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Stalin Statue In Ukraine Decapitated

Zaporizhzhya's Stalin monument, head intact

Zaporizhzhya's Stalin monument, head intact

ZAPORIZHZHYA, Ukraine -- Ukrainian police are seeking to establish who damaged a monument to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhya, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

The right-wing nationalist organization Tryzub (Trident) has claimed responsibility for doing so in tribute to Stepan Bandera, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian national movement and head of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.

Tryzub posted a video on its website saying that the head of the statue was removed on December 28 by unnamed Tryzub activists.

Tryzub calls Stalin "the executioner of the Ukrainian people and an international terrorist."

Though the video shows how the statue's head was removed, the Communist Party of Ukraine dismissed the damage as insignificant.

Oleksandr Zubchevskyy, the second secretary of the Communist Party in Zaporizhzhya, told RFE/RL today that the monument would be repaired in a few days.

"There are scratches on the neck and some letters are missing," Zubchevskyy said.

The Stalin monument in Zaporizhzhya was unveiled in May despite protests. It was the first such monument erected in Ukraine since Stalin died in 1953.

The monument is the property of the Communist Party of Ukraine and located right next to its local office in Zaporizhzhya.

Read more in Ukrainian here