Protesters have thrown red paint on a monument to former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in the Siberian city of Surgut, just one day after the statue was unveiled.

Those responsible reportedly used red paint to resemble blood, making reference to the Great Purge that occurred during the Stalin era.

The monument, which was erected on Thursday last week, had originally been installed by a local civic group, who bought the bust of Stalin from a Yekaterinburg antique shop, raising between them the 150,000 rubles ($2,300) necessary to pay for its installation.

In response to claims by local authorities that the statue had been erected illegally, spokesperson for the Russkiy Dukh (“Russian Spirit”) group Denis Hanzhin argued that no complaints had been received, adding that the group would appeal to a “higher authority” if asked to remove the statue.

Some have expressed surprise at the group's decision to install the statue in Surgut, a city that acted as a stop on the Salekhard–Igarka Railway, which was a constructed by Gulag (labour camp) prisoners under exceptionally harsh conditions.

 

Source: The Moscow Times

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