Moscow (Reuters)-The owner of the store told Reuters on Saturday that the store was forced to close the day after it opened due to strong protests against its provocative Joseph Stalin-themed brand.
The portrait of the controversial Communist Party leader is engraved above the front door of the Stalin Doner store. Inside, a man wearing Stalin-era safety clothes offers customers meat buns named after Soviet leaders.
Store owner Stanislav Voltman said: “We were fully open the day before and served approximately 200 customers.”
He added: “There is no legal reason (to close the shop).” But the police said that he had forced him to remove the Stalin sign, and then the “great pressure”
The brand has caused heated debate on social media, with some commentators condemning the brand as offensive.
Stalin’s rule was characterized by mass suppression, labor camps and famine. According to conservative official estimates, nearly 700,000 people were executed during the Great Terror of 1936-38.
However, many people in the former Soviet Union still mainly regarded him as the leader who defeated Nazi Germany in World War II, thus ensuring the country’s survival.
Waltman said: “I had expected social media to hype.” “But I didn’t expect all the TV stations, all the reporters and bloggers to gather here, queuing like in front of the Lenin Mausoleum.”
(Reporting by Dmitriy Turlyun; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Ros Russell)