Painting Moscow ‘Red’ for World War ll Anniversary

February 18, 2010 Updated: February 18, 2010

Moscow authorities are planning to paste Joseph Stalin's image on billboards for the May celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory in World War ll. Human rights activists are criticizing the decision.

"We believe that it is not just an insult to the memory of millions of victims of Stalin's tyranny, but also an action aimed at splitting society," said in a statement by the human rights organization “Za prava cheloveka” ('For Human Rights') on Feb 18.

Human rights defenders intend to protest the decision.

They say that there are legal norms directly accusing the Stalinist regime of genocide and mass terror.

"The glorification of Stalin in Moscow today is absurd, it is the same as the glorification of the Nazi leaders in Germany," says the organization.

The number of protests against such types of actions by the authorities has increased recently in Moscow and across the country. In late January, there were protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg when the Kremlin introduced a bill to Parliament that would impose restrictions on public demonstrations, of even one person. This bill runs contrary to the constitution of Russia. Human rights activists have publicly protested against the bill. The mass rallies in both cities were broken up by police who said the demonstrators did not have permission from local authorities.