Police forced back supporters of pro-Kremlin minority party Vuzrazhdane on September 21 as they tried to break down scaffolding around the Soviet Army Monument in the centre of Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia.
The scaffolding was erected by the Sofia city district administration some days ago on safety grounds, while the monument, following decisions by the government and Sofia city council, is slated for removal from the centre of the city.
Some of the Vuzrazhdane crowd, including party leader Kostadin Kostadinov, managed to get inside the area behind the barriers, but were pushed back by police, who soon brought in reinforcements.
Reporters at the scene said that the Vuzrazhdane crowd swore and shouted insults at the police.
Billed as a “nationwide protest” demanding the resignation of Bulgaria’s pro-Western government involved a procession in Sofia by about 50 people, including MPs from Vuzrazhdane, which has 37 seats in Bulgaria’s 240-seat National Assembly. During the procession, participants threw eggs at the Defence Ministry building.
The Soviet Army Monument commemorates the 1944 Soviet invasion of Bulgaria, and was erected during Bulgaria’s communist era. In recent years, it frequently has been the subject of daubings and calls for its removal, calls that were heightened after Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine. Sofia municipal inspectors had found structural faults in the monument and records relating to its construction are missing from the municipal archives.
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