Bulgaria dismantles Soviet army monument

By RockedBuzz 3 Min Read

Officials have cited security reasons for building the monument.  (Photo: AFP)

Officials have cited safety causes for constructing the monument. (Photo: AFP)

SOFIA – Regional authorities in Sofia on Tuesday started dismantling a towering Soviet-era monument to a soldier after years of controversy between Bulgaria’s anti-European camps and Russophiles.

Once thought of Moscow’s staunchest ally, a member of the EU and NATO, Bulgaria nonetheless has many monuments that glorify the Soviet period.

Since the autumn of the communist regime in 1989, there have been repeated calls for his or her destruction.

The memorial was erected in Sofia in 1954 and consists of three bronze statues depicting a Soviet soldier, a mom along with her youngster and a employee.

Officials have cited safety causes for taking down the monument, and consultants have reported massive cracks within the construction.

“The regional authorities determined to dismantle the monument to the Soviet army after a survey confirmed that it poses a menace to native residents,” stated governor Viara Todeva.

When it’s fully eliminated, it is going to be displayed within the Museum of Socialist Art.

The 45 meter (150 ft) monument together with bas-reliefs depicting battle scenes was constructed to commemorate the arrival of the Soviet army in Sofia in September 1944.

In current years, it has been repeatedly focused by unknown artists, who painted the sculptures pink, dressed them in superhero costumes or painted them blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag.

But plans to dismantle the monument have lengthy been blocked by the Russian Embassy and Bulgarian Russophiles, who emphasised the Red Army’s combat towards Nazism.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova rejected Bulgaria’s “new hostile gesture”, accusing her of “selecting the unsuitable aspect of historical past”.

The Socialist and far-right opposition events additionally made the transfer, stating that “anti-fascist monuments are being preserved elsewhere in Europe”.

“This monument has a rightful place as a result of it represents our historical past and the artwork of our time,” stated Vessela Naidenova, a 38-year-old researcher, who got here to protest towards the dismantling.

But others praised the transfer to take away the monument.

“This propaganda software from days passed by should go away the town middle,” stated 19-year-old economics pupil Daniel Roussev.

According to a ballot carried out in October, nearly one third of the individuals of Sofia have been in favor of maintaining the monument.

Most respondents, nonetheless, stated they want the memorial to be moved to a museum or demolished altogether.

Bulgaria is a Slavic and Orthodox nation with shut historic and cultural ties to Russia.

But relations have been strained since Russia launched its aggression in Ukraine.

Sofia condemned the battle and expelled a number of Russian diplomatic employees, in addition to the pinnacle of the Russian Orthodox Church in Sofia and a Russian reporter.

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