Two activists were detained for throwing flowers and shouting abuse near Stalin’s statue on Moscow’s Red Square on Tuesday during an event commemorating the Soviet dictator’s death.
Hundreds of Communists mark the anniversary of Stalin’s death every year on March 5, laying flowers and wreaths alongside his grave in central Moscow. Contemporary attitudes in Russia are split over the historical legacy of Stalin, with many younger Russians saying they are unaware of the purges under his rule.
“Burn in hell, executioner of the people, murderer of women and children,” the detained activists yelled as they threw two red carnations at Stalin’s grave on Tuesday.
A group dubbed #decommunizatsiya (decommunization) said on its social media page Tuesday that police officers had detained its activist Yevgeny Suchkov and later coordinator Olga Savchenko for throwing the flowers and shouting at Stalin’s statue.
Law enforcement authorities seized their passports and photographed Suchkov to add to its database, the police-monitoring website OVD Info quoted them as saying.