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Vladimir Putin stayed away from events marking the centenary of the Russian Revolution on Tuesday, an event that changed the world but has awkward associations for the former KGB operative who was trained to keep a lid on dissent, not celebrate it.

In the Soviet era, missile launchers rumbled across Red Square on Nov. 7, Soviet leaders watched from atop the mausoleum of Vladimir Lenin — father of the Bolshevik Revolution — and the anniversary of the uprising was a public holiday.

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