Rumen Radev

Rumen Radev

Rumen Radev
Rumen Radev.jpg
5th President of Bulgaria
Assumed office
22 January 2017
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov
Ognyan Gerdzhikov (Acting)
Boyko Borisov
Vice President Iliana Iotova
Preceded by Rosen Plevneliev
Personal details
Born Rumen Georgiev Radev
18 June 1963 
Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria
Political party Communist Party (before 1990)
Independent (1990-present)
Other political
Socialist Party (Supported by)
Spouse(s) Desislava Radeva (2016–present)
Children 2
Alma mater Bulgarian Air Force University
Rakovski Defence and Staff College
Air War College
Military service
Allegiance / Bulgaria
Service/branch Roundel of Bulgaria.svg Bulgarian Air Force
Years of service 1987–2016
Rank Major General

Rumen Georgiev Radev (Bulgarian: Румен Георгиев Радев; born 18 June 1963) is a Bulgarian Major General of the Reserve and the current President of Bulgaria since January 2017. Radev previously served as Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force. He won the 2016 presidential election, as an independent candidate supported by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, defeating GERB candidate Tsetska Tsacheva in the second round.


Radev was born on June 18, 1963 in Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria. His family is from Slavyanovo in the Haskovo region. In 1982 he graduated from the Mathematical School in Haskovo with a gold medal. He graduated from the Georgi Benkovski Bulgarian Air Force University in 1987 as the top graduate. In 1992, he graduated from the US Air Force Squadron Officer School at Maxwell AFB. From 1994 to 1996, he studied at the Rakovski Defence and Staff College, where he was also the top graduate. He holds a Doctor of Military Sciences degree in the field of improvement of tactical training of flight crews and simulation of air combat.

In 2003 he graduated from Air War College at Maxwell AFB in the United States with a Master of Strategic Studies with honors.


In August 2016, the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABR) officially nominated Radev as a candidate for the November 2016 presidential election. In the same month, ABR withdrew its presidential nomination of General Radev in favour of Ivaylo Kalfin.

On the first round of the election, conducted on November 6, 2016, Radev came first with 25.44% of the vote. He faced GERB candidate Tsetska Tsacheva in the runoff the following Sunday, November 13. He defeated her, winning 59.37% of the popular vote.

Military career

1987 – 1988: Junior pilot in the 15th Fighter Aviation Regiment – Ravnets

  • 1989 – 1990: Unit deputy commander at the 15th Fighter Aviation Regiment – Ravnets
  • 1990 – 1994: Unit commander at the 15th Fighter Aviation Regiment – Ravnets
  • 1996 – 1998: MiG-29 squadron commander at the Fifth Fighter Airbase – Ravnets
  • 1998 – 1999: Deputy commander for flight preparation at the Fifth Fighter Airbase – Ravnets
  • 1999 – 2000: Deputy commander for flight training at the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo
  • 2000 – Study of the Air defence of the Republic of Bulgaria – NATO, Brussels
  • 2000 – 2002: Chief of Staff of the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo
  • 2003 – 2005: Chief of Staff of the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo
  • 2005 – 2009: Commander of the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo
  • 2009 – 2014: Bulgarian Air Force deputy commander
  • 2014 – 2016: Bulgarian Air Force commander

Flight information

  • Pilot I-st class.
  • Flight experience of L-29, L-39 trainers and MiG-15UTI, MiG-17, MiG-21, MiG-29 fighter jets.
  • Familiarization flights of the F-15, F-16, F/A-18 Hornet, Eurofighter Typhoon, SAAB Gripen.
  • Flown over 1400 hours.
  • In 2014, he organized aviation show “This we are!” and personally performed the “Bell” and “Pugachev’s Cobra” manoeuvres on a MiG-29.

Military ranks

  • 1987 – Lieutenant
  • 1990 – Senior Lieutenant
  • 1994 – Captain
  • 1997 – Major
  • 2000 – Lieutenant Colonel
  • 2003 – Colonel
  • 2007 – Brigadier General
  • 2014 – Major General


Rumen Radev

Rumen Radev was awarded numerous medals and prizes, including the sign “For loyal service under the flags” – III degree, and Honorary sign of the Ministry of Defence “Saint George” – II degree.


Radev has two children with his first wife, Ginka, whom he divorced in 2011: Darina (2001) and Georgi (2003). He remarried Desislava Gencheva, ex-wife of BSP MP Georgi Svilenski, and has a stepson with Gencheva.

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