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Russia: Thousands Remember Bolshevik Revolution

Moscow, 7 November 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Russia's Interior Ministry said today that some 318,000 people turned out in nearly 800 Russian cities today to mark the 85th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. In Moscow, the leader of Russia's Communist Party, Gennadii Zyuganov, told a crowd of some 25,000 that gathered near Red Square that over the past 10 years Russian Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin have "practically destroyed one of the world's great powers."

People in the crowd held red banners with the hammer and sickle, portraits of former Soviet leaders and placards with slogans such as "Capitalism is War" and "Yes to Another Red October."

The anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution is now celebrated as the Day of National Reconciliation but in cities around Russia Communists marked the day as they have for decades.

Meanwhile, today in Brussels the European Union announced its official recognition of Russia as a market economy.

In making the announcement, the European Commission said the decision "is an acknowledgement of the important progress achieved in Russia in respecting market-economy principles."

The Commission, the executive arm of the EU, said the change in status means Russia will now be treated the same as other market economies in anti-dumping investigations.

Correspondents say the EU decision is likely to boost Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization.