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Lenin lookalike proves he is not too bolshy by exploiting gap in the market

Sergei Soloviev, a Vladimir Lenin impersonator, has shown a sound grasp of capitalism by filling a gap in the market created by the ban on photographing the mummified body of the former Soviet Union leader in the mausoleum nearby on Red Square.

On most days, the man who bears a close resemblance to the Bolshevik leader waits near the entrance to the square waiting to pose for tourists for a small fee.

With his moustache, goatee and a flat black cap covering his bald head, Mr Soloviev's resemblance is strong even if his face lacks the beady intensity of the real Lenin's.

He is usually in the shadows of the ornate red-brick State Historical Museum, on a pedestrian walkway between Red Square and the adjacent Manezh Square, one of the most tourist-dense parts of Moscow.

There is often a man who impersonating Josef Stalin with him, along with one or two other Lenin doppelgangers.

Mr Soloviev speaks with pride about how those others were impressed when he first showed up in 2000.

"One of the other Lenins said 'Oh look, here comes my competition'," he said.

Mr Soloviev said in 1999 he began to feel like Lenin and started growing the goatee and moustache.

When he went to his job as a metalworker at a car shop, his boss said "Shave! We have a dress code ... we don't need a Lenin."

He eventually lost the job, noticed other impersonators and went to work.

Mr Soloviev attracts a lot of looks and charges 100 roubles (£1.30) for a photo.


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