Rumen Radev

Rumen Georgiev Radev (Bulgarian: Румен Георгиев Радев; born 18 June 1963) is a Bulgarian politician and former Major General who is the current President of Bulgaria since January 22, 2017. Radev previously served as Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force.[1] He won the 2016 presidential election, as an independent candidate supported by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, defeating GERB candidate Tsetska Tsacheva in the second round.[2][3][4][5]

Rumen Radev
Rumen Radev official
5th President of Bulgaria
Assumed office
22 January 2017
Prime MinisterBoyko Borisov
Ognyan Gerdzhikov (Acting)
Boyko Borisov
Vice PresidentIliana Iotova
Preceded byRosen Plevneliev
Personal details
Rumen Georgiev Radev

18 June 1963 (age 55)
Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria
Political partyIndependent (1990–present)
Spouse(s)Ginka Radeva (?–2014; divorced)
Desislava Radeva (2016–present)
ChildrenDarina (b. 2001)
Georgi (b. 2003)
Alma materBulgarian Air Force University
Rakovski Military Academy
Air War College
Military service
Allegiance People's Republic of Bulgaria
Branch/serviceRoundel of Bulgaria.svg Bulgarian Air Force
Years of service1987–2017
RankMajor General


Radev was born on June 18, 1963 in Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria. His family is from Slavyanovo in the Haskovo region. In 1982 he graduated from the Mathematical School in Haskovo with a gold medal. He graduated from the Georgi Benkovski Bulgarian Air Force University in 1987 as the top graduate. In 1992, he graduated from the US Air Force Squadron Officer School at Maxwell AFB. From 1994 to 1996, he studied at the Rakovski Defence and Staff College, where he was also the top graduate. He holds a Doctor of Military Sciences degree in the field of improvement of tactical training of flight crews and simulation of air combat.

In 2003 he graduated from Air War College at Maxwell AFB in the United States with a Master of Strategic Studies with honors.[1]

Reuven Rivlin greeting Roman Radev, March 2018 (8651)
Radev with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, March 20, 2018

Military career

1930978 Rumen Radev, Frank Gorenc and Constantin Popov in Bulgaria 2015 cropped
Radev with U.S. Air Force Gen. Frank Gorenc in Bulgaria
  • 1987 – 1989: Junior pilot in the 15th Fighter Aviation Regiment – Ravnets
  • 1989 – 1992: Unit deputy commander at the 15th Fighter Aviation Regiment – Ravnets
  • 1992 – 1997: Unit commander at the 15th Fighter Aviation Regiment – Ravnets
  • 1997 – 1999: MiG-29 squadron commander at the Fifth Fighter Airbase – Ravnets
  • 1999 – 2000: Deputy commander for flight preparation at the Fifth Fighter Airbase – Ravnets
  • 2000: Deputy commander for flight training at the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo
  • 2000 – Study of the Air defence of the Republic of Bulgaria – NATO, Brussels
  • 2000 – 2002: Chief of Staff of the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo
  • 2002 – 2004: Chief of Staff of the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo
  • 2004 – 2009: Commander of the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo
  • 2009 – 2014: Bulgarian Air Force deputy commander
  • 2014 – 2017: Bulgarian Air Force commander

Flight information

Military ranks

  • 1987 – Lieutenant
  • 1989 – Senior Lieutenant
  • 1994 – Captain
  • 1997 – Major
  • 1999 – Lieutenant Colonel
  • 2002 – Colonel
  • 2007 – Brigadier General
  • 2014 – Major General
  • 2017 – General (Commander-In-Chief)


2014 International Honor Roll Induction 141203-F-EX201-014
Induction of Rumen Radev into the International Honor Roll, Dec. 3, 2014

Rumen Radev was awarded numerous medals and prizes, including the sign "For loyal service under the flags" – III degree, and Honorary sign of the Ministry of Defence "Saint George" – II degree.[1]


National honours

Foreign honours


Vladimir Putin and Rumen Radev (2018-05-22) 03
Radev with Vladimir Putin in Sochi, May 22, 2018

In August 2016, the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABR) officially nominated Radev as a candidate for the November 2016 presidential election.[2][8][9] In the same month, ABR withdrew its presidential nomination of General Radev[10] in favour of Ivaylo Kalfin.

