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PICTURES: Communist ‘Selfies with Lenin’ Campaign Takes Off in Russia

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• August 10, 2015 2:02 pm

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Russia’s Communist Party has organized a ‘Selfies with Lenin’ competition in order to introduce young Russians to the leader.

Members of the Komsomol (Young Communist League) of the Komi Republic in northern Russia sent a letter to Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the Communist party, proposing the selfie competition. They wrote that the selfies would be a "cheap and effective way to familiarize the younger generation with the image of the leader of the world proletariat" and also that it will give the Communists the ability to track of the condition of Lenin monuments across the country.

Zyuganov affirmed the idea. "I think Vladimir Ilyich will be thankful," he said.

In order to enter the competition, contestants must upload a Lenin selfie with the hashtag "#селфислениным" or "#selfiewithlenin." The contestant with the best selfie will receive a tablet complete with Lenin’s writings.

Choosing a winner will not be easy. This entry tagged her Lenin selfie, "Uncle Lenin says you must listen to your mom."

There is a small barrier to entry for the contest, as statues of Lenin are everywhere in Russia.

Here's another, in Sochi's Art Square.

This man found a statue of Lenin and picked the nose of a young communist.

#lenin #ленин #селфислениным A photo posted by Dmitry Tim (@dimstertim) on

Despite Russia's ban on "homosexual propaganda," this man took a chance and snapped a selfie of himself giving Lenin a loving kiss.

This girl celebrated her birthday with a Lenin selfie.

Lenin does not fear the selfie stick.

Although Instagram was flooded with selfies, the competition was not met with unanimous support.

Historian Nikita Petrov said the competition represents the "domestication of a tyrant" and "an attempt to build Lenin into the mainstream," according to the Russian Izvestia.

"The use of new technologies to popularize old idols cannot bring anything other than a grin," Petrov said. "I would call this action a gesture of despair."

The competition stands in contrast to nationwide resistance to Lenin's memory in Ukraine.

Dozens of statues of Lenin have been toppled across Ukraine since February 2014, according to the Washington Post. To many Ukrainians, the Soviet leader is a symbol of "Russia's aggressive support for the separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine."

Published under: Russia