Russians turned out in Moscow this week for the annual October Revolution/Day of Memory parade, and it gave a great view of Uncle Vladimir’s storage closest.
The original October Revolution of 1917, in which Lenin and company stormed the Winter Palace and ended Russia’s brief flirtation with Democracy, has long been celebrated on November 7th with a giant parade through Red Square due to the fact the Bolsheviks changed the country’s calendar and shifted everything 13 days into the future.
The parade even went on when the Germans were on the outskirts of Moscow in 1941, and the soldiers marching kept on walking the short distance to the front lines. As such, the parade is something of a Russian institution that survived the Soviet Union and continues to this day with lots of massed formations and weaponry both old and new.
Kinda like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade but way more Slav.
While the Russians don’t officially run the parade for the Revolution anymore and instead call it a “day of memory,” it serves as a homage to the Nov. 7, 1941 October Revolution parade during the Battle of Moscow, honoring the veterans of the Great Patriotic War– hence a lot of the period costume.
If you are a fan of Russki arms and uniforms the parade will be a treat as you will see WWII barrage balloons, PPSh-41 subguns, vintage armored cars, Russian Civil War-style tachanka horse-drawn carts complete with Maxim M1910 heavy machine guns and Budyenny caps, Mosin rifles, and lots and lots of communist red banners.
Sure, its 40 minutes long, but you can skip past the show tunes by Boris and the Natashas and just watch the good parts.