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MOSCOW – Visitors are forbidden to photograph Vladimir Lenin's mummified body in the mausoleum on Red Square — but nearby, Sergei Soloviev is happy to offer an alternative.
On most days, the man who bears a close resemblance to the Bolshevik leader hangs out near the entrance to the square waiting to pose for tourists for a small fee. With his mustache, goatee and a flat black cap covering his bald head, Soloviev's resemblance is strong even if his face lacks the beady intensity of the real Lenin's.
He's 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's often a man who impersonating Josef Stalin with him, along with one or two other Lenin doppelgangers.