In connection with an ongoing debate about the fate of the Soviet Army monument in Sofia, Bulgaria, one of the arguments that defenders of the monument put forth is that -- in spite of the 45+ year totalitarian regime that the USSR imposed on Bulgaria -- Bulgaria ought to be grateful to the USSR/Red Army because Stalin allegedly prevented an Allied plan to partition Bulgaria by giving sizable chunks of the country to Greece and Yugoslavia.

As far as I know, the attitude of the US/UK leadership at the end of WW2 was very different from that of the winners at the end of WW1 (when the winners imposed a humiliating peace on Germany and its allies, among which also Bulgaria, which kind of backfired) and the US/UK were trying to achieve a just and lasting peace. The claim that the US/UK would propose or even tolerate the dismemberment of Bulgaria seems to not align well with this attitude. Were there really any serious intentions of partitioning Bulgaria?

Any further details that might help shed light on this question and the original claim will be appreciated.

  • 7
    AFAIR, the territory controlled by the Western allies reverted to status quo ante bellum -the borders were not modified- with the exception of Yugoslavia seizing Trieste from Italy. OTOH, there were significant changes to the border in Eastern Europe, mostly to the benefit of the SU (you can count into it Poland getting parts of Germany as compensation for the territory anexed by the SU). So, while not a direct answer about an hypothetical claim, it seems that the SU was way more happy with redrawn frontiers than the Western allies.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 15:12
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    It looks like Bulgaria switched sides immediately upon the Soviet invasion of their territory, and ended up getting to keep one wartime acquisition. It seems a reasonable supposition that what was done in Western Europe would have resulted in them having to give that up too. I'm not sure I'd call that a "partition" but in absence of the actual quote (and preferably some context around it), that could well be what was intended.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 15:46
  • 1
    By "being grateful", Russians usually mean stopping the flow of slander from that country. After all, Soviet Bulgaria had quite good situation with consumption standards and with personal freedoms during socialism times compared to the USSR, so there's no reason for Russians to keep hearing those rants. It does not actually mean getting anything material in return.
    – alamar
    Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 8:37
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    Just a remark: Bulgaria ought to be grateful to the USSR/Red Army - there is always a problem with using collective terms like Bulgaria - does it refer to all Bulgarians? only to patriots favoring national unity? To those who live today or those who lived at the time of the events? Does it include those who became victims of the Communist repressions? The answer is different, depending on who we talk about. Djilas in Conversations with Stalin mentions that Bulgarian Communists were decimated by purges already before the War.
    – Roger V.
    Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 15:51
  • 2
    @alamar No. Usually the proponents of these ideas use a remote historical fact (if it is a fact at all and not an outright fabrication) to silence critics about a unrelated issue (at this time being, Russia illegal agression against Ukraine). I have had people trying to convince me of the evil current US politics by refering to the Spanish-Mexican war. Me and most of the people usually consider this kind of tactics and straw man arguments a tacit admission by such people that they do not have valid arguments to support their stance about the current situation.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 9:04

3 Answers 3


The Percentages Agreement reached between Britain and the USSR over influence in Europe encountered some difficulties over Bulgaria. A point that the great powers agreed over, however, was that Bulgaria should return the territory it had acquired from Greece and Yugoslavia, and this actually happened. If the current defenders of the USSR in Bulgaria were spinning the story hard, they might have tried to portray this as a partition of Bulgaria. However, the USSR did not prevent this "partition," but agreed to it.

Bulgaria did acquire Southern Dobruja from Romania. It had been part of Romania 1913-18 and 1919-1940, having previously been Bulgarian. In 1940, it had been ceded to Bulgaria under the Treaty of Craiova which was not reversed by the Allied Powers after WWII. I suspect there was no desire to reward Romania, which had been a far more active ally of Germany than Bulgaria, nor to untangle the population exchanges that had happened.

There's a relevant paper in Diplomatic History for spring 1983 about US-Bulgarian relations during WWII. It's available free on registration with JSTOR. I don't have the time available to go through it in detail, but it makes no obvious mention of a partition of Bulgaria.

