Frognews recycles January fake news about Peevski

The Fake News Factory must have found itself completely helpless because it rummaged through its archives recently to recycle yet another fake news about lawmaker and publisher of Telegraph Media Delyan Peevski. The manipulation headlined “VisegradInsight: Peevski receives dividends from his role of alpha and omega in Bulgarian politics” appeared on the website Frognews, owned by Ognyan Stefanov, aka agent Academician, nearly two months after its original publication.

Over the past several years, the website has become a press office for the fugitive banker hiding in Belgrade Tsvetan Vassilev. The goal of the entire operation is to use fake news about Peevski to hide the main Frognews sponsor and partner of the creators of the slandering machine, the oligarchic publishers Ivo Prokopiev, Ognyan Donev and Sasho Donchev – fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev, who stole billions from CoprBank and now lives off that loot, undisturbed, in neighbouring Serbia.

The article in question is presented as an analysis by Spasimir Domaradski, “professor of political science and international relations at the Lazarski University in Warsaw, published in the online media VisegradInsight.eu”. Presented in this way, the article is lent more gravitas, while the information in it sounds more credible. But this is nothing more than one of the typical tricks of the Fake News Factory – fake news originally spread by Bulgarian publications (most often the Capital circle and its affiliated fan of websites) is ran through foreign media outlets in order to be recycled on the websites of the Factory and presented as articles of foreign publications.

This is exactly the case here. VisegradInsight is a project of the Res Publica Foundation that includes the #DemocraCE platform, which brings together “those who have influence in their own communities”, as its creators note, in order to spread their knowledge across central and eastern Europe. This platform, where the article by Spasimir Domaradski was published, has as contributors authors from all CEE countries, while the Bulgarian section is entirely the work of Spasimir Domaradski.

The texts in the Bulgarian section are taken directly from Bulgarian publications – Capital, Transmedia, and Terminal 3. The last one (Terminal 3) is the source of the abovementioned fake news about Peevski. A visit to the website reveals that the article was published there back at the end of January and its headline then had no mention of Peevski. The text was originally published in Terminal 3 with a reference to VisegradInsight, from where the funding likely came via an approved project application. 

A month and a half later, however, the website of agent Academician copy-pastes it, embellishes its headline by inserting Peevski’s name, as is the style of the Factory, and presents it as an article from a foreign media outlet. There are a total of nine texts about Bulgaria on the #DemocraCE platform and most of them come from Prokopiev’s Capital. 

There is one more noteworthy detail in the fake news item – agent Academician’s website presents the author Domaradski as a professor. However, as it turns out, he nothing more than a regular lecturer at the Lazarski University in Warsaw, whose official webpage describes him as an “adjunct”, which suggests a PhD degree. The Bulgarian equivalent of adjunct would be the highest level of assistant (senior assistant) – a position given to individuals holding a PhD.

As the Anglo-Saxon system does not have the “adjunct” status per se, the English version is “assistant professor”, which is nowhere near an actual professor. Even Domaradksi does not sign his pieces as a professor, but agent Academician obviously decided that such a misinformation would help attract more readers to the recycled fake news. A look at the Facebook friends of Domaradski reveals the names of numerous authors for the media outlets comprising the Capital circle.

The Lazarski University, formerly known as Ryszard Lazarski Higher School of Commerce and Law, is a private Polish university located in Warsaw, founded by Ryszard Lazarski in 1993. The educational institution advertises itself as ranked third among private universities in Poland.

The Bulgarian Madoff, as Tsvetan Vassilev has been dubbed, probably felt particularly backed into a corner and reached out to his old Polish contacts. There is a blind spot on his resume – a year, in which he claims to have studied in the Polish city of Lodz. Obviously, the former banker activated all of his connections in the smearing campaign against Peevski in a desperate bid to cover up the heist of the century, carried out under Vassilev’s expert leadership, and get an acquittal on the charges against him in the CorpBank case, which is finally underway.  

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