Soviet Army Monument Reused to Pledge EU, Russia Loyalties

Short after the EU election campaigning event, the memorial received its new colors after activists hoisted Russian, Bulgarian and USSR flags. Photo by Yuliya Lazarova,

The Soviet Army Monument in Sofia was used twice on Thursday night to display conflicting propaganda messages.

Hours after being illuminated with the EU flag as part of the Reformist Bloc's election campaign, activists hung there both Russian and Soviet Union colors.

They also put over them a common flag uniting those of Bulgaria and Russia with an inscription reading: "Brotherly victory".

The monument has become a subject to use by street artists, but also by groups seeking to evoke political messages.

In 2011, a pop-art collective called Destructive Creation sprayed the war memorial, making Soviet soldiers look like US pop culture characters.

September 2013 saw the monument waking up with Red Army soldiers painted in pink and with inscriptions in Bulgarian and Czech "Bulgaria apologizes" to mark the USSR's 1968 intervention in Czechoslovakia.

In February and March this year, it was twice painted anonymously to show support for Kiev in the Ukraine crisis and the country's standoff with Russia.

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