The museum’s administration told RFE/RL on December 16 that it pulled the chocolates from the cafe’s shelves after it learned they were on sale in its cafe via the Internet.
According to the museum’s press service, the administration of the museum was unaware that the cafe’s owner had bought such chocolate bars.
A day earlier, a Facebook user named Vadim Fialko placed a photo of the bar with Stalin’s portrait on his account noting he got it in the museum’s cafe along with his coffee.
“[They say] a theater starts with its cloakroom, well, the Russian Museum started with its cafe for us and made a lasting impression on us. When the waitress said my cappuccino came with Stalin, I thought I misheard. But when I saw it, I was bloody dazed!” Fialko wrote.
Fialko’s post went viral, sparking the outcry.
In recent months, monuments to Stalin have been unveiled in numerous places across Russia, while he has been presented by state media and officials as “a successful manager” who led the Soviets to victory over Nazi Germany as part of a Kremlin effort to glorify the Soviet past.
Millions of people were executed, sent to labor camps in Siberia and Kazakhstan, or starved to death in famines caused by the forced collectivization during Stalin’s reign.
During World War II, entire ethnic groups were sent to Central Asia as collective punishment for what the Kremlin said was collaboration with Nazi Germany.