Georgians mark Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's birthday
Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 01:09
Dec. 21 - Georgians march with portraits of late Soviet dictator Josef Stalin through his native town of Gori marking his birthday in a controversial celebration. Deborah Lutterbeck reports
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Residents of the Georgian town of Gori gather to mark the 134th birthday of the late Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
Stalin was born in Gori and there is a museum there telling the story of his life.
Alexander Lusmanashvili, the leader of Georgia's United Communist Party has high praise for Stalin.
(SOUNDBITE) (Georgian) LEADER OF GEORGIA'S UNITED COMMUNIST PARTY ALEXANDER LUSMANASHVILI, SAYING:
"It is a special day today for the people with progressive thinking, for those who love justice and know the price of the real democracy. On this day in 1879 a man of the world's standing, Josef Stalin, was born. He's from Gori, he is Georgian, and that's why we should come here and honour memory of such a great man."
Widely reviled as a dictator responsible for millions of deaths, Stalin is held up as a hero by supporters across the former Soviet Union who say the country could not have defeated Nazi Germany or become a superpower without his leadership.
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