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Has anyone visited Volgograd recently?

I am thinking of taking a short trip into Russia to visit the city that was formerly known as Stalingrad and is now called Volgograd. Has anyone visited that city recently who can answer a few questions.

I am interested mainly in the sites related to the Battle of Stalingrad. How many days would be sufficient to see all of these sights?

Should I be part of a tour group or hire a guide or can I do this by myself?

Is Volgograd safe to visit as a solo tourist? I don't patronize bars and shady enterprises so that eliminates much of the risk, but what is the likelihood of being a random victim of a mugging or a pickpocket crime?

Thanks for your help.

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I've been there about 3-4 years ago. It was one of the eleven cities we stopped while on Volga River cruise Moscow to Astrakhan. If you want to see all of the sites related to battle probably 3-4 days. If you hire a guide with a car then faster. The memorials and monuments are very impressive making you feel very little and unimportant. Especially impressive are monuments on Mamayev Kurgan Hill, Eternal Flame, changing guards, Stalingrad battle panorama and museum. If you don't speak and read Russian hire a guide or be a part of tour group. Very little is in English there. My impression of Volgograd was that it's safe city. Certainly safer than many American cities.