Stalin statue taken down in Georgia

Authorities in Georgia have torn down a monument to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in his birthplace of Gori to make way for a memorial to the fallen in the Russian-Georgian war of 2008.

Gori is about two miles away from the separatist enclave of South Ossetia, where Russian forces crushed the Georgian army in a brief conflict in August 2008.

The town, which suffered artillery fire and air strikes during the five-day war, was briefly occupied by Russian forces. South Ossetia has since declared independence but the West has not followed Moscow's lead in supporting it.

The move to relocate the monument to a Stalin museum in the town is likely to dismay older generations.

Last year, Georgia blew up a huge memorial honouring the Red Army's part in the Second World War.