Neo-Nazis defy ban to march for WWII-era in Bulgaria

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Just over 200 people defied a Sofia municipality ban to march in honor of former Bulgarian General and Minister of War, Hristo Lukov, in the capital on Saturday. Marching in the direction of one of Lukov's former homes, supporters of the Bulgarian National Union carried the group's flags, as well as torches, portraits of the general, and posters stating "Heroes never die."

The "Lukov March" has been held annually in Sofia since 2003. Lukov was minister of war from 1935-1938, and led the Union of Bulgarian National Legions (UBNL). He was assassinated on February 13, 1943. The Russian and US embassies in Sofia, the Shalom Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria, and several Bulgarian political parties called for the march to be banned. "We hope that the Bulgarian authorities will demonstrate political responsibility and prevent this neo-Nazi march," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation wrote in a statement.