Russia’s various and often mutually hostile communist groups marked yesterday, the anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, with rallies in several Moscow squares, including a rally said to have been attended by 20,000. Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, which is by far the largest among Russia’s communist parties, told one of the rallies that the situation in Russia fits Lenin’s definition of a revolutionary situation, in which "the ruling circles are no longer able to rule the old way and the populace is no longer willing to live the old way." Zyuganov has repeatedly made this point recently. The Internal Affairs Ministry reported no incidents in Moscow. Communists and their allies also held demonstrations and meetings in the 1917 revolution’s hub, Saint Petersburg, where attendance was estimated at 15,000 to 30,000; and smaller events in Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Novosibirsk, attended by a few thousand each. (1)
The rallies were officially authorized as the anniversary continues to be celebrated as a national holiday. Overall, the rallies attracted more people this time than on the November 7 anniversaries in the previous post-Soviet years. Ironically, the Communists are trying to gain acceptance using democratic slogans, while democratic parties are borrowing nationalist paroles.