Russians celebrate Stalin 70 years after death
Russians have taken to the streets of Moscow to commemorate late Soviet leader Joseph Stalin 70 years after his death.
More than a thousand people gathered in the Red Square in Moscow on Sunday to celebrate the late Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin 70 years after his death while still in power.
Russians were seen waving communist flags and holding portraits of the late leader whose policies are still praised to this day by many.
Those who sought to celebrate the leader's legacy waited in a long queue to lay flowers on his grave near the Kremlin wall.
"People would be happy if we had a leader like him again," said Yuri, a Russian pensioner.
Though this is historically contested, many Stalinists assert that the late Soviet leader single-handedly defeated Nazi German Chancellor Adolph Hitler in World War II, as well as restoring the USSR's glory.
"Without Stalin's return to Russia, we Russians and other indigenous peoples of Russia won't survive," 74-year-old former Russian colonel and military intelligence officer Vladimir Kvachkov told AFP.
Many opposition figures, including critics of the conflict, have been branded "foreign agents", which has dark Soviet-era connotations and requires individuals or groups to mark all publications with a tag.
In various Russian cities associations that are linked with the communist party inaugurated monuments honoring Stalin.
This comes after Moscow unveiled earlier in the year a bust of the late leader in Volgograd, formerly named Stalingrad, a day before the anniversary of the Soviet Union emerging victorious from the Battle of Stalingrad, probably the bloodiest battle in WWII.
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Thursday the Russian people on the 80th anniversary of the Nazi defeat in the Russian city of Stalingrad, stressing the importance of the battle as an existentialist one of a tormented by unconquered country.
Furthermore, he highlighted how Russia was once again being threatened by German Leopard tanks, saying they were going to fight against Russia on Ukrainian soil with the hands of the Banderites.
"Now, unfortunately, we see that the ideology of Nazism, already in its modern guise, in its modern manifestation, again creates direct threats to the security of our country," Putin said. "We are once again forced to repulse the aggression of the collective West."
All the commemorations of the late Soviet leader are being carried out by individuals as isolated initiatives from the state as there have been no moves taken by the government to restore the monuments to Stalin that were dismantled after his death.