Latest reports out of Moscow this week reveal that a new cemetery for the elite will be open by 2012. According to the report, Russia’s high mortality rate is causing concern that the city’s famous and wealthy residents may not have a final resting place.
With a drop in population by some 6.8 million people since 1991 and mortality rates over 60 percent higher than those in the European Union, the concern seems justified.
The Russian capital already has two cemeteries for the well-to-do and elite figures, Vaganskovskoye and Novodevichye, but space is running out.
Novodevichye is the final resting place for former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, 19th century writer Anton Chekhov, and dozens of other writers and dignitaries.
Even criminals like Vyacheslav Ivankov, better known as a Russian god father are buried there. Ivankov was buried at the Vaganskovskoye Cemetery next to his mother’s grave. Hundreds of mourners, many in black leather jackets and sunglasses, filed into the cemetery with expensive and elaborate wreaths to attend the funeral of the mafia kingpin.
Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that the new cemetery, the first in 250 years, will be reserved for those;
who have made a meaningful contribution to the humanitarian sphere, or to culture, science or society
Having lots of money and influence will probably help too.