Gendarmerie (Bulgaria)

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Symbol of the Bulgarian Gendarmerie force
Bulgaria Gendarmerie Iveco VM90 APC

The Bulgarian Gendarmerie' (Жандармерия - Zhandarmeriya) was a part of the Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs or "MIA". (Bulgarian: "Министерство на вътрешните работи" or "МВР", pronounced [mevere]). Bulgarian “MBP" is divided into five military-type organizations named “National Services”, that fulfil police and internal-security related duties. They are:

  1. National Security Service – counterespionage duties
  2. National Police Service – maintaining public order, investigating and counteracting crimes
  3. National Border Police Service - protecting the state’s border
  4. National Organized Crime Service – special duties
  5. National Gendarmerie Service

The Genderarmerie is a special police force with military status deployed to secure important facilities and buildings, to respond to riots, and to counter militant threats. Its agents are trained to operate in both urban and wilderness environments so as to be able to carry out a wide range of duties. For riot duty the commandos are equipped with Makarov 9x18 pistols, protective gear, gas grenades, police sticks and non-lethal weapons. When performing high-risk tactical operations they are armed with 5.45x39mm AKS-74U rifles, which are specialized versions of the original Kalashnikov assault rifle.

The Gendarmerie is meant to be a force structure intermediate between the army and the police which has military status.

Gendarmerie agents are ranked from sergeant to colonel, following a system used throughout the Bulgarian police forces. The overall commander of the force is usually a Major General.

The Bulgarian Gendarmerie was disbanded by the country's General Directorate of Police and its personnel absorbed into various specialized police units.

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