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Vandals Damage New Stalin Monument

A monument to former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in the Georgian village of Zemo Alvani (file photo)
A new monument to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in Georgia has been vandalized hours after it was unveiled.

Unknown individuals overnight poured orange paint on the 2-meter statue in the town of Telavi, some 100 kilometers from the capital, Tbilisi.

It was erected and unveiled on September 1 by a local Stalin society next to a monument dedicated to soldiers who died during World War II.

In December, to mark the 134th anniversary of Stalin's birth, his hometown of Gori plans to reerect a statue that was removed by the government of President Mikheil Saakashvili in 2010.

Saakashvili led a campaign against monuments to the Georgia-born dictator, saying the country could not simultaneously host a museum for victims of Soviet occupation and monuments honoring those who carried out that occupation.

Based on reporting by and