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Coordinates: 42°08′37″N 24°44′15″E / 42.143611°N 24.7375°E / 42.143611; 24.7375

File:AlyoshaPlovdiv1.jpg

The Alyosha monument in Ploviv

File:Alyoshamonument.jpg

The military park on Bunarjik Hill

Alyosha (an affectionate diminutive of Aleksey) is an 11-metre (36-foot) tall reinforced concrete statue of a Soviet soldier on Bunarjik Hill in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The statue tops a 6-metre (20-foot) pedestal lined with granite. The memorial commemorates Soviet casualties during the liberation of Bulgaria from the facsist government and their Nazi German allies .[A] It was installed in 1954–57.[1]

"Alyosha" is also the name of Konstantin Vanshenkin and Eduard Kolmanovski's song that was adopted as Plovdiv's official anthem until 1989.[2] A well-known poem about the Plovdiv Soldier was written by Robert Rozhdestvensky.[3]

Plovdiv authorities sought to have the statue removed on at least two occasions, in 1989 and 1996. The 1989 decision led to a preservation campaign which included a guard by the statue day and night in order to prevent it from being demolished.[4]

Alyosha Skurlatov, a soldier of the 3rd Ukrainian Front who served as the model for this statue, died in 2013 at the age of 91.[5]

References

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