  • 2
    Good stuff. I did a bit of research (hence the comment on the question) but I didn't dig up most of this.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 2:17
  • I think this does not answer the question. If I got it right, the question was about Bulgaria giving other territories to Greece and Yugoslavia after WWII, not just returning the ones occupied during WWII. Was there a push for that from the US/UK and did the USSR prevent this? That's how I got the question. At least, I think that's the version of the question which circulates in our society. Of course the OP could correct me if I got this wrong. Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 13:30
  • "However, the USSR did not prevent it, but agreed to it." Agreed to what? It's not quite clear the way you put it, I think. Also, the situation with the Bulgaria-Romania disputes was kind of different because Romania was also on the side of Germany in WWII, right? So there was nothing to reward Romania for. So I think the word was not about these Bulgaria-Romania disputes, it was about disputes between Bulgaria and countries which did not side with Germany in WWII. Yes, it's a complicated story as usual. Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 14:23
  • @peter.petrov: How's this? Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 21:28
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    @peter.petrov You got your answer. There is no evidence of partiton plan, and the closest that can be found is in this answer. Those people are either missrepresenting this, or outright lying, in order to silence critics against Russia in the current political situation. Notice that their intent is, in your own words, not to clarify an historical fact but to establish that Bulgaria "owes" gratitude to Russia, and decide the current debate on the basis of that supposed gratitude.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 9:07

This turns out is quite a complicated affair. As a sort of summary:

  • In early 1944 the Soviets were only demanding that Bulgaria evacuate Serbia, while the UK (which the US deferred to in such matters) demanded they leave Yugoslavia and Greece as well. On that occasion, the Soviets let the Bulgarians know that "the West" had "evil plans" for them.

  • There had been internal discussion in the UK Foreign Office around 1943 that if Bulgaria doesn't accede to those demands, its existence as a state after the war should not be guaranteed. However, this was never quite an official UK position, as the US disapproved of it.

  • Only in October '44, after the famous percentages (spheres of influence) agreement with the UK did Stalin pressure the Bulgarians to withdraw from Greece, as a precondition for armistice.

  • The later Bulgarian and Greek governments made territorial demands from each other, circa 1945-1946. The Big Three agreed these were inter-connected; Bulgaria demanded back an area of Greece it had evacuated (Western Thrace) giving access to the Aegean. In response, Greece demanded a 'security frontier" on a mountain line, inside the Bulgarian territory. (All this relative to pre-war borders.) The renewed Bulgarian demand may seem a bit strange, but when withdrawing their troops in '44 (to get the armistice) they had only agreed to settle the dispute with Greece peacefully, later on, not given up completely on their claim on Thrace.

  • At the Paris conference, not much happened. Neither Greece nor Bulgaria got their demands [relative to each other] fulfilled, although the USSR ostensibly supported the latter. But the US rejected the former (Greek demands) as well, while the UK officially abstained on that. Bulgaria did keep a part of Dobruja though, so it ended up better than before the war relative to Romania.

Basically, it was mostly the UK that (somewhat) favored the Greek demands for a revised frontier. The US was rather opposed, and the USSR strongly opposed. So, the outcome was rather predictable (preservation of the frontier).

Greek territorial demands vis-à-vis Bulgaria sought ‘the greatest possible strategic security’ by incorporating all mountain heights in Greek territory. The current border followed the natural watershed and could become the ‘basis of [Bulgarian] aggression’. Greece insisted that Bulgaria had used the vulnerability of the border to attack Greece thrice, in 1913, 1916 and 1941. [...]

As far as the Bulgarian–Greek frontier was concerned, the final debates in the Political and Territorial Commission for Bulgaria reflected the newly emerged political divisions in the Balkans. Greece proposed a change in the Greek–Bulgarian frontier that would follow the line of the Pirin and Rhodope Mountains and assign the Arda Valley to Greece. Yugoslavia countered that the current Bulgarian–Greek frontier, first outlined in 1913, was ‘completely just’. The Soviet Union defended Bulgaria as a ‘democratic country’ that had rejected the crimes of pre-war ‘fascist’ cliques and contributed to the German defeat. The United States, while ‘not impressed with Bulgarian arguments of commitment to democratic government’ and considering Greece a ‘valiant ally’, nevertheless remained ‘unconvinced that a change in the Greek–Bulgarian frontier would contribute to the general cause of peace and understanding in Southeast Europe’. Britain went along with the preservation of existing frontiers, even though it insisted that Greece was ‘fully justified in claiming full guarantees for strategic security of her frontiers’.

On 3 October 1946 the Greek proposal for a new ‘strategic frontier’ was rejected by eight votes (Australia, Belarus, Czechoslovakia, France, the Soviet Union, Ukraine, the United States and Yugoslavia) to two (Greece and South Africa) with three abstentions (Britain, New Zealand and India).

