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Russians Celebrate Bolshevik Revolution - 2002-11-07

Tens of thousands of people Thursday marched in Moscow to mark the anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

Communists, anti-Communists and everyone in between came out Thursday to mark the holiday in very different ways.

It is officially called the Day of Accord and Reconciliation, but it is remembered as Revolution Day, and marks the 85 anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

The holiday was one of the most important during Soviet times, and is still a mainstay for thousands of Communist supporters, who marched down Moscow's main street Thursday, waving red banners.

The head of Russia's Communist party, Gennady Zyuganov, addressed his party's supporters. Mr. Zyuganov said he was certain the Communist party would be victorious.

More than a decade after the end of the Soviet Union, the Communist party is still the largest single political party in Russia, but has been slowly losing influence.

In a smaller, quieter ceremony, a group of about 100 veterans of World War II marched across Red Square.

The veterans were from a group of soldiers who celebrated Revolution Day in 1941, when German troops were massed outside Moscow.

In another ceremony, a group of Orthodox priests and men wearing Czarist military uniforms staged a modest procession through Moscow's streets. They were paying homage to those who fought and lost against the Bolshevik forces.

And one of the ceremonies Thursday had nothing to do with the Bolshevik Revolution at all. Near Red Square, a Russian youth group delivered a history lecture to hundreds of young people gathered there.

But the lecture wasn't about the Bolshevik Revolution; it was about the end of the Polish occupation of Moscow during the 17th century.