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Russia Unveils Controversial Yalta Monument Featuring Stalin

The 10-ton monument was unveiled in Yalta.

The 10-ton monument was unveiled in Yalta.

Russia has unveiled a controversial monument to Soviet leader Josef Stalin, Britain's Winston Churchill, and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the annexed region of Crimea.

The 10-ton bronze sculpture was inaugurated in Yalta on February 5 in the presence of State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin.

The move coincides with events marking the 70th anniversary of the 1945 Yalta conference during which the leaders of the Soviet Union, Britain, and the United States discussed Europe's postwar reorganization.

Crimean Tatars have protested plans to erect the sculpture, saying a monument featuring Stalin would aggravate tensions in Crimea.

Crimea's Muslim Tatar minority says it has faced discrimination and abuses from authorities there since Moscow seized control in March.

In 1944, Stalin ordered the mass deportation of about 180,000 Crimean Tatars to Central Asia.

Many died during the journey or after their arrival.

Many deported Crimean Tatars or their children returned to Crimea during the late 1980s and the 1990s.

Most of them opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS