Demonstration in solidarity with Ukraine to be held in Bulgaria’s capital on March 24

A peaceful demonstration in solidarity with Ukraine is to be held in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia on March 24 at 6.30pm.

Organisers of the event, to be held in Nezavisimost Square, said that it was time for Bulgaria to come out in large numbers in support of a sovereign Ukraine.

“Just a few hundred kilometres away, the Ukrainian people are fighting for their freedom and for the future of Europe at the enormous cost of innocent lives and destruction. With their dignity, courage and endurance, these people have managed to take the whole world by surprise,” the organisers said.

“At the same time, Bulgaria is held captive to the increasingly strong grip of Russia’s propaganda war against our country,” they said.

They said that on March 21, the Russian ambassador had allowed herself to speak on behalf of the Bulgarian people – a reference to a claim by Eleonora Mitrofanova that the people of Bulgaria did not support the government’s policies on Russia’s war on Ukraine.

“We are following the rise of extreme nationalism in Russia and we know what that would mean for Bulgaria unless we demand an adequate and timely position in support of Ukraine from our government,” the organisers said.

“We cannot allow marginal pro-Russian parties to dictate the most important decisions for Bulgaria’s future. We must not let our voices be silenced,” they said.

Recently, voices have been raised in concern on social networks by Bulgarians offended by the image of the country being misrepresented by coverage of the pro-Kremlin Vuzrazhdane party’s events, without the context that that party has a mere 13 seats in Bulgaria’s 240-seat Parliament.

“It is time to say that we are here, that we are in the EU and Nato, that we have already made our civilizational choice and that we stand behind it, said the organisers of the event, which is being held a month to the date of the beginning of the current Russian invasion of Ukraine ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In other news in Bulgaria related to Russia’s war on Ukraine:

The Bulgarian government announced on March 23 that it had decided to grant 361 830 leva in humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees in neighbouring countries.

The funds will come from the Foreign Ministry’s humanitarian and development aid budget.

The funds will be paid to the UN office for coordination of humanitarian affairs, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN refugee agency and the UN Children’s Fund.

A charity concert “Together for Ukraine”, organised by Bulgarian National Radio and Bulgarian National Television, will be held on March 28.

The event, at the Ivan Vazov National Theatre, will be broadcast on all national and regional programmes of Bulgarian Radio on March 28 at 7pm and on BNT1 on April 3 at 9pm.

Funds raised via text messages to short number 1466, donations on the spot or to the bank account of the Bulgarian Red Cross will be used to assist victims of the war in Ukraine.

Details of who will perform at the concert may be found, in Bulgarian, at this link.

The Foundation Three Women (Фондация Три жени) donation centre for humanitarian aid for Ukrainians is in need of donations and volunteers to assist at its location at 23 Shipka Street.

The centre is open every day, including Saturdays and Sundays, from 10am to 6pm.

Items currently needed include packaged food, sanitary supplies, clothes in clean and good condition for all ages, sleeping bags, prams and toys. Further details may be obtained by contacting the foundation via its Facebook page.

The Centre for Refugees Assistance from Ukraine-Varna announced on its Facebook page that it now has its own bank account for donations.

The account is held at Raiffeisen  Bank.

IBAN: BG20RZBB91551061039450.

The Bulgarian government has set up a website to assist Ukrainians, and to provide information to those in Bulgaria who want to help: The website has versions in Ukrainian, English, Bulgarian and Russian.

The governnment has opened a four-language hotline to help those fleeing the war in Ukraine and for all issues related to receiving them in Bulgaria. The telephone numbers are 02/9055555 and +380 322465075.

To support the 7.5 million children in Ukraine who are in danger, Unicef has launched a global appeal. In line with this, Unicef in Bulgaria launched an emergency fundraising campaign to provide emergency humanitarian aid to children and families in Ukraine. You can find additional information by following this link.

Details of the bank account for donations to the Bulgarian Red Cross’s fundraising campaign for humanitarian aid for Ukraine may be found at this link.

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, please click here.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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