'Lenin' arrested for swearing on Red Square: reports

8th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Police have detained a double of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin for swearing on Red Square, although he and his partner "Tsar Nicholas II" view this as extortion, reports said Wednesday.

Sergei Solovyev, 53, has worked as Lenin for nearly a decade, charging tourists 100 rubles (nearly $4) for pictures of himself dressed in a simple black suit and red tie.

He business partner Viktor Cherkasov, 55, impersonates Russia's last tsar -- the man Lenin had killed in 1918.

Police detained Lenin when he and Nicholas II were having a simple conversation not far from the real Lenin's mausoleum, said Cherkasov, who added they were wrongfully accused by a man who sells incense sticks nearby.

"All nine years, the police have been pressuring us. They want us to pay them and we refuse," he said. "I gave money to an interior ministry charitable fund, but they told me to give them money directly."

The man who poses as Lenin is now scheduled to attend a court hearing, although he has since been hospitalized after an episode of hypertension, according to the LifeNews website.

Lenin's tomb on Red Square is regularly a subject of controversy, with many Russians arguing the mummified body should be buried. The capital's main square near the Kremlin is one of the country's biggest tourist attractions.

© 2011 AFP

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