From Russia to EU? Media and online pressure on human rights defenders and environmental activists in Bulgaria

Wed, 2021-11-10 14:00 - 17:00

Pro-democratic civil society actors have been under persistent pressure for the past several years in Russia and alarmingly many EU member states. Discourses denying European values and questioning democracy, social solidarity and equality principles, are aggressively imposed by mass media - largely captured and controlled by oligarchic circles in East and South European EU members.

Some say that oppressive policies crafted by the Kremlin are being transferred to vulnerable EU countries. Others see EU’s own lack of ability to safeguard its own founding values and principles, or even prevent its own structural and cohesion funds from being abused by greedy local elites and pumped into anti-European propaganda. At this event views and analysis will be exchanged, and working solutions will be compared by rights, environment and media freedom advocates.

The round table is a part of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum's ( 10th Anniversary programme. BlueLink is a full member of the EU-Russia CSF.

Zoom registration link -

Languages: Bulgarian, Russian (with a simultaneous interpretation).


14:00 - 14:20 - “Introduction to the discussion on how to challenge pressure and hate speech against human rights and environment defenders and the role of media”
Pavel Antonov, Executive editor/Co-founder, BlueLink,
Anna Sevortian, Executive Director, EU-Russia Civil Society Forum
Ksenia Vakhrusheva, Project Manager, BlueLink

14:20 - 14:50 - Anna Sharogradskaya, Institute of Regional Press, “Techniques used in Russian online media to pressure CSOs”

14:50 - 15:10 - Representative of the Club Z (tbc)

15:10 - 15:30 - Nikoleta Daskalova, “Civic activism in Bulgaria: media and online conccerns” (Foundation “Media Democracy"/BlueLink/APC)

15:30 - 15:50 - Fabio Telarico, researcher, intern in BlueLink, “Demythologising the ‘Russification’ of Bulgarian media’s treatment of civil society”

15:50 - 15:00 - Break - informal chat with tea/coffee

16:00 - 16:10 - Andrey Kalikh, Experience of independent journalists in Russia 

16:10 - 16:50 - Discussion

16:50 - 17:00 - Conclusions and closing

Contact: Ksenia Vakhrusheva, project manager,, +359886841706, ksenia [at] bluelink [dot] net