The Monumental Obsession of Bulgaria’s Russophiles

By Michael Colborne, for Codastory Could a campaign to protect Soviet-era statues become a future Kremlin Trojan horse in Bulgaria? To hear Nikolai Malinov tell it, his 35,000-strong National Movement of Russophiles is just a cultural movement, a big club that puts up statues and organizes festivals to remind Bulgarians of their country’s longstanding historical, cultural and linguistic ties with Russia. But he is also clear about his views. “Russia today has a spiritual plan to rescue Europe, with traditional values, a strong state and a multipolar world.” Given Russia’s power plays across Europe, some here in Bulgaria think Malinov and his movement have a bigger political goal — to move the country further into the Kremlin’s orbit. Since Malinov took over as leader eight years ago, his “Russophiles” have been busily erecting plaques and statues to people they regard as heroes of past conflicts involving the Russians. That includes the 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish war which liberated

Kilde: The Monumental Obsession of Bulgaria’s Russophiles