Prime Minister Tsaldaris bitterly concluded that, while Axis ally Bulgaria had emerged from the war retaining Southern Dobrudja, Allied Greece had been denied the opportunity to ‘regain security and peace behind the shelter of a defensible frontier’. In the end, unlike the Paris Peace settlement of 1919–20 that punished all Central Power allies, considerations related to the reconstruction of Europe and the emerging Cold War determined the relatively mild attitude vis-à-vis some Axis allies, such as Bulgaria.

As this is a connected issue: Bulgaria had also made territorial demands (relative to the pre-war borders). They wanted access to the Aegean, via [Western] Thrace. The Greek request was thus seen (by the Allies) as counter-balancing that:

The Potsdam Conference from 17 July to 2 August 1945, while focused on Germany and Poland, also saw a confrontation between the Big Three in regards to Bulgaria. The British firmly opposed Bulgarian requests for a territorial outlet to the Aegean, something that would have undermined British plans in the eastern Mediterranean. All parties agreed that the Greek demands for expansion in Bulgaria served as a tactical measure against Bulgarian aspirations in Thrace.

From "On ‘Strategic Frontiers’: Debating the Borders of the Post-Second World War Balkans" by T. Dragostinova

Unfortunately that source doesn't detail how the Bulgarian demand was ultimately decided. But I found another noting that:

the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia gave strong support to Bulgaria's claim for a window on the Aegean Sea.

However if that counts as the USSR having prevented the partition of Bulgaria, that's even more risible, because Bulgaria ultimately didn't get Western Thrace, as they demanded. Almost certainly the US opposed that as well.

There is something somewhat true, but happened earlier, in 1943 and as a threat for Bulgaria to leave the Axis (and evacuate occupied territories in Yugoslavia and Greece), but even that was not quite official British policy, let alone endorsed by the US:

The British Government’s primary demand was the cessation of Bulgarian occupation of Greek and Yugoslav territory. This was repeatedly stressed as the first requirement to be imposed by the Allies on a defeated Bulgaria. Even more importantly, the British Government displayed ambiguity towards Bulgaria’s independence after the war. Some internal FO documents reveal beliefs that Bulgaria should retain its sovereignty, yet it was considered vital that no official statement or propaganda should raise any ‘false hopes on this score’. On the contrary, in order to force Bulgaria’s detachment from the Axis, it should be constantly repeated that unless Bulgaria changed sides in the conflict, Britain would not pledge itself to the survival of an independent Bulgarian state. These views were communicated to the US State Department and formed the basis of Eden’s brief for the Moscow Conference in October 1943. The official British position was milder than alternatives investigated within the FO. For example, Douglas Howard, Head of the Southern Department, predicted that the resolution of the Bulgarian question lay either in ‘carving up Bulgaria between Yugoslavia and Greece with perhaps a separate Macedonian state or, annexation of some sort by Soviet Russia’. Such explicit opinions were, however, an exception among British diplomats and civil servants.

The FO maintained these views in the face of a somewhat more lenient US attitude towards Bulgaria. In early 1944, aiming like the British Government to knock Bulgaria out of the war the State Department elaborated a ‘long-range’ plan for that country. In US diplomatic thinking it was vital to give some encouragement to Bulgaria. Under the influence of officials, who like Rendel had served in Sofia before the war and continued to monitor Bulgarian developments, several proposals were forwarded for discussion with the FO. Among these was a declaration that there existed no intention to change the Bulgarian borders of March 1941 or to breach the country’s independence as long as the occupied territories were evacuated. The State Department went so far as to recommend an enquiry into a possible autonomy of Macedonia within Yugoslavia, and some minor territorial alterations which would benefit the western Bulgarian border. All this was unceremoniously ruled out by the FO which judged its US counterpart to be too sympathetic to the Bulgarians as a whole and to King Boris in particular. Some Whitehall officials even spoke of an ‘American appeasement plan’ in direct contradiction to British policy. In July 1943, Howard had warned that the Bulgarian Government could not be expected ‘to risk their necks and take matters in their own hands if they are given no encouragement to think that by doing so they will receive better treatment’. That is why he recommended ‘a bare announcement on the lines of [the] famous Albanian declaration to the effect that there will be an independent Bulgaria after the war’. But Sargent was opposed to ‘the smallest carrot’ for Bulgaria ruling out even a statement about the retention of Dobrudja. Eden approved of such toughness.

