Bulgaria, a unique case
The attitude towards Russian memorials (and the main instruments of Russian propaganda and mythology) is quite different in Bulgaria than in other Eastern European countries. Not only is Russian propaganda working extremely successfully, but it is also working undisturbed openly. Districts like Pazardzhik, unlike Poland, not only do not destroy Russian monuments, but also rank first in the world in newly built monuments praising Russia ties and the Russian army.
One sculptor and his wife stand out, this is Spas Kirichev and his Russian wife Margarita Ivanova, who is president of the local Artists' Union. In recent decades, Spas has made most monuments related to Russia. But perhaps the most significant monument is to the Brothers Cyril and Methodius, who are the main propaganda thread connecting Bulgaria and Russia - the Slavic 1. alphabet, as it is called in Russia. The other propaganda thread is the 2. liberators of the Bulgarians from Turkish slavery.
The Slavic Brotherhood
Russian-Bulgarian celebrations in Moscow, 24/05/2022- Celebration of the Slavic Alphabet
The ideology of Pan Slavism, which is the basis of the New Russian Ethno Nationalism, is based on one main pillar, that is the cultural connection based on the Slavic alphabet, which is in turn the basis of Russian Orthodoxy, which is comfronting the Greek Orthodoxy.
The largest and most significant monument linking Bulgaria and Russia in Pazardzhik is to Saints Cyril and Methodius, built by Spas Kirichev and located in the city center. As it is also a major point for mass Soviet style manifestations,which involve all educational institutions.
A statue of Spas Kirichev, inspired by the statue of the Slav Saints in Sevastopol:
The Pazardzhik pair of artists, responsible for dozens of memorial monuments across Bulgaria, are regularly part of Russian cultural life and successfully promote the ideas of Pan Slavism.
The famous Tree of Knowledge built with the Slavic letters was erected by Spas Kirichev in Yalta, Russia in 2018.
Duet Pazardzhik artists erected a huge monument to the Slavic Letters in Mongolia.
The importance of the myth of the Slavic common past is extremely important for Russian Propaganda, because the search for an ethnic basis is impossible. For this reason the new Ethno-Nazional Kremlin ideology is based on cultural ties. Extremely illustrative was the second youth symposium on the Dialogue of Slavic Cultures was held in Crimea in 2022 with the participation of young people from Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia and Croatia. The main focus was on the Slavic Alphabet and Russian Orthodoxy. В Крыму завершился форум «Диалог культур: Россия — Балканы» - Государственное казенное учреждение Республики Крым «Аппарат Общественной палаты Республики Крым» (opcrimea.ru)
The Mighty Russian Army
Until the war in Ukraine, Russia was building the image of its mighty army. An image that was supposed to inspire fear and awe. Which was a reflection of Soviet foreign policy, resurrected by Putin. In Bulgaria the Russian Army was the second but not the most important Pillar of Russian Propaganda. It was based on the myth that the Russian Army in 1878 had liberated Bulgaria from Turkish Slavery. A horrible manipulation of historical memory instilled in generations of Bulgarians. As after the fall of the USSR, slavery was transferred from Turkey to the West. And all the destruction, lawlessness and corruption was also attributed to the West, with Russian propaganda planting the idea that Bulgarians could live in dignity if Russia liberated them again.
Spas Kirichev and the Russian artist Margarita successfully promote the myth of the Mighty Russian Army and of course its role in the liberation of Bulgaria. News in a local media outlet that chronicles everything pro-Russian happening in Pazardzhik and the region:
Currently a group of twenty people from Pazardzhik is on a trip to the capital of Russia. The creative tandem Margarita Ivanova and Spas Kirichev, who are also there, will attend the opening of an international exhibition, which will take place on May 14. Margarita Ivanova will also present her works at the Moscow House of Nationalities.
The most important premiere of this Victory Parade is a convertible based on the Aurus limousine, specially designed for the ceremonial march and replacing the usual ZIL-41041 AMG at the post. The new platform is literally riddled with electronic control systems, and all its components and nodes are linked into a single information network. The brutal Aurus blended surprisingly harmoniously into the general surroundings of the parade and did not look like a black sheep against the background of the other machinery. After the readiness reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech and the convertible commander's artillery salute led to the formation of columns.
The parade of military equipment began with the legendary World War II T-34 tank leading the passage of the mechanized column on Red Square. After the tanks and other combat vehicles, including the Russian army's newest tank, the Armata, passed Iskander-M missile systems, Smerch multiple rocket launchers, Buk-M2 and Tor-M2 anti-aircraft missiles. The Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile systems and S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems were presented at the parade. Russian Yars intercontinental ballistic missiles were the last to pass.
