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#LeninLives - Russian Communist Party Lead Hashtag Revolution

No, Lenin hasn't actually been brought back to life, although that did happen once (see below). Despite basically everything that happened between 1922 and 1991, there is still a very strong idealist communist presence in Russia. Selfies are an equally tumultuous issue in the gargantuan nation, despite having been expertly employed as a measure of protest in the past, the government also had to issue a safety warning because people kept on dying whilst trying to take them in high risk situations. Like whilst climbing a railway bridge or holding a live hand-grenade with the pin pulled out. I didn't make either of those up.

Happily, this latest trend would seem to be more or less risk free, at least for the time being. In order to re-establish and revitalise the image of Lenin, the iconic leader who brought Bolshevism to Russia (for better or worse), the party is encouraging Russians to take selfies with statues of him in the shot. There are plenty to choose from, supposedly they number in the thousands in Russia alone, but if people want to get involved abroad, dozens of other countries have erected statues of him over the years, there are 5 in the USA, 2 in the UK and a ridiculous 1,700 in Ukraine, but that number is set to drop, since the Ukrainian president ordered them all to be removed by the end of this year.

That might well be part of the reason why this is going on, the idea of putting up a statue of Stalin is puerile and statues of Brezhnev or Khrushchev would just be confusing/embarrassing, but Lenin is still connected to a lot of positive and progressive communist ideologies. Interestingly enough, the trend seems to be catching on with teens more than anybody else, perhaps because they're aware that it will irritate the government almost as much all the daredevil selfies did.

A photo posted by marta (@marta_iden) on

Both the English #LeninLives and the Russian '#селфислениным' (#SelfieWithLenin) have been trending across Twitter and Instagram as users have found creative ways to pose with the revolutionary leader. The trouble is, some of the more daring selfie artists have been trying to find a middle ground between statues and stunts, and a few statues have been damaged in the process. One poor statue in Moryakovsky lost his head in May at the hands of a selfie taker and then last month another poser tried to climb him and ended up breaking the torso off, leaving nothing but a pair of stoic, Bolshevist legs.

A photo posted by Ilya_A (@ilya_ayupov) on

Happily incidents like that are still few and far between, the more important thing to bear in mind is that this will doubtlessly be great publicity for the Russian Communist Party, who are already the second largest political party in Russia (although the gulf between them and Putin's United Russia is pretty wide). The leader of the party Gennady Zyuganov, when asked about the trend, was very supportive. “I think Vladimir Ilyich [Lenin] will be thankful.” He said.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#LeninLives - Russian Communist Party Lead Hashtag Revolution Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 Rating: 5

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