the Russian factor interferes in Bulgarian crises, they become even bigger and do not get solved. The conference will show why Russia's strategy is so successful, he added. According to him, Bulgarians know history mostly from literature, and not from historical facts. "Our efforts should be focused in that direction: to make people pay attention to the facts. If we fail to achieve this, the deep division in Bulgarian society will exist due to lack of knowledge about historical facts," he argued.
Within Saturday's two panels, reports were presented by Assoc Prof Boris Stoyanov on the Soviet factor in Eastern Europe, by Prof Vili Lilkov on the chetnik movement in the 1920s, by historian Borislav Dichev on Soviet Russia, the Comintern and Bulgaria in the 1919-1925 period, by political expert Anton Todorov on the activity of Russian intelligence in Bulgaria after November 10, 1989, by Dimitar Stoyanov on Russia's war against Ukraine on Bulgarian territory, by Ivo Maev on the Russian neo-imperialist discourse in Bulgarian media, by Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov on the Soviet Union's role in the excessive militarization of Bulgarian defence during the Warsaw Pact, by Prof Vesselin Yanchev on Russia and the Bulgarian Army in the 1878-1887 period, and by Assoc Prof Svetoslav Zhivkov on Russophilia as a propaganda factor.
On Sunday, reports were presented by Ivo Sotirov on gas wars between Bulgaria and Russia in the 1990s, by Prof Vesselin Vouchkov on Soviet models of repressive practices in Bulgaria after September 9, 1944, by historian Georgi Mihaylov on Soviet influence on State Security after September 9, 1944, by Alexander Yordanov on the Russian hybrid war against Bulgaria and the European Parliament's position, by Prof Roumen Kanchev on the probability of nuclear weapons being used in Russia's war against Ukraine, by Prof Milko Palangourski on Russian expansionism towards Bulgaria, and by journalist Tsvetan Todorov on the impact of Russian cinema's ideology on Bulgarian cinema in the 1950-1989 period.
The reports from the conference will be published in a book this autumn, moderator Anton Todorov said at the end of the forum.