Veterans are incensed over the release in Russia of soda bearing pictures of dictator Josef Stalin and other World War II leaders.
The soft drinks will hit store shelves in early February, Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported this week. They were produced at a beverage plant in Volgograd, Russia, to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad -- Volgograd's name before the fall of the Soviet regime.
The sodas will be re-released in time for end-of-war Victory Day festivities on May 9.
The three drinks have portraits on them of Stalin, Marshal Gregory Zhukov and Marshal Konstantin Rokossovksy, framed by the words "Our cause is right – We have triumphed."
About 30 million people perished during Stalin's oppressive reign.
The head of the Volgograd City Council for Military Veterans is outraged about the soda series.
"Before such a reckless step was taken, they should have interviewed the veterans," Stanislav Gorokhov said. "Really, every one of us has known much sorry from those times ... What a feeling the veterans will have who unjustly suffered from the Stalinist repressions!"
The director of the plant manufacturing the soft drinks doesn't think the lemon soda with Stalin's image on it is problematic.
"There's nothing bad here," said Boris Izgarshev. "All three military commanders are significant historical figures."
[via The Other Russia]