People take photos in front of a statue of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, unveiled to mark the 80th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory in the Battle of Stalingrad, in Volgograd, Russia, on February 1, 2023.
Moscow – In Volgograd, Russia, which was called Stalingrad for several decades during the Soviet Union, a statue of the dictator Joseph Stalin was ceremonially unveiled. According to the Meduza portal, this happened before the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who will visit the city in the south of Russia on Thursday on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the victory of the Soviet Union in the Battle of Stalingrad over the army of Nazi Germany. Stalin memorials are relatively rare in contemporary Russia.
Stalin's bronze bust is now standing at the Volgograd Museum with a panorama of the Battle of Stalingrad, which at the cost of a huge number of victims brought about a turnaround on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. Over two million soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians perished during the fighting for the city, which lasted roughly half a year.
Although Stalin is perceived by some Russians as a leader who was responsible for the defeat of Nazi Germany, he went down in history as a bloody dictator. Millions of people died because of the terror he unleashed against the civilian population of the Soviet Union.
Besides the statue of Stalin, the busts of Marshal Georgy Zhukov and another Soviet general, Alexander Vasilevsky, who distinguished themselves during the Battle of Stalingrad, were also newly unveiled in front of the museum in Volgograd .
In addition, on the occasion of this year's 80th anniversary of the victorious battle, Volgograd will be renamed back to Stalingrad for one day, reported the local server v1.ru. On Thursday, for example, road signs announcing the beginning of the village will change for one day.
According to a public opinion poll by the state agency VCIOM, 67 percent of Volgograd residents do not want their city to be renamed Stalingrad again, the Meduza portal recalled. On the contrary, 26 percent of people are in favor. Four percent of respondents said that if the city were to be renamed, it should return to its other historical name of Tsaritsyn.