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Kazakhstan: Lenin. More Alive Than the Living

Two similar messages have entered the Kazakh blogosphere from opposite ends of the country. They both talk about the revival of one symbol of a bygone era: head-and-shoulders statues of Lenin. What motivates people to turn to the image of the leader of the international proletariat? Nostalgia, perhaps? Tormozz witnessed [ru] an amazing scene unfold as he traveled across Kazakhstan, where he visited the city of Aralsk, specifically the gas station, and there…

“And there was Vladimir Ilyich, hanging in a noose!

It turned out that the owners of the gas station saw this bust lying around behind the local Culture Building. They purchased it for some 1000 tenge and decided to install it in front of their business. I happened to catch them as they were in the process of doing it.

The old lady then gently washed the holy scalp with hot water. As we were leaving, I recommended that they get a sign saying, “The V.I. Lenin Memorial Red Flag Gas Station.”

The next day, on our way back, we passed by again. A sculptor was already working on the bust, restoring the original shape of the nose.

As the title of his post pycm from Karaganda used the famous Soviet phrase, which one was supposed to utter with particular pride and reverence: “I have seen Lenin!” [ru]:

In the past, there used to be an administrative building behind the gray picket fence. In the near future, a new car dealership will be opening here. Entrepreneurs are attracting more local businesses. Now the building has a café and a store. Ilyich stands on a pedestal in the middle of a small fountain, surrounded by flowers. Very amusing. The owner of the building is named Volodya (diminutive of Vladimir).

Also posted on neweurasia.

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