MOSCOW, February 5 (RIA Novosti) – A statue of the first leader of the Soviet secret police, who remains notorious for unleashing mass terror against opponents of the Bolshevik regime, may soon return to its place of pride in front of the former KGB headquarters.
Lev Lavranov, head of the Moscow’s monuments commission, told RIA Novosti Wednesday that the decision is under consideration at the city council.
“The applicants have applied for the restoration of the monument to Felix Dzerzhinsky on Lubyanka Square. The matter will be taken up at a meeting of the commission on February 11,” Lavranov said.
He said approval from the city council would not be sufficient to restore the monument, however. As a matter of national importance, the measure would also need approval from the federal government.
The statue was removed in 1991 following a coup attempt to seize control of the Soviet Union orchestrated in part by senior officers in the KGB, the descendant of Dzerzhnisky’s Cheka secret police, which was founded just months after the Russian Revolution.
Dzerzhinsky, who remains indelibly associated with the violent subjugation of the class enemies of communism, is both reviled and celebrated in modern Russia.
The statue of Iron Felix, as Dzerzhinsky is often called by supporters, stood in front of KGB headquarters, near the Kremlin.
Lavronov said that if the required authorizations are secured, the statue, which currently resides at a local museum, could be returned to the spot as early as this year.