- Title: RUSSIA: Communists pay tribute to Stalin on Victory Day
- Date: 10th May 2010
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (MAY 9, 2010) (REUTERS) VIEW OF COMMUNISTS RALLY VARIOUS OF COMMUNISTS HOLDING RED FLAGS AND STALIN PORTRAIT YOUNG WOMAN WITH OLD MAN HOLDING STALIN PORTRAIT COMMUNIST LEADER GENNADY ZYUGANOV ADDRESSING RALLY FROM STAGE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) GENNADY ZYUGANOV, COMMUNIST LEADER, SAYING: "Long live the memory of great Generalissimo Stalin, Hurrah! Long Live the 20th century which was marked by the deeds of Lenin, Stalin and the Great October, Hurrah!" VETERAN WITH FLOWERS VIEW OF COMMUNIST RALLY PEOPLE WITH STALIN PORTRAIT (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) VIKTOR, COMMUNIST SUPPORTER, SAYING: "The most important is his spirit, he managed to unite the people, and there are very few (politicians) who manage to achieve this. One needs to be clever to do it. Stalin was a genius."
- Embargoed: 25th May 2010 13:00
- Topics: History,Defence / Military
- Reuters ID: LVAIIYKNHFZL3Z9OGA2349XZHO7
- Story Text: Several thousand supporters of the Communist party gathered in central Moscow on Sunday (May 9) to mark the 65th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
Many rally participants were holding portraits of former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and Communist red flags.
Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov addressed the rally, saying: "Long live the memory of the great Generalissimo Stalin, Hurrah! Long Live the 20th century which was marked by the deeds of Lenin, Stalin and the Great October, Hurrah!"
According to official statistics, 52 million people were convicted on political charges during Stalin's regime. But many people in Russia give credit to Stalin for pulling the Soviet Union through difficult times and freeing Europe from the tyranny of Nazism.
"The most important is his spirit, he managed to unite the people, and there are very few (politicians) who manage to achieve this. One need to be clever to do it. Stalin was a genius," said Viktor, a Communist party supporter.
"His power is in his deeds. And he should be credited for that. Those (Russian authorities) have been trying hard to do something for the past 20 years - and there is no result. And there will be no result," said Anatoly, a rally participant, who was proudly wearing on his chest medals with pictures of Stalin on them.
Plans by Moscow's Mayor Yuri Luzhkov to put up Stalin posters as a part of the Russian capital's decoration for this year's Victory Day provoked strong controversy. Luzhkov first announced that the posters during the Victory Day celebrations of May 9 in February. But the organizing committee of the celebrations, led by President Dmitry Medvedev, rejected the idea.
Posters of Stalin have not been present in Moscow's Victory Day decorations for decades.
Although the major cities of Russia had decided against displaying the Stalin posters on the streets during the Victory Day celebrations, it couldn't stop some private actions elsewhere which were tolerated by local city governments.
Pictures of Stalin were put up on a city bus route in St.Petersburg on private initiative and also displayed in Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok at the end of April, reportedly by the decision of the city authorities.
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