From Bulgaria in British Foreign Policy 1943-1949 by M. Stankova (pp. 47-50)

It's worth noting that Bulgaria ultimately met the Western/Allied demands for evacuating those areas in 1944 after playing some shenanigans in order to serve Moscow's interests in settling some sphere of influence percentage discussions:

Bulgarian troops, it was claimed, remained in the area pending instructions from the Allies: on two occasions (2 and 7 October 1944), the Bulgarian government claimed that since 16 September the Bulgarian Army had been under the orders of [Soviet] Marshal Tolbukhin. Since the latter had not ordered the withdrawal of Bulgarian forces from Greece, and as the Bulgarians considered him a representative of the Allied Military Forces in the Balkans, they now requested either a joint communication by the three Allied powers for withdrawal, or categorical instructions from Tolbukhin on the dispersal of Bulgarian forces. As they now stated, ‘the Bulgarian government has never refused and will not refuse to fulfil a joint and clearly expressed request by the three Allied powers for withdrawal of all Bulgarian troops from [Greek] Thrace and Yugoslavia.’ The Bulgarians became increasingly bold, abandoning all other pretexts and arguments and professing a readiness to evacuate occupied territory, provided that either a joint communiqué was issued by Britain, the US and the USSR or that Marshall Tolbukhin issued relevant orders.

[...] The specific question of the Bulgarian presence on Greek soil was discussed in the meeting between Eden and Molotov, both on 10 and on 11 October 1944. Both the official record and Eden’s diary show clearly that the Soviets were withholding action on the evacuation of Greek territory until ‘an agreement could be reached on all points’. When the percentages agreement was initially struck during the meeting between Stalin and Churchill on 9 October, the road was opened; and once the precise percentages were agreed between Eden and Molotov, the Soviets took action. On 11 October 1944, just two days into the conference, the USSR agreed to the delivery by Britain, US and the USSR of a joint statement to Bulgaria; in this the ‘Big Three’ stated that the evacuation of occupied territory was a preliminary condition for any negotiations for an armistice. The Bulgarian government accepted the precondition on the same day (11 October). [...]

The evacuation was reported complete by 25 October 1944, a day before the fortnight prescribed by the precondition. [Armistice was then signed the next day.]

After the Moscow conference and the percentages agreement, Bulgaria (together with Rumania) was placed firmly in the Soviet sphere, US reservations notwithstanding. With this goal achieved, Moscow was content not only to sacrifice the territorial awards Bulgaria had received in 1941, but even to abstain from any action in or against Greece that might jeopardize the bargain struck in Moscow; indeed this was a policy generally adhered to for the rest of the 1940s.

BTW, another obscure fact (perhaps) from Stankova. The British conducted a psyops campaign against Bulgaria in 1942-43, threatening a Balkan invasion/campaign, which they had no intention of carrying out. This was in part as a cover for (and distraction from) the Normandy landings, but also hoping to convince/scare Bulgaria to break off from the Axis. The US-UK bombing campaigns of '43 and '44 (hitting Sofia etc.) had this among their goals too. (p. 80-83)

Also, the US (but not the UK) conducted secret negotiations with the Axis-aligned Bulgarian gov't in '43. But these were then somewhat undermined by the Soviets, who--when asked by the Bulgarians at the beginning of '44--only demanded Bulgaria to withdraw from Serbia. (p. 93) Subsequently, there was widespread perception in Bulgarian political circles that the Allies didn't have a common position, at least in their regard. So, at that point, the USSR was perhaps implicitly promising much more to Bulgaria than later, in Oct '44, when they finally agreed to the UK+US demands at Bulgarian evacuation from Yugoslavia + Greece.

Interestingly (p. 100) this about when the story that the USSR was saving Bulgaria from Western plans probably [first] originated:

the Soviet attitude towards the Bulgarian Government stiffened and in mid-April 1944 the latter was faced with Soviet complaints that it was aiding the German war effort by providing transportation, ports and air-fields to Axis troops retreating from the Eastern front. To Bulgarian protestations of innocence, the Soviet Government replied with demands for the re-opening of Soviet Consulates and establishment of new ones so as to be able to verify Bulgarian claims for non-collaboration with Germany. The Bulgarian Government was told it should appreciate how much Soviet Russia was doing to save Bulgaria from evil Western designs.

which is citing for that last point what seem to be a telegram: TsDIA - AMVnR, op.176, op.15, a.e.78, 80, Ankara to Sofia 6.03., 20.05.1944

The rumors also went the other way:

In late August 1944 Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, the British Ambassador in Moscow, related to Molotov rumours that Bulgaria was going to ask the USSR for an armistice as soon as the Red Army appeared on the Danube, and in response the Soviet Government was going to intercede with the Allies so that Bulgaria could keep the occupied territories. The Soviet Foreign Minister refuted these stories as complete lies.

