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Stalin Activists Plan To Erect Beria Bust Next To Stalin's In Siberia

The announcement was made by the same nationalist group that erected a bust to Stalin in Surgut. (file photo)

Pro-Stalin activists in Siberia plan to erect a bust of notorious Soviet security chief Lavrenty Beria next to a recently unveiled bust of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Denis Khanzhin, the chairman of the Russian Spirit group in the city of Surgut, said on September 22 that activists are deciding if the new bust will be of Beria, Russian revolutionary Sergei Kirov, or Ivan Yefremov, the Soviet science fiction writer who promoted a "communist future of humankind."

But Khanzhin added that Beria is likely to be chosen and would be unveiled by summer 2017.

Khanzhin also said that activists will begin a permanent security watch of Stalin's bust, which has been vandalized at least twice since it was unveiled on September 15 near a site designated for a monument to the victims of Stalin's bloody 1930s purges.

Surgut city authorities said earlier that the bust might be removed as it was erected illegally.

Surgut was the site where hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens were forced to relocate as "enemies of the Soviet people" during Stalin's purge campaign in the 1930s.

Based on reporting by and Interfax