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Stalingrad lives!

AFP
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For six days a year, Volgograd revives old name

Josef Stalin's portrait.Photo: Reuters
Josef Stalin's portrait.Photo: Reuters

Lawmakers in the Russian city of Volgograd on Thursday voted to revive its wartime name of Stalingrad for ceremonial purposes six days a year, just ahead the 70th anniversary of Red Army's defeat of Nazi forces there in World War II.

The lawmakers voted to use the name Stalingrad at city events on six commemorative days including February 2, the day Nazi forces fully surrendered to Soviet troops and May 9, Victory Day.

The decision was made “based on the many requests of World War II participants,” said lawmaker Sergei Zabednov. “Deputies have taken a decision to establish the name 'hero-city Stalingrad' as a symbol of Volgograd. We will be able to use this symbol officially in our speeches and reports and at mass events,” Zabednov said.

Activists in Russia lament that Russian society has yet to fully come to terms with the murderous crimes of Stalin, in particular during the 1930s purges.

Volgograd will host large-scale celebrations on Saturday, the 70th anniversary of the day when Nazi troops led by Friedrich von Paulus finally fully surrendered to the Soviets.AFP


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