And while we're spilling the beans on this, another interesting factoid (p. 127)

four years earlier [1940?], in its proposal for a non-aggression pact the Soviet Union had offered Bulgaria an outlet on the Aegean in return for Soviet bases on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.

Some books including that of Stankova say that Bulgaria made somewhat unclear demands in Paris wrt to Thrace. That doesn't really seem to me to be the case. The full text of their demands as proposed amendments can be found in the US archives on-line:

II. Amendment to Article I of the Draft Peace Treaty With Bulgaria (Territorial Clauses)

The Bulgarian Delegation proposes that Article I of the Draft Peace Treaty be amended in such a way that the Greco-Bulgarian frontier, fixed by the Treaty of Bucharest of August 10, 1913, is re-established.

This frontier left Bulgaria in possession of Western Thrace, although it was drawn after a war which had an unfortunate end for Bulgaria. In this manner, Bulgaria would keep a natural outlet to the Aegean Sea which is of vital importance for her national economy.

The separation of Western Thrace from Bulgaria which took place later created an abnormal situation by dividing regions which form an indivisible geographical and economic whole. This decision was, moreover, imposed against the opinion of certain delegation to the Peace Conference of 1919 and in the absence of certain Great Powers. Since then, the problem of Western Thrace and Bulgaria’s outlet to the Aegean Sea has remained open and unsolved.

The return to Bulgaria of Western Thrace would remove a grave injustice committed against the Bulgarian people. This solution would, at the same time, create favourable conditions by which not [Page 241]only Bulgaria but neighbouring countries would profit and would help in the establishment of true and lasting collaboration among Balkan peoples.

The Bulgarian delegation therefore proposes that Article 1 of the draft Peace Treaty with Bulgaria be amended and worded as follows:

“The frontiers of Bulgaria, as shown on the map attached to the present Treaty (Annex 1) shall be the same as existed on 1st January 1941, with the exception of the Greco-Bulgarian frontier which shall be the same as was established by the Treaty of Bucharest of 10th August 1913.”

Wikipedia has a map of what the would have entailed in the South of Bulgaria:

enter image description here


Potsdam Conference of Three - USSR, USA, UK. The delegations leaded by Stalin, Truman(after Roosevelt gone in april), Churchill.

The main sense for Bulgaria was that USA and UK was agreed to admit the Italia membership in the UN and concluded a peace treaty, but they didn't want to admit Bulgaria, Hungry, Romania, Finland to the UN, because they was in the influence of "the Red zone", this cause had created problems for peace treaties with them:

The American delegation proposed to sign two separate documents with recommendations on Italy and other satellite countries of Germany, while the Soviet side advocated a single document...
In response to this ultimatum, I. V. Stalin blocked the issue of legitimizing of Italy, depriving it of support for joining the UN, and flatly refused to join the American draft resolution.

The final formula was:

The minutes of the conference stated that the Governments of the three Powers, "each separately, agree to study in the near future, in the light of the conditions that will then exist, the issue of establishing diplomatic relations with Finland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary to the extent possible before concluding peace treaties with these countries."

Thus Stalin played a key role in legalizing the status of Bulgaria(and others) - their acceptance in the UN, and laid the foundations for further peaceful private negotiations - the Paris Peace Conference lasted from 29 July until 15 October 1946 and finally the Paris Peace Treaties 1947..


  1. Russian Ministry of Defence. Berlin (Potsdam) Conference of 1945.

It was not only Stalin personal wish, ofcourse, but the geopolitical cause and the historically friendship and brotherhood of Russia-Bulgaria were the basis of the strategic line of Stalin and the Soviet Union.

The Story began in 19-20 century and the first stage was ended in 1912-1913 - Balkan Wars. Bulgaria main purpose was to get access to the Aegean sea. The strengthening of Bulgaria was corresponded to the Russia geopolitical interests.

Bulgaria, Greece and some others Balkan states(also the new Albania) battled for the Osman Empire(Turkey) European territories. B.W. led to an aggravation of international relations. contradictions in Europe, hastening the beginning of the 1st World War.

(Western) Thrace belonged to Bulgaria 1913 - Bucharest peace treaty.
But in 1919 Western Thrace was tore off from Bulgaria to Greece by the Entente countries

The Soviet Union did not participate in the Peace Conference in Neuilly, nor in subsequent conferences that took decisions on this important area.(Novikov, memoirs), because of Russian civil war.

enter image description here

enter image description here

So, the question was about the Thracia territories - Northern and Western.

