July 7, 1997 in Nation/World

Bombs In Statue Meant To Protect Lenin Shrine

Chicago Tribune
 

Police on Sunday recovered from one Moscow landmark several bombs planted in support of a far more politically sensitive shrine: Lenin’s tomb.

The Revolutionary Military Council claimed responsibility for the bombs at the Peter the Great sculpture.

The group’s aim, it said in a fax, was “to carry out a warning explosion as retribution against the unprincipled politicians who have initiated a disgusting discussion of whether the body of Vladimir Ulyanov Lenin, the leader of the world proletariat, should be buried.”

Altogether, police said, the seven bombs contained 3 pounds of plastic explosives, probably not enough to inflict significant damage on the 200-foot-tall statue, which towers over the Moscow River near the Kremlin.

President Boris Yeltsin wants a referendum held to decide the fate of Lenin, who remains embalmed and on view at Red Square. Yeltsin has suggested that Lenin, not the visitor magnet he once was, be buried in a St. Petersburg cemetery - next to his mother.

The idea pleases a lot of younger Russians who want to see Lenin and what’s left of the Bolshevik mystique finally put to rest. But it galls the Communists.

Last month, the Communist Party called the idea “immoral and outrageous” and said dismantling the tomb would be an “act of historical vandalism.”


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