Only one above Prokopiev is… Kostov

There can hardly be anything more pathetic in this world than being an oligarch on strings. Supposedly a millionaire, you do not have control over your own money. Supposedly a master of a bunch of “smart and beautiful” servants, you are someone’s servant yourself and you stand at attention and do what you are told whenever that “important phone number” calls. Even basic everyday stuff like what to eat and where to live are not your own choice. If the boss says “your meals will consist of rocket and other pretentious vegan items” or “go catch a flight to Singapore”, his word is gospel.

This is the sad existence of one of the dozens of former pawns of the communist-era State Security who were converted to oligarchs by former Prime Minister Ivan Kostov. Oligarch Ivo Prokopiev cannot fully enjoy even blessings like the mining company Kaolin, which was practically gifted to him by Kostov. The Prosecutor’s Office and the Anti-Corruption Commission for Illegal Assets Forfeiture (ACCIAF) are on the scent of his shady deals and the Specialised Criminal Court is hearing the EVN case stemming from the sale of the state’s minority share in the electricity distribution company for cents on the dollar thanks to machinations devised by Prokopiev. The oligarch himself is in the same boat as his employees, who found themselves being pledged as collateral on a bank loan along with the desks and computers in the editorial offices of the Fake News Factory’s flagships – Capital and Dnevnik. The poor oligarch is in the same position – part of the inventory in his mentor Ivan Kostov’s games.

Against the backdrop of this grim fate of Prokopiev and his fellow oligarchs – Tsvetan Vassilev, Ognyan Donev and Sasho Donchev – what is left for them to do? Nothing but listen and obey. The orders boil down to the same sentiment – attack Peevski. Lawmaker of the opposition party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski has become the bane of the shadowy players’ and their mentor’s existence thanks to his determination to investigate and expose their wrongdoings. You constantly see him proposing bills that crack down on their shady deals or his media outlets publishing major probes into the oligarchs’ affairs. This has made him the usual target when it comes to attacks launched by the oligarchs’ publications with “smart and beautiful” lies.

Besides him, there are other names on the list of targets of Kostov and his protégés: the Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Interior, ACCIAF and a slew of other public institutions. Sometimes the list even includes the court, but ever since Kostov managed to plant another of his subordinate vegans in the judicial system (the infamous judge Lozan Panov and his even more infamous wife Elisaveta), the magistrates seem to be less of a nuisance for the behind-the-scenes clique in Bulgaria.

In order for the articles to pile up and the lies to multiply, the loyal minions of Prokopiev and his oligarchic cronies often lump the names on the list together and attach various narratives to them. The usual one is “Peevski controls the state” and to prevent it from getting stale, sometimes different variations on the same theme are presented – like “Peevski controls the Prosecutor’s Office”, etc. A phone call from the aforementioned important number is enough for such salvos to be fired. These lies are being written and disseminated even if they sound schizophrenic, as was the case with the unprecedented prosecutor order for the trademark of the Telegraph daily to be erased by the Patent Office. Even when discussing such an outrage against freedom of speech, Prokopiev’s gang managed to find motives (perhaps of the monetary variety) to assert that the Prosecutor’s Office is under Peevski’s thumb. If that were the case, why would the institution try to shutter Telegraph (which is a thorn in the side of Kostov and his lackeys)? What is clear is that a command to attack Peevski has been given and that it is being carried out blindly and submissively.

What does evidence mean when the oligarch and his pawns have their instructions right? When the only person standing higher on the totem pole is Kostov, you better keep your head down and go about doing the dirty work for him. Otherwise, you will never see the millions you supposedly have.

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