Bulgarian National Union

The Bulgarian National Union (officially registered as the Bulgarian National Union – Edelweiss), abbreviated BNS/BNU Edelweiss, is a far-right informal organization in Bulgaria based in Sofia, founded in 2000 by Boyan Rasate, which is considered to be the conceptual successor of the Union of the Bulgarian National Legions, led by General [Hristo Lukov](https://bg.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A5%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BE_%D0%9D%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%B2_%D0%9B%D1%83%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B2).

A long-time leader of the organization is Boyan Stankov with the pseudonym *Rasate*, host of the TV show “National Guard” on “Balkan Bulgarian TV”. In 2010, shortly before a scandal involving porn photos allegedly showing [him and his wife in an orgy](https://www.blitz.bg/article/18996), he [stepped down as chairman](https://web.archive.org/web/20160304221130/http://www.ekipnews.com/news/bulgaria/obshtestvo/bojan_rasate_veche_ne_e_lider_na_bns/29975/). In his place, Zvezdomir Andronov, Assen Krastev and Nikolai Nikolaev were elected co-chairmen.

In August 2007, after riots and demonstrations in the Krasna Polyana district of the capital, BNS Edelweiss announced that they would form a “national guard” – an organization[ to protect Bulgarians, mainly from “Gypsy terror.”](https://web.archive.org/web/20070930222215/http://standartnews.com/bg/article.php?d=2007-08-20&article=200529)

Former leader Boyan Rasate heads the list of the Bulgarian National Union New Democracy (BNU-ND) party for the early parliamentary elections on 5 October 2014. On this occasion, Edelweiss issued a public statement emphasizing that the BNS Edelweiss organization has nothing to do with the BNS-ND party and that BNS Edelweiss does not “vocally or covertly” [support any of the political parties participating in the elections](http://bgns.net/%D0%B1%D1%8A%D0%BB%D0%B3%D0%B0%D1%80%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8-%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%86%D0%B8%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%B0%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%BD-%D1%81%D1%8A%D1%8E%D0%B7-%D0%BD%D1%8F%D0%BC%D0%B0-%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%89%D0%BE-%D0%BE/).

It cooperates in joint initiatives with the nationalist party IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement and the neo-Nazi organization Blood and Honor, mainly through initiatives concerning gen. Hristo Lukov and the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine.

The organization has no legal form, nor does it report its financial activities to the relevant state authorities.


*BNU* is one of the oldest and most popular non-partisan movement in the country. They are chief organisers of the infamous[ Lukov March](https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bulgaria-farright-march/far-right-extremists-march-in-sofia-to-honor-pro-nazi-general-idUSKCN1G10UV), that gathers together neofascist actors from countries all around Europe. In 2019, on the eve of Adolf Hitler’s birthday, BNU launched a new multinational organisation by the name of *Fortress Europe*. Among [the founding members](https://bgns.net/нашите-нации-нашата-европа-съюз-кре/), are the French Les Nationalistes, Hungary’s Légió Hungária, Czechia’s Národní a sociální fronta, Germany’s Die Rechte and Poland’s Szturm. The Fortress deepens those groups collaboration coordination.

Outside the capital, BNU is utterly active in cities like Plovdiv and Ruse. In Plovdiv they back the local nationalist youth organisation *Vyarnost* (Loyalty). Bulgarian documentalist Adela Peeva devoted almost an entire movie to the young members of Vyarnost. Information on Long Live Bulgaria (2017) can be found [here](https://www.adelamedia.net/movies/long-live-bulgaria.php). Some even suggest that this extremely active youth organisation might be considered responsible for the violent attack by a group of skinheads teenagers over another – predominantly minors – accused of being “genders”. This horrific event took place [in Plovdiv at the end of September 2020](https://www.dnevnik.bg/bulgaria/2020/09/30/4120077_deca_sreshtu_deca_kak_seksualnata_orientaciia_stana/).

In 2008 in Rusethey “catalogued” the city’s homosexuals: a deed elucidated by their local chairman Zlatan Zlatanov with the need for [“conceptualisation and analysis of various facts, as well as to combat the spread of homosexuality and paedophilia”](https://dnes.dir.bg/ruse/-3149192).

At the beginning of the year 2020, one of BNU’s militant members committed suicide with a pen gun while entering the HQ of the State Agency of National Security (DANS). He was summoned by DANS for questioning, yet the reasons for that never made it to the general public. During a subsequent search of the man’s home, the police discovered an entire military arsenal, over which hung a portrait of Hitler5.