Peevski targeted by State Security agents
Everybody in the Fake News Factory choir used to be involved with the repressive structures of the former communist regime
9 February, 2018
The propaganda campaign that the Fake News Factory is waging against our publisher, lawmaker Delyan Peevski has been going on for an entire decade. Besides the media outlets funded by the country’s oligarchs, a key component of the behind-the-scenes clique’s machine for manipulations are the so-called analysts who are supposedly giving their own insightful opinions but are actually parroting the talking points hammered in articles ran by Capital, Dnevnik, Mediapool, Frognews and Sega. The common denominator between the self-proclaimed experts is that they have all been part of the repressive structure of the former communist regime - State Security.
Especially active in the propaganda attacks against Delyan Peevski is Ognyan Stefanov, aka agent Academician, who not only uses his website Frognews to disseminate fake news but personally perpetuates the talking points formulated by his financial benefactor Tsvetan Vassilev. A prime example of that emerged on 2 February when Stefanov wrote an opinion piece rife with State Security-style manipulations and slander against Peevski and published an interview with one of the mafia’s town criers, Georgi Georgiev from the association Bulgaria United with One Goal. The common theme was explaining how evil Delyan Peevski is and arguing the same untrue talking points.
And, whereas Academician pretends to be a journalist, agent Sasho, the name with which Iliyan Vassilev used to sign his malicious reports to State Security, is trying to pass as an expert. His area of expertise remains unclear, as he expresses his opinion on anything and everything, always following the company line created by the Fake News Factory. Vassilev apparently has knowledge to share in the fields of nuclear energy, banking, military industry and national security, and in the last few days even posed as expert on journalism ethics. In its powerlessness to create the latest engineered scandal based on comments made by Tsvetan Vassilev, the Fake News Factory felt forced to activate agent Sasho. His role was to call upon all media outlets outside of the oligarchy’s influence, in his capacity not as a journalist but as an expert, to pay attention to the slander spewed by the fugitive banker wanted for the heist of the century and currently hiding in Belgrade. Naturally, his advice was followed only by another former agent, Svetoslav Terziev of the newspaper Sega, who promptly wrote an opinion piece about how important it is for people to check out what the individual accused of embezzling BGN 4.7bn from CorpBank is saying.
Oligarch Ivo Prokopiev is the conductor of the choir of former agents singing fake news. His media outlets not only dutifully copy-paste the allegations of the aforementioned town criers but regularly float talking points in their articles. For example, as soon as lawmakers Delyan Peevski, Yordan Tsonev and Hamid Hamid introduced to parliament their bill aimed at stopping the secondary plunder of CorpBank assets, Capital rushed to publish an analysis arguing that the goal of the amendments is to allow our publisher to put his hands on even more companies. If you go to the trouble of perusing the blog of agent Sasho, you would see that his expertise has produced the exact same assertions. Naturally, no evidence supporting these claims is offered on the pages of Capital; they most likely do not exist even in Iliyan Vassilev’s head. The heavily intensified cannonade of fake news items as of late betrays the underlying fear of the oligarchic clique in control of the propaganda machine. The Administrative Court of Burgas upheld the distraint upon Ivo Prokopiev’s assets imposed on suspicion of his fortune being illegally acquired. Meanwhile, Ognyan Donev, who funds the negligible website Club Z, will have to appear before the court once again in only two weeks, where he may hear the court’s ruling on the charges of gross tax evasion against him. He also has serious reason to be concerned by the constitutional amendments proposed by Peevski that would lift the time limit for launching legal proceedings regarding crimes committed in privatisation deals. And the reason is that just as his fellow oligarch Prokopiev, who became rich thanks to an arguably indictable privatisation deal during Kostov’s term, Donev hit the jackpot during Kostov’s time in office. Donev’s deal for the acquisition of Sopharma is among the troubling deals that the Prosecutor’s Office cited based on a State Agency for National Security report on the inspection of the privatisation of state assets during Bulgaria’s transition to democracy.
Along with the indicted oligarchs, cause for concern has natural gas baron Sasho Donchev, who despite losing his monopolist position in natural gas supplies in Bulgaria is fighting tooth and nail to retain his similar status in the distribution to households. During Kostov’s term, Sasho Donchev became the sole ruler of natural gas in Bulgaria overnight but may now lose his monopoly just as quickly with the emergence of foreign investors and without the support of people in the government.
