Even though the Immortal Regiment has come under criticism in Europe since Russia invaded Ukraine in February of last year, their march will nevertheless go place today on Europe Day in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
By Russian custom, people in Bulgaria participate in a march on May 9 to celebrate the conclusion of World War II while carrying photos of ancestors who battled the Nazis.
The Municipality informed the media that no information about the impending event was received and that it was not agreed upon.
However, it will go and there are no intentions to cancel, according to Chairman of the Immortal Regiment Foundation Pavel Ivanov.
Ivanov asserts that the mayor may forbid the event if it threatens public order but that the Metropolitan Municipality cannot because the regime for holding such events is based on notification and does not call for a permit.
Sofia will be one of the few places in the globe where an Immortal Regiment march will take place despite the conflict in Ukraine for the second year in a row. Even Russia canceled the event this year, citing security concerns.
“Only the flags of Bulgaria, Russia, Victory, and the USSR are permitted during the event. As long as they are conceptually tied to Victory Day and the Immortal Regiment, additional phrases may be used, according to the organizers, who have a dedicated website.
Right-wing forces in the Metropolitan Municipality urged against allowing the parade the previous year, but it went on as planned. Municipal council members from Democratic Bulgaria, a pro-European coalition in Sofia, have once more urged Mayor Yordanka Fandakova to outlaw it.
“Despite our request to you, this despicable festival took place last year. You permitted hammer and sickle flags, KGB and Z symbols, Russian flags, and portraits of the murderers Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov to manifest in the centre of Sofia. Given that even the Russians have stopped holding processions on their soil, the situation is about to happen again this year”, the council members wrote to the mayor.