Russian Communists in Moscow laid flowers on Friday on the granite tombstones of dozens of top NKVD officers, the Soviet secret police that killed, tortured and jailed millions during Josef Stalin’s purges.

“We have to celebrate these people, honour and remember them,” four-time Communist politician Nina Ostanina said referring to the officers, not the victims, including those who organised the purges and personally executed “people’s enemies”.

Ostanina, who faced scrutiny after her son Daniil pleaded guilty in 2010 to stabbing his business partner 42 times, is running in the September 19 parliamentary vote.

She is among some of the candidates in the coming election to be endorsed by a political force that seems light years away from the Communist Party’s current agenda and past idols.

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