The Russian Communist Party has accused the Kremlin of deliberately distracting public attention from the upcoming centenary of the Bolshevik revolution. The Communists said less than a third of the general public are aware of the approaching centenary.
The party released a report, titled ‘One hundred years later. Non-forgotten revolution,’ referring to a nationwide public opinion poll conducted in September. According to the survey, 58 percent of Russians are not aware of the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, 29 percent know about the planned ceremonies to mark the event, and 9 percent have heard something about it, but could not remember any details. The rest either refused to answer or said that they were not interested in the topic as a whole.
The secretary of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, Sergey Obukhov, said in comments with popular business daily Kommersant that he and his comrades considered this situation a result of a deliberate campaign launched by the Russian authorities. “They are silencing this issue so that ordinary people don’t have to choose sides,” he said.
According to the report, the authorities also used surrogate campaigns to draw public attention from the anniversary. The Communists offered as an example the recent scandal around the ‘Matilda’ movie depicting the affair between the last Russian emperor, Nicolas II, and the famous ballet dancer Matilda Kshesinskaya. According to the report, the number of articles about the movie in Russian printed media exceeded the number of stories about the revolution anniversary by 10 times.
An analyst from the Russian political think tank Public Opinion Foundation, Grigory Kertman, confirmed that the public interest in the October Revolution was very low, but connected this fact with the general decline in historical education and public interest in history. He also said that in his view, the accusations of silencing were too close to a conspiracy theory and noted that the scandal around the ‘Matilda’ movie should have increased the interest in the evolutionary events among the general public.