Bulgaria Military Intelligence to Open Up its Communist-Era Archives

Defense | May 28, 2015, Thursday // 09:54|  views

Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev. Photo by BGNES

Archives of the Defense Information Service (DIS), Bulgaria's military intelligence, are due to be handed over to the Files Commission which deals with documents of the one-time security services.

The data, however, will not include names of foreign agents affiliated to DIS to avoid risks for living agents.

Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev announced  the move on Wednesday evening, shortly after signing the respective document, adding Bulgarians should be made more familiar with events under socialism.

"The Bulgarian society should know everything about this period and should never allow it [to begin] again," the minister is quoted by Dnevnik.bg as saying.

Nenchev has been among the staunchest advocates of reshuffles in the military intelligence structures where in his words the presence of many Communist-era agents should be of concern.

Earlier this year, he also replaced the head of DIS citing the need to boost interoperability of the service with NATO counterparts.

By handing out the documents to the Files Commission, Nenchev is taking a first step to "unveiling" their content, since the Commission publishes names, nicknames and other relevant information about one-time agents after processing the material obtained.

DIS officials have warned that the move could result in an exposure of foreign agents who operated in Bulgaria as well, putting their lives at risk.

Nenchev, however, downplays this, guaranteeing no names of foreign citizens will be disclosed.

The Files Commission's official name is "The Committee for Disclosing the Documents and Announcing Affiliation of Bulgarian Citizens to the State Security and Intelligence Services of the Bulgarian National Army".

On Thursday, Files Commission Chair Evtim Kostadinov told the Bulgarian National Radio that DIS would hand out the respective materials by the end of the year at the latest. Some 32 000 files are expected to be transferred from the archives.

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Tags: Files Commission, Nikolay Nenchev, DIS, Defense Information Service, Military Intelligence


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