The Communist Party of Latvia has authorized the republic's first monument commemorating the victims of Josef Stalin's bloody purges nearly a half century after the dictator exiled thousands of Latvians to Siberia, a newspaper says.

The Central Committee of the Latvian Communist Party officially approved construction of the monument and authorized street collections and fund-raising activities to build it, said the June 12 edition of Sovetskaya Lativya, which reached Moscow Tuesday.The monument, to be finished next year, is part of a yearlong crusade against Stalin and the system he installed. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said mistakes similar Stalin's must never be repeated.

Historian Dmitri Volkoganov has written a new biography that asserts Stalin was politically incompetent, immoral, hypocritical, disloyal, ill-advised and insane.

During his reign from 1924 until his death in 1953, Stalin caused the deaths of millions.

Earlier this month, Latvian authorities for the first time sanctioned a street demonstration in the capital of Riga to honor the more than 30,000 Latvians deported to Siberia by Stalin in 1941.

It was the first time the central government officially recognized the deportations.