Time to bury Lenin's body, says a senior aide to Putin


World Digest

September 29, 2005

MOSCOW -- A senior aide to President Vladimir V. Putin said yesterday the time has come to bury the embalmed body of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin - a statement that could be the Kremlin's attempt to gauge public reaction to the divisive issue.

Georgy Poltavchenko, Putin's envoy to the Central Federal District, said Lenin's body should be removed from its granite tomb on Red Square and buried in a cemetery along with remains of other Bolshevik dignitaries.

Poltavchenko said he was voicing his private opinion on the matter and did not elaborate. Putin has said in the past he was against burying Lenin's body.

"Our country has been shaken by strife, but only few were held accountable for that in their lifetime," Poltavchenko said at a news conference, according to the Interfax news agency. "I don't think it's fair that those who initiated that strife remain in the center of our state near the Kremlin."

Lenin died in 1924 at the age of 53 after a series of strokes, having said he wanted to be buried in St. Petersburg.

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