Russian businessman & Communist party politician locks horns with local authorities after 'illegal' Stalin statue erected
A row has erupted in a Russian town, after a local businessman erected a statue of Joseph Stalin without receiving planning permission.
The statue of the Georgian revolutionary, who led the Soviet Union from 1924 until 1953, was unveiled on Wednesday in the Russian town of Bor in the Nizhny Novgorod region, a four-hour train ride east of Moscow.
It was funded by businessman Aleksey Zorov, who is also the local Communist Party representative. He placed the statue on his own land, where he intends to build a museum dedicated to Soviet achievements.
According to the businessman, the three-meter high sculpture of Stalin in a cap and overcoat is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the 1945 Red Square Victory Parade, when Stalin overlooked thousands of Red Army soldiers marching in celebration of Nazi Germany’s defeat.
The local city administration has branded the statue illegal, saying it was built without the necessary planning permission. However, the businessman argues that he can use his land at his own discretion. The legal dispute is ongoing.
Unlike his predecessor Vladimir Lenin, who has a statue in almost every Russian city, the country has very few Stalin statues. After his death, successor Nikita Khrushchev denounced the former dictator’s record of repressions, and introduced a policy of “de-Stalinization,” removing memorials to him around the country.
In recent years, statues of the former dictator have popped up throughout the country, mainly organized by members of Russia's Communist Party.Also on rt.com ‘Can’t erase history’: Putin & Stalin mosaic for military cathedral is ‘appropriate,’ church says amid furor
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