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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lenin Idolized at Death-Day Fete

Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov praised Bolshevik revolutionary Vladimir Lenin on Sunday, the 72nd anniversary of his death, and said his ideas were relevant for tackling Russia's problems today.


Zyuganov, who hopes to be elected president in June after his party's revival in parliamentary polls last month, indicated he would look to Lenin for inspiration as the communists searched for ways to end Russia's economic woes.


"Everything gives us reason to come here today and bow before the greatest person on the planet," Zyuganov told reporters as he visited Lenin's mausoleum in front of the Kremlin walls on Red Square.


"His ideas are not only relevant today but are extremely relevant, especially in the area of new economic policy, the fight with corruption and banditry, and for the unity of left-wing political forces."


Lenin, who died on Jan. 21, 1924, was glorified for decades as the founder of the Soviet state until his ideas went out of favor as the Soviet Union and communist rule collapsed.


But Zyuganov's comments suggested Lenin could be in for something of a revival if the communists regain power in June's presidential election, after winning more than a third of the seats in last month's parliamentary elections.


Zyuganov was among dozens of people, most of them elderly, who visited Red Square to honor Lenin. Some laid wreaths, some carried carnations and others bore red flags to Bolshevism's holiest shrine.


Another small group of hardliners carried traditional Soviet red banners with the hammer and sickle in the top left-hand corner.


Zyuganov, one of the more reform-minded communists, compared the scale and importance of the economic program now being drawn up by his party to Lenin's grand plan in the 1920s to electrify the country to overcome its backwardness.


Lenin's plan was set out by the State Commission for the Electrification of Russia, or GOELRO.


"Lenin showed a fine example when he arrived in a devastated Russia. When he left this life, there was a unified union state, a strong ruble and a completely clear economic policy, with the GOELRO plan," Zyuganov said. "Today we are preparing a GOELRO plan for the 21st century," he said, making a symbolic comparison.