Bulgaria ceded Western Thracia to Greece by The Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine 1919:

to cede Western Thrace to the Entente (which awarded it to Greece at the San Remo conference) thereby cutting off Bulgaria's direct outlet to the Aegean Sea. wiki

  1. The Russia-Bulgaria brotherhood goes deep to Russian Empire and deeper to Russian Orthodox faith - IX-X century. Bulgaria has more then 400 monument dedicated to Russian. Russian first printers and creators of Russian Alfabet was bulgarians ethnically, the Byzantines - Ciril and Methodius.

  2. As you see Thracia is the geopolitical rift - East to Turkey and North to Bulgaria (combine with geopolitical interests USSR-Russia), and the new Western part to Greece (combine with interests of USA+UK.. in 1919)*

That is why Stalin, Molotov and USSR diplomacy had cared about Bulgaria-Greece boarders in 1944-46, with the sense that Greece belong to West block, and Bulgaria to Soviet Protection.

The Paris Peace Conference

*USA+UK It is worth noting, that the UK position about all of the questions was radically to USSR's, and the US hold it would seem a more balanced position, but in clear sense it was like a method of "angry cop and kind cop" where the US was a "kind cop".

But SU and Bulgaria delegations tried to solve Western Thracia to the favor of Bulgaria.

T.V. Volokitina From the history of the post-war territorial settlement: the Bulgarian component of the "Greek question".(on rus) 1944–1946 уу.:

6 сентября 1946 г... Новиков вернулся и к вопросу о Западной Фракии, поддержав болгарскую поправку к статье 1 проекта мирного договора, выработанного на сессиях СМИД. Согласно поправке, границы Болгарии предлагалось установить по состоянию на 1 января 1941 г., за единственным исключением: болгаро-греческая граница должна соответствовать Бухарестскому договору от 10 августа 1913 г., по которому Западная Фракия отходила к Болгарии...
Таким образом, советский блок выступал за передачу Западной Фракии Болгарии и против «стратегического исправления» границы. О проекте «интернационализации» региона уже и не вспоминали. Другие делегации единодушно выразили противоположное мнение относительно Западной Фракии, но по вопросу о новой границе только Южно-Африканский союз поддержал Грецию. Остальные делегации или проголосовали «против», или воздержались.
Стр 281-282


On September 6, 1946, Novikov returned to the issue of Western Thrace, supporting the Bulgarian amendment to article 1 of the draft peace treaty worked out at the sessions of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs. According to the amendment, the borders of Bulgaria were proposed to be established as of January 1, 1941, with the only exception: the Bulgarian-Greek border should correspond to the Bucharest Treaty of August 10, 1913, according to which Western Thrace retreated to Bulgaria ...
Thus, the Soviet bloc advocated the transfer of Western Thrace to Bulgaria and opposed the "strategic correction" boundaries. The project of "internationalization" of the region was no longer remembered. Other delegations unanimously expressed the opposite opinion regarding Western Thrace, but only the South African Union supported Greece on the issue of a new border. The remaining delegations either voted "against" or abstained.

Процесс обсуждения в Комиссии по Болгарии осложнился неожиданно возникшим «инцидентом». 13 сентября Пипинелис предложил запросить «компетентное мнение знающих людей», а именно Военную комиссию конференции, о необходимости «стратегической поправки» болгаро-греческой границы в пользу Греции...
Скандал на заседании, кстати, единственный на конференции, получил широкое освещение в печати... «New York Herald Tribune» 15 сентября 1946 г. писала: «Впервые на конференции заседание закончилось таким замешательством и раздражением. Это означает прямой раскол между Востоком и Западом…


The discussion process in the Commission on Bulgaria was complicated by an unexpected "incident". On September 13 , Pipinelis proposed to request the "competent opinion of knowledgeable people", namely the Military Commission of the Conference, on the need for a "strategic amendment" of the Bulgarian-Greek border in favor of Greece.
The scandal at the meeting, by the way, the only one at the conference, was widely covered in the press... The New York Herald Tribune wrote on September 15, 1946: "For the first time at the conference, the meeting ended in such confusion and irritation. This means a direct split between East and West… p.283

According to Novikov (Novikov's memoirs):

... греческие претензии к Болгарии по территориальным вопросам были изложены в речи К. Цалдариса на пленарном заседании 3 августа. Премьер-министр Греции открыто потребовал аннексии болгарской Северной Фракии. Для Болгарии это означало бы потерю 10 процентов национальной территории с населением в 300 тысяч человек.


