New statue to honour memory of Brezhnev

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The Independent Online

Thirteen years after the collapse of Communism and the systematic toppling of its idols, the Russian city of Novorossiysk is to turn back the clock and erect a monument to the dour Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.

Thirteen years after the collapse of Communism and the systematic toppling of its idols, the Russian city of Novorossiysk is to turn back the clock and erect a monument to the dour Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.

Bucking a trend which has seen thousands of towns across the former Soviet Union tear down their statues of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet state, and turn them into scrap, Novorossiysk, on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, is to place Brezhnev's likeness right in the centre of town.

"It is necessary to preserve his memory and pass it on to future generations," Roman Shelest, the deputy head of the city administration, told Ekho Mosvky radio station.

Though the city authorities have given their blessing to the statue, they balked at paying for it. The monument is being financed by a local politician and two businessmen. It will be a life-size bronze likeness of a young Brezhnev strolling the city's streets with a raincoat thrown casually over his shoulder. He served as a Red Army political commissar in the city during the Second World War.

The unveiling ceremony will take place on 16 September, the same day as the city was liberated from the Nazis.

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