(PRIO) Five years ago, Boris Nemtsov, one of the leaders of Russian liberal opposition, visited Oslo and made his cause for several audiences, who now remember his passion and joy. There is indeed much to reflect upon in this recent Russian history – and in its older pages as well.
Late February not only marks a momentous anniversary in Russia’s long and difficult history, but also solemnizes a tragic event from its much more recent past. One hundred years ago (March 8, 1917, but February 23 on the Julian Calendar, still used by the Russian Empire), a peaceful revolution dethroned the Romanov monarchy, opening for Russia an opportunity to emerge out of the catastrophe of World War I as a democratic state.
Public enthusiasm, however, evaporated quickly: the Provisional government lost control over the crumbling state, setting the stage for the Bolshevik coup in late October (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, February 20). […]
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