Photo: Asen Genov (a Bulgarian blogger)
Today Bulgaria says "Sorry" ("Bulharsko se omlouva!!!") to Slovakia and Czech Republic for sending troops to their country on 21 August 1968. The huge and ugly monument, now painted in pink, lies in the centre of Sofia and is known as the Monument of the Soviet Army, an army which during the communist regime was considered to have "liberated" Bulgaria. Nowadays it is just a popular spot for beer and skateboarding.
The act provoked a discussion about the darker part of Bulgarian history.
On the night of 20–21 August 1968, exactly 45 years ago, over 200,000 troops and 2,000 tanks from 5 countries, including Bulgaria, entered Czechoslovakia and suppressed the legendary Prague Spring. For a month the Czechoslovak territory was occupied by an army of half million.
The communist Bulgarian government was the first one calling for military intervention in Czechoslovakia, and the country was the last one to apologize for the participation in it - after a parliamentary decision in 1990 and later during the visit of President Petar Stoyanov in Prague in 1997.
The monument is painted in pink because of the Monument to Soviet Tank Crews in Prague, painted in pink, first by artist David Černý, and several times thereafter.
(This is not the first time such a thing happens to the Sofia monument.)