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Bulgarian umbrella: Wikis


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Design of the weapon

Bought in Washington, D.C., modified in Moscow, and used in London, the Bulgarian umbrella was an umbrella with a hidden pneumatic mechanism in it which shot out a small poisonous pellet containing ricin. The umbrella was originally produced by the British company Swaine Adeney Brigg.

Such an umbrella was used in the assassination of the Bulgarian dissident writer Georgi Markov on September 7, 1978 (the birthday of the Bulgarian State Council Chairman Todor Zhivkov who had often been the target of Georgi Markov's criticism), on Waterloo Bridge in London (Markov died four days later), and also in the failed assassination attempt against the Bulgarian dissident journalist Vladimir Kostov the same year in the Paris Métro. The poison used in both cases was ricin. Both assassination attempts are believed to have been organized by the Bulgarian Secret Service of the time of the Cold War with the assistance of the KGB. These two cases inspired the 1980 French film Le Coup du parapluie (The Umbrella Coup) directed by Gérard Oury, starring Pierre Richard.

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