Stalin and Co to be removed from Kremlin resting place?
Until 1984 the site overlooking Red Square served as the last resting place for those whose contribution to the success of the Soviet State was perceived as invaluable.
Now that Red Square often hosts pop and opera performances and turns into a skating rink in winter, some of the relatives of those buried in the Kremlin Wall say the cemetery can no longer be called such.
The great-granddaughter of Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky, Ariadna Rokossovskaya, would move her great ancestor's ashes to where his wife is buried if she was allowed to.
“Nobody is interested in what we think, whether we want to see him buried here or elsewhere. Strange that. The country has changed, but not here – we are still deprived of the simple right to the ashes of our close relative,” she said.
Though some may well disagree.
“Why should these people be taken to different cemeteries at their relatives' will? Why can't they be side-by-side the way they were when they marched here during the Victory Parade?” said Natalya Koneva, Marshal Konev’s daughter.
Calls to remove the cemetery were heard shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but historians proved the place used to be a burial site even in the 14th century.
“For instance, St. Basil was buried here in 1593 and the funeral was attended by Ivan the Terrible and the nobility. So, when some say the Necropolis should be relocated there arises a question – should we start from St. Basil then?” said Aleksey Abramov, a historian.
Besides being a VIP cemetery the Kremlin Wall Necropolis is closed for visitors, and relatives need permission to come. So, the powers that be buried here, no matter how powerful they were, now belong neither to themselves nor to their relatives.