KIEV, Ukraine, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych says the country won't change its official "negative view" of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, who died nearly 60 years ago.
But he said the country's residents have a democratic right to believe in their own heroes, RIA Novosti reported.
"History has passed judgment on Stalin and Ukraine will definitely not revise its negative view of this historical personality," Yanukovych said Friday.
In May, a 9-foot-tall statute of Stalin was erected in Ukraine's eastern Zaporizhye region and many Ukrainian politicians demanded its removal.
Someone cut off the statute's head in late December and on New Year's Eve the statue was blown up.