Committee for State Security

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For the Soviet Committee for State Security, see KGB.

The Committee for State Security (Bulgarian: Комитет за държавна сигурност, Komitet za dǎržavna sigurnost; abbreviated КДС, CSS), popularly known as State Security (Държавна сигурност, Darzhavna sigurnost; abbrievated ДС) was the name of the Bulgarian secret service during the Communist rule of Bulgaria and the Cold War (until 1989).

Structure[edit]

Activity[edit]

In 1964 the State Security formed a unit Service 7, led by colonel Petko Kovachev, dedicated to murder, kidnaping and disinformation against Bulgarian dissidents living abroad. The unit executed actions against dissidents in Italy, Britain, Denmark, West Germany, Turkey, France, Ethiopia, Sweden and Switzerland. Documents describing its activities were declassified only in 2010.[1]

State Security played an active part in the so-called "Revival Process" to Bulgarianize the Bulgarian Turks in the 1980s, as well as writer and dissident Georgi Markov's murder in London in 1978 known for the "Bulgarian umbrella" that was used.

An issue often raised by the international community is State Security's alleged control of the weapons, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, gold, silver and antiques traffic through Bulgaria before 1989.[citation needed]Due to this, it is popularly thought that the organised crime in the country in the 1990s was set up by former State Security agents.[2]

The agency is often incriminated with the ill-famed murder of dissident writer Georgi Markov using a "Bulgarian umbrella" on London's Waterloo Bridge and was formerly accused of the 1981 attempt on Pope John Paul II's life. The latter allegation has always been sharply criticised and denied by Bulgaria, and the country was officially cleared of any involvement by the Pontiff himself during a 2002 visit.

Legacy[edit]

The secret files of the DS have been a source of great controversy in the country. After the communist regime in the country collapsed, newly established democratic forces accused the former communist elite of secretly removing DS files that could compromise its members. In 2002, former Interior Minister Gen. Atanas Semerdzhiev was found guilty of razing 144,235 files from the Durzhavna Sigurnost archives. Others have accused the DS of infiltrating the young opposition.

See also[edit]

References[edit]