The parents of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the dead Boston Bombing suspect want his body shipped back to Russia. And just what are the cemeteries of Russia like..
The Mafia Cemeteries Of Yekaterinburg
The two mafia cemeteries in Yekaterinburg, the fourth largest city in Russia, are on opposite sides of town. One belongs to the Central Gang, and the other is for their rivals, the Uralmash Gang. The gangs dominated politics and commerce in many provincial Russian cities during the mid-1990s. Yekaterinburg is located in south-central Russia, not far from the Kazakhstan border. Turf wars between rival gangs generated so many murders that gangs built their own cemeteries.
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The graves in Yekaterinburg are an homage to the gangster life. Some tombs are more than ten feet tall, containing larger-than-life photographs of the departed etched into the granite. Gangsters are depicted in Hawaiian shirts, leather jackets and, in classical 1990s Russian gangster fashion, tracksuits. One man is featured holding a cigarette, another grips the keys to a Mercedes. Other graves describe the skills of the deceased, for example one man was apparently an expert in judo. The bodies might not be fresh but the tombs are still being watched over.
“Beside the grave of a Uralmash leader who died mysteriously in prison two years ago, two men in dark glasses keep watch over their former master’s resting place from a battered white Renault,” reported a 2008 Telegraph article.
That tombstone contains a camera on top, which swivels in the direction of approaching visitors, a warning to dissuade people from attempting to rob the gold that is apparently hidden inside.
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Moscow’s most famous cemetery, inaugurated in 1898, more than 27,000 people are buried here. Novodevichy contains the remains of numerous artists and writers, including Nikolai Gogol, Sergey Aksakov and famous turn-of-the-century Russian actor Constantin Sergeyevich Stanislavski. Anton Chekhov is buried in a section of the cemetery called the “cherry orchard”. The Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev is also buried here, as is Boris Yeltsin, in a grave marked by an enormous Russian flag, which is sculpted out of stone but gives the appearance that it is rippling in the wind. The cemetery feels like a park, with trees and gardens and small chapels hidden throughout. “It has many beautiful ducks, including golden ones!” wrote one TripAvisor reviewer. “This is a great place.”
Kremlin Wall Necropolis
The massive wall is part of Red Square and was first used as a cemetery in November 1917, when 240 pro-Bolshevik victims of the October Revolution were buried here in mass graves. Throughout the 20th century numerous Russian leaders have been buried here, including Vladimir Lenin, who has his own tomb, with his embalmed body on public display. The last dignitary buried here was Konstantin Chernenko, in 1985. The wall was built in its present form during the reign of Ivan III, in the 15th century.