Moscow: A bust-size statue of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin will be erected in the Russian city of Tambov ahead of the World War II Victory Day celebrations.
"The republican committee of the North Ossetian Communist Party made the bust to express gratitude to the Tambov regional committee for helping South Ossetia during the conflict with Georgia (in August 2008)," Andrei Zhidkov, branch head of the Russian Communistic Party, said on Wednesday.
The erection of the bust coincides with the 65th anniversary of Russia`s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II and commemorates Stalin`s contribution to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
Zhidkov said they also planed to erect monuments of Stalin in several other cities but local authorities rejected the idea.
There has been intense debate in Russia surrounding Stalin`s role in World War II. Communist Party members and veteran organisations insist Stalin`s leadership pulled the Soviet Union through its darkest hour and freed Europe from Nazi tyranny.
Others, including human rights organisations and analysts, say Stalin`s mass purges of the Army in the years before the war left the country exposed to an attack by Germany.
During Stalin`s reign, millions of people across the USSR were executed on false charges of espionage, sabotage and anti-Soviet propaganda or died of starvation, disease or exposure in labour camps.