Kremlin Wall Necropolis
Overview
 
Burials in the Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...

 Wall Necropolis
in Moscow began in November 1917, when 240 pro-Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 victims of the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 were buried in mass grave
Mass grave
A mass grave is a grave containing multiple number of human corpses, which may or may not be identified prior to burial. There is no strict definition of the minimum number of bodies required to constitute a mass grave, although the United Nations defines a mass grave as a burial site which...

s on Red Square
Red Square
Red Square is a city square in Moscow, Russia. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod...

. It is centered on both sides of Lenin's Mausoleum
Lenin's Mausoleum
Lenin's Mausoleum also known as Lenin's Tomb, situated in Red Square in the center of Moscow, is the mausoleum that serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin. His embalmed body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924...

, initially built in wood in 1924 and rebuilt in granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 in 1929–1930. After the last mass burial made in 1921, funerals on Red Square were reserved as the last honor for the notable politicians, military leaders, cosmonauts and scientists.
Encyclopedia
Burials in the Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...

 Wall Necropolis
in Moscow began in November 1917, when 240 pro-Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 victims of the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 were buried in mass grave
Mass grave
A mass grave is a grave containing multiple number of human corpses, which may or may not be identified prior to burial. There is no strict definition of the minimum number of bodies required to constitute a mass grave, although the United Nations defines a mass grave as a burial site which...

s on Red Square
Red Square
Red Square is a city square in Moscow, Russia. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod...

. It is centered on both sides of Lenin's Mausoleum
Lenin's Mausoleum
Lenin's Mausoleum also known as Lenin's Tomb, situated in Red Square in the center of Moscow, is the mausoleum that serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin. His embalmed body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924...

, initially built in wood in 1924 and rebuilt in granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 in 1929–1930. After the last mass burial made in 1921, funerals on Red Square were reserved as the last honor for the notable politicians, military leaders, cosmonauts and scientists. In 1925–1927 burials in the ground were stopped; funerals were now conducted as burials of cremated ash in the Kremlin wall itself. Burials in the ground only resumed with Mikhail Kalinin
Mikhail Kalinin
Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin , known familiarly by Soviet citizens as "Kalinych," was a Bolshevik revolutionary and the nominal head of state of Russia and later of the Soviet Union, from 1919 to 1946...

's funeral in 1946. The practice of burying dignitaries on Red Square ended with the funeral of Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko was a Soviet politician and the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He led the Soviet Union from 13 February 1984 until his death thirteen months later, on 10 March 1985...

 in March 1985. The Kremlin Wall Necropolis was designated a protected landmark in 1974.
Timeline of burials on Red Square


The site

The eastern segment of the Kremlin wall, and Red Square behind it, emerged on its present site in the 15th century, during the reign of Ivan III
Ivan III of Russia
Ivan III Vasilyevich , also known as Ivan the Great, was a Grand Prince of Moscow and "Grand Prince of all Rus"...

; the wall and the square were separated with a wide defensive moat
Moat
A moat is a deep, broad ditch, either dry or filled with water, that surrounds a castle, other building or town, historically to provide it with a preliminary line of defence. In some places moats evolved into more extensive water defences, including natural or artificial lakes, dams and sluices...

 filled with water diverted from the Neglinnaya River
Neglinnaya River
The Neglinnaya River , also known as Neglimna, Neglinna, Neglinka , is a 7.5-km long underground river in the central part of Moscow and a tributary of the Moskva River. It flows in the tunnels under Samotechnaya Street, Tsvetnoy Boulevard, Neglinnaya Street and Alexander Garden and Zaryadye...

. The moat was lined with a secondary fortress wall, and spanned by three bridges connecting the Kremlin to the posad
Posad
A posad was a settlement, often surrounded by ramparts and a moat, adjoining a town or a kremlin, but outside of it, or adjoining a monastery in the 10th to 15th centuries. Usually it was inhabited by craftsmen and merchants, known as posadskiye lyudi .In the Russian Empire a posad was a small...

. From 1707–1708 Peter the Great, expecting a Swedish incursion
Great Northern War
The Great Northern War was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in northern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter I the Great of Russia, Frederick IV of...

 deep into the Russian mainland, restored the moat around the Kremlin, cleared Red Square and built earthen fortifications around Nikolskaya and Spasskaya
Spasskaya Tower
The Spasskaya Tower is the main tower with a through-passage on the eastern wall of the Moscow Kremlin, which overlooks the Red Square.The Spasskaya Tower was built in 1491 by an Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solari. Initially, it was named the Frolovskaya Tower after the Church of Frol and...

 towers
Kremlin towers
The following is a list of towers of Moscow Kremlin. The Kremlin Wall is a defensive wall that surrounds the Moscow Kremlin, recognizable by the characteristic notches and its towers...

