The Report on the Antidemocratic propaganda in Bulgaria, which reveals how the pro-Russian propaganda operates in the country,  got a response from Kremlin: “This is a proud title: “the mouthpiece of the Kremlin”, and it has to be earned.”

On April 19th 2017, during the daily press briefing of the speaker for the Russian ministry of foreign affairs – Maria Zakharova, a couple of questions were asked by the journalist Boris Anzov.

While asking the following questions Anzov spoke with ease, although the first one was read as if he was seeing it for the first time. Upon asking, Zakharova was keen on him stating that he is a “Bulgarian journalist”. During the briefing other journalists had asked questions without presenting themselves and that didn’t seem to provoke commentary from Zacharova. We render the conversation between her and Anzov at this moment:

“Are there any more questions?”

“Mariya Vladimirovna, I have…”

“Specify that you are a Bulgarian journalist.”

“…three questions and one suggestion, if you allow me. My first one is that foundation America for Bulgaria recently published a report, in which several Bulgarian media are accused of antidemocratic propaganda and criticism towards the USA, calling them “mouthpieces of the Kremlin”. This…”

“You know, this proud title “a mouthpiece of the Kremlin”, it has to be earned. We shouldn’t place tags on just anyone, it has to be worked for. So tell them not to be overzealous. Simply receiving the title “a mouthpiece of the Kremlin” is not possible.”

Due to the lack of other media from which we could show the video of the dialogue, we present a clip from the worthy of the title “a mouthpiece of Kremlin” Russia Today.

There are a few false premises in this exchange of remarks. First, the Report on the antidemocratic propaganda is not authored by the foundation America for Bulgaria but by the Foundation for Humanitarian and Social Research which scientifically examines publications in information websites and newspapers in Bulgaria published between 2013-2016. This project has the support of America for Bulgaria but is not effectuated by the latter.

Second, nowhere in the report is stated that the propaganda comes from the Kremlin – one of the conclusions is that the propaganda materials in Bulgaria are pro- Russian (positively inclined towards Russia), but there are no claims of them coming from Kremlin, because the source of the propaganda is not a subject of the research, led by scientists in the humanitarian field.

It also needs to be noted that the “Bulgarian journalist” Boris Anzov is often used by Kremlin to demonstrate a warm exchange between Russia and the Bulgarian people. He often gives flowers to Mariya Zakharova on the behalf of the Bulgarians, traditional folklore attire, compares her with Rodina-Mat, and was sent with pro- Russian journalists to cover the Russian attacks in Syria.

He is a “Bulgarian journalist”, a graduate from the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, lives in Moscow and works in the Media-Most LTD company.

One of the media owners in 2000s becomes Leadville Investment Ltd, a daughter branch of the Russian energy giant Gazprom, reports Vedomosti newspaper. After that the company is transferred to off-shore companies, but the clear pro- Russian incline is still present.

This leads to the conclusion that the current dialogue might not be a coincidence, but rather a signal to the makers of the report – we know about it, we are watching you, be careful. The Report clearly states the main principles of the antidemocratic propaganda – “The Wane of the West”, “The Rise of Russia”, the “Venal Elites of Bulgaria”, “USA/NATO as a global puppet master”. The measurements show the stages of growth of the propaganda rhetoric after 2013 in correspondance to each principle – by tens, hundreds of times.

Eight medias are mapped out as conductors of propaganda after a full press clipping has been done: Russia Today, Information Agency PIK, website Glasove, A-specto magazine, website Pogled-Info, Trud newspaper, Duma newspaper and Weekend newspaper.

The goal of the propaganda is preparation of the public opinion for exiting the European Union and NATO, and also to systematically block the judicial reform and all efforts of democratically imposing the supremacy of the law.

The report is completely scientific, based on statistical data and you could learn more about it here.