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Russia Replicates 1941 Revolution Day Parade, Communists March

  • RFE/RL

Participants dressed in historical uniforms perform during a military parade marking the anniversary of the 1941 parade when Soviet soldiers marched toward the front lines of World War II, in Red Square in Moscow on November 7.

Participants dressed in historical uniforms perform during a military parade marking the anniversary of the 1941 parade when Soviet soldiers marched toward the front lines of World War II, in Red Square in Moscow on November 7.

Russia has replicated a legendary 1941 parade in which soldiers marched through Red Square to celebrate the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution and then headed straight to the front lines to fight Nazi troops just outside Moscow.

The replicated parade organized by Moscow authorities on November 7 marked the 75th anniversary of the famous original event.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin watched the parade, which included some veterans who participated in 1941. President Vladimir Putin did not attend.

Thousands of Russian soldiers and students of military schools marched on Red Square, many wearing Soviet wartime uniforms and carrying 1940s weapons.

Replicating the 1941 parade enables the authorities to mark the anniversary of the revolution but to put the accent on the World War II fight against Nazi Germany -- the proudest moment in Soviet history -- instead of the 1917 upheaval that brought down the Russian tsars and ushered in decades of communist rule.

Communists gathered separately in downtown Moscow to mark the 99th anniversary of the revolution, carrying portraits of Lenin and Stalin and demanding the restoration of the Revolution Day holiday.

Putin replaced the November 7 holiday with the November 4 National Unity Day in 2005.

With reporting by Interfax and RIA Novosti
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