Lenin and October Revolution Monument in the Kaluga Square – Moscow

Lenin and October Revolution

Lenin and October Revolution

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Lenin and October Revolution Monument in the Kaluga Square – Moscow

The Monument to Lenin on Kaluga Square (Russian: Памятник Ленину на Калужской площади) was established in 1985 in Moscow in the centre of Kaluga Square (then October Square). The authors of the monument are the sculptors L. E. Kerbel, V. A. Fedorov and the architects G. V. Makarevich and B. A. Samsonov. It is the largest monument to Lenin in Moscow.

Lenin and October Revolution - 03

Lenin and October Revolution – 03

The bronze sculpture of V. I. Lenin was made at the Leningrad factory ‘Monument sculpture’. It is an original copy of the monument to Lenin in Birobidzhan, established in 1978. A stone monolithic pedestal column weighing 360 tons, after the initial treatment, was delivered in place by a trailer that had 128 wheels. The monument was inaugurated on 5 November 1985 by the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Mikhail Gorbachev.

The height of the monument is 22 m. At the top of the cylindrical column of red polished granite is a full length bronze statue of V. I. Lenin. He is facing forward, his gaze to the distance. Lenin’s overcoat is unbuttoned, one lower edge is thrown back by the wind, his right hand is in the jacket’s pocket.

Lenin and October Revolution - 02

Lenin and October Revolution – 02

At the base of the pedestal is a multi-figure composition, which includes revolutionary soldiers, workers and sailors of various nationalities. Above them is a woman on the background of a fluttering flag embodying the Revolution. Behind the pedestal is the figure of a woman with two children, personifying the rear of the revolution. The elder boy in his hand has revolutionary newspapers.

Text above from (a slightly edited page on) Wikipedia.

Lenin and October Revolution - 01

Lenin and October Revolution – 01

What to look for in the monument;

  • the three leading figures are, from left to right, a peasant soldier, an armed Petrograd worker, a sailor;
  • the peasant soldier wears a knotted red ribbon over his left chest – the red arm band was the normal sign of a Bolshevik but this is difficult to represent on a bronze statue. Whether the red ribbon was an alternative ‘badge’ I’m not sure;
  • the female representation of Revolution, that is located above the revolutionary workers and peasants and below Lenin. She has her right arm raised forward and upward – indicating the advance of the revolution – and her left arm stretched behind her I a pose that invites others to join the march to the future. Her flowing scarf is a representation of the Red Flag, the workers’ revolutionary standard;
  • the leading sailor (note the striped t-shirt under his jacket) also has his left arm stretched behind him, also encouraging those (unseen) behind to come and join the revolution, he’s also looking in their direction. He, and the female sailor on the other side of the group, were probably from the Cruiser Aurora;
  • the older workers/peasants indicating that the revolution is not just a matter for the young, their dress suggesting that they are possibly from other nations in the old Russian Empire and stressing the All-Russia aspect of the October Revolution;
  • the engraving at the back of the red marble plinth which notes the sculptors and architects as well as the date of the monuments unveiling;
  • the young mother, holding a very young child in crook of her right arm and her left hand on the shoulder of an older boy, representing for the new and youthful Socialist Republic that was being created following the attack on the Winter Palace;
  • the young boy newspaper seller next to the young woman. He has copies of the newspaper Izvestia (which had been founded in February 1917 and which, at the time, was the mouthpiece of the Petrograd Soviet) folded over his right forearm and more copies in a satchel hanging from his left shoulder. The headline also indicates information about one of the first decrees of the Soviet Government, possibly that on Peace and an end to the imperialist war;
  • another young boy who, from his looks and dress, comes from one of the many northern nationalities;
  • the male peasant (again from one of the nationalities – note his turban type headdress) holding a copy of the Decree on Land – which nationalised all the land in the country;
  • the female sailor (note the anchor on her belt buckle) who is armed with a pistol and wears a red neckerchief;
  • and surmounting all a full length statue of VI Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Party (which became the Communist Party of the Soviet Union). He has an open overcoat over his suit, the right lower edge of which is being blown back by the wind. He is standing with his right hand in his suit jacket pocket and his cap is scrunched in his left hand. He’s looking ahead, in a contemplative pose, perhaps wondering what to do next and how to overcome the inevitable problems.

Not exactly sure what Lenin might have been looking at when the statue was installed in 1985 but now he looks down a long avenue towards the Moscva River – across which is the area know as ‘Moscow City’, an area of densely packed, ugly, modern high rise glass and steel buildings.

