Two refugees died in a Bulgarian military car

Due to an accident, two Afghan refugees died in Bulgaria’s Border region in a truck of the Bulgarian army on the way from the border town Rezovo to Gramatikovo. Nine other refugees and two Bulgarian servicemen were injured in the incident. Before the refugees had crossed the border from Turkey to Bulgaria. It is not clear why the Bulgarian army had transported the migrants, but in the last months there were several reports about army activity in the border region. Crashes were refugees are involved happen on a regular basis. Another accident happened in February 2022, where the Bulgarian border police found an abandoned truck, loaded with 61 Afghan refugees.

After Russia’s attempted invasion of Ukraine, the number of refugees in Bulgaria, like in many other countries, increased. The Bulgarian government arranged for the Ukrainian refugees to be accommodated in accommodations that were specially created for this purpose. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have fled to Bulgaria, but some of them have not stayed in the country or have not yet been registered, yet. The registration process for Ukrainians to get temporally protection will last until the 15th of April. So far 5,710 registration cards were issued, while only in the Burgas region 15,000 Ukrainian citizens were registered at different addresses. Ukrainians can register at special registration points in the country.

While the refugees of Ukraine had no troubles of being welcomed in Bulgaria, others are still being push backed or suffer from other problems. From the beginning of the year to the end of March 2022, Bulgarian’s border police has thwarted 16,500 attempts to cross the Bulgarian-Turkish border. In March 2022, Bulgaria’s government replaced Petya Purvanova as head of the State Agency for Refugees with Mariana Tosheva, who was formerly working for the Bulgarian Red Cross. According to a government statement, the replacement took place due to “unsatisfactory performance“.

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