The activists say that, if you believe the media, Bulgaria has endorsed the demand of local Ukrainian Bulgarians and called on Ukraine to create a Bulgarian autonomy. This comes just weeks after Romanians were also reported to be demanding autonomy. Ukraine, in short, is falling apart, and Crimea and Donbas were just the beginning.
Pro-Kremlin media had already claimed on June 9 that four regions of Ukraine were ‘already’ demanding autonomy, while the supposed Bulgarian initiative is the second since then which directly claims to be following the ‘precedent’ of Crimean Tatar autonomy. Even if any of the demands were genuine, they would not bear scrutiny. The Crimean Tatars are in a specific situation since they are an indigenous people who have no other homeland.
A new opus then appeared, originally on the Russian Izvestia in Ukraine, stating that a "Ukrainian party has demanded that the UN defend the Bulgarian community of Ukraine from the SBU" and claiming that the SBU [Ukraine’s Security Service] are putting illegal pressure on members of the Bulgarian community who speak out in favour of Bulgarian territorial autonomy.
Another report claimed that “the Bulgarian Ataka Party has supported the creation of a national autonomy of Bulgarians in the Odesa oblast." However, Ataka party should in no way be equated with Bulgaria as a whole, say the activists.
Read alsoProvocative tweet of Ukrainian Vice PM fakeIt is a far-right party which has demonstrated unwavering support for the current regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine.
Ataka was also one of the parties involved in propping up a supposed ‘People’s Council of Bessarabia’ in April 2015, and claiming that this was because of an ongoing persecution of minorities in the area. This ‘Council’ cited support from what it called the ‘international community’, including Volen Siderov, founder of the Ataka Party. He was praised during a visit by delegates from this far-right party to Crimea by the occupation regime’s leader Sergei Aksyonov as having been “the only Bulgarian politician after the state coup in Kyiv who gave an objective assessment of what had happened.”
Read alsoFrench TV channel busts Russian journos on facts distortionThis ‘council’s’ claims of human rights violations were roundly condemned by all national minorities in the Odesa oblast. Dora Kostrova from the All-Ukrainian Assembly of Bulgarians, for example, challenged them to “explain why they are presuming to speak in the name of our peoples, why they want a repetition of the scenario seen in the east of Ukraine”. The Odesa-based Dumskaya newspaper pointed out that the ‘council’ was even registered in Moscow and was made up of Odesan, Moldovan, Transdniestrian and Gagauz civic figures who espouse a pro-Kremlin position.
The condemnation from the very people supposedly persecuted is ignored, as is the highly questionable right of the far-right pro-Putin Ataka party to speak for anybody except itself and the Kremlin.