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Bulgaria (Bulgarian: България, romanized: Bŭlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in Southeastern Europe. Located west of the Black Sea and south of the Danube river, Bulgaria is bordered by Greece and Turkey to the south, Serbia and North Macedonia to the west, and Romania to the north. It covers a territory of 110,994 square kilometres (42,855 sq mi) and is the 16th largest country in Europe. Sofia is the nation's capital and largest city; other major cities include Burgas, Plovdiv, and Varna.

Bulgaria first became independent from the Byzantine Empire in the 7th century CE, although it was reconquered by the Byzantines between 1018 and 1185 and later the Ottoman Empire between 1385 and 1878. It sided with the Central Powers during World War I and the Axis powers during World War II, before getting occupied by the Soviet Union as a Communist satellite state between 1945 and 1989. It transitioned into a liberal democracy after the Revolutions of 1989. It is a member of the European Union and NATO. Its current President is Rumen Radev and its current Prime Minister is Nikolai Denkov


  • In Bulgaria, the key development was not people power, but rather a crisis in the Communist Party as the elderly leader (he was born in 1911), Todor Zhivkov, First Secretary of the Bulgarian Communist Party since 1954, no longer enjoyed the confidence of many of his colleagues, and did not have that of Gorbachev. Zhivkov had been completely slavish to the internal policies of the Soviet Union. As was true in all of the Eastern Bloc countries, standards of living, industrialisation, urbanisation, education, medical care and longevity went up in Bulgaria, from the early 1950s into the mid-1980s; having a southerly location helped considerably in encouraging a healthy diet. However, no dissent was tolerated. The intellectual discontent that ebbed and waned in Poland would never have been tolerated in Bulgaria. The Derzhava Sigurnost, Bulgaria’s KGB, were heavily repressive. From the mid-1980s, Zhivkov had expelled ethnic Turks from Bulgaria, forcing some 200,000–300,000 of them to flee to Turkey. Zhivkov did not have the mentality of a reformer although in the last month or so of his rule he introduced pseudo-reforms. However, in November 1989, opposition by Politburo colleagues led to his resignation. A pro-Gorbachev group took power in Bulgaria only to find itself under pressure from public expectations. Elections, held in June 1990, led to the former Communists winning power. Nevertheless, their inability to deal with the serious economic crisis and with strikes resulted in the formation in December of a coalition. The new constitution, promulgated in July 1991, was that of a democratic state.
  • The Bulgarian Communist government tried to repress Vanga’s activities, but visitors continued to come. The situation changed in the mid-1960s, which were marked by the growing influence on her father of Lyudmila Zhivkova (1942–1981), the young and brilliant daughter of Bulgarian Communist Party leader Todor Zhivkov (1911–1998). Zhivkova, who was promoted to several key political positions in the 1970s, was interested in esotericism, Theosophy, and parapsychology. She was also an admirer and collector of the works of Roerich.
    The Bulgarian Communist state decided to embrace, rather than fight, the Baba Vanga phenomenon. Vanga became a state employee, with a regular salary. She was provided with a new home in the village of Rupite, a secretary, and a driver. In exchange, the authorities organized her consultations and kept the money paid by Vanga’s clients. In the words of [social anthropologist Galia] Valtchinova, she became a “state-socialist enterprise,” a unique case of state-managed clairvoyance.
  • To my mind, imperialism is something very simple and clear and it exists as a fact when one country, a large country, seizes a certain strip of territory and subjects to its laws a certain number of men and women against their will. Soviet policy after the beginning of the second world war was precisely this. There is no difficulty in pointing this out, but the difficulty lies in the fact that when one quotes from memory one will forget one or other argument. Because the Russians, thanks to the second world war, have quite simply annexed the three Baltic States, taken a piece of Finland, a piece of Rumania, a piece of Poland, a piece of Germany and, thanks to a well thought-out policy composed of internal subversion and external pressure, have established Governments justifiably styled as Satellites, in Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Sofia, Bucharest, Tirana and East Berlin - I except Belgrade where the regime is unique thanks to the energy and courage of Marshal Tito. If all this does not constitute manifestations of imperialism, if all this is not the result of a policy consciously willed and consciously pursued, an imperialist aim, then indeed we shall have to start to go back to a new discussion and a new definition of words.
  • These different blocs in the Turkish Empire...always conspired against Turkey; because of the hostility of these native peoples, Turkey has lost province after province - Greece, Serbia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Egypt, and Tripoli. In this way, the Turkish Empire has dwindled almost to nothing.
    • Medhmed Talat, Quoted in "A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility" - by Taner Akçam, Paul Bessemer - History - 2006 - Page 92

External links[edit]

  • Encyclopedic article on Bulgaria on Wikipedia
  • The dictionary definition of Bulgaria on Wiktionary
  • Media related to Bulgaria on Wikimedia Commons
  • Bulgaria travel guide from Wikivoyage