Boris Yeltsin Had Plans to Demolish Lenin’sMausoleum and Restore Monarchy

PHOTO: Sergei Stepashin (left) and Boris Yeltsin (right)

During an interview with Istorik magazine in April 2017, former Russian prime minister Sergei Vadimovich Stepashin, claims that in 1998 acting Russian president Boris Yeltsin gave him an order to demolish Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square.

Stepashin chaired the Ministry of Interior from March 1998 to May 1999, and it was during his term in office that he made an official visit to England.

“When I came back, I went to his office and Yeltsin said:

“Sergei Vadimovich, I made a decision to demolish the mausoleum.” I told him: “Well, but how does it relate to the Ministry of Interior?” “The Ministry of Interior should secure order,” he answers.

“Well,” I said, “I am a minister and should fulfill orders of the Chief Commander, the only thing I can’t secure, Boris Nikolayevich, is that will you still be the president and will I still be a minister after such a decision?” – Stepashin recalled.

PHOTO: Lenin’s mausoleum on Red Square, Moscow

According to him, he started persuading Yeltsin not to demolish the mausoleum.

“If you trust me, then please listen to me, I tell you honestly, it is not the right time. From the Christian point of view, Lenin’s body should not be put on view. It is a sin. But it is not the right time to demolish the mausoleum. Don’t do it! Doesn’t it incommode you?”

Yeltsin grumbled, but listened to my arguments,” Stepashin said.

Since 2007 Stepashin is the head of the revived Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS).

Yeltsin’s sympathetic interest in a restoration of the monarchy

In 1994, unconfirmed reports in the media suggested that Yeltsin also had plans to restore the monarchy in Russia. According to economist and strategist Vladimir Lvovich Kvint events would have taken the following turn: Parliament would vote for the restoration of the monarchy, or Yeltsin would organize a referendum, and the people, tired of the fighting among political leaders would agree. Yeltsin was not in favour of an absolute monarch, but a constitutional monarchy with more power than that of those in Britain and Europe. Once again, Yeltsin was persuaded not to pursue the idea any further.

© Paul Gilbert. 17 May 2023