Russia is a country rich in history, but which to celebrate? The question is exercising itself afresh this year. The Communists again led separate commemorations in the name of the October revolution for the seventh of November, renamed since the Yeltsin era the Day of Accord and Reconciliation.In Moscow 10 to 15 000 turned out, and there were marches in many other places. This year the Communists are doubly angry Red October and other Soviet-era holidays face official extinction.
The seventh is also the day World War Two is remembered, and a law before parliament proposes scrapping the November date along with other holidays and replacing them with a week around New Year. For these veterans remembering the sacrifice of the “great patriotic struggle”, it may be their last seventh of November, as the law, proposed by President Putin, could be in force next year.
The fourth of November could become a “Day of People’s Unity” replacing any commemoration of revolution, and instead remembering events from 1612. This intitiative is backed by the Orthodox church, although one poll has said 67 percent of Russians oppose Putin’s meddling with the calendar.