Death of Red, Death of Rus

Death of Red, Death of Rus October 23, 2005

The Russian Government is planning to remove Lenin’s embalmed body from Moscow’s Red Square and give it a decent burial in some cemetery. It is time the ideologue, after lying for 80 years in Red Square, following in the footsteps of the ideology was given a grave, too. Mikhail Gorbachev, who presided over the demise of Lenin’s USSR in 1991, has cautioned Kremlin against undue haste in burying Lenin. But President Vladimir Putin feels Russia is already late. His predecessor Boris Yeltsin had also brought such a proposal during his tenure but could not persuade the Russians.

Lenin’s corpse lies encased in a glass box for public viewing. He is perhaps the world’s only dead man for whom suits are still tailored. But his embalmed body occasionally sprouts fungi and needs medical attention. His admirers say he is resting in peace, but others find him ghastly. Mikhalov,no doubt, is a Russian Orthodox who wants Lenin to be buried beside his mother’s grave in St Petersburg ‘as Lenin had wanted it’. No one is sure whether Lenin wanted a Christian burial or cremation.

This story is worth reading … lest we forget.

Russia is literally dying. From a population peak in 1992 of 148 million, it will be down to below 130 million by 2015 and thereafter dropping to perhaps 50 or 60 million by the end of the century, a third of what it was at the fall of the Soviet Union. It needn’t decline at a consistent rate, of course. But I’d say it’s more likely to be even lower than 50 million than it is to be over 100 million. The longer Russia goes without arresting the death spiral, the harder it is to pull out of it, and when it comes to the future most Russian women are voting with their foetus: 70 per cent of pregnancies are aborted. …


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