London: Josef Stalin is back in Russia!

Yes, after almost half a century, his spirit has made a return to the Moscow metro in the form of a giant Soviet-era decoration that lavishes fawning praise on the late dictator. The decoration is a huge gilt-edged slogan that takes pride of place beneath eight Socialist realist statues in the newly-restored entrance hall to one of Moscow’s busiest metro stations — Kurskaya, reported The Daily Telegraph.

It was painstakingly removed in the late 1950s along with other pro-Stalin propaganda after the then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin for his murderous purges and cult of personality.

But at the end of August it made a surprise return to the Moscow metro used by an estimated 7-9 million people every day. A fragment of the Stalin-era Soviet national anthem, it reads: “Stalin reared us on loyalty to the people. He inspired us to labour and heroism.”

“For the Motherland! For Stalin!,” reads another newly restored slogan. — PTI