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Josef Stalin returns to Novosibirsk to outrage of many locals

By Igor Serebryany
28 March 2019

The city hall nods to Stalinists' demand to erect a statue by May 9, the Russian V-Day.

The city hall nods to Stalinists' demand to erect a statue by May 9, the Russian V-Day. Picture: Matveev

Joseph Stalin visited Novosibirsk  only once in 1928. 

The monument to him was dismantled, along with those in other Soviet cities, in th early 1960s. And now he is to return, though in private.

Local Communists have been struggling to rebuild the statue since 2016, and their struggle eventually brings fruit. 

The city's mayoral office nodded, however reluctantly, to the Stalinists' demand to erect a statue of Stalin by May 9, the Russian V-Day.

Unlike the huge original monument at Novosibirsk main square, the replica will be way more modest: only three metres tall, and placed in a private yard owned by the Party's regional committee.

The Communists affirm their alliance to the dictator not only ideologically: they are ready to invest one million rubles (some $15,000) into the project.

stalin

Unlike the huge original monument at Novosibirsk main square, the replica will be way more modest: only three metres tall, and placed in a private yard owned by the Party's regional committee


After the monument is erected, Novosibirsk will become the most Stalinized city east of the Urals, with two Uncle Joe statues in place. 

The first one was planted a few years ago by a local worker who dug Stalin's gypsum head from dirt during excavation works.

The bust has since been on display in the worker's backyard.

Novosibirsk Communists pave the way for a national-wide return of the Stalin-era symbols, the leader of the Communists of Russia party Maxim Suraikin believes.

‘When we come to power, we’ll erect the monuments to Stalin in every city and town, we’ll name streets and squares after him.

'So far, we don’t have enough money for that but we are working on that,’ he said.

stalin

Josef Stalin returns to Novosibirsk to outrage of many locals

This gypsum monument of Josef Stalin found in Novosibirsk by a local worker. Picture: Matveev


The Communists of Russia is a fringe leftists party not affiliated with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation which has its faction in the country’s parliament, the State Duma.

Suraikin, perhaps, will fail to jump into the bandwagon, because the monuments of Stalin have already been erected in dozens of cities across Russia, beside Novosibirsk. Nearly all of them have been placed on private land. 

Novosibirsk’s Stalin is no exception - it is going to settle in the land plot owned by the Communist Party regional committee.

The monuments started to mushroom in early 2000s, shortly after Vladimir Putin came to power. But the trend has not been smooth everywhere.

In October 2016, the city of Surgut municipality in Western Siberia ordered to remove a bust of Stalin built in a public park without approval of the authorities and following the protest of the local residents.

Still, Suraikin is not embarrassed that appearance of Stalin statues causes controversy.

‘Russian mentality is such that some things sacred for one could be blasphemy for  others. For instance, having been a devoted Stalinist, I am also an atheist.

'But I don’t call on my fellow party members to bring down Orthodox crosses. This would be the same vandalism as dismantling monuments to Stalin,’ he said.

Comments (2)

I wish we make the monument of Josef Stalin in every city of Afghanistan.
Hamza khan, Uk
30/03/2019 14:43
1
4
The golden Stalin bust could use a couple of yard gnomes and a pink flamingo or two
William Jarrell, Not in Narnia
29/03/2019 09:44
9
0
1

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