In Bulgaria, in the centre of the capital Sofia, a monument dedicated to the Red Army during the former Soviet Union (USSR) was attacked.
The attackers, presumed to be fanatics of a football club, took action in the night hours. Socialists, who opposed the plan to remove the monument by the municipality, stated that they were attacked in their tents they had set up to protect it. Using smoke bombs, the attackers broke a part of the inscription "From the grateful Bulgarian people to the liberating Red Army" on the monument with a hammer.
As a result of the police intervention, 4 people were detained.
Sofia City Council had decided on 9 March to move the monument to the Socialist Art Museum.
The coalition government of Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov recognises that the Red Army, to which the monument is dedicated, laid siege to Bulgaria in 1944, bringing the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP) to power in a coup d’état and ruling until 1989.
Socialist politicians oppose the plan to move the 45-metre monument, which was built in 1954 by the former communist regime for propaganda purposes, to the Museum of Socialist Art in the city.
The monument, which covers a large area in the capital’s Sredetz municipality with its surrounding sculptural compositions, has been the subject of debate between pro-Russian and pro-NATO-EU groups in the country for years.
Sredetz Mayor Traycho Traykov stated that the place of the monument is the Museum of Socialist Art and said, "I think it is appropriate to build a wall around this monument, which stands like a rotten tooth in the centre of the city, until it is moved. As long as the rotten tooth is not removed, it will continue to poison the whole organism."