. From 1776–1787 Matvey Kazakov
Matvey Kazakov
Matvey Fyodorovich Kazakov was a Russian Neoclassical architect. Kazakov was one of the most influential Muscovite architects during the reign of Catherine II, completing numerous private residences, two royal palaces, two hospitals, Moscow University, and the Kremlin Senate...

 built the Kremlin Senate
Kremlin Senate
The Kremlin Senate is a building within the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin in Russia. Initially constructed from 1776-1787, it originally housed the Moscow branch of the Governing Senate, the highest judiciary and legislative office of Imperial Russia. Currently, it houses the Russian presidential...

 that today provides a backdrop for the present-day Necropolis.

Throughout the 18th century the unused, neglected fortifications deteriorated and were not properly repaired until the 1801 coronation
Coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

 of Alexander I
Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia , served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania....

. In one season the moat with bridges and adjacent buildings was replaced with a clean span of paved square. More reconstruction followed in 19th century. The stretch of Kremlin wall south from Senate Tower was badly damaged in 1812 by the explosion at the Kremlin Arsenal
Kremlin Arsenal
The Kremlin Arsenal is a former armory built within the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin in Russia. Initially constructed in 1736, it has been rebuilt several times. It remains in military use to date, unlike the Kremlin Armoury, another arsenal within the walls of the Moscow Kremlin, which is now a...

 set off by the retreating French troops
French invasion of Russia
The French invasion of Russia of 1812 was a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars. It reduced the French and allied invasion forces to a tiny fraction of their initial strength and triggered a major shift in European politics as it dramatically weakened French hegemony in Europe...

. Nikolskaya tower lost its gothic crown which was erected in 1807–1808; Arsenalnaya tower developed deep cracks, leading to Joseph Bove
Joseph Bové
Joseph Bové was a Russian neoclassical architect with Italian roots who supervised reconstruction of Moscow after the Fire of 1812.-Biography:...

 proposing in 1813 the outright demolition of the towers to prevent its imminent collapse. Eventually, the main structures of the towers were deemed sound enough to be left in place, and were topped with new tented roof
Tented roof
A tented roof is a type of roof widely used in 16th and 17th century Russian architecture for churches. It is like a polygonal spire but differs in purpose in that it is typically used to roof the main internal space of a church, rather than an auxiliary structure...

s designed by Bove. Peter's bastions were razed (creating space for nearby Alexander Garden
Alexander Garden
Alexander Gardens was one of the first urban public parks in Moscow, Russia. The park comprises three separate gardens, which stretch along all the length of the western Kremlin wall for between the building of the Moscow Manege and the Kremlin.-History:...

 and Theatre Square
Theatre Square
Theatre Square , known as Sverdlov Square between 1919 and 1991, is a city square in Tverskoy District of Moscow, Russia. It's located at the junction of Kuznetsky Bridge Street, Petrovka Street and Theatre Drive .The square is named after the three theatres situated there —...

), The Kremlin wall facing Red Square was rebuilt shallower than before, and acquired its present shape in the 1820s.

Mass graves of 1917

In July 1917, hundreds of soldiers of the Russian Northern Front were arrested for mutiny and desertion and locked up in Daugavpils
Daugavpils
Daugavpils is a city in southeastern Latvia, located on the banks of the Daugava River, from which the city gets its name. Daugavpils literally means "Daugava Castle". With a population of over 100,000, it is the second largest city in the country after the capital Riga, which is located some...

 (then Dvinsk) fortress. Later, 869 Dvinsk inmates were transported to Moscow. Here, the jailed soldiers launched a hunger strike
Hunger strike
A hunger strike is a method of non-violent resistance or pressure in which participants fast as an act of political protest, or to provoke feelings of guilt in others, usually with the objective to achieve a specific goal, such as a policy change. Most hunger strikers will take liquids but not...

; public support to them threatened to develop in city-wide riot. On September 22, 593 inmates were released; the rest were left behind bars until the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

. The released soldiers, collectively called Dvintsy, stayed in the city as a cohesive unit, based in Zamoskvorechye District and openly hostile to the ruling Provisional Government
Russian Provisional Government
The Russian Provisional Government was the short-lived administrative body which sought to govern Russia immediately following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II . On September 14, the State Duma of the Russian Empire was officially dissolved by the newly created Directorate, and the country was...

. Immediately after the October Revolution in Saint Petersburg, Dvintsy became the strike force of the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

s in Moscow. Late at night of October 27–28 a detachment of around two hundred men marching north to Tverskaya Street
Tverskaya Street
Tverskaya Street , known as Gorky Street between 1935 and 1990, is the main and probably best-known radial street of Moscow, Russia. The street runs from the central Manege Square north-west in the direction of Saint Petersburg and terminated at the Garden Ring, giving its name to Tverskoy District...

 confronted the loyalist forces near the State Historical Museum
State Historical Museum
The State Historical Museum of Russia is a museum of Russian history wedged between Red Square and Manege Square in Moscow. Its exhibitions range from relics of the prehistoric tribes inhabiting present-day Russia, through priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty...

 on the Red Square
Red Square
Red Square is a city square in Moscow, Russia. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod...

