‘Lenin and Stalin’ scuffle near Red Square: Police
MOSCOW – Agence France-Presse
A file picture taken on January 7, 2009 shows two Vladimir Lenin (L and C) and a Josef Stalin (R) lookalike speaking as they stand near Red Square in Moscow. AFP PhotoTwo of Russia’s most iconic historical figures came to blows close to Moscow’s Red Square when a Stalin double allegedly attacked a Lenin lookalike over a work dispute, police said on July 7.
“A Lenin impersonator on Manezh Square has filed a complaint with the metro police, accusing the Stalin impersonator he was working with of having struck him three times in the back with an umbrella after a heated argument,” Moscow metro official Alexander Rybak told AFP.
The alleged assault, which happened last month, saw the Lenin impersonator, identified by Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper as Igor Gorbunov, forced to seek medical attention after suffering soft tissue injuries.
The Stalin double, identified as Latif Valiyev, was unhappy that Gorbunov had been posing with tourists alongside another Stalin impersonator, Rybak said.
The lookalikes of the two Soviet leaders are staples of Moscow’s landmarks, charging tourists a few dollars to have their pictures taken with them.
Gorbunov and Valiyev have severed their professional ties and are now posing with other impersonators, according to Rybak. The ongoing investigation into the incident will determine whether the Stalin double will face charges over the incident, Rybak said.
Under Russian law, individuals convicted of battery can receive a fine, a community work sentence or face up to three months in detention.