- Stalin images will not be present at victory celebrations
- Russian Communist leader calls plans for Stalin billboards divisive
- Legal precedent in Ukraine: journalist allowed to doubt Holodomor as genocide
- Siberian mayor says no to WWII veterans' calls for Stalin monument
A monument to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin will be put up in the southeast Ukrainian city of Zaporozhie ahead of May 9 Victory Day celebrations, the head of the city's Communist Party said on Thursday.
"A monument to Joseph Stalin...whose leadership led to the great victory over the Nazi invaders, will be put up in Zaporozhie at the request of World War II veterans," Oleksandr Zubchevskyi said.
The statue will be guarded day and night to prevent attacks on it, he added.
He also said that a statue to Stalin would soon be erected in the capital, Kiev. He did not give further details.
The news comes after plans to decorate Moscow with billboards explaining Stalin's role in World War Two ahead of Victory Day celebrations caused controversy in Russia.
However, a source in the organizing committee led by President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that there would be no images of Stalin during the celebrations.
Stalin's role during World War Two has been the subject of intense debate in Russia.
Communist Party members and veteran organizations insist that it was Stalin's leadership that pulled the Soviet Union through its darkest hour and freed Europe from the tyranny of Nazism.
However, rights organizations and analysts, among others, say that Stalin's mass purges of the army in the years before the war left the country exposed to an attack by Germany.
During Stalin's reign, millions of people across the U.S.S.R. were executed on false charges of espionage, sabotage and anti-Soviet propaganda or died of starvation, disease or exposure in labor camps.
KIEV, March 25 (RIA Novosti)
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