Tsvetan Vassilev caught British edition in web of lies about Peevski

The Conversation reproduced disinformation spread by Centre connected with Kostov

Delyan Peevski

The media campaign against lawmaker and publisher of Telegraph Media Delyan Peevski waged by Tsvetan Vassilev with the assistance of his partners, indicted Bulgarian oligarch-publishers Ivo Prokopiev and Ognyan Donev and gas tycoon Sasho Donchev, has caught in the web of lies the next in a row foreign media.

The MP is the main target of the entire gang owing to his legislative initiatives, as some of them have forestalled the secondary looting of CorpBank and the others brought to light the financing of printed and online media in Bulgaria. In response, the oligarchs made him a target of misinformation published in the oligarchs’ satellite media. The larger part of fake news fueling this fake news factory is coming from the freelance journalists who post their articles in foreign media. The aim of these “activities” is to render “Western” flavour to the so-called articles and make them carry more weight after their immediate copy-paste reproduction in the media financed by the oligarchs. And the entire media campaign is paid with the money stolen from the depositors of CorpBank.


This time The Conversation - online edition, which otherwise poses as a platform for serious scientific and analytical materials - was caught in the net of lies. The name of the lawmaker was implicated for no apparent logical reason in the article dated          6 February published in The Conversation. It is titled “Autocracies that look like democracies are a threat across the globe”. And while the author of the article Richard Carney is a professor at China Europe International Business School, in the part dealing with Peevski the theses are unmistakably of Bulgarian origin.   

In his material, to the list of authoritarian regimes and their manifestations in Africa, Asia, Malaysia, Singapore and Venezuela, Europe and Russia, Carney absolutely mechanically pins on the name of Peevski claiming, for example, that Delyan Peevski is a controversial member of the Bulgarian parliament who advocated for pro-Russian policies. Peevski built and sustained a media empire that controls around 40% of Bulgaria’s print sector and 80% of the newspaper distribution with loans from a partially Russian-owned bank. These claims have been refuted dozens of times, they have nothing to do with the truth but still these are the key talking points in the campaign waged by Tsvetan Vassilev and his oligarchic cronies. This explains why the article was reprinted almost immediately by Frognews, the website of Ognyan Donev, agent of the State Security aka Agent Academician. On top of everything, the article was complemented with additional “homemade” manipulative information.  A day later, another cog of the oligarchs’ manipulation machine was set in motion, namely Mediapool website of Stoyana Georgieva, spokesperson for Ivan Kostov.      


What is the truth?


Peevski has not and has never had pro-Russian affiliation. Unlike people for whom demonisation of Peevski works to advantage. Just like Vassilev, Prokopiev, Donev and Donchev also boast active Communist past whereas their present is closely connected with the Russian interests. Among them the real pet of the Kremlin is the fugitive banker indicted for syphoning off billions, the man who tried to steal under the state’s very nose the golden assets financed by the bankrupt bank with the help of Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev and his figureheads.

Similar to their publisher, the media outlets of Telegraph Media have always shown pro-Atlantic orientation and this is easily traced in the old back issues of our publications. Delyan Peevski has never had anything to do with the newspaper distribution in Bulgaria, to say nothing of holding 80% of the market. This fact can also be easily verified in the trade registers.

Another lie is the statement that he controls 40% of the newspaper market. According to the data of the National Statistical Institute for 2017, there are 245 newspapers in Bulgaria, as 105 of them are weeklies and 37 are dailies. Against this background the newspapers of Telegraph Media, a total of 6 editions (2 weeklies, one regional and three national dailies, Telegraph, Monitor and Maridian Match) occupy a minimum market segment. The fact is that the most read newspaper in the country falls in this group, but this is explained by one circumstance, namely that the readers give credit to our publications owing to unbiased and verified information they offer. All these data are public and easily accessible in English. And, if the author of the article and the edition which published gave themselves trouble to check out the facts they wouldn’t have written nonsensical lies.

Now the question suggests itself how at all this passage was included in the article? It appears that the author literally copied it from a “research” dated 2016, in which the part dedicated to Bulgaria was written by two employees of the Center for the Study of Democracy – Martin Vladimirov and Ruslan Stefanov. This NGO is immediately connected with ex-MP Ivan Kostov, thanks to whom Vassilev got hold of CorpBank and his partners built their business empires. The same Ivan Kostov became notorious as the godfather of oligarchs in Bulgaria.

However, there is one more Bulgarian trace in the latest opus of the Fake News Factory. The Conversation is a network of online sites under the same name based on several continents and seated in Melbourne, Australia. The editions published in different countries are based on one and the same principle – among their establishers are universities and foundations. So, the London-based edition titled The Conversation is founded by several universities, among them University College of London – educational establishment where Radosveta Vassileva, daughter of the fugitive banker studied. She is also charged with money laundering and is hiding from justice abroad.            

Whether she has a finger in writing this article abounding in disinformation and to what extent is a question to which only The Conversation can answer. The fact is that willingly or not it has taken part in the smear campaign financed with the money stolen from the Bulgaria taxpayers.

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