The Kremlin will not move the embalmed body of revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin from his mausoleum on Red Square because it fears splitting Russian society, a spokesman said on Thursday.
Lenin, who led the 1917 Bolshevik revolution and founded the Soviet Union, was embalmed after his death on January 21, 1924 and placed in a mausoleum in the shadow of the Kremlin's walls.
But the fate of the firebrand revolutionary -- who still draws crowds of tourists -- is an extremely emotional question in post-Soviet Russia and opinion polls show society is split on the issue.
"The Russian leadership has currently no plans to move Lenin from the mausoleum," Kremlin property chief Vladimir Kozhin told reporters. "Any movement or decision on this question could stir up the country and divide it. So why do it?"
"At some point this question could be looked at -- what to do with the mausoleum and possible burial (of Lenin) -- but when, I do not know. It is definitely not a question for the short term or even the mid term," Kozhin said.
Lenin's opponents, who blame him for unleashing decades of turmoil and setting Russia on the path to destruction, say the ghosts of the Soviet Union should be put to rest and that Lenin should be given a proper burial.
But the Communist Party, Russia's second biggest party, says the father of the Soviet Union should stay put.
A poll in 2008, showed that 38 percent of Russians wanted Lenin buried properly while 28 percent said the Kremlin should wait a generation. A quarter of respondents said Lenin should remain in the mausoleum.
ReutersLast Mod: 11 Şubat 2010, 18:39