Communist leader decries Lenin burial plan

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Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov on Tuesday warned the Kremlin against making plans to bury the embalmed body of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin, denouncing such intention as "irresponsible and provocative." In what appeared to be the Kremlin's attempt to gauge public reaction to the divisive issue, Georgy Poltavchenko, a regional envoy of President Vladimir Putin, said last week that Lenin's body should be buried in a cemetery along with the remains of other Bolshevik dignitaries.

Several senior lawmakers in the Kremlin-controlled parliament followed up on his call, proposing to quickly bury Lenin's body, which lies in state in a red marble mausoleum on Red Square. Deputy parliament speaker Lyubob Sliska said Monday that Lenin's body could be laid to rest as early as January.

Zyuganov said in a statement posted on his party's Web site that the call for Lenin's burial clearly had the Kremlin's blessing, and denounced it as "sacrilegious, ... irresponsible and provocative."

"It defies the nation's history and common sense," Zyuganov said. "With their filthy hands and drunken heads they are crawling into the sanctuary of the state. The desire to rake up remains of the dead is a great sin and a sign of mental pathology."

Zyuganov urged Putin and both houses of parliament to make their stance on the issue clear.

Putin said in 2001 that he opposed the removal of Lenin's body so as not to disturb civil peace in the country. His predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, strongly pushed for its removal but was stopped by vigorous opposition from the Communist Party and others.

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