Vladimir Putin’s last resting place – with Stalin

putin stalin

A drawing captures the grandeur of Moscow’s monolithic Federal Military Memorial Cemetery, Vladimir Putin’s corpse will be transported to the cemetery’s pantheon in an armoured personnel carrier

Telegraph | Mar 24, 2008

By Adrian Blomfield in Moscow

Vladimir Putin is to fulfil an unrealised dream of Joseph Stalin’s by creating a grandiose state cemetery.

In a corner of northern Moscow bulldozers began churning the earth his week in a section of wasteland where Mr Putin and Stalin, the dictator he is said to revere, could one day be laid side by side.

The Federal Military Memorial Cemetery, its designers boast, will be Russia’s answer to America’s Arlington. Arguably the most ambitious architectural project undertaken since the fall of the Soviet Union, it remains to be seen whether the cemetery, due to be completed by 2010, will become the landmark the Kremlin hopes.

There is no doubt that the project encapsulates the Putin era, which officially ends on May 7, though the president is likely to remain Russia’s most powerful man in his new job as prime minister.

The cemetery will be a testament to extravagance, a piece of architectural monumentalism intended to reflect the glory of a resurgent Russia. For the critics, it is also a worrying sign of the Kremlin’s flirtation with its Communist past. The design marks a return to the style many assumed had gone with the end of the Soviet Union.

Drawings show that the 132 acre site will feature obelisks, golden statues of figures from Russia’s past and friezes of workers in heroic poses.

It is architecture from the era of heroic realism and a style of propaganda favoured by both Stalin and Hitler – a fact that has dismayed a dwindling number of liberal architects fighting the current trend of Soviet nostalgia.

The concept of a national cemetery was resurrected in the early 1990s by a state-owned body called Mosproject-4. The designer Alexander Taranin said he wanted to create a minimalistic cemetery that gave a quiet and honest reflection of Russia.

“We tried to show the difficult road the country has travelled while still being optimistic about the future,” he said.

The Yeltsin government ignored the project but the plans gained traction after Mr Putin came to power in 2000. But as the liberalism of the 1990s gave way to Putin’s authoritarianism, Mosproject-4 fell out of fashion. Russia’s generals felt that a Soviet theme would be fitting for the final resting place of Russia’s presidents and national heroes.

Mosproject was usurped by the Combine of Monumental Decorative Art, a turgid Soviet-era state institution that was again in the Kremlin’s favour.

Its chief architect, Sergei Goryaev, was only too happy to oblige the generals – even if it meant aping the neo-classical style of the past that had done so much to give Moscow its oppressive atmosphere.

“What is oppressive to you is solemn and glorious to us,” he said. “The Soviet empire’s style has many beautiful examples which are among the highlights of 20th century architecture anywhere.”

An updated funeral ceremony for heads of state is also being developed that restores some of the militaristic traditions of the past. When Mr Putin dies, his corpse will be transported to the cemetery’s pantheon in an armoured personnel carrier before being laid to rest, Mr Goryaev said.

He added that it was possible that leading figures from the Soviet era, such as Stalin, could be reburied in the cemetery.

It is possible that Lenin could be moved there as well.

5 responses to “Vladimir Putin’s last resting place – with Stalin

  1. Why doesn’t he just declare himself Pharaoh, build a pyramid and get it over with? Do soldiers and maidens have to be buried live with him too?

  2. “In a corner of northern Moscow bulldozers began churning the earth his week in a section of wasteland where Mr Putin and Stalin, the dictator he is said to revere, could one day be laid side by side.”

    Necrophiliac hero worshipping domestic partnership?

  3. “Mr Putin and Stalin, the dictator he is said to revere”

    How many millions did Stain murder?

  4. Nobody knows for sure, but I have seen 20 million as an estimate. And he thoroughly enjoyed pouring over lists of enemies of the State (him) and checking them off one by one. This one dies, that one lives, this one goes to the Gulag to be my slave, hahaha. All funded by the Skull and Bones of course. See Averill Harriman.

  5. Putin is trying to install a new russia, lets see how he gets on with Kasparov

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