Russia calls on Bulgaria to ban ‘Lukov March’ honouring 1930s pro-Nazi general

The Russian foreign ministry has sent a protest note to the Bulgarian foreign ministry calling on the country to ban the “Lukov March” to be held on February 14 2015, organised by the far-right Bulgarian National Union in honour of a general who was war minister from 1935 to 1938 and led the ultra-nationalist, pro-Nazi Germany Union of Bulgarian Legions from 1932 until his assassination on the orders of the Bulgarian Communist Party in 1943.

The annual “Lukov March”, held in Sofia since 2003, has in recent years brought together various voices in opposition to it – including human rights group the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, the Shalom Organisation of the Jews in Bulgaria, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the Reformist Bloc and the United States embassy.

The march was banned by Sofia municipality in 2014 but about 200 participants defied the ban, parading by torchlight through the streets of the centre of the capital city.

The Russian foreign ministry, in a February 10 statement, quoted its representative on human rights, democracy and the rule of law, Konstantin Dolgov, as saying, “”We hope that the Bulgarian authorities will show political responsibility and will hinder implementation of this neo-Nazi march”.

The holding of such an event was unacceptable, Dolgov said, referring to the UN General Assembly resolution on combating the glorification of Nazism.

lukov march sofia february 15 2014-crop

Russia said that it was particularly outrageous that the march will be held on the eve of the celebration of 70 years of victory over fascism.

“We believe that the ongoing attempts to promote, in this case in Bulgaria, neo-Nazi and xenophobic ideas, followed by a demonstration of Nazi symbols, are a dangerous challenge to the civilizational basis of the modern world, and mockery of the memory of Soviet soldiers who died for the liberation of Europe from fascism, and the millions of innocent civilian victims,” Dolgov said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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