“Justice will not prevail if Russia remains in possession of even one square kilometer of Ukrainian territory and does not bear responsibility for the destruction caused and the war crimes committed”. This is what Defense Minister Todor Tagarev said in the discussions on the motion of no confidence in the government for the defense sector and national security.
Tagarev pointed out that “aid to Ukraine is our strategic interest. By defending itself, Ukraine is defending Europe from the Kremlin. If Ukraine loses, be ready to at least double the resources that Bulgaria allocates for defense”, Tagarev said.
“It is believed that at the time of the beginning of the military aggression, the Bulgarian community in Ukraine numbered about 230 thousand people”, he noted. The majority of them live in Odesa, Izmail and other areas of southern Ukraine, subject to constant strikes and drone attacks, Tagarev added.
“Many ethnic Bulgarians joined the armed forces of Ukraine, some of them died for their homeland. I remember how, in the first days of the military aggression, the entire leadership of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) called to help the ethnic Bulgarians. That is what we are doing, but the situation is more difficult for the Tavrian Bulgarians who live in areas of the Zaporizhzhia region and closer to the Sea of Azov, which before the large-scale aggression were about 37 thousand people, after the beginning of the Russian aggression about 50% of them left the temporarily occupied territories, about 15% are refugees in other countries,” said Tagarev.
Russians from Russia and Central Asia are living in abandoned apartments and houses – the land and products of the local Bulgarian population are being confiscated. Bulgarian schools in occupied settlements are closed and the Russian authorities re-register them in Russian, with instruction in the Russian language.
“The Ukrainian-Bulgarian lyceum has been closed and turned into a Russian educational institution. The Russian military forcefully enrolls Tavrian Bulgarians in Russian schools, which are subject to indoctrination. The Russian authorities have closed the Bulgarian community centers and societies and are placing Russian soldiers in them. In the Internet space, only Russian operators, the television is only in Russian. The programs in Bulgarian language are closed,” said Tagarev.
According to the Minister of Defense, even with a near-future victory of Ukraine, this community will be very difficult to restore. He pointed out that this is a direct result of the Bulgarian national interest.
“This is why support for Ukraine is our national strategic interest. We have a commitment and responsibility to the Bulgarian community in Ukraine to live in a free, peaceful and democratic state. Peace will be restored only when Putin’s authoritarian regime loses this war. Precisely understanding this, Bulgaria has joined the general Union policies for providing military assistance to Ukraine, doing so in accordance with their stated needs, your decisions, and without violating the regulations for maintaining armaments and ammunition for the needs of the armed forces.” , the defense minister said.
“Considering everything done by the current government for the clarity of our program, I believe that this vote of no confidence does not reflect the objective situation, and therefore I invite you to reject it,” said Todor Tagarev.
Ex-PM: With Investments in the Army, We will Ensure that Bulgaria Never Enters a War – Novinite.com – Sofia News Agency
Kiril Petkov, co-chair of “We Continue the Change – Democratic Bulgaria” (WCC-DB), backed the “Denkov-Gabriel” cabinet, emphasizing Bulgaria‘s defense strategy focusing on modernizing the army with 21st-century technologies. He argued that relying on outdated Russian equipment might evoke nostalgia Read more…