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Georgian president unveils monument to Ronald Reagan

Zurab Kurtsikidze / EPA

A man sits next to a statue of former US President Ronald Reagan in downtown Tbilisi, Georgia, Nov. 23, 2011. The bronze statue, depicting Reagan sitting on a bench, was unveiled by the Georgian president in Rike Park earlier the same day, reports state. Reagan, the 40th President of the United States (1981-1989), is celebrated in former Soviet satellite states for having helped hasten the fall of the Iron Curtain.

I find it fascinating that former Soviet bloc countries are such big fans of Ronald Reagan. Apparently some folks in Newport Beach, California (bottom photo) don't share those feelings.

AP reports:

TBILISI, Georgia — Georgia's pro-Western president has unveiled a monument to Ronald Reagan in the capital of the ex-Soviet state praising the 40th U.S. president for "destroying the Soviet Empire."

Mikhail Saakashvili, whose government has for years had tense relations with Russia, also lambasted Moscow's attempts to "restore" the Soviet Union by creating an economic bloc with other ex-Soviet nations.

He said Wednesday that the bronze statue that depicts Reagan sitting on a bench "deserves a place in the heart of Tbilisi, the heart of Georgia."

Alik Keplicz / AP

Polish Army soldiers flank a Ronald Reagan statue honoring the late U.S. president for inspiring Poland's toppling of communism, in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, during the unveiling ceremony.

Richard Koehler / Orange County Register via AP

Laudie Freed of Newport Coast looks at the damaged Ronald Reagan statue in Bonita Canyon Sports Park in Newport Beach, Calif. Sunday morning, Nov. 6, 2011. The statue was damaged after thieves apparently tied a chain around it and tried to pull it away using a pickup truck or other vehicle, police said.

Related:

Reward offered for Reagan statue vandal

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Wikipedia list of things named for Ronald Reagan.