Moscow’s Mayor: Posters of Stalin to stay after Victory Day
Yury Luzhkov has told a meeting of the Moscow Government that the posters depicting Joseph Stalin will be posted around Moscow not only for the 65th anniversary of Victory, but at subsequent ceremonial events.
Previously, in response to protests from human rights defenders, the head of the capital’s advertising committee, Vladimir Makarov stated that the images of Stalin on information stands would appear only in connection with events of the War years. He said that the stands, sized 1 x 1.5 metres, would only be posted in 10 places out of 2 thousand stands, including on the square in front of the Bolshoi Theatre, Poklonnaya Hill as well as in front of Gorky Park.
Luzkhov spoke of “bacchanalia in the media” and claimed that the press had distorted the intentions of the capital’s authorities and created the impression that the city would be covered in large portraits of Stalin. He went on to say that he was not a supporter of Stalin, but of objective history. “We must have immunity when individuals are expunged from our history”.
An appeal signed by a very large number of human rights defenders, writers, politicians and concerned individuals states: “Glorification of the tyrant is an attempt to split society. We have learned that the Moscow authorities are planning from April to place as social advertisements, i.e. using public funding, numerous images of Joseph Stalin, linking this with the 65th anniversary of Victory. We consider this to be not only an affront to the memory of the millions of victims of Stalin’s tyranny, but also an act aimed at creating a schism in society”.
According to a survey carried out by the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre, carried out in December 2009, 29% of Russians would like to see a politician like Stalin as head of state. That is far less than several years ago. In 2005 42 percent wanted to. The number of people opposed to Stalin has, on the contrary, risen – from 52 to 58 percent.
As reported here, in late August 2009 a stone was unveiled at the Kurskaya Circle Line Metro Station in Moscow with the inscription: “Stalin brought us up – to be true to the people. He inspired us to labour and to heroism!”. The words were from Sergei Mikhalkov’s version of the national anthem, and were removed after Stalin was denounced back in 1956.