The visage of Joseph Stalin once blanketed Moscow. But in the years since he died, his successors have relaxed official adoration of him and even allowed some criticism. The result: he was completely banned from the public space. A few attempts from provincial governments to erect statues of him caused immediate public protest. In recent years, though, with Moscow preparing to commemorate the 65th anniversary of its victory over the Nazis this week, Stalin is back—and he seems to be everywhere. . . . .
That's why Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, the man officially behind Stalin's return, had cover to make his decision sound firm and crisp: "We will place billboards about the war featuring the man who was the commander in chief at the time." Following his lead, the Russian Communist Party will cover 1,000 billboards this week with Stalin's mustachioed face and his saying, "The Victory is up to us! Communist Party of Russian Federation." It's not just in Moscow: two huge portraits of him in his medal-clad uniform hang outside government buildings in Vladivostok. "Stalin is our father, our idol," says Sergei Obukhov, a communist parliamentarian. "The historical truth should be glorified." . . . READ MORE