Thousands of Bulgarians took to the streets in several major cities on Saturday to protest against the government’s decision to provide military aid to Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict with Russia.
The protesters, who carried banners reading “Bulgaria – Zone of Peace” and “No to War”, demanded that Bulgaria should remain neutral and not interfere in the affairs of other countries.
They also expressed their solidarity with the people of Ukraine and called for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.
The demonstrations were organized by various civic groups, political parties, and trade unions, who criticized the government for secretly supplying weapons and ammunition to Ukraine through third-party countries.
Bulgaria has covertly delivered about $1 billion worth of arms and equipment to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February 2022.
Bulgaria has also agreed to provide military-technical support to Ukraine, such as repairing and maintaining its military vehicles and weaponry.
The government has defended its actions as a gesture of support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as a fulfillment of its obligations as a NATO member.
However, the opposition and some experts have questioned the legality and morality of Bulgaria’s involvement in the conflict, as well as its potential consequences for the country’s security and stability.
They have argued that Bulgaria is violating its own constitution, which prohibits participation in wars or armed conflicts, except for self-defense or collective defense within NATO.
They have also warned that Bulgaria is risking its relations with Russia, which is a major trade partner and energy supplier for the country.
They have urged the government to reconsider its stance and to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis through dialogue and cooperation.