Russia celebrates death ammiversory of Stalin but with a divide

MOSCOW: Russia on Tuesday marked the 60th anniversary of Joseph Stalin’s death. Hundreds of people laid red carnations at the Red Square grave of the Soviet ruler, where his body was buried in 1961 after being displayed for several years alongside Lenin in the Mausoleum.

“There were repressions, but they should not overshadow the greatness achieved by the country,” said 48-year-old businessman Roman Fomin. “For many Stalin means victory, economic growth and prosperity. Many people would like his return.”

Stalin’s role in Russian history has split society for decades.

His image is openly used in Victory Day celebrations for the end of World War II while the 1930s-era purges, the murderous collectivisation of the peasantry, and the feared network of Gulag camps under Stalin that together claimed millions of lives are largely absent from public discourse.