12 July 2007

Some Lenins I've Known

I thought it would be a good idea to sift through 7 years-worth of photos I've taken in Russia and her neighbors and put up an album of some of the best Lenin statues I've photographed. Some of the photos pre-date digital cameras and are a little old/grainy looking, but you get the picture (pun intended?) So here they are...

Finland Station, St. Petersburg:

From this angle, Lenin gives you a thumbs-up: "Hey, isn't revolution GREAT?!!"

Lenin with entourage at Oktyabrskaya Square, Moscow:

Lenin guarding the grounds at VDNKh:

He looks lost in thought. Probably thinking about getting a tasty shaurma from one of the nearby vendors:

Lenin at Sergiev Pasad, paradoxically former seat of the Russian Orthodox Church:

This Lenin stood next to the old Gorbushka, back when it was a sprawling outdoor bazaar. Someone has spray painted "John Lennon" on the base. I've never been able to find this Lenin again, though it probably doesn't help that I've never tried:

Inside the Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow. As this one is marble, it would be VERY expensive to ship home, I think:

At the outdoor sculplture park next to the New Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow:

Inside the WWII museum in Minsk:

Also in Minsk:

Lenin pointing at Japan from Vladivostok: "Hey! Does that sushi stuff come with mayonnaise?"

In Volgograd (Stalingrad), Lenin says, "See how nice it is now that we've rebuilt our city?"

The largest bust of Lenin in the world, located in Ulan Ude. I'll confess that this is not my picture. When I was there, it was the middle of the night, it was December, I was sick, and only halfway through my trip on the Trans-Siberian. Needless to say, my own photos didn't turn out very good...

Tambov: Reverend Lenin says, "Can I get an AMEN!"

In Lipetsk, Comrade Lenin doesn't say much. There's hardly any traffic through Lenin Square (recently renamed Cathedral Square because there's a, um, cathedral there). I think he gets lonely.

In Nizhny Novgorod, Lenin says, "Look at the wonderful shopping mall they've built next to me. Maybe I was wrong about this whole 'capitalism is evil thing...'"

For the most comprehensive archive of Lenin monuments in Russia, the former Soviet Union, and around the world, take a look at monulent.ru (in Russian), which has Lenin monuments organized by city. Bet you never knew there were so many!


Dusty Wilmes said...

Cool post. I have a particular fondness for the Lenin statue in Novgorod (Velikij)-- have you been there? It is right on the edge of the Kremlin there and a rather nice park. It's old and dirty, decorated with plenty of bird droppings, but it definitely has its own charm. We used to sit on it every night and drink when I lived in Novgorod a couple of summers ago.

Rubashov said...

Haven't been to Novgorod, but I've always wanted to, since they say it's the "birthplace of Russian democracy." Always seemed like a bit of a stretch to me, and besides, it's not like the baby turned out that well.

But it seems they have a nice Lenin statue. Is this the one you're talking about?

I agree, a Lenin statue isn't a Lenin statue without a few good bird droppings!

Dusty Wilmes said...

That's the one. I highly recommend Novgorod. It's very quaint. Where are you living now?

Rubashov said...

I'm in Moscow now, but only for 6 more days, after which time I'm being repatriated back to the States.

Dusty Wilmes said...

I'll be touching down in Moscow right about the time that you're leaving.

Rubashov said...

Alas, like ships passing in the night. But I'm looking forward to reading your own adventures and observations soon. Safe travels and good luck!

W. Shedd said...

Here's my favorite picture of a Lenin statue. It was taken on April 22, 2003 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Happy Birthday Lenin - having a bottle of liquid capitalism and a smile!

Another one for you: My wife's school in Rostov Veliky, January 2005.

Russophile said...

Great collection of Lenin photos. Here is my favorite Lenin -- A Lenin Mosaic in Sochi a second view.

Rubashov said...

W: Very nice Bishkek Lenin. I'm curious, they say that his statues look more Asiatic in, well, more Asiatic countries. Does that apply in Kyrgyzstan? Also, could you re-post the Rostov Velikiy photo, the link didn't come through...

Russophile: Just another reason why Sochi deserves the Olympics! Love the mosaic, and I think it would look fabulous on a wall at home. Hmm, how to get it there...

W. Shedd said...


That is the original link to the Rostov Velikiy Lenin. I messed that link up somehow.

You know, I didn't notice at the time that Lenin appeared any different. I'll have to look at some of my other photos of the statue and refresh my memory. That statue was moved a few months after I was there, to a less prominent location.

Gabriel said...

Thanks for that post....great blog I hope some of your readers will visit my blog

Greetings from Ireland


Pierre said...

I see the comments are outdated, hoping to find someone still..I have recently visited Moscow and while walking around, I found this small park a distance from Gorky park.There are 2 statues of Lenin and a very intriguing wall of granite faces behind barbed wire. I seem to remember something about a "wall of suffering" I did not find anything on the Internet so farr before I found your blog. Do you have more info for me?

Rubashov said...

Greetings, Pierre. Unless I'm mistaken, what you found is the outdoor sculpture park/museum located next to the New Tretyakov Gallery on Krymsky Val. The sculputre park consists of two portions - one is 20th century sculpture of the more artistic type. The other portion, sometimes referred to as the "graveyard of monuments" is where many sculptures of Soviet-era political leaders (Lenin, Stalin, Dzerzhinsky, Sverdlov, Brezhnev, etc.) were relocated after 1991.

As I recall, the piece you're describing with the stone faces behind barbed wire is a post-Soviet creation meant to honor those who died under Stalin's rule. Fittingly (or perhaps ironically), it is located next to a stone statue of Stalin himself who lost his nose, probably when he fell.

The most famous monument at the park is the large statue of Feliks Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Cheka (predecessor to the KGB). This statue of Dzerzhinsky in his characteristic floor-length greatcoat stood in front of the Lubyanka (KGB headquarters) until it was toppled shortly after the failed August 1991 coup.

In any case, you happened to wander into one of my favorite attractions in Moscow, one where I always take visitors. Fascinating place, to say the least!