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Andrey Karlov Lukanov (Bulgarian: Андрей Карлов Луканов) (September 26, 1938 - October 2, 1996) was a Bulgarian political figure.


Lukanov was born in Moscow, Russia, to an exiled communist family. His mother was from a Jewish family. Abandoned by his own family, his grandfather was a victim of the purges of Joseph Stalin and was sent to prison.

Andrey Lukanov moved back to Bulgaria with his family as a child, when communists had taken over. His father, Karlo Lukanov, (1897-1982), became an important figure in the party and served as foreign minister of Bulgaria from 1956 to 1961. Andrey became a member of the party in 1963 and began a career in the foreign service. He helped represent Bulgaria in the United Nations and Comecon. He rose through the ranks of the foreign service to become minister of foreign economic affairs in 1987. He resigned from this position in 1989 and took part in the overthrow of longtime leader Todor Zhivkov. Lukanov became a leading member of the reformist wing of the communist party, and served as Bulgaria's last communist prime minister, from February 3, 1990 to December 7, 1990. His years in office were marked by corruption, huge consumer goods deficit, and civil unrest.

Lukanov was charged with embezzlement in 1992 and arrested, but charges were soon dropped. During his time in the foreign service, Lukanov had gained connections with western businessmen such as Robert Maxwell and engaged in controversial business dealings. He is also sometimes held responsible for Bulgaria's foreign debt.

Lukanov remained an active political participant in the Bulgarian Socialist Party until his death. In 1995, he began criticizing various members whom he believed were not reformist enough and or had Stalinist tendencies.

Lukanov was assassinated outside his apartment building in Sofia, Bulgaria. He was shot in the head and chest by a lone gunman who fled and was never captured. The motive for Lukanov's murder is not known, but a common theory is that he was killed by a hired assassin, probably paid for by a political or business enemy, from the same communist circles he belonged to.

A Bulgarian building contractor - Angel Vassilev - close to the Socialist government at the time was arrested and charged with organizing Lukonov's murder. Due to Lukanov's complex connection with Russia and other former communist countries, as well as with former communist circles in Bulgaria, it is doubted the truth about his death will be revealed.

After a long trial and at first a conviction the appeals court declared all the defendants innocent, raising even more questions about the assassination of one of Bulgaria's most influential Communist-era politicians.

Preceded by
Georgi Atanasov
Prime Minister of Bulgaria
Succeeded by
Dimitar Iliev Popov


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