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The Daily Vertical: Sidestepping The Revolution (Transcript)


The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

On the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution next week, the Kremlin will put on a parade.

The parade, however, won't commemorate the revolution.

In fact, according to Russian press reports, Vladimir Lenin's mausoleum will be closed to the public on the big anniversary of the revolution he led.

Instead, the parade on Red Square will commemorate the 76th anniversary of a speech Josef Stalin gave there to Soviet troops heading off to the front during World War II on the 24th anniversary of the Bolshevik seizure of power.

I guess if you do the math, it makes sense. Seventy-six plus twenty-four does in fact equal one hundred.

But these mathematical gymnastics are very revealing.

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Vladimir Putin's regime, of course, has been vocal in its opposition to colored revolutions.

And, as I have noted in the past, the first colored revolution wasn't orange and it wasn't rose. It was red.

It didn't happen in Kyiv or in Tbilisi, but in Putin's own hometown.

And for this Kremlin, that memory is ominous.

But the Kremlin's ambivalence about 1917 runs even deeper.

As the always insightful Russian political commentator Maksim Trudolyubov recently pointed out, the Putin regime seeks to celebrate the Soviet Union's imperial legacy without acknowledging its revolutionary origins.

And it aims to laud the imperial glory of Tsarist Russia, not praise its overthrow.

"The revolution is modern Russia's birth certificate," Trudolyubov wrote, "but Russia does not like what it says."

So Lenin's mausoleum will be closed on November 7. And Stalin's speech will be remembered.

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