Gunman tries to attack Lenin's corpse in Red Square

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A man armed with a high-powered gas pistol tried to break into Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin's tomb on Red Square in Moscow, shooting a policeman in the process.

The man, named as Sergey Karpentsov, is quoted as saying he wanted to let loose a volley of bullets at Lenin's carefully embalmed corpse, one of the Russian capital's most popular and ghoulish tourist attractions.

Lenin's waxy presence at the heart of the Russian capital 86 years after his death continues to divide Russian society, with many older people believing he should be left where he is.

Others insist he should be re-buried near his mother in St Petersburg, arguing that it is incongruous for his corpse to remain on Red Square almost two decades after Soviet Communism was rejected.

Police say they spotted Karpentsov behaving strangely near the mausoleum and that he viciously beat a police officer who confronted him before shooting and wounding the man.

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