Sofia Soviet Army Monument 'Honors' Prague Spring

Society | August 21, 2013, Wednesday // 10:16| Views: | Comments: 24
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Sofia Soviet Army Monument 'Decorated' in Honor of Prague Spring: Sofia Soviet Army Monument 'Honors' Prague Spring Photo Assen Genov, Facebook.

The controversial monument of the Soviet Army in the downtown of the Bulgarian capital Sofia has been colored once again, this time in honor of the Prague Spring.

On Wednesday, the Sofia's Soviet Army Monument "woke up" with the Red Army soldier figures painted in pink and with the inscriptions in Bulgarian and Czech "Bulgaria apologizes" ("Bulharsko se omlouv?").

August 21st marks the 45th anniversary of Soviet crushing of the Prague Spring.

The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia during the era of its domination by the Communists and the Soviet Union after World War II. It began on January 5, 1968, when reformist Alexander Dubcek was elected the First Secretary of Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, and continued until August 21, when the Soviet Union and all members of the Warsaw Pact, with the exception of Romania, invaded the country to halt the reforms.

On that night an estimated 5 to 7 thousand Soviet tanks and 300 000 – 500 000 soldiers occupied part of Czechoslovakia for a month. Nearly 100 people died and 600 were injured.

Bulgaria was the first country to insist on the invasion and the last one to apologize for its participation – with a declaration of the Parliament in 1990 and in 1997 during the visit of right-wing President, Petar Stoyanov, to Prague.

The Soviet tank, which was the center-piece of the memorial of the Soviet Army in Prague, has been painted in pink several times, first in 1991 by famous Czech artist David Cerny.

This is not the first time when the monument of the Soviet Army in Sofia has been decorated.

The most famous "decoration" of the monument so far happened in June 2011when a group of street artists painted the bronze figures of Soviet soldiers to represent various US pop culture characters, turning them into The Joker, Wolverine, Santa, Superman, Ronald McDonald, Captain America, Robin, and Wonder Woman, among others.

In August 2012, colorful hoods of the soldiers of the monument were painted in sign of support for the female Russian punk group Pussy Riot, who were facing trial over "anti-Putin" acts.

There have been several other paintings as well.

The latest "decorators" remain unknown for the time being, and it is unclear exactly when the "decoration" was carried out.

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Tags: Russian, band, Pussy Riot, Russia, Vladimir Putin, the Joker, Wolverine, Santa, Superman, Ronald McDonald, Captain America, Robin, Wonder Woman, sofia, Soviet Army Monument, Banksy, street artists, street art, soldiers, hoods, Pink, tank, Prague Spring, David Cerny
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» To the forumComments (24)
sa-sha - 23 Aug 2013 // 09:23:47

Zhoro V, key words here are not "Soviet"/"Russia" but "Memory"

Zhoro V - 22 Aug 2013 // 22:58:09

sa-sha, the Russian government seems to disagree with you, and confuse "Soviet"with "Russia"as well.

sa-sha - 22 Aug 2013 // 19:52:46

Sorry, DP. Dixi.

DP - 22 Aug 2013 // 19:43:16

Aaaah, sa-sha, the visuals... Beautiful! More like my cup 'o tea...;-)

sa-sha - 22 Aug 2013 // 18:52:42

ooh, not You, DP....just me, I'm Stupid for submitting the wrong
link, the correct one-which I find adequate to my insight, and that
insight is not words but imagery-yes, the link I had in mind was:

DP - 22 Aug 2013 // 18:28:34

Who is sh-sha? Stupid me....
Sorry, sa-sha :-)

DP - 22 Aug 2013 // 18:26:20

Thanks, sh-sha!
Understood it. Love it!

sa-sha - 22 Aug 2013 // 18:12:59

My humble respect, DP (You will understand):

DP - 22 Aug 2013 // 17:03:10

I stand corrected, sa-sha.Thanks.

As far as the sentiments against Russia go, beats me how people can be so dense. For most hate comes with ignorance--especially when it is on this scale--hate on entire nation...A pity...

Seedy - 22 Aug 2013 // 12:14:08

"....they point out that the previous government under Borisov, was totalitarian in its ways...."

Yeah, the old Commies were, and still are, prepared to give away their freedom for the dubious pleasure of a stale crust of Soviet bread and an old age of "secure" poverty.

I didn't notice anyone getting arrested for laughing at the antics of BB and the GERB Circus but at least they represented the possibility of change - unlike the present bunch of gangsters and kleptocrats who just want another last-gasp chance to bleed the country dry yet again....

Peter Piper - 22 Aug 2013 // 11:14:56

"The sad fact for me is that the anti-soviet sentiments (quite
intelligible) in the modern Bulgaria are more and more replaced by the anti-Russian ones.”

These are not the true facts about how a lot of Bulgarians view the Russians and its very easy for people to blame them and the Ottomans for every problem that now befalls Bulgaria..

Most of the people over 50 you speak to who lived under the Soviet regime, now say it was not as bad as some things are today, looking back.. People had a good education, job, enough money to feed their families, better health care etc. Even the Roma had jobs in the factories. When you ask them about the constrictions of living in a totalitarian society and the lack of freedom, its does not rank as the main thing and they point out that the previous government under Borisov, was totalitarian in its ways and people now are really struggling to just survive….

sa-sha - 22 Aug 2013 // 09:14:46

The utmost correct remarks, DP. The only clarification: not 'commissars' but 'commanders', the institute of commissars in red army was abolished in october,1942...and not 'presumably' but exactly to Siberia (though some were resettled to distant quarters of Bg)...........
The sad fact for me is that the anti-soviet sentiments (quite
intelligible) in the modern Bulgaria are more and more replaced by the anti-Russian ones.

DP - 21 Aug 2013 // 22:05:18

Sa-sha, the Red Army soldiers did not kill Bulgarians, but as soon as they entered Bulgaria on their way to Berlin, the killing, revenge, and oppression set in.

BTW, the first thing they did was to snatch some of the White Russian ?migr?s of 1917, who had settled in Bulgaria, and take them away-- presumably to Siberia (classified as ‘disappeared without a trace as some Bulgarians did too).

What followed for Bulgarians is well known...Also, coincidently, the Red Army soldiers that passed thorough Bulgaria were mostly from the Asian Republics, by the looks of them. The commissars though were Russian, I guess....

Seedy - 21 Aug 2013 // 21:58:59

"those simple Russians........who exterminated Fascism...."

Yeah, I bet Uncle Joe and Cousin Vlad had a real chuckle about THAT simplistic notion! Just because they choose to give their particular brand of terror and oppression a different name doesn't make it any better.....

sa-sha - 21 Aug 2013 // 20:48:04

That Monument...Leaving aside the idiotic reason for painting it ("Prague Spring") and Your sophisticated "The controversial monument", dear Novinite, I'd remark the following: The Monument' destiny is BG own business. You want to blow it up? Do it. You prefer to bring flowers to the US pilots' memorial plaque in Sofia (to those pilotes who bombed Sofia and killed Bulgarians in 1944)? Do it. Your choice. But do not spit on the memory, don't spit on those simple Russians who struggled in 1944 not against Bulgarians, but against fascism, who didn't kill Bulgarians(neither soldiers nor civilians), but who exterminated Fascism, do not spit on the ashes of the descendants of those Russians who had come to Bulgaria in 1877 to exterminate not Bulgarians, but the Turkish yoke. Still-since for some ass persons on this forum all relating to Russia is merely unbearable-You are free to blow up All Russian monuments in Bg, Bulgarians. Do render the above advanced ar*es a favour. Best.

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