Liberation of Bulgaria
The Red Army approached the border of Bulgaria in a course of the Jassy – Kishinev Strategic Offensive at the end of August 1944. Despite of officially neutral status of Bulgaria, its government in fact provided considerable assistance to German military efforts. The country’s economy was put at Germany’s service. Some groups of opposition on the initiative of the Bulgarian Workers party formed an alliance and created the Fatherland Front in 1943. Scattered guerilla groups were organized into the People’s Liberation Insurrection Army.
The Soviet Union declared war on Bulgaria on September 5, 1944. Three days later, advance units of the 3rd Ukrainian Front (Fyodor Tolbukhin) crossed the Romanian-Bulgarian border without firing a single shot. Virtually the entire population of Bulgaria came out to welcome the Red Army. At twelve noon, the Bulgarian government declared that it was in a state of war with Germany. In the evening of the same day the USSR accepted the request for a ceasefire submitted by Bulgaria.
By that time, the country was engulfed in a popular uprising. A new government formed by the Fatherland Front came to power on September 9. It immediately declared war on Germany and its ally, Hungary. The Soviet troops and soldiers of the Bulgarian People's Liberation Insurrection Army entered Sofia on September 15. Later about 200,000 Bulgarian soldiers together with the Red Army participated in the battles against Germany in Yugoslavia and Hungary.