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Page last updated at 12:29 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 13:29 UK

Bomb blows hole in Lenin statue

Damaged statue of Lenin in St Petersburg
Lenin's statue was left with a gaping hole

One of Russia's most famous statues of Vladimir Lenin has been bombed, leaving the Bolshevik revolutionary with a gaping hole in his rear.

The bronze statue, in the city of St Petersburg, was badly damaged before dawn on Wednesday, when the blast blew a hole in Lenin's coat.

No-one was hurt in the attack, the motive for which was unknown.

The statue, outside the Finland Station, marks the Bolshevik leader's return from exile in April 1917.

"Today at 0430 [0030 GMT] there was an explosion at the Lenin monument at the Finland Station in the city centre," a spokesman for the Saint Petersburg branch of the Russian emergency situations ministry told the AFP news agency.

"As a result of the explosion a crater of 80-100cm [31-39in] appeared on the monument," he added.

Lenin gave a speech at the railway station after his return from exile.

Later that year he would lead the revolution that overthrew the government and would take the Communists to power for more than 70 years.

St Petersburg was the cradle of the Russian Revolution and was renamed Leningrad after Lenin's death in 1924.

Lenin's embalmed body remains on display in a mausoleum in Moscow.



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