This volume is one of a series of handbooks prepared by Foreign Area Studies (FAS) of The American University, designed to be useful to military and other personnel who need a convenient compilation of basic facts about the social, economic, political, and military institutions and practices of various countries. The emphasis is on objective description of the nation's present society and the kinds of possible or probable changes that might be expected in the future.
he top leaders of the Soviet-aligned, communist countries of Eastern Europe. Zhivkov, who weathered several years of intraparty struggles after assuming the secretaryship, has led an apparently stable regime since an abortive coup d'etat failed to dislodge him in 1965. The hallmark of Zhivkov's leadership has been his intense loyalty to the leaders of the Soviet Union.
Zhivkov's critics accuse him of what they call subservience to the Soviet Union, stating that he relies on Soviet backing to remain in power. His supporters, on the other hand, commend him for his loyalty to the Soviet Union, pointing out the historical affinity between the Bulgarians and the Russians that dates back to the nineteenth-century Russian role in the liberation of Bulgaria from 500 years of Turkish rule. Whether he should be condemned or praised for it, the fact is that Zhivkov has guided his ship of state in very close conformity with directions first taken by the Soviet Union.
Bulgaria, motivated mainly by irredentis