(RightIsRight.co) – When Ukraine was invaded by Putin’s Russia 11 months ago, Moscow’s victim was “secretly saved” by a small Eastern European nation still partly dominated by the Russians, a report reveals.
Bulgaria, today technically a US ally and member of the US-led NATO alliance since 2005, provided vital assistance to Ukraine in the spring and summer of 2022 but did it covertly because its coalition Cabinet included pro-Russian Socialists, a report by Politico has revealed.
During the Cold War era, the communist regime of Bulgaria, which is precisely the size of Tennessee in area and population, turned it into the staunchest satellite of Moscow.
However, more than 30 years after the collapse of Soviet communism, that legacy came to Ukraine’s rescue as Bulgaria’s military factories are still major producers of Soviet-type ammunition badly needed by the Ukrainian defenders.
“Last spring, Ukraine’s army was running desperately low on the fuel and Soviet caliber ammunition it needed to fight the Russians. Salvation came from an unexpected quarter: Bulgaria,” writes Politico, based on an investigation by the German newspaper Die Welt.
The report points out that even after Bulgaria has become a member of NATO and the European Union, much of its ruling elite is pro-Russian.
“Thanks to its fractured domestic politics… [Bulgaria] has been at pains over the course of the invasion to stress that it is not arming Ukraine,” it notes.
When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Bulgaria had a coalition government made up of two pro-Western and two pro-Russian parties, including the Socialist Party, the successor of the former Communist regime.
The Bulgarian government, however, was led by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and Finance Minister Asen Vasilev, both of them graduates of Harvard University.
Even though the Socialists prevented the Bulgarian government from directly sending arms to Ukraine, Petkov and Vasilev worked to devise a complex scheme through which Bulgarian-made ammunition, as well as diesel fuel, went to Ukraine through local and foreign intermediaries.
The report reveals that the badly needed supplies passed through Romania, Hungary, and Poland by air, trucks, and trains and were funded by the United States and Britain.
“We estimate that about a third of the ammunition needed by the Ukrainian army in the early phase of the war came from Bulgaria,” said Petkov, who is presently in opposition.
The supply of diesel for the Ukrainian military and industry was remarkable because it was produced by a Bulgarian Black Sea refinery owned by Russian energy giant Lukoil.
“Bulgaria became one of the largest exporters of diesel to Ukraine and at times covered 40 percent of Ukraine’s needs,” former Finance Minister Vasilev said.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba confirmed their revelations.
“We knew that Bulgarian warehouses had large quantities of the ammunition needed, so President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy sent me to obtain the necessary material,” Kuleba said, adding it was a matter of “life and death” at the time.
He noted that otherwise, the Russians would have occupied more Ukrainian land and would “kill, torture and rape” more people.
“Kiril Petkov has shown integrity, and I will always be grateful to him for using all his political skills to find a solution… [he decided to] be on the right side of history and help us defend ourselves against a much stronger enemy,” Ukraine’s top diplomat concluded.
Bulgaria’s official stance toward the Ukraine war has seen it lumped in the same basket as Hungary – too politically in hock to Russia to pull its weight.
But a new investigation reveals how Sofia provided vital arms, ammunition and fuel to Kyiv in 2022.https://t.co/hFQS890Puv
— POLITICOEurope (@POLITICOEurope) January 19, 2023