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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Todor Zhivkov Collection

Leader of Bulgaria from 1954 until the fall of the Soviet Union, this collection contains documents by and about Todor Zhivkov. They are all from various Bulgarian archives and are composed largely of letters, minutes and reports. Here, the rational behind Bulgarian foreign policy is highlighted, especially in light of Zhivkov’s actions and opinions. (Image, Zhivkov, 1963, Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-B0115-0010-066)

  • September 20, 1973

    Minutes of Conversation between Todor Zhivkov – Leonid I. Brezhnev, Voden Residence [Bulgaria]

    The two leaders discuss trade agreements, the situation in the Balkans, and policies toward Yugoslavia, Romania and the PRC.

  • December 11, 1973

    Gen. Dobry Djurov's Report to Todor Zhivkov: Some Deliberations on the October Middle East War

    A Defense Ministry report on The 1973 War. The report discusses the weaknesses in the Arab military strategy – lack of coordination, lack of serious commitment, insufficient mobilization of available resources, etc.

  • March 01, 1974

    Bulgarian Military Intelligence Report on Turkish Military Operation in Cyprus

    The Ministry of Defense has received information for Turkish plans for invasion of Greece in an event of escalation of the conflict in Cyprus.

  • March 19, 1974

    Report to Todor Zhivkov Regarding a Request for Arms Delivery to Cyprus in View of a Possible Greek Coup on the Island

    Wary of a coup attempt sponsored by Athens, Makarios government seeks Bulgarian assistance for closing an arms deal with Czechoslovakia.

  • June 05, 1974

    Report from D. Stoyanov to T. Zhivkov on Strengthening of the Bulgarian Border with Yugoslavia

    The Minister of Internal Affairs, Dimitar Stoyanov, reports on the security situation along Yugoslav-Bulgarian border. Since that border is the one most often used by defectors, the Minister proposes a 50% increase in the border patrol troops.

  • July 23, 1974

    Bulgarian Military Intelligence Report on Greco-Turkish Battles in Cyprus

    Report on the hostilities between the two countries during the 1974 Cypress Crisis.

  • July 27, 1974

    Telegram from Archbishop Makarios to Todor Zhivkov

    Writing from New York, Makarios seeks Bulgarian support after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July 1974.

  • September 30, 1974

    Memorandum of Conversation between Todor Zhivkov and Hafez Al Assad

    The two leaders discuss the Middle East, the American involvement, and the shipment of Soviet weaponry to Syria.

  • June 11, 1975

    Todor Zhivkov’s Consultations with Soviet Experts on Relations with Romania

    Prior to his visit to Bucharest, Todor Zhivkov meets Soviet representatives in Sofia in an attempt to co-ordinate Bulgarian policy toward Romania with the Soviet government. They discuss Soviet-Romanian relations, role of Romania in the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Romania in the Warsaw Pact and COMECON, Romania and the Non-Aligned Movement, Sino-Soviet relations, etc.

  • December 09, 1975

    Memorandum of Conversation, Todor Zhivkov – Süleyman Demirel

    The two leaders discuss Bulgarian-Turkish trade relations, initiatives for the Balkans; Greco-Turkish relations, and the issue of repatriation of Bulgarian ethnic Turks.

  • March 11, 1976

    Minutes of the Meeting between Todor Zhivkov and Fidel Castro in Sofia

    Conversation for the record between Zhivkov and Castro during a four-day-long state visit of the Cuban leader to Bulgaria. Among the main issues discussed was the state of economic development in both countries, their relations with Albania, China, Romania and Yugoslavia; the Cuban foreign policy in Africa and the Caribbean; the civil war in Angola; the battle for the Third World.

  • July 16, 1976

    Secret Bulgarian Politburo Resolution for Military Aid Supply to Certain National-Liberation Movements and Communist Parties

    12 million BGN, five-year plan for arms delivery to People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO), Lao People's Revolutionary Party, Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), and the Lebanese Communist Party.

  • October 01, 1976

    Background on Bulgaria-Angola Bilateral Relations

    Background information on Bulgarian-Angolan bilateral relations since Angolan independence.

  • December 25, 1976

    Minutes of Conversation between Todor Zhivkov and Muammar al-Qaddafi

    Qaddafi seeks Bulgarian assistance in his attempt to close a deal with the Soviet Union for purchase of weapons and for construction of a nuclear power plant. Todor Zhivkov in turn requests a loan. Both leaders discuss the situation in Yemen, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Syria, Chad, Sudan, and Western Sahara.

  • August 14, 1978

    Letter from Todor Zhivkov to Leonid Brezhnev, Yalta

    Prior to his meeting with the Soviet leader, Todor Zhivkov lays out some issues of the Bulgarian-Soviet economic cooperation, such as pricing and the resulting trade deficit, and areas of specialization within COMECON.

  • October 01, 1978

    Policy Statement on the Bulgarian Relations with Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and PDR of Yemen.

    Policy recommendations for strengthening the political and economic ties between Bulgaria and the countries of the Third World.

  • October 16, 1978

    Statements of Agostinho Neto, Samora Machel and Mengistu Haile Mariam on the Political Situation in Zimbabwe

    Statements made during Todor Zhivkov’s visit to sub-Saharan Africa, 16-19 October 1978

  • 1979

    Agreement for Collaboration between Bulgarian and Cuban Ministries of the Interior

    The agreement specifies the bilateral cooperation in the intelligence field.

  • January 13, 1979

    Minutes of Conversation, Todor Zhivkov – Leonid Brezhnev

    Leonid Ilyich analyzes the establishment of US-Chinese diplomatic relations and recent developments in Iran and the Middle East. Todor Zhivkov talks about Bulgaria’s economic development and the Soviet cancellation of Bulgarian debt.

  • April 09, 1979

    Memorandum of Todor Zhivkov – Fidel Castro Conversation, Havana

    Memorandum of a discussion of the future of socialism in Latin America. Castro expects that the social instability of the region will lead to increased socialist influence and revolutionary movements, specifically in Nicaragua and Grenada. He cites two difficulties in his quest to help the Latin American revolutionary forces: his weapons stockpile is running low, and he has agreed to not transfer Soviet weapons to other countries.