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Most Russians want Lenin’s body removed from Red Square

By RIA Novosti,

Moscow : An opinion poll has shown that two- thirds of Russians believe that the embalmed body of the Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin should be removed from its mausoleum on Red Square and buried.

Lenin’s body has been on public display in a glass case in downtown Moscow since his death Jan 21, 1924. His continuing presence in the heart of Moscow has been an ongoing source of controversy since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

According to the poll conducted by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), some 38 percent of those who said Lenin should be buried at a cemetery urged the move be made as soon as possible. Another 28 percent said he could be buried after the Lenin generation has died.

The poll said 41 percent of Russians believe keeping Lenin’s body in the mausoleum is “wrong and unnatural”.

Meanwhile, 37 percent of respondents said they saw “nothing bad” in the fact that the mausoleum has become “an ordinary tourist attraction like in other countries”.

Only 15 percent of Russians said “the body of the people’s leader had the right to stay in the mausoleum on the country’s main square”.

Demands to transfer the body of the architect of the 1917 Russian Revolution to a regular cemetery have consistently been countered by Russian communists, who insist that the tomb on Red Square remain the Soviet leader’s final resting place.

Lenin, who died at the age of 53, had said he wanted to be buried in Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg.

The opinion poll was conducted Nov 8-9, 2008, in a total of 140 Russian cities and towns in 42 regions, and involved a sample of 1,600 respondents.