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tv   In the Shadow of Red October  BBC News  November 19, 2017 11:30am-12:01pm GMT

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securing the heritage of this historic ship, and moving one step closer to seeing the maid of the loch raising steam and sailing once again. the queen and prince philip will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary tomorrow. to mark the milestone, buckingham palace has released this new portrait. a set of six commemorative stamps have also been issued by royal mail, they feature the couple's engagement and wedding. they are the first royal couple to celebrate their platinum anniversary. time to take a look at the weather now, that is with phil avery. good morning. glorious enough through my front door here in central london. but i have to acknowledge straightaway, it is not like that every word. further west, the more likely it is your skies are
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looking like this. the cloud pretty extensive and has been for much of the morning across parts of the far south west as well. we have had some rain already from this. plenty of showers still rattling along. through the afternoon, nothing changes much, still pretty cool over in the east. in the west, the cloud is associated with these fronts, which dry further towards the north and east. that is some snow across the higher ground in scotland, above about aoom medley the most part so not a big issue if you're moving around first thing. but there will bea around first thing. but there will be a lot of servers water, some hill fog and the heaviest of the rain ta kes fog and the heaviest of the rain takes time to move away. we are left behind with the odd pocket of brightness, but one of those afternoons, but at least for many, it is mild. i will see you in about half an hour. hello, this is bbc news with sophie long. the headlines: zimbabwe's ruling zanu—pf party is expected to remove president robert mugabe
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as its leader today, as well as expel his wife, grace, from the party. police say they're confident that a body found near swanage is that of the missing teenager, gaia pope. gaia's sister described her as "beautiful, emotionally wise and intelligent." the chancellor, philip hammond, has said britain needs to build an extra 300,000 homes a year to make an impact on the housing crisis. tests of driverless cars on uk roads are set to be given the go—ahead in this week's budget. that is our objective, to see fully d riverless ca rs that is our objective, to see fully driverless cars without safety attendant in the car, on the roads in the uk by 2021. gerry adams, sinn fein's leader for the past 3a years, will step down from the role next year. now on bbc news, steve rosenberg travels across russia to find out how its citizens view
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the 1917 revolution. it is 100 years since the russian revolution. a seismic event for the world. there is a quotation that says, "the october revolution opened a new era in world history." it was the start of a great experiment — and of russia's bloodiest years. we are giving lessons, most of them, many are what you shouldn't do. but how is the revolution seen in russia today? are there echoes of 1917 in 2017? i'm steve rosenberg and i am going on a journey across russia to find out how russians view
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the revolution that came to be known as "red october". myjourney begins where the revolution began, at the winter palace in st petersburg. soviet cinema would portray it as russia's bastille moment. the people, led by the bolsheviks, storming the palace and creating the world's first communist state. the reality was rather different. for a start, many of the red guard revolutionaries who had got into the building that night had slipped in through a back door
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which had not been locked. there was no dramatic storming of this palace. as for claims of a mass uprising of workers, peasants and soldiers, today that might be referred to as "fake news". this was a coup — one party, the bolsheviks, had seized power in russia. the palace today is the state hermitage museum. to mark the centenary of the revolution they have put on display a portrait, previously hidden away. this is tsar alexander ii. russian revolutionaries stabbed their bayonets into his face when they ran in. it was a sign of their hatred for the old russia. it is only a painting, just oil on canvas — but to me it conveys the drama of 1917 so powerfully. as if russia is warning the world of the damage revolution can do. we are giving lessons. most of them, many of them
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are what you shouldn't do. but this is the historical mission of russia, we protect the world from mistakes and may, sometimes, calamitously take them on ourselves. the bolsheviks promised a very different kind of world. and here was the perfect symbol. soon after the revolution, petr theremin's uncle leon theremin invented an instrument that used electromagnetic waves. the father of the revolution, vladimir lenin, was captivated. but the theremin would also come to symbolise the russian revolution. during the terror ofjosef stalin, the inventor was sent to the gulag, along with millions of innocent soviet citizens. 100 years on, st petersburg
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is still full of the symbols of 1917, like lenin. it is just that they mean less to modern russia. singing "imagine" byjohn lennon in english today, this st petersburg children's choir is more likely to sing john lennon than lenin. to young russians, the ussr is distant history. and the authorities appear to have
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little interest in encouraging interest in the russian revolution. there are no commemorations here on the scale of a french bastille day. a coup in 1917 is not something the kremlin of 2017 want the public to remember. when it comes to interpreting 1917, the people in power in russia today are torn two ways, in two directions. and here is their dilemma. 0n the one hand, the russian revolution produced the soviet union, which vladimir putin has often praised. but on the other hand, revolution, an armed uprising against the government — that's not the kind of example the kremlin is keen to promote.
