Sorry not sorry: Putin at the Wall of Grief, Moscow, October 2017.
SPUTNIK PHOTO AGENCY / REUTERS

Every spring, buses covered in portraits of Joseph Stalin appear on the streets of Russian cities. His face replaces ads for cell phones, soft drinks, laundry detergent, and cat food. With each passing year, the dictator gets more handsome and more glamorous; a portrait of him in his gorgeous white generalissimo’s jacket has become especially popular. He casts his stern gaze on the citizens, as if to say, “Remember me? I’m here, I didn’t go anywhere—and don’t you forget it!” 

The ads aim to remind the country of the dictator’s role in the Soviet

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