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.