. In the fighting 70 of the Dvintsy, including their company commander Sapunov, were killed at the barricades.

On the following day the loyalists, led by Colonel Konstantin Ryabtsev, succeeded in taking over the Kremlin. They gunned down the surrendered Red soldiers at the Kremlin Arsenal
Kremlin Arsenal
The Kremlin Arsenal is a former armory built within the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin in Russia. Initially constructed in 1736, it has been rebuilt several times. It remains in military use to date, unlike the Kremlin Armoury, another arsenal within the walls of the Moscow Kremlin, which is now a...

 wall. More were killed as the Bolsheviks stormed the Kremlin, finally taking control on the night of November 2–3. Street fighting settled down after having claimed nearly a thousand lives, and on November 4 the new Bolshevik administration decreed their dead would be buried at Red Square next to the Kremlin Wall
Kremlin Wall
The Kremlin Wall is a defensive wall that surrounds the Moscow Kremlin, recognizable by the characteristic notches and its Kremlin towers. The original walls were likely a simple wooden fence with guard towers built in 1156.-History:...

, where indeed most of them were killed.


Voices reached us across the immense place, and the sound of picks and shovels. We crossed over. Mountains of dirt and rock were piled high near the base of the wall. Climbing these we looked down into two massive pits, ten or fifteen feet deep and fifty yards long, where hundreds of soldiers and workers were digging in the light of huge fires. A young student spoke to us in German. “The Brotherhood Grave,” he explained.

- John Reed, Ten Days that Shook the World
Ten Days that Shook the World
Ten Days that Shook the World is a book by American journalist and socialist John Reed about the October Revolution in Russia in 1917 which Reed experienced firsthand. Reed followed many of the prominent Bolshevik leaders, especially Grigory Zinoviev and Karl Radek, closely during his time in Russia...

.


A total of 238 dead were buried in the mass graves between Senate and Nikolskaya towers in a public funeral on November 10 (John Reed incorrectly mentions 500); two more victims were buried on November 14 and 17. The youngest, Pavel Andreyev, was 14 years old. Of 240 pro-revolution victims of the October–November fighting only 20, including 12 of the Dvintsy, are identified in the official listing of the Moscow Heritage Commission. As of March, 2009, three Moscow streets remain named after these individual victims, as well as Dvintsev Street named after the Dvintsy force.

The loyalists secured a permit to publicly bury their dead on November 13. This funeral started at the old Moscow State University
Moscow State University
Lomonosov Moscow State University , previously known as Lomonosov University or MSU , is the largest university in Russia. Founded in 1755, it also claims to be one of the oldest university in Russia and to have the tallest educational building in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy...

 building near Kremlin; thirty-seven dead were interred at the Vsekhsvyatskoye cemetery (now demolished) in then suburban Sokol District
Sokol District
Sokol District is a district of Northern Administrative Okrug of Moscow, Russia. Population: The name of the district was given after the settlement of Sokol built in the 1920s. Earlier, the village of Vsekhsvyatskoye existed on this location...

.

Graves of 1918-1927

Mass and individual burials in the ground under the Kremlin wall continued until the funeral of Pyotr Voykov in June 1927. In the first years of the Soviet regime, the honor of being buried on Red Square was extended to ordinary soldiers, victims of the Civil War, and Moscow militia men killed in clashes with gangsters (March–April 1918). In January, 1918, the Red Guards
Red Guards (Russia)
In the context of the history of Russia and Soviet Union, Red Guards were paramilitary formations consisting of workers and partially of soldiers and sailors formed in the time frame of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 buried the victims of a terrorist bombing in Dorogomilovo
Dorogomilovo District
Dorogomilovo District is a district in Western Administrative Okrug of Moscow, Russia. The district, adjacent to Presnensky, Arbat, and Khamovniki Districts of Central Administrative Okrug, contains a prestigious five-kilometer strip of land along Kutuzovsky Prospekt, Victory Park, and Kiyevsky...

. In the same January white terror
White Terror
White Terror is the violence carried out by reactionary groups as part of a counter-revolution. In particular, during the 20th century, in several countries the term White Terror was applied to acts of violence against real or suspected socialists and communists.-Historical origin: the French...

ists machine-gunned a pro-Bolshevik street rally; the eight victims were also buried under the Kremlin wall.

