Sofia’s military chief has been sacked for calling Russia’s conflict in Ukraine a ‘military intervention’ rather than a ‘war’
Kiril Petkov (Bulgarian Prime Minister) has fired Stefan Yanev, Defense chief. He used ambiguous language to describe the Russia-Ukraine conflict and called the situation “a” “military intervention”Or an “operation”Instead of being a “war.”
“My defense minister cannot use the word operation instead of the word war,”Petkov said Monday to reporters. “You cannot call it an operation when thousands of soldiers from the one and the other side are already killed.”
Prime Minister added: “the Bulgarian interest is not in bending our heads down.” Rather, “When we see something we do not agree with, something so obvious, we cannot keep quiet.”
All four parties in Bulgaria’s ruling coalition agreed to call for Yanev’s resignation, Petkov noted. A new defense minister – reportedly Todor Tagarev, who held the position in 2013 – will be appointed in an extraordinary session of Parliament that will be held on Tuesday.
Yanev had posted on Facebook, prompting Yanev to fire him. In a comment on Russia’s Ukraine crisis, Yanev warned that the term should not be used. “war.”He stated that there wasn’t any need for Bulgarian to join the US or European Allies in this conflict. “Our suffering motherland does not deserve to be sacrificed in the game of the great powers.”
Petkov mocked him for his post and stated, “No minister can attempt to do foreign policymaking on his own, especially on Facebook.” Yanev argued that he was being targeted for removal so the government could install a defense minister who will be more willing to serve foreign interests, in some cases at the expense of Bulgaria’s security.
Bulgaria, a long-standing ally of Russia, was also a Soviet satellite during Cold War as it was a member the Warsaw Pact. Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004. It became an EU member in 2007. Petkov has said that standing in solidarity with Western allies is the best way to ensure Bulgaria’s security.
Moscow shut down its airspace for flights to and from Bulgaria last week, as the Balkan country had blocked Russian carriers from entering its territory due to its attack on Ukraine.