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in this st petersburg park, hundreds of protesters have gathered to demand free and fair elections. when i talk to people here, it becomes clear that no—one wants a repeat of 1917. do you think that russia can see more revolutions or more unrest? i hope not, because revolution is blood, revolution is deaths, and i hope it will be just honest elections, not revolution. never it should be violence in any ways, from the people's side, from the government side, because, come on, it's the 215t century — you don't have to kill anybody to make significant changes. their only weapon is their voice. they are chanting, "russia without putin", and, "putin is a thief".
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it happens to be president putin's birthday. the riot police move in to stop them. st petersburg is vladimir putin's hometown and it is clear the authorities are not going to let this anti—government protest spoil the president's birthday party. these protesters are not making a revolution, they are making a point — that government is beholden to the people. it is a faint echo of 1917. after the revolution, lenin moved russia's capital from st petersburg to moscow. it is my next stop. "the spectre of communism... is haunting europe", karl marx wrote. in this park, the ghost
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of lenin is haunting me. wherever i look, he is there. lenin is the red star of this show, it is like a freak show of fallen idols. there are an estimated 111,000 statues of this man in the soviet union, that means that wherever you went in the ussr there was perhaps at least one lenin thinking about you... ..taking care of you... ..orjust watching you. speaking in russian close by, there is a lenin museum. a soviet shrine to the russian revolutionary. and look at the wall here, there is a quotation that says, "the october revolution opened a new era in world history." and the signature?
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lenin. but communism did more than cast statues of him. it preserved his body and put it on display. "lenin is more alive than the living," declared one soviet slogan. but they had to create a whole scientific institute to maintain the corpse. over the years, it has replaced some of lenin's skin and flesh with plastics and other material. his mausoleum on red square was a place of pilgrimage in the ussr. vladimir lenin — quite literally cult viewing. vladimir lenin had not wanted this. before his death he expressed a wish to be
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buried alongside his mother in st petersburg. it is one of the ironies of russia's revolution, that the man who led it, who waged war on the church, who once said that there can be nothing more abominable than religion — that this man, lenin, ended up the closest thing communists had to god — put on display here in the mausoleum and deified like a soviet saint. but 100 years after lenin's revolution might be the time to consign the mausoleum to history and commit his body to the ground. i believe that he should be buried, and not, as some say because he deserves a christian funeral, because he was not a christian, he was anti—christian — but simply because i believe that it is a symbol of the revolution, and should find its appropriate place, not in red square. 0ver our dead body,
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says the communist party. if lenin is buried one day, this man's services may be required. his company makes decorative funeral accessories, such as crucifixes and coffin handles. there is an irony to him being in the business of religious figures. he shows me his family tree. he is the great, great grandnephew of vladimir lenin, the bolshevik who declared war on religion. whether or not his body remains on red square,
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to most russians now, vladimir lenin is little more than a museum piece, a curiosity from a lost world. from moscow, i head east to the ural mountains, and to the city of yekaterinburg. it's the morning service. as 0rthodox prayer merges with the scent of burning incense — you can almost feel yourself being lifted closer to god. and yet, if there is one place where heaven meets hell, it is here — for this is known as the church on the blood. people were murdered here.
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the victims now elevated to saints, tsar nicholas ii and his family. in a house where the church now stands, they and their most loyal servants were executed. the bolsheviks shot and bayonetted them. it was a bloody and brutal end to russia's last tsar. having murdered the tsar, the bolsheviks tried to conceal their crime and bury all memory of the monarchy. but they failed. it took 60 years, but eventually, deep in this forest near yekaterinburg, a discovery was made. found here what were believed to be the remains of emperor nicholas ii and his family. in 1998, russia's government confirmed the authenticity. and nicholas, his wife, alexandra,
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three of their children, and four of their staff, were laid to rest. later, more bones were found in the same forests, believed to be the tsar‘s missing son and daughter. the church, though, has not recognised the remains, though that may be about to change. now, there are new investigations using more advanced methods, and the church participates in these investigations. there is a strong chance the church will recognise the so—called yekaterinbung remains as the bones of the royal family. nicholas ii believed his right to rule came directly from god. he was an inflexible autocrat whose instinct faced with dissent was to crack down hard. the communists labelled him "bloody nicholas." yet, as it re—analyses the revolution, today's russia strikes a different note.
