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Sergey M. Kirov's Museum (The), St. Petersburg

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Contact: +7 812 346 0217
Open Hours: Th to Tu from 11:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Sergei Kirov was Leningrad's Communist Party boss until his assassination in 1934, which it is largely accepted happened at Stalin's behest. The 'great tyrant' nonetheless used the death to re-invigorate his purges and wipe out thousands more perceived enemies. The 'museum' is basically the apartment Kirov lived in up until thirty minutes before he was shot. The insight it gives into a life of a high-ranking Soviet official during the thirties is fascinating. The bear-skin rugs sprawled on the floor before his desk and the stuffed birds perched here and there in and around the bookcases and portraits of Stalin suggest something of a regal self-importance. Photos and paintings chronicle Kirov's life and career, which included stints in Baku and Vladivaskaz as well as Leningrad. Those depicting him at his most powerful are typically Socialist Realist, full of images of him caring for children and sharing comradely wisdom with workers.