Beyond the Brutal Journalist Murder: Bulgaria Is Going Very Bad and the West Isn’t Noticing (written for The European Views*)

A vigil honoring the memory of murdered journalist Viktoria Marinova. Photo: Video grab from TVN
*This opinion / analytical article was written by Ivan Dikov for The European Views website.)

Bulgaria doesn’t stand out much against the backdrop of all other major international worries for the West but its situation warrants closer attention in order to avoid potential trouble down the road.


The brutal murder of journalist Viktoria Marinova as she was jogging along the Danube one sunny day in the fall of 2018 recently focused global attention on Bulgaria.

Marinova’s murder occurred right after as a regional TV station head and host she aired a report on a large-scale corruption case involving EU funds. Not unlike other inconvenient stories for Bulgaria’s ruling oligarchy, that case has been ignored by the country’s mainstream media.

After a suspect was arrested in Germany and repatriated, Bulgaria’s leadership eagerly declared the horrific murder a “regular” criminal offense, not a contract killing of an inconvenient journalist.

Whichever proves to be the case, Marinova’s murder once again put Bulgaria in the international spotlight as “the poorest and most corrupt” EU member state.

Those labels aren’t untrue but the reality is much more gruesome: Bulgaria is going very bad, and nobody in the rest of the West seems to be noticing.

Despite the tirelessness of its leadership, Bulgaria hasn’t been able to top the concerns list of the European Union and the United States for one simple reason: lots of stuff are going even worse for the West all over the world map.

The grave failure of Bulgaria’s principal allies and partners to notice its troubles, however, may cause serious trouble for the entire West further down the road because of the Balkan country’s geopolitical position, which lends it greater importance than its own potential does.

Brussels, Washington, and Berlin simply aren’t justified in taking Bulgaria’s Western belonging for granted.

Apart from the worsening international environment, there are two main reasons Bulgaria’s deteriorating domestic situation remains largely unnoticed by the EU and the US…

Read the rest of this article on The European Views website here

(327 words cited out of a total of 1196 words)

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