Drunken man blasts Lenin statue in Russia

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Moscow, Nov 15 (UNI) A drunken man in the city of Ryazan in Central Russia completely destroyed a Lenin statue in an explosive blast today.

No one was injured in the blast, which occurred at about 0300 hrs (Moscow time) in the centre of Ryazan, some 200 kms from here, a police official told RIA Novosti.

He said the explosive device used had contained ''the equivalent of some 200 grams of TNT.'' ''As a result of the blast, the two-metre alabaster monument was completely destroyed,'' he said, adding an investigation was being carried out.

It is not for the first time that a Lenin statue has been destroyed.

Last month, Russian police in the Volga city of Nizhny Novgorod detained a man as he tried to destroy another Lenin statue.

''The man, who was slightly drunk, attempted to pull off the head of Lenin's statue,'' a police spokesman told the agency.

''He brought a ladder from a nearby construction site and tried to destroy the monument,'' he said, adding that the attacker had only managed to tear off Lenin's right arm.

Many Lenin statues were pulled down in Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The embalmed body of Lenin has been on public display in a glass case in a mausoleum on Red Square since his death in 1924.

His continuing presence in the heart of Moscow has been an ongoing source of controversy since the break up of the Soviet Union.

UNI XC SKB KN1717

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