Skip to comments.Putin says Lenin should stay on Red Square
Posted on 12/11/2012 2:06:28 PM PST by No One Special
Putin has called for Communist leader Vladimir Lenin's body to be preserved in its mausoleum on Red Square, comparing the embalmed body of the founder of the Soviet state to the relics of saints.
"Many are saying that having Lenin's Mausoleum runs counter to the tradition. But what runs counter to tradition?" Putin told a meeting with celebrities who campaigned for him in the March 2012 presidential election, according to the Kremlin website. "Just go to Kiev Pechersk Lavra or check out Pskov Monastery or Mount Athos. You'll see the relics of saints there."
Putin cited almost word-for-word the present-day leader of Russia's Communist Party, Gennady Zyuganov, who last August said that "this form of burying [the body of] Lenin complies with Orthodox canons and traditions" and also drew the Kiev Pechersk Lavra example to back up his point.
Putin also called for "returning to our historic roots," lamenting a lack of a common ideology.
"What happened after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dominant ideology?" Putin asked his supporters. "We never got anything in its place."
Echoing the words of Zyuganov again, Putin remarked that the Communist Builder's Code, a list of Communist moral principles dated 1961, borrowed a great deal from the Bible and the Koran.
Putin's comments come as public support for removing Lenin's body from the mausoleum is growing, a recent survey by the Public Opinion Fund showed.
The number of those supporting the idea of burying Lenin's body has grown 10 percent over the past six years, reaching 56 percent. Only 28 percent of respondents said Lenin's body should be left in the mausoleum.
Speaking about the possibility of a Christian-style funeral in 2010 at a meeting of the Valdai club of political thinkers, Putin said that would come "in good time," Gazeta.ru reported.
"The time will come and the Russian people will decide what to do," Putin was quoted as saying.
In response to Putin's comments, a prominent member of the movement "For taking Lenin out" and the abbot of several churches in Moscow, Father Sergius, said that comparing Lenin's body with the relics of saints was "inadmissible."
"The relics of saints and the body of a Satanist, dictator and a bloody monster are two different things," Father Sergius told Interfax. "Putin probably wants to please both sides, but he should make a choice - to build Russia on national interests, or to court the Communists."
Dmitry Dyomushkin, leader of Russkiye, a nationalist movement for ethnic Russians, said nationalist and Orthodox activists were outraged at Putin's remarks.
"Putin will undoubtedly lose the support of many Orthodox and Cossack organizations," Interfax reported Dyomushkin as saying.
Lenin's Mausoleum on Red Square is one of five remaining mausoleums for political leaders in the world. Lenin expressed the wish to be buried near to his parents in Petrograd, but instead Stalin insisted that Lenin be preserved in the mausoleum on Red Square immediately after his death in 1924.
Other mummified leaders include North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-Il, early 20th century Chinese nationalist leader Sun Yat-sen, Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong, and Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh.
Calls for the burial of Lenin's body grew in the late 1980s, during the period of glasnost and perestroika ahead of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the controversy has raged to the present day.
Last year Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, a member of the ruling United Russia party, argued for burying Lenin, whom he described as "a highly controversial political figure." "Having him as a central figure in a necropolis at the heart of our country is sheer nonsense," Medinsky was quoted by United Russia's press service as saying.
Actually the new ones (actually I last saw them close to a decade ago) look like pink wax doll hands.
Supposedly the mummy was damaged in some terrorist effort.
At least that’s not creepy...
Well on one hand, Lenin did want to be buried in St. Petersburg near his family, keeping him in that mausoleum is a denial of his final wishes, OTOH, he was a communist not a christian so he is not entitled to christian burial. That being said, irregardless of what he was and what he did, final wishes largely trump identity in this case. he should be buried. As far as what he was and what he/they did, Russia certainly would not be where it is today, and likely still the backward agrarian sick old man of Europe if not for him, and he did establish the NEP before Stalin dismantled it, the roots for the eventual unraveling of the Soviet system. Frankly their history required him... Not saying it’s right, nobody is more anti-communist than me, but it simply is what it is...
IMNSVHO, You are falling into a bit of an ideologically prepared faux-history. Russia was NOT just some brutal rustic serfdom prior to WWI. Russia was rich and was rapidly industrializing at a phenomenal pace. There was a very substantial middle class living in large and often beautiful cities fully the equal of anything else in Europe at the time, and a lot of them. However, its government infrastructure under the Czar proved incapable of managing or planning this on the vast scale required by the sheer size of Russia and its riches. Throw in the war against Japan and then WWI, into which the Czar foolishly and quite unnecessarily led his nation, and the fragile system collapsed of its own weight. The Bolsheviks were kicking a system that was already down because of war. It was not the rural population that joined them, it was the war-time industrial workers in the cities, crushed by government inefficiencies.
To this day, NO Russian government has matched the agricultural output reached under the Czars after the land reforms of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries created a wealthy class of independent farmers. Who the hell knows what would have happened without the Communists. It's just that we ought not to fall for the largely bullshit bolshevik version of Russian history.
The Czars were "Dunces Sitting on a Volcano," for sure. But it was the war(s) that set off the eruption of which the Communists took advantage. They saved nobody.