The prototype of the monument to Bulgarian Aliosha died
Alexey Ivanovych Skurlatov, who had been a prototype of a famous monument to the Russian soldier-liberator in Bulgaria, died at the age of 92.
A private in a combined company of the third Ukrainian front, Alexey Ivanovych lived in Altai in his home village Nalibikha. He was at war since September of 1941, participated in Kursk battle, in liberation of Kharkov, Nikolayev, and Voznesensk. Skurlatov was awarded with the Order of the Red Star twice. The burial of the veteran will take place on October 6 in his home village.
In 1944 Skurlatov was repairing a phone line Plovdiv-Sophia. In Plovdiv Alexey Ivanovych made friends with a worker of the phone station Metody Vitanov, who supposedly was the one to give Alexey's photo to the sculptor Vasil Rodoslavov, and the latter created a monument in the town of Plovdiv based on that picture.
The residents of Plovdiv had an idea of creating a monument in honor of the Soviet soldiers-liberators on Bunardzik hill since 1948. The initiative came completely from the community, from the people, without any recommendation "from above". The monument to the Russian soldier-liberator in Plovdiv was opened in 1957. 11-meter figure of the "red warrior" on a 6-meter foundation became the symbol of the town. In 1966 poet Konstantin Vanshenkin and composer Eduard Kolmanovsky wrote a song devoted to Plovdiv monument, which had the same name – Alyosha. This song was an unofficial anthem of Plovdiv until 1989; however, we learnt of its prototype 23 years later. Since then the authorities of Bulgaria have been in close contact with the veteran and his relatives.