"There were such severe years of militant atheism [during the Soviet period] when priests were killed, churches were destroyed. But at the same time a new religion was being created — Communist ideology, which is very similar to Christianity, in fact. Freedom, equality, brotherhood, justice — all of this is enshrined in the Holy Scripture, it's all there. And what about the Code of the Builders of Communism? This is a sublimation, it's really just a primitive excerpt from the Bible, nothing new was invented," the president said.
Vladimir Lenin was the leader of the communist revolution in the Russian Empire in 1917, and became the first leader of the Soviet Union when it formed in 1922. After he died in 1924, his body was embalmed and put on display in a mausoleum in Red Square in Moscow.
Since the Soviet collapse, Russians have remained sharply divided in their views regarding the revolution and proposals to bury him. A recent poll by the Levada Center revealed that the country is split down the middle in terms of support for the revolutionary's burial, with 41% saying they favoured a formal burial and another 41% opposing the idea. Another 18% couldn't make up their minds.