Sunday, March 12, 2023

Bulgaria: Hundreds protested against the removal of Red Army monument in Sofia

Hundreds of people protested on March 9 in Sofia, Bulgaria, against the removal of a large monument dedicated to the heroic Soviet Red Army. Holding Red and Bulgarian flags, the demonstrators created a human chain around the memorial, expressing their strong opposition against the local authorities' plan to relocate it.

The capital's city council, following a proposal by the pro-EU “Democratic Bulgaria” party, has decided to dismantle the memorial and relocate it in another site outside the city center. 
The monument, one of Sofia's landmarks, stands on municipal land south of the capital’s center near the National Palace of Culture and the city’s Central Park, but the towering sculpture is state property and the city council thus did not have the authority to move it without the consent and cooperation of the government.

The monument was erected in 1954 to honor the Soviet Red Army which liberated Sofia from the Nazi occupation and bears the inscription “To the Soviet Army liberators – from the grateful people of Bulgaria”.

Following the counterrevolution and the restoration of capitalism in the beginning of 1990s, the memorial became a frequent target of vandalism by fascists, right-wingers and other anti-communists.

The Russian invasion in Ukraine in February 2022 has been used as a pretext for the destruction and removal of multiple Soviet-era monuments in Eastern European countries and the Baltics. Through the unhistorical equation of the Soviet Union with capitalist Russia, bourgeois governments with the support of the European Union try to rewrite history and erase the historical memory from the people, especially the younger generations.