Russia Wants Bulgarians to Stop Vandalizing Soviet Monuments To Look Like American Superheroes

Паметник на Съветската армия 18.06.2011

The Moscow Times is reporting that Bulgarian pranksters are repainting Soviet-era monuments so that the Soviet military heroes depicted are recast as American Superheroes (h/t to trans-atlantyk posting at reddit’s /r/worldnews):

Russia is demanding that Bulgaria try harder to prevent vandalism of Soviet monuments, after yet another monument to Soviet troops in Sofia was spray-painted, ITAR-Tass reported.

The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has issued a note demanding that its former Soviet-era ally clean up the monument in Sofia’s Lozenets district, identify and punish those responsible, and take “exhaustive measures” to prevent similar attacks in the future, the news agency reported Monday.

The monument was sprayed with red paint on the eve of the Bulgarian Socialist Party’s celebration of its 123rd anniversary, the Sofia-based Novinite news agency reported.

The vandalism was the latest in a series of similar recent incidents in Bulgaria — each drawing angry criticism from Moscow…

[continues at Moscow Times]


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166 Comments on "Russia Wants Bulgarians to Stop Vandalizing Soviet Monuments To Look Like American Superheroes"

  1. Echar Lailoken | Aug 19, 2014 at 6:11 pm |

    Santa and Mc Ron. 😀

  2. I-RIGHT-I | Aug 19, 2014 at 6:16 pm |

    I may have to visit Bulgaria and raise a glass to some classy vandals. Good work fellas! Or ladies as the case may be.

  3. If this doesn’t stop soon, Russia may have to invade to protect Bulgaria’s ethnically Russian monument population.

  4. Number1Framer | Aug 19, 2014 at 8:33 pm |

    Which superhero is the yellow guy on the left? Walter White?

  5. Earthstar | Aug 19, 2014 at 10:11 pm |

    There’s a lot of ugly statues around. Hopefully this doesn’t inspire vandals everywhere!

    • mattlove1 | Aug 27, 2014 at 12:28 am |

      A good start would be to paint Lincoln like that giant blue guy in the watchmen. With the way he granted himself godlike powers, it would be appropriate.

      • Earthstar | Aug 27, 2014 at 12:38 am |

        I was thinking more along the likes of the countless statuary tributaries erected to countless founding leaders of progress that have been installed in every town everywhere, may of whom were in fact not all that nice or great. I’m sure there’s a Tomas Edison statue around somewhere needing a wardrobe lift.

  6. Truth Teller | Aug 20, 2014 at 3:24 pm |

    If it were me, I’d tell them, “They are your monuments, maybe you should post one of your guards at each one.” Alternatively, the Russians could learn to appreciate good artwork combined with humor. 😉

  7. Kitty Davenport | Aug 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm |

    I have an idea. Why doesn’t Bulgaria demolish the monuments and send the rubble to Russia?

    • MichaelDorosh | Aug 24, 2014 at 12:41 am |

      Just because Stalin famously rewrote history, why should Bulgaria do so – do two wrongs make a right? The Red Army kicked the Nazis out of Eastern Europe at great cost. Bulgaria also had a rise in their standard of living in the 1950s as part of the Soviet sphere of influence. Would they have been better off with the Nazis? They were an ally of Germany in the Second World War, albeit reluctant. There is a saying about those who forget their own past.

      • BostonJohn | Aug 24, 2014 at 1:08 am |

        You probably have never met anyone who lived in Bulgaria or any other Eastern European country under Communist control. The so-called rise in the standard of living in those countries was accompanied by persecution of Orthodox Christians, state controlled media and a secret police corps that could imprison and torture anyone at will. Hardly the workers’ paradise.

        • MichaelDorosh | Aug 24, 2014 at 1:12 am |

          I’ve met survivors of the Nazi regime. I don’t see how your comments justify desecrating memorials to World War II?

          • BostonJohn | Aug 24, 2014 at 1:39 am |

            Not much difference between the regimes, in my opinion. The Russians have plenty of monuments to their WWII victory over the Nazis. Once the USSR ceased to be and the Berlin Wall came down, Eastern European countries became autonomous and have the right of self-determination, including what monuments they wish to keep on their soil. I’m with the person who suggested demolishing them ands sending the rubble to Russia.

          • Haren94 . | Aug 29, 2014 at 7:12 am |

            This monument is a symbol of half-a-century long occupation of Eastern Europe by the communist regime.

            My grandmother (I’m Polish) has always said the Russians and the Red Army was 10 times worse than Wehrmacht. Wehrmacht threw you out of your house if they needed and kept police hour, the Red Army soldiers came in, raped women, stole everything that had any value and moved along, “freeing the workers and farmers”.

          • Victor Andrei | Aug 24, 2014 at 11:37 am |

            I applaud anyone who desecrates monuments to tyrants, regardless of the tyrants’ origins.

          • it’s still a monument to people that died for a cause that they believed strongly in. they still had a family, and just because they believed in a bad cause does not make them bad people.

          • Pavel Stella | Aug 25, 2014 at 5:03 am |

            It is not a monument to anyone who died for their beliefs. No Soviet soldiers died in action during the Soviet invasion, because Bulgarian government decided not to resists. Some Bulgarian army officers committed suicide as a result – these are people who died for what they believed in, but there is no monument to them.

          • Oleg Nigay | Aug 25, 2014 at 8:34 am |

            This monument is not of Stalin and Lenin. It is a monument to those who gave their lives to their families lived. Therefore it is necessary to show a drop of respect for their buckets of blood and sweat!

