Russia celebrates Defender of the Fatherland Day on Feb. 23, known previously as Red Army Day and Soviet Army and Navy Day. Originally, the holiday honored the Bolsheviks’ first mass draft in Petrograd and Moscow in 1918, in the early days of the Russian Civil War.
Today, the Bolshevik Revolution represents a tricky piece of history, as Russian patriots have an interest both in rejecting Communism and celebrating the Soviet armed forces.
With the revolution’s centennial coming this October, interest in 1917 is particularly high this year. In that spirit, the Arzamas Academy, a nonprofit online educational project, published a quiz this week designed to show readers where their sympathies would have lied in September 1917, after the failed Kornilov putsch against the Petrograd Soviet, but before the Bolshevik Revolution.