site.btaPeevski Alerts Law Enforcers about Reports on Pro-Russian Propaganda Machine in Bulgaria

Peevski Alerts Law Enforcers about Reports on Pro-Russian Propaganda Machine in Bulgaria
Peevski Alerts Law Enforcers about Reports on Pro-Russian Propaganda Machine in Bulgaria
Delyan Peevski (MRF Photo)

Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) Co-chairman and MRF Floor Leader Delyan Peevski has alerted the State Agency for National Security, the Interior Ministry and the prosecution service about a reported network of nearly 400 bot websites that churn out 2,000 publications daily producing disinformation and disseminating pro-Russian propaganda in Bulgaria, the MRF said in a press release.

Peevski urged the services to answer whether such a network exists and who stands behind it. "Is there any evidence that Russia is carrying out disinformation campaigns so as to confuse people by steadily changing narratives and versions of developments and thereby endangers civil society and social peace," the press release says.

"Now that Russia's war against Ukraine has gone into its third year and on the eve of the European elections, it is crucial for the national security of Bulgaria and of Europe to identify all forms of influencing Bulgarian citizens and to counter effectively any such encroachment for the sake of democracy and the protection of civil rights and freedoms," Peevski is quoted as saying.
 
Interviewed on Bulgarian National Radio on February 24, Human and Social Studies Foundation - Sofia (HSSF) President Dimitar Vatsov said that his Foundation is monitoring a huge network of some 400 mushroom bots that in early 2023 gushed out over 150,000 publications circulating Russian talking points that have been shared endless times on social media. These sites disseminate Russian propaganda messages, including such directly translated from Russian media and Russian war correspondents' dispatches. "This network gravitates around www.blitz.bg, which is associated with Delyan Peevski, but we cannot prove categorically that this is the case," Prof. Vatsov said.

"Coincidentally, on those same sites Delyan Peevski suddenly emerged as a top-notch Euro-Atlanticist. They started to publicize his brand new image of a Euro-Atlantic hawk," the HSSF President commented. "Considering the turn that the bickering around the cabinet is taking, I expect this to backfire because Peevski himself, quarrelling with [Democratic Bulgaria Co-leader] Hristo Ivanov, has recently relapsed into the Russian rhetoric that he has mastered," Vatsov pointed out.

"We must say that Peevski is the person who, in 2013-2014 by the media group that he owned at that time and associate media, introduced Russian propaganda cliches in the Bulgarian media landscape. In 2013, these Russian talking points were used for the first time to smear the then protests against Peevski and [Prime Minister Plamen] Oresharski. Peevski's media: Telegraph, blitz, etc., started to call the protesters 'Sorosoids', 'liberasts', 'tolerasts', 'genders' - all these expressions were directly borrowed from Russian. These are calques from Russian and were invented by the Russian propaganda machine to denigrate the latest major protests in Russia in Bolotnaya [Square] in 2011-2012 and thereafter any civic resistance that went on stage," Prof. Vatsov told National Radio.  

"This repertoire of vilifying civic, economic and political opponents, of anybody who you consider a thorn in your flesh, by the bludgeon method, was launched in Bulgaria by Peevski's media," the HSSF President said.

In 2021 Peevski was designated by the US under the Global Magnitsky Act as an oligarch who "has regularly engaged in corruption, using influence peddling and bribes to protect himself from public scrutiny and exert control over key institutions and sectors in Bulgarian society." The MP is challenging the designation in a US court. His lawyers argue that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing by their client.

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By 15:19 on 21.04.2024 Today`s news

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