          • mattlove1 | Aug 27, 2014 at 12:05 am |

            I think people should paint that hideous spire in DC that’s a monument to one of those slave owners. They should paint it pink so that it looks like a giant prick. Very appropriate, I’m sure the gomment SNF everybody commenting here would have no problem with it.

          • Mike4Senate31 | Aug 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm |

            I lived in Poland for about a year and a half shortly after the wall came down. For many of the people the Soviet occupation was merely exchanging one set of tyrants for another.

          • MichaelDorosh | Aug 24, 2014 at 12:53 pm |

            There are people in Canada and the United States and, I am sure, other countries who enjoy freedom and democracy unheard of in human history who swear up and down on a daily basis that they live in a repressed society and rail about their lot in life. I wouldn’t suggest tyranny should never be challenged, but I do think that what constitutes tyranny is often in the eye of the beholder. A friend of mine married a Russian lady and there are many in the old country nostalgic for the days of an iron hand on the tiller. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

          • Andrzej Sawuła | Aug 24, 2014 at 2:41 pm |

            With all respect, I believe here you are following the line of so called “Soviet apologists”, an outlook among social scientists popular in Western academia during the Cold War. They ostensibly believed Soviet propaganda, ignored inconvenient facts and generally explained all unclear issues for the benefit of USSR. That is why many people in the West today have only a vague idea of what Soviet-style communism was like.

            I know there are people in the US believing the current administration to be totalitarian tyrants. That does not invalidate the fact that Soviets and their client states:
            * disposessed (sometimes bloodily) legal authorities and imposed brand-new governments (later shown to include secret Soviet agents) (Poland is a nice example)
            * employed judicial murders against legal opposition (check out the Moscow “trial of the sixteen”)
            * used the army to militarily subdue inconvenient political movements (Budapest? Prague? strikes in Poland?)
            * prevented their citizens from leaving the Bloc area, including shooting them (not only the Berlin Wall, but coast guards in the Baltics as well)
            * employed a very deep network of secret police and informants, using the information to manipulate victims, terrorize the population, in extreme cases simply murder dissidents (well, each Soviet Bloc country, I think)
            * imposed a fairly thorough system of false, hardly logical beliefs and taught that in schools for half a century; the effects are even now severely hampering post-Soviet countries, as people instinctively cling to beliefs they were raised with (this is certainly a major problem in Poland and Ukraine, not sure about other countries)

            I am sorry, but relativising tyranny does not work here. Central European countries were generally democratic before WWII and were subdued and held by force by the Soviet. As soon as the Soviets declared for the first time they would not use the army to pacify dissent, the whole bloc unravelled within a year or two.

          • mattlove1 | Aug 27, 2014 at 12:17 am |

            What would happen if the US ended it’s reign of terror in it’s area of influence? We don’t need to guess, we’ve seen it on Latin America. Democracy breaks out. Bush the idiot got pinned down in the middle East and lost control of the back yard. Obama the cruel has tried to turn back the clock without success except in Honduras and Haiti. Am interested in hearing people’s theories about why Americans are so unfamiliar with the US’s actual role in the world

          • Grove Peate | Sep 4, 2014 at 12:35 pm |

            I enjoyed more freedom in the late 50’s early 60’s then I do now.I can’t sat that for many blacks or Jews back then but is was alot better for me.I lived in a small town on L.I. that was 60% black 30% Jewish…Roosevelt L.I. “One Square Mile” a good read.

          • Inshallah3 | Aug 25, 2014 at 8:07 pm |

            I lived there too. Most Poles were glad to be out of CCCP grasp, especially their secret police. If they had their way they would tear down the “palace of culture” or commonly known as Stalin’s Penis in downtown warsaw. umie po polsku wiec rozmawialem z wieloma ludzmi.

          • Robert Benscoter | Aug 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm |

            What does it say about humanity that we build memorials to war? Let me know when someone builds a monument to a period of peace time.

          • noddaduma | Aug 26, 2014 at 7:11 am |

            Like the Statue of Liberty?

          • The statue of liberty hardly stands for peace unless you call the march of tears and liberating the native population peace?

          • noddaduma | Sep 9, 2014 at 7:07 pm |

            You’re really grasping at straws there with that reply.

        • Grove Peate | Sep 4, 2014 at 12:22 pm |

          Much like they are trying to do in America.

      • Victor Andrei | Aug 24, 2014 at 11:36 am |

        “Rise in the standard of living” after the Soviets took control? Yeah right! One of my parents grew up in a neighboring country that was occupied by the Soviets, and that parent’s family lost almost everything. And, don’t get me started on the stories that I’ve heard about the secret police there, or the food rations, or the third-world medical care.

        • Antony Cole | Aug 26, 2014 at 4:27 pm |

          There certainly was a rise in the standard of living in Bulgaria and the economy reached it’s highest ever peak during the 1980s. Have a look at – you can see the progress that came with socialism and then the anarchy and poverty after the collapse of socialism. In most adult’s memories it was a golden age at least for Bulgaria. I can not speak for any neighbouring countries.

