A century after the Russian Revolution, Project 1917 is a reminder of how revolutions today unfold in real time — a subject of sensitivity for President Vladimir Putin, who has held all but untrammelled power for 17 years, The Financial Times reports:
President Putin’s rule has seen the veneration of a wide range of historical leaders, regardless of their ideology, partly to recast them in his image. Schoolchildren are bussed in by the droves to a government-funded exhibition on Russia’s first ruling dynasty at Russia’s VDNKh fairgrounds that attempts to draw a line between Grand Prince Vladimir, the first Christian ruler of what became the Russian empire centuries later, and Putin. A 20-metre statue of the prince, unveiled last year, now looms over a square by the Kremlin. “If Putin’s name was Oleg, there’d be a cult of the all-powerful Oleg by now,” quipped the writer Oleg Kashin.
Kirill Soloviev, an expert on the period at the Russian Academy of Sciences, says young people’s interest in the project reveals a wish to go beyond the limited information provided officially. “Everyone talks about 1917, but very few people know anything about it,” he says. “People need to know the sources and understand the events were a lot more complicated than any ideological interpretation would have it.” RTWT