Lenin's niece dies in Moscow at 89

25th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Lenin's niece, Olga Ulyanova, the last surviving descendant of the Bolshevik leader's family, died in Moscow on Friday at 89, the governor of Lenin's native region of Ulyanovsk said in a statement.

Ulyanova, who was born in 1922, two years before her uncle's death, was the last direct descendant of the Ulyanov family, Lenin's real surname, governor Sergei Morozov said in a message of condolences that gave no cause of death.

She was the daughter of Lenin's younger brother Dmitry, a doctor who shared Lenin's revolutionary ideals and served in high posts in the health service after the 1917 revolution. He was born in 1874 and died in 1943.

Ulyanova studied chemistry at Moscow State University and went on to become a lecturer there, the governor said. She also published several books and more than 150 articles about Lenin and her family.

As the last representative of his family, she spoke out against repeated calls to move Lenin's body from his mausoleum on Red Square.

"I am categorically against the reburial of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. There is no basis for this," she told Pravda newspaper in January, arguing that his body lies at the same depth as burial according to Russian traditions.

Local historian Sergei Petrov told the RIA Novosti news agency that Ulyanova helped museum researchers in Ulyanovsk.

"You could always phone her about anything," he said.

Ulyanova was "humble, principled and actively defended the Lenin mausoleum. She was respected at Moscow State University and did not provoke any jealousy because she achieved everything with her own efforts," he said.

Lenin had seven brothers and sisters, two of whom died in infancy. He was greatly influenced by the death of his elder brother Alexander, a revolutionary who was hung for an attempt to assassinate tsar Alexander III.

© 2011 AFP

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