'Moscow City'

‘Moscow City’

However, if Vladimir Ilyich looked slightly to his left he would be looking at the main entrance to the Okysbrskaya Metro station.

Oktyabrskaya entrance

Oktyabrskaya entrance


L. E. Kerbel and V. A. Fedorov


G. V. Makarevich and B. A. Samsonov.


In Kaluga Square (formerly October Square), at the junction of Lenin Prospekt and Krymsky Val, opposite the main entrance to Oktyabrskaya Metro station




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Monument to the Fallen in the Malvinas – Buenos Aires

Malvinas Memorial - Buenos Aires

Malvinas Memorial – Buenos Aires

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Monument to the Fallen in the Malvinas – Buenos Aires

There are many monuments and memorials to the Malvinas War throughout Argentina, especially in the south from where the forces that were sent to liberate the islands departed in March and April 1982. These vary in approach, some concentrating on the local involvement, such as Rio Gallegos and Puerto Madryn with others taking the issue on board for the sake of the nation, as in Ushuaia and in the capital, Buenos Aires where the Monument to the Fallen in the Malvinas can be found in Plaza San Martin, near to the Retiro train and bus terminal in the north-east of the city.

Architecturally and artistically the Monument is relatively simple. The structure has been excavated out of the hill and the concave wall is faced with red marble on which black plaques have been attached. Inscribed on these 25 plaques, in gold lettering, are the names of the 649 fallen in the conflict – on land, sea and air.

Above the first seven plaques on the left is a large piece of red marble and on this, in white, can be seen the outline of the Islas Malvinas. (Until I started to see these islands being represented in various monuments in different parts of the country I had forgotten how jagged an outline they present, with innumerable coves and small islets.)

Malvinas Memorial - Buenos Aires

Malvinas Memorial – Buenos Aires

On the extreme left, there’s a black, metal chimney, going from ground level to just above the stone that carries the image of the islands. This is for the ‘eternal flame’.

In front of the plaques is a small passageway allowing visitors to get close to see the names of their relatives or friends who had not returned from the war.

A low wall, which forms the bottom edge of this passage, is also faced with red marble slabs and on the front, facing the entrance to the monument, are 24 regimental shields and in the centre the symbol for the Argentinian Armed Forces.

Malvinas Memorial - Buenos Aires

Malvinas Memorial – Buenos Aires

From each side of the memorial plaques a small wall (which have not very impressive shrubs planted in the top) extends down towards the entrance, narrowing the space as it gets closer to the gates and which, if allowed to, would end up meeting at the point where a tall flagpole flies the national flag. From the entrance gate three small platforms, in the central portion, lead up to the memorial wall, ramps allowing a step free access on the outsides. The whole area is surrounded by a low, black iron fence with lockable, sliding gates.

This is a simple memorial but there are indications that some, at least, within Argentina, whether that be the local or national government, don’t really think the issue of the Malvinas is as important as it was in 1982 where it cost the lives of over a thousand military on both sides, many hundreds of injured and an unregistered total of millions of pounds in material. (Not a problem that it gets destroyed but in present circumstances this only throws more money into the coffers of the arms manufacturers and diverts resources away from other, more useful projects.)

I had read before arriving in Buenos Aires that there was a permanent ceremonial guard at this memorial and that the ‘eternal flame’ was, as the phrase implies, eternal. Neither is the case. My first visit to the memorial was in the days after the G-20 (when the centre of the city had been locked down for the best part of three days) and this square is only a stone’s throw from the Sheraton Hotel, one of the locations which housed people so ‘important’ that the hotel had a ring of vallas to itself, one of the rings within the rings within the rings. At that time there were even lower, more conventional barriers around the monument. Can’t really understand the thinking here as this area was a long way from any mass mobilisation and why would anyone want to attack a monument to young men who died in 1982? (As far as I can tell there were no female military casualties on either side – three women who were killed were civilians living on the Malvinas and they were killed by the British.)

I understand that there’s sometimes a guard of honour, sometimes by soldiers in ceremonial dress (who are permanently on guard in the Metropolitan Cathedral in the Plaza de Mayo – presumably the, in the main, conscripts who died in the Malvinas under the leadership of the cretinous military fascists don’t merit such treatment), sometimes by one or two individuals from the various armed services. I have seen pictures on the internet but have been unable to work out any pattern. However, I would assume that on the anniversary of the conflict greater effort would be made to recognise those who died for Argentinian pride.

