A commission of Russia's Presidential Human Rights Council has said the erection of monuments to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin on state land across the country is unacceptable.
The statement by Sergei Karaganov, chairman of the council's Permanent Commission on Historical Memory, was made public on July 11.
"Those of our fellow citizens and those political forces that are prepared to forget and even justify the deaths and suffering of millions of our fellow countrymen, often the best people of the country, who fell victim to political repression,
deportation of peoples, collectivization, and the Holodomor evoke sadness and pity," Karaganov's statement said.
"Such actions not only violate morality and disrespect our deceased ancestors, who suffered despite being innocent, but also contradict official state policies."
The Presidential Human Rights Commission is purely advisory and its statements are not binding.
In recent months, various monuments to Stalin have been unveiled in numerous places across Russia, while for several years Stalin has been presented by state media and officials as "a successful manager" who led the Soviets to victory over Nazi Germany as part of the Kremlin's effort to glorify the Soviet past.
Millions of people were executed, sent to labor camps in Siberia and Kazakhstan, or starved to death in famines caused by forced collectivization during Stalin's reign.
During World War II, entire ethnic groups were sent to Central Asia as collective punishment for what the Kremlin said was collaboration with Nazi Germany.
"Those who put up monuments to him justify this repression, voluntarily or involuntarily," Karaganov's statement said.