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24 Jun, 2009 09:46

Stalin’s cult of personality returns

Billboards with the face of Communist leader Joseph Stalin have appeared on the streets of the city of Voronezh in Central Russia.

The dictator’s return is due to the Communist Party, who bought ten advertisement panels throughout the city, paying 8.000 roubles (around $260) for each one, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports.

The campaign was launched on June 22, the day Russia commemorated the victims of the Great Patriotic War. On that day, the German Nazi forces suddenly invaded the Soviet Union without a declaration of war.

The Communists say it is dedicated to the 130th birthday of Stalin, celebrated this year on December 6.

The dictator’s image appears in front of a red flag and accompanied by a slogan: “The victory will be ours”.

The idea of Voronezh Communists has received the full backing of the Party leaders in Moscow.

“We have repeatedly discussed with innovations in propaganda work, and Party offices in every region on their own search for creative forms and methods of promoting our ideas. The efficiency and the way it’s done may sometimes be questionable, but our colleagues in Voronezh did the right thing,” Ivan Melnikov, Deputy Chairman of Communist Party Central Committee, said.

Melnikov explained that the memory of Stalin is especially relevant in the current economic situation.

“Stalin was building factories and entire cities during the financial crisis of the 1930s. We can’t forget about this,” he explained.

Some Voronezh residents, who don’t share Melnikov’s views, were disturbed by the campaign, and the city authorities ordered the billboards to be removed from the streets by June 27.

“Three agencies, which own the advertising space, will soon be made aware of the city’s decision,” Sergey Bobrovnikov from the city administration said.

Earlier, Bobrovnikov stressed that there are some violations concerning Joseph Stalin’s comeback, as the billboards can only be used for commercial or public ads.

Read also Stalin built many secret super bunkers for himself but used none of them