100 years after

The Kremlin’s approach to the coming centenary of the Bolshevik revolution is to avoid a serious discussion and hope that people don’t think too hard either about the consequences of Bolshevism or about revolutionary situations. It seems to be working, with a few minor hiccups.

A few days before the anniversary, Russian security services detained members of “secret cells” who “allegedly planned to set fire to government administrative buildings in Moscow” and other cities and “attack police officers” this weekend. (November 4 is a national holiday, the post-Soviet response to November 7/October 25, the day of the Bolshevik coup d’état.) More details on these arrests can be gleaned from the pro-Kremlin Sputnik, the anti-Kremlin Radio Liberty and the independent Meduza.

At this point, it is unclear whether there is any truth to the charges. Several hundred people were detained today in Moscow and other cities, apparently for taking to the streets to protesting against the regime and support their arrested comrades. It doesn’t look like a major protest compared, say, with Alexei Navalny’s rallies, and shouldn’t be a huge problem for the Kremlin unless it overreacts massively. But since the idea that the revolution might repeat itself around its hundredth anniversary can only make sense to the paranoid mind, you never know what to expect.

The Communists will probably hold rallies in 3-5 cities on November 7 but they are going to be inoffensive and manageable, as usual.

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