From Russia With News

MOSCOW, September 16- In this digest, we will discuss a daring art project involving Lenin; conversations with taxi drivers, and ways to avoid them; and the Kremlin spokesman’s hopes for the next year. The press service of Georgian-born American artist David Datuna announced the artist’s plan to buy the preserved body of Vladimir Lenin, which is currently on…

MOSCOW, September 16 (Sputnik) – In this digest, we will discuss a daring art project involving Lenin; conversations with taxi drivers, and ways to avoid them; and the Kremlin spokesman’s hopes for the next year.

NOT FOR SALE

The press service of Georgian-born American artist David Datuna announced the artist’s plan to buy the preserved body of Vladimir Lenin, which is currently on display in the Mausoleum on the Red Square. Datuna said he was prepared to pay as much as $1 billion for it, with $1 million upfront. The artist wants to build a copy of the Mausoleum in Washington.

A member of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, Vladimir Dzhabarov was outraged over this proposal.

“I am sorry, but this is not a circus, not a freak show. It is just inappropriate — suggesting something like that,” Dzhabarov, who serves as the deputy head of the international affairs, said.

The Communist Party of Russia was upset as well.

“The American artist is probably unaware of our laws,” a member of the party, Alexander Yuschenko, told Sputnik, adding that the decision on Lenin’s resting place had been made by the upper levels of the government.

“So, what I would suggest this artist do is he could make, using his artistic vision, a number of statues and place them on central squares on US cities,” the lawmaker said.

Yuschenko said Lenin’s ideas were visibly gaining popularity, especially in the United States, which was facing the crisis of capitalism.

SILENT DRIVER

Sixty percent of Russians prefer to avoid small talk with taxi drivers, a survey by ResearchMe company showed. In Moscow, forty percent of respondents admitted liking conversations with taxi drivers, in St. Petersburg only 26 percent.

One in three drivers likes to talk about politics or some global topics. One in five talks about themselves and their main job — “taxi is just a hobby for me.” Half of the respondents had at least one journey with a taxi driver who had their own business. More than 10 percent of drivers talk about family. One in ten drivers complains about their difficulties.

As for small talk avoidance techniques, 54 percent of passengers prefer to sit in the back, 37 percent call someone, or put on headphones. Only 11 percent ask the driver to be silent during the journey.

HOPES FOR 2021

The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, is hoping that the next year will be better in terms of the global pandemic and on other accounts.

“You know, hopefully, 2021 will be a better year,” Peskov told reporters.

Peskov was asked once again when or if President Vladimir Putin would get vaccinated against the coronavirus and gave the same reply as before.

“When and if he decides to do this, he will speak about it,” Peskov said.

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