On Monday Bulgarian media focused on the Bucha massacre, perpetrated by Russian troops in a suburb of Ukraine's capital Kyiv. Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov condemned the indiscriminate killings, writing on Twitter that "the reports about Ukrainian civilians murdered by the Russian army and the images from the Bucha massacre are appalling". He sent his condolences and solidarity to the Ukrainians and called on Russia to cease hostilities and hold war criminals accountable. In other news:
Parliament to rule on military aid to Ukraine later this week: Atanassov
The Coalition council of the four ruling parties decided on Sunday that a decision on sending military aid to Ukraine would be made in Parliament this week, Atanas Atanassov, co-chair of the Democratic Bulgaria group, told media on Sunday evening. He added that he expected the bill to pass despite the opposition of ro-Russian coalition partner BSP because two opposition parties (MRF and GERB) have already expressed support. Later on Sunday, Defense Minister Dragomir Zakov confirmed that, if Parliament approves military aid, he will abide by the decision and order the delivery of munitions, helmets and flak jackets to the besieged country.
First secretary of the Russian Embassy expelled for spying: MFA
A member of the Russian diplomatic corps in Sofia, described by the State Prosecution as the first secretary of the embassy, has been named persona non grata by the Foreign Ministry and was given a 72-hour notice to leave the country on Friday, 1 April. A Specialized Prosecution spokesperson claimed that the Russian diplomat is accused of collaborating with three members of the State Security Agency (DANS), who were also accused of spying in favor of the Kremlin on Friday.
The head of DANS Plamen Tonchev claimed that the operation against the alleged spies "was fully the product of the agency's internal mechanisms for control". Prime Minister Kiril Petkov claimed that the alleged spy ring involving DANS agents and the Russian Embassy diplomats had "worked actively to undermine Bulgarian-N. Macedonian good-neighborly relations" - a claim rejected by both DANS head Tonchev and the Prosecution.
SJC moves forward 5 out of 9 pretexts for Prosecutor General's dismissal
The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) decided to proceed with the investigation of five out of the nine pretexts for the disciplinary dismissal of Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev, as proposed by Justice Minister Nadezhda Yordanova. Next week the Council will rule whether to dismiss Mr Gesehv over his politically motivated comments, his inaction regarding the investigation of the poisoning of arms dealer Emilian Gebrev and the lack of substantive investigations of the "Eight Dwarves'" network of prosecutors that have allegedly extorted private businesses.