[Ed. – NBC calls them “vigilantes.” Basically, they’re like the border volunteers in the United States. There is something very wrong with a self-appointed “elite” that doesn’t understand why they do what they do.]
The 35 men and women are on the hunt in Strandzha Massif, a forested mountain range on Bulgaria’s border with Turkey. Migrants trying to cross into Europe are their prey.
Patches on their irregular uniforms — a coat of arms bearing a snarling wolf’s head framed by Cyrillic text — proclaim them to be members of the Bulgarian National Movement Shipka, abbreviated in Bulgarian as “BNO Shipka.”
Members of the paramilitary organization form into ranks as their leader, Vladimir Rusev, speaks. A former colonel who says he fought in Chechnya as a volunteer alongside Russians, Rusev declares his support for a man they admire: President Donald Trump. …
Rusev claims they have as many as 50,000 members, although NBC News was unable to verify this number.
“I’m not nationalistic or anything like that. I’m just a patriot,” said Nikolai Ivanov, a 34-year-old who was one of the group’s founding members in 2014.
“Many of these immigrants are not just some guys who are trying to run away from war. They are from age 17 to 35, with good physiques and training,” Ivanov added. “It’s not a problem that they are Muslims. The problem is it’s a different civilization. They don’t think like us, they have a totally different view about life, about everything.”
While the group has been criticized by human rights advocates, it isn’t hard to find people who agree with Ivanov’s views in Bulgaria.