Stalin’s monument unveiled to mark 80th anniversary of Stalingrad victory
A new monument to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin has been unveiled Wednesday in the southern Russian city of Volgograd to mark the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory in the Battle of Stalingrad – as Volgograd was known until 1961 – a key turning point in World War II.
Stalin’s bust was installed near the Stalingrad Battle Museum alongside those of Soviet World War II Marshals Georgy Zhukov and Alexander Vasilevsky. All three monuments were designed by sculptor Sergey Shcherbakov, a native of Volgograd.
It is the second Stalin monument to be unveiled in Volgograd in recent years. The first modern memorial, a two-meter concrete bust, was open near the local Communist Party headquarters in December 2019 to mark the 140th anniversary of Stalin’s birth.
Russian President Vladimir Putin should visit the city on Thursday, where he is likely to attend a series of commemorative events to mark the 80th anniversary of the battle that won Adolf Hitler his first surrender in 1943.
According to a law passed by the Duma of Volgograd in 2016, the city reverts to its Soviet-era name Stalingrad on certain public holidays, including Victory Day and the annual anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad.
The name of the city was amended preventively on Monday in preparation for the visit of Putin, who, according to to local media, will also involve widespread security checks and traffic restrictions.