“I was fed up with the way our country’s great history is always portrayed in a negative light and all the anti-Stalin propaganda”
I decided to launch this project because I was fed up with the way our country’s great history is always portrayed in a negative light and of all the anti-Stalin propaganda. I regard Stalin the same way that a lot of Russians regard Peter the Great. Whether founded or not, Russians like Peter the Great because he is considered as one of the great architects of the Russian Empire. On the one hand, it’s widely known that ‘Saint Petersburg was built upon human bones’ [Saint Petersburg’s foundations are said sit above the bones of an estimated 100,000 skeletons of forced-labourers], but on the other hand people also recognize that Peter the Great ‘opened a window onto Europe’. I would like it if people viewed Stalin in the same light, because he did a lot of good for our country even if it came with some bad.In France, the name ‘Stalingrad’ is still respected [in France’s capital Paris, there is even a metro station called Stalingrad], but here they chose to rename the city Volgograd to please a handful of people [Stalingrad was renamed Volgograd in 1961 under Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev as part of his de-Stalinisation programme].I don’t want to share any further details about our project in 2012 because I don’t want to give those who are trying to block us any tools to do so. Latvia and Estonia’s governments have already done everything they can to prevent us from deploying our buses. These countries are supposed to be democratic, but they’re trying to stifle our democratic right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.