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Activists Want Verses Praising Stalin Removed From Moscow Subway


Russian human rights activists are demanding that verses praising Soviet leader Josef Stalin be removed from the interior of the Kurskaya subway station in Moscow.

The station was renovated last month and old inscriptions praising Stalin became visible.

A week ago the Moscow-based For Human Rights movement began collecting signatures online to urge city authorities to remove the verses, which read: "Stalin brought us up -- on loyalty to the people. He inspired us to labor and to heroism!"

The words were written by Sergei Mikhalkov as part of the Soviet national anthem.

Subway travelers first saw the words at the start of 1950 when the station opened, one of the grand postwar constructions that were built in war-torn Moscow.

The words were removed under Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev during his campaign to remove Stalin statues and other attributes of his cult of personality. That included changing the words of the national anthem to remove all mentions of Stalin.

On September 7, the petition was sent to Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov. The signatories say the inscriptions praising Stalin offend both the memory of those who died during World War II and the victims of the Soviet gulag.

-- Russian Service

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