The Ghosts of Soviets Past: Do Bulgaria's Historical Russian Ties Spell Trouble for NATO on the Black Sea Coast?

The November election of Rumen Radev as president of Bulgaria has contributed to growing concerns that several former Soviet satellite states are drifting back into the orbit of Putin’s Russia. European anxieties have remained heightened since the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea, state-sponsored proxy war in Ukraine’s eastern borderlands, and a myriad of other events including meddling in elections that allow Russia to impose soft power. A rash of pro-Russian candidates have expanded Russian influence over former Soviet states, and many worry that Bulgaria may become the next Trojan horse state.Considering Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unabashed ambitions to restore Russian greatness by hook or by crook, such political shifts take on more alarming context.

Continue reading here