[Marxism] Bomb attack on Lenin monument near the Finland Station (Saint Petersburg)
avvakum at gmail.com
Thu Apr 2 16:29:38 MDT 2009
Since I mentioned this incident in my passing in my posting about the
Nashi movement, I thought I would provide a few more details about it.
The explosion took place around 4 am on April 1. The only witness was
a man sitting in a car parked nearby. He is reported as saying the
blast shook his car. The explosion put an 80 x 100 cm hole in the
backside of the monument.
There are some photos here:
A group calling itself the Zalesye Emergency Military Brigade claimed
responsibility for the blast. In their statement (posted on a
ultra-rightist blog) they said that:
"Lenin and subsequent leaders of the USSR, proponents of the
anti-Russian Bolshevist ideology, are guilty in the genocide of the
Russian people that has been under way since 1917."
The Black Hundreds-style elements in Russian society are already
having a field day with the incident. Sergei (Rybko), father superior
of the Descent of the Holy Spirit Church at the Lazarevskoe Cemetery
in Petersburg, gave an interview (http://www.regions.ru/news/2206117/)
to the odious news website Regions.Ru. He is quoted as saying:
"Tolerance has its limits. It's time to throw Lenin away. I give my
blessing to the people who did this and, I repeat, I hope that more
people will be found who can do something similar somewhere else in
Russia. In any city, even in the smallest town, we always find a Lenin
Street, and this idol stands everywhere. As a Russian, I find it
unpleasant to see this. I myself am itching to knock off [some piece]
of it or at least splash it with paint."
At the end of this interview, he says that it would be good for the
government to issue an order for the demolition of all Lenin monuments
"especially now, when, in connection with the economic crisis, people
have already begun again to read Karl Marx's Capital and other
The city authorities have already announced the monument will be taken
down and restored.
Interestingly, the local branch of the Communist Party was planning to
hold an anti-crisis demonstration on the square where the monument
stands (Lenin Square) this coming Saturday. Their representatives, as
quoted in media reports, blame the explosion on radical right-wingers,
although one of them (unaccountably) says that foreign spies shouldn't
be crossed off the suspect list, either.
Lenin Square is one of the few places left in the city where the
authorities (sometimes) give permits for more or less large opposition
demos. That is because, although the square is next to a busy train
station and metro station, it is relatively isolated and easily
Like the other big Lenin monument site in town (on Moskovskii
Prospekt), the city turned the square into a kind of "family fun"
zone, surrounding it with fountains and lights. (This was done in
preparation for the 2006 G8 summit, which was also a giant exercise in
police repression.) In the view of the new capitalist authorities, the
"simple folk" love nothing better than fountains (lots of them!) and
light shows. As I remarked back then, they decided to turn Lenin into
a "water god."
Anyone interested in what the "simple folk" (who turn out to be not so
simple) think about this should check out NYC-based Colombian artist
Carlos Motta's Leningrad Trilogy project, which includes a decent
documentary film where he interviewed various people he found relaxing
at both monuments (in 2006).
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