On the first round of the election, conducted on November 6, 2016, Radev came first with 25.44% of the vote.[11] He faced GERB candidate Tsetska Tsacheva in the runoff the following Sunday, November 13. He defeated her, winning 59.37% of the popular vote.[12]

On 24 January 2018, Radev condemned the Turkish invasion of northern Syria aimed at ousting U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds from the enclave of Afrin, and insisted that the European Union should intervene to stop it.[13][14]

Family and private life

Radev has two children from his first marriage to Ginka Radeva, which ended in a divorce in 2014: a daughter Darina, born in 2001 and a son Georgi, born in 2003.

He later married Desislava Gencheva, who was previously married to the BSP MP Georgi Svilenski.

Apart from Bulgarian, Radev is also fluent in Russian, German and English.[15]


  1. ^ a b c ((bg)) Major General Rumen Radev // Department of Defence. Retrieved August 11, 2016
  2. ^ a b BSP elected Gen. Radev as a presidential candidate with 99 votes, Bulgarian National Radio, Radio "Sofia", August 17, 2016
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Pro-Russia candidate wins Bulgaria's presidential run-off". 13 November 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Bulgaria Faces Uncertainty After Election Of Pro-Russia President". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 13 November 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  6. ^ – Bulgarian Air Force
  7. ^ – Flight Video & Photo
  8. ^ BSP officially nominated gen. Rumen Radev for the presidential elections, "Dnevnik", August 17, 2016
  9. ^ ABR officially nominated gen. Rumen Radev for the presidential elections too, BNT, August 17, 2016
  10. ^ Counterstrike of ABR – it withdrew its support for General Rumen Radev, author: Dilyana Panajotova, August 24, 2016
  11. ^ "Резултати за президент и вицепрезидент на републиката". Central Electoral Commission. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  12. ^ "Резултати за президент и вицепрезидент на републиката". Central Electoral Commission. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Bulgarian President calls for EU intervention against Turkish Syria incursion – Ahval". Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Bulgaristan'dan AB'ye: Afrin'e acil müdahale edin". Arti Gerçek. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Radev, a former pilot of Russian MIG 29 jet fighters who is fluent in Russian and English, insists that as a NATO general his loyalty is with Bulgaria's allies". Euractiv. Retrieved May 27, 2018.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Rosen Plevneliev
President of Bulgaria
1899 Bulgarian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Bulgaria on 25 April 1899. The result was a victory for the Liberal Party, which won 89 of the 169 seats. Voter turnout was 49.5%.

1922 Bulgarian war criminal prosecution referendum

A referendum on the prosecution of war criminals was held in Bulgaria on 19 November 1922. It was approved by 74.33% of voters.

1946 Bulgarian republic referendum

A referendum on becoming a republic was held in Bulgaria on 8 September 1946. The result was 95.6% in favour of the change, with voter turnout reported to be 91.7%. Following the referendum, a republican constitution was introduced the following year.

2016 Bulgarian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Bulgaria on 6 November 2016, alongside a referendum on changes to the electoral system and political party funding. The second round was held on 13 November 2016, resulting in the victory of Rumen Radev.

2017 in Bulgaria

Events in the year 2017 in Bulgaria.

2021 Bulgarian presidential election

Presidential elections are scheduled to be held in Bulgaria in 2021, although they may be held earlier if the office of President become vacated as a result of death, resignation or removal from office. The incumbent president, Rumen Radev, is eligible for re-election.

Alexander Dimitrov

Alexander Dimitrov (Bulgarian: Александър Димитров) was born in 1973 in Sofia. He holds a master's degree in Electrical Machinery from the Technical University - Sofia and a master's degree in Marketing and Management from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

Alexander Dimitrov started his career in the cosmetic industry taking various leadership positions in Sarantis Bulgaria (1996 – 1999), Sarantis Czech Republic (1999 – 2000), and Intercosmetics (2000 – 2001).

Alexander Dimitrov is Chief Executive Officer of A1 Bulgaria, formerly known as Mtel, before its rebranding in 2018. He has over 15 years of experience in the telecommunication industry.

