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The Angel Group's "Hybrid Fortress" project aims to provide an in-depth and objective overview of Russia's ideology and influence. Through alternative approaches, writer and journalist Iliyan Kuzmanov has managed to compile an intense picture of a previously unexplored problems. Bulgaria is used as a successful example of how an EU and NATO member state can be successfully used as a self-sustainable multi-functional proxy by Russia.

The project aims to explain Russia's attitude towards NATO, its growing cooperation with former Soviet republics(focus Balcans and Bulgaria), and the likely second round of enlargement through visions of a new Russian identity. It explores how political forces in Russia map Eurasia after the Soviet Union's breakup and how these "cognitive maps" shape foreign policy agendas. The project aims to reconstruct historically based "cognitive maps" of Eurasia, providing additional insights into Russia's quest for a new identity and strategic thinking of NATO, as well as its growing cooperation with the Atlantic Alliance and other CIS countries.

This project aims to evolve into an In-depth Scientific Study that, through an in-depth multi-disciplinary analysis, reaches the core of Russian influence in Bulgaria. Through this to be understood as a whole so that we can successfully counter it. The project will draw on rich digital content as well as in-depth academic research.

The main categories that have been used are:

Terror and Sabotage Aims to demonstrate that Terror and Sabotage have different forms and functions. Through them, a favorable ground and environment can be provided. But they are also a means to effectively achieve geopolitical results, to financially benefit the Russian apparatus abroad.

Favourable Soil and Environment Bulgaria provides ideal soil and political conditions for Russian interests. Although it cleverly tries to hide behind Political Theater, the smaller settlements of the capital reveal the enormous depth and seriousness of the problem.

Spiritual Gate of Russia to the West The view of Bulgaria as a Trojan Horse is too limited and limited, not revealing the true size of the problem. That is why I use a term used by the largest and most successful Bulgarian publisher who, when asked by a Russian media outlet about Bulgaria's role in Europe, replied that it is the Spiritual Gate of Russia.

Ethnic Nationalism Ethnic and Cultural ties are the main instrument of Russia's attempts to form a homogeneous Slavic World.

Anti System Cults Through Anti System Cults and Beliefs, Russia has succeeded in inflicting enormous societal damage. It skillfully uses destructive sets of beliefs to realize its goals.

Educational Bridges of Perceptions Education is an essential pillar of any totalitarian society based on a centralized state bureaucracy. Through various forms of education, Russia formed a not-so-different post-Soviet society.

Red Guards The communist elite in Bulgaria, unlike in many other post-Soviet countries, was preserved and managed through mimicry to preserve itself to this day, in various forms.

The political "Opposition" The Bulgarian opposition demonstrates not only by its actions, but also by its inactions, that it largely resembles the Russian opposition.


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The Bulgarian opposition demonstrates not only by its actions, but also by its inactions, that it largely resembles the Russian opposition. But if we are to be objective, it is much more likely to be expected that there will be a democratic opposition in Afghanistan and Syria than political entities in Russia. Russia’s weaponization of corruption—its export of corrupt practices via the abuse of western legal and financial loopholes in order to further its geopolitical goals—has stimulated anti-American sentiment in Europe and galvanized extremist forces on both sides of the Atlantic. While Moscow pushes its anti-globalization narrative, it is simultaneously taking advantage of globalization to export its own version of crony capitalism to many countries in the OSCE region. Bulgaria has been plagued by corruption and institutional decay for more than 35 years. Not only is it the most corrupt country in Europe, but it has also been called, not undeservedly, Russia's Trojan Horse in the EU. Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, the Bulgarian elite, which successfully mimicked after the fall of Communism, has nervously used the ideological billets (ethnic nationalism and radical Orthodoxy) provided by Moscow as a shield against potentially being held accountable for its disruptive actions from within against NATO and the EU. Bulgaria has significant issues with corruption and was named 2020’s most corrupt country in the European Union by anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International. Media freedom is under threat and the country has been dubbed the black sheep of the European Union by Reporters Without Borders.

Russia's political system resembles the Kremlin's towers, far right, centrists and rightists fighting each other but being part of one fortress. Far-right ideology in Russia is part of the project to resurrect the Empire, and an important part of an international far-right network. Friendly clusters are being created abroad, and radical elements are being recruited and trained in Russia. In 1973. Solzhenitsyn, a large man with a scraggly beard, published a book that shook the Soviet empire. The Gulag Archipelago threatened Brezhnev's Soviet Union to such an extent that his assassination alone would have been insufficient for the scale of his betrayal; he had to be sent into exile. It was the official legend that was more than positively received by the West, making Solzhenitsyn a hero and one of the key cultural figures for decades to come. But Solzhenitsyn's relationship to the culture of American liberal democracy - finance, capitalism, individualism - remains dubious. From today's vantage point, Solzhenitsyn is undoubtedly the main foundation of modern Russian nationalism, traditionalism, and criticism of the West. For many scholars Solzhenitsyn is the unofficial leader of the Russian nationalist intelligentsia and the father of the idea of regaining lost territories(Ukraine). Today, the West is repeating the same mistake with the so-called opposition leader Navalny, who, unlike Solzhenitsyn, has entrenched far-right views, shown in embryo, and is representative of some of the most right-wing elements in the Russian oligarchy.


Slavophilism and Orthodoxy are at the heart of the Russian propaganda machine in Bulgaria, which has been working methodically for decades. Substituting historical facts, there has been a boom of pseudo-historical books in mass culture supporting Russian mythology. What is new, however, are the large-scale television projects subsidised by the state. and the extremely skilful negative and positive PR campaigns, which, moreover, employ extremely professional ideological propagandists who meet no resistance. The fall of communism in Bulgaria in 1989 hardly affected the totalitarian cultural elite. This elite managed to retain its key positions in the financing, promotion and dissemination of the various arts and to pass them on to its successors. Moreover, it preserved the branch organizations and art educational institutions, which were the filter and censor, of the same totalitarian apparatus, Art under totalitarianism in Bulgaria was divided into Elite Culture and barbaric vulgarism, like National Socialism in Nazi Germany. Today the cultural elite seeks to return the country to traditional Slavic values, ideologically duplicating Communism. To eliminate or limit "alien" and "degenerate" influences and to form instead a racial, ethnic-cultural pure and distinct community. In Nazi Germany it was the Jews, in Russia it was the people of Asian origin from the former republics of the USSR, in Bulgaria it was the Turks, Gypsies and immigrants behind whom the struggle against Western influence was disguised.

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Articles in Progress:
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