Reuters: Russians look fondly on Vladimir Lenin

Les Schaffer schaffer at
Wed Apr 18 14:02:03 MDT 2001

[ from Mark Jones ]

Lenin still holds place in hearts of many Russians

MOSCOW, April 18 (Reuters) - Ten years after the collapse of Communism
and turbulent decades since his death, two-thirds of Russians still
look fondly on Vladimir Lenin.

A survey conducted ahead of the Bolshevik leader's 131st birthday on
April 22 showed that 66.7 percent of those questioned regarded Lenin's
role in Russian history positively, Itar-Tass news agency said on

Some 29 percent of these said his role was completely positive and
37.7 percent saw it as "rather positive." The majority of those in
favour were from the older generation, pensioners and those living in
rural areas.

The survey said 14.5 percent saw Lenin's role in an unfavourable
light, while 7.6 percent viewed him completely negatively. The survey
was carried out by independent research centre ROMIR and questioned
2000 people.

But the positive assessment of Lenin does not mean people want to go
on viewing his mummified body.

A majority of 51.3 percent supported the idea of removing his embalmed
corpse from the mausoleum on Moscow's central Red Square, where it has
lain since his death in 1924, and reburying it elsewhere.

Most of those in favour of removing the body were young and
middle-aged city dwellers with some degree of higher education.

But a considerable 41.5 percent opposed removing the body.

The debate over the future of Lenin's remains has been simmering in
Russia for some years and former President Boris Yeltsin often called
for their reburial while in power.

But Russia's Communists still revere the so-called father of the
revolution and strongly oppose any plans by authorities to move the

Lenin's mausoleum is a major Moscow tourist attraction.

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