February 7, 1990 |
"Through all the stages of its history, the party has tried to consolidate its power by any means possible," Ivan I. Antonovich, a ranking Communist Party researcher, noted in an interview Tuesday. And that's what makes "this period we are living through . . . unique." In his most dramatic step against that flow of party history, Soviet President Mikhail S.
September 11, 1990 |
Here on the historic streets where the Russian monarchy fell and Soviet Communism first took command, there is a grass-roots call to restore the city's original name. "The people want to change the name back to St. Petersburg because we are returning to our history and to the spirit of Russia," Lyubov B. Krasilnikova, 40, an engineer, said as she walked out of a long-neglected church which is now reopened and undergoing renovation.
December 6, 1993 |
On the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, 81-year-old Khadzhy-Batyr Badoyev decided it was time for a chat with Comrade Lenin. So one day last month, Badoyev marched across a deserted Red Square. Down he went into the underground marble crypt where Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov seems to float in his glass sarcophagus like Sleeping Beauty with a goatee. The old soldier stood at Lenin's feet and spoke aloud, shattering the reverent twilight.
November 16, 1991 |
For the first time in history, the interior of the Kremlin has been used as a film location. Shooting has been taking place here inside Lenin's original office on the TV film of "Stalin," an HBO production starring Robert Duvall in the title role and Maximilian Schell as Lenin. Few people manage to obtain access to Lenin's office, which is in a continuous state of restoration and is kept as a museum and archive.
September 2, 1991 |
They don't look much like revolutionaries, the hundreds of haggard workers drawn by a common purpose to the foot of Dictatorship of the Proletariat Street. They plod drone-like outside the grim concrete Universam grocery store, concerned only with the dictatorship of standing-in-line etiquette, which ensures that the righteous triumph in their battle to buy cottage cheese.
October 14, 1990 |
Mikhail S. Gorbachev, wielding his presidential powers to defend the honor of the Bolshevik leadeI. Lenin, issued a decree Saturday mandating respect for statues and monuments to the Soviet past. The statues of Lenin that once dominated virtually every major town square in the country have come under increasing assaults--particularly in non-Russian areas--from anti-Communists who have vandalized some and carted others off for good.
April 27, 1991 |
Reformers would bury his body and already have toppled his statues, but the worst may be yet to come for Vladimir Ilyich Lenin--Leningrad residents soon will vote on whether to keep his name. The City Council decided Friday to put the question of renaming Leningrad on a ballot, the Interfax news agency reported. Many residents want to return to the city's historic name--St. Petersburg. Others prefer Petrograd, used from World War I until 1924, when Lenin died and the city took his name.
September 12, 1992 |
With about two years left in his stormy existence, the Leader of World Revolution didn't know how to use a toothbrush. His wife tried to teach him to speak again, using handwritten flash cards with childish phrases like "Papa is carrying hay," or even single syllables like "ma." In a blue-covered copy book, he relearned grade-school arithmetic ("23 x 4 = 92"). Sometime in August, 1923, this author of "What Is To Be Done?"
October 25, 1987 |
When Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution and thus the founding father of the Soviet Union, died in 1924, his widow, Natalya Krupskaya, implored his followers: "Do not let your sorrow for Ilyich find expression in outward veneration of his personality. Do not raise monuments to him or palaces to his name. Do not organize pompous ceremonies in his memory." The followers turned their backs on the widow's plea.
April 7, 1992 |
Over the last two years, as Communist regimes in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were brought down, so were the huge statues of Lenin that were everywhere on those landscapes. So many of the monuments were either decapitated or destroyed that even Russian artists who had suffered under communism's rigid aesthetic guidelines called for a halt to the spontaneous idol-smashing.