OTHER COUNTRIES

Bulgaria

See http://hristo-hristov.com/, which displays the work of Bulgarian journalist Hristo Hristov, for a substantial amount of information about the Bulgarian secret services, including details on the assassination of Georgi Markov, the Bulgarian expatriate writer and journalist who was murdered in London in 1978.

Born, Hans, and Marina Caparini, eds. Democratic Control of Intelligence Services: Containing Rogue Elephants. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007.

According to Peake, Studies 52.1 (Mar. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), four Western (France, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and five former Soviet bloc (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania) countries are discussed; there are also articles discussing "the fundamental principles of oversight." Although this work "looks closely at what has been and what needs to be done, it does not address the practical problem of the qualifications of those doing the oversight."

Bury, Jan. "Breaking Unbreakable Ciphers. The Asen Georgiev Spy Case." Cryptologia 33, no. 1 (Jan. 2009): 74-88.

From Abstract: "The article discusses a Cold War spy case involving a Bulgarian national according to the documents preserved at the Polish Institute of National Remembrance. It details the modu operandi of both the US and Eastern Block secret services and the mistakes committed by both parties, which led to an agent's disclosure." Asen Hristov Georgiev spied for the CIA from 1956 until his arrest by Bulgarian State Security in 1963.

Cummings, Richard H.

1. "The Murder of Georgi Markov." Intelligencer 10, no. 1 (Feb. 1999): 9-11.

Georgi Markov was a Bulgarian expatriate writer and journalist who was assassinated in London in 1978 by Bulgarain and/or Soviet intelligence services. A coroner's inquest ruled that he was "killed by the use of a poison called ricin." The relevant files in Bulgaria were apparently destroyed in 1991.

2. "The Murder of Georgi Markov: The Mystery Remains." History Times, 7 Sep. 2009. Updated 8 Sep. 2010. [http://www.historytimes.com/fresh-perspectives-in-history/20th-century-history/cold-war/358-the-murder-of-georgi-markov-the-mystery-remains]

Georgi Markov was murdered in September 1978. He had defected to the West in 1969 and worked as a broadcast journalist for Radio Free Europe, the BBC, and Deutsche Welle. "A former KGB general has publicly admitted his role and the role of the KGB in supplying the Bulgarian intelligence service with both the weapon and the poison" that killed Markov. After "years of official investigation, no one has been charged with the crime. The dots have not been completely connected. The final piece of the puzzle to complete the picture remains to be found."

3. "Ultimate Censorship: The Murder of Bulgarian Writer Georgi Markov." Intelligencer 17, no. 3 (Winter-Spring 2010): 23-27.

Updates the 1999 article (above).

Dimitrova, Alexenia. The Iron Fist: Inside the Archives of the Bulgarian Secret Police. London: Artnik, 2005.

According to Peake, Studies 50.2 (2006), this "book tells of uncovering a story of state repression that will surprise no one. What is new here are the details unearthed -- numbers and names -- and Dimitrova's perspective." The author's conclusion "that Bulgaria was not involved" in the attempt on the Pope's life in 1981 "is not surprising." She also "concludes that the first head of the Bulgarian communist government, Georgi Dimitrov, had been poisoned by mercury on the orders of Stalin."

Henze, Paul B. The Plot to Kill the Pope. New York: Scribner's, 1984.

Rocca and Dziak find that the author "[a]dduces a strong case ... for Bulgarian/Soviet involvement in the May 1981 attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II."

Herman, Edward S., and Frank Brodhead The Rise and Fall of the Bulgarian Connection. New York: Sheridan Square, 1986.

Johnston, Bruce. "KGB 'Planned to Murder the Pope.'" Telegraph (London), Nov. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

According to newspaper reports, files in the hands of an Italian parliamentary commission "outline alleged KGB plots against the Pope, including one suggesting his assassination.... According to the reports, a Mgr John Bukovsky, apparently a reference to a Czech-born papal nuncio, took part in KGB spying operations against the Vatican."

Kostov, Vladimir. The Bulgarian Umbrella: The Soviet Direction and Operations of the Bulgarian Secret Service in Europe. New York: St. Martin's, 1988.

See Richard H. Cummings, "Kill the Judas: The Murder Attempt on Vladimir Kostov, August 1978," Intelligencer 20.1 (Spring-Summer 2013): 33-38.

Persak, Krzysztof, and Lukasz Kaminski, eds. A Handbook of the Communist Security Apparatus in East Central Europe, 1944-1989. Warsaw, Poland: Institute of National Remembrance, 2005.

Holland, IJI&C 19.2 (Summer 2006), sees this as an "exceptionally useful volume." Although the "volume's chapters are uneven,... each chapter provides a dependable base line of information."

Sofia Globe. "Bulgaria's Defence Minister Fires Head of Military Intelligence." 9 Mar. 2015.

According to the Defence Ministry on 9 March 2015, "Bulgarian Defence Minister Nikolai Nenchev has fired the director of Military Intelligence, Vesselin Ivanov.... Nenchev said that he had been unable to reach consensus on important issues regarding Military Intelligence's work, especially regarding human resources development, 'where 39 per cent of senior staff were appointed before 1991.' ... The reasons for Ivanov's dismissal included a need for greater interoperability with Nato services."

Sofia New Agency, "Yordan Bakalov Takes Over Bulgaria's Military Intelligence Service," 19 May 2015: "Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev announced on [19 May 2015] he has appointed Yordan Bakalov, a former interim Interior Minister, as head of the Defense Information Service."

Sterling, Claire. The Time of the Assassins: Anatomy of an Investigation. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1983. New ed. 1985. [pb]

According to Rocca and Dziak, Sterling (as does Henze in The Plot to Kill the Pope) points to "Bulgarian-Soviet complicity in the attempted assassination of John Paul II. Half her book ... delves into what she sees as the hesitancy and incredulity of Western governments when faced with the evidence and implications of the failed assassination."

Jenkins, I&NS 1.3, has little positive to say about Sterling's book, arguing that the author "is wrong in all her major contentions" and has produced "a fatally flawed and inaccurate book." Clark comment: That judgment might go down more easily had the reviewer not tried to replace Sterling's analysis with his own even more bizarre and contrived conspiracy fantasies.

Tabachnick, Stephen E. "Defining Reality." American Book Review, Jan.-Feb. 1987, 9-10.

Gunter, IJI&C 11.2/138/fn.1, calls this "an insightful critique" of Henze, Herman and Brodhead, and Sterling's books on Agca's assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II on 13 May 1981.

Return to Other Countries Table of Contents