Debate simmers about whether to bury Lenin

For more than six decades, glorious military parades and throngs of solemn Soviet citizens passed by the Red Square mausoleum where Vladimir Lenin's mummified corpse lies under glass. Then history passed him by. Now, nearing the 15th anniversary of the death of the Soviet Union, a debate is brewing about whether it's time to bury the body of the man who tried to bury capitalism.

The debate isn't new. What's different this time are the intriguing hints that President Vladimir Putin is agreeable to a burial. He's often accused of taking Russia back to old Soviet ways, and removing the father of the Soviet Union from public display could be a way of deflecting the criticism.

The aura of the mausoleum has been dimming for years. The goose-stepping honor guards are gone. The long lines of devoted pilgrims have given way to small knots of visitors, largely foreign tourists, entering the hushed, austere dark red stone structure.

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