Russia is triggered about vandalised Soviet monuments in Bulgaria.
The vandalization of the Soviet monuments was nothing new for Bulgaria, however, covering those monuments in paint has turned into a kind of popular art form as well as a medium of political expression. The anonymous repainting of the soldier figures on the Monument of the Soviet Army in Sofia as pop culture icons like Superman, Ronald McDonald and Captain America was undoubtedly the best-known such action.
Before and after.
However Russia is demanding that Bulgaria try harder to prevent vandalism of Soviet monuments, after yet another monument to Soviet troops in Sofia was spray-painted.
The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has issued a note demanding that its former Soviet-era ally clean up the monument in Sofia's Lozenets district, identify and punish those responsible, and take "exhaustive measures" to prevent similar attacks in the future. In 2014, as tensions escalated in Ukraine, it was repainted again, this time in the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
Ukrainian version. The official attitude to such actions is confused. The law in Bulgaria classifies vandalization of monuments as a crime – hooliganism. But a Sofia court in 2014 refused to take any action against two activists who painted a statue in front of the Bulgarian Socialist Party’s headquarters, qualifying it as a legitimate expression of political opinion. The monuments keep getting painted despite authorities cleaning it every time and Russia's officials complaints and threates to Bulgaria.
In 2013, the monument was coloured pink with a sign in Czech reading “Bulgaria Apologizes”, referring to the participation of Bulgarian forces in the Soviet-led operation in 1968 that crushed the “Prague Spring” in Czechoslovakia.
Russia is far from amused, and regularly complains that Bulgaria allows passers-by to dishonour the memory of the Soviet troops that, in Moscow's eyes, liberated Bulgaria towards the end of World War Two. After the most recent daubing of the memorial with white paint and oil, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova demanded to know what Bulgaria was going to do about this Bulgarian "vandalism" of Soviet monuments. However, time may be up for graffiti artists who have been used to decorating Bulgaria's Soviet Army memorial in political colours, as the police have decided to put it under guard. Bulgarian interior Minister Mladen Marinov has promised to set up CCTV cameras and regular police patrols around the massive monument in the centre of the capital, Sofia, Nova TV reports.
Too bad that the Kremlin thinks that it's not ok to vandalise Soviet monuments, which for many people in Bulgaria but also in east and central Europe symbolizes the dark years of Soviet oppression and occupation of their countries, while it thinks that's it's ok to vandalise European countries, like Ukraine and Georgia.
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