Alexander Dimitrov joined Mtel’s team from Vivacom, another Bulgarian telecom, where he was Chief Commercial Officer since 2008. Previously, from 2001 till 2006, he was Commercial Director of Germanos Telecom Bulgaria, a mobile products and services dealers’ chain, and from 2006 till 2008 – a Chief Executive Officer of the company.He was named Manager of the Year 2018 in the most prestigious competition for leadership achievements in the Bulgaria. The award was given to him by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev, after months-long process of evaluation and selection of candidates carried out by Deloitte Bulgaria. Alexander Dimitrov took with him two other prizes - the “Viewers’ choice” award by bTV, which was decided by a poll on the media's website and the special “Mission in favor of the society” award, which was given by the “24 Chasa” daily.

Alexander Dimitrov is also a member of the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria's Management Board as of March 2017.

April 1923 Bulgarian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Bulgaria on 22 April 1923. The result was a victory for the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union, which won 212 of the 245 seats. Voter turnout was 86.5%.

Bulgarian Business Bloc

The Bulgarian Business Bloc (Bulgarian: Български бизнес блок, Bulgarski biznes blok, BBB) was a political party in Bulgaria.

First Lady of Bulgaria

The First Lady of Bulgaria (Bulgarian: Първа дама на България) is an unofficial honorific applied to the wife of the President of Bulgaria. Officially, her term as first lady is concurrent with her husband's term in office. The first lady often accompanies the head of state during state visits and official functions. The title of First lady was first used in Bulgaria in the early 1990s, following the example of the United States.

The current First Lady is Desislava Radeva, the wife of the 5th President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev. At present, have been five first ladies of the Republic of Bulgaria, including Radeva.

Iliana Iotova

Iliana Malinova Iotova (Bulgarian: Илияна Малинова Йотова) (born 24 October 1964) is a Bulgarian politician who has served as Vice President of Bulgaria since 2017. She was the running mate of Rumen Radev, who defeated GERB nominee Tsetska Tsacheva in the second round of the 2016 presidential election. She was a Member of the European Parliament from 2007 until her resignation on 16 January 2017. In the EP she sat on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and was a substitute for the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. She also participated in the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. She speaks Bulgarian, French and English.

List of Heads of state of Bulgaria by longevity

This is a List of heads of state of Bulgaria in order of longevity. There are currently four Tsars on the list, one of whom are living. There are currently six communist heads of state, none of whom are living. There are currently six Presidents, four of whom are living. The list is in descending order and is correct as of 16 May 2019. The longest-lived heads of state was Ferdinand I (1861–1948).

To account for the different number of leap days within the life of each heads of state, two measures of longevity are given. The first is the number of whole years the heads of state lived, and the number of days past their last birthday. The second list the total number of days lived by the heads of state, accounting for differing numbers of leap years within the lifespans of different heads of state.

List of presidents of Bulgaria (1990-present)

The modern Bulgarian presidency was formed in 1990 after the fall of the Bulgarian People's Republic. After the completion of the second round of voting in the 2016 Bulgarian presidential election, Rumen Radev was elected on 13 November 2016.

In the Third Bulgarian State, the functions of head of state were performed by the reigning monarch or through a regency. Later on in the communist era, the Chairman of the State Council of Bulgaria served as the paramount head of state of the People's Republic of Bulgaria. Despite this, the General Secretary of the Bulgarian Communist Party also served de facto representative and executive for the country during this period. The following is a list of presidents of Bulgaria since the modern republic was established in 1990.

Mikhail Popov (general)

Major General Mikhail Dmitrov Popov (Bulgarian: Михаил Димитров Попов; born 23 December 1963) is a Bulgarian Major general and military leader who is the current Commander of the Bulgarian Land Forces since 2017.

He was born in Sliven, in the south-eastern part of the Bulgarian People's Republic on 23 December 1963. He graduated from Dobri Chintulov High School in 1981 from which he joined the Bulgarian People's Army (BNA) shortly thereafter. In the 4 years that followed, he studied at the Vasil Levski Military All-Army University in Veliko Tarnovo specializing in Intelligence assessment before graduating in 1985. After graduating, he immediately became the commander of an intelligence platoon, a position he held for one year before serving in an intelligence company until 1988. 3 years after the fall of communism in Bulgaria, he joined the newly established Bulgarian Armed Forces where he first sserved as a cadet in the Georgi Rakovski Military Academy. He continued his intelligence career in the armed forces, serving as a commander of a reconnaissance battalion before commanding an infantry battalion in Iraq in 2004. From 2005-2006, he studied at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Popov would later become the head of a Bulgarian contingent in Tampa, Florida in 2011. Popov had been the leader of many brigades including the 68th Special Forces brigade before being appointed as deputy commander of the Land Forces in 2015. He would serve in this position until becoming the commander of the Bulgarian Land Forces in April 2017 by order of President Rumen Radev.He was awarded the Polish Army Bronze Medal by Polish Minister of Defense Jerzy Szmajdziński in 2004, as well as a personal weapon by the Bulgarian Minister of Defense Nikolay Svinarov.

