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Stalin's bust removed by a truck after statue branded blasphemous and 'illegal'

By The Siberian Times reporter
06 October 2016

Bronze statue had been erected last month in Surgut by local people, but was seen as offensive by descendants of political detainees sent to Siberia.

'The bust of Stalin that was erected today has been deemed illegal.' Picture: Social media

The bust was placed overlooking the Ob River close to a planned memorial to victims of repression under former Soviet leader Josef Stalin. Local officials acknowledged that residents had a 'very negative assessment' of the Stalin bust, and announced it would be removed. 

The bust was covered in a draping and driven away on a truck. People who subscribed to the Stalin statue - erected without permission - were urged by  organisers to protest. 

Monument dismantled

The bust was covered in a draping and driven away on a truck. Picture: Social media

'We ask all those who have invested their personal funds in the monument to write an application to the police,' they said on social media. They also attacked the 'totally unnecessary monument to the victims of political repression'.

But the authorities say those behind the bust will be punished. Pavel Akimov, who initiated the installation of the monument to former political prisoners, condemned the Stalin bust.

'The tears of those people who had been sent here have not dried yet,' he said. 'Some 9,000 people were deported in 1932 - that is half of this community's citizens (at the time). Erecting the monument here is blasphemy.'

Stalin bust


Stalin bust

'We ask all those who have invested their personal funds in the monument to write an application to the police.' Pictures: Denis Khanzhin, URA.ru

A local official acknowledged that residents had a 'very negative assessment' of the Stalin bust. 

Surgut was a major cog in Stalin's vast forced-labour-camp 'Gulag' system, in which hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens served prison terms after politically-motivated sentences.

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