The largest single burial occurred in 1919. On September 25, a gang of anarchists
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 led by former socialist revolutonary
Socialist-Revolutionary Party
thumb|right|200px|Socialist-Revolutionary election poster, 1917. The caption in red reads "партия соц-рев" , short for Party of the Socialist Revolutionaries...

 terrorist Donat Cherepanov, set off an explosion in a Communist Party school building in Leontyevsky Lane when Moscow party chief Vladimir Zagorsky was speaking to students. Twelve people, including Zagorsky, were killed and buried in a mass grave on Red Square. Another unusual incident was a railway crash of July 24, 1921. The aerowagon
Aerowagon
The Aerowagon or aeromotowagon was an experimental high-speed railcar fitted with an aircraft engine and propeller traction invented by Valerian Abakovsky, a Russian engineer and communist from Latvia...

, an experimental high-speed railcar fitted with an aero engine and propeller
Propeller
A propeller is a type of fan that transmits power by converting rotational motion into thrust. A pressure difference is produced between the forward and rear surfaces of the airfoil-shaped blade, and a fluid is accelerated behind the blade. Propeller dynamics can be modeled by both Bernoulli's...

 traction, was not yet tested properly. On the day of the crash it successfully delivered a group of Soviet and foreign communists led by Fyodor Sergeyev
Fyodor Sergeyev
Fyodor Andreyevich Sergeyev , better known as Comrade Artyom , was a Russian revolutionary, Soviet politician, agitator, and journalist. He was a close friend of Sergei Kirov and Stalin...

 to the Tula
Tula, Russia
Tula is an industrial city and the administrative center of Tula Oblast, Russia. It is located south of Moscow, on the Upa River. Population: -History:...

 collieries; on the return route to Moscow the aerowagon derailed at high speed, killing everyone on board, including its inventor, Valerian Abakovsky
Valerian Abakovsky
-Early life:Ethnically Latvian, he was born in Riga on October 5, 1895. Although a talented inventor, he worked as a chauffeur for the Tambov Cheka.-The Aerowagon:...

. This was the last mass burial in the ground of Red Square.

Yakov Sverdlov
Yakov Sverdlov
Yakov Mikhaylovich Sverdlov ; known under pseudonyms "Andrei", "Mikhalych", "Max", "Smirnov", "Permyakov" — 16 March 1919) was a Bolshevik party leader and an official of the Russian Soviet Republic.-Early life:...

, who died in 1919 allegedly from the Spanish flu
Spanish flu
The 1918 flu pandemic was an influenza pandemic, and the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus . It was an unusually severe and deadly pandemic that spread across the world. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify the geographic origin...

, was buried in an individual grave near the Senate tower. Later it became the first of twelve individual graves of top-ranking Soviet leaders (see Individual tombs section). Sverdlov was followed by John Reed, Inessa Armand
Inessa Armand
Inessa Armand , born Elisabeth-Inès Stéphane d'Herbenville, was a French communist politician and feminist who spent most of her life in Russia. She was also known for her affair with Vladimir Lenin....

, Viktor Nogin
Viktor Nogin
Viktor Pavlovich Nogin was a prominent Bolshevik in Moscow, holding many high positions in the party and in government, including Chairman of the Moscow Military-Revolutionary Committee and Chairman of the Presidium of the Executive Committee of Moscow Council of Workers'...

 and other notable Bolsheviks and their foreign allies. Interment in the Kremlin wall, apart from its location next to the seat of government, was also seen as a statement of atheism
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 while burial in the ground at a traditional cemetery next to a church was deemed inappropriate for a Bolshevik. For the same reason, cremation
Cremation
Cremation is the process of reducing bodies to basic chemical compounds such as gasses and bone fragments. This is accomplished through high-temperature burning, vaporization and oxidation....

, then prohibited by Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

, was preferred to burial in a coffin and favored by Lenin and Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

 - though Lenin expressed the wish to be buried next to his mother in St. Petersburg. The new government sponsored construction of crematoriums since 1919, but the first burial of cremated remains in a niche in the wall did not take place until 1925.

The Mausoleum, 1924–1961

Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

 died of a stroke
Stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

 on January 21, 1924. While the body lay in state
Lying in state
Lying in state is a term used to describe the tradition in which a coffin is placed on view to allow the public at large to pay their respects to the deceased. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country or city...

 in the Pillar Hall of the House of the Unions
House of the Unions
The House of the Unions or called "Palace of Unions" is the historical building in Moscow, Russia. It is situated on the corner of Bolshyaya Dmitrovka and Okhotny Ryad streets.-Origins:...

, the Politburo discussed ways to preserve it, initially for forty days, despite objections from his widow and siblings. Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 gave instruction to install a vault
Burial vault (tomb)
A burial vault is a structural underground tomb.It is a stone or brick-lined underground space or 'burial' chamber for the interment of a dead body or bodies. They were originally and are still often vaulted and usually have stone slab entrances...

 for Lenin's embalmed remains inside the Kremlin wall, and on January 27 Lenin's casket was deposited in a temporary wooden vault built in one day. The first proper Mausoleum was built of wood in March–July 1924 and was officially opened on August 1 (foreign visitors were allowed inside on August 3). The contest to design and build a new, permanent, Mausoleum was declared in April 1926; construction to Alexey Shchusev
Alexey Shchusev
Alexey Viktorovich Shchusev ), 1873, Chişinău—24 May 1949, Moscow) was an acclaimed Russian and Soviet architect whose works may be regarded as a bridge connecting Revivalist architecture of Imperial Russia with Stalin's Empire Style....

