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Stalin

World Cup fans head underground to explore Stalin’s bunker

SAMARA: As the Russian city of Samara gears up for Saturday’s England-Sweden clash, some fans have been taking time out to discover a darker side of the city hidden underground. Hundreds of visiting supporters have been queuing up to visit Josef Stalin’s bunker - chambers dug out underneath the southwestern city to protect the Soviet leader from a Nazi German assault that never came. “You get goosebumps. You can’t imagine all of that happened just here and only a few years ago. It is a very good experience to take…

Court fines Moscow cinema that showed ‘Death of Stalin’

MOSCOW: A Russian court on Thursday slapped a $1,700 fine on a Moscow cinema which screened British comedy "The Death of Stalin" in defiance of an official ban, prompting a police raid. The film, which depicts the power struggle in the politburo following the death of the Soviet dictator, was to have been released last month but was banned at the last minute following an outcry by conservative figures. The judge fined the arthouse Pioneer Cinema 100,000 rubles (1,450 euros) for the administrative violation of screening…

Putin will seek new term as Russia president

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said he would seek a new six-year term in March elections, a move that would make him the longest-serving Russian leader since Joseph Stalin. Putin, who has run Russia both as president and prime minister for the past 18 years, is expected to sail to victory, with only token opponents competing against him. "I will offer my candidacy for the post of president of the Russian Federation," he said during a visit to the GAZ car factory in Nizhny Novgorod, 400 kilometres (250 miles)…

Russia conflicted on how to mark 100 years since revolutions

MOSCOW: It was the year that ended centuries of royal rule, brought two revolutions, ushered in Soviet domination and changed the course of Russian history irrevocably. A century later, the country seems unsure how to treat the tumultuous events of 1917 that saw it hurtle from the abdication of the last tsar Nicholas II to a Communist dictatorship in a matter of months. During seven decades of Soviet rule the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks was celebrated with pomp by the Kremlin and the tsarist regime was…

Tank battles and Stalin selfies at Belarussian war museum

MINSK: At Belarus's Stalin Line museum visitors can watch reenactments of World War Two battles, fire Soviet-era weapons and even pose for photographs next to a wreath-decked monument to Josef Stalin himself. The open air complex 30 km (19 miles) outside Minsk was built to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the war and showcases some of the fortifications built to protect the Soviet Union's Western flank - concrete bunkers and gun emplacements nicknamed 'Stalin's Line.' More than 20 million Soviet soldiers and…