But the person that has the most reason to be scared is Tsvetan Vassilev, the Bulgarian Madoff. The bill introduced by Peevski, Tsonev and Hamid was approved at second reading of the National Assembly’s Committee on Legal Affairs and is awaiting final approval on the parliamentary floor. This way, the financial flows towards Vassilev will be stemmed once and for all, and the money to pay his town criers to churn out fake news items will dry out.
The State Security choir was joined by a representative of the younger generation - the former spokesperson for the General Directorate of Combating Organised Crime Katya Ilieva, who is on Ognyan Stefanov’s payroll. In an interview for Ivo Prokopiev’s favourite journalist Svetoslav Ivanov, Ilieva used the nation-wide audience of bTV to regurgitate Frognews’ old fake news about a connection between the assassinated businessman Petar Hristov and our publisher. This allegation is pure fabrication and we highlighted and disproved it as part of our campaign for exposing fake news. Still, a brutal mechanism for the manipulation of public opinion is in operation - a falsehood produced by an individual paid by the Bulgarian Madoff is broadcasted nationally because of Svetoslav Ivanov, who acts as a megaphone for Prokopiev’s talking points.
Fathers - party functionaries, sons - millionaires
According to Ivo Prokopiev’s embellished biography, as presented by him, the oligarch is a genius entrepreneur, who started a business at the age of 19 all by himself and earned his first million without any help. Ognyan Donev has very similar explanation about his own unprecedented success in securing a monopoly position in the country’s pharmaceutical market. Both individuals acquired great state-owned assets through illegal means during the privatisation period overseen by former Prime Minister Ivan Kostov. Prokopiev and Donev could never have become hand-picked millionaires if they were not Ivan Kostov’s boys, and he has been long established to select those among people with ties to State Security.
Ivo Prokopiev’s father Georgi served as the long-tenured head of the late Todor Zhivkov’s beloved state hunting area Voden. Georgi Prokopiev was charged with ensuring that the former totalitarian leader and his illustrious guests, like Leonid Brezhnev, had a good time there. Because of its special status, Voden was controlled by the Fifth Main Directorate of State Security called Directorate for Security and Protection (DSP). In 1969, Georgi Aleksandrov Prokopiev joined DSP, soon climbing the hierarchy to assistant forester and deputy director of Voden. Studious and compliant, he won the trust of Todor Zhivkov and became one of his favourites, earning praise and material gain. He ultimately became the director of the hunting area but in 1977 was disciplined for poor management of the property. The paperwork shows that there were sums missing and damages incurred during repair works on the property.
And yet, in 1984 Georgi Prokopiev was promoted to lieutenant, appointed to the position of “senior intelligence agent” with the Third Department of DSP and moved to director of the Mazalat hunting area. In the dawn of Bulgaria’s democratic period, Georgi Prokopiev returned to Voden where he retired as an employee of the DSP successor - the National Protection Service. Prokopiev’s mother was also a DSP employee, even though not on the regular payroll, and later the communist police force. His brother Aleksander, through whom the oligarch privatised Kaolin, would have been a prominent staffer of State Security had it not been for the country’s political transition and so he became merely a police officer.
The father of the modern-day pharmaceutical oligarch Ognyan Donev, Ivan, was activated for service by State Security three times. Just like Prokopiev’s father, Ivan Donev Tenev was a faithful member of the Bulgarian Communist Party, a functionary at that. For his service in the armed imposition of the communist dictatorship following the coup of 9 September 1944, Ivan Tenev was given the opportunity to continue his education in the field of economics and secure a job abroad - first in Belgrade, where his son Ognyan was born. Tenev began working for the Fifth Main Directorate while in Hamburg under the alias Antonov. Later, the valuable State Security agent was once again activated and sent to a foreign trade company in Austria. The third stage of his career as an agent saw a return to Germany. Ivan Donev Tenev performed State Security tasks such as “investigating the Austrian government’s intentions regarding economic policy”, “establishing connections with people working in economics agencies”, etc. It is interesting to think about how his son, who these days poses as a pro-Western businessman, would explain to our foreign partners that his father used to spy on them.
