Moscow, April 26, Interfax - Former Russian prime minister Sergey Stepashin told how in 1998 acting Russian president Boris Yeltsin gave him an order to demolish Lenin's mausoleum.
"Boris Nikolayevich charged me with demolishing the mausoleum. It was 1998," Stepashin said in his interview with Istorik magazine.
Then Stepashin chaired the Ministry of Interior and made an official visit to England.
"When I came back, I went to his cabinet and Yeltsin said: "Sergey 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 say, "I am a minister and should fulfill orders of the Chief Commander, the only thing I can't secure, Boris Nikolayevich, is that you still will be the president and I will be a minister after such a decision," Stepashin recalls.
According to him, he started persuading Yeltsin not to demolish the tomb.
"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 demonstrated. 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.