IRKUTSK, Russia, March 4 (UPI) -- The mayor of Irkutsk, Russia, said the East Siberian city will not house a monument dedicated to the late Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
RIA Novosti said Thursday despite demands for the monument from Communist Party members and World War II veterans, Irkutsk Mayor Yury Zabolyev confirmed there are no plans for such a statue.
"In January, Communist Party members held a rally and accused me of spitting on the history of the Soviet Union," Zabolyev said.
"But I believe that the erection of a Stalin statue would be, at the very least, an insult and a disrespect to the memory of the fallen heroes of the war. There will be no monument in Irkutsk while I am mayor," he added.
The mayor said instead of honoring Stalin, who died in 1953, his city could build a monument in honor of those mothers whose children died as soldiers during World War II, RIA Novosti reported.
"This would be a unifying monument for all World War Two veterans, showing respect to the mothers who gave birth to patriots," Zabolyev offered.