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A Call for Recognition: Remembering Bulgaria’s National Heroes Amidst Soviet and Russian Monuments

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The noise and pompous speeches on the occasion of June 2 died down. The date will be remembered with the reports on duty and children reciting memorized sentences about their pride in the feat of the “revolutionary poet. A bad impression was made by acting Prime Minister Galab Donev – for the umpteenth time – who was reading his short speech dedicated to Botev from some folder.

This should not be remembered, as well as Donev himself, except when he has to answer for some actions, his and those of ministers, which fit texts from the Criminal Code…

But that’s not what’s important to the story.

In the news, we saw how students brought flowers to the bust-monument of Hristo Botev in the Boris Garden in the capital. That’s right on this day.

The bust is located not far from the Red Army monument, now known as MOCHA.

Botev is about 2 meters high, together with the pedestal, and the Soviet soldier with the schmeiser towers over a 37-meter monument.

Botev is applied 18 times in the granite-cast iron expression of “the gratitude of the Bulgarian people to the Soviet liberating army”. It turns out that we are 18 times more grateful to a foreign army than to Botev.

I studied at the primary school “Hr. Botev” in Pleven in the midst of communist rule. Every May 24th, we were dressed as Botan Chetniks (I was even a flag bearer – an indescribable pride…) and the whole town congratulated us. There was also a monument to the Soviet army in the city, but as Red Army men, they didn’t bother us with demonstrations, thank God…

After 33 years of trying to build a democracy, a big celebration of Botev is still taking place in Vratsa, and some strangely embittered people throw themselves bare-chested to defend the Red Army man with the schmeiser from encroachments.

I mention Vratsa, because it is strange that the city and the surrounding villages, which locked their doors in front of Botev and his Chetniks (this can also be seen in the film “Freedom or Death”, broadcast last night on BNT), are today beating their chests like some heirs of the feat of the rejected champions of their ancestors. It’s cheeky, to say the least.

Maybe Kalofer and Mount Okolchitsa are enough, I don’t know. Historians must have their say.

A monument, a pantheon, or whatever you want to call it, should have been built in the capital a long time ago, to all those who over the millennia have given their talent, will and life for this country to exist today. Despite betrayals, crappy administrations, lost battles and wars. The humble monument to the unknown warrior is wonderful, but it is not enough. Especially against the background of over 500 monuments dedicated to the Russian and Soviet military in the country.

For us, the most valuable should be the self-sacrifice of the crazy young heads who went against the Ottoman power with the full knowledge that they will lose their lives. And for whom? For the guardians of Soviet, and now Russian, propaganda?

This is disgraceful.

I am sharing just one idea born out of the long-standing ugly scenes played out on certain dates when we commemorate the death of our national heroes and the grotesque prostration before an occupying army.

I can think of some facts that I think belong here

During the April Uprising, about 30,000 people died in less than a month. If we add to them the victims of other uprisings and of the detachments, the number increases significantly. Bulgarians then numbered about 3.5 million people.

In the Russian language Wikipedia (Wikipedia) it is written that the victims in the so-called Liberation War of 1877-1878 were 15,567 people. 11,905 people died on the territory of Bulgaria, and 3,662 people died on the Caucasian front.

The dead Bulgarians – militiamen, soldiers in the Russian army, assistants and scouts – are about 7,000.

Another comparison: in the American Civil War, also known as the war between the North and the South from April 12, 1861 to April 9, 1865, a total of 4 years, 68 thousand people died. At that time, the population of the United States was over 30 million.

But there are those who run on MOCHA, wave Russian flags and kiss the portraits of Putin and Stalin.

Note: Ivancho Hadzhipenchovich votes for the Deacon to be hanged. After the Liberation, he became a deputy and even gave money to build a monument to the Apostle. It’s hard to explain something like that.

What kind of people are we, damn it!

Ognyan Stefanov

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2023-06-03 15:00:00

#love #Soviet #Army #times #Hristo #Botev #kind #people

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