Statue or Bust: Around the World in Lenins

Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, founder of Russia's Communist Party, and premier of the Soviet Union, has been dead since 1924, but his image has lived on worldwide for nearly a century. With the backing of the Soviet government, tens of thousands of statues, busts, and monuments to Lenin were erected in former Soviet states and allied nations. These likenesses became worldwide symbols of communism and the Soviet Union, and they have ridden the tides of fortune and disfavor over the decades. Dismantling Lenin statues is a symbolic act that goes back to World War II, and continues through the present day; last week, protestors in Ukraine tore down their country's largest Lenin monument. Collected here are photos of Lenin monuments from across the world, including Lithuania, Latvia, Mongolia, Ghana, Ukraine, Cuba, Russia, Romania, Vietnam, Georgia, Svalbard, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Ethiopia, Bulgaria—and Seattle.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Ilya Naymushin / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Atomic Art, Moon Pool, Giant Iceberg

    The Royal Air Force celebrates its centennial in London, World Cup emotions run high, the Running of the Bulls begins in Spain, Tour de France riders pass through stage six, and much more.

  • Kyodo / Reuters

    Photos: Death Toll Reaches 200 in Devastating Japan Floods

    Over the weekend, sustained heavy rainfall hit parts of western and central Japan, causing flash flooding, setting off landslides, and submerging floodplains.

  • Giuseppe Bellini / Getty

    Colors Bloom Across the Great Plain of Castelluccio, Italy

    Fields of lentils and poppies carpet this Italian landscape with a colorful quilt of blossoming flowers every year.

  • Sergei Supinsky / AFP / Getty

    Images From Ivan Kupala Night

    In parts of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and Russia, an ancient pagan rite combined with a traditional Orthodox feast to become Ivan Kupala Night, a festival celebrating the summer solstice.