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back at the church, they have a rose—tinted view of tsar nicholas. i always say he was the captain of a ship until the end of this big country. at this school, they embrace the traditions of tsarist russia. here's a lesson in cossack singing, dancing and sword spinning. and they organise regular school trips from here to the church on the blood to reinforce the connection to nicholas, to russia's imperialist past. but what about russia's future? i asked the children here, would they like a new tsar?" i am sure that in previous times
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it was good to have a tsar. but today, it's difficult. times have changed, and we can't speak about having a monarchy as it was earlier. but i suppose that our president is a kind of a man who governs the way the tsar tried to govern. in a way. he is a real ruler and a real patriot. russians are waking up to their history. they're not trying to replicate the past, they'rejust trying to remember it. it's time for the final part of myjourney. i'm off to the other end of russia,
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to khabarovsk, seven time zones away from where my trip began. this is the capital of the russian far east. here, china is closer than most of russia. the cradle of the revolution feels a world away. but then, i am more than 6,000 kilometres east of st petersburg. liev lepovich lives here. he and the russian revolution have one thing in common, they both are 100 years old. born in 1917, he has survived three famines, he's fought in four wars. in his lifetime, his country has disappeared twice. first, tsarist russia, and then, soviet russia. how does a nation survive
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that kind of century? after the revolution, it would take five years and a brutal civil war before the bolsheviks conquered the russian far east. the decisive battle was near khabarovsk, at volochayevka. there's a giant panoramic painting of it at the local museum. soviet mythology painted the reds as triumphant heroes. the anti—communist white army, deservedly crushed. in songs and poems, in paintings and propaganda, the message was clear: "the reds
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were on the right side of history." but this version of history is crumbling. just like the battle site memorial to the red heroes in volochayevka. and that is because, as russia today re—interprets its history, the official view of the past is changing. and, as it changes, communist heroes become fallen idols, the tsar becomes a saint, and the great october socialist revolution, red october, becomes a darker chapter in russia's history. in this museum open to the public, they display guns and bayonets unearthed from the forest. they try not to take sides, red or white. but not everyone welcomes that. back in his flat, lev shows me
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the commendation he got from josef stalin. at the age of 100, his view of history is unlikely to change. for me, this has been a journey notjust across russia, it has been a journey into russia's past. 100 years after the revolution, i feel that this is a country where history is in flux, where the past never stays the same. one thing i have realised about russia is that the past here keeps changing right under your feet, a bit like shifting sands on the beach.
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and that is confusing, it's disorienting, for many people. one moment they are being told that the revolution was great, the next it turns out that it wasn't that great after all. one day religion is the opium of the people, the next, it is the life and soul of russia. so often here, history is re—written, re—interpreted, and re—shaped, according to who is in power. in russia, it is notjust the future which is unpredictable, so is the past. hello once again. not a bad afternoon in prospect. a pretty decent afternoon here across the eastern side of the british isles. west, more cloud to be had. this is tied in with fronts which
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will slowly but surely become a greater influence across many of the western parts as we go through the day. quite chilly start and a cold afternoon across eastern despite your —— despite giving the sunshine for longest. but even here, we are seeing signs of the cloud beginning to invade from the west. that is tempering the sunshine many of you enjoyed first thing. you will get the sense as we move around the british isles that there is not a great deal of change from what you have outside at the moment. 0ther than the cloud filling in for 12 spots of rain. the cloud increasing through pembrokeshire and up towards anglesey. a fairly dull afternoon for northern ireland. further east, showers through the northern isles and the north east of the mainland. but right here, but if you are out walking, you will need a few layers because it is quite chilly. five, six or seven because it is quite chilly. five, six or seven sources. as we
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because it is quite chilly. five, six or seven sources. as we bring the mild air in from the atlantic, it runs into the cold air and above about 400 metres, we will get some snow overnight north of the central belt in scotland. here comes that real wall of mild air in from the atla ntic real wall of mild air in from the atlantic on the south—westerly wind, but it is one of those starts to the new week, a lot of cloud, quite a bit of rain. not so much across the south of england. 0nce bit of rain. not so much across the south of england. once you get to the midlands, the woody —— the rain really quite heavy. but mild for northern ireland, much of england and wales. north of the border is, not very warm, and you're still stuck with this influence of the cold air we have had. but there is plenty of mild air to go around, and once we have fallen into it and eventually scotland will get there, you will notice through tuesday, mild airflowing in from the atlantic, but in the process, we picked up this low pressure. so,
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tuesday and wednesday, pretty wet and at times really quite windy. but you will save a few pounds on heating bills because even as far ahead as wednesday, and indeed probably later, we will pick up this flow from the south and south west across all parts of the british isles. but it comes at a price, there will not be a lot of sunshine for a few days after today. enjoy if you can. this is bbc news. the headlines at 12pm: fasano zanu—pf has sacked robert mugabe as leader. he will be replaced by the man mugabe sacked just two weeks ago. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news.
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the president of zimbabwe robert mugabe has been sacked by his party as leader. delegates at the party meeting were seen breaking into loud singing and dancing when the announcement was
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