The Wandering Scot

An occasional travel journal.

Lenin Statues

Young Lenin

I was startled when I ran across my first Lenin "in the wild" in Kazakhstan, complete with fresh red flowers. I had vaguely assumed that Lenin had been swept into the dustbin of history, and his statues with him. But no, he still typically retains a prominent place in most of the major cities of Russia, and in scattered other parts of the former USSR. I've now seen him in about sixty cities, from Brest to Vladivostok.

The presence of Lenin is often a clue to how a country feels about the Soviet heritage and about today's Russia. He has vanished from public spaces in the Baltic republics, relegated to museum cellars. He remains prominent in Russia, Belarus and Transdniester. In some countries he is mostly absent, but occasionally surfaces in districts with a strong ethnic Russian presence, such as the Crimea, or Karaganda in Kazakhstan or Khojand in Tajikistan. And finally, for no good reason, he shows up in Seattle.

Almaty, Kazakhstan <small>(2016)</small> Exiled to a small subu, Lenin statue
Almaty, Kazakhstan (2016)
Exiled to a small suburban park.
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan <small>(2008)</small> With a beautiful C, Lenin statue
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (2008)
With a beautiful Central Asian plinth.
Astrakhan, Russia <small>(2011)</small> Looking rather starry-e, Lenin statue
Astrakhan, Russia (2011)
Looking rather starry-eyed.
Baikonur, Kazakhstan <small>(2010)</small> Getting ready to wel, Lenin statue
Baikonur, Kazakhstan (2010)
Getting ready to welcome 2011.
Balaklava, Ukraine <small>(2011)</small> Hiding among the trees, Lenin statue
Balaklava, Ukraine (2011)
Hiding among the trees.
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan <small>(2008)</small> Formerly in the main, Lenin statue
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (2008)
Formerly in the main square, now banished to a quiet side street.
Bratislava, Slovakia <small>(2009)</small></br>In Bratislava, Lenin statue
Bratislava, Slovakia (2009)
In Bratislava's "KGB Bar", looking both festive and rather the worse for wear.
Brest, Belarus <small>(2010)</small>, Lenin statue
Brest, Belarus (2010)
Chelyabinsk, Russia <small>(2013)</small>, Lenin statue
Chelyabinsk, Russia (2013)
Chernobyl, Ukraine <small>(2014)</small>, Lenin statue
Chernobyl, Ukraine (2014)
Delhi, India <small>(2014)</small> Unveiled during Gorbachev's, Lenin statue
Delhi, India (2014)
Unveiled during Gorbachev's 1987 visit.
Derbent, Russia <small>(2013)</small>, Lenin statue
Derbent, Russia (2013)
Elista, Russia <small>(2014)</small> Looking skeptical in Buddh, Lenin statue
Elista, Russia (2014)
Looking skeptical in Buddhist Elista.
Ekaterinburg, Russia <small>(2013)</small>, Lenin statue
Ekaterinburg, Russia (2013)
Hanoi, Vietnam <small>(2017)</small>, Lenin statue
Hanoi, Vietnam (2017)
Havana, Cuba <small>(2014)</small> Giant Lenin head, Parque Len, Lenin statue
Havana, Cuba (2014)
Giant Lenin head, Parque Lenin.
With a laudatory quote from Fidel.
Havana, Cuba <small>(2014)</small> At Colina Lenin (Lenin Hill), Lenin statue
Havana, Cuba (2014)
At Colina Lenin (Lenin Hill)
Irkutsk, Russia <small>(2009)</small>, Lenin statue
Irkutsk, Russia (2009)
Karaganda, Kazakhstan <small>(2008)</small> My first Lenin sigh, Lenin statue
