PolitiCheck: “We are being dragged into war”, “burned Bulgarians in Odessa” and more false statements from the parliament

The MPs adopted a decision on the sending of military aid to Ukraine. They also adopted the agreement between Bulgaria and Ukraine on the aid in the first reading. During the debates on Friday (December 9, 2022), MPs used false and misleading statements in their speeches from the parliamentary rostrum as arguments “against” sending arms to Ukraine.

Factcheck.bg collected some of them:


Georgi Svilenski, BSP:

“…Let the Bulgarian people see the hypocrisy in this building – in the elections you didn’t promise to drag Bulgaria into war. Instead you promised free textbooks, free medicine, low prices, high income, the Recovery and Resilience Facility. And now in 15 minutes you rejected all these laws, and you are in a hurry to send the planes with weapons to Ukraine”.

Korneliya Ninova, BSP:

“I ask you, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Malta, Moldova, Ireland – what countries are they? Do they adopt European values? They don’t supply weapons. And that was decided by their national authorities. Your argument that everyone does it and we should do it fails. Not everyone does that. A number of European countries said ‘No’ to the supply of weapons. We help with humanitarian aid, they accept refugees, as Bulgaria and is normal to do when a nation is suffering”.

BSP with a statement in Facebook:

The “War Coalition” ran over the rules and rejected the entire agenda of the National Assembly in order to drag Bulgaria into war.

Fact check:

States have the right to provide means of self-defense, in accordance with the right of self-defense recognized in the United Nations (UN) Charter, according to a 2008 position of the Council of the European Union (EU) that sets out general rules for export controls on military technology and equipment.

Article 51 of the UN Charter guarantees “the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations”. Since the UN already designated Ukraine as a victim of aggression and condemned Russia’s actions, this gives Ukraine the right to exercise its right to self-defense and ask other countries to act in the name of collective defense. From the international law perspective, the supply of arms to Ukraine is not a violation. There are no restrictions on the quantity and quality of this aid, as long as it meets the conditions of necessity and proportionality.

Arms deliveries do not mean “participation in war”. The EU took the unprecedented decision to provide up to 900 million euros in military aid to Ukraine. Individually, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden provide arms to Ukraine, as does the United States. None of those countries are involved in Russia’s war against Ukraine.

According to the Kiel Institute for Global Economics, which keeps detailed statistics on aid to Ukraine, the EU as a whole is the biggest donor of military aid in the conflict, ahead of the US, which is in second place. Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has forced some European countries to reverse their traditional policies – Germany abandoned the practice of not sending weapons to conflict zones, and Sweden provided weapons to a country in active conflict for the first time since the USSR’s attack on Finland in 1939.

The claim of Korneliya Ninova is misleading, because she mostly gives examples of countries with international commitments that differ from those of Bulgaria. Although they are “European countries”, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Moldova are not members of the EU. Hungary is the only one among those listed that is a member of NATO and is the only one with witch Bulgaria could be correctly compared in this context. At the same time, Austria and Ireland provide military aid to Ukraine but according to the decisions of their national authorities, this aid does not include “lethal” military equipment. According to the Irish Ministry of Defence, as of September 2022 this military aid was worth 55 million euros.


Tsoncho Ganev, “Vazrazhdane”

“We also sacrificed Bulgarians in this conflict in Ukraine, not now, when the events broke out in April, but years ago, when the riots and subsequent civil war began in Ukraine. One or several Bulgarians in Odessa were burned alive. They burned alive. Where was the Bulgarian state and where is it now? […] What decisions we make now – history will judge us, but it is a fact that the current Ukrainian state deliberately and purposefully set fire to and burned a Bulgarian in Ukraine”.

Kostadin Kostadinov, “Vazrazhdane”

“Mr. Ganev, you are absolutely right, there were Bulgarians killed then in the burned down trade union building in Odessa in 2014”.

Fact check:

A check by Factcheck.bg showed that Ivan Milev, who died during the May 2, 2014 riots in Odessa, was not of Bulgarian origin, and that there were no established facts about Bulgarians killed on that day in the Ukrainian city. Read the entire fact check HERE.


Ivelin Parvanov, “Vazrazhdane”

“Now there is another conflict in which we were not a party and in which we suddenly remembered, I don’t know why we should support those we consider to have been attacked. But we forget that those who are formally attacked actually started a civil war 8 years ago against their own people by restricting their rights”.

