- No, Lenin was not a mushroom because a mammal cannot be a plant!
That was, reportedly, a reasonable response (well, except for the fact that mushrooms are not classified as plants today) of one of the top Party members (Galina Barinova) to a request of her colleagues if the sensational TV show broadcast the day before was true.
In the last years of the USSR existence when Gorbachev’s policy of Glasnost (no censorship) opened the way to a tsunami of previously unknown facts in history and science, TV audience was open to mind boggling revelations about the country’s past. So, one evening in January 1991 over 10 million people watched “an interview” with a “historian” who was proving for nearly an hour that Vladimir Lenin consumed large quantities of psychedelic mushrooms and eventually became a mushroom himself. He came to this conclusion appealing to the things like a resemblance of a mushroom spawn outlines to a figure of Lenin standing on an armed car (an iconic image of the Bolshevik leader - he indeed once addressed people from the top of a military vehicle in 1917), quotes from different sources where Lenin and mushrooms were mentioned in one sentence, and even a fact that on many video shootings of Lenin there is a boy somewhere in the background became an argument for this absurd statement.
The “historian” was a rock musician Sergei Kuryokhin, invited to teh show by his friend, a journalist Sergei Sholokhov - one of the most radical TV innovators. The two told later how hard it was to remain serious and not to laugh.