Communists mark 100th anniversary of Lenin's death (PHOTOS)
Members of the Russian Communist Party (KPRF) gathered at Vladimir Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square on Sunday to commemorate the first leader of the Soviet Union, who died a century ago to the day.
Born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, the revolutionary was the founder of their party and the main driver of the Bolshevik Revolution. He served as the first head of government of the USSR from 1917 until his death in the town of Gorky, in the Moscow region on January 21, 1924.
The ceremony at the Red Square was attended by long-time KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov and its presidential hopeful Nikolay Kharitonov, along with other leading party members.
“Lenin has gone to another world but forever remained with humanity, where on planet Earth for the first time he tried to build a new world... in which labor rules, not capital,” Zyuganov said after laying flowers at the mausoleum.
The structure was built in 1930 alongside the walls of the Kremlin facing Red Square to publicly display the embalmed remains of Lenin. Lenin’s tomb is a major tourist destination in Moscow and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1990.
Since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, there have been debates, spearheaded by the Russian Orthodox Church, as to whether the mausoleum should be closed and the body buried next to his mother and sister or moved to the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.
While polls show that the majority of Russians support a proper burial service, Zyuganov believes that the Red Square mausoleum holds “a sacred meaning” and represents “our great era.”
The tomb’s rooftop viewing platform was used by Soviet leaders to watch military parades. Zyuganov recalled how “two hundred fascist banners were thrown towards it after the legendary victory” over Nazi Germany, and noted how many soviet heroes were greeted at the site, including the first person in space, Yuri Gagarin.