British authorities charged three Bulgarians with spying for Russia, following a significant national security investigation. The suspects, Bizer Dzhambazov, Katrin Ivanova, and Orlin Roussev, lack formal diplomatic ties to Bulgaria or Russia.
Arrested by the Metropolitan Police‘s Counter-Terrorism Command in February, the trio was charged under the UK’s Identity Documents Act 2010 for possessing fake identity documents. They held forged passports from multiple European countries.
Dzhambazov and Ivanova, who moved to the UK in 2013, worked in healthcare. Roussev, residing in the UK since 2009, worked in finance and claimed ties to Bulgaria’s Ministry of Energy and signals intelligence.
Historically, Bulgaria was closely allied with the Soviet Union. Despite strained Bulgaria-Russia relations recently, pro-Russian sentiments persist. Kiril Petkov, a Bulgarian party leader, highlighted concerns about Moscow-backed agents and proposed reforms to diminish Russian influence.