Kostov has his NBU lab's technicians and State Security agents attack Peevski

A thin red line connects the secret associates embedded in the indicted Ivo Prokopiev's mainstream media machine

Ivan Kostov (L) and Ivo Prokopiev

After the shadowy clique's pawns spread over the week their poorly concocted fake news items about lawmaker and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski, using the indicted oligarch Ivo Prokopiev's mainstream media machine, former PM Ivan Kostov, aka the Commander of Bulgaria's murky transition to democracy, took matters into his own hands. On Friday, he activated the “heavy hitters” - the “lab technicians” from his think tank with the New Bulgarian University (NBU).

The oligarchy has been in the grips of violent panic attacks and phobias for some time now. The CorpBank-targeting “Peevski amendment” stopped the secondary plundering of the lender that was being carried out on the commands of fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev. The bankruptcy administrators managed to return BGN 1.25bn to the insolvency estate. The Supreme Bar Council, which is tied to the shadowy circles and serves the oligarchy's interests, had been mostly hibernating, asking the Constitutional Court to give its opinion once or twice every couple of years, until it recently sprang into action. The council challenged the changes to the Bank Insolvency Act launched in 2015, which give bankruptcy administrators legal recourse to return assets financed with CorpBank money to the lender's insolvency estate. That request for a Constitutional Court review also challenged all the amendments that have come to be widely known as the “2018 Peevski amendment for CorpBank”.   

The lawmaker's donations to Covid-19 relief efforts have also enraged the Capital circle, while his recent BGN 500,000 donation to the cause of saving FC Levski set the “mainstream” on fire. The latest role of fake-news mouthpiece was entrusted to Senior Assistant Professor Lyubomir Stefanov, PhD, from the NBU, who was presented to us as a political scientist, one of the esteemed minds of the university, where another of Ivan Kostov's favourites, Evgeniy Daynov works. Stefanov was aided in his mission by noted professional protester Silvia Velikova through the airwaves of the Bulgarian National Radio. Ostensibly invited to discuss the controversial lower VAT rates, Stefanov did not say a word about the Movement for Rights and Freedoms' proposal for a 9% rate for baby foods and pharmaceutical products, including diapers for children under the age of three. It was introduced to parliament by Peevski and some of his MRF colleagues - Mustafa Karadayi, leader of the MRF, and Yordan Tsonev, deputy leader of the parliamentary group - as a powerful instrument to prop up the birth rate and the demographic policy as a whole.

Instead, Lyubomir Stefanov attacked Peevski's donations by keeping to talking points formulated by Prokopiev. For what is worth, the oligarchy has not donated a single lev to the combat against Covid-19. On the contrary, in the early stages of the outbreak, Prokopiev was saying that human lives did not matter as much as the economy. In other words, money is more precious than life. Unfortunately for him, the BBC destroyed his claims. In an analysis dedicated to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the British radio and TV corporation showed that the countries that fought to preserve human lives at the time were quicker to recover from the crisis in the aftermath.

The attacks launched against Peevski by the “hit squad” of trolls working for the oligarchy went so far as to blame the warts of the transition period on the lawmaker. Those obviously failed to take note of the fact that Peevski was born in 1980, (which means he was much too young for that kind of impact). However, this circumstance did not stop the prominent communist State Security agent Iliyan Vassilev from the Fake News Factory to throw Peevski's name in a project devised by the State Security and the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) nomenclature in the late 1980s. He did that in an article published by Club Z, the website of the indicted pharmaceutical tycoon Ognyan Donev.

The associates of the totalitarian-era security agency had their Renaissance during Ivan Kostov's term in office. They are a fundamental component of his parallel state, which features rings of companies, banks, NGOs and puppet members of the judiciary. Having destroyed the Union of Democratic Forces and consigned the right-wing party to obscurity, former Bulgarian Communist Party rank-and-file member Associate Professor Ivan Kostov established the Risk Analyses and Management Centre with the NBU. Officially, it deals with political analyses and forecasts, but unofficially it works on models to keep the parallel state going. It creates parties like the Union for a Strong Bulgaria; Yes, Bulgaria; and Democratic Bulgaria through the methods of political engineering. In reality, Kostov was the one who sold the state assets to the oligarchy for cents on the dollar and is the main culprit behind today's social inequality in the country.

