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article imageRussian Communists commemorate failed 1993 revolt

By AFP     Oct 3, 2018 in World

Several dozen Russians including hardline Communists nostalgic for the USSR on Wednesday marked 25 years since a deadly showdown between president Boris Yeltsin and parliament that ended with troops shelling the rebels.

For several days in October 1993, central Moscow saw scenes similar to civil war as Yeltsin resorted to using tanks to blast his heavily armed opponents out of parliament after it refused to dissolve.

Around 50 people gathered Wednesday at the Ostankino TV tower in northern Moscow, which also saw violent clashes in 1993, holding portraits of those killed.

Many also held Soviet flags, while two priests from the Russian Orthodox Church also gave a sermon there.

"There can be no forgiveness and no understanding of these events," Yevgeny Dorovin, who heads a memorial committee devoted to the "victims of the tragic October 1993 events."

The anniversary was covered cautiously in Russian media as the nationwide political debate of the 1990s has been largely suppressed under Vladimir Putin's rule.

Popular tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets called the events "the counter-revolution of October" in its story's headline. Pro-Kremlin Izvestia daily devoted two pages to the events, giving voice to both sides from the crisis.

Amid political turmoil, Yeltsin ordered the dissolution of the Supreme Soviet -- as the parliament was then known -- in September 1993.

On October 3, Yeltsin's opponents led by General Alexander Rutskoi attacked Moscow City Hall and the Ostankino headquarters of state television, calling on the army to "bomb the Kremlin" live on air.

The next day, special forces loyal to Yeltsin launched an attack on the White House, the seat of the Supreme Soviet, effectively besieging conservative deputies.

Officially 148 people were killed in the clashes.

Yeltsin threw Rutskoi in jail and introduced a new constitution which gave more powers to the president.

The Russian Communist Party is set to hold a march through Moscow and a rally on Thursday in memory of the events.

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