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In 1930, he became a member of the Zveno group. In 1934, he was the leader of the pro-Zveno coup, but did not become a minister and stayed in the background. After the counter-coup of King Boris III in 1935, Velchev fled abroad, but later slipped back into the country and was arrested. He was sentenced to death in 1936, but his life was spared by Boris. In 1943, he joined the Fatherland Front, a pro-communist, anti-Axis resistance movement. In 1944, the Fatherland Front seized power and Velchev became Minister of Defence with the rank of colonel general. He resigned in 1946 because of the communist purges within the army. Later, he became ambassador to Switzerland, but after a while he resigned and asked for political asylum. He stayed in Switzerland until his death.