Luzhkov Defends Lenin

The Moscow Times reports:

Moscow police detained 25 people on Wednesday who had been planning to stage a protest to demand the removal of a mausoleum containing the embalmed body of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin from Red Square.  Police closed Red Square ahead of the planned protest on the 85th anniversary of the death of Lenin.  “They were trying to hold a rally that the authorities had not allowed,” a police spokesman said.  The group had intended to dress up as mummies and demonstrate outside the mausoleum with a cardboard coffin. Media reports described the group as Orthodox monarchists who want Lenin buried as an ordinary person.

About 400 supporters of the Communist Party laid flowers Wednesday at Lenin’s tomb.  The small and quiet gathering, which got some desultory glances from skaters on Red Square’s ice rink, was a sharp contrast to the massive demonstrations of fealty to Lenin that marked life in the Soviet era.  Tribute participants said they believe that communism’s time would come again. Lenin “goes into history as the creator of a new society that all mankind came to,” said Valentin Vazhanian, a retired rear admiral in the Soviet Navy.  Zyuganov told reporters on the frigid square that “the current [economic] crisis underlines the necessity of studying Lenin’s ideas anew.” Zyuganov vehemently opposed the notion of removing Lenin’s tomb, arguing that it is part of the Red Square ensemble that has been recognized as a world cultural monument by UNESCO.

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