Karaganda, Kazakhstan (2008)
My first Lenin sighting "in the wild".
Kazan State University, Russia <small>(2013)</small></br>My fav, Lenin statue
Kazan State University, Russia (2013)
My favorite Lenin, showing him as a student at the Kazan State University.
Kazan, Russia <small>(2013)</small> From student to Demigod., Lenin statue
Kazan, Russia (2013)
From student to Demigod.
Kerch, Ukraine <small>(2011)</small>, Lenin statue
Kerch, Ukraine (2011)
Kharkiv, Ukraine <small>(2014)</small>, Lenin statue
Kharkiv, Ukraine (2014)
Kherson, Ukraine <small>(2011)</small>, Lenin statue
Kherson, Ukraine (2011)
Khojand, Tajikistan <small>(2009)</small> A giant silvery statu, Lenin statue
Khojand, Tajikistan (2009)
A giant silvery statue in Khojand, formerly Leninabad, formerly Alexandria-the-furthest, on the Jaxartes.
Khorog, Tajikistan <small>(2016)</small> Hidden down a minor st, Lenin statue
Khorog, Tajikistan (2016)
Hidden down a minor street.
Kiev, Ukraine <small>(2009)</small> An unexpected discovery in, Lenin statue
Kiev, Ukraine (2009)
An unexpected discovery in Kiev, lurking in the street outside my hotel.
Korolev City, Russia <small>(2013)</small> A rare white Lenin., Lenin statue
Korolev City, Russia (2013)
A rare white Lenin.
Magnitogrosk, Russia <small>(2013)</small> In the snow, at the, Lenin statue
Magnitogrosk, Russia (2013)
In the snow, at the Steelworks Gates
Makhachkala, Russia <small>(2013)</small>, Lenin statue
Makhachkala, Russia (2013)
Minsk, Belarus <small>(2009)</small> At the bar of history?, Lenin statue
Minsk, Belarus (2009)
At the bar of history?
Moscow, Kaluga Square <small>(2013)</small>, Lenin statue
Moscow, Kaluga Square (2013)
Moscow, VDNK <small>(2010)</small>, Lenin statue
Moscow, VDNK (2010)
Murghab, Tajikistan <small>(2016)</small> Pointing to the Pamir, Lenin statue
Murghab, Tajikistan (2016)
Pointing to the Pamirs
Murmansk, Russia <small>(2011)</small></br>Grimly resolute in t, Lenin statue
Murmansk, Russia (2011)
Grimly resolute in the twilight of a mid-winter afternoon
Nizhny Novgorod, Russia <small>(2009)</small>, Lenin statue
Nizhny Novgorod, Russia (2009)
Novgorod the Great, Russia <small>(2011)</small>, Lenin statue
Novgorod the Great, Russia (2011)
Novorossiysk, Russia <small>(2011)</small> In a casual mood., Lenin statue
Novorossiysk, Russia (2011)
In a casual mood.
Novosibirsk, Russia <small>(2009)</small></br>
Novosibirsk, Russia (2009)
"Lenin and Acolytes Directing Traffic"
Nurek, Tajikistan <small>(2009)</small> Lurking nervously just, Lenin statue
Nurek, Tajikistan (2009)
Lurking nervously just downsteam of a giant Soviet hydroelectric dam.
Odessa, Ukraine <small>(2011)</small>, Lenin statue
Odessa, Ukraine (2011)
Omsk, Russia <small>(2009)</small></br>Looking particularly wis, Lenin statue
Omsk, Russia (2009)
Looking particularly wise, and strangely Asiatic.
Orenburg, Russia <small>(2013)</small>, Lenin statue
Orenburg, Russia (2013)
Orsk Russia <small>(2013)</small> Relaxed, human, and slightly, Lenin statue
Orsk Russia (2013)
Relaxed, human, and slightly green.
Osh, Kyrgyzstan <small>(2008)</small>, Lenin statue
Osh, Kyrgyzstan (2008)
Pinsk, Belarus <small>(2010)</small> Looking crude and grumpy i, Lenin statue
Pinsk, Belarus (2010)
Looking crude and grumpy in Pinsk.
Rostov, Russia <small>(2010)</small>, Lenin statue
