Experts: Russia is still trying to brainwash Bulgarians about “Nazis” in Ukraine
About 300 thousand ethnic Bulgarians live in Ukraine, most of them in the Odesa region. Of course, they have close ties with the Republic of Bulgaria, where Russia is trying to conduct its propaganda. And in this way, it brainwashes not only Bulgarians, but also affects Ukrainian citizens of Bulgarian origin. In an information war, it is important to respond to the enemy.
This was stated by Ihor Karpechenko, an associate expert at the International Center for Policy Studies, at a briefing at the Ukraine-Odesa Media Center.
“At the beginning of 2022, only Bulgaria and Hungary were among the European countries that believed that Ukraine was to blame for the war. Young people, of course, already think differently. But the elderly still believe Russian narratives and clichés. This is still a strong influence of Russian propaganda. In 2023, the occupiers’ information troops tried to persuade Bulgarians to fight against the supply of weapons to the Armed Forces, and also called for a negative attitude towards Ukrainian refugees and a reduction in aid,” the expert said.
In addition, Karpechenko highlighted the narratives that were tried to be launched on social media for Bulgarians to reduce the export of Ukrainian food, discriminate against the political leadership of Ukraine, the Armed Forces and ordinary Ukrainians.
“They continue to talk about ‘Nazis’ and ‘fascists’ in Ukraine, and also spread stories that national minorities, including Bulgarians, are being persecuted in Ukraine. They raise topics among Ukrainians of Bulgarian descent such as “Why fight for Ukraine if it’s not your war?” We have identified which online media outlets operate as full-fledged media, which then launch these chains of Russian propaganda. As a rule, they partially cooperate with the Russians, posting their own news and interviews, but also launch such “paid-for” materials. For example, the Blitz website is quite large, with a large audience. It is actively cited by satellite sites that continue to spread the word. And then social networks get involved,” the expert said.
Oleksandr Baron, editor-in-chief of the Bulgarian-language online media “Bessarabia Front”, noted that it was Russian propaganda that brought the war to Ukraine and that it is necessary to convey the truth to people in all languages to win the information war against Russian lies.
“We collect news, talk about our people who are fighting for Ukraine, do interviews and various materials. We publish all of this in Bulgarian so that not only Ukrainian Bulgarians know the truth, but also people in Bulgaria understand that we are Ukrainians of Bulgarian origin. We have been living here for over 9 generations, this is our country, we are defending it, and we are not going to leave. Furthermore, we work in social media. Despite all the attempts to discredit us by Russian agents, we continue to work,” summarized Mr. Baron.
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