Bulgarian Intelligence services and Political Changes in the Eastern Bloc in 1989

Nadia Boyadjieva

Using newly declassified materials, my paper for the conference will discuss on how the Bulgarian intelligence services assessed the situation in 1989 in Former Warsaw Pact countries and how the dramatic changes in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Germany and especially in the USSR where soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev initiated “glasnost and perestroika”  within the Soviet Union, adopted a new foreign policy strategy towards Warsaw Bloc countries. The paper will also show how the political changes in the Warsaw Pact countries affected Bulgarian foreign policy and contributed to the political movements in Bulgaria and other changes in Bulgarian society. The civil organizations succeeded in uniting against Zhivkov’s regime, facilitating the maneuvers of party elites who ultimately forced to resign T. Zhivkov on 10 November 1989.

My paper will draw extensively on recently released documents from Bulgaria and other countries, and especially on recently declassified documents by the state committee overseeing the intelligence services of the Bulgarian communist regime (known as COMDOS).  The paper will thus shed  light on the Bulgarian intelligence activity in 1989 and its response to the key trends in international and Balkan politics, as well as the trends in the Bulgarian society in the final stage of the Cold War.

Sylwia Szyc