          • Martin Kolev | Aug 26, 2014 at 11:31 pm |

            You cannot speak for Bulgaria either … My Grandparents and parents lived in that time , and it was a time of having 1-2 tv programs (russian) , the only fruits they ate were bananas , anything western was forbidden . no english in schools , it was forbidden to listen to “The Beatles” so the students hid in abandoned buildings just to listen to them and when the police found them they would run , if anyone is caught they might get expelled from school and whatnot . Whenever i hear stories about those times and comparing that to after the Soviet control was over , they were talking with relief about how my generation and above have it much better , with a lot more freedom and better life … The only reason you could say it improved is because we were under Turkish( Osman empire) rule and those were nightmarish times , then when we were finally free and it had been merely some 50-60 years from that when we went under Soviet control … So it’s like going from the bottom of the shit hole to a point where we are above the shit but still in it but are at least able to breathe but doesn’t change the fact that soviet control was still inside the shit hole …

      • Robert Benscoter | Aug 25, 2014 at 2:59 pm |

        They’ve got those monuments, why not just make them look like monuments to the Bulgarian army?

    • That would be pretty funny to see.
      But I guess the same reason Hungary has Memento Park in Budapest. People can make fun of it! When I went, my grandpa (who is Hungarian) was blown away at how much things have changed since he was my age. Back then, he would’ve gotten arrested for the things I did with the statues. (Lol, I saw one of Khrushchev with his arm reaching out, and someone had stuck a cigarette in between his fingers.)

    • Sell them the pieces – Rubble for Roubles.

  8. Terry Ward | Aug 20, 2014 at 5:56 pm |

    HAH ! oh this is great

  9. Mitchell Taco Nash | Aug 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm |

    “American Superheroes”

    I never realized Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald were ‘American Superheros‘.

    • Catey Hamilton | Aug 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm |

      Or the Joker…

    • To children, Santa could very possibly be a hero… Just a thought. Also, with the stories around the world that American’s have the highest percentage of people that are obese… They probably thought that Ronnie was a good candidate! Smh…

    • Morgan Whitney South | Aug 24, 2014 at 12:16 pm |

      Ha! I’ve never seen them look so epic before. 😀

  10. if russia responds with hostility every time a vandal defaces a russian monument… then more vandals might deface russian monuments!

  11. Here is a song that expresses my deep sympathy for the Russians who are offended at this insult:

    • It was reported on by the Moscow Times just the other day and we picked it up. The graffiti keeps reappearing.

      • nope they are not. the original action was back in 2011, and then the Ukrainian thing in Feb this year. Currently the monument looks normally an no new actions since Feb, been there just a day ago 🙂 i.e. Moscow Times bringing up this “again”, now, is sheer propaganda.

        As my opinion towards the vandalism/art – I agree that maybe it is not appropriate to deface monument, even when done in art and humoristic way, yet, please note that the Red Army did not liberate us from the Nais, the Nazis left on their own… and then the Red Army came over – the monument is not a tribute to Russians dies on Bulgarian soil protecting us or helping us…. other than dies for vodka overdose.

        p.s. there is a monument to a Russian Tsar (king) in downtown sofia who helped Bulgaria break free from the Turks …a lot of Russians really died for Bulgaria back then, and I assure you no one have ever set a finger on it, unless to renovate and keep in shape.Period.

  12. The USSR lost 20 million people in the fight against European fascism, including the relatives of millions of Russians still able to remember the war. Somehow I can see why they don’t find this very funny.

    • Nesüketelj | Aug 21, 2014 at 11:45 am |

      They fought to defend their land AND to get their own part of Eastern Europe. They fought agains other countries that fought for the same, new lands. There were fascists, socialists and national socialists but these ideologies were just propaganda to legalise the fights. By that logic you could say that Germans only fought against socialism. It would be the same lie. In addition the Soviet army members acted like a bunch of animals. For example here in Hungary a lot were happy for a moment that they won over the German army but then they stayed for decades and they raped women as they arrived they stole everything they could and they collected a lot men, even children and took them to ‘malenki robot’ (‘small work’) to Siberia for long-long years. They were a barbarian horde compared to German soldiers. So I can understand very well why nobody wants their monuments. They fought for themselves not just against ‘fascism’.

      • Kevin Muraski | Aug 21, 2014 at 9:08 pm |

        Other people have commented that Russia lost millions of lives fighting Nazi Germany, but Russia did NOT ally against Nazi Germany until AFTER Nazi Germany attacked and invaded Russia. RUSSIA INITIALLY ALLIED WITH NAZI GERMANY! Russia INVADED Eastern Poland on September 17, 1939. After the invasion, the cooperation (between Russia and Nazi Germany) was visible for example in the four Gestapo-NKVD Conferences, where the occupants (Russia/Nazi Germany) discussed plans for dealing with the Polish resistance movement and further destruction of Poland…(Wiki). So please remember that Russia, in their greed for additional conquered territories, AIDED Nazi Germany in invading, attacking, and destroying Poland at the outset of WW ll.

    • TSJones97 | Aug 22, 2014 at 12:37 am |

      The USSR also enslaved most of Eastern Europe for decades behind the IRON CURTAIN. They crushed pro democracy movements in Hungary and Czechoslovakia with tanks. They covertly tried to undermine reformist movements in Poland and Romania. I have no sympathy for them if they still love these symbols of Soviet oppression.

    • Russians are welcome to raise monuments to the Soviet fallen on their own soil. Why does Bulgaria need a Soviet monument in the first place? It’s nothing more than a stamp of ownership by occupying forces.

      • MichaelDorosh | Aug 24, 2014 at 12:46 am |

        Bulgaria’s standard of living actually apparently went up after World War II with a state-planned economy. The alternative during the war was a forced partnership with the Nazis. They did better than Romania and Hungary in that they didn’t sent troops to die on the Russian Front, and they were better at saving their Jews from persecution.

