Museum to Stalin opens in Russian city of Volgograd

A museum to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin has opened in the southern Russian city of Volgograd , which once bore his name, the Interfax news agency reported Monday, the latest sign of a rehabilitation in Russia of a man widely seen as one of history's most bloodthirsty tyrants. The four-room museum, housed in the Mamayev Kurgan World War II memorial complex, includes his wax statue and a replica of Stalin's Kremlin office, Interfax quoted a museum official as saying.

Volgograd , called Stalingrad from 1925-1961, was the location of a decisive World War II battle in 1942-43 which helped turned the tide against the Nazis. Several Russian cities and towns in recent years have considered erecting or restoring monuments to Stalin, who died in 1953 and appears to be making a comeback under President Vladimir Putin. There is a movement afoot to bring back Volgograd 's previous name.

Although seen in the West and by many Russians as a tyrant responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of his own people, he is also revered as a powerful leader who made the country a 20th century industrial giant and led it to victory over the Nazis, reports the AP.

N.U.