On the central podium were Russian President Vladimir Putin, veterans and guests of the event. Russian Defense Minister, Army General Sergei Shoigu, received the parade from Army General Oleg Salyukov This year, Shoigu and Salyukov received the parade with the latest Russian Aurus open-top vehicles, officials in the Russian capital said. The parade was followed by the Immortal Regiment parade.Пазарджиклии видяха парада на победата в Москва | PZdnes | Днес новината си ти
Perhaps the most significant Russian war memorial built by Spas Kirychev is to General Brock, who is called the Liberator of Pazardzhik. Although glossed over, the complete genocide of the town's Turkish population and the completely changed demographics after the Russian troops entered in 1878. The monument was unveiled in 2021 by the Russian Ambassador to Bulgaria Eleonora Mitrofanova and many Bulgarian officials. She is officially surrounded by Bulgarian NATO troops who honour her all the time.
Among the guests of the event were President Georgi Parvanov, Mayor of Plovdiv Zdravko Dimitrov, Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation Georgi Gergov and others. The monument was consecrated by Metropolitan Nikolay of Plovdiv. Built with the sponsorship of the well-known Pazardzhik businessman ("Euro Finance Champion") Georgi Delchev:
According to the former mayor of Pazardzhik Evstatiev, only because of the monuments honoring Russia in Pazardzhik(more than 25 built only by him) and the region, should be entered into the Guinness World Records.
In Russia, war memorials are an important element in the patriotic and military education among adolescents strongly promoted by Putin's ideology. As memorials since the time of the USSR acquired a cult status among the population.
Another extremely important for the Russian propaganda in Bulgaria is the Monument of the Russian Liberators in Belovo, Pazardzhik region, also a work of Spas Kirichev.
14/01/2023, celebrations in honor of the Russian Liberators in Belovo, Pazardzhik. Part of the celebrations is the District Governor Trendafil Velichkov (former leader of the Socialist Youth, Bulgaria) Young Red Guards- Trendafil Velichkov (theangel.today) As Torchlight Processions during patriotic celebrations are an integral part.
Among numerous students, 2023, January 14th, Pazardzhik celebrated the Russian Liberators and the monument erected by Spas Kirichev to General Brock.
Regional Governor Trendafil Velichkov at the unveiling of another monument to the work of Spas Kirychev - Monument to General Zhukov
Governor Trendaphil Velichkov, the former mayor of Pazardzhik Ivan Evstatiev, the former Minister of Justice Yanaki Stoilov and the former Russian Ambassador was inaugurated in the Pazardzhik Region (Strelcha) another significant monument, that of General Zhukov:
Children, paramilitary units in military uniform and military equipment give honor to the "Russian Liberators".
The monument of Spas Kirichev in Lesichovo, Pazardzhik
In 2017 a bas-relief of Vasil Levski was unveiled in Lesichovo. The ceremony last night was attended by Vice President Iliana Iotova, as well as BSP deputies - Yordan Mladenov and BSP MP, one of Russia's most prominent friends, and Social Minister in the caretaker cabinet of Rumen Radev and Iliana Iotova Nadia Klisurska.
Next to Lesichovo are located some of the most provocative monuments associated with the terrorist movement of the Communist Party in the first half of the 20th century, which led to the largest church bombing in downtown Sofia.
Which are still more than widely and officially celebrated today, even though the Communist Regime was declared criminal under EU pressure.
More New Monuments to Russian Generals
On September 22, 2015 Bulgarian Independence Day, a monument to Marshal Tolbukhin was unveiled at the Kamchiya sanatorium as part of the 4th European Student Festival, the Russian World portal reported. The initiator of the opening of the monument was the Fund for Sustainable Development in Bulgaria. Anti-fascist and civic organizations of Bulgaria, Stanka Shopova, chairman of the Foundation for Sustainable Development of Bulgaria, students of the IV European Student Festival, representatives of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Varna and representatives of the Russian World Foundation took part in the opening ceremony.
Kamchia Resort is a territory in Bulgaria that is officially Russian Land, owned by the Moscow City Hall
The person who financed the monument Stanka Shopova is the owner of the Fund for Sustainable Development in Bulgaria. Member of the BKP since 1974. She completed a degree in Bulgarian language and literature at Sofia University, just like Georgi Spassov. In 1976 she became Secretary of the University Committee on Komsomol. From 1977 to 1981 she was Secretary of the DKMS Central Committee, and from December 24, 1981 to March 24, 1986 she was First Secretary of the DKMS Central Committee. Since 1989 Stanka Shopova has been developing various business ventures with countries of the USSR.
The Wrong memorrials:
Everything that is not part of the Russian Propaganda Machine is being destroyed or branded with Putin's favorite expression- "Fascist". After all, Russia until recently claimed to have liberated Europe as well.
Russian Delusions and Replacement of History and Perceptions
One of the main tools of the Russian Hybrid Machine in Bulgaria for public mobilization and creating an anti-Western attitude is through falsification and deception. One of the main primes of Russian propaganda, similar to what was created in Ukraine, is to put itself in the position of a wronged Victim.
Russia and the Global Peace