Rostov, Russia (2010)
Ryazan, Russia <small>(2010)</small>, Lenin statue
Ryazan, Russia (2010)
St Petersburg, Finland Station <small>(2009)</small></br>Perhap, Lenin statue
St Petersburg, Finland Station (2009)
Perhaps the most famous Lenin statue of them all is in St Petersburg, at the Finland Station. But it suffered bomb damage shortly before my 2009 visit, and was off for repairs, leaving only a boarded-up plinth.
St Petersburg, Lenin at the Finland Station <small>(2011)</small></, Lenin statue
St Petersburg, Lenin at the Finland Station (2011)
Restored and reinvigorated in 2011.
St Petersburg, Moskovskaya Pl. <small>(2011)</small>, Lenin statue
St Petersburg, Moskovskaya Pl. (2011)
Samara, Russia <small>(2013)</small> Looking relaxed and cheerf, Lenin statue
Samara, Russia (2013)
Looking relaxed and cheerful.
Saratov, Russia <small>(2013)</small>, Lenin statue
Saratov, Russia (2013)
Seattle, USA <small>(2009)</small> Lurking uneasily outside a T, Lenin statue
Seattle, USA (2009)
Lurking uneasily outside a Taco del Mar at 600 N 36th Street. What is he doing here?
Sevastopol, Ukraine <small>(2011)</small>, Lenin statue
Sevastopol, Ukraine (2011)
Shymkent, Kazakhstan <small>(2016)</small>, Lenin statue
Shymkent, Kazakhstan (2016)
Smolensk, Russia <small>(2010)</small> Snowy but resolute., Lenin statue
Smolensk, Russia (2010)
Snowy but resolute.
Sochi, Russia <small>(2010)</small> With one of Sochi's pal, Lenin statue
Sochi, Russia (2010)
With one of Sochi's palm trees.
Stavropol, Russia <small>(2014)</small>, Lenin statue
Stavropol, Russia (2014)
Suzdal, Russia <small>(2010)</small>, Lenin statue
Suzdal, Russia (2010)
Tiraspol, Transdniester <small>(2009)</small>, Lenin statue
Tiraspol, Transdniester (2009)
Tomsk, Russia <small>(2009)</small>, Lenin statue
Tomsk, Russia (2009)
Tula, Russia <small>(2013)</small>, Lenin statue
Tula, Russia (2013)
Ulan Bator, Mongolia <small>(2011)</small>, Lenin statue
Ulan Bator, Mongolia (2011)
Ulan Ude, Russia <small>(2011)</small> "The World's La, Lenin statue
Ulan Ude, Russia (2011)
"The World's Largest Lenin Head"
Ulyanovsk, Russia <small>(2013)</small> The prophet in his home, Lenin statue
Ulyanovsk, Russia (2013)
The prophet in his home town.
Infant Lenin & Mother, Ulyanovsk <small>(2013)</small>, Lenin statue
Infant Lenin & Mother, Ulyanovsk (2013)
Vladimir, Russia <small>(2010)</small> Waiting for the Bank?, Lenin statue
Vladimir, Russia (2010)
Waiting for the Bank?
Vladikavkaz, Russia <small>(2011)</small> Looking rather sombre, Lenin statue
Vladikavkaz, Russia (2011)
Looking rather sombre.
Vladivostok, Russia <small>(2009)</small></br>
Vladivostok, Russia (2009)
"Marxism needs YOU, comrade!"
Volgograd, Russia <small>(2011)</small> A particularly grand Le, Lenin statue
Volgograd, Russia (2011)
A particularly grand Lenin in Stalingrad.
Voronezh, Russia <small>(2014)</small>, Lenin statue
Voronezh, Russia (2014)
Yalta, Ukraine <small>(2011)</small> Looking cheerful at the se, Lenin statue
Yalta, Ukraine (2011)
Looking cheerful at the seaside.

Empty Plinths

Kiev, Ukraine <small>(2014)</small>, Lenin statue
Kiev, Ukraine (2014)
Sukhumi, Abkhazia <small>(2010)</small>, Lenin statue
Sukhumi, Abkhazia (2010)
Zhytomyr, Ukraine <small>(2014)</small> Now commemorating the d, Lenin statue
Zhytomyr, Ukraine (2014)
Now commemorating the dead of the Kiev Maidan