        • Cletus Junk | Aug 24, 2014 at 3:44 am |

          Put down the Pravda. Seriously, you’re praising the USSR for saving Jews from persecution?

          • Pavel Stella | Aug 25, 2014 at 3:54 am |

            MichaelDorosh is right about Jews, and he is not saying they were saved by the USSR. As a German ally during WWII, Bulgaria was allowed some ground for manoeuvring. Jews did suffer legal restrictions during the war, but none was deported to concentration camps. The move for saving Bulgarian Jews happened in 1943, 18 months before the Soviet invasion. Unfortunately, it didn’t apply to Bulgarian-occupied territories in today’s Greece and Macedonia. They were not formally part of Bulgaria and Germany was able to implement its policy of deportation.

        • Russell Smith | Aug 24, 2014 at 9:27 pm |

          I’d like to hear from actual Bulgarians about this ‘standard of living’ increase I see you harping about. I’d like to know how wonderful having a Soviet boot on their throat was.

          • Pavel Stella | Aug 25, 2014 at 4:30 am |

            From an actual Bulgarian: the standard of living increase is a myth which has been nourished by the local pro-Russian/nostalgic propaganda, and as a result many Bulgarians still believe in it.

            Before WWII, Bulgaria was indeed a predominantly agrarian country, but it was doing quite well economically; statistics from that time showing higher per capita levels of production compared to neighbouring Romania, Yugoslavia, Greece and Turkey.

            After the war, under Soviet orders, there was forceful collectivisation and nationalisation of land and means of production. Disowned farmers were transferred towards, hastily built, ineffective industrial facilities. As a result, it took the country about 30 years to reach pre-WWII levels of economic development. In 1989 the state-planned economy collapsed among power black-outs and severe shortages of basic goods. Subsequent opening of archives showed that Bulgaria had been on the verge of complete economic meltdown at least twice during the communist rule, and had only been saved by huge loans from the USSR.

          • Russell Smith | Aug 25, 2014 at 5:31 pm |

            Thank you for clearing things up, Pavel.

    • Question. Was Bulgaria part of Russia?

      • Ms. Tipett | Aug 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm |

        Hell to the NO!

      • jabuchan08 | Aug 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm |

        They were part of the “eastern bloc” of satellite puppet states which were nominally independent but that acted primarily as a way for the USSR to maintain international credibility as having “allies.”
        In reality they were puppet states, which weren’t “officially” part of the Soviet Union, but were under the thumb of the red army.

        • Yeah that I knew. Was more talking about was bulgaria at any point ever actually part of russia.

          • Kristi McManus | Aug 24, 2014 at 12:58 pm |

            The answer is no but I’m sure Moscow could probably find a couple if Russian speakers in Bulgaria to justify annexing it.

      • We have never been part from USSR!!!!

    • Brendan Smith | Aug 22, 2014 at 2:03 pm |

      Stalin also killed between 15 and 50 million or his own people. No one really knows for sure. Atrocities like that were not unique to Russia. Stalin’s iron grip crushed many across the USSR and allied neighbor states like Bulgaria and Romania.

    • Andrzej Sawuła | Aug 22, 2014 at 4:10 pm |

      The USSR lost so many people (over twice as many as Nazi Germany, who conquered almost all Europe before facing the Soviets!) at their own request, due to their utterly barbaric tactics. Soviet generals were expressly forbidden to value their soldiers’ lives; there were frequent cases where strongholds were literally swamped with infantry so that the defenders run out of ammo. Moreover, the Soviets immediately executed ALL repatriated POWs (check out “Operation Keelhaul”) and these numbers are also included in the total. Somehow I don’t think murdering one’s own soldiers constitutes a solid basis for moral high ground…

      • MichaelDorosh | Aug 24, 2014 at 12:49 am |

        The Red Army was extremely professional and proficient in the last half of the war. I’d be careful of perpetuating too many Hollywood myths. Many of those myths were created in the Cold War by German generals, who were permitted to document their experiences for posterity. There was political expediency in rehabilitating the Germans as NATO needed West Germany as a bulwark. The Soviet generals, on the other hand, were very quickly “the enemy” and their experiences went into the Soviet archives (not necessarily unaltered) where many are still buried.

        • Andrzej Sawuła | Aug 24, 2014 at 4:20 am |

          I don’t know much about Hollywood myths, rather I am writing from experience of my family and friends.

          The question of Red Army’s professionalism is beyond the point, however. What is relevant to the article is that in the course of defeating the Third Reich the Soviets literally conquered half of Europe and from the beginning treated these lands as their rightful trophy. Which included openly engaging native non-communist guerilla forces that had spent the war fighting Germans, murdering resistance officers that fought hand-in-hand with them and aided the Soviet offensive, deporting the pre-war middle class to Central Asia or Siberia in bulk etc.

          My grandmother lived through the Soviet “liberation” of northern Poland and her stories show anything but professionalism on the Soviet part. Raping peasant girls, robbing farmers of anything that caught their fancy, including the only warm clothes and food for surviving the winter, literally shooting at paintings in churches or late-nobility mansions… Some professionalism, indeed. So is anybody today shocked that those lands no longer revere the monuments of such “liberation”?

          • Don’t forget the Red Army dragged as much machinery, trains and parts and loot as they could back to Russia proper. They liberated some people, then raped them, sometimes literally.