's design began in July 1929 and was complete in sixteen months. The Mausoleum has since functioned as a government reviewing stand during public parades. Lenin's body remains in the Mausoleum to date (November 2011), excluding the period of evacuation to Tyumen
Tyumen
Tyumen is the largest city and the administrative center of Tyumen Oblast, Russia, located on the Tura River east of Moscow. Population: Tyumen is the oldest Russian settlement in Siberia. Founded in 16th century to support Russia's eastward expansion, the city has remained one of the most...

 in 1941–1945.

Two days after the death of Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 the Politburo decreed placing his remains on display in the Mausoleum; it officially reopened in November 1953 with Lenin and Stalin side-by-side. Another plan decreed in March 1953, construction of the Pantheon
Pantheon, Moscow
The Pantheon , officially also called the Monument to the Eternal Glory of the Great People of the Soviet Land , was a project to construct a monumental memorial tomb in Moscow, Soviet Union...

 to where the bodies of Lenin and Stalin would be eventually relocated, did not take off. Eight years later, removal of Stalin's body from the Mausoleum was unanimously sanctioned by the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party. On October 31, 1961, the Mausoleum was quickly covered with plywood. Red Square itself was routinely closed in preparation to November 7 parade. Stalin's remains were quickly re-interred in a deep grave, lined with concrete blocks, behind the Mausoleum; the ceremony was attended only by the state commission led by Nikolay Shvernik. Harold Skilling, who attended the Mausoleum in November of the same year, noted that "everyone was so curious to see the new grave of Stalin... Unlike others, his [grave] was not yet graced by a bust and was marked only by a tablet with the name I.V.Stalin and dates of birth and year". Existing tomb of Stalin carved by Nikolai Tomsky
Nikolai Tomsky
Nikolai Vasilyevich Tomsky was a much-decorated Soviet sculptor, designer of many well-known ceremonial monuments of the Socialist Realism era.- Biography :...

 was installed in June 1970.

The glass sarcophagus
Sarcophagus
A sarcophagus is a funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved or cut from stone. The word "sarcophagus" comes from the Greek σαρξ sarx meaning "flesh", and φαγειν phagein meaning "to eat", hence sarkophagus means "flesh-eating"; from the phrase lithos sarkophagos...

 of Lenin's tomb was twice vandalized by visitors, in 1959 and 1969, leading to installation of a bulletproof glass
Bulletproof glass
Bulletproof glass is a type of strong but optically transparent material that is particularly resistant to being penetrated when struck by bullets, but is not completely impenetrable. It is usually made from a combination of two or more types of glass, one hard and one soft...

 shell. It was bombed twice, in 1963, when the terrorist was the sole victim, and in 1973, when an explosion killed the terrorist and two bystanders.

Burial in the Kremlin Wall, 1925–1984

The first person to be cremated and interred in an urn in the Kremlin wall, 45-year-old former People's Commissar of Finance Miron Vladimirov, died in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 in March 1925. The procedure dealing with human remains ashes in an urn was still unfamiliar at the time, and Vladimirov's urn was carried to his grave in an ordinary coffin. Between 1925 and the opening of the Donskoye cemetery
Donskoy Monastery
Donskoy Monastery is a major monastery in Moscow, founded in 1591 in commemoration of Moscow's deliverance from an imminent threat of Khan Kazy-Girey’s invasion...

 crematorium in October 1927, interments in the wall and burials in the ground coexisted together; the former was preferred for foreign dignitaries of the Comintern
Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

 (Jenő Landler
Jeno Landler
Jenő Landler was a Jewish-born Hungarian Communist leader.He studied to be a lawyer and was drawn to the Social Democratic Party through his involvement in the ironworker’s trade union movement. But he kept moving politically to the left and became a communist...

, Bill Haywood
Bill Haywood
William Dudley Haywood , better known as "Big Bill" Haywood, was a founding member and leader of the Industrial Workers of the World , and a member of the Executive Committee of the Socialist Party of America...

, Arthur MacManus
Arthur MacManus
Arthur MacManus was a Scottish trade unionist and communist politician.-Political career:MacManus joined the De Leonist Socialist Labour Party and began work at Singers in Clydebank, then known as part of the Red Clydeside...

, Charles Ruthenberg
Charles Ruthenberg
Charles Emil Ruthenberg was an American Marxist politician and a founder and long-time head of the Communist Party USA .-Biography:Charles Emil Ruthenberg was born July 9, 1882 in Cleveland, Ohio...

