Bulgaria calls russia’s use of “liberation” as “dubious historical claim”

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dubious historical claim

Bulgaria has taken issue with an upcoming World War II exhibition the russian Embassy is organizing in Sofia dedicated to “75 years of the liberation of Eastern Europe from Nazism,” saying instead the region was under “Soviet army bayonets” during a half century of repression, rferl reports.

While acknowledging the U.S.S.R.’s contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry called the russian Embassy’s use of “liberation” a “dubious historical claim” and stressed that history shouldn’t be politicized.

The exhibition opens on September 9 and coincides with the 75th anniversary when a pro-Soviet coup overthrew the Bulgarian monarchy. At that time, the monarch was allied with Nazi Germany but refused to send troops when Adolf Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, fearing unrest at home.

An estimated 30,000 Bulgarians were summarily executed during the initial months after the Soviet Red Army crossed into Bulgaria in September 1944.

“We advise the russian Embassy not to take a stance in support of the historically dubious notion of ‘liberation,’ which only gives advantage to some political forces in Bulgaria, as it is considered interference with domestic debates within the country,” the ministry said.

The date still causes controversy in the former Soviet satellite, now an EU and NATO-member country, where attitudes of Soviet-era nostalgia exist alongside pro-Western ones.

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