Bust of the dictator emplaced in Siberian town earlier this month by Russian Spirit movement.
"The idea came up when we were celebrating the 70th anniversary of victory [over Hitler's Germany in 1945]," Russky Dukh activist and Communist Party member Denis Khanzhin told RFE/RL. "To honor the leader of that victory: Generalissimus Josef Stalin."
Survivors of Stalin’s repression do not agree.
“Pavel Akimov, one of the organizers of the project to remember Stalin's victims, told RFE/RL what happened to him and his parents, independent farmers who were sent to Surgut from Tyumen Oblast in 1930.
"’First they were sent to Tobolsk,’ says Akimov, 71. ‘Then to Khanty-Mansiisk, which was then called Ostyako-Vagulsk. From there, people were scattered around. My parents and others were simply dropped off on the banks of the river. They were given a few axes and shovels and told to dig themselves some bunkers. It was autumn. They were left to the whims of fate to survive.’"
But, countered a present-day Stalin supporter: “(T)here is no reason for the descendants of the exiled to object to the Stalin monument. After all, he says, the dictator gave their relatives work when he evacuated a fish cannery to the city from Odesa, in Ukraine, during the war.”
(That's right. Stalin could have shot the resettled, but instead, he gave them work. And, work makes one free.)
“Moreover, Stalin himself, Khanzhin claimed, ‘was a victim of [Soviet leader Nikita] Khrushchev's political repressions.’"
Stalin was three years dead when Khrushchev gave a secret speech on Stalin’s murderous reign.