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In Bulgaria, Pro-Russia Party's Violent TV Ad Takes Aim At Politicians, Media

The video on the party's website and Facebook account contains a 10-second scene from The Servant Of The People, a popular Ukrainian TV series. 

SOFIA -- A pro-Russian party in Bulgaria, just days ahead of European Parliamentary elections, has published a video featuring a scene from a 2005 TV series in which a man is seen shooting at dozens of people sitting inside a legislative chamber.

The video, which was posted on the Vazrazhdane (Renaissance) party's website and Facebook account on May 22, contains a 10-second scene from The Servant Of The People, a popular Ukrainian TV series.

In the clip, the leading actor, recently elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, shoots at lawmakers with two automatic weapons.

"Vazrazhdane -- Only we can," reads text at the end of the video.

Vazrazhdane leader Kostadin Kostadinov told RFE/RL that the video "targets media like yours."

"With this video, we say that there are media in Bulgaria like RFE/RL that are working to destroy the Bulgarian state," Kostadinov added.

The video has raised complaints, as the show was never broadcast in Bulgaria and there is no mention of it being a clip.

Bulgaria's Central Election Committee, however, said it can't do anything about the ad because Facebook campaigns are not regulated.

Some legal experts contacted by RFE/RL said the call for violence violates Bulgaria's Penal Code.

Vazrazhdane is an openly pro-Russian party that has called for Bulgaria to leave the European Union and NATO.

EU countries are holding elections on May 23-26 to select members of the European Parliament. In Bulgaria, polls will be open on May 26.