) while the latter was granted only to top Party executives (Mikhail Frunze
Mikhail Frunze
Mikhail Vasilyevich Frunze was a Bolshevik leader during and just prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917.-Life and Political Activity:Frunze was born in Bishkek, then a small Imperial Russian garrison town in the Kyrgyz part of Turkestan, to a Moldovan medical practitioner and his Russian wife...

, Felix Dzerzhinsky, Nariman Narimanov
Nariman Narimanov
Narimanov Nariman Karbalayi Najaf oglu was an Azerbaijani revolutionary, writer, publicist, politician and statesman. In 1920, Narimanov headed the Soviet government of Azerbaijan, the Provisional Military-Revolutionary Committee , replacing Mirza Davud Huseynov, then he was the Chairman of the...

 and Pyotr Voykov).

Initially, the bodies of the deceased were laid in state
Lying in state
Lying in state is a term used to describe the tradition in which a coffin is placed on view to allow the public at large to pay their respects to the deceased. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country or city...

 in Kremlin halls, but with tightening of security in late 1920s the official farewell station was relocated to the Pillar Hall on Okhotny Ryad
Okhotny Ryad
Okhotny Ryad is a station on the Sokolnicheskaya Line of the Moscow Metro. It is located in the centre of Moscow, near the Kremlin.Okhotny Ryad is located under what was originally the swamplands of the upper Neglinnaya River...

 (where Lenin lay in state in 1924) and remained there until the end of the Soviet state. Burials initially took place to the north from the Senate tower, switching to the south side in 1934 and returning to the north side in 1977 (with a few exceptions). Interments in the wall were strictly individual; spouses and children of those interred in the wall had to be buried elsewhere. There were only three instances of group burials: the three-man crew of Osoaviakhim-1
Osoaviakhim-1
Osoaviakhim-1 was a record-setting, hydrogen-filled Soviet high-altitude balloon designed to seat a crew of three and perform scientific studies of the Earth's stratosphere. On January 30, 1934, on its maiden flight which lasted over 7 hours, the balloon reached an altitude of...

 high-altitude balloon in 1934, the crew of an MiG-15UTI
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 was a jet fighter developed for the USSR by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich. The MiG-15 was one of the first successful swept-wing jet fighters, and it achieved fame in the skies over Korea, where early in the war, it outclassed all straight-winged enemy fighters in...

 crash in 1968 (Gagarin
Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961....

 and Seryogin
Vladimir Seryogin
Vladimir Sergeyevich Seryogin was a Soviet test pilot, a Hero of the Soviet Union, who was awarded medals of the 1st and 2nd degrees in the World War II, and later the Lenin award....

), and the three-man crew of the Soyuz 11
Soyuz 11
Soyuz 11 was the first manned mission to arrive at the world's first space station, Salyut 1. The mission arrived at the space station on June 7, 1971 and departed on June 30, 1971. The mission ended in disaster when the crew capsule depressurized during preparations for re-entry, killing the...

 spacecraft in 1971. In total, the wall accommodates the graves of 107 men and 8 women. No remains interred in the wall were ever removed from it, including the deceased who were posthumously accused of "fascist
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 conspiracy" (Sergei Kamenev
Sergei Kamenev
Sergey Sergeyevich Kamenev , 1881  – August 25, 1936), was a Soviet military leader.Kamenev was born Kiev. In World War I he commanded a regiment. He became a member of the CPSU in 1930...

) or political repression
Political repression
Political repression is the persecution of an individual or group for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take political life of society....

s (Andrey Vyshinsky
Andrey Vyshinsky
Andrey Januaryevich Vyshinsky – 22 November 1954) was a Soviet politician, jurist and diplomat.He is known as a state prosecutor of Joseph Stalin's Moscow trials and in the Nuremberg trials. He was the Soviet Foreign Minister from 1949 to 1953, after having served as Deputy Foreign...

).

Under Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 and Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev  – 10 November 1982) was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982. His eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in...

, the honor of interment in the Kremlin wall was awarded posthumously by the Politburo
Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Politburo , known as the Presidium from 1952 to 1966, functioned as the central policymaking and governing body of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.-Duties and responsibilities:The...

. When members of the Politburo were not available immediately, Mikhail Suslov
Mikhail Suslov
Mikhail Andreyevich Suslov was a Soviet statesman during the Cold War. He served as Second Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1965, and as unofficial Chief Ideologue of the Party until his death in 1982. Suslov was responsible for party democracy and the separation of power...

 had the first call. Brezhnev overruled Suslov's decision at least once, voting to bury Semyon Budenny in an individual grave. There were also at least two known cases when groups of professionals pressed the government to extend special honors to their deceased colleagues:
  • In June 1962, following the death of Army General
    Army General
    For the army rank of General, as opposed to the specific rank of Army General, see General officer.Army General is a title used in many countries to denote the rank of General nominally commanding an army in the field...

     Andrey Khrulyov
    Andrey Khrulyov
    General Andrei Vasilyevich Khrulyov was a Soviet military commander and statesman....

