Bulgaria uncovers Russian spy network

Bulgaria's intelligence services have uncovered a network of high-ranking officials suspected of spying for Russia. Five military and ex-military officers were arrested, including one who was in charge of classified information at the Bulgarian parliament, as well as the wife of one of the officers. The latter is suspected of having acted as intermediary. Chief Public Prosecutor Ivan Geshev described this as the biggest case of espionage since 1944. The national press is less impressed.

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Deutsche Welle (BG) /

Very convenient timing

The fact that the spy scandal was uncovered just before the upcoming parliamentary elections on 4 April, of all things, seems suspicious to Deutsche Welle's Bulgarian service:

“It is no coincidence that the arrests were made in the middle of the election campaign. The spies had been under surveillance for six months, so there was probably no great danger that they could pass on particularly important information. Instead, the new spy issue brings a breath of fresh air to the gloomy public agenda, overshadowed by the failure to deal with the Corona crisis and ever new lockdowns.”

Duma (BG) /

What a spectacle!

This is all much ado about nothing, the pro-Russian daily Duma comments:

“Spies, intelligence services, car chases and arrests in the middle of Sofia - you'd think that the six arrested suspects had obtained access to Nato's most closely guarded secrets in Bulgaria. ... The US Nato bases in our country are well known, our army has hardly any personnel or equipment, we no longer have any planes, and the navy is completely useless. ... What exactly are the Russians supposed to have spied on that poses such a threat to our national security?”