Bulgarians Celebrate 132 Years since Shipka Battle of Liberation War
More than 1 000 Bulgarians climbed the Shipka Peak in the Balkan Mountain in order to celebrate the 132 Year since the heroic Shipka Pass Battle of the 1877-1878 Liberation War.
Some 320 members of the "Tradition" National Association from all over Bulgaria re-created the historic battle of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, which led to the country's liberation.
Bulgaria's Defense Minister, Nikolay Mladenov, who also took part in the ceremonies commemorating the Shipka Pass Battle, remarked that the volunteer Bulgarian troops, who fought at Shipka 132 years ago set the beginning of the modern Bulgarian Army.
"Shipka is a symbol of courage, manliness, and unity - qualities that the Bulgarian nation needs today as well," said Bulgaria's PM Boyko Borisov in a statement read to those who gathered at the Skipka Peak. A statement by Bulgaria's President Georgi Parvanov was also read.
The Battle of the Shipka Pass, which is located in the central part of the Balkan Mountain, took place on August 21-23, 1877.
The pass turned out to be of strategic importance for the outcome of the twelfth war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire but it was initially guarded mostly by the regiments of the Bulgarian "opalchentsi", or volunteers, as well as smaller numbers of Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Finnish warriors from the Russian Empire's army.
This force of a total of about 7 000 soldiers faced an Ottoman Turkish army of almost 40 000 but managed to hold its critically important positions until the arrival of the Russian army of General Radetski.
The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 ended with the San Stefano Peace Treaty of March 3, 1878, which liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman Turkey.
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