TBILISI, February 8 (RIA Novosti) – Unknown vandals have daubed pink paint over a statue of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin near Tbilisi, the capital of his homeland, Georgia.
The incident, which took place in the Georgian village of Dideba, is the third in the series of similar pink-paint attacks on Stalin monuments in the former Soviet state this year.
On Thursday, unknown attackers in the village of Akura, eastern Georgia, pulled another Stalin statue off its pedestal and poured pink paint on it.
In January, another Stalin monument was also damaged and daubed in pink in Zemo Alvani, in eastern Georgia’s Kakheti region.
Local residents blame the attacks on activists from President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement, who have opposed calls voiced by Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition for restoration of damaged Stalin monuments.
The Stalin statue attacks may be linked to a new action campaign, dubbed “I painted a Stalin statue,” unveiled by Georgia’s Facebook users, who claim they attacked the monument in Akura. The vandals have threatened the attacks on Stalin statues will continue.
Stalin remains a divisive figure in his former homeland, cherished by many as the local hero who rose to the top of the Soviet Empire, but reviled by many as a cruel tyrant who wreaked havoc in his home republic with vicious political repression, particularly against those to whom he bore grudges from his past and political opponents.