Ten billboards depicting images of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin appeared on the streets of Voronezh to everyone’s surprise. The bright-colored billboards prepared for the 130th anniversary of “the leader of all time and nations” show Stalin wearing his parade uniform. The slogan on the billboards says: “Victory will be ours.”
The Voronezh-based division of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation acknowledged that the billboards appeared on the streets of the city upon their initiative. The city authorities are now investigating whether the street advertisements shall be considered as inappropriate, The Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote.
The city authorities showed a reaction to Stalin’s images in the streets only after the billboards attracted the attention of the local media.
An official spokesman for the department of the Communist Party in Voronezh confirmed that it was the party that ordered the campaign. The production of each billboard cost the party 8,000 rubles ($250). The party ordered ten billboards, and all of them were installed in the city in spite of the fact that several advertising agencies in Voronezh refused from dealing with such an order.
Experts believe that the appearance of the Stalin billboards in Voronezh became yet another indication of the current trend to recreate the Soviet past in Russia. For example, about 2,000 teenagers enrolled in the communist Pioneer Movement on Moscow’s Red Square in May of the current year.
Aleksey Malashenko, a member of the Moscow Carnegie Center , said that the situation, which took place in Voronezh, could occur anywhere else in Russia.
“It is a challenge from those people who ordered the billboards. It is a challenge to both the authorities and the general public. It is interesting to see how the local authorities are going to react to that. If they pretend that they did not notice the billboards, it may mean something like: “oh, guys, we are just like you, but we are on duty,” the specialist said.