Today marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia (using the Western calendar). A small group of professional agitators, aided to a small extent by the German government but even more so by a consortium of Wall Street banks, seized state buildings, telephone exchanges and other key points and began the process that would lead to the mass murder of at least 65 million Christian Russians.
Vladimir Putin has famously described the 1991 Soviet collapse as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century,” but he also has deplored the 1917 revolution. This ambivalence is rooted in his desire to tap the achievements of both the czarist and the Soviet empires as part of restoring Russia’s international clout and prestige.
“He will not celebrate this event,” said Andrei Kolesnikov, an analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center. “It couldn’t be used for the legitimization of Putin, because he’s a counterrevolutionary. For him, Lenin disrupted a great empire.”
Putin uses the symbols of various eras to burnish national glory. He has restored the Soviet-style national anthem and kept the imperial tricolor flag and double-headed eagle coat-of-arms.
He also has encouraged the steady growth of power and influence of the Russian Orthodox Church and conservative elements in society.
The essentially alien and imported nature of the misnamed ‘Russian’ Revolution has close parallels with the creation and rise of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. This is no accident, for both were there for very similar purposes, and had very similar origins.