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Billboards praising Stalin go up in Russian-annexed Crimea ahead of Victory Day

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SEVASTOPOL, Crimea — Billboards with the image of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin have appeared all over Sevastopol in Russian-annexed Crimea in the run-up to Victory Day celebrations on May 9.

PHOTO: A billboard reading "Eternal glory to the victors"  sponsored by the Communist Party, which has always praised Stalin's role in the defeat of Nazi Germany is seen in a street in Sevastopol, Thursday, April 30, 2015. Billboards with the image of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin have appeared all over Sevastopol in Russian-annexed Crimea in the run-up to Victory Day celebrations on May 9.(AP Photo/Anton Volk)
A billboard reading "Eternal glory to the victors" sponsored by the Communist Party, which has always praised Stalin's role in the defeat of Nazi Germany is seen in a street in Sevastopol, Thursday, April 30, 2015. Billboards with the image of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin have appeared all over Sevastopol in Russian-annexed Crimea in the run-up to Victory Day celebrations on May 9.(AP Photo/Anton Volk)

The billboards reading "Eternal glory to the victors" are sponsored by the Communist Party, which has always praised Stalin's role in the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Many Russian sailors and retired naval officers who served in the Soviet and Russian armed forces live in Sevastopol, the home port of the Black Sea Fleet.

People in Moscow are divided as to whether similar billboards should appear in the Russian capital. Some admire Stalin because of his role in the war and the industrialization of the country, while others condemn him for the millions who were sent to labor camps or executed in the purges.

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