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A bas-relief depicting Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin is seen on a dam of Kirov Reservoir in Talas region, western Kyrgyzstan, September 4, 2017. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov


(Reuters) - A century after the Russian Revolution, the influence of its leader Vladimir Lenin has waned but his image remains on monuments built across the former Soviet Union as part of a cult of personality.

Lenin was born in 1870 and became one of the 20th century's most important leaders as the revolution inspired by Karl Marx transformed Russia and influenced Socialists around the world for decades.

As the first leader of the one-party communist state, Lenin redistributed land and nationalised industry and banks in a bid to champion the working class. He also used violence on a wide scale to crush perceived opponents of his Marxist ideology.

When he died in 1924, Soviet authorities displayed his body in a mausoleum in Moscow's Red Square where it lies to this day.

They also built monuments and statues of him around the Soviet Union, often depicting him giving a speech to supporters at a station in what is now Saint Petersburg on his arrival from exile by train in April 1917 to lead the revolution.

For the photo essay on monuments of Lenin click on: http://reut.rs/2h411d4

Many of the memorials have been toppled or removed since the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 but others remain, reflecting a debate in Russia about his legacy.

(Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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