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Woman Protests New Stalin Bust in Moscow With Poetry

Artyom Korotayev / TASS

A one-person protest accompanied the unveiling of busts of seven Soviet leaders in Moscow, including dictator Josef Stalin, the opposition-leaning Dozhd television channel reported on Friday.

Stalin’s bust appeared alongside that of Vladimir Lenin and five of the Soviet Union’s successive leaders at the so-called Alley of Rulers earlier in the day.

Dozhd’s broadcast from the opening ceremony depicted a woman standing between Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev’s statue holding a sign.

Written on it, according to Dozhd, was poet Anna Akhmatova’s two-stanza “To the Defenders of Stalin.” The poem describes its subjects as “sweet lovers of torture” and “experts in the manufacture of orphans.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday he was unaware of the new additions to the Alley of Rulers.

Friday’s ceremony was attended by State Duma Deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a deputy minister of culture and controversial sculptor Zurab Tsereteli who cast nearly all of the statues on display.

The Russian Military-Historical Society’s Alley of Rulers featured 33 bronze statues of pre-communist Russian rulers before the seven new additions.

A Russian poll published this summer ranked Stalin as the world’s most outstanding figure.

Dozhd reports that a statue of Russia’s first President Boris Yeltsin will be erected on Feb. 1, 2018.

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