.. Greek claims against Bulgaria on territorial issues were set out in the speech of K. Tsaldaris at the plenary session on August 3. The Greek Prime Minister openly demanded the annexation of the Bulgarian Northern Thrace. For Bulgaria, this would mean the loss of 10 percent of the national territory with a population of 300 thousand people.

«Советский Союз никогда не одобрял этих решений и не присоединялся к ним, в силу чего Советское Правительство не считает себя связанным этими решениями, которые оно рассматривает как несправедливые в отношении Болгарии. В определении своей позиции на данной конференции Советское Правительство руководствуется соображениями восстановления исторической справедливости и с сочувствием относится к стремлению Болгарии возвратить отнятую у нее область, столь важную для нее по своему значению, как естественный выход к Эгейскому морю».

Tr.: "The Soviet Union has never approved of these decisions and has not joined them, which is why the Soviet Government does not consider itself bound by these decisions, which it regards as unfair to Bulgaria. In determining its position at this conference, the Soviet Government is guided by considerations of restoring historical justice and sympathizes with Bulgaria's desire to return the area taken from her, so important for her in its significance as a natural outlet to the Aegean Sea."

So, the SU took a position that the maximum is to return the "natural outlet to the Aegean Sea" - Western Thracia to Bulgaria. And the US+UK position was to tore The Northern Thracia to Greece. The whole process of complex negotiations is outlined in the article From the history of the post-war territorial settlement: the Bulgarian component of the "Greek question".(on rus) 1944–1946 уу. - after p.273 - p.288...

But ofcourse to reset the boarders for the state up before 1919 was unreal ideal at that time. As Molotov had said(p.287):

...Надо знать меру. Это расстроило бы очень многие дела. Англичане и французы выступили бы против. У нас сразу бы получилась раскоряка в начале мирного периода. Этот вопрос поставили, но было невозможно... Желательно, но не своевременно.


"You need to know the measure. It would upset a lot of things. The British and French would have opposed it. We would have had a trouble right away at the beginning of the peace period. This question was raised, but it was impossible... Preferably, but not in a timely manner."

And it was the clear sense that the country that was in the status of German ally couldn't to claim for an increase in the territory.

Result Paris treaties 1947:

But anyway the effort of Soviet diplomacy brought hole victory to Bulgaria saved almost whole of territories (the exception of the cession of Czechoslovakia to a small territory near the city of Bratislava) without cede nothing to Greece.

And i have to say, that if the Russia-cancelling movement will won in Bulgaria, Bulgaria have a great chances to cede territories again(like in 1919) if any occasion, or cease to exist a sovereign state.

More historical narrative details are following the sources:

1 From the history of the post-war territorial settlement: the Bulgarian component of the "Greek question".(on rus) 1944–1946 уу.

2 Novikov's memoirs - part 7 follow link.

3 България в секретния архив на Сталин От правителството на Кимон Георгиев до смъртта на Сталин - and this one about Stalin, the new declassified archives 2009.

The official narration according to Russian MID article(Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs):

Договор с каждой из побежденных стран разрабатывался при участии государств, подписавших с ней соглашение о перемирии или условия капитуляции. Этот принцип получил название формулы «4-3-2». Так, в подготовке договора с Италией участвовали СССР, США, Великобритания и Франция; с Болгарией, Венгрией и Румынией - СССР, США и Великобритания; с Финляндией - СССР и Великобритания. Советской делегации удалось отстоять следование этой формуле и отвести попытки англосаксов привлечь Францию и Китай к обсуждению всех 5 договоров.

Проекты 5 мирных договоров были опубликованы 30 июля 1946 г. [«Известия», 1августа 1946 г.]

В основе договоров с Болгарией, Венгрией, Румынией и Финляндией лежали условия перемирий, заключённых с этими государствами, что отвечало советским требованиям. Тем не менее, по целому ряду проблем на ПМК разгорелась острая политическая борьба.

Притязания Греции на часть албанской (Северный Эпир) и болгарской территорий вызвали сопротивление большинства делегаций, однако вопрос о границе Греции с Болгарией, наряду с Триестом и проблемой итальянских колоний, так и остался на том этапе неурегулированным.

Обсуждение экономических вопросов также проходило непросто. Западные державы требовали выплачивать репарации не товарами, а иностранной валютой (американскими долларами и фунтами стерлингов), компенсировать имущество на территории вражеских государств в объёме 75%, предоставить свободу судоходства по Дунаю всем государствам, поддержали позицию Греции, требовавшей высоких репарационных выплат от Италии и Болгарии. Всё это не без оснований воспринималось советской делегацией как попытка США и Великобритании усилить своё экономическое и финансовое влияние в Южной и Юго-Восточной Европе.

