- By Peter Williams Peter Williams is an editorial researcher at FP.
Russia is a country that has yet to come to terms with its history. Russian public opinion is sharply divided on every one of their previous General Secretaries and Presidents, with the exception of relatively minor figures like Malenkov, Chernenko, Andropov, and… Lenin? For whatever reason, Lenin, the man who led the October Revolution and founded the Soviet Union, has received considerably less public attention than his succesors.
Recently, though, Lenin has re-entered public consciousness as Russians have begun to debate whether the government should move Lenin’s corpse from its present location in Red Square, where it is publicly displayed in a mausoleum, and bury it elsewhere. (Instead of making any predictable jokes, I refer the reader to an unrelated FP post on zombies.)
Today, Sergei Karpentsov provided Russians with a third option: perhaps after watching one too many horror movies, Karpentsov, armed with a gas-powered pistol, attempted to break into Lenin’s tomb and shoot his corpse. After being arrested, Karpentsov declared that
"My main demand is the quick bulldozing of the mausoleum which contains the body of the anti-Christ…I wanted to open fire on the tomb with an assault rifle but I was advised not to do that in case the tomb is armour-plated."
Later, Karpentsov added that "I have drawn attention to this issue with my actions."
Yes you have, Sergei, yes you have.
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.| Passport |