    , a group of marshals
    Marshal of the Soviet Union
    Marshal of the Soviet Union was the de facto highest military rank of the Soviet Union. ....

     pressed the Politburo to bury Khrulyov in the Kremlin wall. Normally, generals of his rank were not entitled to this honor; Khrushchov was known to dislike Khrulyov and suggested burying him at the Novodevichy Cemetery
    Novodevichy Cemetery
    Novodevichy Cemetery is the most famous cemetery in Moscow, Russia. It is next to the 16th-century Novodevichy Convent, which is the city's third most popular tourist site. It should not be confused with the Novodevichy Cemetery in Saint Petersburg....

    . The military prevailed, and Khrulyov was buried on Red Square.
  • In January 1970 the official decision to bury Pavel Belyayev
    Pavel Belyayev
    Pavel Ivanovich Belyayev , , was a Soviet fighter pilot with extensive experience in piloting different types of aircraft...

     at the Novodevichy Cemetery, already made public through newspapers, was confronted by fellow cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova
    Valentina Tereshkova
    Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova is a retired Soviet cosmonaut, and was the first woman in space. She was selected out of more than four hundred applicants, and then out of five finalists, to pilot Vostok 6 on the 16 June, 1963, becoming both the first woman and the first civilian to fly in...

    , Alexey Leonov and Vladimir Shatalov
    Vladimir Shatalov
    Vladimir Aleksandrovich Shatalov is a former Soviet cosmonaut who flew three space missions of the Soyuz programme: Soyuz 4, Soyuz 8, and Soyuz 10....

     who insisted that Belyaev deserves a place in the Kremlin wall like Yuri Gagarin
    Yuri Gagarin
    Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961....

    . According to Nikolai Kamanin
    Nikolai Kamanin
    Nikolai Petrovich Kamanin was a Soviet aviator, awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union in 1934 for the rescue of SS Chelyuskin crew from an improvised airfield on the frozen surface of the Chukchi Sea near Kolyuchin Island.In World War II he successfully commanded air brigade, air division...

    's diaries, the cosmonauts, Shatalov in particular, pressed the issue despite knowing that the decision was made by Brezhnev and Alexei Kosygin and that the funeral commission would not dare to challenge it. Belyaev was buried as planned at the Novodevichy. According to an alternative version of events, the choice of Novodevichy was decided by his widow's will before the official decision was published.


On April 26, 1967, Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was given a state funeral in Moscow, and his ashes were interred in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis at Red Square. Komoarov was posthumously awarded the Order of Lenin, once more, and also the order of Hero of the Soviet Union. Komarov died as a result of the crash of his Space Capsule, Soyuz 1 - its parachutes failed and Komarov crashed full speed into Earth, his body turning molten on impact.

The last person to be buried in the Kremlin wall, in December 1984, was Minister of Defence Dmitriy Ustinov
Dmitriy Ustinov
Dmitriy Feodorovich Ustinov was Minister of Defense of the Soviet Union from 1976 until his death.-Early life:Dimitry Feodorovich Ustinov was born in a working-class family in Samara. During the civil war, when hunger became intolerable, his sick father went to Samarkand, leaving Dimitry as head...

.

Individual tombs, 1948–1985

The row of individual tombs behind the Mausoleum began to acquire its present shape after the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Sergei Merkurov created the first five tombs, for the recently deceased Mikhail Kalinin
Mikhail Kalinin
Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin , known familiarly by Soviet citizens as "Kalinych," was a Bolshevik revolutionary and the nominal head of state of Russia and later of the Soviet Union, from 1919 to 1946...

 and Andrey Zhdanov, as well as for Yakov Sverdlov
Yakov Sverdlov
Yakov Mikhaylovich Sverdlov ; known under pseudonyms "Andrei", "Mikhalych", "Max", "Smirnov", "Permyakov" — 16 March 1919) was a Bolshevik party leader and an official of the Russian Soviet Republic.-Early life:...

, Mikhail Frunze
Mikhail Frunze
Mikhail Vasilyevich Frunze was a Bolshevik leader during and just prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917.-Life and Political Activity:Frunze was born in Bishkek, then a small Imperial Russian garrison town in the Kyrgyz part of Turkestan, to a Moldovan medical practitioner and his Russian wife...

 and Felix Dzerzhinsky who perished decades earlier. Grey granite stands that separate Red Square from the wall were built in the same period. In 1947 Merkurov proposed rebuilding the Mausoleum into a sort of "Pergamon Altar
Pergamon Altar
The Pergamon Altar is a monumental construction built during the reign of King Eumenes II in the first half of the 2nd century BC on one of the terraces of the acropolis of the ancient city of Pergamon in Asia Minor....

