MOSCOW — Russian Communists and left-wing activists from around the world marched through central Moscow on Tuesday to commemorate the centenary of the Russian Revolution, in a pale shadow of grand Soviet demonstrations on Red Square.
The mood at this year’s celebration was more subdued than that of previous ceremonies, despite the milestone anniversary and the global feel as organizers invited representatives of left-wing movements from 88 countries. The day also highlighted the stark contrasts between today’s Russia and the ideals embraced in the revolution 100 years ago.
Holding red flags and portraits of Lenin and Stalin, several thousand activists moved through the city’s main thoroughfare, toward the Kremlin. Instead of marching to Red Square, as happened for decades during Soviet rule, they turned left, stopping for a rally at Revolution Square, where a monument to Marx stands.
Despite the more low-key nature of the event, some noted positive changes.
“During the Soviet times, we were told to go to these rallies,” said Tatyana Korolyova, 63. “Now we are doing it at our own will. This is better now that we have free choice.”
For generations of Russians, Nov. 7 was one of the country’s main holidays, with demonstrations held in every major city.