Image: Damaged statue of Lenin in Pushkin, Russia
Anna Altukhova  /  AFP - Getty Images
This statue of Lenin in Pushkin, Russia, was targeted by attackers on Monday. news services
updated 12/7/2010 7:36:35 AM ET 2010-12-07T12:36:35

A statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin was damaged by a small bomb late on Monday, a reminder of lingering tensions over the legacy of Russia's communist past.

The explosion in Pushkin, a suburb of the old imperial capital of St. Petersburg, blew away parts of Lenin's windswept pewter coat tails, left the monument cracked and shattered windows of nearby apartments. There were no injuries.

"Anyone who raises their hand to monuments is against history and the feelings of our citizens," St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matvienko told a government meeting on Tuesday, Interfax reported.

The famous Lenin statue in St. Petersburg was blown up last year, and another monument to Lenin was pulled down and broken up by vandals in Pushkin in 2004.

The Communist Party, Russia's second-largest, condemned the latest incident in a statement issued on Tuesday, and criticized the authorities for failing to track down the perpetrators of the attacks.

Embalmed corpse
Nearly 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Lenin's statues are still ubiquitous in Russia, with almost every village, town and city displaying one in a prominent location.

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Debate still rages over what to do with Lenin's embalmed corpse, on display in a pool of red light in his granite mausoleum on Moscow's Red Square near the Kremlin.

Polls suggest a third of Russians want the firebrand revolutionary removed, but the Russian government has said it will not do so. The Communist Party wants Lenin left in the mausoleum.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


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