Polls taken prior to the November 7 holiday found a growth in what the Polit.ru website called “conservative-restorationist” sentiment with Russian society. In a poll carried out November 2-6 by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM), 63 percent of the respondents said that, for them, November 7 represented the Day of the October Socialist Revolution. Only 22 percent said it represented the Day of Accord and Reconciliation–as the holiday was renamed in 1996–and only 5 percent said it represented “the day of the bloody October coup.” Thirty-two percent of those polled said the Bolshevik Revolution gave a stimulus to the social and economic development of the peoples of Russia (up from 26 percent who answered this way in a similar poll taken in 1997), 27 percent said it “opened a new era” in their development (24 percent in 1997), 18 percent said it froze their development and only 12 percent said it was a catastrophe. Sixty percent said the Bolshevik Revolution was caused by the “difficult situation of the workers,” 39 percent cited “the weakness of the government” and 10 percent cited “a conspiracy of enemies of the Russian people.” Thirty-eight percent said they did not like the fact that the November 7 holiday had been renamed the Day of Accord and Reconciliation. Nineteen percent said it was a “correct step that will help consolidate society.”
The VTsIOM poll included the following question: “Imagine that the October Revolution is going on before your very eyes; what would you do?” Twenty-four percent answered that they would “survive, not participate in the events,” 22 percent said they would actively support the Bolsheviks, 19 percent said they would cooperate with them somewhat, 13 percent said they would leave the country and only 6 percent said they would fight against the Bolsheviks. The Polit.ru website found this last result “completely staggering” (Polit.ru, November 7).
In a poll taken late last month by the Public Opinion Foundation, 43 percent of the respondents said they wanted to return the name “Revolution Day” to the November 7 holiday. Thirty-six percent said they were against switching back to the old designation. Yet another leading polling agency, ROMIR, found in a survey carried out just prior to the November 7 holiday that 45 percent of those polled regarded the day as the anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution and that only 9.8 percent regarded it as the Day of Accord and Reconciliation. Both the Public Opinion Foundation and ROMIR found that the older the respondent was, the more likely he or she was to embrace the Soviet-era holiday name (RBK, November 7).
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