The anniversary has largely been ignored by Russians
The anniversary has largely been ignored by Russians. AFP

Dozens of Russian communists gathered in Red Square on Sunday to mark the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Lenin's death, in one of the few official events commemorating the Soviet founder.

The centenary of the Bolshevik revolutionary's passing has largely been ignored by ordinary Russians, but Lenin continues to be venerated by those nostalgic for the USSR.

"I came here to honour the memory of Vladimir Lenin -- our leader, the founder of the Soviet state," said 47-year-old Yulia, one of many admirers who gathered outside Lenin's mausoleum in freezing temperatures.

"His ideas lit the way for many revolutionaries, fighters for the bright future of the people, for justice," she told AFP.

Attendees could be seen carrying portraits of the late leader and waving flags of the Russian Communist Party -- one of the few political parties allowed to take part in elections.

"He played a role not only for Russia, but for the whole world," Nikolai, 73, told AFP.

"After the revolution, the whole world bourgeoisie was afraid that their workers would also rise up and start a revolution," he said.

"Our country is on the brink," said 78-year-old pensioner Valentina Alexandrovna.

"It is basically turning into a colony. And only the Leninist doctrine can equip us to fight against this phenomenon," she said.

When Lenin died on 21 January 1924, Soviet authorities quickly embalmed his body and built a mausoleum -- a red and black polished stone temple at the heart of Red Square.

Huge crowds of people queued to pay their respects to the leader in Soviet times, but today, his embalmed body has largely become a tourist attraction.

President Vladimir Putin has publicly shunned Lenin for his supposed role in dividing the Russian Empire into nation states like Ukraine, and did not comment on the centenary.