" that would become a foreground to a statue of Stalin placed atop Senatskaya tower. Dmitry Chechulin
Dmitry Chechulin
Dmitry Nikolaevich Chechulin - was a Russian Soviet architect, city planner, author, and leading figure of Stalinist architecture.- Life :...

, Vera Mukhina
Vera Mukhina
Vera Ignatyevna Mukhina was a prominent Soviet sculptor.- Life :Mukhina was born in Riga into a wealthy merchant family, and lived at Turgeneva st. 23/25, where a memorial plaque has now been placed. She later moved to Moscow, where she studied at several private art schools, including those of...

 and others spoke against the proposal and it was soon dropped.

There are, in total, twelve individual tombs; all, including the four burials of 1980s, are shaped similar to the canonical Merkurov's model. All twelve are considered to have died of natural causes, although some, such as Frunze
Mikhail Frunze
Mikhail Vasilyevich Frunze was a Bolshevik leader during and just prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917.-Life and Political Activity:Frunze was born in Bishkek, then a small Imperial Russian garrison town in the Kyrgyz part of Turkestan, to a Moldovan medical practitioner and his Russian wife...

 had unusual circumstances associated with their death. Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko was a Soviet politician and the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He led the Soviet Union from 13 February 1984 until his death thirteen months later, on 10 March 1985...

, who died in March 1985, became the last person to be buried on Red Square. Former head of state Andrei Gromyko
Andrei Gromyko
Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko was a Soviet statesman during the Cold War. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet . Gromyko was responsible for many top decisions on Soviet foreign policy until he retired in 1987. In the West he was given the...

, who died in July 1989, was offered burial in the Necropolis near his predecessors but was eventually buried at the Novodevichy cemetery
Novodevichy Cemetery
Novodevichy Cemetery is the most famous cemetery in Moscow, Russia. It is next to the 16th-century Novodevichy Convent, which is the city's third most popular tourist site. It should not be confused with the Novodevichy Cemetery in Saint Petersburg....

 at the request of his family.

The Kremlin wall and the stands erected in 1940s were traditionally separated with a line of blue spruce (Picea pungens), a tree not occurring naturally in Russia. In August–September 2007 the aging trees, with few exceptions, were cut down and replaced with young trees. Federal Protective Service
Federal Protective Service (Russia)
In the Russian Federation, the Federal Protective Service is a federal government agency concerned with the tasks related to the protection of several, mandated by the relevant law, high-ranking state officials, including the President of Russia, as well as certain federal properties...

 spokesman explained that the previous generation of spruce, planted in 1970s, was suffering from dryness of urban landscape; 28 old but sound trees were handpicked for replanting inside the Kremlin. New trees were selected from the nurseries of Altai Mountains, Russian Far East
Russian Far East
Russian Far East is a term that refers to the Russian part of the Far East, i.e., extreme east parts of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean...

 and "some foreign countries". FPS spokesman also mentioned that in Nikita Khrushchev's period there were plans to plant a fruit garden around the Mausoleum, but the proposal was rejected in fear of fruit flies
Drosophila melanogaster
Drosophila melanogaster is a species of Diptera, or the order of flies, in the family Drosophilidae. The species is known generally as the common fruit fly or vinegar fly. Starting from Charles W...

.

Debate and preservation

Public discussion on closing the Mausoleum emerged shortly after the breakup of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, with opinions ranging from simply burying Lenin in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 as he had requested to taking the mummy on a commercial world tour. After the climax of the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis president Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

 removed the honor guard
Honor guard
An honor guard, or ceremonial guard, is a ceremonial unit, usually military in nature and composed of volunteers who are carefully screened for their physical ability and dexterity...

 from the Mausoleum (former Post no.1, see Kremlin Regiment
Kremlin Regiment
Kremlin Regiment is a unique military regiment, a part of Russian Federal Protective Service with the status of a special unit. The regiment ensures the security of the Kremlin and its treasures and guards the highest state officials...

) and voiced his long-term opinion that Lenin should be buried in the ground. The decision was supported by the Public Committee of Democratic Organisations. By 1995 Yeltsin "moved to the nationalist center" and, like the previous state leaders, used the Mausoleum as a government stand; however, in 1997 he reiterated the claim to bury Lenin. Proposals to remove the Necropolis from Red Square at all met far more public opposition and did not take off either.

Contemporary public opinion on preserving the remains of Lenin in their present embalmed state is split, leaning towards burying him. According to most recent (end of 2008) poll by VCIOM
VCIOM
All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, VTsIOM, [established in 1987; till 1992 – All-Union Center for the Study of Public Opinion] is the oldest polling institution in the post-Soviet space and is one of the leading sociological and market research companies in Russia.-General...

, 66% of the respondents voted for a funeral in a traditional cemetery, including 28% of those who believe that the funeral should be postponed until the communist generation passes away. 25% of the respondents voted to preserve the body in the Mausoleum. In October 2005, 51% of respondents voted for a funeral and 40% for preservation.
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