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Bulgarian volunteers in the Russo-Turkish Liberation War / 1877-1878 /
Wednesday, 10 Feb 2010 - Natural-History Museum
In the 19th century, the evolution of the Bulgarian national liberation movement required nearly seven decades. Not even for a moment the Bulgarians from all over the country and abroad have been waiting for their freedom to be bestowed. In the first decades of the 19th century, many Bulgarians are included in Serbian and Greek uprising. [img right]uploads/images/misc/56198161.jpg[/img] The first Bulgarian volunteer units were created during the Russo-Turkish wars in 1806-1812 and 1828-1829. The Bulgarians fought together with the Russian army against their oppressors, prepared the rebellion, created projects of the road systems and worked with all their means for the political liberation of Bulgaria.
An Expression of the striving for a merit participation in the Liberation War of 1877-1878 is given out in the "proclamation" of the last Bulgarian Central Revolutionary Committee: it says “Bulgarians, you should become like one in order to meet our brothers liberators and assist the forces of the Russian army by all it means.”
Initially 7000 Bulgarian volunteers joined the army in Chisinau, and later in Ploiesti, creating a camp of Bulgarian volunteers. The frontline had been filled with members of the revolutionary committees established by Levski, exiles, participants in the April uprising and the rebels under Botev. One of the most talented Russian generals, Gen. N.S. Stoletov was chosen to lead the rebel’s army. In a solemn atmosphere on the 18th of May 1877 the Bulgarians were presented with a flag of honour by P. V. Alabin, a messenger of the city Samara with the words: “From far away, through the whole Russian land, this flag is brought to you as living proof that it is not from any distant corner of Russia, but from the whole wide Russian land." This flag remained in history under the name the Samara Flag.
A great dedication and legendary feat marked the path of the Bulgarian volunteers from Kishinev to San Stefano. Inured in the first battles of Stara Zagora and Kazanlak, they stopped the Turkish invasion at Shipka and thus decide the course of the entire war. The Bulgarian volunteers not only saved their military honour, but also the fate of the entire Bulgarian army in this difficult war period.
From the Region of Burgas among the Bulgarian army fought 84 volunteers. Their names should be inscribed in a memorial on an appropriate place where the citizens of Burgas can pay their respects and gratitude to the liberators of 1877-1878.

Tsonya Drazheva
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