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Ukrainian Communists Unveil Stalin Monument In Zaporizhzhya

ZAPORIZHZHYA, Ukraine -- Communists in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhya unveiled a monument to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin today, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Oleksandr Zubchevsky, the second secretary of the Communist Party in Zaporizhzhya, told RFE/RL that the monument was erected with money raised by World War II veterans. On May 4, Zaporizhzhya's administrative court banned all gatherings on Komunarivska Street, near the new Stalin monument.

More than 100 activists gathered near the Oblast Library in Zaporizhzhya to protest the unveiling of the monument. They later marched to the mayor's office. Dozens of Communist supporters appeared and threw eggs at the protesters, but police maintained control of the situation.

The monument is the first to Stalin to be erected in Ukraine since 1953.

Ukrainian Communist Party leaders said similar monuments will be erected in the Ukrainian cities of Donetsk, Odesa, and Lviv soon.