Несмотря на сложность работы и противоречия, с приближением сессии Генеральной Ассамблеи ООН (23 октября), в которой предполагалось участие глав многих делегаций, ход переговоров ускорился. В этих условиях в рекордный срок, к 15 октября 1946 г., были подготовлены рекомендации по договорам с бывшими союзниками Германии, которые обсуждались на сессии СМИД в Нью-Йорке, проходившей с 4 ноября по 12 декабря 1946 г. В итоге напряжённых переговоров были достигнуты компромиссные решения по Триесту, по режиму судоходства на Дунае. Были учтены советские предложения по проблемам итальянских репараций, греко-болгарской границе и другие. В совокупности СМИД одобрил 71 рекомендацию, разработанную на ПМК (47 из 53, принятых большинством в 2/3 голосов, 24 из 41 - простым большинством). Это позволило завершить подготовку Парижских мирных договоров.

  • Болгарские границы восстанавливались по состоянию на 1 января 1941 г., венгерские границы — по состоянию на 1 января 1938 г., за исключением уступки Чехословакии небольшой территории в районе города Братислава.

Болгария выплачивала Греции 45 млн. долл., Югославии - 25 млн. долл.;

The translation of the highlights:

Greece's claims to part of the Albanian (Northern Epirus) and Bulgarian territories provoked the resistance of most delegations, but the issue of Greece's border with Bulgaria, along with Trieste and the problem of the Italian colonies, remained unresolved at that stage.

The Western states demanded to pay reparations not in goods, but in foreign currency (US dollars and pounds sterling), to compensate property on the territory of adversary states in the amount of 75%, to grant freedom of navigation on the Danube to all states, they supported the position of Greece, which demanded high reparations payments from Italy and Bulgaria.

As a result of intense negotiations, compromise solutions were reached on Trieste, on the regime of navigation on the Danube. Soviet proposals on the problems of Italian reparations, the Greek-Bulgarian border and others were taken into account.


  • The Bulgarian borders were restored as of January 1, 1941, the Hungarian borders — as of January 1, 1938, with the exception of the cession of Czechoslovakia to a small territory near the city of Bratislava.

Bulgaria paid $45 million to Greece and $25 million to Yugoslavia.;

Another reasons to Russian Bulgaria relations.

According to major archived unclassified documents (USSR-Russia) of the liberation of the territory of Bulgaria occupied by fascists(nazists):

According to modern scientific estimates, the total irretrievable causalities of the Red Army troops during the liberation of the territory of Bulgaria amounted to 977 people (Russia and the USSR in the wars of the XX century. The Book of losses / G. F. Krivosheev, V. M. Andronnikov, P. D. Burikov, etc. M.: Veche, 2010. p. 488).

The total irretrievable causalities was more then 30 thousands of bulgarian people (partisans, troops of resistance movement..) while resisting Nazi occupation.

Also the demolition of the monument is illegal because of violated the Russia-Bulgaria Frendship treaties of 4.08.1992 and the Russian-Bulgaria governments culture and science partnership treaties 19.04.1993 - Russian official position.

The monument of "The Soviet Army - Liberator" clean and vandalized.

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  • 7
    Since this is an English language site, a translation into English is required.
    – Steve Bird
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 23:18
  • @MCW: the highlighted parts talk mostly about the Greek demands for reparations from Italy and Bulgaria. This is presented as a 'Western' demand by Russia's MFA. There's more vague passage about the settlement of the Greece-Bulgaria border, which allegedly was decided [more] favorably in Bulgaria's favor at the intervention of the USSR. Too vague and political spin to be a real answer IMHO, even after translation, but I won't quite DV. Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 14:07
  • @Fizz, okey my dear sceptic, i added more facts and narratives. i think now even you should not to have any doubts. Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 0:47
  • TBH those make the answer worse. Few doubt Pan-Slavism and Soviet monuments. The Q is much more specific. Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 1:22
  • @Fizz The claim that the US/UK would propose or even tolerate the dismemberment of Bulgaria seems to not align well with this attitude. Were there really any serious intentions of partitioning Bulgaria? - that is a question wording. And the answer - yes, because this is their strategic since 1919 atleast. i read "Strategic?". But you read another, something like "bloody Stalin"? i donno really, tell me what had you read? Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 1:43

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