Yeltsin revives Lenin's guard

President Boris Yeltsin decreed the reinstatement yesterday of Russia's Honour Guard No 1, which used to keep watch over Lenin's tomb on Red Square.

But the new troop, which takes up its post on Friday when Russia celebrates its post-communist 1993 constitution, will not honour the mausoleum of the Bolshevik leader but the nearby Second World War memorial, the tomb of the unknown soldier.

The original guard was created in 1924, to patrol the tomb where Lenin was laid in state. Yeltsin disbanded the unit four years ago after defeating an armed rebellion by the communist-era parliament.

The embalmed body of the Bolshevik leader still lies preserved in its granite mausoleum, its eventual fate a bone of fierce contention between liberals and communists.

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