A thin red line connects the network of former State Security agents embedded in Prokopiev's “mainstream” media, especially in the business of creating and disseminating fake news. Iliyan Vassilev, aka Agent Sasho, a noted Kostov disciple and former ambassador to Moscow, represents the First Main Directorate of the agency (the foreign intelligence of the totalitarian regime). Ognyan Stefanov, founder of the Frognews website, which plays the role of a press office for the Bulgarian Madoff and spreads the agents' insinuations, was the owner of a spot for secret meetings of the Second Main Directorate (the regime's counterintelligence). The connection is that both of them spied on UK citizens for the State Security.

One of the authors for Frognews is Osman Oktay, aka Agent Ognyan of the Sixth Directorate, which is former communist leader Todor Zhivkov's political police. The former Directorate for Security and Protection (Fifth Directorate) with State Security is also represented - by Prokopiev himself. After all, his father was an officer of that directorate, which provided security detail for high-ranking politicians such as Zhivkov, while his mother was a plain-clothes employee of the same agency. Add to the list indicted pharmaceutical tycoon Ognyan Donev, whose website Club Z is tied to the Fake News Factory of Prokopiev's outlets Capital and Dnevnik. Donev's father was a secret associate of the First Main Directorate under the alias Agent Antonov and swore three oaths to the establishment. It is no coincidence, then, that on Friday evening a resume of the interview given by Kostov's favourite Lyubomir Stefanov appeared with lightning speed on Frognews.    

The picture of ties to the State Security is made complete by the heirs to communist families like the failed minister of justice and noted grants recipient Hristo Ivanov. His name resurfaced in the last couple of days because of the scandal surrounding the murky and distorted selection procedure for the new Council for the Development of Civil Society, in which Prokopiev managed to insert his NGO figureheads to distribute the funding available. The money is earmarked for promoting civil society and funding projects of significance for society as a whole. It turns out that Bilyana Gyaurova-Wegertseder, Hristo Ivanov's right hand in the Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives (BILI) and current director of the institute, actively participated in the development of the project. At the same time, BILI applied, albeit unsuccessfully, for membership in the Council. Another individual close to Prokopiev is in the picture - Yana Buhrer Tavanier from the Board of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, which was allowed on the Council. The lady is a former employee of Prokopiev and the ex-wife of Joeri Buhrer Tavanier, long-time Cooperation and Verification Mechanism expert with the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria.          

Besides being a personal friend of Hristo Ivanov, Joeri Buhrer Tavanier served the interests of the oligarchic circle Capital for a decade and is now a consultant to the Anti-Corruption Fund, oligarch Prokopiev's weapon. Mr Tavanier became known for his constant subversive actions against members of the judiciary and for libelling Bulgaria in Brussels. As someone in charge of Cooperation and Verification Mechanism missions, he was the biggest opponent to its scrapping. At one point, Tavanier was photographed with Hristo Ivanov and magistrates Vesislava Ivanova and Atanas Atanasov, who used to head the grants-funded Union of Bulgarian Judges, which is generously sponsored by the financial guru George Soros. For his anti-Bulgarian efforts, Tavanier cashed in an astronomical salary paid with the money of European taxpayers.

These days, the godmother of fake news, Stoyana Georgieva, and the negligible website Sega, owned by natural gas tycoon Sasho Donchev, vie for the title of Master of Fake News. Some time ago, Georgieva, who was a spokesperson for Kostov during his term in office and is still close to him, had her website Mediapool run the fake news that Brussels was calling for the resignation of then-Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov. The European Commission had to hold an emergency briefing to deny the information.

Just days ago, Sega alleged that, according to a European Commission report, the monitoring mechanism for Bulgaria was not going to be lifted after all. As it turned out, there was no such report and Brussels denied that information as well. That particular fabrication was the work of the oligarchy and was aimed at attacking the state, while Prokopiev's “mainstream” inflated the lie bubble until it popped.

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