« Dozens of nationalists from the Bulgarian National Union burned a Soviet flag in front of the Soviet Army Monument in Sofia on Saturday. They are calling for the removal of the Soviet monument and the installation of one honouring a famous Bulgarian king.
Footage shows protesters waving Bulgarian flags, displaying anti-communist signs and chanting slogans such as ‘All communists – on trial, Bulgaria takes a national path’ and ‘Red garbage.’
The police can be seen establishing a barrier between the nationalists and supporters of left-wing political groups who have been maintaining a tent camp near the monument for the past month.
The city municipality has erected fences around the monument, citing safety concerns and the need for structural improvements. However, many people view this as the initial move towards dismantling it. It’s worth noting that there has been a municipal council decision for the past 30 years to relocate the Monument to the Soviet Army to the Museum of Socialist Art.
Sentiments against the centrally located Soviet Army monument in the Bulgarian capital have intensified over the past year, particularly in light of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
September 9 holds historical significance in Bulgarian-Soviet relations. On this date, the opposition political coalition Otechestven Front, closely linked to the Soviet Union, took control of the Kingdom of Bulgaria. This event is viewed differently by people in Bulgaria: for some, it represents the establishment of a more equitable socialist society, while for others, it marks a day that led to the demise of democracy and private property.
The same activists involved in the recent protests are also the primary organisers of the Lukov March in Bulgaria. This march is associated with a politician named General Hristo Lukov, known for his Nazi affiliations. »