Last Lenin Statue in Mongolia Falls

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary In Mongolia’s capital of Ulan Bator, the last statue of former Russia Communist rule Vladimir Lenin was removed. Many Mongolians threw their shoes at the statue as a sign of disrespect, and the Mongolian authorities plan to auction the statue off. Actually, the statue of Lenin was put there not by the Mongolians but by the Russians. From 1926 to 1990, the Russians actually ruled Mongolia—just giving Mongolia the mere appearance of being an “independent” country. Now that Mongolia is truly independent, it is not only removing the symbols of Communism and Russian rule, it is also doing what it can to preserve the dark past under Communist rule. And that rule was truly dark. Vladimir Lenin himself was said to be responsible for the murder of 30,000 Mongols. Lenin’s successor, Joseph Stalin, would murder 100,000 Mongols.

To put this in perspective, we must remember that today there are only 2.7 million Mongolians in all of Mongolia—the least inhabited country on earth where 2.7 million people inhabit an area equal to the size of one-third of the whole U.S. Midwest. Given the very low number of people in Mongolia to begin with, the slaughter of all these innocent people was quite horrendous. Out of this number, 18,000 were Buddhist clergy. With the exception of the Gandan Monastery in Ulan Bator, all other Buddhist monasteries were destroyed by the Communists. In other words, much of Mongolia’s culture and religious life, which was tied closely to its culture, were eradicated by the Communists. Today there are memorials to those who were killed by the Communists, and there is a museum dedicated to when the Communists ruled and terrorized Mongolia.

It was 22 years ago that Communist rule in Mongolia finally ended, and the Mongolian government and people have sought to create a more capitalist, democratic form of society. The Russians no longer rule Mongolia, and investments have been pouring into the country from many parts of Asia. Only this statue was a reminder of those terrible days, but now it is gone.

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