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Lenin's Mausoleum

Top choice in Moscow

Although Vladimir Ilych requested that he be buried beside his mum in St Petersburg, he still lies in state at the foot of the Kremlin wall, receiving visitors who come to pay their respects. Line up at the western corner of the square (near the entrance to Alexander Garden) to see the embalmed leader, who has been here since 1924. Note that photography is not allowed and stern guards ensure that all visitors remain respectful and silent.

After trooping past the embalmed figure, emerge from the mausoleum and inspect the Kremlin wall, where other communist heavy hitters are buried, including Josef Stalin, the second general secretary, successor to Lenin; Leonid Brezhnev, the fourth general secretary, successor to Khrushchev; Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Cheka (forerunner of the KGB); Yakov Sverdlov, a key organiser of the revolution and the first official head of the Soviet state; Andrei Zhdanov, Stalin’s cultural chief and the second most powerful person in the USSR immediately after WWII; Mikhail Frunze, the Red Army leader who secured Central Asia for the Soviet Union in the 1920s; Inessa Armand, Lenin’s rumoured lover and a respected Bolshevik who was the director of Zhenotdel, an organisation fighting for equality for women within the Communist Party; Yury Gagarin, the first man in space; and John Reed, the American author of Ten Days that Shook the World, a first-hand account of the revolution.

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