Staunton, December 31 – Vladimir Putin’s signing into law a measure permitting the FSB to shoot into crowds not only has sparked fears that this represents the rebirth of the KGB (rusk.ru/newsdata.php?idar=73746) but also that it makes likely a replay of the 1905 Bloody Sunday events that destroyed the links between tsar and people and sparked revolution.
The Bloody Sunday massacre on January 22, 1905, is the infamous incident in which a group of Russians led by priests were massacred in Palace Square in St. Petersburg where they had gone to petition the government to address their grievances. The shootings marked both the beginning of the 1905 revolution but also a period of mass repression.
And Putin’s action, Vasily Kudanenko suggests, in a commentary on Forum-MSK.org, recalls those events because it comes just before that anniversary and also the anniversary of decisions by Nicholas II to employ official violence across the country in the hope of pacifying Russia and saving his throne (forum-msk.org/material/moscow/11283238.html).
In the short term, the communist commentator says, unprecedented repression worked as the authorities intended, ending the 1905 revolution and ushering in a brief period of superficial stability and real growth but not removing revolution from the agenda and indeed playing a role alongside World War I in bringing about the 1917 revolutions of February and October.
Consequently, while Putin’s action may buy him and his regime a little time, the commentator suggests, it won’t put off the final reckoning. Indeed, like the moves of Nicholas II a little over a century ago, it may have the effect of accelerating history and making that reckoning all the more violent and fateful.
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