Russia's remaining communists celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution on Wednesday with particular pomp, seizing on a chance to energize supporters ahead of December elections.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union 16 years ago, the Communist Party has seen its support steadily decline, able to count mainly on the loyalty of pensioners and others who were on the losing end of post-Soviet market reforms.
But in Dec. 2 parliamentary elections, with Kremlin-controlled United Russia now set to sweep the vote, the communists are the only other party considered certain to take seats. This has given the communists new confidence and hope for broadening their support.
Carrying the red Soviet and Bolshevik flags and a huge red banner that said "Long Live Socialist Revolution," more than 10,000 supporters marched Wednesday through the glitzy Tverskaya street in central Moscow. "Victory! Motherland! Socialism!" they chanted to Soviet marches played by a brass band.