          • MichaelDorosh | Aug 24, 2014 at 10:19 am |

            I was responding specifically to your claim that “Soviet generals were expressly forbidden to value their soldiers’ lives” which seems to lack context. The Red Army by 1944 had gained a great operational skill which is at odds with the stereotype perpetuated by “Enemy at the Gates.” Millions of Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian et al men laboured to make what they thought was a better world. They had no more desire to live under communism (or for that matter, serve in the army, fight, or die) than your Polish family. Millions died fighting Nazism. Should we pretend then that it just never happened? That would be tragic.

            There are decent historical studies that talk about the Soviet operational art; the Red Army fought rings around the Germans by the end of the war. It was a peasant army who behaved very poorly to the populations they encountered in victory of which there can be no doubt. Perhaps we need more reminders of these kinds of things, not less.

            ‘Cause you know – I have a feeling I’ll have plenty of reminders who Santa Claus is, starting about October 15th and running into January.

            Just a thought.

          • Andrzej Sawuła | Aug 24, 2014 at 10:54 am |

            The situation of soldiers of the Red Army and its local allies, including the Polish 1st Army (Berling’s), was absolutely tragic. They were caught between a hammer and a rock, fighting an absolutely evil enemy in the name of only slightly less evil power that has earlier invaded their countries and instituted terror and war crimes there. There was no good choice for them. This does not automatically make them heroes, unfortunately.

            That said, situation of various Eastern Front countries were different and to this day there are ones that honour the memory of their national Waffen-SS divisions. Not in each case the Germans-to-Soviets change was one for the better…

        • Andrzej Sawuła | Aug 24, 2014 at 4:36 am |

          And as for the alleged professionalism of late-war Red Army… Let me describe a minor episode from the “liberation” of Poland, during the Battle of Kolberg. As far as I know, it is fairly representative of Soviet tactics of that time. I heard the story from first-hand witnesses – not Germans, mind you.

          During the final stages of assault on the harbour one of the approaches, along the beach, was protected by a beached gunboat that was unable to sail away, crewed by a handful of sailors. The Soviets had light infantry with little to engage a ship with. So the Soviet commisars simply drove – at gunpoint – waves of light-armed infantry to the beach so that the Germans run out of ammo. The problem was, the gunboat had an AA gun… When they finally exhausted their shells, Soviet casualties on that beach were almost a thousand dead and when the Germans tried to surrender, they were literally torn apart by the surviving troops.

          So much for Soviet proficiency, I guess… You can find dozens like that in WWII diaries, e.g. by escaped guerilla fighters that managed to reach the West before the Soviets got to them.

    • Wow, lots of responses here. Nearly none of which are about World War 2, the topic of the monument.

      Stalinism was definitely atrocious, and no doubt Bulgarians have many valid complaints about the Eastern bloc years and their treatment by the USSR. But that has nothing to do with this monument. That doesn’t change that the soldiers who fought and died against Nazi Germany were heroes, and deserve basic human respect. To deface a monument to those soldiers (not to Stalin or the CPSU) is a misdirected act. It is ignorant.

      As per Mr. Army Man pointing out the flaws of Soviet military tactics, one only need look back to the Great Purges to understand why the Soviet military wasn’t more efficient. But again, that has nothing to do with this tasteless act of disrespecting soldiers who died fighting the Nazis.

      • Andrzej Sawuła | Aug 24, 2014 at 9:00 am |

        If the “Mr Military Man” part was directed at me, I would like to clarify that I am not and have never been in any military. The avatar shows a scouting uniform. 😉

        As for the Great Purges, I believe you are conflating cause and effect here. It was not the Soviet field generals that came up with such cannon-fodder approach but their supreme command. For example, Stalin issued an explicit order not to attempt to preserve the lives of Soviet soldiers and generals who attempted that anyway were officially reprimanded.

        And as for the heroes of the Red Army who fought the Nazis… Well, their efforts led to replacing a barbaric Nazi regime with an equally barbaric Soviet one. They brought Gulags, mass deportations, judicial murders and plain state terror. You might also check what the Red army was doing in the 2nd half of 1944 and think what it had to do with defeating Germany. In the eyes of many CEE countries the Red Army were simply invaders.

      • Pavel Stella | Aug 25, 2014 at 6:29 am |

        No Soviet soldiers were killed in action on Bulgarian soil. Bulgaria didn’t resist the Soviet invasion and even switched sides in the war just before the Soviets invaded. Even while it was a German ally, Bulgaria never send troops to fight against the Soviets.
        Words like ‘desecration’, applied to the artistic action discussed here, are totally out of place. There is nothing sacred about this monument, as it marks no heroic deaths, but rather the political domination of the Soviet Union brought about by the Red Army.
        Indeed, many Soviet soldiers died in Bulgaria. There were about 30 casualties occurring after the Red Army seized a distillery near Burgas. Many Soviet soldiers mistook methyl alcohol for vodka… Their graves are being respected, no one in Bulgaria is trying to desecrate them.

      • I suppose the people who helped crush the native americans are heroes to . They arent and they still occupy the native americans land so its not such a great idea to throw stones in a glass house.

    • Васисуалий Пупкин | Aug 25, 2014 at 4:32 pm |

      Fascism is what’s going in Putler’s Russia right now. That German thing was called Nazism FYI.

      • mattlove1 | Aug 27, 2014 at 12:40 am |

        Actually, his name is “Putin.” No wonder this site I’d called ‘disinfo.’ Nobody seems to be able to get the smallest thing right. And the bigger it gets, the bigger the divergence from reality.

