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Assailants Attack Stalin Sculpture and Communist Party Office in Russia

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Vandals have defaced a Stalin bust and attacked a Communist Party office south of Moscow, highlighting the deep divisions in modern Russian society over the Soviet leader’s legacy.

The Soviet Union repudiated Stalin after his death in 1953. Though blamed for millions of deaths stemming from a series of purges and collectivized farm policies, many Russians still associate Stalin with the Soviet victory in World War II.

Video posted by the party Monday showed four men spraying the Stalin bust with mounting foam and installing a small explosive device at the party office door before running away.

“The people’s butcher,” reads graffiti sprayed on the grounds of the Communist Party’s Lipetsk branch 400 kilometers south of Moscow.

Police are now investigating surveillance footage to identify the suspects, a local deputy told the lipetsknews.ru news website.

This is at least the third time the Stalin sculpture in Lipetsk has been attacked since 2015, a party spokeswoman said.

Lipetsk governor Igor Artamonov on Tuesday called for the Stalin bust to be removed, saying it had been erected illegally.

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