‘Stalin buses’ to mark 70th anniversary of Battle of Stalingrad in Russia

3ed6iosef bus stalin picture ‘Stalin buses’ to mark 70th anniversary of Battle of Stalingrad in Russia

‘Stalin buses’ to mark 70th anniversary of Battle of Stalingrad in RussiaGet short URLLink copied to clipboardemail story to a friendprint versionPublished: 31 January, 2013, 13:37

Human rights,

A bus with a picture of Iosef Stalin. (RIA Novosti / Alexandr Kryazhev)Public buses bearing portraits of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin will appear on the streets of several Russian cities on February 2 – the 70th anniversary of the Red Army’s victory in the Battle of Stalingrad. “);
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Dubbed ‘Victory Bus,’ the initiative was organized through private donations and the support of Russia’s Communist party (KPRF) and several other public organizations. In the city of Volgograd (formerly known as Stalingrad) five mini-buses with the portrait of the Soviet leader will operate until May 9, when Russia celebrates the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. In Russia’s Northern capital, St. Petersburg, a free bus will circulate though the city’s center on February 2. Citizens of Chita in Eastern Siberia will also have a chance to ride on the so-called ‘Stalinobus’. All of the vehicles belong to private transport companies, ‘Victory Bus’ coordinator Aleksey Roeri
ch told Izvestia daily.The initiative has already sparked criticism from rights activists, politicians and nationalists. However, the organizers are confident that the action is completely legal.“We don’t paint swastikas. Thank God, Communist ideology and Stalin’s image have not been officially condemned. We only urge the preservation of memory of the WWII victory and people who contributed to it,” Izvestia quoted ‘Victory Bus’ organizers as saying. Meanwhile, Sergey Mitrokhin, the head of Russia’s liberal political party Yabloko, vowed that party activists will paint over the portraits of Stalin, as they did when a similar ‘Victory Bus’ action was held in 2011. In Mitrokhin’s opinion, World War II could have been avoided if not for “Stalin’s idiotic policy and his friendship with Adolph Hitler,” as a result of which the Soviet leader “had overlooked the attack on the Soviet Union.”Vitaly Milonov, a member of the ruling United Russia party, said he wished he could ban the initiative outright, and that Russia’s victory in World War II had been earned “by people’s blood, but not Stalin’s.”The Presidential Council for Human Rights said it would “harshly react” to the initiative, and vowed to file complaints with regional governors, who are also displeased with the plan, Izvestia reported.The Battle of Stalingrad. Soviet soldiers attacking a German strongpoint. (RIA Novosti / Oleg Knorring)

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‘Stalin buses’ to mark 70th anniversary of Battle of Stalingrad in Russia

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