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Worldview

How Does Russia’s Authoritarian Government Celebrate A Revolution? It Doesn’t

This month marks 100 years since the October Revolution which launched a five-year war that spanned from the Caucuses to the Baltics, dismantled Russian aristocracy, and laid the groundwork for the Soviet Union. 

Vladimir Lenin became the Chairman of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic on Nov. 7, 1917. Months later, the last vestiges of the Russian Empire were erased with the execution of Tsar Nicholas II and his entire Romanov family. 

Until recently, the date has been a national holiday in Russia and across the Soviet world, but the government of Vladimir Putin has been downplaying the centenary in the Russian Federation. Putin’s press secretary says there’s nothing worth celebrating, even while much of the population marks the day when a corrupt aristocracy was replaced with a government nominally for the people. 

Cynthia Hooper, associate professor of history and director of Russian and Eastern European studies at College of the Holy Cross, joins Worldview to discuss. Her article in The Conversation is “How does an authoritarian regime celebrate a revolution?”

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