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18 Jul, 2023 10:33

Arson attack at Lenin's tomb

The would-be vandal reportedly attempted the stunt on the eve of his birthday
Arson attack at Lenin's tomb

Moscow police have arrested a man who threw a Molotov cocktail at the mausoleum of the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, several Telegram channels reported on Tuesday. The tomb of the Bolshevik leader, located in the very heart of the Russian capital, did not sustain any damage.

The Baza channel identified the perpetrator as a 37-year-old resident of the city of Chita, Eastern Russia. The man reportedly came to Red Square at around 10pm local time on Monday — on the eve of his birthday — and threw a flaming bottle at the tomb.

The bottle is said to have shattered after hitting the pavement, causing a fire. Baza claimed that the man was apprehended by police at the scene, and that authorities have opened an investigation on a charge of disobeying a law enforcement officer.

However, the 112 channel offered a slightly different version of events, saying that the bottle hit the tomb’s fence and failed to explode. It added that the troublemaker was in an “abnormal state” and resisted arrest.

112 also reported that the man had previously been detained on Red Square in May while carrying two Molotov cocktails, but escaped any serious punishment.

The mausoleum has served since 1930 as the final resting place for the embalmed remains of Lenin, who passed away in 1924. In the years that followed, the tomb’s rooftop viewing platform was used by Soviet leaders to watch military parades. It has also attracted hundreds of thousands tourists from around the world and has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Revered during the Soviet era, Lenin later came to be viewed as a controversial figure in Russian history, with numerous politicians calling for his body to be removed from the mausoleum. However, in 2021, the Kremlin signaled that it had no plans to do so, pointing out that there were many other pressing issues and concerns.

In February, an intoxicated man attempted to breach the landmark and steel Lenin’s body but was detained.