Russia Calls on Bulgaria to Prevent March in Honour of WWII Pro-Nazi General

Politics » DIPLOMACY | February 11, 2015, Wednesday // 18:11
Bulgaria: Russia Calls on Bulgaria to Prevent March in Honour of WWII Pro-Nazi General

Russia has called on Bulgarian authorities to prevent a planned torchlight rally organised by a Bulgarian radical nationalist party in honour of a controversial WWII army general known for his pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic activities.

The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has sent a protest note to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry citing the UN resolution on combating glorification of Nazism.

“We hope that the Bulgarian authorities will demonstrate political responsibility and prevent this neo-Nazi march,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“It is especially outrageous that this provocation is planned to be held ahead of the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazism, which will be widely celebrated this year.”

The annual Lukov March has been held in Sofia since 2003, drawing criticism from all sides of Bulgaria’s political spectrum as well as human rights groups for promoting xenophobia and racial hatred. This year it is scheduled to take place on 14 February.

The organisers of the procession, the far-right Bulgarian National Union, have denied accusations the event is a display of neo-Nazi political views, saying the march is only intended to honour the memory of a Bulgarian hero.

In the late 1930s and during WWII General Hristo Lukov was a great supporter of the Axis powers, particularly Nazi Germany. He is known to have urged adoption of tougher anti-Semitic legislation modelled after that of Hitler’s Third Reich.

Lukov was War Minister (1935-1938) and the leader of the radical nationalist Union of Bulgarian National Legions, a staunchly pro-Nazi organisation (1932-1943). He was assassinated by members of Communist resistance groups in 1943.

Last year, the march was held despite a ban issued by Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova at the request of the Interior Ministry.

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