Fact check:

The invasion in Ukraine is not a matter of opinion, but a fact. “Invasion” according to the Cambridge dictionary is ‘an occasion when an army or country uses force to enter and take control of another country’. In February 2022, Russia invaded the territory of Ukraine unprovoked with its military power and equipment.

According to the UN, the Russian military offensive in Ukraine is a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and violates the principles of the UN Charter.

Read more about Russia’s violations of international law due to the war against Ukraine HERE.


Kostadin Kostadinov, “Vazrazhdane”

“The teaching of Bulgarian in all schools in Ukraine, where there is a Bulgarian minority, was closed. There is currently not a single public school in which Bulgarian is taught”.

Fact check:

A verification by Factcheck.bg found that the teaching of Bulgarian language in Ukrainian schools is not prohibited. Following changes in the Education Law of Ukraine from 2017, the subjects are taught in Bulgarian language until the end of primary school in municipalities with Bulgarian minority. After primary school, subjects begin to be studied in the state language – Ukrainian, but the Bulgarian language and literature remain in the program of state schools and are not prohibited. Meanwhile, Russia prohibits the teaching of the Bulgarian language in the Zaporizhzhia region it occupied earlier in 2022.

More on the subject – HERE.

Translated by Vanessa Nikolova


PolitiCheck: Не е вярно, че в държавните училища в Украйна не се преподава български език: https://factcheck.bg/politicheck-ne-e-vyarno-che-v-darzhavnite-uchilishta-v-ukrajna-ne-se-prepodava-balgarski-ezik/

Не е вярно, че Русия спазва международното право по отношение на Украйна: https://factcheck.bg/ne-e-vyarno-che-rusiya-spazva-mezhdunarodnoto-pravo-po-otnoshenie-na-ukrajna/

The UN and the war in Ukraine: key information: https://unric.org/en/the-un-and-the-war-in-ukraine-key-information/

“Инвазия”, речник на БАН: https://ibl.bas.bg/rbe/lang/bg/%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B2%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B8%D1%8F/

Няма доказателства за убити българи в сблъсъците в Одеса на 2 май 2014 г.: https://factcheck.bg/nyama-dokazatelstva-za-ubiti-balgari-v-sblasacite-v-odesa-na-2-maj-2014-g/

Some €55 million in military aid given by Ireland to Ukraine: https://www.irishtimes.com/politics/2022/09/24/ireland-has-given-55m-in-military-aid-to-ukraine/

”Inte sedan finska vinterkriget har Sverige skickat vapen till en krigszon”: https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/inte-sedan-finska-vinterkriget-har-sverige-skickat-vapen-till-en-krigszon

Germany to send Ukraine weapons in historic shift on military aid: https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraine-war-russia-germany-still-blocking-arms-supplies/

Ukraine Support Tracker: Europe surpasses the U.S. in total committed aid: https://www.ifw-kiel.de/publications/media-information/2022/ukraine-support-tracker-europe-surpasses-the-us-in-total-committed-aid/

PolitiCheck: Американският генерал Джак Кийн не твърди, че САЩ са накарали Украйна да воюва с Русия: https://factcheck.bg/politicheck-amerikanskiyat-general-dzhak-kijn-ne-tvardi-che-sasht-sa-nakarali-ukrajna-da-vojuva-s-rusiya/

Articulating Arms Control Law in the EU’s Lethal Military Assistance to Ukraine: https://www.justsecurity.org/80862/articulating-arms-control-law-in-the-eus-lethal-military-assistance-to-ukraine/

Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/471 of 23 March 2022 amending Decision (CFSP) 2022/338 on an assistance measure under the European Peace Facility for the supply to the Ukrainian Armed Forces of military equipment, and platforms, designed to deliver lethal force: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32022D0471&qid=1648472005088

The Legality of Weapons Transfers to Ukraine Under International Law: https://brill.com/view/journals/ihls/aop/article-10.1163-18781527-bja10053/article-10.1163-18781527-bja10053.xml

УСТАВ на Организацията на обединените нации: https://legislation.apis.bg/doc/4594/0

COUNCIL COMMON POSITION 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008 defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32008E0944&from=EN

Публикацията е създадена с подкрепата на Европейския съюз. Отговорността за съдържанието е изцяло на Factcheck.bg.

Factcheck.bg is an initiative of the Association of European Journalists - Bulgaria. The aim of the team is to support the efforts of journalists to provide verified and reliable information by engaging in fact-checking in current news, public speeches and social media posts.

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