The deputees here would very much like to have two busts of the generalissimo in our town
The deputees of the Krasnoyarsk town Soviet recommended the mayoralty to raise a Stalin bust in the Memorial of Victory, one of the most frequented places in Krasnoyarsk. It is not the first decision of this kind in Russia made by regional authorities. However, in Krasnoyarsk it evoked a storm of indignation, a true scandal.
Already half a year ago the Communists here had addressed themselves to the deputees, requesting them to raise a Stalin bust by proposing two variants: either to make use of the bust of the general secretary, which is being kept in the Krasnoyarsk Museum of Local Lore (one of the busts that used to be in one of the streets in Krasnoyarsk in former times), or to have cast and erected a new one from their own financial means.
A long time passed, until the matter was finally decided. And what do you know, one fine Monday, the deputees granted the request of the regional KPRF department – they even proposed the erection of two Stalin busts in the Memorial of Victory. „We recommend this to the had of town, since Stalin was the generalissimo, who acted as the commander-in-chief of the Soviet Army during the war, proclaimed Vladislav Zhukovskiy, a meritorious artist of Russia, one of the most popular actors of the Krasnoyarsk Pushkin Theater of Dramaturgy. Stalin’s historical role was the main argument in this „yes-no“ question.
The news about the possible raising of a Stalin bust or monument in Krasnoyarsk evoked a storm of indignation and protest. The social organization „Memorial“ immediately, the very same day, started a campaign for a sign-in and, at the same time, made an appeal to the mayor of the town, Petr Pimashkov, urging and admonishing him not to be guided by the recommendation of the deputees. „It means a serious insult and offence to the victims of political reprisals. The region of Krasnoyarsk is – a camp region, and it will be utterly immoral to raise a Stalin memorial here, Alexey Babiy, chairman of the „Memorial“ organization, tried to convince the people passing by. Local veterans already counter-attacked him. Krasnoyarsk members of the Young People’s Communist League pounced on Babiy last night trying to tear his lists of signatures into pieces.
The deputees decision caused an extraordinarily remarkable reaction among the representatives of the Krasnoyarsk machinery of power. The governor of the region, Alexander Khloponin, took compassion on the head of town: „There are quite a lot of adherents, but also opponents of Staluin in the town. They will hardly manage to come to an agreement. No matter which decision Pimashkov is going to make – it might lead to a split-up of society“. Yesterday, mayor Petr Pimashkov wrapped himself in silence and did not give any comments on the request of the deputees.
In the meantime the Crimean authorities have rejected the raising of a monument to the honour of the heads of the states of the anti-Hitler coalition – Yosef Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. This was preceeded by the protest of the Public Prosecutor of Yalta, who is of the opinion that statutory orders with full force of the law regarding the raising of monuments of national importance can only be passed by the cabinet council of the Ukraine.
Alexander Makarov, Krasnoyarsk
„Izvestia“, No. 72, 27.04.2005