Mongolia capital Ulan-Bator removes Lenin statue

The statue is lifted off its plinth and carried away

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Ulan-Bator, the capital of Mongolia, has removed its last bronze statue of Vladimir Lenin, denouncing the communist leader as a "murderer".

The monument was hoisted from its plinth in a park and dropped on to the back of a flat-bed lorry at a ceremony attended by city mayor Bat-Uul Erdene.

During the Cold War, Mongolia was effectively a Soviet satellite state.

Mr Bat-Uul said the statue would be auctioned off with a starting price of about $280 (£174; 216 euros).

In a 10-minute speech, he denounced Lenin and his fellow communists as "murderers".

Mongolia had suffered at the hands of the communists but had moved on to create an open society, he added.

For decades Vladimir Lenin was worshipped by Mongolian schoolchildren as Teacher Lenin, the BBC's Michael Kohn reports from Ulan-Bator.

In 1990 the country abandoned its one-party state system and embraced political and economic reforms.

A crowd of around 300 people gathered to watch the statue being taken down. A few threw old shoes at it to display their distaste at the former Soviet leader.

Many statues of Lenin, who died in 1924, remain standing around Russia and other countries once under Soviet control.

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