Putin, memory wars and the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution
by Mark Edele
Politically, the Revolution can neither be fully embraced nor fully disowned.
One hundred years ago, the Romanov dynasty fell in the February Revolution of 1917. This centenary haunts Russia’s current government. “In the Kremlin,” wrote journalist Ben Judah in his important analysis of Vladimir Putin’s “Fragile Empire”, “they have nightmares about Nicholas II”.
In the middle of a terrible war with Germany, a revolutionary crisis had started in late February (according to the Julian calendar then in force in Russia). The Tsar, under pressure from the street, the parliamentary opposition, his own ministers, and the army command, abdicated on 2 March. A Provisional Government of liberals and moderate socialists took over the affairs of state and the war effort.