    • Inshallah3 | Aug 25, 2014 at 8:16 pm |

      They had 2 choices get shot by the germans or get shot in the back by your own people. I think the germans were a better choice somehow.

    • Ivana Kovač | Aug 26, 2014 at 4:34 am |

      “The USSR lost 20 million people in the fight against European fascism” mainly because Stalin did not believe that Hitler would attack him so he killed all the competent people in his own army. These are the well known facts of history. In bodycount, Stalin surpassed Hitler many times.

    • Ed Seyfried | Aug 26, 2014 at 4:04 pm |

      Stalin killed upward of 50m of his own people; if they consider this paint job an aberration then someone has opened up a great debate…

  13. This is the greatest thing I have seen in months!!!!

  14. If anyone’s interested, the graffiti says “In step with the times”

    • Ian Matheson | Aug 23, 2014 at 8:15 am |

      Thank you. That adds to the story.

      • Better: Keeping up with the times. Anyways – a hated CCCP monument.

        • Roboante Signorina | Sep 2, 2014 at 9:30 am |

          what’s CCCP? did you really use latin alphabet to write cyrillic? ahahahahahahha

          • You’re kidding right ??
            It is the Russian abbreviation of Союз Советских Социалистических Республик, meaning the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR in English.

  15. Johan Lastich | Aug 21, 2014 at 2:26 pm |

    It is cool art but shame on you for making fun of the people who gave their lifes to defeat NAZIS. What would happen if somebody did this to the WW2 USA monuments?

    • Trevor Hall | Aug 23, 2014 at 2:50 am |

      Um, last I checked, we didn’t put up an American WWII memorial inside a different country. This is a Russian Memorial IN Bulgaria, and when the US does have a memorial overseas, we have our own troops patrolling it. This would be like setting up a Desert Storm memorial in Kabul and telling them to protect it for us.

      • Desert Storm in Kabul? Two very different periods. 1991 vs 2001, Iraq vs Afghanistan.

        Also, we have monuments in France and I bet a few other countries I don’t know about — don’t believe our troops are patrolling these. However, we also liberated Normandy so they aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to destroy a very small memorial to the thousands that died liberating their beaches and eventually their country and the rest of Nazis-controlled Europe.

        • Andrzej Sawuła | Aug 24, 2014 at 5:27 am |

          A small difference might be that the Allies, the US among them, actually liberated Western Europe *and then gave it back to the natives*. On the other hand, the Soviets conquered Eastern Europe, killed off legitimate authorities, imposed Soviet-backed rulers and proceeded to control and exploit the area for half a century…

      • MichaelDorosh | Aug 24, 2014 at 12:43 am |

        Have you been to Normandy? Beautiful and heart-breaking memorial to American losses in World War II right by Omaha Beach, particularly poignant given its proximity to the U.S. military cemetery.

        • Kristi McManus | Aug 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm |

          And the land for the American cemetery at Normandy was given to the US by France.

      • erickoszyk | Aug 24, 2014 at 11:19 am |

        Are you serious? There are hundreds of US memorials in France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, etc etc

    • I suspect this might happen in any emancipated state that had by force of politics, shed its occupying army. In which case such monuments are neither appropriate or desired as part of the reinstated political framework, regardless of whether some locals had fought beside or were involved with such lionised acts. And I think the Russians sure have some arrogance complaining to the Bulgarians parliament about the defacement given the likely disenfranchisement of the local population with all things USSR/Russian, that may have also led to their incarceration in the own country. I suspect if a monument was created and installed by the Bulgarians it wouldn’t suffer the same treatment. That being said I also think it might culturally be considered politically and artistically as an important art piece, in much the same way that Banksy has created works that are worth consideration.

  16. Leö Stitch | Aug 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm |

    20,000,000 Russians died fighting fascists, well over twice as much as any other nation……..I mean I know it’s not like for like but imagine say Texas seceded from the USA and Texan kids started vandalising war memorials……Oh the chuckles that Americans would have, we all know how good they are at poking fun at themselves… I think Russia looks after Bulgaria pretty well with gas prices and what have you….I don’t think it’s them asking too much that the Bulgarians make a bit more effort to stop people pissing on the graves of 20,000,000 people.

    But then again, It’s always a hoot when it aint you innit?

    • Mr. Stitch, let me tell you what have happened here in Bulgaria. In fact Russia’s not making any favor to us, just the opposite. Bulgaria should have been a much bigger country if Russia haven’t interfered then, please refresh your memory and take a story lesson. Because of the communism they brought to us we are at least 50 years behind other countries, that were developing at this time. And now we have nothing. We still remember the times when there was nothing to buy in the stores, people were working for nothing, really. Intelligent people were sent to prisons, many of them died there, others were killed. And many other things have happened here, which I prefer not to talk about. They left a huge scar to our country. So, is it clear now?

    • Brendan Smith | Aug 22, 2014 at 2:02 pm |

      How many millions of his own people did Stalin kill after that? Who really knows? Some say 15 million. Others close to 50 million. With a history like that is it any wonder that the Bulgarians feel very little warmth toward their Soviet history.

    • Mr. Stitch, let me tell you what have happened here in Bulgaria. In fact Russia’s not making any favor to us, just the opposite. Bulgaria should have been a much bigger country if Russia haven’t interfered then, please refresh your memory and take a history lesson. Because of the communism they brought to us we are at least 50 years behind other countries, that were developing at this time. And now we have nothing. We still remember the times when there was nothing to buy in the stores, people were working for nothing, really. Intelligent people were sent to prisons, many of them died there, others were killed. And many other things have happened here, which I prefer not to talk about. They left a huge scar to our country. So, is it clear now?

