MOSCOW — While controversial statues of Confederate icons who fought for slavery come down in the United States, Russia is erecting new monuments to a once-disgraced Soviet Union dictator who killed millions: Josef Stalin. 
This summer marked the 80th anniversary of the “Great Terror,” a massive purge Stalin ordered against political opponents. Yet the milestone was barely noticed by Russians, who increasingly see Stalin as a national hero who defeated the Nazis in World War II as a valued U.S. ally rather than the brutal mass murderer reviled by historians.
Many here apparently don’t know that on July 30, 1937, Stalin’s secret police launched a campaign that would see more than 1.5 million “anti-Soviet elements” arrested and nearly 700,000 of them killed, according to Soviet archives. Historians say that during Stalin’s three decades of rule, which ended with his death in 1953, an estimated 15 million to 30 million people were executed or died in labor camps or starved to death.
Although condemned for …
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