Members of the Russian Communist Party (KPRF) gathered at Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square on Sunday to commemorate the first leader of the Soviet Union, who passed away a century ago.
Born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, the revolutionary was the founder of the Russian Communist Party and the inspirer 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 the long-time KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov and the presidential hopeful Nikolay Kharitonov, among the other top 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 resting place of the first Soviet leader.
The mausoleum 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 of Lenin buried next to his mother and sister or moved to the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.
While the majority of Russians support a proper burial service, Zyuganov argues 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 to it after the legendary victory” over Nazi Germany, and noted how many soviet heroes were greeted at the cite, including the first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin.
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