Mitch Brezounek


Digital recreation of the Soviet army monument in Dobrich, Bulgaria

The man discovered the fire, then tamed it. Later he found the tobacco which he lit. Tobacco stolen and consumed. He inhaled the ghosts to end up blocked under the ash heap of his sins.

Mitch Brezounek


The Soviet Army Monument in Dobrich became one of the first Soviet Army monuments in Bulgaria when its construction began in 1948. It is called Brotherhood Mound because the remains of fallen Soviet soldiers are buried underneath. The inauguration was on May 8, 1949 in the presence of Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Georgy Traikov, Minister Tzola Dragoicheva, and the Russian Vice-Consul in Varna. The monument stands on the crossroads of the road to Varna, 500 meters from St. George City Park. It has the form of a cut pyramid, made of concrete and covered with white stone, stands 14 meters high, and on the top there is a pentagram.

The full figure of a soldier, standing still, holding a Spagin-41 gun, is 3,5 meters high. The inscription on the pedestal reads, “Glory to the Soviet soldiers, our Liberators, from the people of Dobrudzha (Dobrudzhanzi), September 8, 1944.” That was the day of the beginning of the Soviet occupation of Bulgaria.

The creators of the monument are the sculptors Vaska Emanuilova and Mara Georgieva and the architect is Zenko Mihov, the same artists who would work on the Soviet Army monument in Sofia later on. In all documents about the construction of the Brotherhood Mound where bodies were buried, there is the term “died in battle”. The fact is that there were no battles in Bulgaria at all between the Red Army and the Bulgarian Army. The 45 buried under the monument on April 25, 1949, had died in Romania. Their remains were transported to Dobrich in April 1945. Forty-two of them died due to wounds or injuries and three from an automobile crash. In 1977, St. George City Park was reconstructed, “requiring” a reconstruction of the monument. Thus, a new sculptural figure was commissioned with the same original creators, but this time twice as big, now measuring 7m high. On the marble plaque underneath of the monument, 30 names were inscribed. In 2021 the number of names was increased to 31.

On May 9, Victory Day, every year the same rituals are performed around the monument as throughout Bulgaria with rallies, speeches and flowers.

On several occasions, the monument was repainted and anti-Russian slogans appeared on the pedestal. On April 8, 2020, the monument was painted with blue spray paint with the following words / slogans:

“Death to the occupiers”

“Death to communism”

“Death to the Alyochas”

“Enough self-humiliation”

On April 6, 2022, new words were written with red paint in Dobrich, which infuriated the Russian authorities referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and infuriating Russian authorities, “Boucha 2022 and Katyn 1940.”

On April 7, 2022, the Head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Alexander Bastrikin ordered an investigation according to Article 243, Section 4 of the Russian Federation Penal Code (formalizing a judicial review) into the “vandalism” of the Soviet monuments in Dobrich, Bulgaria and in Tapa, Estonia. (n.b. Estonia had previously voted to remove all Soviet monument in their territory. In 2007, there was one victim during the toppling down of the monument of the Soviet soldier in Tallinn).

On April 8, 2022, Maria Zakharova, Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeperson protested specifically against the “sacrilege” of the Dobrich Soviet Army monument. The Russian council in Varna asked the Bulgarian authorities to open an investigation against the “vandals”.

Author of the historical text: Evelina Kelbecheva