Over the past year, Bulgaria has supplied Kiev with weapons worth at least $1 billion through third countries, according to an Euractiv investigation . At the same time, Ukraine and Bulgaria did not even have to agree to a single direct deal, and the indirect sale began even before the start of the war.
“For the period from February 24, 2022 to January 19, 2023, not a single application for concluding foreign trade transactions with Ukrainian companies and government agencies was submitted for consideration to the Export Control Commission, and, accordingly, no export permits were issued during this period,” according to the response of the Ministry of Economy to a request from journalists.
However, according to Euractiv, last year alone Bulgaria indirectly exported at least $1 billion worth of weapons to Ukraine. During this period, the Bulgarian arms industry had record sales abroad, mainly to Poland and Romania, from where weapons were then sent to Ukraine. Employees of the largest arms factories confirmed that sales increased by 100%.
In July last year, an explosion was reported at an arms depot in the town of Karobat (Bulgaria), which belongs to businessman Emelyan Gebrev.
The Insider previously detailed how GRU officers from military unit 29155 hunted Gebrev, as he was one of Ukraine's key munitions suppliers during the Russian invasion in 2014. After a bombing in the Czech Republic failed to help the GRU stop the arms shipments, intelligence officials attempted to kill Gebrev with a nerve agent.
In 2015, an assassination attempt was made on Yemelyan Gebrev. Gebrev, his son and one of the top managers of his company were hospitalized with symptoms of severe poisoning. Later, a laboratory at the University of Helsinki, specializing in chemical weapons, was able to detect traces of two organophosphates, which indicated that an attempt was made to kill the businessman with a nerve agent belonging to the Novichok family.