“In the Russian-Turkish war Russian soldiers and officers, Bulgarian volunteers gave their lives for the freedom of Bulgaria. Not the country with the dead for twenty-odd years of “democracy” production. Now we have to pick strawberries in England, peaches in Spain,” – said the newspaper VIEW Bulgarian journalist Boris Antov, commenting on the dialogue on this issue with the foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov.
On Tuesday on a press-conferences the head of Russian foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov, journalist of the Bulgarian Agency “Media-the Bridge” Boris Antov attracted the attention of the Minister to the graves of Russian soldiers in the Bulgarian Pleven.
“In Bulgaria a lot of people voluntarily caring for the graves of Russian soldiers. But then they can be punished for it”
“In Bulgaria, in the city of Pleven, there are 3400 graves of Russian soldiers. They are all overgrown… Maybe you will pay attention to it?” he was quoted by The Bulgarian Times. This reporter lamented the current situation of the Bulgarians in the framework of the European Union. “For if dying soldiers in Bulgaria, to now we collected the peaches in Spain, olives in Greece, strawberries in England?” – rhetorically asked the reporter of the Minister. However, his question was more like a short speech.
Lavrov, in turn, promised to deal with the condition of monuments and graves in Pleven, asking ANCOVA to give him materials on the subject. In addition, Asov and Lavrov exchanged views on the situation of Christians in Iraq, where recently returned Bulgarian journalist. The Minister in this regard, called upon to protect not only Christians but all Christian and traditional values, not only in the middle East, but all over the world.
In an interview with the newspaper VIEW Boris Antov told more about the situation of Christians in Iraq, about the situation of the cemetery of Russian soldiers in Pleven, as well as about how care is waiting for the Bulgarian people from Russia.
OPINION: Boris, with a Laurel you spoke about what was in Iraq, including the Mosul area. The situation of Christians there may improve after the liberation of the city?
B. A.: I was the Abbot of the monastery of Mar Mattai, this monastery is the ancient library. ISIS militants* were four kilometers away from them, but as said the Abbot, monks are not going to leave this monastery. It is terrible to imagine what awaits them if the Islamists marching in there. The Christians who fled Mosul, said that not going back. Their houses are destroyed, the conflict will last for a long time, and they think only about how to be saved.
Christians are fleeing to Iraqi Kurdistan – the Kurds give them the freedom allowed to build churches. In the town of BA’shiqah there is a Christian quarter, where you can, for example, freely buy alcohol. The Kurds called the Christians brothers. One of the local Kurdish generals, Bahram Boards, even ordered to restore the fallen after the shelling of a cross on one of the churches. Many want to move to Lebanon or to Europe.
Fleeing from Mosul, not only Christians, all run, regardless of denominations. Some of the escapees said that they left their homes for a few hours before the arrival of ISIS. Soon Russian will be my interview with the commander of Peshmerga. This Kurdish General honestly told me: “as long as there are corrupt politicians, we will be in Iraq for a long time to kill each other.” He is a military man, he had no reason to speak cloying language of diplomacy. “After the elimination of ISIS in their place will be a new ISIS. No matter what it will be called. The war will continue for a long time”, – he said to me. I was also in Syria. Saw a desecrated Christian cemetery in the city of Kessab. Makes a painful impression. The names of the dead were erased from the tombstones.
OPINION: do you Agree with the statement of Lavrov, who called to defend Christian and traditional values and European values are described as actually post-Christian?
B. A.: Definitely agree. For example, we in Bulgaria already catastrophically low birth rate. Thus a large flow of migrants from the Middle East. We do not breed, and they – Yes. They do not want to assimilate. We, like other Europeans, Christians, just one day supersede. Shouldn’t we be able to see the Arabic and Turkish languages?
While these refugees are in the majority are not fleeing war. Real men fight for their homeland there, in Iraq, in Syria. To us the crowds going every day refugees from Afghanistan and Africa. In Bulgaria organized volunteer groups trying to stop the invasion, but the police arrest them.
InSIGHT: as for the soldiers ‘ cemeteries in Bulgaria, in Russia it is believed that there them good care. You say that you made a documentary on the state of monuments, many of them in such a state that you had to cut them “with a machete in his hands.”
B. A.: let’s Start with the fact that I live in the South of Bulgaria. Some of us southerners are called Macedonians, but the fact that my small home, the South of the country is not liberated during the Russo-Turkish war. I have no reason to thank Russia or engage in Russian propaganda. But my ancestors are also in the Bulgarian cemeteries, my hometown, in southern Bulgaria.
Then we won our freedom. In my town at the Central cemetery there are graves of German soldiers, they are clean, take care of them. In Pleven now has about 130 monuments and statues in honour of the Russian liberators. I was touched that I saw. Russian graves in Pleven, unfortunately, started badly. To them just to get close. Even the Germans in Germany take care of monuments to Soviet soldiers.
In Bulgaria a lot of people voluntarily caring for the graves of Russian soldiers. Come, take scythes, shovels, chainsaws, get rid of the bushes, clean the graves and monuments of debris. But then they can be punished for it – from the point of view of city authorities, it is impossible to independently care for monuments. I made a documentary about the heroes of Plevna.
OPINION: A do city government of Plevna why not take care of the graves?
B. A.: since the 1990-ies Bulgaria is in a state of cultural decline. Ordinary people care more about how to survive, not to care for the monuments. And all this should be handled by state authorities, the municipality of Pleven. They need to be cleaned, even by allocating funds from the salaries of officials, if there is no money in the budget, because without Russian soldiers they would not even sit on the posts. But they are probably waiting for the next tranche from the European Union, to equip the Park with Russian graves.
I used to write in the foreign Ministry with a request to help in this matter and, again, made a documentary on this topic. We discussed it with my friend, the head of the culture Department of the Ministry of defense Anton Gubankov was going to actively pursue this issue, but unfortunately, he died in a recent crash of Tu-154. Now I decided to tell you about the state of monuments Sergei Lavrov.
OPINION: Addressing Lavrov, you said that the Russian soldiers in Bulgaria did not die in order to modern Bulgarians “gathered strawberries in England.” What do you mean?
B. A.: Died in the Russian-Turkish war Russian soldiers and officers, Bulgarian volunteers gave their lives for the freedom of Bulgaria. Not the country with the dead for twenty-odd years of “democracy” production. Now we have to pick strawberries in England, peaches in Spain. What can you do together with Russia we lost the cold war!
OPINION: What Bulgaria could help Russia?
B. A.: last year at the same press conference, I was invited Lavrov to increase the number of budget places for Bulgarian students. Young educated Bulgarians go to study in the West. If this goes on, soon Bulgaria will forget about what Russia does. We are not a rich country, we have few who can afford paid education in Russia.
I’d like to see in Russia, criticizing the policy of our government, is not abused in this case us. The Bulgarian people did not take the decision to stop the “South stream”, about the prohibition of flights to Syria of Russian aircraft with humanitarian aid. The Bulgarian people are waiting for even non-material, and moral support from Russia.
Bulgarian king Boris III during world war II refused to send its soldiers to fight against Russia, and for that he was poisoned by Hitler. I’m afraid that now politicians like Boris, not there.
* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”