**Volgograd Inaugurates Bust of Stalin in Time for 80th Anniversary of Soviet Victory over Nazis**
On Wednesday, the city of Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, inaugurated a bust of Josif Stalin on the eve of the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory over the Nazis in the city. Monuments celebrating Stalin, who led the country to victory but is also known for his bloody crackdowns, are rare in Russia.
Images published by RIA Novosti showed young men dressed in military uniforms unveiling busts of Stalin and two Soviet commanders who were later honored with red flowers. The inauguration took place on the same day February 1, declared a non-working day in Volgograd, in the context of the Kremlin authorities presenting their offensive against Ukraine as a “denazification” operation.
President Vladimir Putin is expected to be in Volgograd on Thursday to give a speech. The Kremlin has officially justified its offensive against Ukraine, which has been ongoing since February 24, 2022, as a “denazification” operation and, consequently, a continuation of the fight in World War II.