Russian Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov said on Thursday that plans to put up images of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin around Moscow to mark the 65th anniversary of victory in World War Two were unlikely to be realised.
Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov announced plans to display portraits of Stalin in Moscow in February. Human rights activists protested against the decision, saying they would stage demonstrations if the posters were put up. Defending the decision, Luzhkov said while he was not a Stalin apologist, the billboards reflected "objective history."
"I am not sure the Moscow city government would be enough brave to bring this idea to life," Zyuganov told journalists at a news-conference, noting that the plan had seen fierce criticism.
He also added that the Communist Party would circulate its own material on Stalin.
Communist Party members and veteran organizations insist that it was Stalin's leadership that pulled the Soviet Union through its darkest hour and freed Europe from the tyranny of Nazism. However, rights organizations and analysts, among others, say that Stalin's mass purges of the army in the years before the war left the country exposed to an attack by Germany.
"All our countries achievements, including victory in World War Two, were in spite of Stalin, not thanks to him," Leonid Gozman, leader of the Right Cause party, said in February.
A poll last year by the All-Russian Public Opinion Center to coincide with the 130th anniversary of Stalin's birth found that 37% of Russians were "positive" about Stalin and 24% "negative".
YEKATERINBURG, March 11 (RIA Novosti)