Fact Check: Bulgarian Politicians Do NOT Want To Destroy A Historical Monument, Symbol Of The Soviet Army, In Plovdiv

проверка на факти

  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: Bulgarian Politicians Do NOT Want To Destroy A Historical Monument, Symbol Of The Soviet Army, In Plovdiv Preserved

Do Bulgarian politicians from parties supporting Ukraine want to destroy a historical monument to the Soviet army in Plovdiv, Bulgaria? No, that's not true: The proposal by Bulgarian politicians is not to destroy the monument but rather to move it to a museum where it will be preserved as part of the country's history.

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok (archived here) published by @nikolaynikolov257 on December 28, 2023.

The Bulgarian text, translated into English by Lead Stories staff, reads:

The yellow-blues are now planning to destroy the monument - Alyosha, too!

We hit rock bottom!

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-01-02 at 10.44.15.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Jan 2 08:46:21 2024 UTC)

The proposal was made as part of a public debate about the fate of Alyosha, a statue depicting a Soviet soldier in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv. The statue, which was erected in 1954, commemorates Soviet casualties that occurred during World War II. Municipal councilors representing the Democratic Bulgaria (DB) party in Plovdiv took the position that the place of the statue, which they say symbolizes Bulgaria's Soviet past, is in a museum that celebrates the country's history.

In a TV interview that aired on Bulgarian NOVA television, published on the media's website on December 28, 2023 (archived here), DB representative and municipal councillor Veselina Alexandrova (archived here) said the party's position is that the Alyosha monument should be moved to a museum.

A few days earlier, the Plovdiv leadership of the 'Yes, Bulgaria' party, which is part of the 'Democratic Bulgaria' alliance, had also stated its official position regarding the statue. The full text of Yes, Bulgaria's statement was published on December 21, 2023, in a 24chasa article (archived here), as translated from Bulgarian to English by Lead Stories staff:

'Yes, Bulgaria - Plovdiv' proposed a broad public debate aimed at uniting the people of Plovdiv through various ideas regarding the transformation of the space occupied by Alyosha at the top of Plovdiv. Alyosha's place is in a museum - in the museum of our history!

There is no mention that the monument should be destroyed and not preserved, as claimed in the TikTok. No evidence, press releases, or media reports from reliable news sites support the claim. A search (archived here) for a combination of the words "разрушат, паметника, Альоша, and Пловдив" (as translated) "destroy, monument, Alyosha and Plovdiv" performed by Lead Stories on January 2, 2024, using Google News' index of thousands of credible news sites, did not return any results.

This is not the first time the idea of moving the monument from its current location has been raised. In the early 90s, attempts (archived here) were made in Bulgaria to start discussing its removal. There were also plans to remove it (archived here) in 1993, and another removal attempt in 1996 when a proposal for dismantling the monument was introduced to the Plovdiv Municipal Council. However, following a sharp reaction from Russia, the proposal was stopped shortly after.

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