Three monuments to Stalin to be unveiled in Russia and Ukraine

It will be a monument to the leaders of the countries that participated in the Yalta Agreement

Three monuments to Joseph Stalin will be unveiled in Russia and Ukraine prior to the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Victory Day on May 9th. The monuments are to be installed in the cities of Yalta (Ukraine), Moscow and Belgorod (Russia). It is the largest number of Stalin monuments to be unveiled on the territory of the former USSR for the first time since the national condemnation of Stalin's personality cult.

Oleg Tolkachev, Moscow's official representative in Russia's Federation Council, said on Wednesday that there could be a new monument erected on the Poklonnaya Gora memorial complex in Moscow. “It will be a monument to the leaders of the countries that participated in the Yalta Agreement (the Big Three) – Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin,” the official said.

”I actually hear it for the first time that they are going to install a monument to Stalin here,” the director of the Poklonnaya Gora museum, Sergei Monetchikov said in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper. “I believe that the reaction from the museum administration will be quite unpredictable, to put it mildly,” he added.

”It will not be a monument to tyranny. It will be a monument to the three national leaders, who defeated Nazism,” Tolkachev believes.

A similar discussion took place two months ago in Ukraine's Crimea. A group monument to the above-mentioned politicians is planned to be installed in Yalta. President of the Russian Academy of Arts, Zurab Tseriteli is currently working on it in St.Petersburg. The three-ton bronze composition is almost complete: specialists are assembling and engraving the figures. The monument is about 2.5 meters high and 5 meters long. “I know that some people do not like the fact that Stalin is a part of the monument. The composition is a single whole: Stalin and his partners of the anti-Hitler coalition are sitting at table. Shall we make just an armchair instead of Stalin?” a spokesperson for the monument-making plant told the Izvestia. It took Zurab Tseriteli 1.5 months to work on the monument. It will be finished in February.

Zurab Tseriteli is currently outside Russia; it was therefore impossible to ask his personal viewpoint on the matter. The press secretary of his art studio, Irina Turaeva, said that the monument to Stalin would definitely be erected in Yalta, although she had never heard anything about a similar monument for Moscow. The press secretary did not exclude such an idea, but she added that the Moscow monument would most likely be different from the Ukrainian one.

In the meantime, members of the Belgorod council of veterans put forward a suggestion to the regional governor to unveil a monument to Stalin in the city. The sculpture will portray Stalin, Marshals Zhukov and Vatutin leaning over a military map.

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Author`s name Olga Savka