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Stalin Bust to Go Up in Yakutia for Victory Day

A bust commemorating Josef Stalin will be unveiled in Yakutsk in time for the Victory Day celebrations — but not on a street square as supporters had hoped.

After years of negotiations on a site, the bust will be installed on May 8 in the office of the mining industry enterprise Almazy Anabara, Interfax reported Monday.

Almazy Anabara is one of the largest mining industry enterprises in the Sakha republic, located 5,000 kilometers northeast of Moscow.

Two earlier attempts by the Yakutia Veteran's Council in 2007 and 2010 to install a monument commemorating the dictator were rejected because the previous mayor, Yury Zabolev, did not consider it to be a worthy endeavor.

"While I'm mayor of the city, there won't be a monument to Stalin," Zabolev said in 2010.

However, Viktor Gubarev, a senior local Communist official, said the bust would be installed this week without the city administration's permission, because the funding board of the Veteran's Council had already raised the 2 million rubles ($64,000) needed to make the monument and deliver it from North Ossetia, Interfax reported.

The press office of the current mayor, Aisen Nikolayev, said the city administration did not object to the initiative.

Many old-timers praise Stalin for his role in leading the Soviet Union in its defeat of Nazi forces in World War II. The anniversary of the end of the war will be marked on May 9.

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