BTA News

Director General Valchev: Thanks to BTA Bulgaria Knows Bessarabian Bulgarians Are Under Russian Fire Too

“Today we celebrate peace and freedom, and those who gave their lives to achieve them,” Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) Director General Kiril Valchev said in his address to the Bulgarians from the Odessa region. The meeting took place at the Bulgarian Consulate General in Odessa on the day when Bulgaria celebrates its national holiday and Odessa observed a day of mourning in memory of ten people killed in a drone attack. Among the victims are a mother and a child from a Bulgarian family.

“We are meeting at a time when a missile alert was announced again – an everyday occurrence for you, a cause for concern for us and our loved ones in Bulgaria,” Valchev said. “For you, however, it is more than an alert – real casualties, he added. What I know from our Consul General in Odessa is that the death toll of Bessarabian Bulgarians in this war is more than 100.”

“It is amazing to see people here who keep the memory of their ancestors much more strongly than we do in Bulgaria. I don’t know any other Bulgarian settlement that can name every single family from 1830 like the village of Zarya keeps the memory of the 46 families,” Valchev said.

Thanks to BTA, Bulgaria knows that the Bessarabian Bulgarians in Ukraine are also under Russian fire, said Kiril Valchev.

He added that this was his fourth visit in the past year and the fifth since the beginning of the war.

“We can take a lot more from you here in terms of upholding traditions, as well as an example of how in a time of war it is important to invest in culture, education and science,” he said.

Valchev recalled that in June 2024 the meeting of the Bulgarian media abroad, which BTA holds every year, will take place in Odessa.

The meeting at Bulgaria’s Consulate General in Odessa was attended by representatives of the local government and the public of Bulgarian origin.

The meeting was also attended by the Bulgarian Consul General in Odessa Svetoslav Ivanov, Bulgarian News Agency Director General Kiril Valchev, Sofia Municipal Councillor Dragomir Mladenov, the Dean of the Faculty of Geology and Geography of Sofia University, and Bulgarian writers Yordan Evtimov and Severina Markova.

The Bulgarian community in the Odessa region is the third largest and numbers over 150, 000 people according to the official census in Ukraine in 2001. About 50-60,000 Bulgarians live in Odessa. The largest compact Bulgarian population is concentrated in the Bolhrad, Izmail and Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi regions.