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8 May, 2009 00:02

Lenin’s body on the crossroad

Lenin’s body on the crossroad

Sources in the administration of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko claim their country might become the new home for the remains of the fabled leader of the world’s proletariat, should Russia move to bury him.

The motive behind the considered move would be simple: the people of Belarus still consider Vladimir Lenin a symbol of their nation.

They are ready to accept Lenin and entomb him, with all due honours, in a mausoleum in the centre of Minsk, quite similar to the one he has in Moscow.

Opinion polls among the population in Belarus indicate an avid nostalgia for the Soviet past. Acquiring the Communism prophet’s remains would certainly capitalise on these feeling, further uniting the Belarusian nation.

Lenin’s embalmed body has been kept in Red Square’s Mausoleum since 1924. For a short period in 1954 the Soviet forefather was joined by Joseph Stalin, who was then buried near the Kremlin wall.

Russia’s orthodox leadership and various politicians have long been pushing for Lenin to follow suit – something Lukashenko is ready to prevent at all costs.

It is believed that the Bolshevik leader, himself, intended to be laid to rest near his mother in St. Petersburg.

Another plan suggests relocating the remains to his native town of Ulyanovsk near the Volga River. A protest demanding this was staged on the 139th anniversary of Lenin’s birth. Orthodox activists and the leader of Liberal Democrat party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, took part in the protest.

Aleksandr Avdeev, Russia’s Minister of Cultural Affairs, has said he doesn’t consider Lenin ‘an object of cultural heritage’.

However, Avdeev did admit that the question of Lenin’s burial is a political one. And the last mention of ‘the Lenin issue’ by Russian leaders was in 2001 when then-President Vladimir Putin spoke in favour of keeping the Mausoleaum in its current state.