  17. Kevin Muraski | Aug 21, 2014 at 8:43 pm |

    Russia did NOT ally against Nazi Germany until AFTER Nazi Germany attacked and invaded Russia. RUSSIA INITIALLY ALLIED WITH NAZI GERMANY! Russia INVADED Eastern Poland on September 17, 1939. After the invasion, the cooperation (between Russia and Nazi Germany) was visible for example in the four Gestapo-NKVD Conferences, where the occupants (Russia/Nazi Germany) discussed plans for dealing with the Polish resistance movement and further destruction of Poland…(Wiki). So please remember that Russia, in their greed for additional conquered territories, AIDED Nazi Germany in invading, attacking, and destroying Poland at the outset of WW ll.

    • Eric Gorall | Aug 23, 2014 at 3:43 pm |

      I don’t think anyone doesn’t know that already. Russia wasn’t innocent though. Germany and Russia agreed to jointly attack Poland. Both Germany and Russia were nevertheless destined to fight each other as diplomats on both sides continually said. Germany was still pissed that Russia’s decision to be the first European nation to mobilize leading up to WWI essentially forced Germany to do the same and made WWI inevitable.

      • Matt Anthony Lewis | Aug 23, 2014 at 10:35 pm |

        The Russians mostly all denied it ever happened the last time I
        mentioned that. One of them finally admitted they were allied but denied
        that Russia took part in anything the Germans did. It’s sad how much
        Putin has brain washed them when they still have access to thw worlds
        public information unlike North Korea.

        • mattlove1 | Aug 27, 2014 at 12:24 am |

          And how about the knowledge about who defestrf the Nazis and at what cost? I guess we have to blame Obamas brainwashing for why people don’t know that. Insert random swat here at UD trained and armed ISID forces, and I’ve matched you point for point. Hooray for our side.

          • nasaponken | Aug 28, 2014 at 7:58 pm |

            hmm so the arms ,fuel, weapons and food shipments the tech transfers from the US and england had nothing at all to do with stalin being able to halt the german onslaught?
            o by the way what happened in the baltics and ,hmm winter war in finland??? o yeah almost forgot that epic incident in katyn … ask the poles what they think of katyn

          • Haren94 . | Aug 29, 2014 at 7:19 am |

            In 1940 Russia slaughtered over 21 000 Polish prisoners (around 10 000 of them were army officers, rest – civilians) shooting them in the head and burrying in mass graves in russian forests.

      • Andrzej Sawuła | Aug 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm |

        Ordinary Russians generally do not know that. Look at street interviews on YouTube… Very few Russians would acknowledge that USSR actually started WWII by invading a neighbouring country. For them WWII started in the summer of 1941, earlier developments… just didn’t happen, I guess.

      • Paul Sargent | Aug 25, 2014 at 12:45 am |

        Well, you also have to keep in mind that the Russian powers were very different between WW1 and WW2. Czarist Russia fell during WW1 because the Germans sent Lenin back to Russia. As such, Stalin did have reason to be pro-Germany, as Russia would still have a Czar if it wasn’t for the Kaiser.

  18. Russia never said any such thing. This art was created a few years ago, and has been cleaned up since… why is it ‘news’ now? oh… wait… disinfo

    • Well technically it was reported on by the Moscow Times just the other day. The artwork keeps reappearing.

      • again I assure you nothing has happened to that monument in the past several months…if Moscow Time posted that a couple of days ago – well you can make your own conclusions on that 🙂

  19. if I was Bulgaria I’d send the monuments back with a bill for the transport.

  20. Religion of Peace? Yea right | Aug 22, 2014 at 11:51 am |

    Yea well Russia you can go fuck yourself! Excellent piece of artwork

  21. Petros L. Ioannou | Aug 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm |

    Oh man… this is horrible. This is a travesty, it’s an abomination!!!

    They gave Superman his New52 look with just a red belt and no underoos! THE HORROR!!!

  22. Any way to poke the Russian Bear in the Eye! Why doesn’t the rest of the world “demand” that the give back Crimea?

  23. Kevin Samuel Coleman | Aug 22, 2014 at 10:37 pm |

    The last time they did this was 2011. Why would you write an article saying they should stop painting it as superheroes when that hasn’t been done for 3 years?

    • not quite, last time was in Feb this year. Still that was over six months ago and has been commented by all media. Indeed bringing the subject now with what’s going up in Ukraine right now is very propagandistic.

  24. Russia is sort of becoming a parody of a country. Like a country in a Monty Python sketch.

  25. barefoot bob | Aug 23, 2014 at 7:03 am |

    Fascist Russia wants to keep their boots on the necks of Bulgarian, it’s really that simple.

  26. John E Miller | Aug 23, 2014 at 10:22 am |

    Lest we forget that it was the United States, and not the Soviet Union, that defeated Nazi Germany.

  27. John E Miller | Aug 23, 2014 at 10:57 am |

    Lest we forget that it was the United States, and not the Soviet Union, that defeated Nazi Germany! Though if we are to take the artists’ caption seriously “In step with the times”, the super-cosmopolitan nature of the American culture industry is today’s leading attack against tribalism and ultranationalism. It is also its greatest cause. Chew on that dialectic.

