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The re-installed bust of the head of the first Soviet secret police Felix Dzerzhinsky
Photo: Mikhail Pochuev
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Nov. 09, 2005
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Moscow Police Retrieves Iron Felix
The Moscow city police has given itself a present for the Police Day and set up the monument of Felix Dzerzhinsky at the square in front of the Interior Ministrys headquarters in central Moscow where it once stood. The monument of the notorious founder of the Soviet secret police was put down during the 1991 coup. Now the sculpture has been re-installed at the initiative of the Council of Veterans of the Moscow Department for the Interior who laud Dzerzhinsky on his activities to tackle the issue of homeless children and crime fighting. Social organizations view this act as the disavowal of the idea of the jural society and the comeback to the totalitarian regime.
The monument of Felix Dzerzhinsky was re-installed by the headquarters of the Moscow police where it had been standing since 1977 to 1991 when it was dismantled during the August coup. The police officials say they received a suggestion from the veterans council of the Moscow Department for the Interior to retrieve the sculpture to mark Police Day [to be celebrated tomorrow]. Veterans account their decision for Dzerzhinskys alleged success in crime fighting. His motto of cool head, clean hands and warm heart has never sounded more modern, veterans say.

The Moscow authorities first came up with the idea of re-installing Dzerzhinskys monument three years ago when Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov favored the restoration of the sculpture that had once stood at the Lubyanka Square near ex-KGB headquarters. The idea did not go through after Moscow human rights activist collected 114,000 signatures of Muscovites opposing the re-installment of the monument. The sculpture that has now been put up is situated in the internal courtyard of the Interior Ministry so no approval of the Moscow authorities was needed to set it up.

Social organizations and right-wing parties were outraged at the decision of the city police. Nikita Belykh, the head of the Union of Right Forces party and the initiator of the signature-collecting in 2002 against erecting the monument at the Lubyanka Square, says: Im shocked. For me personally, the dismantling of the monument to Dzerzhinsky marked the change of époques, and when sculptures like this are re-installed, it means that Russia is turning off the road to democracy and is heading back to the old Soviet Communist totalitarian system where any goal justifies methods.

www.kommersant.com

All the Article in Russian as of Nov. 09, 2005

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