Stalin to stage comeback

Moscow is planning to erect a new statue of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, returning his image to its streets after an absence of four decades.

    Russia is gradually rehabilitating the former dictator

    Since President Vladimir Putin was elected in 2000, a number of Soviet symbols - including the national anthem and an army flag - have been resurrected, reflecting widespread nostalgia for Russia's communist years.

    But the rehabilitation of Stalin, who was denounced after his death in 1953 by the Soviet leadership for encouraging a cult of personality and killing millions of opponents, has previously been out of bounds.

    Statues of Stalin were removed from Moscow's public spaces in the 1960s.

    Monument

    "A monument will be erected to those who took part in leading the war against Adolf Hitler, including Stalin," said Oleg Tolkachev, Moscow's senator in the upper house of parliament.

    Interfax news agency reported earlier that a Stalin monument would also be built in the Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border to mark the Soviet victory against Nazi Germany 60 years ago.

    In another sign of Stalin's growing appeal, state television channels have shown a number of prime-time television shows in recent months depicting him in a positive light.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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