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Moscow Embassy in Bulgaria launches fundraiser for Russian troops

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The Russian Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/MrPanyGoff.

The Russian Embassy in Sofia announced on Monday evening the start of a fundraising campaign to support Moscow forces fighting in the occupied Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine.

The embassy claimed in a Facebook post that it was launching the fundraiser in response to popular demand from Bulgarians.

“In view of the numerous requests of citizens to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation to support the servicemen participating in the special operation to protect the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, a charitable foundation has been created – PROTECTion”, he added. said.

He added that donations can be accepted through three Russian banks – Promsvyazbank, Sberbank and VTB Bank.

The launch of the fundraising campaign has so far not elicited any reaction from parliamentarians or the outgoing government.

But he was quickly condemned on social media by people who oppose Moscow’s rhetoric.

“So the Russian Embassy in Bulgaria is launching a campaign for its so-called special operation. There is no mistake here. A country that allows a campaign in support of terrorism should only be mentioned using a lowercase first letter,” writer Radoslav Bimbalov wrote in a widely shared post.

Some Facebook users said they alerted the social media company to the embassy campaign.

The Russian Embassy in Sofia is headed by Eleonora Mitrofanova, who has held this post since January 2021. She was previously First Deputy Minister in the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Mitrofanova has been accused of interfering in local politics and has repeatedly crossed swords with outgoing Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, who outright condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

After Petkov criticized Mitrofanova’s comments to a Russian TV channel that the Bulgarian nation is against anti-Russian rhetoric, Mitrofanova on March 23 described Petkov as “an employee of a country” who is “unfit” to comment on events.

After Petkov’s government was overthrown on June 22, following a quick no-confidence vote in parliament, he said it was “an honor for me to lead a government that was overthrown” by oligarch Delyan Peevski, former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Mitrofanova.

Mitrofanova responded by telling the Russian news agency RIA Novosti on June 23: “The fact that I am somehow responsible for the fall of the government is a convenient explanation – Russia is always presented as the reason for everything that takes place in Bulgaria.”

Relations between Moscow and Sofia have been strained for some years and there have been several expulsions of Russian diplomats accused of espionage.