Ulan Bator says goodbye, Lenin


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The Independent Online

The last bronze statue of Vladimir Lenin was dismantled in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator, yesterday. The monument was hoisted off its plinth in a park and dropped on to a flat-bed lorry at a ceremony attended by the Mayor, Bat-Uul Erdene.

About 300 people gathered to watch, and a few threw old shoes at the statue to display their distaste for the former Soviet leader, who died in 1924.

At the height of the Cold War, Mongolia was effectively a satellite Soviet state. In a 10-minute speech, Mr Bat-Uul denounced Lenin and his fellow communists as "murderers", and said the statue would be auctioned off with a starting price of about $280 (£174).

For decades Lenin was worshipped by Mongolian children as "Teacher Lenin". In 1990, the country abandoned its one-party state system and embraced political reform.