Alex Alexiev, political scientist, security expert, and former director of Radio Free Europe’s (RFE) Bulgarian Service, passed away on July 28 at the age of 77 in his native country. He was the son of the famous Bulgarian writer, cartoonist, and publisher Raiko Aleksiev, who was tortured and killed by the communist regime in the first days after the Bulgarian coup d'état of September 9, 1944. He was also the grandson of Nikola Aleksiev, a long-time activist with the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE).
In the 1960s, Alexiev emigrated to the United States, where he eventually became a leading analyst on issues related to the USSR and the countries of the Eastern Bloc. After graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles, he worked at the Hudson Institute, the RAND Corporation for International Security, and the U.S. Department of Defense in senior advisory roles. Alexiev was a member of the famous “Team B,” which informed U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union during the Carter and Reagan administrations. He also authored and co-authored many books, including Inside the Soviet Army in Afghanistan, and Marxism and Resistance in the Third World: Cause and Effect.
Alexiev returned to Europe in the late 1980s, and soon became director of RFE’s Bulgaria Service in Munich from 1990 to 1991. He left RFE to serve as a foreign policy adviser to the first non-communist prime minister of Bulgaria, Philip Dimitrov.
In recent years, Alexiev was chairman of the Bulgaria-based, nongovernmental Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies. He also served as editor of Bulgaria Analytica and was a regular analyst and commentator for events related to Bulgaria and geopolitics.