Petar Kichashki

Petar Kichashki (Bulgarian: Петър Кичашки) is a Bulgarian jurist, human rights advocate, public figure, executive-director of the Institute of Modern Politics, co-founder of the civil society "Modern Bulgaria" movement, author of more than 200 articles. In 2017 was appointed as a member of the Bulgarian Commission for Protection Against Discrimination from the Bulgarian president Rumen Radev.

Politics of Bulgaria

The politics of Bulgaria take place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime minister is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

After 1989, after forty-five years of single party system, Bulgaria had an unstable party system, dominated by democratic parties and opposition to socialists - the Union of Democratic Forces and several personalistic parties and the post-communist Bulgarian Socialist Party or its creatures, which emerged for a short period of time in the past decade, personalistic parties could be seen as the governing Simeon II's NDSV party and Boyko Borisov's GERB party. Today, the president is Rumen Radev

Bulgaria has generally good freedom of speech and human rights records as reported by the US Library of Congress Federal Research Division in 2006, while Freedom House listed it as "free" in 2011, giving it scores of 2 for political rights and 2 for civil liberties. However, in 2014, there is some concern that the proposed new Penal Code would limit freedom of the press and assembly, and as a consequence freedom of speech. The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Bulgaria as "flawed democracy" in 2016.

President of Bulgaria

The President of the Republic of Bulgaria is the head of state of Bulgaria and the commander-in-chief of the Bulgarian Army. The official residence of the President is at Boyana Residence, Sofia. After the completion of the second round of voting, candidate Rumen Radev was elected President of Bulgaria on 13 November 2016.

Running mate

A running mate is a person running together with another person on a joint ticket during an election. The term is most often used in reference to the person in the subordinate position (such as the vice presidential candidate running with a presidential candidate) but can also properly be used when referring to both candidates, such as by saying Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla, and Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, were running mates in relation to the presidential elections held in Indonesia in 2014 and Kenya in 2013 respectively.

Running mates may be chosen, by custom or by law, to balance the ticket geographically, ideologically, or personally; examples of such a custom for each of the criteria are, geographically, in Nigerian presidential elections, in which a presidential candidate from the predominantly Christian south is typically matched with a vice presidential candidate from the predominantly Muslim north, and vice versa, ideologically, the Brazilian general elections in 2010 and 2014, where Dilma Rousseff of the left-wing Workers' Party ran alongside Michel Temer of the center-right Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, and, personally, the Bulgarian presidential election, 2016, in which both candidates who went on to the second round of voting, Rumen Radev and Tsetska Tsacheva, had running mates of the opposite gender. The objective is to create a more widespread appeal for the ticket and the results can range from assisting the resulting pair of candidates in appealing to a larger base of people to deterring voters who were initially inclined to vote for the running candidate, but may have been put off by the choice of the running mate.

The term is usually used in countries in which the offices of President and Vice President are both directly elected on the same ticket, in reference to a prospective Vice President. However, there are countries, such as the Philippines and (nominally) Cyprus, in which the President and Vice-President are elected on separate tickets, and frequently, this results in them being from different political parties - indeed, when the Philippine Vice-Presidential position was restored in 1987, only once were the President and Vice-President elected from the same ticket, in 2004. Further, in other countries, such as Botswana and Venezuela, the Vice-President is legally appointed by the President in all cases (unlike, for instance, the United States, in which the President appoints a Vice-President only in case of a vacancy, or Taiwan, in which the President nominates candidates for Vice-President in case of a vacancy and the Legislative Council elects one of them to fill the vacancy).

In cases of both separate elections and appointments, the President and Vice-President are not considered running mates because they are not elected on the same ticket.

Heads of state of Bulgaria (since 1946)
People's Republic of Bulgaria
Republic of Bulgaria

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