Ognyan Stefanov's pseudonym was Academician
Under the secret agent name Academician, Ognyan Stefanov was an owner of a meeting place apartment under the Second Department of the Second Main Directorate of the Communist era State Agency for National Security, it is clear from the documents held by the Secret Files Committee. This department, called the “English”, was engaged in counter-intelligence against Britain. Stefanov was assigned to its First Section, which was spying on the Embassy of Her Majesty in Bulgaria. He hosted meetings between the agents embedded in the British mission and Second Main Directorate operatives. Throughout the transition-to-democracy period, following the closure of the Secret Service, agent Academician exercised his journalistic craft almost like the Soviet ‘Cheka’ operatives - “with a cool mind and a hot heart”, but not with clean hands. Over the years, he repeatedly and conspicuously displayed his contacts with shadow groups and was even assaulted and beaten with hammers after a meeting he had with convicted drug trafficker Evelin Banev - Brendo. He had long been a business partner with the late Mladen Mutafchiyski, who on one hand was Stefanov’s partner at the Frognews website, while on the other, as head of Sunny Beach AD, Mutafchiyski also funded for a long time their common media outlet. After this fruitful partnership, Stefanov became close to Tsvetan Vassilev, as was evidenced by the security guards’ visitor logs at the CorpBank’s offices. His frequent visits to the Bulgarian Madoff’s office led to the fact that in 2011 he was receiving five-digit cash transfers from a company related to Vassilev. Meanwhile, Academician succeeded in creating and then quickly bankrupting the newspaper Tornado, consequently failing to pay salaries and social security contributions to a number of journalists, which is why he was investigated by the prosecutor’s office. He has been charged with tax evasion, which is understandable, as Ognyan Stefanov has been using his site, to this moment, mainly as a press office of the fugitive Tsvetan Vassilev, who is hiding in Belgrade.
Svetoslav Terziev was responsible for propaganda abroad
Svetoslav Terziev has many years of experience in the structures of State Security in the department for fighting the ideological diversion and other subversive activity of the enemy through the artistic, creative and scientific intelligentsia, the mass media and the healthcare. He was recruited in 1980 as an agent of the so-called ideological police - the Sixth Directorate of State Security. It was not until 1988 that he began to serve the First Main Directorate, probably in the period when he was sent as correspondent of Bulgarian News Agency in Paris. Otherwise, while being a journalist and agent, Terziev works under the pseudonyms Philip, Kamenchev and Kamen. At the dawn of Bulgaria’s democracy, the tried-and-tested operative went into service in the print media and, after ending up at the newspaper Sega, became one of the most loyal and long-time employees of the oligarch Sasho Dontchev. A serious problem for the readers of this newspaper, however, is when they read a serious foreign policy analysis to find out who wrote it - Svetoslav Terziev, agent Philip or secret operative Kamen. Svetoslav Terziev is actually the main agent of the Fake News Factory who executes their ideological diversion abroad. Thanks to his strong ties in Paris and Brussels, established back in the Soviet era, as well as to the good cover of being a university lecturer, Terziev skilfully manipulates foreign journalists and manages to squeeze in the talking points of the oligarchic gang to which he serves. At the last round table in Brussels, the commentator of newspaper Sega was even acting as a guide to the publisher of Capital, Theodore Zahov.
Iliyan Vassilev is hiding under two names
Agent Sasho’s personal file with State Security, declassified by the Secret Files Committee, revealed that he was one of the most undeniably twofaced Secret Service operatives, who had accepted co-operation on a strong ideological basis. In other words, he is faithful to Marxism-Leninism. Vassilev’s nickname was incorrectly written in the Committee’s decision as “Sasho 11” of the First Main Directorate of State Security. The agent had two pseudonyms - Dragan and Sasho. Dragan, according to the records, was his alias until his recruitment by the First Main Directorate, but it is unclear whether this pseudonym came from the archives of the Military Intelligence. Iliyan Vassilev is now very close to the great “anti-Communist” and “fighter” against Secret Service agents - Ivan Kostov. That is why he headed the Foreign Investment Agency in the distant 1997 and remained in office until 2000 when left as ambassador for Moscow. The former agent does not give up on his old habits and is still just as active today. He is competent in all matters, especially when he has to write a piece of slander about Peevski or to simply regurgitate the oligarchy’s talking points. It is particularly twofaced of him that the same staunch Marxist, in whose file we read how he was performing tasks to spy on western representatives at international forums in our country, is now acting as a most fierce Russophobe.
Kostov's spokeswoman is their warm connection
The warm link between the oligarchs’ media outlets forming the Fake News Factory is Kostov’s former spokeswoman Stoyana Georgieva. Her website Mediapool is a one of a kind bosom for the fake news, where besides in-house crafted manipulations also the “commentaries” of the various analysts are constantly being regurgitated through her otherwise negligible media. Against any marketplace logic, publications of competing media are reprinted as long as they conform to the talking points of the Fake News Factory. Stoyana is a symbolic mother of the fake news in Bulgaria because, immediately after leaving the press office of the Council of Ministers in Kostov’s term of office, she created Mediapool and has been using it for the methodical shooting down of Kostov’s enemies over the years, producing all sorts of compromising materials.