Don't miss




Facebook data breach highlights our 'digital ignorance'

Read more


Putin's Russia: What next?

Read more


Health hoaxes in Africa, and a teacher's viral photo

Read more


'See Red': Aaron Cohen talks gun reform, hip-hop and gastronomy in Paris

Read more


The surprising growth of evangelical churches in France

Read more


Requiem for the Arab Spring: Why has Tunisia succeeded where others failed?

Read more


Europe in a digital world: EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel

Read more


'The New Silk Road': Arctic melt sparks territorial scramble

Read more


'Soviet-era enthusiasm' delivers Putin landslide

Read more


An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2017-10-13

Video: Ghosts of 1917 revolution still haunt Russians

What remains of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia? FRANCE 24 brings you a special documentary on how Russians are living with this cumbersome legacy, as the Kremlin keeps a low profile for the centenary of the event which gave birth to the Soviet Union and changed the world.

In Russia, Lenin is ubiquitous. Whether it’s in Moscow, St. Petersburg or Ekaterinburg, every major city has a Lenin avenue or square, or an October Revolution boulevard. Statues and monuments in memory of the former revolutionary leader can be found everywhere. The authorities have decided to leave these tributes in place, partly out of collective nostalgia and partly out of their own concern not to stir up the ghosts of the past.

A hundred years after the revolution, the year 1917 remains embedded in the country's collective memory. Although the USSR disappeared 25 years ago, its founder continues to be a part of ordinary Russian lives. Lenin still fuels discussions and debates, made in turn a demi-god and a tyrant. Why does his image endure? Is it the difficulty of relinquishing the revolution’s hope for a better world? How do 21st-century Russians relate to this historical figure and, moreover, to the series of events he embodies that cost so much in bloodshed: the 1917 revolution, the fall of the tsars, the victory of Bolshevism, the end of the old Russian world and the start of a new era?

In this documentary we delve into the collective memory to give voice to the past. We spoke to four Russians whose lives have been shaped by a ghostly history --  sometimes fantasised, still filled with Soviet propaganda -- but an important influence in their lives, nevertheless.

Renée Armand, a writer and documentary maker, is the descendant of a major revolutionary figure. Irina Ivanova, a lawmaker and activist, still believes in the Communist ideal. Olga Oukolova, a secondary school teacher, is responsible for passing on history to younger generations. Finally, Georges Ossorguine is the grandson of an officer loyal to the tsar - a "White Russian", who saw his life turned upside down a century ago.

All four of them tell us what 1917 means to them.

By Ksenia BOLCHAKOVA , Veronika DORMAN



2018-03-15 Europe

Video: Kosovo’s growing pains

Kosovo is Europe’s youngest nation. Last month, it celebrated the tenth anniversary of its independence. But the small Balkan country, which has an Albanian majority and Serbian...

Read more

2018-03-08 Asia-pacific

Exclusive report: Escaping North Korea

As Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump surprise the world by agreeing to a historic meeting, we met with North Koreans who have fled the Pyongyang regime. Every year, hundreds of them...

Read more

2018-03-02 Africa

Video: Libyan city of Benghazi dreams of a brighter future

Benghazi is on its knees. Libya’s second-largest city is struggling to recover from four years of war between jihadist militias and the self-declared "Libyan National Army" led...

Read more

2018-02-23 Americas

'Never Again': The students pushing for US gun control

Many of the students who survived a horrific February 14 high school shooting in Florida have become activists demanding changes to US gun laws. Their campaign could well mark a...

Read more

2018-02-16 Africa

Video: Girls in Malawi victims of 'sexual cleansing' ritual

In the remote southern regions of Malawi, a violent tradition is practised on young women. Girls who reach puberty are forced to have sex with a "hyena", a man chosen by their...

Read more