Oligarchs strike at donors and Delyan Peevski through Kremlin propaganda

The shadowy players care only about keeping society under the spell of fake news in order to send it back to totalitarianism

Tsvetan Vassilev, Ivo Prokopiev, Sasho Donchev and Ognyan Donev

Nothing old has been forgotten, nothing new has been learnt. This maxim is especially true for the products of the obscurantist State Security who transformed themselves into “democrats” overnight and became millionaires just as quickly thanks to the Commander of the criminally conducted privatisation process in Bulgaria, former PM Ivan Kostov. These are the oligarchs, whose names have become painfully familiar by now.

Because this horde of parasites sucking the lifeblood of our society and led by the indicted bosses Ivo Prokopiev, Tsvetan Vassilev, Ognyan Donev and Sasho Donchev stole BGN 30bn via privatisation deals alone. It left tens of thousands of workers and their families on the street after dismantling factories and selling their equipment for scrap so as to make profit even from the leftovers of our economy. And they kept robbing us of both our money and our health. If the money they stole was where it was supposed to be, in the state coffers, there would not be need for nation-wide relief campaigns to provide the necessary equipment, supplies and gear to hospitals and doctors fighting the current COVID-19 pandemic to save lives.

What do you think those same oligarchs are doing as society is increasingly coming together to fight the contagion and donations are filling holes opened by them? You will not see them donating money because all they know is how to take it. From us. You will not see them launching campaigns in solidarity with the Bulgarian public either. Because they do not want the people united – such development interferes with their plans to draw attention away from their own crimes and the calls for retribution. This is why they are inundating the public with fake news in a bid to sow discord. They are relentless and methodical in doing so. They are saying how (their) businesses are more important than human lives. They are slamming relief campaigns using a tried-and-tested formula – targeting one of their main enemies, who has become one of the biggest donors in the fight against COVID-19, and piling a tonne of lies and libel on him. To be more specific, the target in question is lawmaker of the MRF and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski. The oligarchs have been treating him as their main enemy for years because his legislative initiatives shut off one of their main sources of cash – the secondary plundering of CorpBank – while the publications in his media group have been relentlessly exposing their crimes over the years. For just as long, those same oligarchs have been defaming him with fake news about anything and everything, lately about his donations. For their latest hit against him, the oligarchs resorted to the services of the Kremlin propaganda, more specifically one of its most prominent representatives in Bulgaria – the racketeering website Bivol.

The online outlet, whose owner Assen Yordanov popped up in a documentary orchestrated by and defending Tsvetan Vassilev, on trial for embezzling billions from CorpBank, and whose so-called editor-in-chief Atanas Chobanov is tied to the Kremlin propaganda through his family, published a pamphlet entitled “Fighting COVID-19 with date fruit from Abu Dhabi”. The article covers the news that companies from Bulgaria and the UAE joined forces to combat the new coronavirus with an agreement that saw Bulgaria, at no cost to the state, receive medical supplies for doctors on the front lines in exchange for tonnes of food. The initiative was launched by two Bulgarian companies, one of which, Intrust, is owned by Delyan Peevski. In addition to helping doctors on the front lines, the supplies will go towards the Bulgarian Red Cross, which will in turn distribute them to those in need. It is an unprecedented act of mutual assistance – a fact that was acknowledged in both countries – that could open the door to new markets for Bulgarian goods.

But the oligarchs and their libel machine are used to disregarding facts. They are interested in propaganda. And so in an impotent effort to minimise what happened, Bivol would have people believe that all that our country got in the exchange was date fruit. To make its fabrication work, the website even censored Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov by picking one sentence out of a 15-minute interview and completely taking it out of context (see below). The malicious pamphlet was immediately copy-pasted by all the cogs in the libel machine ran by the behind-the-scenes clique. First in line was Mediapool, the website owned by Kostov’s one-time spokesperson Stoyana Georgieva, followed by the Bulgarian desk of Radio Free Europe (RFE), which once again proved that instead of promoting democratic values is playing the role of a satellite media outlet to Ivo Prokopiev’s Capital circle and is protecting that clique’s interests. As you can imagine, more followed the RFE – Prokopiev’s website Dnevnik and Sasho Donchev’s Club Z.

The biggest absurdity is that with this article the oligarchs are striking at not only Delyan Peevski but one of the pillars of any democratic country – private businesses. Both the initiative and its realisation were funded entirely by private companies. But for the leaders of the behind-the-scenes clique in the country, democracy and its principles have been a thorn in their side. They want the Bulgarian society to be under their control so that they can continue to suck its money and strength dry. If it was up to the oligarchs, they would send back the country to its totalitarian era, when their families and their Russian mentors decided who gets to have what.


Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov:

The joint action of businesses from Bulgaria and the UAE is opening new markets

The unprecedented act of mutual assistance carried out by companies from Bulgaria and the UAE is presenting opportunities for new markets. That is how Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov commented for Telegraph Media the initiative of the Bulgarian businesses Gradus and Intrust, who struck an agreement with the UAE for food exports in exchange of medical supplies. The minister travelled with the cargo of fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy, as the delivery was organised by the Ministry of Health. The Bulgarian government has been working on the idea of making the country a regional hub, including for the Western Balkans, for food, vegetables, meat and other products. A laboratory is planned to be set up to test the food before it is sent to the UAE, from where it will be distributed to other countries in the region. The project was presented to the UAE, with Plovdiv Airport acting as a cargo port. “If that had already been done, food deliveries would not have been such a problem,” Karanikolov said. The mutual assistance initiative was spurred after Bulgarian companies contacted the Ministry of Health with the idea of providing food in exchange for food and medical supplies from the UAE. “This comes at a no cost for the Bulgarian state, the companies even paid for the transport. Furthermore, it is an incredible opportunity for our food companies to develop a bigger presence on the Arab market,” Karanikolov added.  

Several days ago, the website Bivol, a key part of the Fake News Factory, contacted Karanikolov for an interview on the topic. It ended up using only one remark out of the 15-minute conversation and taking it out of context in order to slam the initiative. The minister described this as an attempt to minimise the efforts made by the two sides over the past two years. Bulgaria is the only country that has had mutual assistance with an Arab country, while the UAE has unilaterally sent aid to other nations. “It is not for the state to make assessments on what the companies of the two countries exchanged because it was neither provided nor paid for by the state,” Karanikolov noted. The Bulgarian government received medical supplies and food for free, which is to be distributed by the Bulgarian Red Cross. “Many other companies got in touch with me over the past few days to express interest in doing similar initiatives,” Karanikolov added.  

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