As for the ‘eternal’ flame I assume that with the economic crisis that Argentina is presently undergoing there’s no money to pay the gas bill.

Also there’s an element of decay creeping in, as it is in all the Malvinas Monuments I’ve seen in the country (Rio Gallegos, El Calafate, Puerto Madryn and Ushuaia). If you build a structure into a hill you can expect water to find its way through – as it does here with the marks of water damage between and below the name plaques. Also lack of proper care means that litter and other rubbish accumulates in every corner.

Malvinas Memorial - Buenos Aires

Malvinas Memorial – Buenos Aires


At the northern edge of the Plaza San Martin, close to the Retiro train and bus station, in the Retiro district of Buenos Aires.

Opening times

From 08.00 to 18.00 every day – when there’s no G-20 that locks the city down.

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Museum of the Malvinas War – Rio Gallegos

Museum of the Malvinas War - Rio Gallegos

Museum of the Malvinas War – Rio Gallegos

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Museum of the Malvinas War – Rio Gallegos

Having seen a couple of monuments to the 1982 Malvinas War in various parts of Argentina (including one in Rio Gallegos itself) I was quite interested in understanding how the country approached that war when I learnt there was a museum to the conflict in the town of Rio Gallegos. After all, Argentina lost that war but still maintains it’s claim to the islands and you are unlikely to encounter an Argentinian who doesn’t hold that idea with total enthusiasm and conviction. Museums to conflicts established by the losers are rare – for example, I have never heard of a museum in Germany about the Second World War or a museum in the United States to their failed aggression in Vietnam. With that background I was anticipating something quite unique in the town.

However I was to be disappointed as after having spent a few minutes in the small, four room museum I felt more bemused than anything else. If you have a museum to the conflict then surely it’s necessary to tell the story of why it took place and presenting the reasons for the attempt to retake the islands from the British.

But there’s no explanation at all about why the Argentinian Army was sent to the Malvinas at the beginning of April 1982. No mention of the political situation in the country at the time – even though the military dictatorship of that time fell as a result of the failure in the Malvinas. No mention of Argentina’s historical claim to the islands and no mention of how the situation stands at the moment.

In fact it’s just the opposite. It seems, according to the introduction given by the woman in charge of the museum, there was a conscious decision NOT to address these issues. But by doing so it negates the reason for the museum in the first place.

The first room appears more like a toy shop than a museum as there are glass cases full of models of the ships, aircraft and weaponry used by both sides. But this was without context. There was no mention of the importance of the Sea Harriers which were able to withstand the harsh conditions of the South Atlantic. No mention that as both sides were using some of the same weapons the Argentines were able to sink the Sheffield with an Exorcet missile as the Sheffield also used them and the ship’s defence system was confused.

Amongst the models there were a few notable absences. The Atlantic Conveyor was missing from the collection of models but it’s inclusion in the British battle fleet was crucial in acting as a decoy for the Invincible, the British command ship. Also missing were the two landing ships, the Sir Galahad and the Sir Tristram, whose bombing resulted in the greatest loss of life in a single incident for the British armed forces since World War Two.

A model of the Vulcan bomber was there but no mention of its success in damaging the runway at Puerto Argentino (known as Port Stanley by the British).

Everything in this room seemed to be aimed at sanitising the whole sordid affair of 1982.

In another room there was an attempt to act on the emotions of any Argentinians who might visit the museum as there were letters from children to their fathers who were involved in the war – whether the recipients survived or not was not clear to me.

In fact it was only in the room where examples of the clothing and equipment used at the time that you get any sense that you are in a museum. Much of this equipment would bemuse children as technology has developed so much in the intervening 36 years and they wouldn’t be able to get to grips with the size of the field telephone.

This museum really isn’t worth visiting (apart from trying to work out why it’s there in the first place) and is really a lost opportunity on behalf of the Argentines. After all it could have been an opportunity to argue their case for possession of the islands, an argument few in Britain would know about.

There’s another museum in Buenos Aires which I plan to visit when I’m next there so it will be interesting to see how the matter is approached in the capital.

These museums don’t get a mention in British guidebooks but it would be churlish of me to suggest that this is a sign of censorship – conscious or unconscious.

They were, are and will be Argentina

They were, are and will be Argentina

Practical Details

Museo de Guerra Malvinas Argentinas

Pasteur 72

Rio Gallegos


Monday-Friday 11.00-16.30

Saturday-Sunday 10.00-16.30

Ring the bell if door closed.


S 51.62568

W 069.22165

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