    • Yeah, that’s right, the United States did it all on their lonesome. The moniker “Allied Forces” was just to keep feelings from being hurt as the US forces took control of the situation.
      Also, your made up term of Super Cosmopolitan makes no sense in relation to “american culture” let alone with the term industry attached. Also, this is in no fashion dialectic.

    • Huh? The Soviet Union didnt stop Nazi Germany? Look, Im as American as the next guy- but youre nuts!

      • EdZachary | Aug 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm |

        Geez…read some history. The Red Army pushed the Nazis all the way from Stalingrad to Berlin. Yes, the West supplied the Soviets with a lot of supplies, mostly trucks and other logistical items, but the Soviets fought hard and effectively. Read about the battle of Kursk.

    • It was the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union and the rest of the allies that beat Nazi Germany.

      A large part of the reason Germany lost was because they were fighting us on the west and fighting the soviets on the east.

  28. Windson Bajakov | Aug 23, 2014 at 1:55 pm |

    So apparently Ronald McDonald is a superhero now.

  29. El_Caganer | Aug 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm |

    Uh. Dredging up ancient stories as new? This was orginally posted in 2011.

  30. Mega Miahx | Aug 23, 2014 at 2:04 pm |

    This is definitely a sign that this is the time for Russia to become our friends ; it is time for our nations to become brothers.

    • terrasodium | Aug 23, 2014 at 6:03 pm |

      sure we can give em’ credit cards and and they can give us marshal law, wait never mind we’re workin’ on it

    • Andrzej Sawuła | Aug 24, 2014 at 7:58 am |

      Few nations would object to Russia becoming a normal post-imperial country – proud of its history, open about its wrongdoings, willing to build some following among neighbours on basis different than naked force. Like, say, post-Nazi Germany, post-imperial Great Britain, post-imperial Japan…

      At the same time, Russia still behaves like a schoolyard bully. I don’t think one can name any Russian allies besides small dictatorial client states that use Russia to legitimise their authoritarian rule. Russian people generally deny many WWII facts, beginning with the one that USSR allied with the Third Reich and started a global war to divide Europe between them. Oh, and many of them openly mourn the USSR, which was powerful; the fact that it was built on terror and naked oppression does not trouble them, because it was Russia that was doing he oppression…

  31. Um this happened in 2011 ppl. Not sure why the hell they’re making this out to be a current story.

  32. The existence of this monument is a stupid
    mistake. To keep a monument of the occupation army who bring us misery
    and death is a nonsense. It should be demolished and forgotten.

  33. Lora Kinter | Aug 24, 2014 at 5:24 am |

    I think its amazing. Its art! Freedom!

  34. Louise Bigbee | Aug 24, 2014 at 4:51 pm |

    Where is Bat Man ?

  35. Russell Smith | Aug 24, 2014 at 9:22 pm |

    They could have just dynamited those horrible things. Instead they decided to pretty ’em up. Russia should be honored.

  36. Navigator7 | Aug 24, 2014 at 9:56 pm |

    Since when is the Joker and the Riddler considered super heros?

  37. Bulgaria’s like “I’m right on top of that, Rose!”.

  38. This happened in 2011.

  39. Is no one going to bring up that this particular rebranding of the monument was from 3 years ago? Bit of a misleading headline/picture combo. However the monument is regularly defaced to coincide with different political issues:

  40. Сергей Козак | Aug 25, 2014 at 7:01 am |

    And Russia has the right to choose from whom to buy vegetables, fruit, fish, milk, cheese

  41. Oleg Nigay | Aug 25, 2014 at 8:49 am |

    Perhaps, I understand the view of Western people about Russia. But I don’t understand the relations of Soviet military heroes re-painted as American Superheroes. By this action they show disrespect not only to Russia but to all countries which were part of USSR and all races of them.

    • Get over it. USSR is long gone! The Iron hand is obviously not loved in memory over freedom and democracy and right now this artistic workspace is a good way of expressing their hearts content and you can’t do anything about it.

  42. James Cavanaugh | Aug 25, 2014 at 10:31 am |

    It’s beginning to feel that way under the Obama regime. Good job Bulgarians!

  43. Pat Bartlett | Aug 25, 2014 at 10:53 am |

    75 years of submission of eastern europeans by the Soviets I’m surprised they haven’t torn them down! Note to Russians if you are going to build monuments to your deeds at least build them in YOUR country, that way occupied countries won’t offend you!

  44. Charles Dailly | Aug 25, 2014 at 11:35 am |


  45. Simply, hilarious! Too bad it is not true.

  46. Antony Cole | Aug 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm |

    This monument depicts the Russian soldiers who helped free Bulgaria from Fascism. They should have some respect. Socialism was a golden age for Bulgaria and no level of modern propoganda will change my memory of it.

  47. Nick Noble | Aug 26, 2014 at 4:33 pm |

    Isn’t at least one a “super villain”?

  48. This is great artistic work. Why worry what Russians say?

  49. cadmium_blue | Sep 9, 2014 at 9:30 pm |

    I saw these types of monuments everywhere in Russia during my year and a half sojourn into Siberia. I got to know many people, many from the several former SovBlok countries in Central Asia. They told me their home cities were full of such monuments. Sure enough, on a two week trip through Kazakhstan and Kyrghistan I saw many such monuments. Well they have nothing to do with these people’s culture or cultural identity. It’s not at all surprising to me that in this day and age of internet connectivity that such monuments are ‘culture jammed’ by people whose vision is utterly different than the guilt trip ‘look how many died for you’ type of old school monuments erected by a former colonializing regime that hasn’t existed for 25 years.

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