A NEW statue of the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin is to be erected in Moscow, returning his once-ubiquitous image to the streets after an absence of four decades, a top city official said yesterday.
Since Vladimir Putin became president in 2000, a number of Soviet symbols - including the national anthem and an army flag - have been restored to use, reflecting widespread nostalgia for the communist era.
But the rehabilitation of Stalin - denounced by Soviet leaders after his death in 1953 for encouraging a cult of personality and killing millions of real and imagined opponents - had remained out of bounds. Statues of him were removed from Moscow in the 1960s.
Oleg Tolkachev, Moscow’s senator in the upper house of parliament, said a monument was to be erected to Stalin and others who led the war against Hitler. A statue will also be built in the Belgorod region, near the Ukrainian border.
In another sign of Stalin’s growing appeal, many prime-time television shows have recently depicted him in a positive light.